Airbus remains on track to achieve another record year of aircraft deliveries in 2009 and continues to target a strong intake of new orders for the 12 months - confirming its sustained leadership during one of the most turbulent economic times in commercial aviation history.
Speaking to journalists today at the Dubai Airshow, President and CEO Tom Enders said Airbus expects to at least match its all-time high of 483 deliveries in 2008, and possibly surpass the total this year.
"There are still six weeks to go before the end of the year, and our delivery centres are very, very active these days," Enders told reporters. "We still hope to deliver a lot of aircraft before the year is over."
For new business in 2009, Airbus anticipates logging a total of between 200 and 300 orders, with the focus on safeguarding these bookings - particularly from the financing point of view.
"Everyone knows the difficulties faced by the entire airline industry, particularly in new aircraft financing," he added. "So far, we have been able to cope with this despite it being a difficult year, and we've been concentrating on making sure that our aircraft production output actually does lead to deliveries."
Enders said it is particularly appropriate that the Dubai Airshow comes as this year's final major aviation industry event - putting the focus on the Middle East as it remains one of the world's strongest airline markets. He noted that real traffic growth in the region continues strong, supporting Airbus' market outlook that Middle East airlines will require more than 1,400 new passenger aircraft in the 2009-2028 timeframe to meet demand that is expected to continue above the world average.
"This air show couldn't be at a better place, at a better time - as it sends a strong signal of encouragement and recovery," Enders added.
For more stories and news from the 2009 Dubai Air Show, see the dedicated mini-website