Airbus’s new commercial chief Christian Scherer has dropped the long-held policy of publishing catalogue prices for its product line due to their relative irrelevance to real-world deal values.
The European manufacturer, like its US counterpart Boeing, has traditionally provided annually the pricing range for each of its current types by variant. Although Boeing has published its 2019 data, Airbus decided not to.
When asked about list prices at the recent Paris air show, Scherer, who is chief commercial officer at Airbus’s commercial division, said: “Catalogue prices are relatively meaningless…You’ve seen us go relatively silent on catalogue prices.”
While it is widely acknowledged that the values negotiated for aircraft deals are always significantly discounted on the aircraft’s “sticker price”, the publishing of catalogue prices enables like-for-like comparisons to be made between Airbus and Boeing products.
Catalogue prices do have some relevance in aircraft negotiations. They can provide the benchmark from which discounts are negotiated and have traditionally been used in aircraft purchase contracts to calculate deposits and scheduled pre-delivery payments.