The new chief of Airbus says rival Boeing is engaging in a price war by discounting its 737 MAX airliner in a bid to steal marketshare from the Airbus A320neo.
“Boeing is desperately trying now to boost the market share of the B737 MAX,” Fabrice Bregier told the German newspaper Welt am Sonntag. “They are very aggressive when it comes to pricing.”
Aircraft makers do not generally disclose the terms of sales deals with airline, though airlines almost always receive a discount on list prices.
Mr Bregier’s comments come on the heels of a strong showing by the 737 MAX at the Farnborough Airshow, where Boeing scored orders and commitments for more the 250 of its upgraded narrowbodies, due to ship in 2017. Airbus’s A320neo, scheduled to begin deliveries in 2015, has also sold well and enjoyed a head start on its rival, but Boeing’s entrant has battled back as the two aerospace giants work to increase their share of the critical single-aisle market.
Mr Bregier predicted that Boeing, driven by the 737 MAX, would likely outsell Airbus this year, a reversal after Airbus expanded its sales lead over Boeing last year.
The Airbus CEO also told the newspaper that Airbus parent EADS was considering setting up its own bank as it sought to protect itself from a euro zone break up. He said the company had more than 10 billion euros (A$12bn) in cash.