Aircraft manufacturer Airbus will create 300 jobs in its wing design and manufacture operations in the UK this year.
Airbus currently employs over 10,000 people in the UK, with a wing design office in Filton, near Bristol, and wing assembly in Broughton, North Wales. It recruited almost 600 people in the UK in 2012, many in high value engineering roles.
“There are 3,000 people to recruit around the world in 2013,” declared Fabrice Bregier, president and CEO of Airbus, at the company’s annual press conference in Toulouse, France.
Mr Bregier stated that Airbus is “bringing a lot to the European economy and will continue to recruit”.
However, recruitment will be at a slower pace than in the previous two years when Airbus employed 4,500 new people in 2011 and created 4,000 jobs in 2012.
Aircraft sales fell in 2012, as the company had predicted. It blamed the fall in new orders, down from 1,419 in 2011 to 914 in 2012, on customers choosing to purchase aircraft from Boeing. Its market share on new orders fell from 64% in 2011 to 41% in 2012.
John Leahy, chief operating officer at Airbus, slammed Boeing over its unstable production pattern.
Mr Leahy said that Airbus has managed to stabilise and keep inceasing levels of production, even when order levels drop, as it has created a backlog of work so that it can continually increase production levels.
Airbus has a backlog of 4,700 aircraft, which equates to eight years worth of production.
“Don’t paint us with the same brush as Boeing,” he said. “We have taken the cycle out. The cycle isn’t there as production doesn’t drop when orders drop.”
Airbus said that it will target the Asian market, commercial jet lessors, and airlines in the US. Leahy believes Airbus can make headway in the US market after authorities declared some of the subsidies provided to Boeing and US airlines as unfair and requested that amendments be made to level the playing field.
“We are pleased to see that the European Commission has taken steps to address this important issue,” said Mr Bregier on the new rules given to Boeing regarding subsidies.
“Hopefully there will be some international progress and this will help us to sell lower range aircraft in the US,” he added.
Airbus increased its annual list prices for by 3.6%.
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