A380 sales forecast up, but problems remain

AIRBUS has optimistically doubled its target for sales of its A380 in 2010 to 20. Airbus sales director, John Leahy, said that the rebound in global demand for both cargo and travel was behind the move.

The A380 has come under criticism for its inability to fly to any destination smaller than large intercontinental hubs. Leahy claims that the growth of megacities would support sales of the aircraft.

“You can’t have economic recovery without air traffic and you can’t have air traffic without aircraft,” he said.

However, production is still a problem. In 2006, Airbus said that by this time it would be able to produce four A380s a month, but it is actually half of that amount. That means that each delivery is still making a loss and that is set to continue, Airbus admits, for about another five years.

“Certainly there is some hope that by the end of the planning horizon we will be approaching break even,” EADS chief financial officer, Hans Peter Ring, hoped.

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