Airbus wary of global recession risk, Asia seen as buffer


Airbus, a unit of aerospace group EADS, eyes challenges stemming from a possible global recession brought on by the eurozone debt crisis but Asia, notably China, will provide a buffer for growth, its chief operating officer.

“If there is a big recession there will be less traffic and so the airlines will not generate the cash to buy new aircraft,” Fabrice Bregier, Airbus’s chief operating officer, told Reuters in an interview on the sidelines of the World Economic Forum in Dalian.

But Bregier said Airbus is now better placed compared to the crisis in the 1990s and 2008/09, Reuters reports.
“Now we are in the global market so we don’t sell exclusively to Europe or America and in our order book our biggest share comes from Asia and China plays a big role,” he said.

Bregier said Airbus will deliver its first superjumbo to mainland carrier China Southern Airlines (600029.SS) in a few weeks and the aircraft will be made operational in November.

Earlier in the month Boeing (BA.N), Airbus’s main rival, said China will need 5,000 commercial aircraft worth $600 billion over the next 20 years, a 25 percent increase on the company’s previous estimate.

Airbus, which currently has a market share of 45 percent in China, is due to publish its global forecasts on Sept. 20. Bregier said the firm’s market share in China will exceed 50 percent in the next few years.
(Reporting by Melanie Lee; Editing by Kazunori Takada)
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