Aerospace & Defense

'Brexit' a bad idea, we'll lobby to prevent it: Airbus

Airbus: Not another breaking Paris Air Show, not bad

A vote by Britain to exit the European Union would have "negative consequences" for the aerospace industry, Airbus CEO Tom Enders told CNBC on Monday, adding that the sector would lobby to prevent such an outcome.

At the International Paris Airshow, Enders cited a poll that showed most of the U.K.'s aerospace industries were opposed to the idea of a 'Brexit'—a term coined to describe how Britain might give up its membership in the 28 country union.

Enders said that more than 2/3 of the U.K.'s aerospace companies think leaving the E.U. "would have negative consequences for the industry and the U.K. I happen to believe that long term it would not be positive, certainly for the industry."

The CEO also stated that the sector "will lobby if it comes to it [during] a referendum." U.K. Prime Minister David Cameron recently vowed that he would put the issue of E.U. membership before the voters.

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'Not a bad morning'

Tom Enders Chief Executive Officer of Airbus Group
Frederic Stevens | Getty Images

Enders explained this would not be a record breaking show in terms of sales, but the company's aircraft tally would likely be good.

"We said already at the outset …that we would not expect that this is another record-breaking airshow year," he said, characterizing Airbus' 146 aircraft sales as "not a bad morning." Enders added that the airshow "is going to be a good one."

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He also called Airbus' defense portfolio "very competitive," and predicted the company would continue to provide military transport planes to western countries "for many years." The French aircraft maker recently sealed a major air defense along with Lockheed Martin in Germany, Enders said.

Earlier Monday, the European aerospace giant struck a deal to manufacture 900 satellites for OneWeb, a British company that wants to expand Internet access to populations that lack web service.