Airbus on course to smash 2013 order target

Posted on 30 May 2013 by The Manufacturer

Airbus said it is on course to sell more than 800 aircraft this year, beating its order target by more than 100.

European Aeronautic Defence and Space Company (EADS) CEO Tom Enders told a shareholders’ meeting in Amsterdam that he is “comfortably forecasting” Airbus gross orders to rise above 800 units for the year 2013.

The aerospace manufacturer began the year with a sales target of 700 models, and saw order figures reach 514 jets for the period of January-March.

The announcement of a rise in projected orders is in stark contrast to last month, when Airbus predicted full-year orders of 750 jets.

After taking almost £500m in charges last year, with more than half coming for the A350 and A380 models, Enders said 25 A380 aircraft had modifications made to their wing-rib feet, at a cost of around £72m.

Enders added that while there is a possibility of further changes to the A350 model, he isn’t predicting them at this moment in time.

With Airbus expected to unveil the eagerly anticipated A350 XWB jetliner in the coming weeks, Enders said: “The A350 program remains challenging but the prospects for first flight are good.”

Speculation was recently fueled that the first A350 XWB could fly before the upcoming Paris Air Show in June, after Airbus completed paintwork on its first A350 in Toulouse.

It is the company’s rival aircraft to Boeing’s 787-9 Dreamliner, which Boeing expects to fly before the end of the summer.