According to The Sunday Times, Airbus president and chief executive Fabrice Brégier estimates the new A380neo will cost up to $3 billion to develop. He suggests that with increasing numbers of passengers taking to the skies while airports are often limited for space, the demand for larger aircraft will grow.
Brégier commented: “We will move to the A380neo type. We will need it between 2020 and 2025. The air passenger market is doubling every 15 years. Airlines can’t simply rely on flying more planes more often. We have to have larger aircraft.
“How can you imagine crowded Heathrow in 2030 without the A380? This is the same for New York, Washington, Los Angeles, Frankfurt and China in a few years.”
The Airbus President/CEO suggests although the new A380 will be the same size as the current one, new wings and more powerful engines would mean it could lift a fuselage four metres longer with space for up to 700 seats.
He added: “I cannot tell you if it will be stretched or not. We will not do it for one airline, however big. It will depend on more orders. We’re supposed to make money, you know.”
Meanwhile, Brégier is working on improving the company’s finances following poor sales of the original A380.
The airline had hoped to sell fifty annually but is barely making it to the half way target of twenty five which it requires, just to break even. However there are currently enough orders to keep production running until the end of the decade.
Brégier is planning to introduce smaller aircraft variants including an A330 with lean-burn engines due at the end of 2017, there are already one hundred and forty five orders while a new version of the A320 small jet will be introduced at the end of the year.
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