* Avoiding another recession will be a challenge
* Asia and China to provide buffer for growth
* China Southern to get first A380 soon, operational in
(Adds quotes, details)
By Melanie Lee
DALIAN, China, Sept 15 Demand for new airplanes
from China and Asia will provide Airbus with a buffer for growth
in the event of a global recession resulting from Europe's debt
crisis, the company's chief operating office said on Thursday.
"So far we have 1,000 net orders (from Europe) at the end of
August and the air traffic is still good," Fabrice Bregier told
Reuters in an interview.
"However, we might well expect some adjustments in the
future. This is very different from 2008-2009. In this case we
see a problem of some European states with excessive debt but
the real economy is very good," he said on the sidelines of the
World Economic Forum in Dalian.
The euro area debt crisis has contributed to increasing
concerns in financial markets that the world economy could slip
into another recession. Billionaire investor George Soros said
the crisis could trigger a Great Depression. [ID:nL3E7KF0F0]
Bregier said it may be a "challenge" to avoid another
recession that would bring about less air traffic and slower
growth for airlines. But he said he expected growth in Asia and
especially China to provide a suitable growth buffer for Airbus,
a unit of aerospace group EADS EAD.PA.
"If there is a big recession there will be less traffic and
so the airlines will not generate the cash to buy new aircraft,"
"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
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.
Boeing (BA.N), Airbus's main rival, said on Sept. 7 that
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. [ID:nL3E7K712B]
Airbus, which currently has 45 percent market share 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.
"We plan to deliver about 90 aircraft in China next year and
about 100 this year," he said.
In June, China placed an order for 88 Airbus A320 planes
putting aside a bubbling trade row with Europe over a proposed
emissions scheme as it sought to fuel economic growth.
The deal, worth $7.5 billion at list price and with
deliveries slated for 2012-15, was signed by China Aviation
Supplies and Industrial Commercial Bank of China (1398.HK)
Although China plans to start competing with Airbus and
Boeing (BA.N) by building its own narrowbody passenger jets from
the second half of this decade, it has ordered large volumes of
Airbus A320s and Boeing 737s to feed traffic growth.
Airbus began assembling planes for the Chinese market at a
factory in Tianjin, outside Beijing, in 2009. Bregier said he
expects to make inroads into the China markets with sales of the
new A380 superjumbo aircraft.
"I think they (other Chinese airlines) will be very
interested in A380s when they see the success of China
Southern... We expect other top players in China to
progressively order A380s," he said.
"The trend is clear, China will need bigger aircraft in the
future and so we think with the A380, we really have a trump".
(Reporting by Melanie Lee; Editing by Kazunori Takada and Neil
((email@example.com)(+86 21 61041778)(Reuters
Keywords: WEF DALIAN/AIRBUS
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