Airbus annual press conference: Passed 12,000 orders since inception, more than 9,000 single-aisle

We’re at the Airbus Annual Press Conference for the 2012 results, the first of several stops on our Europe trip. Participants are:

Fabrice Breigier, CEO (FB)

Gunter Butschek, COO (GB)

John Leahy, COO-Customers (JL)

Tom Williams, EVP Programs (TW)

Domingo Urena-Raso, Head of Airbus Military (DUR)

FB:

  • We have passed 12,000 orders, including 9,000 single-aisle. 17 new customers in 2012, of 89 served last year.
  • 739 A320 family orders in 2012. 58 A330s, 27 A350, 9 A380.
  • North America now 10% of backlog, Europe 14%, Middle East 9%, Asia-Pacific 35%, Africa 2%, Latin America 8%, lessors 20%.
  • 305 A320 CEOs orders in 2012. 687 since neo launch.
  • A320 sharklets above expectations at 4% vs 3.5% advertised.
  • A330 can do 95% of all 787 missions. Sold 800 since 787 launch.
  • A380 wing issue now behind us. New wing progressively incorporated in 2014. 97 aircraft in operation.
  • A350 program remains very challenging, focused on next big challenge is first flight.
  • Airbus Military: 32 orders (28 C295, 4 CN235).
  • A330 MRTT delivered to Australia, Saudi Arabia, UK; selected by India, France. Won every major procurement outside US since USAF selection.
  • First A400M delivery 2Q2013, will deliver four this year. 13 A400s in production.
  • Focus on speed, agility, flexibility, innovation. Our future depends on capacity to be innovative.

JL:

  • Our backlog is a record for Airbus and the industry.
  • A380 takes off and lands every six minutes.
  • 140 sales campaigns in 2012.
  • Had 52% of the market in mid-size twin aisles.
  • Total of 261 airline customers. Virtually every airline in the world.
  • Boeing ramps up and down production, Airbus stays steady through economic cycles. If you’re smart enough to do it you can have a smooth pause when market goes down.
  • We’ve taken the cycle out and intend to keep it that way.
  • Leasing: 21% in direct sales to lessors, 40% when lessor purchase-leasebacks factored in.
  • Airbus only did 1% of financing, ECAs 27%, sale/leaseback 17%, cash and commercial debt 55%.
  • Eight years worth of production.
  • Airbus has 52% of backlog, 51% by value.

Q&A

FB: Reaction to 787 grounding: Both Boeing and Airbus give the same priority to safety. This is paramount. There is a decision of the FAA and this confirms again air transport is none of the safest around the world. I don’t know details. If it is about the batteries, we went through discussions with FAA and EASA and they seemed happy with our architecture. If FAA issues recommendations, we will study them and see if they apply to A350.

FB: A330 rates and lithium batteries architecture: Ramping up to rate 10, probably more upside to go higher, but no decision. A350: we have a bility to change many things, however regarding electrical architecture we don’t see any reason [now] to change design.

TW: On Tianjin FAL: In negotiation to extend the production line. There is a dependency on orders and extending the FAL.

FB: Still plan to break even on A380 in 2015. Recurring costs continue to go down. Target of 30 deliveries in 2015.

JL: Asia will be important market for 2013 goal of 700 orders. Lessors, too. Maybe some from US.

FB: I honestly wish all the best for Boeing to put 787 back in service.

18 comments on “Airbus annual press conference: Passed 12,000 orders since inception, more than 9,000 single-aisle

  1. It’s a bit early for a six nation stop in Lansdowne road …
    There’s a bunch of Lessors out there ?
    Btw do you know if the projected slides at the press conference will be made available ?

  2. FB: “I honestly wish all the best for Boeing to put 787 back in service.”. & “Both Boeing and Airbus give the same priority to safety. This is paramount. There is a decision of the FAA and this confirms again air transport is none of the safest around the world.”

    Like Enders, a quality executive making classy remarks. A nice contrast to the public vitriol sometimes see.

    JL: “If you’re smart enough to do it you can have a smooth pause when market goes down.”
    And then there’s JL. Ignoring his poke at Boeing, let’s look at the substance of his statement:

    I’m not sure how much “smarts” it takes to keep production up during a downturn; just keep building airplanes without worrying about if the demand exists or not. It is a philosophy that is consistent with a company history founded on creating jobs, but it screws your customer in the process because it drives down the value of their assets. I am asked all the time, particularly by leasing companies, if Boeing will do to them what Airbus does in terms of over-production. Any surplus in a market badly depresses lease rates. At the start of 2012, a 737-800 had a lease rate more than double an A320. Obviously, the 737-800 does not deliver double the value to an operator versus the A320. The reason for the high rates on the 737-800 is driven entirely by supply and demand. You really can’t keep production rates constant through a downturn in the economy unless you are willing to gut your customer’s balance sheet.

    • Today I read your post on A.net about aircraft windows. It helped me to make-up my mind about the cracked window on the ANA 787. I wish I had seen it earlier.

      When we have a technical discussion on this blog I often ask myself where is CM. With everything that is happening with the Dreamliner we need your knowledge and expertise more than ever.

      Regards, Normand

    • Hi,

      My understanding, from previous discussions is that Airbus does some “overbooking management” and tries to move customers to cover empty slots for avoid to have to slow down production, as far as I know they don’t have many “white tails”.
      In the long term, a backlog of thousands of planes shows that the demand is there.
      Cheers
      JD

  3. Normand Hamel :
    When we have a technical discussion on this blog I often ask myself where is CM. With everything that is happening with the Dreamliner we need your knowledge and expertise more than ever.
    Regards, Normand

    Thanks Normand. I do appreciate you saying that. In my view, there are a few here who ruin this site, which is why I find myself visiting less and less. These few (and they are a very small minority which includes pro-Airbus and pro-Boeing participants) chase reasonable participants away. They are provocateurs. They spew nationalistic garbage which has far more to do with hate than it does with airplanes. And they consistently take exception to and bully reasonable voices on this site. Frankly it is just too tiresome to come on here and participate. I guess that means they win, but it is the reason I generally don’t take part here. As you note; you’ll find my views expressed on airliners.net. At least on Airliners, some of the culprits on this site have been successfully kicked off the site as a result of their poor manners.

  4. CM :

    Like Enders, a quality executive making classy remarks. A nice contrast to the public vitriol sometimes see.
    [/quote]

    As a regular a-net reader I say you should take a note.

    [quote]
    J
    And then there’s JL.
    [/quote]

    Jealousy is a bitch.

    [quote]
    It is a philosophy that is consistent with a company history founded on creating jobs,
    [/quote]

    Source please.

    [quote]
    but it screws your customer in the process because it drives down the value of their assets.

    Customers don’t seem to mind considering NEO is comfortably beating MAX in orders.

    • You’re living in 2011.

      In the first full year of offerability for both types head-to-head (2012), net order totals for the 737 MAX and A320neo were…

      737 MAX = 914
      A320neo = 738

      I’d be happy to have you call me out on any bad behavior you see here or on a.net. What I don’t accept is a broad accusation of bad behavior which is unsubstantiated by even so much as a link, which would be quite easy for you to do.

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