leelaw
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FI: Exec Changes Fail To Sway Airbus Customers

Mon Jul 10, 2006 6:43 pm

Flight International, 11 July 2006 (Fair Use Excerpt):

Some of Airbus's biggest customers are warning that ousting its top two bosses is not enough to restore the European ariframer's credibility in the wake of delays to the A380 and indecision over how to respond to Boeing's 787.

...Tim Clark, president of the largest A380 customer, Emirates, says: "I'm not sure they go far enough. The deep-rooted problems will not be solved by high-level cosmetics..."

...A senior source within another major Airbus operator says the company's attitude to customers "still lacks focus." Aside from tensions between the two national stakeholders, sources also claim there has been a damaging disconnect between the engineering department and the sales and marketing operation...

...Airbus is still expected to unveil its plans for the redesigned A350 at the Farnborough air show. One senior source at a potential customer airline says the impact of any Airbus announcement will be diluted because "their credibility has been shot to pieces." Airbus's potentially no-win situation is highlighted by another customer, who says that if the airframer does not declare its hand, it will be "seen as a lack of commitment."


The slant of this Flight International article seems to be: the solution to the conundrum facing Airbus is not readily apparent, and the turn-around time for recovery, at least on a public relations level, will not be quick.

[Edited 2006-07-10 12:01:16]
Lex Ancilla Justitiae
 
rpaillard
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RE: FI: Exec Changes Fail To Sway Airbus Customers

Mon Jul 10, 2006 6:53 pm

Hi,

What do they expect less than 2 weeks after the switch?

I suggest to give them extra time to prouve themslefs.

Regards,
Raphaek
FLY SKYTEAM JETS
 
Lumberton
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RE: FI: Exec Changes Fail To Sway Airbus Customers

Mon Jul 10, 2006 6:59 pm

Not good if true:

Quoting Leelaw (Thread starter):
sources also claim there has been a damaging disconnect between the engineering department and the sales and marketing operation...
"When all is said and done, more will be said than done".
 
keesje
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RE: FI: Exec Changes Fail To Sway Airbus Customers

Mon Jul 10, 2006 10:09 pm

All these Airbus threads remind me of a kids soccer game;

everyone running after the ball without any clear strategy or overview

& all wanting to score.

http://www.gelderland.nl/Pics/Algemeen/geldersesportfoto/kluitjesvoetbal%20groot.jpg

IMO Airbus has a huge backlog & production is boosted everywhere, having them outproduce Boeing again in 2006.

The A320E, A320F, A330F, A380-900 and A370 are about to be unleashed to the market.

Combining any Airbus/EADS speculation in big doom scenarios has become a press hype.


Never mind, I always love to watch these games..
"Never mistake motion for action." Ernest Hemingway
 
Tifoso
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RE: FI: Exec Changes Fail To Sway Airbus Customers

Mon Jul 10, 2006 10:16 pm

Quoting Keesje (Reply 9):
The A320E, A320F, A330F, A380-900 and A370 are about to be unleashed to the market.

The A380-900 as well? Can you point me a source/location where there is more information about this?

Thanks
 
eatmybologna
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RE: FI: Exec Changes Fail To Sway Airbus Customers

Mon Jul 10, 2006 10:24 pm

Quoting Keesje (Reply 9):

The A320E, A320F, A330F, A380-900 and A370 are about to be unleashed to the market.

Combining any Airbus/EADS speculation in big doom scenarios has become a press hype.

Keesje, I agree that it looks far from doom for Airbus. It seems like they'll soon be in a good position with many great offerings IMHO as well. Let's just hope Airbus's new management personnel and style don't inhibit these promising new projects and create a log jam.

 pray 


E-M-B
Isn't knowledge more than just the acquisition of information? Shouldn't the acquired information be correct?
 
NAV20
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RE: FI: Exec Changes Fail To Sway Airbus Customers

Mon Jul 10, 2006 10:26 pm

Quoting Keesje (Reply 9):
All these Airbus threads remind me of a kids soccer game;

everyone running after the ball without any clear strategy or overview

Coincidence, Keesje. Oddly enough, I had a fairly distinguished career coaching junior soccer until my sons grew up.

You remind me of the sort of angry parents who used to square up to me at tournaments. "Your kids play too well, they keep beating our kids, coaches like you should be banned........"

