Airbus expects to conclude contract revisions with A400M customers “in the coming months”, and says it “completed significant de-risking” of the military transport programme during 2018.

Speaking at the European group’s annual results presentation in Toulouse, outgoing chief executive Tom Enders said Airbus has “succeeded in re-baselining the programme with our government customers”.

Airbus delivered 17 A400Ms during 2018; two fewer than in 2017.

A400M Spain - Airbus Defence & Space

Airbus Defence & Space

The company has taken a further charge of €436 million ($492 million) on the programme in its 2018 accounts to reflect “the outcome of the negotiations and updated estimates on the export scenario, escalation and some cost increases”. Airbus says “risks remain” around the “development of technical capabilities…securing sufficient export orders in time, on aircraft operational reliability in particular with regard to engines, and on cost reductions”.

Seven A400M customers – Belgium, France, Germany, Luxembourg, Spain, Turkey, and the UK – have ordered a combined 170 A400Ms through Europe's OCCAR defence procurement agency. The only export customer is Malaysia, which has taken delivery of four examples, although a company associated with the government in Indonesia last year signalled its intent to buy two.

In March 2018, Airbus agreed with its launch customers to reduce A400M deliveries to eight per year from 2020, to allow work to continue on developing advanced capabilities and secure production to 2030, giving the company time to pursue export opportunities.