The Airbus A380, a double-deck four-engine jet, must keep improving its design if it wants to match the Boeing twin-aisle airplane called the 777x, which is scheduled to be used for service within the next decade.
Fabrice Bregier, CEO of Airbus, said, “After 2020, we will face the challenge of the Boeing 777X, and it is clear that as the challenges evolve, the A380 will have to evolve.”
Bregier also stated that he has a problem with the way the Boeing 777x was launched. He was referring to the tax breaks that Boeing got from Washington State. In his opinion, the tax breaks given are higher than the overall cost of the program. Bregier said that the total amount of tax breaks given amount to $8.7 billion, and that amount is more than the total amount that was used to develop the plane. He also said, “There are rules in this business and tax breaks are illegal.”
The European Commission has already voiced their concerns regarding the tax break issue with the U.S. government. However, Bregier stated that it was “not enough” and that the industry needs to look for a level playing field for both Airbus and Boeing.
Inside the Airbus A380
Since being introduced in 2000, the Airbus A380 has acquired contracts for 324 planes. Boeing 777x, however, has already acquired 300 commitments and orders since it was offered in November last year. Most of the interested parties come from the Middle East.
Introducing The Boeing 777x
The Airbus A380’s biggest customer, Emirates, has been asking for a re-engining program for the aircraft, but Airbus has not yet confirmed the project. With the entrance of Boeing 777x, Bregier remains optimistic that the A380 still has a home in the industry. “If the aircraft was obsolete, Emirates would not have ordered another 50,” he said.
Airbus is also looking into the possibility of upgrading their 20-year-old model, the A330, to make it more attractive and fuel-efficient. However, the project has not been confirmed.
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