Monday, October 21, 2013
Industrial Processes Assure Airbus' Future: President
TOKYO (Nikkei)--Lessons learned from the process of developing the A380 assured the smooth and safe development of Airbus' new wide-body airliner, said Fabrice Bregier, CEO and president of Airbus.
- Fabrice Bregier
Bregier's comments came a week after his company won an order for 56 of the new planes from Japan Airlines Co. (9201) and months after Boeing Co.'s entire 787 Dreamliner fleet was grounded because of engineering difficulties. The CEO was speaking at the 15th Nikkei Global Management Forum, held in Tokyo.
Bregier said the deal with JAL surprised people who believed that aircraft contracts were "about politics." He said JAL chose to do business with Airbus because his company demonstrated it was good to work with.
Airbus changed its development process after "the challenges we faced with the A380 program," Bregier said. "Synergies between the various Airbus sites in Europe and some 300 suppliers around the world led to significant delays, cost overruns and much disappointment for our customers."
Increased communication within the Airbus hierarchy and with the company's suppliers has helped smooth the process, the CEO said, adding that the first planes would be delivered on schedule in the second half of next year.
Bregier also said the Asia-Pacific region was the key market for Airbus. "The trends are already clear in the Airbus order book, where airlines from the Asia-Pacific region now account for a third of our backlog of aircraft on order."
Bregier said the value of Airbus' outsourcing contracts in Asia doubled from 1 billion dollar in 2009 to 2 billion dollars in 2012. The company also increasingly receives funding from Asian banks, he said.