The View From Above for Airbus
2008 was a pretty good year for Airbus, the European aircraft maker, which claimed the international crown for most jet deliveries for the sixth year in a row. During it's yearly press conference today to disclose its numbers, Airbus officials said the company delivered 30 more planes than it did in 2007 for a total of 483 aircraft--a record for the Toulouse based operation.
But, as with Boeing's year-end report delivered last week, Airbus sees trouble ahead. Airbus was ahead of Boeing for net aircraft orders, but Airbus' figures were down 42 percent compared to the previous year.
Airbus C.E.O. Thomas Enders said he expected to see orders fall further. "It will be a soft year for aircraft orders," he said, according to MarketWatch.
As for the biggest jewel in Airbus' crown--the super jumbo, double decker A380--officials reduced the number of expected deliveries from 21 to 18. So far, 13 of the planes are have been delivered to customers.
Today, Airbus announced that it had provisional orders for two of the planes from Air Austral. What's striking about those orders is that unlike the planes Airbus has delivered to Singapore Airlines, Quantas, and Emirates, the planes for Air Austral will be configured in one, all-economy class, which would carry 840 passengers.