TAM Airlines, which is a customer for three out of the four Airbus types, ordered more Airbus A320s and A350 XWBs yesterday at the show but will not add the A380 until the end of the decade at the earliest to make the full set.

"According to our growth forecasts we don't need the A380 until 2020," said Libano Barroso, chief executive of the Brazilian carrier. "There is also an infrastructure thing to fix in Brazil," said the airline's chairwoman Maria Claudia Amaro, referring to the country's congested airports.

"The earliest slot available [for the A380] is 2015 - just in time for the games," noted John Leahy, Airbus chief salesman, referred to the Olympic Games, which are being held in Brazil in 2016.

The new order for 20 A320s and five A350s, worth $2.9 billion, brings TAM's total Airbus orders to 176 aircraft, said the manufacturer's head Tom Enders. "TAM is our largest customer in the entire southern hemisphere," he added.

TAM A350-900 
 © Airbus

The top-up order for A350s means that TAM now has 27 of the type on order, 12 A350-800 versions and 15 A350-900s. The carrier will receive its first A350 in 2016. The extra A350 order is because "TAM is replacing its A330s in a faster way than we anticipated," said Barroso.

Source: Flight Daily News