Airbus appears close to unveiling its third new A380 customer this year, with an unidentified Asian airline having signed a commitment for five A380s.
Speaking at the recent Association of Asia Pacific Airlines annual meeting in Taipei, Airbus chief commercial officer John Leahy said: "I have one MoU [memorandum of understanding] signed for five A380s... I am hoping that can be announced in the next couple of months."
He would not be drawn on the identity of the airline, or the country in which it is based, but did confirm that it is based in Asia. The carrier is widely believed to be Air China, as there has been speculation for months that it would sign an A380 deal. Airbus was hoping for A380 commitments to be announced by Air China and possibly also China Southern Airlines during an October visit to China by French president Jacques Chirac, but these did not materialise.
NICHOLAS IONIDES / TAIPEI
Source: Flight International