Airbus CEO Talks About Highs And Lows Of Market

By Jens Flottau
Source: Aviation Week & Space Technology

By 2014 we should go back to 30. For 2015, to remain at 30 would require the sale of a few more aircraft. We will have to make that decision at the end of this year. We are not desperate. If we get a few orders this year we can fill the gap. The 747-8 has a much bigger issue. They sold a lot on the freighter market. Now they are trying to buy back 747-400s as part of the deals, just to keep the production flow at acceptable levels.

The sales target for this year remains unchanged?

Yes, 25 aircraft.

Do you think the 777X and the A350-1000 will kill the 747-8?

I don't think the 747-8 found its market as a passenger aircraft. It is a very old generation. The 777X is Boeing's reaction to the success of the A350-1000. The only difference is that it will enter service in 2017 and the 777X will come much later and with a hell of a lot of technical challenges—a new big engine, a new set of wings, other modifications. We are not on the risky side, Boeing is.

Following the obvious success of the A320NEO, does an A330NEO sound good?

No. We will continue to improve the A330, but we still need to keep the homogeneity of the aircraft. It is fantastic, reliable and cost-effective. We need to maintain that. I don't think the NEO strategy is relevant for the A330.

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