June 4, 2018 / 2:10 AM / 9 months ago

Airbus sales chief says not panicking over A330 order drop

SYDNEY, June 4 (Reuters) - The head of airplane sales at Airbus dismissed concerns about a sharp drop in orders for the A330neo jet and predicted European wide-body demand would start to recover later this year as rival Boeing extended a series of wins in the key segment.

"The world is still full of opportunities in terms of wide-bodies. We have a lost a couple of campaigns in the West and there are other campaigns around the world. I am not personally in a panicking mode about the A330neo," Chief Commercial Officer Eric Schulz told Reuters on Monday.

Speaking in an interview at an airlines meeting in Sydney, Schulz declined to give a numerical sales target for 2018 wide-body aircraft but said, "We will see, I think we will be ok. I can see from the dynamics in the market and what we have in the pipeline and what we have already negotiated."

The A330neo is a derivative of Airbus's most-sold wide-body jet, the A330, whose fortunes are widely monitored by investors as a key source of profits and cash.

Airbus has lost a series of contests for sales of the 250-300-seat A330neo, culminating in a decision set to be approved this week by the owners of India's Vistara to order six Boeing 787s instead of A330neos, two industry sources said. The same airline may expand a leased fleet of A320neos.

Airbus and Boeing declined to comment on the order and Vistara did not respond to a request to comment. (Reporting by Tim Hepher Editing by Victoria Bryan)

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