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Airbus, GE Dispute Could Delay A350 Plane: Report

An escalating dispute between Airbus and jet-engine supplier General Electric could delay deliveries of the European airplane maker's A350 extra wide body jet, the Wall Street Journal said on Monday.

GE and Airbus, owned by European aerospace and defense company EADS, disagree because the largest version of the A350 is to compete with the largest version of Boeing's 777 aircraft for which GE is the exclusive engine supplier, the WSJ said citing Airbus and GE officials.

The reported dispute comes as Boeing unveiled its new lightweight, carbon composite 787 Dreamliner aircraft on Sunday. The mid-sized long-range aircraft has already attracted more than $100 billion in orders and would compete with the yet to be built A350 XWB (extra wide body), which has GE's U.K. rival Rolls-Royce as the only current engine supplier.

GE officials told the WSJ they will not build a new engine that competes with the one they supply for the 777 but the company has offered Airbus a version of the new GEnx engine which it is creating for the Dreamliner.

Airbus executives said the engine would work only for the two smaller sizes of the three proposed A350 sizes. Wiring problems have delayed the launch of Airbus's A380 jet, causing a slump in EADS's profits last year. The A350 will reach the market five years after Boeing's 787.

Airbus and GE have both said negotiations about the engines for the A350 are continuing but the WSJ reported that no resolution appeared imminent.

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