Bad Day in Toulouse

By Robert Mark on November 7th, 2006

If you’re new to this industry, you might not have a feel for just how quickly the pendulum of fortune in an aviation business can swing.  Look no further than Airbus for a glimpse of pandemonium. 

For the past few months, the bad news seemed to center on how the giant European aircraft builder could possibly pull out of the manufacturing maelstrom surrounding its mega-transport A380, while coping with a whirlwind of revolving-door management changes and an A350 XWB design that’s still blowing in the breeze. 

The answer appears to be pointing at a very unsavory answer.  Airbus can’t pull it out as FedEx’s cancellation of their A380 order today seems to show.  This is not the worst possible scenario for Airbus, but a dwindling aircraft order book does not fair well for the company in the face of the recent announcement of an ever-increasing break even point for the A380. 

Just a few years back, Airbus was on top while Boeing’s destiny was in serious question.  It will happen again. Stay tuned.       



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