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Boeing: Extension of tanker deadline doesn't ensure fair competition

The U.S. Department of Defense said Wednesday it will extend the deadline to receive bids for a new refueling tanker by six weeks if European Aeronautic Defence and Space makes a formal request.

Boeing said it is disappointed with efforts by EADS and Airbus to delay the program and “tilt the U.S. procurement process in its favor.”  The companies have been engaged in the competition for four years, it said.

“We do not see a legitimate reason for EADS’s bid deadline extension request, and we believe an extension that favors any individual competitor does not further the goal of ensuring fair competition.

“Boeing remains fully prepared to submit a competitive proposal by the May 10 deadline originally set by the Air Force. However, this latest development, along with the World Trade Organization’s recent final ruling that Airbus has been heavily and illegally subsidized for decades, requires Boeing to review all of our options for going forward while we wait for a final determination on a deadline extension.”