The full launch of the new Airbus logistics center in China’s Tianjin Free Trade Zone is due to occur next month. The facility will manage the European manufacturer’s industrial cooperation projects in China, where six companies, in different cities and with individual supply chains, manufacture parts and components for Airbus.
Competition between Airbus and Boeing
Airbus delivered a record total of 498 aircraft last year, which is 15 more than it shipped in 2008, the company announced today. The figure includes 402 A320-family aircraft, 86 A330/A340s and 10 A380s. Airbus Military, the military aircraft division of Airbus, delivered 16 light and medium transport aircraft.
Despite the partisan claims and counter-claims on both sides of the long-running dispute over alleged subsidies between Airbus and Boeing, it remains extremely unclear whether or not the World Trade Organization (WTO) will ever definitively resolve the issue.
The World Trade Organization (WTO) any day now plans to issue an interim ruling on U.S. allegations over unfair subsidies made by European governments to Airbus.
In the face of the global economic recession, Airbus does not expect to reach its previously predicted 300 new orders this year and has switched its efforts to retaining as much of its order backlog as possible. Nevertheless, the EADS subsidiary believes the downturn in airline traffic is close to the bottom and that gradual economic recovery next year will be accompanied by improved market prospects.
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.
Airbus insists the A350-800XWB will make it to market on time in 2013, despite the company’s failure to close on plant divestments that would have helped pay for $1.5 billion in needed upgrades to key manufacturing sites.
When Airbus tentatively entered the corporate jet market a decade ago with the ACJ, its expectations for the airplane were modest. Success would be measured in single-digit sales primarily to wealthy individuals in the Middle East who dreamed of creating miniature flying palaces.
Delivery of the 561st Airbus A300 next month marks completion of the European manufacturer’s long march to becoming a successful competitor to its U.S. rival, Boeing, in the commercial aircraft market. It has developed, certified, marketed and completed profitable production of its initial design and embarked on a successor project.
The apparent delay in the launch of the Airbus A350 has raised the intrigue over the escalating subsidy row between Boeing and Airbus. A curt EADS statement released last Wednesday said it would not reach a decision on the A350 until September, scuttling speculation that Airbus would announce a launch here today with officials from Dubai’s Emirates.