State of the Airlines

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Besieged at EADS/Airbus

As long as we are talking about Airbus and EADS today lets step back and try to summarize all the fronts they are battling on:
  • A380 Program: Delays along with recent departures of key individuals from the program

  • The less-than-amicable departure of long time partner BAE. BAE cites the A380 progam as a contributing factor in the decision to sell off their 20% interest

  • Depressed stock value (30% decrease since the beginning of the year) thanks in part to the A380 delays and unknowns with the A350 re-design.

  • The unexpected purchase of 5% of EADS stock by Russian investors and increasing pressure by Russia to gain influence at EADS. All this thanks to the aforementioned depressed stock value.

  • A350 redesign project due to demands from their customers that they do something to with their current long range aircraft product line. The project is still on the drawing board and only Aeroflot is committing to the aircraft so far.

  • Heavy competition from Boeing's 787 drawing interest and orders away from future A350 variants.
  • Increasing interest in the upcoming Boeing 747-8 as a alternative to the A380 causing airlines around the world to re-think their long term strategy.

  • EADS and Airbus have their hand full but I am not counting them out. Airbus has proven to be a very shrewd competitor to Boeing and has made some good decisions in the past. Unfortunate for them that several issues have coalesced at the same time forcing them to divide their efforts. Stay tuned...

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