PARIS Feb 3 Air France has swapped
its remaining orders for two Airbus A380 superjumbos for three
of the smaller A350s, Airbus data showed on Friday, highlighting
a switch towards lighter twinjets.
The cancellation of the last two out of a dozen A380s
originally ordered by the French flag carrier had been expected
after the change was flagged in March last year. The other 10
A380s are already in operation.
Removing the A380 order from its order book in a monthly
update, Airbus said the French network of Air France-KLM
had simultaneously ordered three A350-900 planes.
Demand for large four-engined aircraft like the A380 has
been waning as airlines switch to smaller and newer jets like
the A350 and Boeing 787.
Boeing, whose competing 747 jumbo is nearing the end of a
long career, also took two cancellations in January.
In total, Airbus booked four new orders in January, or two
after adjusting for the A380 cancellations, heralding what is
expected to be a slower year across the industry as airlines
continue to take stock after a longer than expected order cycle.
It delivered 25 aircraft in January.
Airbus net orders fell 32 percent to 731 jets last year. It
is expected to target something closer to 600 this year as new
bookings fall below deliveries for the first time in eight years
in the face of slower demand, especially for bigger jets.
Airbus delivered 688 jets in 2016 and its planemaking
president, Fabrice Bregier, said last month he expected over 700
deliveries in 2017 -- but without the last-minute surge seen
last December due to supplier problems earlier in the year.
Boeing posted 11 orders and received two cancellations
between the start of the year and January 24, the only period
for which 2017 data is yet available.
(Reporting by Tim Hepher, Editing by Dominique Vidalon)