AI might order 10 A 380s + 8 options
As the largest passenger aircraft, Airbus A380, landed at the Changi International Airport today, its manufacturer Airbus was confident of getting more orders for the aircraft from airlines in India.
According to Airbus, Indiaï¿½s national carrier, Air India, is considering buying ten Airbus A380s and another eight to ten as options. So far, Kingfisher Airlines has been the only Indian customer for Airbus A380, placing orders for five such aircraft.
John Leahy, chief operating officer (customers), Airbus, says, ï¿½We are currently in discussions with Air India and in the process of conducting route tests for the airline. We expect the orders to finalise in about six months.ï¿½
The aircraft manufacturer puts the list price of an Airbus A380 at $319 million a piece, placing the whole deal just under $3.2 billion at current prices.
The first Airbus A380 made its way to Singaporeï¿½s Changi Airport today after an 18-month delay. But despite the delay, the Toulouse-based manufacturer is very confident that the aircraft will find buyers in the coming few months.
ï¿½Global air traffic is expected to triple in the next 20 years. With a major portion of that growth coming from India, it makes sense for national carriers such as Air India to purchase such long-haul aircraft. If Kingfisher and Air India get it, I donï¿½t see why Jet Airways wouldnï¿½t want one,ï¿½ says Leahy.
Air Indiaï¿½s current fleet consists of a large number of Boeing aircraft, including the ageing Boeing 747-200s and 747-400s that the A380 might replace.
On being asked whether the predominantly Boeing fleet would act as a hindrance for the order, he said, ï¿½If the airline wants to be competitive and wishes to move into the twenty-first century, it must move with us.ï¿½
Leahy also feels that Air India could fly the aircraft to high-growth hubs such as London and New York.
According to Boeingï¿½s Dinesh Keskar, senior vice-president (sales) and president (aircraft trading), passenger volumes on the India-US sector alone are expected to double in the next two years.
Air India and Air India Express have placed orders for 68 short-, medium- and long-haul aircraft with Boeing in 2005, valued at over $11 billion.