LONDON (CNNfn) - Airbus Industrie is close to landing an order from FedEx Corp. for up to 10 cargo A380 superjumbos worth $2.3 billion, a report said Friday. |
The board of Memphis-based FedEx (FDX: Research, Estimates), the world's largest express delivery company, could make a decision in the next two weeks, the Wall Street Journal said, citing people familiar with the talks.
FedEx's choice of Toulouse, France-based Airbus would be another blow to Seattle-based Boeing Co. (BA: Research, Estimates), the world's largest aircraft maker, which is marketing it own super jumbo, the 747X. Airbus declined to comment on the report.
Separately, Reuters said Friday German carrier Lufthansa (FLHA) plans to make a decision in the next three months on whether to opt for the A380 or the 747X.
However, Lufthansa spokeswoman Monica Goebel told CNNfn.com such talk was "speculative" and the airline had "no timeframe to rush through a decision." The company said it needs a bigger plane for 2007 or 2008.
Airbus plans to deliver the first A380, which was formerly known as the A3XX, to airlines in 2006 and expects to spend some $10.7 billion on building the jet.
Air France SA (FAIR), Dubai-based Emirates Airlines, International Lease Finance Corp (AIG: Research, Estimates), Australia's Qantas Airways, Singapore Airlines Ltd. and Richard Branson's Virgin Atlantic have collectively committed to buy 50 A380 superjumbos.
The A380 can carry 555 passengers in its launch version, making it the world's largest passenger aircraft, and breaking Boeing's 30-year stranglehold on the jumbo market.
Airbus is 80 percent-owned by European Aeronautic, Defense & Space Co. (PEAD) and Britain's BAE Systems (BA-) holds 20 percent.
Shares in EADS fell 0.4 percent 23.11 in Paris, while BAE dropped 4.7 percent to 362 in early London trade.