Wow, AirBusted

Wednesday, February 28, 2007
From EU Referendum:

As expected, Airbus Chief Executive Louis Gallois yesterday announced his much delayed "Power8" plans to restructure his ailing company, shedding 10,000 jobs in the process. The jobs comprise 5,000 directly employed staff and 5,000 workers contracted from other firms and redundancies will be phased over the next four years. Additionally, Airbus intends to sell all or part of six factories.
I've read of the history of boom and bust in the aircraft industry, of Boeing going from rags to riches to rags to riches, laying off the work force, then hiring them back. It looks like Airbus hasn't escaped this cycle. It will be veeery interesting to see if the politics can be made to work. Politics is an uneeded headache in an already tough business, especially international politics. Maybe state subsidies aren't always a plus.

4 comments:

David said...

"Maybe state subsidies aren't always a plus."

In the long run---they usually prove to be disastrous. State run businesses ultimately turn the customer into a secondary consideration. The primary people who must be pleased are the politicians and bureaucrats. Boeing is a far more competitive entity.

Rick Ballard said...

Chuck,

I read but cannot find another article on the 380 which stated that Airbus is being extraordinarily slow in issuing the final fuel performance guarantees. It appears that the 'maiden' flights around the world showed consumption to be significantly higher than the initial promises.

That could lead to additional cancellations if they don't cure it.

Skookumchuk said...

Up here in Boeingland, I've listened to several engineers tell me their take, which has been interesting though upon reflection not surprising. Their speculation was: 1. The A380 was sold before it was fully designed, which they see as a hazard in many firms, not just Airbus. 2. Aircraft tend to add weight during their development, as customers demand more goodies and as things grow more complex. Then the plane goes on a diet, which inevitably involves making tough choices. "I am sorry, but we can't use your widget". If you can make these decisions, you are better off than if you can't. 3. Too many statist cooks, which adds to the above.

Around Christmas, my friends expressed a "there but for the grace of God..." attitude, in that the 787 was about 2% overweight - in contrast to the A380 at about 5.5% if memory serves - but then, the 787 hasn't flown yet, so the weight should be easier to shave off than when having to make retroactive changes to a plane already in production. The Lockheed Martin F35 was in a similar situation, which was also happily reversed. I think Air and Space had an article about that saga a few months back. The issue is not whether or not the A380 has problems, but rather how quickly the organization can solve them.

richard mcenroe said...

Isn't it neat how the EU is trumpeting the manfufacture of these air barns while imposing carbon penalties on people who want to fly?