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18 March 2009
18. March 2009 Commercial Aircraft

Airbus executives present a realistic outlook for the civil aviation market


In response to the aviation market's current challenges, Airbus is taking a proactive approach that includes strategies to manage its aircraft deliveries and responses to airlines' evolving financing needs.

Airbus is responding to today's challenging aviation marketplace with proactive steps that include managing its jetliner deliveries and anticipating airlines' financing needs - which will help continue the company as a civil aircraft market leader over the long term.

This was the message of Airbus executives at the recent Geneva International Aviation Forum in Switzerland, where they told attendees that from a manufacturer's perspective, "there is light at the end of the tunnel."

More than 360 delegates from worldwide airlines, banks, export credit agencies, aircraft finance and leasing companies participated in the meeting, which also brought together more than 120 expert speakers.

"It's important for us to give people an accurate and balanced perspective of what's happening," Andrew Shankland, Airbus' vice president of marketing customer affairs, told one of the forum's sessions. "We do not anticipate failure. We at Airbus have a very competitive product line and the systems in place to ensure that will continue to be the case."

In a separate session, Nigel Taylor, the Airbus vice president of customer and structured finance, outlined recent developments in Airbus' support for aircraft financing. He presented Airbus' 2009 action plan in response to the volatile market, and highlighted the company's strategies to manage its aircraft deliveries as well as respond to airlines' financing needs.

"The message from my particular area is that we are working closely with people in the financing industry and encouraging them to be active on aircraft financing due to the great assets that aircraft represent," he said. "The mood is one of cautious optimism."

Laurent Rouaud, the Airbus vice president for market forecast and research, joined a panel discussion on the aviation industry's short- to medium-term forecast. This forum session assessed the financial crisis' impact on demand - and participants reminded delegates that the current effect is far from being the worst in recent history. They pointed out that air travel will remain a growth market, which is expected to double during the next 15 years.

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