Airbus won’t say why the deal fell through or who the new owner might be, but Aviation Week ShowNews understands that the Saudi Ministry of Finance now holds the keys to the A380. The former test aircraft is still stored at the Airbus facility in Toulouse, with an empty cabin that has never been outfitted.
Boeing meanwhile expects to see the first of its 747-8 VVIP aircraft exit completion in the second quarter of 2014. Current 747 completion projects are “marching along,” says Taylor. While he acknowledges that overall 747-8 production is down and the line faces an uncertain long-term future, he still expects Boeing to sell one or two VVIP aircraft per year. “We have sold nine aircraft, are in negotiations for two more and there are active discussions on further orders,” Taylor told Aviation Week ShowNews. We have sold 25 VVIP and Head-of-State 747s and we will continue to own that market in the coming years.”