Airbus expects to sell more A380 aircraft in China in the coming years, despite only one Chinese carrier ordering the superjumbo so far, the plane maker's China president said Thursday.
Laurence Barron told an industry forum in Shanghai that China was expected to account for a fifth of the Toulouse, France-based company's global sales this year.
"We're pretty confident in the coming years we'll sell more A380s in China," he told reporters. "We certainly don't have to wait 10 years" for demand for A380s to pick up in China."
China Southern Airlines, one of the country's three largest carriers, has ordered five A380s, the first of which are slated to be delivered in the third quarter, Barron said.
But other Chinese carriers have been slow to warm to the double-decker plane, he added
In March, US rival Boeing got a boost when state-owned flag carrier Air China bought five of its new 747-8 Intercontinental jets, becoming the third airline to order the stretched passenger jumbo after Lufthansa and Korean Air.
Airbus has forecast that Asia will emerge as the world's biggest aircraft market by 2029, accounting for a third of worldwide deliveries as the region's growing middle class drives travel demand.