Air­bus hopes to land new A400M or­ders in near fu­ture

The China Post - - BUSINESS INDEX & -

The crash of an Air­bus A400M mil­i­tary trans­port plane last month hasn’t af­fected ex­port or­ders, the firm’s chief ex­ec­u­tive said Wed­nes­day, adding Air­bus hoped to land new cus­tomers soon.

An A400M plane crashed dur­ing a test flight on May 9 near Seville in Spain, killing four of the six peo­ple on board and se­ri­ously in­jur­ing the two oth­ers.

Ini­tial anal­y­sis of the black boxes showed that three of the four en­gines had failed.

Air­bus’s chief ex­ec­u­tive Tom En­ders told France’s Europe 1 ra­dio that the crash was a tragic event but that so far it had not had an im­pact on or­ders as coun­tries that use the plane were con­vinced of its mer­its.

One of the ad­van­tages that the new tur­bo­prop of­fers is that it can take off on shorter run­ways and rough ter­rain with up to 37 tonnes of cargo and troops.

En­ders said there was lots of in­ter­est in the air­craft, in­clud­ing in sev­eral coun­tries in the Mid­dle East and Asia, and that he hoped to sign more con­tracts in the near fu­ture.

The A400M has been fly­ing through­out the week at the Paris Air Show, which runs un­til Sun­day.

Even be­fore the crash last month, the plane has been plagued by years of pro­duc­tion de­lays and costly over­runs.

Euro­pean na­tions who pushed for the de­vel­op­ment of the air­craft had even con­sid­ered can­cel­ing the pro­gram at one point.

The first A400M was de­liv­ered in 2013, four years late and 6.2 bil­lion eu­ros (US$7.0 bil­lion) over bud­get.

A to­tal of 174 have been or­dered since, but the com­pany has been hav­ing dif­fi­culty meet­ing its de­liv­ery sched­ule, prompt­ing Air­bus to shake up its man­age­ment of the pro­gram in Jan­uary.

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