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Airbus head pessimistic for 2010 amid fears for orders

AFP/The Local · 19 Jan 2010, 11:10

Published: 19 Jan 2010 11:10 GMT+01:00

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He also pulled back from the previous intention of making four A380 superjumbos a month, scaling down the target to two a month.

"We already know today that the weak dollar alone will weigh on our results by around a billion euros," Thomas Enders said in an interview with the Hamburger Abendblatt daily.

"I'm not dreaming of four A380s a month. Our next objective is two machines every month," he said.

The pessimistic outlook and reduced ambition comes after the seven client nations for the company’s military transport plane the A400M, said they were not going to remain committed to the project at any price.

He said the firm, battered by the global economic slump that has hit airlines hard, would need "a few years" to return to profitability, but added, "It's not going to take decades."

Enders has threatened to scrap the A400M unless seven NATO countries that have ordered it - Germany, Spain, France, Britain, Turkey, Belgium and Luxembourg - stump up more money.

The latest round of talks on the troubled project, which is three years behind schedule and an estimated €11 billion over budget, is due to take place in Berlin on Thursday.

Enders has warned that should the project be cancelled it could hurt the financial viability of all of Airbus, which employs 52,000 people around Europe.

Story continues below…

The seven client nations have ordered a total of 180 A400M planes at a cost of around €20 billion, but the project has been plagued by setbacks and is expected to cost up to an additional €11 billion.

Representatives from those countries met in London last week, promising continued commitment, but a statement from Britain's defence ministry said this was "not at any price."

AFP/The Local (news@thelocal.de)

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Your comments about this article

16:22 January 19, 2010 by Frenemy
I'm not really big on "I told you so's", but.....

@EADS: even the a400m ain't gonna save you now.

@Germany: probably shoulda bought "brand USA" (c130, c17... or hell, may as well go all out and buy a few c-5s...)
23:44 January 19, 2010 by Logic Guy
Well, first of all, Airbus did much better in 2009 than they expected. Therefore no one really knows what's going to hapen this year. However, they need to develop more eficient ways in which to produce airplanes.

They need to realize that it's best to think more and do less.

And the most intelligent people within Airbus should explain why it's best to contiune the A400M progamme.
14:16 January 20, 2010 by Celeon
Airbus needs to remind itself that for as long as their main rival is hurting as much under the economic crisis at itself does , there is not too much to worry about.

They may have no orders for 2010 yet, while Boeing has 10 orders so far but on the other hand Airbus had 129 orders more than Boeing in 2009. So they are still far ahead of their rival.

They have beaten Boeing for the third year in a row, both in numbers of orders aswell as deliveries and are still ahead with their open orders from 2009. Not exactly a situation which demands pessimism.

Sure, 787 Dreamliner will enter production in the third quarter of this year (Propably). Thats two years earlier than Airbus' answer to the Dreamliner ,the A350, will be ready.

But once again remind yourself that the 787 comes during the crisis while the A350 will just come in time when analysts predict it will end.
17:55 January 20, 2010 by Frenemy
@jmforge: dammit, you beat me to the punch! (gov't subsidization of the MIC ain't exactly front-page material)

@Oblomov: "Strangely enough when they lost the tanker tender to Airbus the contract was scrapped"

...how/why is that "strange"? Seems like business as usual to me...
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