The aircraft manufacturer has reduced its forecast for A380 deliveries to avoid a production glut. But the company’s chief executive appeared optimistic, saying the four-engine jet “is here to stay.”
Europe’s Airbus on Tuesday announced that it reduced its A380 target delivery to 12 per year starting in 2018.
“With this prudent, proactive step we are establishing a new target for our industrial planning, meeting current commercial demand but keeping all our options open to benefit from future A380 markets, which we consider in the environment of ongoing aviation growth and constrained airport capacity as a given,” Bregier added.
The announcement comes at a moment when airlines have shunned the industry’s four-engine behemoths for twin-engine jets.
AirAsia, the region’s largest budget carrier, ordered 100 single-aisle fuel-efficient A321neo jets, valued at $12.5 billion (11.3 billion euros), while India’s low-cost Go Air signalled its intention to buy 72 of them, amounting to $7.7 billion (6.96 billion euros).
However, Bregier appeared optimistic about the A380’s future despite the production cutback.
“We are maintaining, innovating and investing in the A380, keeping the aircraft the favorite of passengers, the airlines and airports – today and in the future. The A380 is here to stay,” said Airbus CEO Fabrice Bregier.
The company said it aims to raise profits in the meantime by reducing the costs of building the A380.
“Airbus reached breakeven at 27 aircraft deliveries in 2015. The company will continue to improve the efficiency of its industrial system to achieve breakeven at 20 aircraft in 2017 and targets additional cost reduction initiatives to lower breakeven further,” Airbus said in a statement.
ls/kl (AP, AFP, Reuters)