I'd agree with you that '....everyone running after the ball without any clear strategy or overview' exactly describes badly-coached junior soccer - and Airbus' business posture at the moment. But don't blame people like Leelaw - or me. We're just the messengers, not the message itself.
"Once you have flown, you will walk the earth with your eyes turned skywards.." - Leonardo da Vinci
 
katekebo
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RE: FI: Exec Changes Fail To Sway Airbus Customers

Mon Jul 10, 2006 10:56 pm

Quoting Keesje (Reply 9):
everyone running after the ball without any clear strategy or overview

Nice description of Airbus management at this moment
 
SeeTheWorld
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RE: FI: Exec Changes Fail To Sway Airbus Customers

Mon Jul 10, 2006 11:06 pm

Quoting Rpaillard (Reply 1):
What do they expect less than 2 weeks after the switch?

I suggest to give them extra time to prouve themslefs.

They are the current and potential customers. It's irrelevant whether they are being reasonable or not. What's relevant is how they feel about the situation, and Airbus (and Boeing) ought to pay close attention.
 
DAYflyer
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RE: FI: Exec Changes Fail To Sway Airbus Customers

Mon Jul 10, 2006 11:20 pm

Quoting Keesje (Reply 9):
IMO Airbus has a huge backlog & production is boosted everywhere, having them outproduce Boeing again in 2006.

The A320E, A320F, A330F, A380-900 and A370 are about to be unleashed to the market.

Combining any Airbus/EADS speculation in big doom scenarios has become a press hype

Nice defelection, but it didnt fool anyone. Airbus, while not in dire straights of imminent doom, are having very seriously difficulty and this article from FI relects that the customers are in fact PISSED OFF.

They have a very hard road ahead of them to rebuild the confidence the potential customers had in them. The customers have said so themselves, as stated in the posted article.
One Nation Under God
 
Stratofortress
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RE: FI: Exec Changes Fail To Sway Airbus Customers

Mon Jul 10, 2006 11:48 pm

Ignoring Airbus' problems and pretending that all is fine just because there is a huge backlog is silly. Boeing had a huge backlog when they got in trouble back in the late 90's, and by the time they recovered Airbus was winning the sales race.

Leelaw started a very legitimate thread, and just because A cheerleaders dont like it, does not mean that it is not true. In fact, all he did was quote FI for the most part.

Keesje, while you are an asset to this forum and I do enjoy reading most of your posts, sometime you need to step back and honestly assess your "everything is rosy" opinion of Airbus. It's OK to like A or B, but blindly ignoring legitimate problems at either company undermines ones credibility.
Forever New Frontiers
 
bells
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RE: FI: Exec Changes Fail To Sway Airbus Customers

Tue Jul 11, 2006 12:19 am

Here's the link to the main story that Leelaw is referring to:

http://www.flightglobal.com/Articles...fail+to+sway+Airbus+customers.html
 
leelaw
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RE: FI: Exec Changes Fail To Sway Airbus Customers

Tue Jul 11, 2006 12:29 am

Quoting Bells (Reply 24):
Here's the link to the main story that Leelaw is referring to:

Thanx for correcting the erroneous hyperlink in my Reply #21, I obviously forgot to check the link before I completed the post...my bad, too much copying/pasting and trying to converse on the phone at the same time.
Lex Ancilla Justitiae
 
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Stitch
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RE: FI: Exec Changes Fail To Sway Airbus Customers

Tue Jul 11, 2006 12:40 am

I imagine some of Airbus' current and potential customers are quickly reaching the "decision point" as to what they buy to expand and replace their current widebody twin and four-engine fleets.

Right now, their only viable option is Boeing because the A330 will be at a significant operating disadvantage to the 787 and the A350 is currently being revised again. And the A340 is currently at an operating disadvantage to the 777 (and future models of the 787) and unless Airbus does indeed launch the A370, they won't have anything to offer in competition.

And for those carriers who have waited for Airbus, they know that if they end up going with Boeing, they will have handed a competitive advantage to their peers who will be operating the 787 and 777 earlier then they can. So it seems understandable they want Airbus to finalize their plans *now* so they can compare "apples to apples" and decide which way works best for them.
 
rpaillard
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RE: FI: Exec Changes Fail To Sway Airbus Customers

Tue Jul 11, 2006 1:20 am

Quoting SeeTheWorld (Reply 8):
What's relevant is how they feel about the situation, and Airbus (and Boeing) ought to pay close attention.

