Airbus China president Eric Chen said the boom in outbound traffic, coupled with the relatively small widebody fleet in the country, will drive airlines to look at larger jets.
The continued bottlenecks at the country’s airports, together with air traffic congestion and a shortage of pilots, will also add to the push.
“I think that over the next 5 years, widebodies are going to be a key element for the development of fleet in Chinese airlines. The priority will be on the widebody,” he said.
Chen said Airbus has been focusing on the current A330 and its re-engined variant in China, because of the lack of early slots for the A350.
“For the A350 we have constraints here because airlines plan their fleet in a frame of 5 years.”
“So when deliveries are beyond the 5 year plan period, even those which are interested, they are very cautious to order,” he explained.
The next 5 year plan will cover the years 2016-2020.
Air China is the only Chinese customer with an order for 10 of the A350-900 variant currently, but Chen believes that the A350 will be “very popular” in the country.
Based on the article “Airbus eyes the wide game in China” pulished in FlightGlobal