Airbus CEO Eyes BAE Fighter Merger

Monday, 23 July, 2018 - 09:45
London- Asharq Al Awsat

The chief executive of Airbus (AIR.PA) said he was open to a merger of his firm’s jet fighter business with that of BAE Systems (BAES.L), the Sunday Times reported.

Tom Enders was quoted as saying it was time to “seriously look at consolidating and coalescing efforts eventually to one” and that “there’s just no room for three different programs, not even for two”.

His comments raise the prospect of a pan-European military aircraft firm to compete with the United States.

Furthermore, Airbus announced strong commercial aircraft business during the Farnborough Airshow 2018, with its grand total for the year hitting 752 aircraft.

Eric Schulz, Airbus Chief Commercial Officer said: “Our year to date and our end of show commitments confirm the strong market appetite for all our leading aircraft product families, from our newest member, the 100-150 seater A220, complemented by our A320 Family up to 240 seats, seamlessly connected to our widebody family with the all-new A330neo and A350 XWB which span from 250-370 seats. At the top end, our A380 is now opening new opportunities for the second-hand market”.

“I am especially pleased about the strong response that our Widebody Family is enjoying. Over 150 orders and commitments for our A330/A350/A380 offerings in 2018 are a strong endorsement. At Airbus, we are positive about our future – in Single Aisles, Widebodies and the Middle of the Market. We are right there with the right aircraft.”

Also at the Farnborough Airshow, Airbus unveiled a solar-powered solution for stratospheric satellite-like services.

Showing off the Zephyr High Altitude Psuedo-Satellite (HAPS) for the first time, the aerospace giant revealed that a working prototype is currently somewhere in the sky above Arizona.

The Zephyr program is Airbus’ attempt to lead the way in providing communications and image services from a level between conventional satellite systems and smaller unmanned aircraft.

The Zephyr runs exclusively on solar power and holds its altitude – around 70,000 feet – above the weather and other air traffic.

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