On 27th January, Tom Enders came straight to the point about the problems faced by the A400M. The head of Airbus presented his excuses on behalf of the group for their performances concerning the aircraft and stated that they would have to deal with the consequences.
Tom Enders, Chief Executive Officer - Airbus Group: "Our performance on the A400M was not up to what we wanted, and I have to apologize for that. (...) There will be consequences in terms of management and organization of the programme, from which we will learn. »
And the first is the resignation of Domingo Urena-Raso, Head of Military Aircraft for Airbus Defence and Space. He remains within the group, but will be replaced 1st March by Fernando Alonso, head of Airbus flight tests.
Even though the first units of the military transport aircraft have already been delivered to France, Turkey, the UK and Germany, with that of Malaysia in the offing, the programme is experiencing some difficulties.
Firstly, in keeping to the delivery schedule. For example, according to the German weekly "Der Spiegel", Germany will only receive, two A400M’s this year as against the five initially planned. In addition, there are difficulties in terms of quality. The A400M delivered last December had a total of "875 deficiencies", or more clearly, defects. Finally, the programme faces difficulties in the development of certain military capabilities such as inflight refuelling. Corrective measures must therefore be undertaken quickly.
Even so, Airbus Group expects to pay penalties to the military transport aircraft’s customer countries. The group will present a new schedule for its A400M deliveries during the group’s annual conference, at the end of this month.