Airbus will not scrap A380s despite order drought: CEO

22nd December 2014, Comments 0 comments

The head of Airbus said Monday the aircraft manufacturer had no intention to stop making the A380, saying the super jumbo had a "bright future" despite a lack of orders this year.

The idea of stopping production of the A380 is "just crazy", Fabrice Bregier said as Qatar took delivery of the first of Airbus's next-generation long-haul A350-900 aircraft.

Bregier admitted however: "Clearly our challenge is to get more customers", while insisting that the Airbus order book was "largely filled".

The remarks came after an official at parent company Airbus Group suggested that the A380 would be wound down by 2018 because of a lack of orders.

The comment caused Airbus shares to nosedive on December 10 and 11, losing nearly 15 percent of their value.

Airbus, which aimed to sell 30 A380s and deliver the same number this year, met the delivery goal but not the sales target.

The CEO said the trend was towards bigger planes like the A380 because global air traffic is expected to double every 15 years.

"The A380 has a bright future as the market is getting bigger," Bregier said.

He said one option for making the plane more attractive was to replace the engines with more fuel-efficient ones such as those used in the mid-range A320neo (new engine option) and long-haul A330neo.

Meanwhile the head of Qatar Airways, Akbar al Baker, said the airline might buy more than the 14 A380s it has already ordered, of which three have been delivered.

"Qatar Airways is very satisfied with this airplane. And I don't know what more Airbus can do... It's a very well defined aircraft," he said.

© 2014 AFP

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