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Sep 17, 2007

Air New Zealand

Air New Zealand has hit a novel bit of turbulence in its plans to update and expand its ageing fleet of Boeing aircraft. The company is having to go direct to its shareholders to gain support to buy just over $4.5 billion worth of new wide-body long-haul jets, as the size of the deal is much bigger than those that would normally require just boardroom approval. The new order would double the assets owned by Air New Zealand, which at the end of June this year were worth $4.9 billion - mainly its existing fleet. Under New Zealand company law, any deal that adds assets or liabilities more than half a company's value needs support from 75 per cent of shareholders. Air New Zealand is keen to go ahead with an arrangement to directly acquire 10 aircraft, a mixture of Boeing 789 and 773 aircraft, worth $2.2 billion, and exercise options on a further 11 that will add an extra $2.3 billion to the final bill. Sep 11, 2007


A power battle at the top of Airbus would undermine efforts to turn round the planemaker, weeks after politicians intervened to restore order at Franco-German parent EADS, analysts say. The statement made by Airbus chief Tom Enders appeared to be an olive branch to Bregier, whose departure would overshadow his own efforts to settle into Airbus, but could also be seen as an attempt to corner the Frenchman into staying by pre-empting the higher EADS decision. Airbus said Bregier would stay in charge of Power8 and run operations, engineering, procurement and the A350 program. Sep 13, 2007


Airbus secured 713 gross orders in the first eight months of 2007, although cancellations reduced the net number to 656, according to the manufacturer's cumulative order data. This compares to Boeing's eight-month gross of 773 with a net figure of 763. However, since Aug. 31 Boeing, which posts its orders weekly, has lifted its tally to 851 gross and 841 net. Those numbers are certain to change significantly before year end with large orders expected from British Airways and Emirates. Sep 13, 2007


All bidders for the Airbus factories at Meaulte and St Nazaire-Ville in France must also apply for risk-sharing contracts on the future A350 jet, meaning they will need to invest in the A350 on top of the factory purchase price in return for a share of profits in the EUR10 billion aircraft program. Sep 13, 2007


European planemaker Airbus Tom Enders re-appointed his number two with broad control of operations on Wednesday, but it remained unclear whether the move had defused another potential row over top management jobs. Airbus has been unsettled by fears that Chief Operating Officer Fabrice Bregier might quit following attempts by Enders to unseat him from the powerful executive committee at parent EADS, according to industry sources who asked not to be named. Enders, who took over Airbus after French and German leaders stepped in to reorganize EADS and end chronic in-fighting in July, proposed he should be the sole representative of Airbus on the EADS executive committee under the simpler new structure. Sep 13, 2007


The new Airbus executive team will comprise nine instead of the previous 12 members, the planemaker said. Also confirmed in their jobs are top salesman John Leahy, and Tom Williams, who heads Airbus programs. Hans Peter Ring continues to run finances at both Airbus and EADS. The management changes are the first of a trio of big decisions awaiting Airbus as it tries to bounce back against a resurgent Boeing, which took back leadership of global aircraft orders with its 787 Dreamliner last year. Airbus chief Tom Enders' management team in place, Airbus will be under pressure to push forward negotiations with French and German unions over 10,000 job cuts in its Power8 restructuring plans. It also aims to choose buyers by October for five of the six factories it has put up for sale in a further effort to cut costs and share the burden of investing in composite materials. Sep 13, 2007

Airbus, EADS

Backed by Airbus parent EADS chief executive Louis Gallois, Bregier insisted on keeping the committee post he had held since running EADS helicopter unit Eurocopter and called for a clear division of his and Enders' roles, the industry sources said. An Airbus statement set out broad responsibilities for...

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