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Airbus turbulence continues

Stephen Beard Jun 28, 2006


SCOTT JAGOW: European plane-maker Airbus has some explaining to do. Like why ita€™s taking so darn long to deliver the new A380 super jumbo jet. And why top executives dumped their stock at suspicious times. Today, a big wig at Airbus’s parent company, EADS, went before French lawmakers. Stephen Beard reports.

STEPHEN BEARD: Boeing must be delighted. Its old rival is floundering.

Roasted in the press, EADS’ co-chief executive is now getting grilled in parliament. French lawmakers want him to explain why the super jumbo A380 has been delayed, and regulators want to know why he sold his shares before announcing the news.

The group is facing a major shakeup says analyst Ilana Bethel.

The first thing to go could be the company’s complex management structure, with one chairmen and chief executive in France and another pair of them in Germany.

ILANA BETHEL: Everyone in the business world, and I think even in the political world for what ita€™s worth, is really fed up. And I will be very surprised if we don’t end this week with one chief executive, one chairman.

Franco-German relations are strained. Airbus was supposed to show a united Europe soaring higher than America.

The only things flying around the company right now seem to be recriminations.

In London, this is Stephen Beard for marketplace.

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