In this 2015 photo, an Airbus A380 takes off for its demonstration flight at the Paris Air Show in Le Bourget airport. (AP Photo/Francois Mori, file)

In this 2015 photo, an Airbus A380 takes off for its demonstration flight at the Paris Air Show in Le Bourget airport. (AP Photo/Francois Mori, file)

Airbus CEO sees no short-term benefit from Boeing Max woes

The European planemaker’s competing A320 is sold out through 2025.

By David McHugh / Associated Press

FRANKFURT, Germany — Airbus’ chief executive said Thursday that his company sees no short-term benefit from Boeing’s troubles with its grounded 737 Max because the competing A320 is sold out years ahead.

CEO Guillaume Faury said that safety was a shared concern in the industry. He made the remarks at the company’s earnings news conference after it reported a loss of 1.36 billion euros ($1.48 billion) in 2019 because of a multibillion-euro bribery settlement with authorities in three countries.

The company otherwise saw a record year of aircraft deliveries and increased its dividend.

Operating earnings without one-time burdens rose 19% to 6.9 billion euros. The company said Thursday it would propose a dividend of 1.80 euros per share, up 9% from 2017. Revenues rose 11% to 70.5 billion euros as the company ramped up production of its A320 twinjet.

Faury called it “a strong underlying financial performance” while acknowledging that “of course we cannot be satisfied” with the net loss.

Asked how much Airbus had benefited from Boeing’s troubles, he said that “it might look like a paradox, but in the short term we do not benefit from the situation with a competitor.”

“It has to do with safety, and safety is paramount for the industry. This is one of the things we all have in common.”

He added that “we cannot take benefits on the 320. We are sold out through 2025 roughly and therefore we cannot step in to offset the needs of airline customers that will not be fulfilled” due to the grounding of the Max.

Airbus saw deliveries of 863 commercial aircraft, up from 800 in the year before. The company boosted orders to 768 as competitor Boeing stumbled because of the grounding of the 737 Max jet after two crashes that killed 346 people. Boeing’s net orders were negative because of cancellations and the bankruptcy of a large customer, India’s Jet Airways, and came in at minus 87.

The large net loss reflected 3.6 billion euros set aside to cover a criminal settlement with authorities in the U.S., France and Britain over past corrupt practices. The company also lost 1.2 billion euros because of troubles with its A400M military transport program and 221 million euros because the German government suspended export licenses to Saudi Arabia through March.

Airbus is legally headquartered in the Netherlands but has its main base in Toulouse, France, and factories there and in Hamburg, Germany, Seville, Spain, Tianjin, China, and Mobile, Alabama, in the U.S. It also makes military aircraft, helicopters and satellites.

Talk to us

More in Herald Business Journal

Snohomish County manufacturers sew 27,000 masks for nurses

Two Mukilteo businesses, and others around the county, have shifted their focus to fight COVID-19.

During this outbreak, let’s be warriors

Amid the coronavirus pandemic, it’s time for a renewed focus on making a difference.

Trump uses wartime act but GM, Ventec are already moving fast

The carmaker is working with the Bothell company to produce up to 10,000 ventilators per month.

Comments welcome on the proposed Lake Stevens Costco

The company’s permit to fill wetlands is under review. Public comment is open until April 12.

Trump stops deal for Bothell’s Ventec to produce ventilators

The project would have had the company producing more than 1,000 ventilators a month.

As Boeing shuts down, an employee’s family is left to grieve

To his family, Elton Washington is much more than a statistic in the growing COVID-19 pandemic.

Paine Field passenger volume plummets; flight changes likely

Despite a 68% drop, the passenger terminal’s owner expects to weather the coronavirus crisis.

Inslee signs the law repealing a Boeing tax break

The move, which the aerospace giant sought, aims to resolve an international trade dispute.

Inslee signs law allowing sharing of sales tax with tribes

It also helps end a legal fight over taxes involving the county, the state and the Tulalip Tribes.

Boeing plants here to close; infected Everett worker dies

To the relief of anxious employees, the company said it will shut down factory operations for two weeks.

Not everything is closed as businesses evolve to stay alive

Places are offering curbside pick-up and online orders and are banding together to draw wary customers.

Lawmakers: Protecting jobs is priority in any Boeing bailout

“The money has to be used for the continued operation of the company,” said Rep. Rick Larsen.