Airbus enjoyed a record year in terms of net orders (including cancellations or order conversions), adding orders for 1,341 airplanes worth $157 million (r107 million) by the end of 2007. The company claims this represents a 30-percent increase on its previous record, set in 2005.
Plans call for aircraft production across the Airbus family to increase in Toulouse over the next year. That said, the company is shying away from order predictions and warns that its order book might not be as full at the end of 2008 as it was at the end of 2007. “We forecast that the order intake for this year should be clearly above our delivery figure for 2008,” said Airbus president and CEO Tom Enders. “It is impossible to be more precise. At this stage we expect to deliver more than 450 aircraft in 2008.
“We expect the demand to continue to be strong, but certainly not at the level of 2007,” continued Enders. Nevertheless, the company continues to increase its production rates, and by 2010, it wants to build 40 A320s, ten A330/340s and up to four A380s per month. Projections for 2008 suggest delivery of around 34 A320s, eight A330/340s and a single A380 per month.
Enders does not expect the A380 production target to be easy to hit. “The plan is to deliver 13 A380s to our customers this year,” he said. “This is going to be tough. It’s going to be challenging, but we believe that it is feasible.”