The airframer has just reached the 200-order milestone for the 525-seater nine years after launch, but remains confident that there is much more to come. "Once the type is well installed in service and proving itself, my prediction is that [sales] could go fast," says head of A380 product marketing Richard Carcaillet.
Emirates is by far the largest A380 customer with 58 on firm order and Carcaillet says he "can definitely see more than two or three airlines with fleets of around 50 A380s" in the long term.
Fourteen of the 16 A380 customers secured so far are airlines, who account for 189 orders. Carcaillet expects that this group alone could ultimately order 600 of the giants: "Our long term forecast of 'open demand' predicts that just the existing A380 airline customers alone will have a need for 400 large aircraft over the next 20 years in addition to the 189 A380s already on order."
Contrary to Boeing, Airbus has consistently forecast very high long-term demand for large airliners, and its latest 20-year outlook predicts almost 1,300 deliveries in that category.