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EADS CEO optimistic on Airbus A350, vows to keep Franco-German 'balance'

EADS CEO optimistic on Airbus A350, vows to keep Franco-German 'balance'

EADS co-Chief Executive Thomas Enders said Thursday that the company's troubled Airbus unit would check whether it had the resources to press on with a revamp of the planned A350 mid-sized airliner, but expressed optimism that it would go ahead.
Enders also vowed to maintain a "balance" between Airbus' operations in France and Germany as it draws up a radical restructuring plan.
Airbus announced Tuesday that it will slash costs to help parent company EADS absorb an estimated losses of euro4.8 billion (US$6.1 billion) caused by further delays to its A380 superjumbo program.
After explaining the situation to German officials, Enders said Airbus would also have to look closely at plans to revamp the smaller A350.
"We will discuss intensively in the next weeks whether we have the financial and engineering resources to actually take on this program," Enders said at a news conference.
"You know about the billions we will lose. In this situation we must check whether the conditions are right, but I personally believe in the A350 program," he said.
Enders said Airbus would take months to work out the details of its restructuring plan and promised to consult German politicians before taking any decisions.
He said Airbus expected to cut jobs only outside production. He declined to estimate how many positions would go.
He said Airbus had a "clear commitment to Hamburg and a very clear commitment to the balance" between the German factory and Airbus' headquarters in Toulouse, France.
German politicians had expressed alarm that the restructuring could endanger jobs at the plant in Hamburg and among suppliers.
Economy Minister Michael Glos and Hamburg Mayor Ole von Beust said after Thursday's talks with Enders that they were reassured.


Updated : 2021-03-05 15:59 GMT+08:00