Airbus has fallen short of expectations with sales of its flagship A380 aircraft, but is expecting a recovery as the Superjumbo becomes more popular with airlines flying long-haul routes.
Tom Enders, the chief executive of the European plane-maker’s parent EADS, said in Sydney today that the company was not content with the level of sales of the A380, which had been impacted by the global economic slowdown and the discovery of tiny cracks in the wings of the planes early last year.
Airbus was forced to carry out fixes to the worldwide fleet of Superjumbos, which are flown by airlines including Qantas, Emirates and Singapore Airlines.
The repair bill amounted to hundreds of millions of dollars.
The European plane-maker has now delivered 111 of the double-decker aircraft to 10 airlines, and has an order backlog totaling about 150 aircraft.
‘‘While we cannot be happy with the sales level that we have today … [Airbus expects it to] recover and it will be a great instrument, particularly for airlines on long-distance and hub-to-hub routes,
Mr. Enders said the trend was for airlines to favor larger aircraft such as the A380, particularly as more air routes and airports became congested.
He also emphasized that Airbus was committed to growing its business in Australia, although he called on the government to create more incentives for research and development.
‘‘One thing is clear, we are here to stay. We want to build on this,’’ he told the National Aviation Press Club in Sydney today.
Source: Sydney Morning Herald