Boeing Co said it would double its efforts to retake the reins from European planemaker Airbus Group NV after losing a $9.5 billion aircraft deal.
The US planemaker said it is working “very hard” to secure an order from ANA Holdings Co after Japan Airlines handed the landmark deal to Airbus for 31 A350 wide-body jets.
“There’s a campaign, and we are busy working very hard to win the battle,” Ihssane Mounir, Boeing’s senior vice president for sales and marketing for Northeast Asia, said during an interview in Singapore Tuesday.
ANA’s fleet is dominated by Boeing aircraft but Airbus’s breakthrough in the Japanese market long held by Boeing will make for tough competition between the two.
ANA, the biggest Japanese operator of Airbus planes, will decide between the yet-to-be-made Boeing 777X and the Airbus A350, the aircraft that JAL chose in October.
The planes will be used in international flights, ANA President Shinichiro Ito said in September.
Airbus won firm contracts for 18 A350-900 aircraft and 13 larger A350-1000s, plus options for 25 more planes from Japan Air. Boeing suffered a setback after its Dreamliners were grounded for three months worldwide last year.
Boeing said its 777X is “leaps ahead of the A350-1000” and that it shares commonalities with ANA’s fleet.
“Do we have an advantage, yes. Does that advantage guarantee a win, no,” Mounir said.
By Maesie Bertumen
Image: Aero Icarus/Flickr