“We delivered this year 30 Airbus A380s, our order book is largely fit,” he said at the Qatar Airways A350 XWB delivery ceremony Dec. 22. “And we produce close to 30 aircraft a year. Clearly, our challenge is to get more customers,” Brégier said, adding, the market trend is in favor of the A380.
Airbus CFO Harald Wilhelm surprised the aviation world early in December by raising the possibility of either re-engining the A380 with more efficient engines or discontinuing A380 production in 2018.
Brégier said, “To stop A380 production would be crazy. We are about to go breakeven next year [in the A380 program].” He added that Airbus invested €10 billion ($12.25 billion) in the A380 program. “One day, we will improve the aircraft, which may include a new engine or the larger version [-900] when the market is requires it.”
Meanwhile, Qatar Airways took delivery of its fourth A380-800 this week.
Asked how satisfied he is with the A380 performance, Qatar CEO Akbar Al Baker said, “The aircraft performance has exceeded our expectations.”
Qatar said it operates the A380 with 100% reliability. “We still have three more A380 options and we will decide to take more aircraft [additional orders] when our A380 fleet is operating 12 months,” Al Baker said, adding, “I don’t know how Airbus could make the A380 better [than it currently is],” he said.
(Kurt Hofmann - ATWOnline News)