Airbus planemaking chief Bregier to step down -sources

PARIS, Dec 14 (Reuters) - Airbus Chief Operating Officer and planemaking chief Fabrice Bregier is expected to step down following a board meeting on Thursday to tackle management tensions at the aerospace group, two sources familiar with the matter said.

Bregier, who is in Asia visiting customers, could not be reached for comment.

Bregier, 56, is credited with stabilising industrial problems at the world's second largest planemaker and overseeing a number of market breakthroughs but has been embroiled in a long-running power battle with Chief Executive Tom Enders.

The sources said Frenchman Bregier had sought a public expression of confidence from the French government, mirroring recent backing from Berlin for German-born Enders, in a row over responsibilities but had failed to secure such a commitment.

Airbus and the French government declined to comment. (Reporting by Tim Hepher, Cyril Altmeyer, Jean-Baptiste Vey; Editing by Laurence Frost)