Airbus doesn’t see any “stress” in its aircraft order backlog, or “skyline,” says Andrew Shankland, senior vice president of leasing markets from the European manufacturer.
Shankland spoke with us at the annual meeting of the International Society of Transport Aircraft Trading, held Monday and Tuesday this week in San Diego.
Persistent concerns are expressed about an “order bubble,” including during the ISTAT conference. Shankland told us in an interview that “we don’t see any stress; we meet every two weeks” in a process Airbus calls its “watch tower” (Boeing calls its process the “war room”).
“As long as we can move things around, and we have a pretty rigorous process to be sure every plane has a home,” Airbus doesn’t see any issue with its skyline, Shankland said.
Steven Udvar-Hazy, CEO of lessor Air Lease Corp, sees Asia as a high risk region where huge orders have been placed by carriers such as AirAsia and Lion Air, both big A320 customers. AirAsia just announced deferral of 19 A320s this year and next. AirAsiaX also has large orders for the A330 and A350, recently deferring some A330s “until the time is right.” Shankland wouldn’t discuss any individual customer, and only generally noted that Airbus and Boeing have successfully “manipulated” the skyline in the past when deferrals or even cancellations occur.
Shankland isn’t involved in Airbus’ analysis of whether to proceed with the prospective A330neo, but acknowledged that the business case for the airplane “remains to be seen.”