Spain in cross-border talks over Airbus future

5th June 2007, Comments 0 comments

5 June 2007 , BLAGNAC, France - Airbus revealed more details of its restructuring program Tuesday as management and unions debated a new cross-border setup designed to prevent a repeat of the delays and problems that have dogged the A380 superjumbo.

5 June 2007

BLAGNAC, France - Airbus revealed more details of its restructuring program Tuesday as management and unions debated a new cross-border setup designed to prevent a repeat of the delays and problems that have dogged the A380 superjumbo.

Two years of accumulated delays to the A380 wiped more than €5 billion (US$6.6 billion) off Airbus' profit forecasts for 2006-2010. Wiring problems and a lack of coordination and communication between German and French engineers have been identified as the main cause of the program's delay.

The remedy: the restructuring plan designed to generate annual cost savings of €2 billion (US$2.6 billion) within three years through job cuts and cost cuts. Details of the plan are being presented to Airbus's European Works Council on Tuesday and to national works councils on Wednesday, with talks centered on a new cross-border organization set up around four centers.

Each center will be based in a different country, with France heading the aerostructure center, Germany in charge of the fuselage and cabin, Britain controlling the wing operations and Spain taking care of the rear of the plane.

"Integration means strengthening the accountability of those responsible," Airbus Chief Executive Louis Gallois said when the plans were first presented in February. "It is not an invitation for centralization or doing everything in-house. On the contrary, we demand an empowerment of those in charge."

The new organization will help the company save money and strengthen leadership, Airbus claims.

For legal reasons, Airbus will retain its national chiefs, but they will no longer have operational control. Finance and human resources, engineering, and procurement will also be centralized.

Airbus is headed for its second straight year of losses in 2007 after taking a charge of €680 million (US$916.78 million) for the job cuts in the first quarter of the year.

[Copyright AP with Expatica]

Subject: Spanish news

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