European aircraft maker Airbus said on Tuesday that Germany, the continent's biggest economy, would need more than 1,000 planes over the next 20 years but cast doubt over its sales of A380 "superjumbos".
"Airlines in Germany will require more than 1,000 new passenger aircraft (100 seats and above) and freighters (above 10 tonnes of payload)," said Airbus on the sidelines of the ILA Airshow in Berlin.
"In terms of new passenger aircraft deliveries over the coming 20 years, German airlines will take more aircraft than any other European country and globally is one of the top five countries," the firm added.
Despite this opportunity for Airbus, the firm's chief executive said it would be hard to hit the sales target of 30 for its new A380 "superjumbo".
"We will probably have difficulties to reach this number this year," Fabrice Bregier told reporters at a dinner late Monday.
Airbus has won 257 orders from 20 different companies for the A380, the world's biggest passenger airliner, since it launched the plane in 2000.
It has delivered 82 to eight airlines, plagued by the discovery of cracks in the wings of several of the A380s.
Hong Kong Airlines said last month it was considering cancelling a $3.8 billion order for 10 of the planes but had made no firm decisions.
"On the A380 I must say the priority this year was to fix the wing issue. It's a minor thing but many customers are upset for good reasons," said Bregier.
"I expect we will have more customers ... clearly the 380 is the aircraft of the future," he told reporters.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel was later Tuesday to open the ILA show which runs until September 16.