Airbus won orders from China to supply 140 single-aisle and wide-body jets worth $22bn at list prices and said it’s in talks to sell more A380 superjumbos as the Asian nation is set to become the world’s largest aviation market.
The European planemaker secured an outline deal for 100 A320-series jets split between current and new-engine-option versions, as well as 40 of its latest twin-aisle A350s, chief executive officer Tom Enders said on Wednesday in Berlin during a visit to the German capital by Chinese President Xi Jinping. The agreement was signed with state-owned China Aviation Supplies Holding Co, which will allocate the aircraft to individual airline operators over the next five to six years, according to Airbus.
“China is one of the world’s most important markets for aviation today,” Enders said. Talks are underway regarding a deal for more A380s to add to five sold to China Southern Airlines Co, with Airbus seeing demand for as many as 100 superjumbos in the region, he said.
China is expected to overtake the US as the world’s biggest aviation market by around 2024. Airbus’s rival Boeing Co has predicted the Asian country will need 6,810 aircraft in the 20 years through 2035, making it the world’s biggest single-country market worth over $1tn. Travel demand within China is expected to grow 6.1% annually over the next two decades, according to the US planemaker.
Airbus already has a narrow-body production line in Tianjin, east of Beijing, and output of the A320s will be split between that site and Europe, according to Enders. The company is also looking at expanding a Chinese completion operation for its existing A330 model to include the re-engined A330neo, as well as the A350, he said, while exploring further collaboration in helicopter manufacturing and space technology. China’s travel market grew almost 11% last year, three times that in the US Demand for seats has by and large kept pace with capacity addition. That has attracted investment from their rivals in the US to tap growth. American Airlines Group Inc agreed to buy a 2.68% stake in China Southern earlier this year and Delta Air Lines Inc acquired a minority stake in China Eastern Airlines Corp in 2015.
Enders announced the plane sales at Airbus’s Berlin offices after leaving the nearby German Chancellory, where Chancellor Angela Merkel separately detailed new accords with China also including Siemens AG and Daimler AG.
Airbus CEO said that while the order backlog for the A380 is “melting” following a sales blank last year and in the first six months of 2017, the planemaker is “not panicking yet,” especially since cost savings will allow it to break even on a per-plane basis at a production rate of just one superjumbo a month.
Though the double-decker is proving tough to market, there are still sales leads, with China presenting realistic order prospects, he added.
“I don’t think it impossible that we will have some success there in coming years,” Enders said. “We are in talks.”
LEAVE A COMMENT Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked*
With airline fleets grounded, plane recyclers bet on parts boom
Qatar fiscal strength limits vulnerability from oil price shocks, says Moody’s
Good time for small businesses to go digital: says entrepreneur
Nomura CEO signals more job cuts in Europe to reverse losses
RBC eyes more private-equity dealings in 2019 to gain edge
Europe markets test investor nerves in roller coaster ride
Foxconn to begin assembling top-end Apple iPhones in India in 2019: Source
Japan factory output falls, sales slow as risks to economy rise
Nissan to make fewer cars in China as demand slows