MUNICH (Germany), March 8 Airbus sales chief
John Leahy claimed a groundswell of airline industry support for
an enhanced model of the A320 after a major U.S. order on
After bagging the tentative order for 100 A320neo aircraft
from leasing giant ILFC (AIG.N), Leahy said Airbus was in talks
to sell more of the planes to U.S. airline Republic Airways.
Speaking in a telephone interview he declined to give
The A320neo is "not just up and running but it is taking the
world by storm," Leahy said.
He dismissed talk by rival Boeing (BA.N) of a possible
radical redesign for its competing 737, which he said had not
slowed demand for the Airbus model.
"World airlines are taking the neo seriously and they're not
taking Boeing seriously at all," he said.
ILFC announced the 100 plane provisional order worth $9.5
billion earlier and said it had cancelled an order for 10 A380
super jumbos worth more than $3 billion.
Leahy denied that the A380 cancellation dealt a serious blow
to the world's largest airliner because the ILFC had not
allocated the aircraft to its own customers.
"It hasn't placed them, so it doesn't change underlying
demand," he said.
He express disappointment that Air China (601111.SS) had
announced it would buy 5 Boeing 747-8 aircraft earlier on
"We are disappointed with Air China's decision, we had hoped
they would have taken a closer look at the A380", he said,
adding that the airline appeared to have under political
pressure from Washington."