Of course, Airbus should pay attention. And I also agree that customers feeling IS important. But I'm far for sure that the new team had yet the time to meet and share with customers, including top level ones! Stop a say hello, for sure. Commitment about Airbus futur, not yet.

Regards,
Raphael
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Adria
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RE: FI: Exec Changes Fail To Sway Airbus Customers

Tue Jul 11, 2006 2:54 am

well comparing to all the Boeing management changes and affairs in the past, this one is not so big. And it really isn't such a big deal as some a.net members want it to be. Every company has it's management changes at some point and it is better to do it now when the company has a good backlog and is the No.1 in the industry, than to wait to long. Airbus cannot fill for chapter 11 if they are in trouble.
 
SeeTheWorld
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RE: FI: Exec Changes Fail To Sway Airbus Customers

Tue Jul 11, 2006 3:09 am

Quoting Rpaillard (Reply 15):
Of course, Airbus should pay attention. And I also agree that customers feeling IS important. But I'm far for sure that the new team had yet the time to meet and share with customers, including top level ones! Stop a say hello, for sure. Commitment about Airbus futur, not yet.

I'm not sure what your point is, but I think you missed my point. The fact is, when your potential/current customers are complaining it's important, regardless of whether it's fair or not. So, they've made a few necessary leadership changes, that's a step in the right direction, but that doesn't automatically grant you a honeymoon. For Airbus, the blessing in disguise is the complaining is unlikely to cease until meaningful issues are addressed - and clearly they must be addressed so that Airbus can continue to be a strong aircraft manufacturer.
 
Rbgso
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RE: FI: Exec Changes Fail To Sway Airbus Customers

Tue Jul 11, 2006 3:12 am

Question: Airbus currently sells all the A330s they can build, correct? Would it be possible for them to increase production significantly in an effort to give a short term cash and profit boost? I'm guessing it wouldn't be too expensive to ramp this up, and it would help airlines that need planes now or in the near future. The 330 is by most accounts an outstanding aircraft, and while it may not offer the technical advancements of the 350 or 787, it still does very well today.
 
coa747
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RE: FI: Exec Changes Fail To Sway Airbus Customers

Tue Jul 11, 2006 4:20 am

The A320E isn't going to be unleashed anywhere until 2009 at the earliest. The A330F also isn't available yet. The A380-900 won't make it off the drawing board unless A380-800 sales are revived and the A370 is still a mystery to all? So I think it is very premature to tak about an Airbus ressurgance in the market place.

One they have a lot of PR damage to repair with customers as evident by the comments of Tim Clark. Second they have a cash flow issue due to the A380 delay and the A350 redesign. Third they reported only 117 orders for the first half of the year compared to over 400 for Boeing. None of the planes you mentioned will help the bottom line right now in 2006. There current offerings are the A320, A330, A340 & A380 and the only one that is selling is the A320 series. If your project ahead a few years this will translate into fewer deleveries for Airbus than Boeing. All the aftershocks of these series of miss steps by Airbus are not likely to be fully felt for several more years. The biggest mystery of all is how much market share Airbus will have lost to Boeing with the A350 program as its EIS slips further and further back.
 
mowtoib
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RE: FI: Exec Changes Fail To Sway Airbus Customers

Tue Jul 11, 2006 5:01 am

Making history is not an easy job. They've done a lot already and I hope they do have enough common sense not to destroy it. Good luck, Airbus!  Wink
 
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glideslope
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RE: FI: Exec Changes Fail To Sway Airbus Customers

Tue Jul 11, 2006 5:12 am

The comments have nothing to do with current backlogs and such. They are directed squarely at the heart of EADS/Airbus Operational Structure. This is nothing new.

Airbus is a paralyzed bureaucratic monster. Mainly due to the continued EU approach. You know, let's all have a "group hug."

Too bad really. Boeing needs the competition. Things are getting worse by the day.

 Sad
To know your Enemy, you must become your Enemy.” Sun Tzu
 
rpaillard
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RE: FI: Exec Changes Fail To Sway Airbus Customers

Tue Jul 11, 2006 5:18 am

Hi,

I have your point but ...

