Airbus ups 2004 delivery target

Airbus ups 2004 delivery target

European planemaker Airbus expects to deliver slightly more than 300 planes this year, above its previous target, and sees its revenues rising 50 percent by 2010, Chief Executive Noel Forgeard told French daily La Tribune in an interview.

"At the start of the year we were expecting to deliver less than 300 planes. Now we are expecting slightly more than 300, in line with 2003," Forgeard said.

"We will have a nice number of deliveries in 2005. If current trends continue, I cannot exclude an increase in production levels during 2005."

Airbus rival Boeing announced late last month that it expected deliveries to rise to 300 in 2005 from an estimated 285 in 2004, in what would be the first substantial increase in deliveries for the US company since the September 11, 2001 attacks.

Forgeard said sales of the Airbus A380 superjumbo would help fuel a 50 percent rise in revenues between 2004 and 2010. In 2003, when Airbus delivered 305 jets, it posted revenues of EUR19.3 billion ($23.5 million).

Forgeard expects Airbus to see orders for its A380 swell to 250 from their current 129 by 2008. He said Airbus was currently in talks with four airlines on the A380, including in China.

He also said he was confident of winning a jet order from Indian Airlines soon. Outside of Europe, other countries where Airbus is currently in talks to sell planes include Singapore, Turkey, Thailand and the United States, Forgeard said.