Aviation news analysis
50 SKY SHADES - World aviation news

Airbus offers overtime to workers as it battles to get A350 back on track

Download: Printable PDF Date: 20 Aug 2016 15:00 category:
Publisher:
Airbus offers overtime to workers as it battles to get A350 back on track - Manufacturer publisher
Krista Kuznecova
Country: France Aircraft: Airplanes
Source: The Telegraph

As well as its wine and cheese, France is also famed for its traditional August month off, when much of the workforce simply shuts down and heads to the beach.

It’s a brave – or perhaps desperate – company that’s willing to challenge French workers’ assumption that they get to spend a month en vacances but now Airbus, one of the country’s most high-profile businesses, is taking a stand

Rather than simply bid bon voyage to its staff at the start of August, the pan-European plane-maker has offered overtime to workers at its Toulouse base as it battles to get production of its new A350XWB airliner on track.

A350

The company has set itself a target of producing 50 of its twin-engine jets and is offering additional work to the 1,500 staff on the A350 production line as it hopes to take on rival Boeing’s similar sized 787 airliner, which came into service two years earlier.

Hitting production targets on the A350, which seats 270 to 370 passengers and starts at $270m (£207m) for the smallest model, is crucial for Airbus after the programme ran into serious delays earlier this year.

Work fell behind after suppliers of cabin fittings and toilets let Airbus down. Chief executive Fabrice Bregier singled out subcontractor Zodiac as a major cause of delays, using Airbus’s annual conference to publicly shame the company over its performance and saying it had been dropped as a supplier to another of company’s jets.

Airbus boss Fabrice Bregier

Aviation experts are eagerly watching output of the A350, with Airbus’s own figures showing it delivered 15 in the year to the end of July, with unofficial sources saying another three had since rolled out of the Toulouse plant.

This means the company will have to significantly accelerate production rates to meet its target and avoid penalties for missing delivery slots.

“Airbus has made commitments to airlines and is pulling out all the stops so it doesn’t face late delivery costs,” said Howard Wheeldon, an independent aviation analyst. “Yes, overtime is an additional cost but it’s probably cheaper than delivering a plane late.” 

Saj Ahmad, analyst at Strategic Aero Research, added: “That Airbus is breaking its own norms by working through August points to desperation to get the A350 on track. There’s only so much blame it can peddle to suppliers – if they were the true pacing item, then why bother building aeroplanes through the summer that could be missing parts?

“It would be a disaster for Airbus to miss its 50-aircraft target. The costs of the A350 programme aren’t coming down and delayed deliveries mean airlines seek compensation, so it’s a doubly whammy.” 

Mr Ahmad added that if Airbus misses deliveries it could also drive customers to rival Boeing, which is increasing the rate at which it produces competitors to the A350. 

A spokesman for Airbus said: “We have set up a timetable adaptation plan for employees at the A350 final assembly line in Toulouse in order to maintain sufficient resources during the summer season and to support the manufacturing flow. This plan involves the introduction of overtime.”

 

 



Loading comments for Airbus offers overtime to workers as it battles to get A350 back on track...


Recommended

Airbus, Delta Air Lines partner on Skywise open-data platform and predictive maintenance services

• As a recognized leader in innovation, Delta Air Lines partnered with Airbus to enhance Skywise • Through the agreement an additional 400 Delta aircraft will be connected to Skywise...

Field International shows trust to FL Technics: exclusive representation in almost entire Eurasia

MRO Europe, Amsterdam: FL Technics, a global provider of integrated aircraft maintenance, repair and overhaul services, has announced signing a cooperation agreement with an independent global enginee...

Best-Selling Pilatus PC-12 NG also Tops Customer Service Ranking for 17th Consecutive Year

Market demand remains strong for the Swiss single-engine turboprop, as the 1,600th PC-12 enters service and readers of Professional Pilot magazine rated its customer service tops in turboprops. Pilatu...

Rostec to prolong life of engine components for MS-21 six-fold

United Engine Corporation (UEC) and the All-Russian Institute of Light Alloys (VILS), both forming part of Rostec, will prolong the life of the PD-14 engine by using a new heat-res...

Seabury Capital Group announced the successful acquisition of a leased portfolio of 21 aircraft by Zephyrus Aviation Capital

Seabury Capital Group LLC (“Seabury Capital”) announced its role as sole investment banking advisor on the successful acquisition of a leased portfolio of 21 aircraft by Zephyrus Avia...