EADS admits that recent Airbus A380 sales have been poor, a situation it attributes to the wing-rib issue, but is optimistic that it can improve on the position this year.

Airbus sold just nine of the type in 2012, to Transaero and Singapore Airlines. It expects the sales figure to be "considerably higher" in 2013, said EADS chief Tom Enders, speaking in Berlin.

"We need to concentrate to sell these aircraft, particularly in Asia," he says.

"There's no doubt that we would love to sell a few more of the big birds. The order intake in the last couple of years has been rather meagre."

Airbus has sold a total of 262 A380s and is approaching 100 deliveries of the type. Enders says the wing-rib bracket modification has contributed to the weakness in orders for the jet, but says certification is due in the "next days".

Source: Air Transport Intelligence news