Airbus UK President Calls Brexit a ‘Wake-up Call’

By Woodrow Bellamy III | June 24, 2016
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[Avionics Magazine 06-24-2016] Airbus Group U.K. President Paul Kahn released a statement following the decision on Thursday by British voters to exit the European Union (EU), calling the move a "wake-up call for Europe." 
Airbus A320neo. Photo: Airbus.
"We respect the decision taken by the British people, which should be seen as a wake-up call for Europe and as a catalyst for change. We will work constructively with the U.K. government to minimize any impact on our operations. While we are disappointed, clearly we will continue to support our workforce and operate our U.K. facilities. We will study the longer term consequences of this decision on the competitive environment," Kahn said in a statement released by the Airbus Group Friday. 
While the impact on the European and global aviation industry from the United Kingdom's exit from the EU remains to be seen, both Kahn and other Airbus Group executives have already expressed disappointment with the decision. In April, Airbus Group sent a letter to it's employees noting that it makes "good economic sense" for the U.K. to remain in the EU to maintain its ability to trade freely and recruit workers. 
Airbus employs 15,000 workers at 25 sites throughout the U.K., producing airframe components for the Original Equipment Manufacturer's (OEM) commercial and military aircraft types.

"We firmly believe that it makes good economic sense to stay inside the EU which has helped make the company the global success story it is today. Apart from anything else, we simply don't know what 'out' looks like … our business model is entirely based on our ability to move products, people and ideas around Europe without any restriction and we do not believe leaving will increase the competitiveness of our British based operations. We believe that the U.K. remaining active in reforming the EU can improve our position, and as a commercial business that operates in a globally competitive environment we need to maintain every competitive advantage in the U.K. we have," Airbus Group said in the April letter to its employees. 

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