PARIS, July 26 (Reuters) - French aerospace supplier Thales said on Wednesday it was in “constructive” talks with Airbus about the latter’s bid to boost its services business, striking a conciliatory tone on an issue worrying several top suppliers.
“Airbus has expressed its willingness to be more present in the services area. Boeing have also said they wanted to share the services business,” Thales Chief Executive Patrice Caine said in a half-yearly results conference call.
“It’s a global trend in the industry...Clearly I see the Airbus announcement more as an opportunity than as a threat and we have ongoing constructive discussions to see how we can help them in this respect, notwithstanding our current service business towards airlines or even air forces.”
Planemakers are beefing up their services businesses as flattening demand for new jets and pressure to raise margins encourage them to deepen their exposure to airline operations in competition with their own suppliers.
On Tuesday, U.S. aerospace supplier United Technologies Corp warned it may need to raise prices on engines and other products if planemakers such as Boeing and Airbus push too aggressively into the business of selling parts and services. (Reporting by Cyril Altmeyer, Tim Hepher; Editing by Sudip Kar-Gupta)