AIRBUS needs to win about orders for 420 A380 aircraft worth about $78 billion before the project breaks even, the aircraft manufacturer told analysts at a presentation in Hamburg last month.
The Toulouse-based company has so far sold 159 of the double-decker aeroplanes in the six years since its official launch. It must now sell a further 261 before it can turn a profit on the project.
The A380 has a list price of about $300 million, meaning that the company must win orders worth $78.3 billion before break-even.
Meanwhile, regional and international carriers have reacted badly to delays on the A380, with Etihad Airways, meanwhile, is seeking compensation in the form of money or equipment from European plane maker Airbus over delays in the A380 superjumbo, the company said. The three-year-old airline has four A380s on order, delivery of which has been pushed back a year to the second half of 2008.
Emirates’ Tim Clark told TTN that its growth plans have been curbed. The airline is now likely to order between five and seven 777-300ERs Boeing to fill the gap.
Both Emirates and Qatar Airways, a launch customer with an order for four aircraft discounted the possibility of legal action, but Qatar last month confirmed plans for a further 20 Boeing 777s.
At the time of going to press, Virgin had given Airbus a week to respond to a set of proposals on the A380 contract, and French newspaper La Tribune quoted launch customer Singapore Airlines’ vice-president Bey Soo Khiang as saying the airline could cancel its order of nine A380s altogether if it was not satisfied with the delivery schedule.