Airbus expects 'good year' despite fall in orders

Aircraft maker says it has a healthy order backlog

The company said it expected to finish the year with 800 global orders, but with a healthy order backlog of 3,700. 

Tom Williams, executive vice president for programmes and customer support, said the drop from around 1,341 net orders last year was expected.

He said: "This is a cyclical industry. We are not deluding ourselves and we had expected this year to be slower.

"If you look at those record order years, we thought we couldn't keep going at this rate. The backlog had grown to such a point where it almost discourages customers from placing orders. We did expect this year to go down."

The customer base had a good 'geographic balance', spreading the risk through the Far East, the Middle East and Europe, he said. Nor is the company dependent on the American market.

In September it was announced that the engineering firm GKN was buying part of Airbus’s Filton site in the UK for £136 billion. Mr Williams said that Airbus employees should have no current fears for their jobs, as "peaks and troughs" were "normal" in the industry.

He said: "We are comfortable with the job numbers. We don't see any major issues as long as the build stays the way it is."

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