Quoting SeeTheWorld (Reply 19):
that doesn't automatically grant you a honeymoon

You are right. I just think that honeymoon is not even started. Clearly, the move made by Airbus received mitigate welcome, to say the least. And I do understand that some customers could be sceptical. We don't even have yet a "direction" from the management. Is it good news? I don't thing so. But it's also too early to say the opposite.

Quoting SeeTheWorld (Reply 19):
and clearly they must be addressed

I second that. Can the new team do that? I hope. The big hope is the work done by M. Gallois at the "SNCF". It's just amazing.

Regards,
Raphael
FLY SKYTEAM JETS
 
Adria
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RE: FI: Exec Changes Fail To Sway Airbus Customers

Tue Jul 11, 2006 5:41 am

Quoting Glideslope (Reply 26):
Airbus is a paralyzed bureaucratic monster. Mainly due to the continued EU approach. You know, let's all have a "group hug."

ok you'll have to explain that statement...
 
skgsjulax
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RE: FI: Exec Changes Fail To Sway Airbus Customers

Tue Jul 11, 2006 6:04 am

This additional comment below by Clark is very telling. Mr. Forgeard really derailed Airbus in recent months. Humbert was clearly the victim and the additional uncertainty stemming from his replacement might be worse than all the other problems.

"...While Clark believes the departure of EADS co-chief executive Forgeard was “inevitable”, he thinks Humbert, his successor as Airbus chief executive, was a victim of the “political labyrinth” existing between the French and German elements of EADS..."


By the way, does anyone know who was the "father" of the A350 in its original form (ie an updated A330? Humbert or Forgeard?

Quoting Glideslope (Reply 26):
Too bad really. Boeing needs the competition.

Glideslope speaks the truth (though the "group hug" comment was a tad too harsh me thinks) when it comes to competition. I believe that's the reason other airlines are containing their anger with the A380 delays: they cannot stand the pain of a Boeing dominance in the 777 and (at least for a period of time) 787 size ranges. The imperium at Boeing is likely to get out of hand soon.
Omnium curiositatum explorator
 
astuteman
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RE: FI: Exec Changes Fail To Sway Airbus Customers

Tue Jul 11, 2006 6:29 am

Quoting SKGSJULAX (Reply 29):
I believe that's the reason other airlines are containing their anger with the A380 delays:

It couldn't be that they still actually want the A380 then....?
 
kanebear
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RE: FI: Exec Changes Fail To Sway Airbus Customers

Tue Jul 11, 2006 6:40 am

Quoting SKGSJULAX (Reply 29):
Glideslope speaks the truth (though the "group hug" comment was a tad too harsh me thinks) when it comes to competition. I believe that's the reason other airlines are containing their anger with the A380 delays: they cannot stand the pain of a Boeing dominance in the 777 and (at least for a period of time) 787 size ranges. The imperium at Boeing is likely to get out of hand soon.

Rest assured that should this happen the pendulum will reverse it's course and swing back to the Airbus side. I don't think it will, at least in the near-mid term. Just a few years ago we were questioning Boeing's continued existence. Institutional memories aren't that short.
 
jacobin777
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RE: FI: Exec Changes Fail To Sway Airbus Customers

Tue Jul 11, 2006 6:51 am

Quoting Astuteman (Reply 30):

It couldn't be that they still actually want the A380 then....?

EK really want their A380's!!!  Smile
"Up the Irons!"
 
skgsjulax
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RE: FI: Exec Changes Fail To Sway Airbus Customers

Tue Jul 11, 2006 12:04 pm

Quoting Astuteman (Reply 30):
It couldn't be that they still actually want the A380 then....?

Of course they do. The cost of infrastructure alone is too big for the customers to cancel the orders; the order cancellation speculation is only valid for a couple of very specific cases IMO. And for most of the current A380 customers the airplane (if it achieves anywhere near its promised performance) is an important plan of their route and fleet planning.

