October 7, 2015 / 9:29 AM / in 2 years

Airbus says deliveries on target despite cabin delays

TOULOUSE, France (Reuters) - Airbus is on track to meet its delivery targets this year despite delays at cabin suppliers, Fabrice Bregier, head of the European planemaker, said on Wednesday.

The new Airbus U.S. Manufacturing Facility in Mobile, Alabama September 13, 2015. REUTERS/Michael Spooneybarger

Bregier criticized suppliers whose delays have disrupted some plane deliveries and said the problems went beyond French seat supplier Zodiac Aerospace, which has had a series of high-profile production delays and profit warnings.

“The majority of them are very good at marketing and selling and less good at certifying and crap at producing,” Bregier told a group of journalists.

“Zodiac has had its difficulties. It seems they are reacting appropriately. It is never fast enough for us or for the airlines; this is clear. I hope they will get through that, but they are not the only one,” he said.

“I would say half a dozen would be right, and not only small ones,” he said, asked how many suppliers were affected.

The CEO of the planemaking division of Airbus Group was speaking after delivering an A350-900 to Finnair, the first European operator of the company’s new long-haul jet.

Finnair CEO Pekka Vauramo told Reuters there had been no problems with the delivery of seats for the aircraft, which were supplied by Zodiac. The aircraft will fly on Asian routes and boasts the first ladies-only toilet on an airliner.

The larger Airbus A350-1000 aircraft model is on track for its first delivery in mid-2017, Bregier said.

He also said a recent glitch with a Pratt & Whitney engine during flight testing of the smaller A320neo in the United Arab Emirates would not threaten first delivery of the re-engined narrowbody jet before the end of the year.

“We are in the final phase of flight testing. ... Was it as smooth as we expected? No. Does it mean that we will fail? No. We will deliver,” Bregier said.

Bregier said talks with Canadian planemaker Bombardier were “no longer a point of interest”, saying he had nothing to add to an overnight statement by Airbus Group.

The Airbus parent called off talks with Bombardier over propping up the troubled CSeries jet after word of the negotiations leaked out.

Reporting by Tim Hepher; Writing by James Regan; Editing by Brian Love and Adrian Croft

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