March 12, 2013
With several active single-aisle campaigns under way in Europe, Airbus predicts its A320NEO orderbook will exceed 2,000 aircraft by the end of March.
Airbus currently has 1,878 firm orders for the A320NEO, but Airbus Chief Operating Officer-Customers John Leahy, speaking at the ISTAT Americas 2013 Conference in Orlando, Fla., says, “I’d hazard a guess we’ll be over 2,000” by the end of the month.
Leahy adds that deliveries of current-generation A320s with the Sharklet winglet are stepping up but are “production constrained.” As a result, about half of the deliveries scheduled for 2013, some 200 aircraft, will have the new wing tip structure, which reduces fuel burn about 4%.
The volume steps up next year, and Leahy expects 100% of deliveries to be Sharklet-equipped in 2014.
Leahy says he remains “happy” with sales of the A350 equipped with the Rolls-Royce Trent XWB engine, but adds Airbus is open to an approach from Pratt & Whitney on a possible geared turbofan variant for the A350-800/900 versions. Rolls is the sole-source engine provider with its XWB-97 variant for the A350-1000.
Airbus’s chief salesman adds, however, that there will be no re-engined A330NEO offered against Boeing’s 787. “We keep looking at whether it is worthwhile doing an A330NEO. I just don’t want to adjust what we have going on now. Admittedly, we’re taking advantage of lower capitalization costs—if you want to put a couple of billion dollars into re-engining all of a sudden you have to amortize that. It’s probably better that we stay off where we are now,” says Leahy, adding that some 800 A330s have been sold since the 787 was launched.