Hong Kong: European aircraft manufacturer Airbus expects a substantial reduction in new aircraft orders in 2009 as the global economy slows, the firm's chief operating officer, John Leahy, said in Hong Kong Thursday.
Leahy, who heads the company's sales and customer operations, stressed that the company currently had a record backlog of orders that would see it through the coming years. "Next year I think new aircraft orders will be substantially lower," he said in Hong Kong after coming in from an airshow in China.
"There will, of course, be some cancellations, but I have a pad of over-bookings," he added.
According to Leahy, the company had a backlog of 3,705 aircraft at the end of October, which is a record figure.