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CNBC Transcript: Interview with Fabrice Brégier, President & CEO of Airbus


Following are excerpts from the transcript of a CNBC interview by Hadley Gamble and Fabrice Brégier, President & CEO of Airbus

Thank you so much for joining CNBC. I want to ask you a little bit about this year's Dubai Airshow. Usually we hear a lot of big orders coming on line isn't it and you're CEO isn't here. What does that really reflect in terms of the Airbus relationship with Dubai?

Well I don't expect, you are right, a big announcement this year, but just remind you that two years ago we got to 160 orders During the Dubai airshow so I think the Middle East carriers have a huge order book and we have started to deliver it, especially on the A350 to Qatar airways. However, globally the situation is extremely good. The airlines have never been so profitable. And as of today I think we have 899 firm orders in the backlog for this year.

I want to ask you a little more about that relationship with Qatar airways specifically, we know that sometimes these big orders come on line and then a couple years into that order delivery they cancel some of the aircraft, talk to me a little bit about that relationship

No, regarding Qatar airways we have a very trustful customer and we have started delivery of the A350 AWB and this is a large customer of this aircraft and we are on track. This is difficult ramp up programme, but the quality of the first aircraft meets Qatar Airways' expectations and we are very pleased with them.

And what about this new aircraft coming from the Chinese? How is that going to play-into the Boeing, Airbus Duoply here in the middle east? Do you expect any impact on your sales?

Honestly no, because I think the battle between boeing and airbus is extremely tough, we are innovating a lot, we have been leading this single aisle market with the A320 neo we have a 60-% of market share and we are very conscious that in the long run there will be other top players, but so far I think we manage pretty well, continuing to innovate, not remaining complacent to remain the top company for the years to come.

So far Airbus has decided not to comply with some of these middle east airlines request about making changes to for eg, to the A380. Do you think that's going to impact your order book?

We always listen to our customers, and especially the biggest customer or the A380, which is Emirates. And we are so pleased to have them supporting the aircraft and telling us that in the long run they need an improved version of the A380. So we have started talks about the, as I mentioned already months ago we needed expect a short term decision. However in the long run I am sure there will be, what you will call an A380 neo, but I cannot tell you exactly when.

I just have to ask you – I was just covering the aircrash in the Sinai the Airbus A321 that crashed over the Sinai just a week ago now, can you add anything to the ongoing investigation, in terms of how you guys are complying with Authority.

Well beyond the emotion and the compassion of this tragedy I can't say, but what we got from the investigation so far didn't trigger any action, any technical action on our side, regarding the A321 fleet, but we need to wait for the conclusion of the investigations.

And then in terms of what's happening in the middle east, in terms of the rise of the Islamic State, how is that impacting your outlook?

There is no impact, I think we are are are, can see that there is still a world-wide growth and in this region, yes there are some geo-political question marks, but here in Dubai I can tell you that the traffic is still very good . The position, geography of this region is fantastic within 4 hours flight you have 1/3 of the population, 8 hours flight 2/3 of the population can be connected from Dubai, Abu Dhabi or Doha and it will continue like that I can tell you that this region has the potential of 2,500 aircraft, 6% growth for the next 20 years.

And in terms of your order book specifically, beyond the middle east, where you guys looking for growth?

Well we have growth here, but we have growth in China, we have growth in SE Asia. We will have, I think, bigger growth in India. So these are the regions of growth but we should not underestimate the potential of the replacement of current fleets, as for an example in Europe or America. America will remain the second biggest market after China.

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