I suppose if you’re going to buy a private jet you might as well get a big one. That was clearly the view of the mystery customer at this week’s Paris Air Show who ordered an A380 ‘Superjumbo’ for personal use.
Whether one of the world’s billionaires is having a mid-life crisis remains unclear, but buying the world’s biggest passenger aircraft to ferry the family around is certainly a powerful statement of one-upmanship to the neighbours with their miserable little 50-seaters.
Whatever the destination of this particular A380, the turbulence seems to have abated slightly for its manufacturer Airbus, judging by the more optimistic noises coming out of the European plane-maker during the
Airbus has spent the last year in a prolonged period of introspection, attempting to sort out a series of internal problems that saw it plunge into the red and delayed delivery of the A380.
Things must be getting better because Airbus has stopped apologising and started complaining again, this time about the strength of the euro, which chief executive Louis Gallois warned could force it to look to dollar-zone regions for more of its supplies.
Airbus also wants more financial support for its R&D activities from the nations of
So that’s not much then. Just the devaluation of a currency and a few hundred million more in taxpayer’s money. Of course, Airbus is well aware that Europe’s bankers are highly unlikely to start driving the euro down on its say-so, and that its governments will need some serious persuading before dipping any deeper into their pockets.
What Airbus is doing is reminding the people and governments of
And it’s right. Aerospace is one of the areas where the
It’s a position we can’t afford to take for granted. One of the more intriguing announcements to emerge from
Andrew Lee, editor