Don’t discount the A380: Airbus
Airbus CEO Tom Enders. Photo: Steve Creedy. The A380 superjumbo is not dead, it’s just resting.That was the message from Airbus and one of its major customers in Toulouse on Friday as speculation continues about the superjumbo’s future.Airbus announced earlier this year that it will more than halve production of the superjumbo from the current 2.5 per month to one a month because of lacklustre demand.But Airbus chief executive Tom Enders, speaking at an event to celebrate the manufacturer’s 10,000th aircraft delivery, predicted there would still be a demand for the A380 into the future.Read: The world needs more A380s“We’ve pulled down the rates for some time but we are very confident we will produce an aircraft for many years to come,’’ he said.Enders said Airbus was continuously making small improvements to the A380.“And we’ve said many times that bigger improvements such as the famous re-engining is not so much a question of if, but of when,’’ he said.The manufacturer’s head salesman, John Leahy, said the A380 continued to generate passenger interest around the world.“People go out of their way to fly on the A380,’’ he said, adding that 10 per cent of passengers using London Heathrow Airport this year would be getting on or off one of the superjumbos.Singapore Airlines chief executive Goh Choon Phong said he continued to see a role for the double-decker aircraft his airline helped launch flying on high demand, high density routes where there were slot constraints.“So we will continue to see demand for such aircraft types,’’ he said.The Singaporean carrier is acquiring five new A380s but created waves for Airbus when it decided not to renew the 10-year lease on its first Airbus A380. The announcement came as Malaysia Airlines revealed it was in discussions with airlines in the region about offloading its fleet of six A380s.SIA may also not renew four more leases due to end, although Goh reiterated that a decision on that had yet to be made.The Singaporean carrier has also said it will launch new cabin products with the arrival in the second half of next year of the first new A380.Goh said the new products, developed over “the last few years’, would wow customers and would ensure that the airline retained an industry-leading position on products.