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Company Watch - Airbus.

Oct 23, 2006

Airbus has said it plans to make a decision on the future of the A350 XWB in the next weeks. Production problems with the A380 that have led to two-year delays have plunged the planemaker into a crisis and forced it to re-examine its projects and restructure the business. Oct 19, 2006

Airbus Increases A380 Break-even Level. Airbus has raised sharply its break-even point for the A380 superjumbo to take into account delays and cash shortfalls in the mammoth project. The European planemaker told analysts in Hamburg on Thursday that it now needs to sell 420 of the double-decker jets to break even rather than its most recent estimate of 270, parent company EADS said on its web site. In all, it is budgeting for 751 deliveries, it said. So far Airbus has sold 159 superjumbo aircraft. Oct 19, 2006

Airbus Increases A380 Break-even Level. Airbus has raised sharply its break-even point for the A380 superjumbo to take into account delays and cash shortfalls in the mammoth project. Oct 19, 2006

Airbus reported a EUR6.3 billion euro (USD$7.95 billion) cash shortfall from the two-year delivery delays disclosed last month, of which EUR4.8 billion (USD$6.06 billion) are an already reported gross profit shortfall while the rest stems from a net working capital deterioration of EUR1.5 billion (USD$1.9 billion). The new boss of Airbus, EADS French co-Chief Executive Louis Gallois, has said a painful restructuring would be needed to put the planemaker back on track. Oct 19, 2006

Airbus Must Restructure To Save A350. Airbus may have to sell some production sites as part of its restructuring plans, the planemaker's new head said in remarks published on Wednesday. Oct 18, 2006

Air One said it would buy 15 Airbus A320s that would both replace Bulgaria Air's aging 737s and expand its fleet. Seven candidates submitted documents when the tender was launched but only three were selected to continue to the second stage. The deadline for final offers was Oct. 5. Air One and Balkan Hemus Group, which owns Bulgaria's largest private carrier, Hemus Air, submitted bids. BHG bid BGN13 million and committed to invest BGN82 million from 2007 through 2011, local media reported. Oct 19, 2006

Blue Wings confirmed its July order for 20 Airbus A320 family aircraft, according to press reports. The order comprises 16 150-seat A320s and four 210-seat A321s. Oct 18, 2006

Lufthansa To Wait For A350 Detail Before Order. Lufthansa chief executive Wolfgang Mayrhuber said he would wait for more information on Airbus's planned A350 XWB mid-sized aircraft before making a decision on renewing its long-haul fleet. Lufthansa last month announced it was buying 30 Airbus A320-family aircraft with options for 30 more, as well as 5 A330s to offset delays to the A380 superjumbo, of which it has ordered 15. The carrier said then it would make a decision on further long-haul aircraft before the end of the year. Oct 19, 2006

Lufthansa wants to weigh up the A350 against Boeing's 787 Dreamliner, which is set to enter service in 2008, at least 4 years ahead of the rival Airbus model should it go ahead. Lufthansa is Europe's second-biggest airline. Oct 19, 2006

Philippine Airlines said on Friday it wanted to add eight wide-bodied planes to its fleet and would decide by the end of the year whether to buy them from Boeing or Airbus, for delivery from 2008. The Philippine flag carrier will use the new aircraft to expand its routes to the United States and Canada and to return to Europe after an absence of about a decade. He said PAL, Asia's first commercial airline, was considering buying or leasing either Airbus A340-600 or Boeing 777-300ER planes. Oct 20, 2006

Philippine Airlines expansion is on top of the 20 narrow-bodied Airbus planes that PAL is set to acquire, starting this year, for more than USD$840 million. On Friday PAL unveiled the first of the 20 planes, an A319, which it plans to use for domestic and regional flights. PAL officials said the list price of each wide-bodied plane was around USD$250 million. The airline now has nine wide-bodied planes -- five Boeing 747-400s and four Airbus A340-300s -- flying to San Francisco, Los Angeles and Las Vegas in the United States and Vancouver, Canada. PAL flies to 19 domestic and 24 international destinations. It wants to expand its foreign routes to include Seattle and San Diego initially. The airline had a fleet of 32 aircraft at the end of March. PAL, which shut briefly in 1998 due to labor disputes before entering into a 10 year rehabilitation program, is aggressively expanding despite a projection of a global industry loss of USD$1.7 billion this year, volatile fuel costs and only a modest expected rise in global passenger traffic of 4.8 percent. Oct 20, 2006

EADS To Cut HQ Staff By 10 Percent. European aerospace group EADS plans to cut permanent staff levels at its dual headquarters in Munich and Paris by 10 percent next year, a spokesman for the company said on Friday. Oct 20, 2006

Indian Airlines Lands New Airbus Plane. State-run Indian Airlines on Thursday received the first jet of a 43 aircraft order placed with Airbus, the first new purchased planes added to its fleet in 12 years. Oct 19, 2006

Lufthansa officially signed the order for 35 Airbus aircraft it announced last month. The order is valued at more than $3 billion and is for five A330-300s, five A319s, 10 A320s and 15 A321s with options for 30 additional A320 family aircraft. Engine selections have not been made. Deliveries will begin next year, with all five A330s delivered by the end of 2008 to bring the airline's overall A330-300 fleet to 15. LH previously said that the A330s will help it maintain growth projections despite delays to the A380, of which it has 15 on firm order. Oct 16, 2006

Qantas Won't Cancel Airbus A380 Order. Australia's Qantas Airways said it would not cancel its order for Airbus's new A380 superjumbo, despite a two-year delay in receiving its first planes from the order. Oct 19, 2006

Singapore Air Could Cancel Airbus Order. Singapore Airlines could cancel an order for nine Airbus A380 superjumbos if there are excessive delays to its delivery, French newspapers reported on Wednesday. Airbus has not have given Singapore Airlines a precise schedule for all the deliveries, La Tribune said. The order for nine A380s comes on top of a firm order of 10 aircraft signed last year by the airline. Airbus has revealed a string of internal problems which have led it to delay the first deliveries of its superjumbo A380 aircraft. Oct 19, 2006

UPS Evaluating Airbus A380 Order. United Parcel Service has set up a team to evaluate its multi-billion dollar purchase of Airbus A380 freighters, saying all options remain open. The move, confirmed by the company on Friday, is a further sign of doubt among Airbus customers over the A380 superjumbo, which is now two years behind schedule. UPS, whose freighter fleet makes it the world's eighth-largest airline, has 10 A380s on order, worth more than USD$2.5 billion at list prices, with an option to buy 10 more. UPS said on Friday that it received official notification of the latest delay on October 6, pushing back its first A380 delivery to May 2010 from September 2009. Oct 22, 2006

Blue Wings is the customer for five A320s sold by JetBlue Airways last month. JetBlue said the aircraft will be delivered by mid-November. Oct 18, 2006

British Airways issues RFP for long-haul fleet renewal. British Airways yesterday took the first step in its long-awaited long-haul fleet renewal, issuing an RFP to Airbus and Boeing as well as Engine Alliance, General Electric, Rolls-Royce and other key component suppliers. Oct 18, 2006

Editor: Aram Gesar, eMail: edit@AirGuideOnline.com

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Oct 16, 2006
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Date:Oct 23, 2006
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