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Headwinds At Airbus Image Credit: Cruising Heights
Headwinds At Airbus Image Credit: Cruising Heights

Headwinds At Airbus

Never in the last ten years has the European planemaker faced so much uncertainly at the top. The last time such a crisis took place was the A380 crisis of 2006. As it was then, Airbus tackled the problem with a substantial overhaul of its senior management.

Old-timers at Europe’s premier planemaker Airbus must be remembering the musical chairs that occurred in 2006 following the A380 crisis. There were delays in the production of the Super Jumbo leading to a €2bn hit on earnings over the next three years. And heads were rolling in quick succession.

Fast forward to the end of 2017. Fresh from the victorious tie-up with Bombardier, Airbus CEO Tom Enders faced what, according to Aviation Week and Space Technology, “could prove to be the death blow for Airbus’ poorly selling A380 wide body jet”. On December 14, came the explosive shot: Enders announced that he would step down in April 2019, even though he would be only 60 years old. Was the resignation linked to Airbus’ entanglement in a corruption scandal about the alleged illegal use of middlemen in commercial aircraft sales campaigns?

Whatever the reasons for Enders stepping down, a power struggle ensued resulting in a transformative leadership change: the final result of reverberations at Airbus over the alleged bribery scandal. Of course, some collateral damage did also take place.

The key question that was on everyone’s lips was: After Enders, who? The answer came in the appointment of French engineer Guillaume Faury. Airbus Board Chairman Denis Ranque praised Faury’s “global outlook, extensive operational experience, strong personal values and straightforward leadership style” in a statement. Appa


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