Having badly burned its fingers with production delays on the A380 program, Airbus is determined not to fall into the fire again with its next large airliner program, the A350XWB. At a January 14 groundbreaking ceremony for the new widebody’s assembly line in Toulouse, France, Airbus COO Fabrice Brégier insisted that the company will achieve its goal of delivering the first airplane in mid-2013.
AIN Air Transport Perspective » January 30, 2009
Boeing estimates that the two-month strike staged by its machinists late last year cost it some $2.5 billion in cash–the single biggest factor in the fourth-quarter net loss of $56 million the company reported this month. As a result of the strike, Boeing Commercial Airplanes delivered 105 fewer airplanes than expected, resulting in a $6.4 billion drop in revenues.
GKN Aerospace assumed full ownership of the former Airbus wing component and assemblies factory at Filton, UK, on January 5. The UK group acquired the facility from Airbus for £136 million ($199 million).
It took all the resources it could reasonably muster, but Airbus managed to reach its target of delivering 12 A380 aircraft last year when on December 30 it handed over to Emirates Airline that carrier’s fourth superjumbo.
Boeing’s announcement on January 9 that it planned to lay off some 4,500 employees within its Commercial Airplanes business starting in April might not have come as a surprise given the economic depths to which the airline business expects to sink this year.
It seemed unlikely that tightening credit wouldn’t trigger more order cancellations or delivery deferrals among the world’s airlines, so even though the top manufacturers seem to have escaped the early stages of the crisis relatively unscathed, many predict a pronounced drop in financial support by the second half of this year.
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