Airbus aims for new A400M military plane sale this year: Executive
ISTANBUL - Reuters
CİHAN PhotoAirbus aims to strike a new sales deal for its A400M military aircraft this year and hopes it will bolster interest in the delay-plagued transporter, a senior executive from its defense division said.
Several buyers, including Turkey and Germany, have expressed frustration at repeated delays in deliveries of the heavy cargo and troop carrier, Europe’s largest defense project.
“We are targeting a sales announcement for the A400M this year,” Antonio Rodriguez-Barberan, an executive at Airbus Defense and Space, told Reuters on the sidelines of a conference in Istanbul late on May 5.
“We hope this will drive a domino effect.”
He did not give any details about the potential sale, such as the size of the deal or the purchaser.
Airbus acknowledged last year it faced more delays in delivering the aircraft, and took a charge of 551 million euros ($618 million).
Ankara has said it would force Airbus to pay a penalty or offer services in compensation for late deliveries.
Other European buyers -- jointly represented along with Turkey by defense procurement agency OCCAR -- include Belgium, Britain, France, Germany, Luxembourg and Spain. Malaysia has also agreed to buy the plane, which fits between the smaller Lockheed Martin C-130 and larger Boeing C-17.
Separately, Turkey’s defense procurement agency said it expected to sign an agreement on Wednesday with Airbus on maintenance support for the A400M, allowing it to service the aircraft.