Airbus expects to sell more A380 aircraft in China in the coming years, despite only one Chinese carrier ordering the superjumbo so far, the plane maker’s China president said yesterday.
Laurence Barron told an industry forum in Shanghai that China was expected to account for a fifth of the Toulouse-based company’s global sales this year.
“We’re pretty confident in the coming years we’ll sell more A380s in China,” he told reporters. “We certainly don’t have to wait 10 years for demand for A380s to pick up in China.”
China Southern Airlines (中國南方航空), one of the country’s three largest carriers, has ordered five A380s, the first of which are slated to be delivered in the third quarter, Barron said.
However, other Chinese carriers have been slow to warm to the double-decker plane, he added
In March, US rival Boeing got a boost when state-owned flag carrier Air China (中國國際航空) bought five of its new 747-8 Intercontinental jets, becoming the third airline to order the stretched passenger jumbo after Lufthansa and Korean Air.
Airbus has forecast that Asia will emerge as the world’s biggest aircraft market by 2029, accounting for a third of worldwide deliveries as the region’s growing middle class drives travel demand.
Meanwhile, Qatar Airways signed an agreement to buy five long-haul Boeing 777s aircraft in a deal worth US$1.4 billion at list prices, the companies announced on Wednesday.
Qatar’s fast-growing national carrier ordered three 777 Freighters and two 777-300Ers, as it rapidly builds a fleet dominated by aircraft from Boeing and European rival Airbus.
Qatar Airways currently operates eight ultra-long range 777-200LR, 15 777-300ERs and two long-range 777 freighters.
Boeing delivered the airline’s 25th 777 last week.