"The customer confidence we saw last year was extremely important, along with the quality of orders we booked during the past 12 months," Airbus President and Chief Executive Officer Tom Enders told reporters at today's year-opening press conference. "As a result, we have a huge - and high quality - backlog of more than 3,400 aircraft, filling our order book for something like six years. The demand will continue, as airlines seek environmentally efficient and economic aircraft."
Airbus' delivery of 453 jetliners in 2007 surpassed its previous year's total by 19, and were made at the highest ever on-time rate and quality level, Enders said. Delivery rates in 2008 will reach 34 aircraft from its A320 single-aisle Family each month, along with eight A330/A340 widebodies monthly and one A380 approximately every 30 days, he added.
The A380s to be delivered in 2008 will go to Singapore Airlines, Emirates and Qantas, placing the 21st century flagship in service on routes around the world.
"As Airbus continues its ramp-up, our monthly rate in 2010 will be 40 A320 Family aircraft, 10 A330/A340s, and four A380s," Enders said in comments at Airbus' Toulouse, France Delivery Centre. "If you consider that one A380 represents eight A320s in terms of workload, you get an even clearer picture of what we have in front of us, and the amount of work this continues to generate for our employees and suppliers."
John Leahy, Airbus Chief Operating Officer Customers, said commercial demand will remain strong this year, although it will not be at the same level of 2007 - when Airbus achieved 1,341 net orders with a catalogue price value of at $157.1 billion. Order intake is expected to be above the 2008 delivery figure, which will exceed 470 aircraft.
"We are well positioned for the future, as we see continued demand from areas that include India, China and the low cost markets," Leahy added.