Taking advantage of a visit by Quebec Premier Philippe Couillard to the Airbus plants in Toulouse, France, the European aircraft manufacturer has announced that it intends to lower the production costs of the C Series to make it profitable.
To achieve its goals, Airbus intends to put pressure on the suppliers of the C Series to eventually obtain better prices and make its aircraft more competitive in the international market, said in a press briefing the Airbus purchasing director, Klaus Richter.
In an effort to bring Airbus closer to Montréal’s aerospace industry, Philippe Couillard confirmed that Airbus will gather its international suppliers in Montreal at a convention next October.
An opportunity that he believes will benefit the entire aviation and technological industry in Montreal and Quebec, particularly in the innovative sectors of artificial intelligence and information technology.
First, sell planes
But before thinking about reducing the costs of the program of the C Series, it will first sell aircraft, warned Mr. Richter, along with Philippe Couillard, who continues a week-long visit to France.
“We will first have to sell the aircraft, to, after, rework with suppliers the costs of the program,” said the director of purchases Airbus, adding that the manufacturer has taken a gamble by acquiring a program that is currently too expensive to produce in order to be profitable in the long run.
Strategically, Airbus intends to rely on the volume of sales of devices to successfully lower the prices of suppliers of the C Series.
Airbus, which acquired the Bombardier C Series last October, is also hoping to close the deal this summer so that Bombardier’s 100- to 150-seat aircraft can be marketed as quickly as possible.
“The process of completing the transaction continues and I can tell you that we are ahead of schedule,” said Airbus President Thomas Enders.
Welcoming the arrival of Bombardier’s C Series program in his company, Enders said Airbus intends to do whatever it takes to make it a “resounding success.”
Bombardier needed such a partner, according to Couillard
Philippe Couillard, whose government invested 1.3 billion dollars of public funds in Bombardier in 2015 to save the C Series, believes that the arrival of Airbus is beneficial for Bombardier, which he said had nor the logistical capacity or network needed to market its aircraft anywhere in the world.
“It has been said from the beginning, when we supported the C Series, Bombardier does not have the size to distribute an airliner worldwide,” said Mr. Couillard. It takes a huge sales and service infrastructure.”