Some A380 slots for 2015 still open

Airbus still has A380 slots open towards the end of 2015 although these are only available to existing customers.

Chief operating officer for customers John Leahy unveiled a robust forecast for 1,334 high-capacity passenger aircraft in the airframer’s 20-year outlook.

While he admits Airbus will have to “cede…to Boeing” an additional 400 new-build large freighters, Leahy is upbeat over prospects for the A380 in the passenger sector.

“It’s very obvious we’re going to get the lion’s share of that,” he says.

No orders have been signed since Singapore Airlines’ agreed an additional five on 13 December, and there has not been a new A380 customer since Transaero’s deal for four the previous June.

But Leahy believes the potential 20-aircraft agreement with management specialist Doric is progressing, with the company holding “discussions with several airlines about orders”.

Airbus has not indicated whether it expects to disclose further A380 sales during the Dubai air show in November.

But Leahy says Airbus has “nothing in 2015” in terms of slots for new customers requiring differing specifications for the type.

For customers seeking aircraft with their existing specification, he says, there are a “couple [of slots] at the end of 2015”, but adds that he expects to fill these soon.

The airframer is aiming to reach production break-even for the A380 in 2015.

Airbus has sold 262 A380s compared with 40 Boeing 747-8s in the passenger sector.

If this ratio was extrapolated to Airbus 20-year demand for new-build high-capacity jets, nearly 60 A380s per year would have to be supplied to the market. Airbus is currently delivering about half that figure at current production rates.

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