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Airbus backs off A380 goal amid weak demand for superjumbos

written by australianaviation.com.au | July 12, 2012

Airbus has backed away from a goal of selling 30 A380s this year after selling just four during the first half of 2012. (Rob Finlayson)

Airbus has ditched its goal of selling 30 A380 superjumbo jets this year as gun shy airlines increasingly opt for smaller and less expensive aircraft.

“The big aircraft market has been slowing down,” Airbus sales chief John Leahy told Bloomberg in an interview at the Farnborough Airshow this week. The company’s target of selling 30 A380s this year was “looking like a stretch at this point,” Leahy added.

The A380 has had a difficult year, with Airbus forced to foot a repair bill of more than 250 million euros after hairline cracks were discovered inside the wings of most of the global A380 fleet. So far, Airbus’s only new order for A380s this year was a deal for four aircraft from Russia’s Transaero Airlines.

Boeing has also struggled to sell the newest version of its largest commercial jet, the 747-8 Intercontinental, with the last 747 order coming more than a year ago.

Analysts say the growing popularity of more fuel efficient long-range twin engine jets like the 777, 787 and A350 has reduced the market for four-engine superjumbos.


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