Airbus aims high in Japan market

Bloomberg

Airbus SAS, which won its first order from Japan Airlines Co. this month, intends to double its market share in the country by 2020 as air travel demand climbs.

The European manufacturer’s planes will make up 25 percent of Japanese airline fleets within seven years, from 13 percent currently, Airbus Chief Executive Officer Fabrice Bregier said in a speech in Tokyo Monday. The plane maker aims to double that again to 50 percent in 20 to 25 years, he said.

Airbus’ agreement, valued at $9.5 billion at the time, to supply Japan Airlines with 31 long-range A350s follows a 2010 order from Tokyo-based Skymark Airlines Inc. for the A380 superjumbo in a country that Boeing Co. has dominated for decades. Single-aisle jets from Airbus were also chosen by all three low-cost carriers that started flying in Japan last year.

“Asia will be center stage for our business in coming years,” Bregier said at The 15th Nikkei Global Management Forum. We are emphasizing “the importance of getting close to growth markets,” he said.

Airbus, based in Toulouse, France, will also reach 50 percent market share in China next year, from 30 percent in 2005 and 5 percent in 1995, Bregier said. Japan Airlines ordered 18 A350-900 aircraft and 13 larger A350-1000s, JAL President Yoshiharu Ueki said this month. It also has an option to buy 25 more planes.