potentially will announce an order from a new operator at the Paris air show next month.
It is not certain the deal will be closed, but an order is possible, says John Leahy, Airbus chief operating officer for customers.
CEO Akbar Al Baker has also indicated he could place a top up order for the aircraft. Qatar has orders for five aircraft already placed, with the first due in 2014. Its nearest rivals, Emirates and have 90 and 10 A380 orders, respectively.
Qatar Airways this year could also make its engine decision for the A380 between theand Engine Alliance GP7200. Emirates and Etihad have opted for the GP7200.
Leahy says there are “several campaigns” underway for the A380-sized aircraft.
Airbus plans to take the aircraft also to the Moscow air show in August, hoping to interestin the mega-transport.
Moreover, he sees more potential for airlines to take high-capacity versions with more than 800 seats like Air Austral, noting that China could be a market for that set up.
Production slots available for A380 customers open up around 2015.