June 1, 2018 / 4:00 AM / 6 months ago

Airbus "not paralysed" by wait for new CEO - planemaking chief

FRANKFURT, June 1 (Reuters) - Airbus is not hampered by uncertainty over who will lead the company in the future, its planemaking boss Guillaume Faury told a German newspaper after the European aerospace company said it would nominate a new CEO at the end of the year.

“Airbus is not paralysed,” Die Welt quoted Faury as saying in an interview published on Friday. He said he himself was “available to the group”, without elaborating.

Faury, the former head of the group’s helicopter unit, who took over leadership of the civil planemaking business three months ago, is seen as the main internal candidate to succeed Tom Enders when he leaves next year.

Le Figaro had reported in March that Faury could combine the CEO role with day-to-day control of the planemaking arm.

Faury also said Airbus was in talks with its suppliers to manage an increase in the A320 production rate to 70 a month early in the next decade, compared with around 55 now.

He said the group did not plan to add further assembly plants to achieve production increases. It currently has plants in Hamburg, Toulouse, Tianjin in China and Mobile, Alabama in the United States.

Production rates in China and the United States could rise the most as they come from a low base there.

Airbus is also adding a second CSeries production line to its factory in Alabama after buying a controlling stake in the CSeries programme from Bombardier.

Faury said the CSeries deal was progressing “faster than expected”. (Reporting by Maria Sheahan; editing by David Stamp)

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