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Airbus, Boeing to continue dominating commercial plane market
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Airbus Chief Operating Officer (COO) Fabrice Bregier Thursday said that the European aircraft manufacturer and its main American rival Boeing "will remain as the two major global players ten years from now" given the challenges of making planes.


Asked about possible delays in the construction of the new Boeing 787 Dreamliner, the Airbus official said "somehow, it makes me happy because it means that ten years from now, Boeing and Airbus, which are at loggerheads in terms of competition, will still be the two major global players in the industry."


"There are ongoing plans in both Russia and China," said Bregier, nevertheless adding that "to develop an aircraft like the A350 or the A380 is an enormous task, which cannot be undertaken overnight, it's unlikely that we will have a new global entrant at this level anytime soon."


The China Aviation Industry Corporation, Russia's Sukhoi and Japan's Mitsubishi Heavy Industries are all in the process of developing small to medium-sized aircraft, while Canada's Bombardier and Brazil's Embraer have carved out a niche for themselves for small business jets.


Regarding any additional relocations, the Airbus COO, who is also a member of the EADS executive committee, reiterated that the company would continue pushing forward and even "enhance" its relocation plans.


"Just like Boeing, all our sales are quoted in dollars. At the moment, the only way to remain competitive is to produce more outside Europe," Bregier said, however indicating that "a relocation of the Toulouse office is not on the cards."


Turning to the issue of funding the construction of A350, Bregier described "the funding situation as very positive," but added that it was necessary to receive "financial support from our states."


"With 787 dreamliner, Boeing, either directly or through its partners, managed to produce the most subsidized aircraft in the world. We have nothing to be ashamed of compared to what the Americans are doing," said Bregier, adding that Airbus had mixed fortunes in 2007.


"On the one hand, the exchange rate between the euro and the dollar will make us suffer in the long run, while on the other hand, we successfully launched the Power8 initiative in 2007 and managed to surpass our goals in terms of cost reductions." said Bregier.


(Xinhua News Agency January 18, 2008)

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