Airbus sales chief John Leahy expects at least 50 orders for the European planemaker’s revamped A330neo at this week’s Farnborough Airshow, and is aiming for over 100, he told Reuters Insider TV on Tuesday.
Leahy also said the A330neo would have 25 per cent lower capital costs than Boeing’s rival 787 Dreamliner.
The announcement of the upgraded A330, after months of speculation, is Airbus’ attempt to prolong the life of its profitable twin-aisle jet, as the company tries to preserve market share against Boeing’s much newer 787 Dreamliner.
“We have a very good business case and the A330neo, once in service, will continue to significantly contribute to our group’s earnings,” Airbus Group CEO Tom Enders said.
The A330neo will have a range increase of up to 400 nautical miles, with room for up to 10 extra seats in the cabin, Airbus said. The aircraft will also have aerodynamic improvements such as new wing tips, as well as an increased wingspan.
“We see strong market potential for the A330neo, and like its market-leading smaller sister, the A320neo, we are confident this new aircraft will be a success in the medium-haul segment,” Airbus division CEO Fabrice Bregier said.
Deliveries of the A330neo will start in the fourth quarter of 2017, Airbus said in a statement, adding it would build A330-800neo and A330-900neo models.
Airbus will incur development costs for the A330neo from 2015 to 2017, with an impact of around 70 basis points on the group’s 2015 return-on-sales target, the company said.