Airbus CEO Tom Enders was in high spirits on Friday, saying the unexpected crop of orders placed at the Paris Air Show shows the heart of the aviation industry is still beating despite the recession.
The European plane maker chalked up firm orders for 58 planes worth $6.4 billion over five days.
Including commitments — when customers make a deposit but the sale is not legally binding — Airbus signed deals worth $12.9 billion for 127 planes.
Enders told The Associated Press that Airbus “didn’t expect” such a score. “I think it’s a good sign for the entire industry.”
Airbus also assured the industry that in spite of the present recession, Airbus anticipates a demand for some 24,300 new passenger and freighter aircraft between 2009 and 2028, creating an average delivery rate of some 1,215 airliners annually during this 20-year period.
According to the Airbus, passenger traffic is expected to grow at an average rate of 4.9 per cent per year, leading to a near threefold increase during the 2007-2026 time period.