A true salesman always tries to make something positive come out of adversity. The Airbus team that has managed to not only ensure that one of its launch A380 customers – Australia’s Qantas Airways – is staying with the programme, but is in fact ordering more of the superjumbos, can be forgiven for popping the champagne all this week.
OK, Qantas has negotiated what it calls an “attractive” package in buying eight more A380s to add to its original order for 12. Attractive is probably Aussie code for “bloody amazing”.
For Qantas, the deal makes sense. It has negotiated a deal that will most likely feature spectacular financial breaks on its existing and new A380s, and perhaps more critically a range of attractive delivery slots from 2008 up to 2015.
And we’ve not even mentioned the four A330s Qantas is taking to help fill in for the late delivery of the A380. These will not be free, even that would be too much for the tough-talking Qantas executive team to secure, but could be some of the cheapest widebodies ever sold.