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FRANKFURT, May 4 (Reuters) - EADS EAD.PA Chief Executive Louis Gallois said he was certain the Airbus parent would win a bid for a U.S. aerial refueling fleet contract, according to an interview.
"I would even bet that we will get the contract," Gallois told German tabloid Bild in an interview published on the paper's website late on Monday.
EADS North America said last month it planned to challenge Boeing Co (BA.N) for the contract worth up to $50 billion after failing, according to reports, to find a key partner. [ID:nN20110428]
"We have a real chance of winning. We have the better plane," Gallois told Bild, without commenting on the company's search for a partner to support its bid for the contract.
Gallois also expects a recovery of the aviation industry to be reflected in new orders for aircraft from late 2011 or early 2012.
The world's airlines lost about $9.4 billion last year as customers curbed spending during the recession and they stand to lose another $2.8 billion this year, according to the International Air Transport Association (IATA). [ID:nLDE62A0OH]
Airbus said on April 8 it sold 60 aircraft and delivered 122 in the first quarter, outpacing the first three months of last year amid signs airlines are starting to emerge from the financial crisis. [ID:nLDE63706K]
"I am not sure whether the financial industry has learned all the lessons of the financial crisis. Uncertainty over individual national risks could lead to a domino effect," Gallois said.
Commenting on the planned bailout of Greece, Gallois said the euro zone could benefit from swift help for the southern European nation if there is a healthy balance of support and discipline.
European finance ministers agreed on Sunday on a record 110 billion euro bailout for debt-stricken Greece after Athens committed to years of painful austerity. [ID:nLDE6400CL]
"Everybody wants to avoid (a collapse of Greece) because a stable euro zone is economically our best protection. I was listening very carefully to (German Chancellor Angela) Merkel when she ruled out that Greece could leave the euro zone," Gallois added. (Reporting by Maria Sheahan; editing by Andre Grenon)