A400M accord will lead to 2010 Airbus profit: boss
The head of European aircraft manufacturer Airbus says the company can make a profit again if a final agreement is signed on financing for its much delayed A400M military transport plane.
"If we can get an agreement with clients on needed modifications to the contract for this plane by the end of the year ... then I think we will be profitable in 2010," Thomas Enders told the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung newspaper in an interview to appear on Saturday.
Last year, Airbus suffered an operating loss of 1.37 billion euros (1.75 billion dollars) owing to provisions taken against two key projects, the A400M and the A380 superjumbo jet, which have both delays.
Seven NATO countries that signed up for the A400M, Belgium, Britain, France, Germany, Luxembourg, Spain and Turkey, recenlty reached agreement with EADS, the parent group of Airbus, for additional financing of 5.2 billion euros.
A formal and final agreement has not been signed however.
Budget problems for many of those countries do not pose a threat to the programme, Enders said.
"Air transport is at the top of the list of every clients' military priorities," he stressed.
"We think we will deliver at least 170 aircraft to our seven client countries," he added.
© 2010 AFP