Planemaker Airbus will decide around the end of 2015 on how to revamp its A380 super jumbo and is on track for its 2015 targets, Chief Executive Thomas Enders was quoted saying by German business weekly WirtschaftsWoche.
“The board of directors will certainly need until the end of the year to form a comprehensive overview of the situation and to make decisions,” he said in remarks published on Friday.
“This is one of our most difficult product decisions in years. What is clear is that there will not be an A380 with new engines only for certain customers.”
Airbus has struggled to find buyers for the A380 over the last couple of years. Emirates [EMIRA.UL], the biggest customer, has called for Airbus to revamp the jet with new engines.
Enders said Airbus had managed to cut fuel usage by several percentage points even without new engines, which he said were only one of many options being considered.
“One possibility I am thinking about concretely is innovations in the cabin,” he said.
He also confirmed the group 2015’s goals, despite the crash of an A400M military transporter during a test flight last month that killed four people.
“We are on the right path to meet the 2015 targets that we have communicated to the market,” he said.
Airbus has said it expects higher revenue and a slight increase in core operating profit before mergers and acquisitions.
Enders also said he expected the U.S. Air Force to become the biggest customer for Airbus’s A400M military transporter.
“The U.S. armed forces will become the biggest customer for the plane next decade at the latest,” he said.
Enders said there were no comparable transporters on the market, as Boeing’s (BA.N) C-17 is larger while Lockheed Martin’s (LMT.N) C-130 was smaller.
“Many nations, however, do not want either extreme. In between, there will be for years only one alternative: the A400M, which is also far more economical and versatile to operate,” he said.