London: China is sure to become the single largest market for aircraft in the world, said John Leahy, chief operating officer-customers at Airbus, at the Farnborough International Airshow.
In an interview with Xinhua, Leahy, who help Airbus raise its market share from 18 per cent in 1995 to the present 50 per cent, said: “There’s no doubt in my mind that China will become the single largest economy in the world and single largest for aircraft in the world. The two go together.”
Speaking of the impact of European debt crisis, he said the crisis is over-rated.
“It’s a financial crisis, not necessarily a transportation crisis. We have aircraft that help reduce the crisis to running the airline, make travel less expensive.”
He took Airbus’s new aircraft A380 as an example. It consumes only 2.9 litres per hundred kilometres.
“We build a way for more people to fly, more comfortably at lower cost, that’s the way for the future.”
Commenting on China’s domestically designed passenger plane C919, Leahy said the C919 will be a very good aeroplane.
He believed that China would be among the three large manufacturers in the world, namely Airbus, Boeing and the Commercial Aircraft Corporation of China (COMAC), the producer of the C919 plane.
The C919 is a 150-seat aircraft designed for short-haul commercial use. The project was launched in 2008 by COMAC, a state-owned company.
At the week-long Farnborough Airshow, one of the largest such shows in the world, Airbus won about $16.9 billion (Dh62 billion) worth of business for a total of 115 aircraft, including Memorandums of Understanding (MoUs) for 61 aircraft worth $5.8 billion and firm purchase orders for 54 aircraft worth $11.1 billion.
Leahy said the important thing is that what you show at the airshow, you sell in the airshow.
“This year we will sell more aircraft. It’s the record year in terms of quantitative delivery years,” he said.
“So this will be a very good year for the Airbus and a very good year for our partners buying our products,” he added.