EADS CEO, Louis Gallois, thinks the A380 will eventually be a successful product, but the executive does not expect significant orders for the company’s troubled aircraft until 2011 or 2012.
With just 202 orders, two years of design/testing delays and three years of production problems, the A380 has been a massive money pit for Airbus. The manufacturer has delivered just 26 of the aircraft since 2007, with the 27th due to be delivered to Lufthansa later this month.
Lufthansa Fleet Manager, Nico Buchholz, stated it has no immediate plans to purchase additional A380s, in an interview with Bloomberg. The carrier has 15 A380s on order, and will deploy the aircraft on Frankfurt-Tokyo service from 11-Jun-2010. Lufthansa also plans to operate A380s to Beijing and Johannesburg.
Meanwhile, Boeing commenced assembly of the first B747-8 Intercontinental on 08-May-2010. The new B747-8 Intercontinental is stretched to provide an additional 51 seat, three-class configuration over the B747-400. Boeing has 32 firm orders for the B747-8I, including 20 from launch customer, Lufthansa. The first B747-8I is scheduled to be delivered in late 2011.
Lufthansa has also expressed its support for Airbus and Boeing putting new engines on their narrowbodies. Lufthansa desires improvements to noise emissions and fuel consumption, although the existing narrowbody products are considered “very good”. Lufthansa already has orders for 30 Bombardier CSeries, which features Pratt & Whitney’s new PW1000G engines.
EADS shares were down 4.2% on Friday, as European markets continued their slide at the end of the week.
Selected Aviation suppliers’ daily share price movements (% change): 07-May-2010