Airbus is ready to build on its solid performance of 2008, entering the new year with confidence that comes with having a highly competitive product line, a strong management and employee team, and the benefits of ongoing internal improvement, company consolidation and effective cash management programmes.
This was the main message of President and CEO Tom Enders at the company's annual press conference today, where Airbus' results for last year were presented to international journalists.
Enders said the 777 net orders booked by Airbus in 2008 represented an "impressive performance," which gave Airbus a 54 per cent share of the market for commercial aircraft with passenger capacity above 100 seats.
Deliveries last year totalled 483, which surpassed the 2007 level by 30 aircraft and marked another new record for the company. "We have seen delivery increases since 2002, and have delivered more aircraft than the competition year after year," Enders said.
Airbus' overall order volume at December 31 totalled 9,215, with total deliveries reaching the 5,500 mark.
While acknowledging the next 12 months will be challenging for the global aviation industry, Enders told the reporters that Airbus stands "prepared and confident" - with its leadership team aligned and the workforce motivated.
Enders said Airbus remains in a strong competitive position because of actions taken by the company during the past two years - many of which were challenging and difficult.
This started in 2007 with the creation of comprehensive internal improvement initiatives, which were accompanied by a company-wide reorganization, the reconfiguration of top management, and implementation of integration measures across its industrial system. In 2008, Airbus focussed on internal consolidation and the implementation of its various initiatives for operational enhancements.
"Because Airbus has moved forward with these efforts, we have confidence in ourselves, our company has grown, and the 'can-do' team spirit is back," Enders said. "This shows that we are progressing on our long journey to reenergize and revitalise Airbus. All the while, we have not taken our eye off what really counts - our business and the customer."