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Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Airbus to Speed Globalization of Maintenance

Airbus announced today that it lagged Boeing Co. in booking new orders last year by a total of 72 civilian jets, but overtook its arch-rival on deliveries – a trend that’s prompting Airbus to hasten the globalization of its maintenance and production processes.

The European aircraft OEM reported a record 1,341 net orders for 2007, compared with 1,413 for U.S.-based Boeing. Passenger jets accounted for the bulk of Airbus’ orders. Airbus racked up another record in deliveries, beating Boeing 453 to 441 in 2007.

"This is a record year," said Airbus Chief Executive Thomas Enders at a press conference. "Now it becomes a question of how we manage the backlog." Accordingly, Airbus plans to continue what he termed the company’s "internationalization" by shifting production and maintenance abroad.

Boeing is facing chronic difficulties with its hugely popular 787 Dreamliner, which has already been hit with two delays. Boeing has been riding high on the strength of Dreamliner orders, but the manufacturing giant recently stunned the aviation and investment communities by announcing that supply chain and assembly line problems had forced it to delay flight testing until March. Click here for related story

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