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Airbus sees 'very slow year' for orders
[CANCÚN, Mexico] This will be a "very, very slow year" for orders for Airbus, a top executive said on Monday, but insisted business remained good for the European planemaker.
"Will this year be a big year for orders? Absolutely not. It will be a very, very slow year for orders for Airbus," said its chief operating officer for customer relations, John Leahy.
But that is a normal part of the business cycle, and will give the company a chance to work on its backlog, he added, in remarks at the annual meeting of the International Air Transport Association (IATA) in Cancun, Mexico.
"The airlines have to slow down their orders, take a breath and start to absorb the airplanes that they have ordered," he said.
"This could last for a year or two, which is not an issue. Production will keep ramping up through that period due to the strength of the backlog."
At Airbus and across the industry, the backlog of orders is at a record high, he said.
Airbus had orders for 6,715 planes as of the end of April, including 5,517 narrow-body planes and 107 of its A380 superjumbo jet.
The company announced last year that it was halving production of the A380 to one a month from 2018 to reflect reduced demand.
Mr Leahy would not rule out lowering production of the A380 even further, but said he was trying to maintain the pace of 12 per year.