Time for Airbus to get leaner, meaner

Marketplace Staff Oct 10, 2006
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Time for Airbus to get leaner, meaner

Marketplace Staff Oct 10, 2006
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MARK AUSTIN THOMAS: Troubles at Airbus have led to a change at the top. Louis Gallois took over as CEO late Monday. Christian Streiff is out after just 100 days as head of the company. Gallois is already predicting painful job cuts, mainly at the management level. The struggles of Airbus are not too different from the problems Boeing faced recently. Jason Paur reports from Seattle.


JASON PAUR: With its new flagship super-jumbo airliner delayed another year, the resignation of Airbus’ CEO wasn’t a huge surprise.

But it was just a few years ago that Airbus overtook a struggling Boeing in new plane orders for the first time.

Aviation analyst Scott Hamilton says tough times for Boeing in the mid 1990s forced the company to make many tough decisions. Those changes helped Boeing to lead Airbus in sales this year.

Hamilton says Boeing sold off less valuable assets and streamlined its workforce, sending jobs around the world to be more competitive.

SCOTT HAMILTON: Boeing has outsourced, Airbus has largely kept its sourcing within Europe. This is an opportunity to begin outsourcing to less expensive suppliers. So Airbus really has the opportunity to do now or to begin now what Boeing began after the 1997 production fiasco.

Hamilton believes Airbus will continue to be hindered by the A380 super-jumbo for several more years., but he says the plane maker could emerge with new models and the next generation of airliners to take on Boeing if restructuring is successful.

In Seattle, I’m Jason Paur for Marketplace.

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