July 21, 2015: The London Sunday Times created a stir over the weekend when it headlined an interview with Airbus Commercial CEO Fabrice Bregier that Airbus “commits” to an A380neo project.
Drilling down into the story and checking with Airbus, as well as going back to Bregier interviews at the Paris Air Show and one we did with him at the IATA AGM in early June, it’s clear the Sunday Times was somewhat exuberant in its headline.
Bregier in reality said what he’s been saying for months: that enhancements to the A380 are needed, with specifics to be defined. Whether a re-engining and wing changes are pursued still need a business case, which continues to be studied.
Leeham News and Comment has, on its own, previously concluded that an A380neo with Rolls-Royce engines, a new treatment to the wing tips, aerodynamic clean up and other improvements would be beneficial to the airplane’s economics.
We continue to believe that the prospects of a decision are likely to occur for the Dubai Air Show. Emirates Airline, the largest customer for the A380, is also the strongest proponent for the A380neo. Neighboring Qatar Airways has also expressed interest in the neo.