Despite the COVID-19, the A220 remains in the plans of Airbus
The canadian Press
MONTREAL — In the turmoil due to the pandemic of COVID-19, Airbus believes, however, that the A200 — the old C-Series of Bombardier — is very well suited to the market once the crisis is over.
Although the program is still in deficit, the european airplane manufacturer, there is always also involved, said Wednesday its president and chief executive, Guillaume Faury, on the occasion of a telephone conference call to discuss results for the first quarter that led to a loss of US $515 million and revenue down 15 %, to 11.5 billion US$.
“I think that the A220 was, is and will remain an excellent product, we are very attached, he stressed. I believe that it is very suitable for the after-crisis of the COVID-19, and I am very happy that we have made this investment two years ago.”
According to Mr. Faury, several airlines could opt for appliances the smaller size once the effects of the pandemic can be mitigated, adding that the models A220 — which can carry 100 to 150 passengers — and the family A321 were well positioned.
Airbus 529 account orders for the ex-C Series and eight aircraft have been delivered to three customers during the first quarter, according to what has been explained during the conference call. However, because of the current situation, we will push for the acceleration of the rate at Mirabel, where it will continue to assemble four aircraft per month. Last year, 48 appliances were out of the factory.
The group’s director of studies in management of enterprises in the aeronautics industry, UQAM, Mehran Ebrahimi, was not surprised by the comments of Mr. Faury. In his opinion, the problems which afflict the family of aircraft 737 Max aircraft, as well as the recent failure of the alliance between the american company and Embraer — owner of the jet family E2, which are direct competitors of the A220 — a benefit to Airbus.
“All the development projects provided for in the acquisition of Embraer aircraft by Boeing to come to compete with the A220 fall in water, explained the expert interview. It is for this reason that Mr. Faury adopts a reassuring tone.”
“I think that the A220 was, is and will remain an excellent product, we are very attached. ”
Guillaume Faury, president and chief executive officer
In addition, passengers may be frightened when the time comes to gather with hundreds of other people in wide-bodied aircraft, which include two corridors in the cabin, said Mr Ebrahimi. This is likely to stimulate the demand for devices of the size of the A220, he estimated.
Airbus, which controls the aircraft family since the summer of 2018, has seen its participation increase to 75 % in the program in February, as Bombardier had decided to leave the adventure. The part of the quebec government — which has injected US $1 billion in 2016 — was increased from 16 % to 25 % without the injection of additional funds.
In spite of his comments to the place of the A220, Mr. Faury recently sent a letter to approximately 135,000 employees in which he pointed out that the survival of the group could be “in play” if no action was made. During the conference call, Wednesday, the big boss of Airbus has estimated to be in the “most severe crisis that the aerospace industry has ever known”.
Furthermore, in a message sent to its members, the international Association of machinists and aerospace workers (IAMAW) has taken over the passage of a note to Airbus Canada to the effect that she would not be able to qualify for the wage subsidy emergency Ottawa. The presence of a government agency — Investment Quebec — in the partnership and the legal form of the limited partnership arising problem.
“We are discussing with the federal government to ensure that we meet all of the criteria” was limited to indicate the spokesperson of Airbus Canada, Marcella Cortellazi, in an e-mail.
At the beginning of the month of April, an agreement valid at least until may 4, had been announced between the union and the employer to allow approximately 1000 of the approximately 2800 workers Mirabel leave forced from the 24 march to reach more than what was offered by the Trudeau government.
In its letter, the IAMAW, recalled that a provision of the agreement stated that there would be no effect to the payments already made to workers in the case where the employer does not qualify it not for the wage subsidy.