Airbus goes to China

Stephen Beard Oct 27, 2006


SCOTT JAGOW: Right now, plane-maker Boeing dominates the Chinese aircraft market. Today, its European rival Airbus shook things up by signing a deal with China. But this deal could cost jobs in Europe. Stephen Beard reports.

STEPHEN BEARD: In a joint venture with the Chinese, Airbus has agreed to build a plant in China.

The plant will assemble sections of the midsize A320 manufactured in Europe. The Chinese have ordered 150 of the jets.

Airbus says only 200 European jobs will be lost, but analysts here are not so sure.

Kieran Daly of Air Transport Intelligence says Airbus has been overstaffed for years.

KIERAN DALY: There’s a general belief that some number of thousands of jobs will go at Airbus in the end. There is a little bit of a feeling that they’ve been storing up some these difficulties over the years, that they are going to have to address that and really cut some costs in the short term.

Airbus’s costs have spiraled because of problems with its new super-jumbo, the A380.

Britain’s Virgin Atlantic airline has just postponed its order for the new plane by four years and extended its leases on a number of Boeing jets.

In London, this is Stephen Beard for Marketplace.

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