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Airbus will build on the strengths of its diversity, innovation and services to remain a global leader in commercial and military aircraft, with the focus on meeting the requirements of a growing global customer base.
This is the outlook of Fabrice Brégier, the new Airbus President and CEO, today succeeding Thomas Enders – who becomes the CEO of parent company EADS.
Brégier has been Airbus’ Chief Operating Officer since 2006, with responsibilities that included overseeing its wide-ranging restructuring and change programme, and guiding the Executive Committee functions in operations, engineering and procurement.
“Since joining Airbus, I have realized the importance of our unique resources – bringing together many more skills and talents than anyone else in the industry,” Brégier told journalists during the company’s Innovation Days briefings at its Toulouse, France headquarters last week. “We have a unique organization and a unique setup, which is a source of pride for me and the people at Airbus.”
He said that while the Airbus business model may seem complex – being built on a structure with four cornerstone European countries, and involving a growing system of international collaboration, as well as an extended risk-sharing network of supplier partners – it brings strength through diversity.
“We always are confronted in a positive way by this diverse environment: Airbus employees represent more than 100 nationalities, which we want to develop further; and Airbus works with 2,000 suppliers across the world as we continue to increase our relationships into other countries,” Brégier explained. “This is a plus, because when there is the same profile across a group, it stops innovating and stops being challenged.”
The intelligent application of innovation also is an important resource at Airbus, with Brégier citing the A320neo (new engine option) as an example.
“Innovation does not always mean developing something all-new, as demonstrated by A320neo,” he said. “When others were saying that a brand new aircraft was the only way to go in the single-aisle market, we understood the needed technologies were not yet mature. By applying the best in innovation to our A320, we have developed a solution that meets customers’ needs, as confirmed by the A320neo’s fantastic success – which I am sure will continue.”
Another Airbus resource is its growing portfolio of services, which ranges from material management and tailored support packages to training solutions, air traffic management modernization and the optimisation of airport operations.
“Our expanding service strategy brings many benefits to our customers and increases the value that Airbus can offer,” Brégier added. “We are increasingly moving toward total package solutions, applying our expertise in operations, support, flight safety and engineering."