Leaders of Europe’s aerospace industry met with the president of the European Central Bank (ECB) at its Frankfurt headquarters on July 10 to express their “deep concern regarding the impact on their industry of the rapid and extreme fluctuation of the U.S. dollar compared to the euro,” according to the AeroSpace and Defense Industries Association of Europe (ASD).
Boeing and Airbus are still looking for the right balance in outsourcing, or at least for the right way to run the massively outsourced production organizations on which they base their latest airliner programs.
In commercial service for nearly nine months now, the Airbus A380 has proven itself perfectly capable of doing what its developers intended it to do–fly lots of passengers comfortably and efficiently.
EADS’s failure to divest itself of major Airbus production sites in both France and Germany as part of its Power8 restructuring plan hasn’t threatened a delay in the development schedule for the A350XWB, according to the European group’s CEO Louis Gallois. However, in the build-up to this week’s Farnborough airshow, questions remained over how long the company could wait before the program begins to lose its development rhythm.
At a recent seminar on “mobility and sustainability” in air transport, held at EADS’s Astrium site in Bremen, company CEO Louis Gallois confidently dismissed fears relating to an economic downturn.
EADS is working out the details of an addition to its Power 8 restructuring plan to cope with the continued decreasing value of the dollar against the euro. Speaking at the European company’s third quarter result conference in Amstersdam, Netherlands, on November 8, EADS CEO Louis Gallois said current hedges are not strong enough to counterbalance the effect on profits.
Airbus chief executive Louis Gallois declared yesterday that the European consortium “is back, fully back,” from an odyssey through one of the most trying two years in its history. Any such pronouncement made a day early would no doubt have elicited a hearty belly laugh or two within the Boeing chalet.
The next 30 days or so will be critical to the future of Airbus and its EADS parent company as top executives struggle to push through the core elements of the European airframer’s Power8 restructuring plan.
France’s Aerospace Valley, with 94,000 jobs at 1,300 companies (including approximately 1,000 small and medium-sized enterprises– SMEs) and 8,500 research positions, has emerged on the industry map as Europe’s only true aerospace cluster. Aerospace Valley, the cooperative venture between Midi-Pyrénées and the neighboring southwest region of Aquitaine representing 61 SMEs, is again exhibiting here at Le Bourget in Hall 4.
Dr. Lutz Bertling, former managing director of Eurocopter Deutschland, took over as president and CEO of Eurocopter in October last year and has also been appointed as a member of parent company EADS’s executive committee. He is the first German to head the Marignane, France-based manufacturer, founded as a Franco-German company in 1992.