Airbus is expecting to book more than 800 gross orders in 2013, an increase of more than 100 over its previously stated target for the year, EADS CEO Tom Enders told the company’s annual general meeting in Amsterdam.
In 2012, the airframer targeted 650 orders and booked 914 gross orders for a net order intake of 833 aircraft after cancellations. Boeing booked 921 net orders in 2012.
With new Airbus orders so far this year having passed the 500-aircraft mark by the end of April, Enders during the company’s annual general meeting in Amsterdam on May 29 said he is “comfortably forecasting that we should be well above 800 aircraft in 2013.”
Deliveries are still expected to increase to 600-610 aircraft this year from 588 in 2012.
After taking €522 million ($674 million) in charges last year, more than half of them on the A350 and A380 programs, Enders says known “one-off” impacts in 2013 are limited to €85 million for wing-rib feet modifications on the 25 A380s scheduled for delivery this year, down from 30 in 2012. While acknowledging there is “potential” for further charges against the A350, Enders said he is “not predicting them.” The A350 program “remains challenging . . . [but] the prospects for first flight are good,” he said.
“I am quite confident [first flight] will take place, we say conservatively this summer, but more courageously within some weeks,” Enders added.
The first aircraft “as rolled out [on May 13] did not have rivets from Walmart like one of our competitors had at the time of roll-out,” said Enders, referring to non-conforming fasteners installed in the first Boeing 787 at its roll out, which had to be replaced before first flight.
“It is a real aircraft, with real rivets. The aircraft is in great shape,” he said, while underlining that challenges will continue beyond first flight, “not least ramping up to the production rate needed to meet our delivery schedule.”