A320neo. Courtesy, Airbus

Airbus delivered 534 commercial aircraft to 88 customers and booked 1,419 net orders in 2011, in a record-breaking year buoyed by its decision to re-engine the A320. Deliveries included a record 421 single-aisle aircraft (401 in 2010), 87 A330s (87 in 2010) and 26 A380s (18 in 2010).

Speaking at the EADS/Airbus conference in Hamburg Tuesday, CEO Tom Enders said Airbus has an ambitious outlook for 2012, with plans to deliver around 570 aircraft and target new orders of about 600-650 aircraft.

“It was a good year for EADS. The A320neo was the star of 2011,” EADS CEO Louis Gallois said.

Airbus recorded 1,226 new orders in 2011 for the A320neo, which is becoming the European manufacturer’s fastest-selling aircraft. Enders said this number does not include American Airlines’ (AA) order for 130 aircraft (ATW Daily News, Nov. 30, 2011). “We have no doubt that AA will come out from Chapter 11 with strength and will be a much more efficient carrier in the future,” Enders said.

Gallois sees the A380 as the company’s key program, “which is on track.” He said the cost of producing the A380 will reduce as production gets more efficient. “We will see better performance,” he said.

Enders said that “2011 was the first real serious A380 production year,” with 67 A380s already in service and its 68th aircraft to be delivered to Singapore Airlines in a matter of days. Thai Airways and Malaysia will also be starting A380 operations this year (ATW Daily News, Dec. 21, 2011).

Responding to a question from ATW, Enders said there would be around 30 or more A380s delivered in 2012.

Commenting on the need for a longer version, the -900, Enders said he sees “some interest in the market, but first I want to increase and optimize the A380 production.” Enders did not expect a go-ahead for the -900 before the second part of the decade.

Regarding 2012 projected deliveries, 11% are expected to go to the North American market, 7% to Latin America, 17% to Europe, 32% to Asia/Pacific, 8% to the Middle East, 2% to Africa and 22% are dedicated to lessors.

“Financing of aircraft moving more and more outside Europe, that’s why we are quite optimistic that we can deliver this aircraft. But we know a lot of things can happen,” Enders said.