June 4, 2018 / 2:11 AM / a year ago

Airbus sales chief says not panicking over A330 order drop

FILE PHOTO: Logo of Airbus is pictured at the Airbus A380 final assembly line at Airbus headquarters in Blagnac near Toulouse, France, March 21, 2018. REUTERS/Regis Duvignau/File Photo

SYDNEY (Reuters) - The head of airplane sales at Airbus (AIR.PA) dismissed concerns about a sharp drop in orders for the A330neo jet and predicted European wide-body demand would start to recover later this year as rival Boeing extended a series of wins in the key segment.

“The world is still full of opportunities in terms of wide-bodies. We have a lost a couple of campaigns in the West and there are other campaigns around the world. I am not personally in a panicking mode about the A330neo,” Chief Commercial Officer Eric Schulz told Reuters on Monday.

Speaking in an interview at an airlines meeting in Sydney, Schulz declined to give a numerical sales target for 2018 wide-body aircraft but said, “We will see, I think we will be ok. I can see from the dynamics in the market and what we have in the pipeline and what we have already negotiated.”

The A330neo is a derivative of Airbus’s most-sold wide-body jet, the A330, whose fortunes are widely monitored by investors as a key source of profits and cash.

Airbus has lost a series of contests for sales of the 250-300-seat A330neo, culminating in a decision set to be approved this week by the owners of India’s Vistara to order six Boeing (BA.N) 787s instead of A330neos, two industry sources said. The same airline may expand a leased fleet of A320neos.

Airbus and Boeing declined to comment on the order and Vistara did not respond to a request to comment.

Reporting by Tim Hepher; Editing by Victoria Bryan

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