Airbus will develop a stretched version of the A380 and a new superjumbo engine option, chief executive Fabrice Bregier has said.
Bregier made the pledge in order to quash reports that Airbus may halt production of the A380 in 2018 due to poor sales, following comments made by finance director Harald Wilhelm (see news, December 11).
Speaking at the Airbus global investor forum in London, Bregier said: “We will get additional customers. We are fully booked for the next three years, where is the problem?…
“We will one day launch an A380neo, we will one day launch a stretch. This is so obvious there is extra potential.”
Wilhelm’s remarks provoked a furious response from Emitates boss Tim Clark, whose airline has 55 A380s in its fleet with another 85 on order.
Clark said that should Airbus team up with engine manufacturer Rolls-Royce to upgrade the superjumbo in 2018, then Emirates would eventually replace all 140 A380s that it has ordered.
Airbus appears to have taken note.