Airbus CEO Says A380 to Be Refreshed, No Decision on New Engines

Fabrice Bregier, the chief executive officer of Airbus Group SE’s airliner unit, said the planemaker plans to offer an improved version of its A380 for service by 2025 although no decision has been made on whether to offer new engines.

Airbus plans to move to an “A380 neo type” for introduction between 2020 and 2025, Bregier told London’s Sunday Times in an interview. The executive said the planemaker would likely pick just one engine type, not two, as with the current A380, for any new A380 with new engines.

Airbus is still considering which elements of the plane will change when it comes out with a more-efficient version of the A380, Airbus spokesman Justin Dubon said in an interview today. Dubon, who was present at the interview, said no decision has been made on whether to offer new engines and that Bregier has said new engines are one possibility of several for improving the plane.

At the Paris Air Show in mid-June, Bregier said in an interview with Bloomberg television that stretching the A380 into an even-longer superjumbo is among possible options being considered to help reboot a plane that has struggled to win new buyers.

“It’s clear that one day we’ll have to invest in an evolution of this family,” Bregier said. “As the market doubles in size every 15 years, we’ll also need a light stretch, and this aircraft is capable of it. It all depends on market conditions.”

Emirates, the A380’s biggest customer, has pushed Airbus to rejuvenate the superjumbo and wants the company to add more fuel-efficient engines, something Airbus has said it won’t do for just one customer.

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