That doesnt mean, however, that they are not angry, very angry. And angry customers are very bad publicity, especially when you need 150+ additional sales to "break even" plus launch customers for a new type.
Omnium curiositatum explorator
 
NAV20
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RE: FI: Exec Changes Fail To Sway Airbus Customers

Tue Jul 11, 2006 4:14 pm

Quoting PolymerPlane (Reply 28):
Yeah, French and German governments will give them money to survive

Quite likely, PolymerPlane. Except that money alone won't solve the problem. To survive in the medium-term, Airbus has to come up with designs that at least match the 787 and 777. And, ideally, it needs to do it yesterday.
"Once you have flown, you will walk the earth with your eyes turned skywards.." - Leonardo da Vinci
 
Joni
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RE: FI: Exec Changes Fail To Sway Airbus Customers

Tue Jul 11, 2006 4:14 pm

Quoting PolymerPlane (Reply 28):

Yeah, French and German governments will give them money to survive, just like they did when Airbus started and every airbus model afterwards.

Corporate bailouts are done when deemed necessary. Airbus isn't even remotely near needing any kind of bailout, like for example the one engineered to rescue Lockheed in the US.
 
leelaw
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RE: FI: Exec Changes Fail To Sway Airbus Customers

Tue Jul 11, 2006 6:51 pm

Quoting Keesje (Reply 3):
IMO Airbus has a huge backlog & production is boosted everywhere, having them outproduce Boeing again in 2006.

The A320E, A320F, A330F, A380-900 and A370 are about to be unleashed to the market.

Combining any Airbus/EADS speculation in big doom scenarios has become a press hype.

In response, I'd direct you towards this week's editorial in FI, "Trouble and Streiff," the commentator is quite insightful about the challenges facing Airbus and sums-up with this observation:

...Airbus’s order bonanza over the past few years and the high-profile debut of the A380 made it appear as if Airbus – and Forgeard – could do no wrong. But soaring sales and test aircraft soaring over air shows were hiding many sins. After moving to EADS last July, Forgeard continued to keep a firm control over Airbus and his fellow EADS board members and investors in the dark over Airbus’s emerging problems.

The reason EADS’s shares have fallen so sharply, despite a business that is extremely sound in other areas and growing in the right places (witness the largely overshadowed coup by its Eurocopter and US businesses in winning the US Army’s light utility helicopter contest last week), is that the markets believed the spin from Toulouse.

The reality check and humility coming out of Munich, Paris and Toulouse is welcome. But, for many, it will have come too late.


http://www.flightglobal.com/Articles...01/207765/Trouble+and+Streiff.html
Lex Ancilla Justitiae
 
Adria
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RE: FI: Exec Changes Fail To Sway Airbus Customers

Tue Jul 11, 2006 6:58 pm

Quoting PolymerPlane (Reply 28):
Yeah, French and German governments will give them money to survive, just like they did when Airbus started and every airbus model afterwards.

funny because the 787 has got government "support"...and even Japan is kind of helping out so you have a multinational "subsidy".
 
keesje
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RE: FI: Exec Changes Fail To Sway Airbus Customers

Tue Jul 11, 2006 7:14 pm

Quoting Leelaw (Reply 31):
In response, I'd direct you towards this week's editorial in FI,

Thnx interesting article. And I thought it was all about an A380 wiring problem, ignorant me..
"Never mistake motion for action." Ernest Hemingway
 
Ruscoe
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RE: FI: Exec Changes Fail To Sway Airbus Customers

Tue Jul 11, 2006 7:52 pm

Quoting Keesje (Reply 3):
IMO Airbus has a huge backlog & production is boosted everywhere, having them outproduce Boeing again in 2006.

An indisputable fact. It is this backlog hich may buy enough time for Airbus to save themselves.

It really concerns me that despite the golden opportunity to do so, EADS/Airbus have not solved the structural problems which got them into trouble in the first place. It seems there are 3 choices;

1. Continue with the present EADS subsidiary structure. This seems to be the preferred option but will inevitably get Airbus into trouble again.
2. Integrate as a Division of Airbus
3. EADS to float off Airbus as a separate entity. This would provide all the money which is needed to get back in the game, and hopefully free up a lot of the political ties, but it won't happen, because without Airbus, EADS is not much of a Company.
I favour option 3, but in the real world you have to go with what is achievable. Consequently I think no 2 is the one most likely to succeed. That way those who control these things would still have 2 Chairpersons and 2 CEO's and the Airbus CEO would become a division head.

Whatever structural change in the future, if any, is there anyone who does not believe that the bipartite management structure has too go?

Ruscoe