Airliner makers bound to tie up: EADS head

29th April 2011, Comments 0 comments

The six big global airliner manufacturers are condemned to make alliances because there will not be enough business to go round, the head of European giant EADS which owns Airbus said on Friday.

"In future there will be six big companies in the market for commercial aircraft," EADS executive chairman Louis Gallois told the Spanish newspaper Expansion.

He named the big six as the European Aeronautic Defence and Space Company (EADS), US firm Boeing, Comac of China, Embraer of Brazil, Canadian company Bombardier and UAC of Russia.

"Demand will not be enough for all of them. This will oblige them to make alliances," he said.

"The competition to tie up strategic agreements between these giants will be even tougher and more aggressive than the competition between them to sell their products."

In March, Bombardier and Comac signed a draft agreement which could lead them to work together on their respective programmes for medium-range aircraft.

Such alliances could lead their suppliers to do likewise. "That could be a good step. There are too many of them and an alliance would strengthen them in an increasingly competitive world, but it's up to them," Gallois said.

Gallois, whose time in the job runs out in a year's time, did not rule out the possibility that his successor might be neither French nor German, in contrast to the practice so far.

"Why not? The right people must be put in the right jobs and in many cases its a Spaniard," he said.

Spain controls 5.5 percent of EADS. France and Germany each control 22.2 percent.

"The group must forget its nationalistic instincts when the management team is formed," he said.

© 2011 AFP

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