VIP charter operator JETALLIANCE of Austria is to acquire an A318 Elite, becoming a new customer for the smallest member of the Airbus Corporate Jetliner (ACJ) Family. The new deal is in addition to the ACJ order it placed earlier this month.
Airbus press conference at ILA ‘06
17 May 2006
Gustav Humbert, Airbus President and CEO, stressed his confidence in the future of Airbus, highlighting the good results of 2005, the backlog of 2,114 aircraft and the increasing number of deliveries planned for this year and the next.
“Our order book is virtually full for at least the next four years. This is unprecedented in the aviation history,” said Gustav Humbert. He confirmed that Airbus would deliver more aircraft than announced, close to 430 - an increase of 31 per cent between last year and this year - including the first two A380s to Singapore Airlines.
“With the highest production rate ever, we will continue to deliver more aircraft than our competitor,” he said adding: “Our goal is clear: we want to retain our current order book and are therefore heading for an order intake on the level of our deliveries.”
This full order book means that Airbus has no short-term delivery slots available for the A320 Family and the A380. Production rates are planned to increase to 30 aircraft per month for the single-aisle family this year and 32 next year while the long-range aircraft will reach a production rate of eight aircraft per month.
Concerning possible changes to the long-range programme, Gustav Humbert repeated Airbus’ willingness to listen to customers but discuss issues within Airbus and with shareholders before taking any decision. Any change would be viewed in the light of its benefits to the entire long-range programme.
“We will decide about changes to our A350 programme by the middle of the year, which is when we were to have the design freeze of the A350. We want to be able to offer the best to our customers and our customers’ customers, be it in terms of operating cost, maintainability, ease of operations, and above all passenger comfort. The game is not over yet,” he stated.
Reviewing quickly the military programmes, Gustav Humbert confirmed the importance of the tanker version of the A330 and the good progress of the A400M programme which is meeting all its contractual milestones on time or ahead of schedule.
On general issues, the president explained that Airbus’ globalisation was aimed at gaining market access and enlarging the company’s capabilities and resources. “It will lead to job creation in our future growth markets, but also to more jobs and better job security in Europe. It is a win-win situation for all of us,” he said.
On the issue of BAE Systems selling its shares, Gustav Humbert stated that this would not change anything for Airbus UK. “It is our Centre of Competence for the wing, we are recruiting there and definitely need their competence in the years to come,” he said.
The A380 flying currently at ILA will leave Berlin on Thursday to fly to London Heathrow where it will land and perform ground servicing tests at the airport. This will be the first appearance of the A380 in London. The aircraft will then return to Berlin for the remaining days of the show.
The 2006 edition of ILA was officially opened this morning in front of the A380. A German delegation comprising Michael Glos, German Minister of Technology, Wolfgang Tiefensee, German Minister of Transport, Dagmar Wöhrl, State Secretary Economics and Matthias Platzeck, Prime Minister of Brandenburg,...