There was a bit of excitement this Sunday when a London Sunday Times article announced that Airbus had finally committed to an A380neo program, attributing the information to Fabrice Brégier, but Flight Chic has confirmed with Airbus representatives that this is not the case.
The article published this Sunday by the London Sunday times led with the announcement: “THE boss of Airbus has ended months of speculation by confirming that the plane maker will build a new version of its superjumbo, the A380.”
In the article Brégier is quoted saying: “We will move to the A380neo type. You can say that. Absolutely. We will need it between 2020 and 2025.”
Also attributed to Brégier were plans to install new engines, and redesign the wings, to be “made at Airbus’s plant in Broughton, north Wales.” Estimated development costs of $3bn were cited.
However, when Flight Chic reached out to Airbus on Monday to learn more about plans for the aircraft, an official Spokesperson said the interview on which the article was based took place at Le Bourget during the Paris Air Show last month; the story had simply been delayed to publication due to the prioritisation of other news.
During the interview, the Airbus Spokesperson indicates, Brégier qualified all his comments to state that any plans for a new version of the A380 aircraft were contingent on a number of decisions still to be made, and the development of a satisfactory business case which could be presented to the board.
In short, the Spokesperson concluded:
“No decision has been made to launch an A380neo.”
While the current A380’s biggest customer, Emirates Airlines, has expressed a strong desire for a new version of the A380.
At a press conference in Cophenhagen earlier this year, which Flight Chic attended, the airline’s President and CEO, Sir Tim Clark, said he would place an order for 100 units as soon as Airbus agreed to produce such an aircraft.