EUROPE & CIS: Airbus tops Boeing deliveries in ’08

“We are predicting that world traffic will be essentially flat between 2008 and 2009,” Leahy said. “In the first half of this year, we’ll have a drop-off , and in the second half there’ll be a recovery. The worst will be over by the end of summer and we will see a glimmer of hope […]


“We are predicting that world traffic will be essentially flat between 2008 and 2009,” Leahy said. “In the first half of this year, we’ll have a drop-off , and in the second half there’ll be a recovery. The worst will be over by the end of summer and we will see a glimmer of hope and a recovery starting for aviation,” he said.

Leahy predicted a “relatively low” number of new aircraft orders in 2009, at the bottom end of the 300 to 400 range — down sharply from almost 900 in 2008. “It is looking like a very soft year this year,” he added.

Meanwhile, the European airframe manufacturer began construction on the A350 XWB final assembly line in Toulouse Th ursday, with president and CEO Tom Enders saying the manufacturer “is making steady progress” on the A350 programme and is on track “for first delivery in 2013.” To-date, Airbus has sold 478 of the type to 29 customers.

Enders said during a news conference that multiple delays on the A380 programme “taught us some tough lessons” that will be valuable going forward. COO Fabrice Bregier conceded that Airbus will face unexpected “problems” in A350 development and manufacturing, but insisted that it has “changed the mindset of our people” from the A380 program’s development and early manufacturing period.