Airbus targets Gulf region for corporate jet sales

Reuters, Monday 6 Dec 2010

Airbus said it is increasingly dependent on the Gulf region for sales

Half of the corporate jets delivered by Airbus this year were to customers in Gulf countries, the company said on Monday, highlighting the aircraft maker's growing dependence on the region.
Airbus, a unit of Europe's EADS, said a total of 16 corporate jets were delivered this year, up from 14 in 2009, and projected a similar number in 2011.
"Half of the 16 corporate airplanes were delivered to this (Gulf) region. So it's been quite busy," said Francois Chazelle, Vice President for Airbus Executive & Private Aviation. Apart from the deliveries the company made a total of nine new sales this year, he said.
Qatar-based Rizon Jet was the latest to order an Airbus Corporate Jetliner (ACJ) on behalf of a new customer who chose to remain unnamed, Airbus said.
The world's largest aircraft maker said last week it would invest over 1 billion euros ($1.3 billion) in the "A320neo" project to improve efficiency and cut emissions and noise.
Airbus's president for the Middle East, Habib Fekih said the company is targeting financial customers in the Middle East for the A320neo.
"Many airlines from the Middle east have already expressed interest....Qatar is one of them," said Fekih. "We will be discussing with them. We are very optimistic as we think we are bringing something the industry has been waiting for."
He said Airbus has also received one or two enquiries from private customers interested in the A380 superjumbo. "We have interest from some customers to buy A380s and we are preparing offers to be submitted." He did not specify if the offers were from the Middle East region.

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