Airbus Group’s finance head has reiterated that the airframer will reach a decision this year on whether to develop a re-engined version of its A330.
Chief financial officer Harald Wilhelm, speaking as the company unveiled its first-quarter results, said that it was “not a secret” that the airframer was looking at the option – unofficially dubbed the A330neo – but added: “We need to do our homework.”
Wilhelm says Airbus will make a decision “one way or the other” over the course of 2014.
The airframer has 260 A330s in its backlog – comprising 181 A330-300s, 67 -200s and 12 freighters – and is producing the type at the rate of 10 per month.
Wilhelm acknowledges that this output, measured against the backlog, means the “key question of re-engining kicks in” when the airframer looks beyond 2016.
“If we do it, it would give the A330 an excellent [prospect] in terms of continued life,” he says, adding that the delivery profile for the type to the end of the decade is a “function of whether we do the re-engining or not”.