Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Airbus - when in trouble form a circle and start firing

Airbus bit off a huge challenge developing the huge A380 within their own schedule. And the risk is huge, since it is at the edge of the market - only suitable for flying between the largest hubs. The A380 delivery schedule has slipped by 6 months - twice now. And Airbus needs a new plane to compete with the Boeing 787, but the A380 is taking all their development money and the skilled people. So they can't respond. The 787 has out sold the Airbus A350 by 3 to 1. And the Airbus A340 has been stopped by the new long-range 777-200LR and -300LR. So the Airbus leaders formed a circle and started firing at each other. Thomas Lifson has an excellent summary at The American Thinker.
Airbus, the European champion of the cause of state-directed enterprise, is in crisis. Even French President Jacques Chirac has been forced to acknowledge “management problems” at Airbus’ parent EADS, which is partially owned by the French State. Going into the last weekend, a spokesman for the French Finance Minister Thierry Breton offered a 72 hour deadline to “sort out” Airbus and its parent EADS. There are plenty of problems to sort out, and the deadline has come and gone with not much sorting, and almost no outing, evident in the public sphere.
And Boeing people here in Seattle like this:
Costly though this will be, the damage to Airbus’ credibility could be even cotlier. Most industry observers are skeptical about other important promises not yet delivered, including critical range and fuel economy specifications. One observer noted: ‘There is huge reputational damage here. Would you buy an aircraft from these people today? The answer is probably no. You’d go to Boeing.’
Quote source: UK Guardian.

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