BREAKING NEWS

BREAKING NEWS

Airbus boss looks ahead to 2011

Now Reading:

Airbus boss looks ahead to 2011

Text size Aa Aa

As Airbus announced the 10,000th aircraft sale of its 40 year history and beat Boeing for sales in 2010, euronews spoke to the planemaker’s chief executive Tom Enders.

euronews:
“Mister Enders, 2010 was a record year for Airbus: there were more than 570 net orders, more than 500 deliveries, turnover reached 30 billion euros. But what were the most difficult Airbus moments in 2010?”

Tom Enders:
“Last year was much better than initially expected. This has something to do with the recovery of the market and with us improving our development programmes, especially our critical programmes the A400M and A380.”

euronews:
“You mention the A380. You now expect to produce three aircraft per month. To what extent is the A380 still a model for the future?”

Enders:
“The A380 is a model for the future, in any case. We are seeing new orders, and that will continue throughout this year. We now have 42 aircraft in service. The feedback from clients and passengers is very, very good. And, indeed, you’re correct, we step up production from two per month to three by 2012.”

euronews:
“Have the engine problems been completely solved?”

Enders:
“I think that Rolls Royce has a very good understanding of what went wrong and what needs to be done. Remember, we needed to provide some of our own engines to keep airlines flying the A380. And our clients have, of course, priority. We are probably going to see some more aircraft delivery disruptions in 2011, but that should improve in the course of the year.”

euronews:
“Another problem is the A400M military transport plane. It’s being reported that key German politicians have serious doubts about the German defence department’s financial assessment of risks for the plane. How serious are these doubts?

Enders:
“Well, as you know, we concluded agreements in principle with seven governments last March. These agreements were signed in November. And now we are dealing with the necessary political approval process. In Germany, the budget committee of the lower house needs to give its approval. I can understand that there are questions. But we believe that this approval will be handed down rapidly.”

euronews:
“Rapidly means when?”

Enders:
“I hope by the end of January. You have to understand that we have six governments that are waiting for the biggest client, the Federal Republic of Germany, to finally give the green light to the agreements.”

euronews:
“Leaving aside all the triumphs and tribulations – where is Airbus flying to in 2011?”

Enders: “Well, we are cautiously optimistic for 2011. We believe that ongoing global economic recovery will lead to a sustained level of orders. We will probably increase production numbers. We’ve talked about the delivery of 520 to 530 commercial aircraft and 20 plus military planes. But we are still facing a whole lot of enormous challenges that have something to do with our development programmes the A400M and the A350.”