Airbus top executives held "Executive Forum 2005" in Tokyo today, attended by some 300 guests from Japan's major airline companies, aviation industries, governmental organizations, as well as from financial companies. Airbus President and Chief Executive Officer Gustav Humbert and Chief Operating Officer – Customers John Leahy presented a consolidated update on the performance on the European manufacturer and on industry expectations for the coming years. Glen S. Fukushima, President and Chief Executive Officer of Airbus Japan, delivered the opening speech and chaired the Executive Forum.

In his opening remarks, Mr Humbert said: "We consider Japan to be a key country for Airbus, both in terms of a potential buyer of aircraft and as a partner in industrial co-development and co-production. Airbus is still committed to this important market. In February this year, Airbus has appointed Glen S. Fukushima to build a team at Airbus Japan to formulate a locally focused strategy that will provide attractive solutions to the Japanese market and industry." "We are optimistic that, over time, the quality, technology, fuel-efficiency, and other superior attributes of our aircraft as well as the opportunities for Japanese industry will be fully appreciated, as it is done in the rest of the world," he added.

Mr Humbert also stressed Airbus' wish for increased Japanese participation in Airbus aircraft programmes, in particular in the all-new A350, which was launched in early October. "We strongly believe that forging ties with Europe is also in Japan's interest, to diversify its source of co-production. We would also be very keen and honoured to have Japan’s cutting-edge technologies on board the A350 in a bigger scale than the A380, in which 21 Japanese companies joined," he said.

In his presentation titled "Commercial Situation and Industry Forecast", Mr Leahy explained the current Airbus’ business updates. As of the end of September, Airbus' net order intake stands at 407, occupying 40% of the market. He also said aircraft delivery for 2005 will be around 370 for Airbus. This means that Airbus will be ahead of the competition in delivery for the third continuous year since 2003.

The forum presentations also included Airbus' Global Market Forecast. In fact, Airbus forecasters see that new passenger and freighter aircraft deliveries between 2004 and 2023 will almost triple. Meanwhile, airports in the world, particularly those in the Asia-Pacific region, cannot increase slot time drastically in order to meet these demands. The congestion of airports is a lasting problem and the room for expansions is very limited in all large cities.

Airbus' next-generation large aircraft A380 will be a solution to limit frequencies and still allow the traffic to grow. The new flagship airplane A380, which made its maiden flight on April 27 in Toulouse, followed by the second aircraft MSN 004 on October 18, will be seen in Japanese skies as early as 2006. Eight major carriers have already said that by 2008 they will be operating at least ten daily A380 passenger & cargo flights to and through Narita.

Airbus' view has been confirmed, both through industry-wide participation in the programme from its outset and through the already remarkable success of the A380 on the market. At the end of September, 16 customers had announced firm orders and commitments for a total of 159 A380s, including 27 freighter versions.

Airbus is an EADS Company with BAE Systems.