Notwithstanding the continued gloomy financial projections for the air transport industry by groups such as the International Air Transport Association (IATA), Airbus predicts the size of the world’s airliner fleet will more than double over the next 20 years, from around 14,000 now to 28,100 in 2028, according to European manufacturer’s new Global Market Forecast published in London on September 17.
Boeing Commercial Airplanes has begun to study the possibility of fitting the 777 with a redesigned wing in an effort to more effectively compete against the Airbus A350XWB-1000. Although BCA chief executive Scott Carson said at this month’s Paris Air Show that “nothing is decided,” a re-winged 777 could offer an alternative to the still un-launched 787-10, the so-called double stretch of the baseline 787-8.
Calling Boeing’s 787 “probably the most subsidized airplane ever,” Airbus CEO Thomas Enders nevertheless feels comfortable with the €11 billion ($15 billion) that, on his own admission, European governments have committed to launching the A350XWB.
In the face of the global economic recession, Airbus does not expect to reach its previously predicted 300 new orders this year and has switched its efforts to retaining as much of its order backlog as possible. Nevertheless, the EADS subsidiary believes the downturn in airline traffic is close to the bottom and that gradual economic recovery next year will be accompanied by improved market prospects.
Airbus COO for customers John Leahy often points to a coming wave of airplane retirements when questioned about airlines’ appetite for new equipment, even during a time of severely slumping traffic and mounting industry losses.
Airbus delivered to Australia’s Qantas its first of 20 A380 superjumbos during ceremonies held on Friday at Airbus’ delivery center in Toulouse, France. Tom Enders, Airbus president and CEO, and John Leahy, Airbus COO for customers, handed over the the Rolls-Royce-powered double-decker to Qantas CEO Geoff Dixon and Qantas CEO-designate Alan Joyce.
If Airbus COO customers and chief commercial officer John Leahy ever met a paying customer he didn’t like, it certainly wasn’t one of the world’s big aircraft lessors, whose strong balance sheets look all the stronger at a time soaring fuel costs eat away at profits of the world’s airlines.
Airbus is studying 10-abreast seating for its A350WXB following interest from low-cost airlines including AirAsia, which has inquired a potential 25-aircraft order.
Dubai Aerospace Enterprise made good on a promise to challenge the aerospace industry’s established aircraft leasing giants by committing to orders for 200 new Airbus and Boeing jets worth more than $27 billion.
Airbus launched an executive/VIP version of an A319 airliner in 1997 and, a decade later, the aircraft manufacturing giant (Booth No. 4339) is celebrating a milestone with more than 100 Airbus Corporate Jet sales, valued at $5.5 billion.