MOBILE, Ala., April 8 The sales chief at EADS
unit Airbus said on Monday the aircraft maker can sell
750 jets this year, confirming the top end of a 700-750 sales
range the company has previously announced.
"I'm still standing by my target of 750 planes sold this
year," said John Leahy, chief operating officer for customers.
He added that he expected "a good year but not a great year in
terms of orders" in 2013.
The company expects to achieve first flight of its A350 jet
in "the coming three months," Airbus CEO Fabrice Bregier said in
the sidelines of a groundbreaking ceremony for a $600 million
Airbus factory in Mobile.
Leahy said he expects to see "80 or so orders being booked
for the A350" in 2013.
Bregier said he expected the Mobile assembly plant to create
5,000 jobs, including 1,000 positions at the plant. Airbus has
said it spends $13 billion per year with U.S. suppliers
Bregier said the Airbus decision to switch to nickel-cadmium
batteries from lithium-ion for the A350 was the safest and
simplest choice and that Airbus didn't want to add any
uncertainty to that plane's certification process, currently
"There will be a very smooth shift to this very common
technology," he said, noting that the shift would have no impact
on the time frame for the A350.