PARIS, June 13 (Reuters) - Airbus fleshed out the case for a potential revamp of its A330 jetliner, but vowed not to let the estimated $2 billion investment in fuel savings divert it from its main goal of improving profits at Europe’s largest aerospace group.
Fabrice Bregier, chief executive of the flagship planemaking unit of Airbus Group, said the company would decide whether or not to launch a re-engined version of its most profitable wide-body jet before the end of the year.
“We are studying it. We have many customers telling us ‘this aircraft is excellent, please try to also reduce the fuel burn with new engines,” Bregier told reporters.
“So we are looking at that, we are not rushing. We will take the decision this year. It’s not limited to putting new engines on, it’s more complicated than that.”
Bregier said the company’s brand-new A350 would prove itself financially despite a major order cancellation this week, and pledged to maintain the focus on profitability as Airbus ramps up production following its entry into service late this year.
“At the end of the day, we are looking at profitability,” Bregier said during a media seminar.
“We believe that at the end of the decade we will have not only the A320, the A330, but also the A350 very profitable. On the A380 our goal is to break even. If we have that, the financial challenges that you know for Airbus will be met.” (Reporting by Cyril Altmeyer, Tim Hepher, Editing by Geert de Clercq)