Airbus won't deliver fewer than 25 A380 a year: CEO in paper

Tue Oct 29, 2013 4:29pm EDT
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By Tim Hepher and Cyril Altmeyer

PARIS (Reuters) - Airbus kept its 2013 goals for the A380 despite a dearth of orders, but struck a more cautious note for future years, saying it would not on average deliver fewer than 25, which is below the level built into its longer-term financial targets.

Chief Executive Fabrice Bregier told a French newspaper Airbus would both sell and deliver 25 of the world's largest passenger jets in 2013, meeting its targets.

"We will deliver 25 this year," Bregier told Les Echos. "I have no intention of dropping below this rate in the years to come. The question is whether we will be able to increase sustainably to 30 aircraft (a year).

"The target of reaching breakeven on the program in 2015 is based on that rate (30). At 25 a year, this target would be harder to reach, but on a scale that would still be marginal."

Airbus parent EADS EAD.PA told analysts in May that it aimed to bring the loss-making plane to breakeven point in 2015 based on an average delivery rate of 30 aircraft a year.

An Airbus spokesman said A380 targets had not changed.

Deliveries have been held in check this year as Airbus installs a permanent fix to the recent problem of wing cracks on the huge double-decker jet, which entered service in 2007.

But analysts say it must on average deliver 30 a year to reach its breakeven goal for the program in 2015, or else cut costs further and push the breakeven threshold below 30.   Continued...

An Airbus A380 plane takes off during a demonstration flight at the MAKS International Aviation and Space Salon in Zhukovsky, outside Moscow August 31, 2013. REUTERS/Maxim Shemetov