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Airbus wins order for three A380s, breaking sales drought

Tuesday, January 12, 2016 - 18:11
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Airbus Group SE booked orders for three A380 superjumbo aircraft for last year with a combined value of US$1.28 billion at list prices, breaking a drought in sales of the world's biggest passenger jet.

[LONDON] Airbus Group SE booked orders for three A380 superjumbo aircraft for last year with a combined value of US$1.28 billion at list prices, breaking a drought in sales of the world's biggest passenger jet.

The deals were announced via year-end data on Airbus's delivery and order tallies published Tuesday, with no detail provided on the buyer or buyers. All Nippon Airways Co of Japan has agreed to purchase three A380s, a person familiar with the plan said this month. Airbus declined to comment further.

A new contract for Airbus's flagship model delivers a vote of confidence in an aircraft that hadn't won a new airline customer in three years, with the Toulouse, France-based manufacturer locked in discussions with No 1 buyer Emirates of Dubai over whether it should upgrade the jet to extend its lifespan.

Airbus's 2015 data also reveals that it suffered a cancellation for one existing A380 contract, leaving it with two gross orders for the year, still the lowest total in at least a decade. The planemaker delivered 27 double-deckers, so that that the backlog was depleted to 140 planes in the course of 2015.

Order Victory Airbus comfortably trumped Boeing in overall orders, securing a net 1,036 in the year compared with 768 at its US rival, where the tally slumped 46 per cent, according to a statement last week. Boeing remained the world's biggest planemaker, with 762 deliveries versus 635 at Airbus.

ANA will take delivery of its A380s from 2018, with plans to use them on its Tokyo to Hawaii route, a popular destination for Japanese tourists, another person said this month. The order will form just a piece of a larger strategic plan, to be unveiled at the end of January, calling for fleet renewal, they said.

The A380, which typically seats about 525 passengers, but can carry over 800 depending on the configuration, has suffered a decline in airline interest as carriers have come to favor somewhat smaller twin-aisle models, including Airbus's A350 and Boeing's 777.

In November at the Dubai Air Show, Airbus sales chief John Leahy said that two potential customers were considering orders for the superjumbo.

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