EADS says A400M needs orders outside Europe: paper


EADS’s delayed A400M military airlifter depends on sales outside Europe for earnings, the aerospace and defence group’s Chief Executive Louis Gallois told a German newspaper.

“One thing is clear. We will only make money with the A400M through exports,” Gallois said in an interview with daily Die Welt, provided to Reuters before publication on Wednesday.

Gallois said he hoped that more European NATO governments would follow the example of Germany and France and agree to a six-month respite to allow EADS to deal with development setbacks.

“We hope that (the German and French governments) will now convince their counterparts in the remaining five countries Belgium, Britain, Luxembourg, Spain and Turkey to extend the deadline until the end of the year,” he was quoted as saying.

Gallois repeated remarks made in May in an interview with L’Express magazine that the A4004 would likely fly for the first time around the end of this year “with a margin of a few weeks.”

The A400M is Europe‘s biggest military project and seen as crucial to EADS’ efforts to reduce its dependence on Airbus passenger jets.

Seven European countries have ordered 180 of the aircraft, South Africa eight and Malaysia four.