Monday, March 09, 2015

Airbus Considering New Engines for A380 Superjumbo Jet • Emirates Airline said it would order as many as 200 A380s if Airbus made a double-digit improvement in fuel efficiency

The Wall Street Journal
By Jon Ostrower

March 9, 2015 3:31 p.m. ET

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz.— Airbus Group NV ’s chief jetliner salesman on Monday said the company is considering new engines for its double-deck A380 superjumbo jet, but won’t make the change solely based on the demands of a single buyer.

Dubai-based Emirates Airline is the largest customer for the A380 superjumbo jet, and has been clamoring for a “double digit” improvement in fuel efficiency. Emirates has said it would order as many as 200 A380s if Airbus were to add engines that achieved that goal.

John Leahy, Airbus’s chief operating officer for customers, said the European plane maker is currently evaluating the business case for a major upgrade for the world’s largest jetliner.

“We aren’t going to obviously build it for just one airline,” said Mr. Leahy, implying that the promised order wouldn’t create a sufficient business case.

“We’re in the process of trying to decide if you invest money to do a [new engine option] airplane,” said Mr. Leahy.

Mr. Leahy said the market for the 525-seat A380 is “slowly developing in the future.”

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