SINGAPORE Feb 6 Airbus is exploring
fresh ways to improving sales of the world's largest passenger
jet after receiving a potentially key signal of support from at
least one of its engine makers, industry sources said.
Faced with patchy demand for the A380 superjumbo, Britain's
Rolls-Royce has indicated it may be willing to upgrade
its Trent 900 engines to help Airbus dig its way out of a recent
sales trough, the sources said, asking not to be named.
However, no decision has yet been taken and Airbus has said
its first priority is to keep carrying out other gradual
improvements to the 525-seat aircraft, which entered service in
Rolls-Royce declined to comment on the potential engine
move, which emerged ahead of next week's Singapore Airshow.
A spokesman for Airbus said the European company was "always
looking into all kinds of avenues to keep our aircraft at the
cutting edge" and listed areas continually being reviewed
including latest developments in engine technology.
The A380's four engines are currently supplied by either
Rolls-Royce or rival U.S. consortium Engine Alliance, owned by
General Electric and Pratt & Whitney.
Engine Alliance said it was actively pursuing sales
campaigns while "looking into possible enhancements to
continually improve the performance and reliability of the