Airbus to deliver over 20 A380s
Paris - European planemaker Airbus expects to deliver more than 20 A380 superjumbo airliners this year, its parent company EADS said on Friday, having previously forecast only 18.
"We still expect to be in the mid-twenties and at least above 20," EADS finance director Hans-Peter Ring told reporters in a conference call. On May 5, an Airbus spokesperson had only spoken of matching last year's 18 deliveries.
Production of Airbus's flagship, the world's biggest passenger airliner, was disrupted by modifications that became necessary after a Rolls Royce engine on a Qantas A380 exploded in flight on November last year.
Only five of the planes were delivered in the first four months of 2011, but Ring said the company's plant was getting back up to speed.
Ring added that Airbus would make a decision in the coming days on ramping up production of its smaller A320. It aims to make 40 of them a month by the first quarter of 2012 and might raise that as high as 44 later that year.
The European defence giant EADS which owns Airbus meanwhile said it slipped into the red in the first quarter of this year due to the low level of the dollar against the euro, which hurts export sales.
In a quarterly earnings statement released, EADS recorded a net loss of €12m ($17m), down from profit of €103m in the same period of 2010, but said it still had "a good start to 2011" overall.