EADS to adopt ‘Airbus’ name as civil aircraft demand soars
Also reshuffling its space and military units into one division to enhance integration.
The Airbus A350 wide body is still undergoing testing. Photo: Airbus
PARIS — European aerospace group EADS is to change its name to Airbus and shake up its corporate structure as part of push to give its civil aviation division more prominence.
As well as the name change next year, European Aeronautic Defence and Space Co. will reshuffle its space and military units into one division, the company said. It also unveiled a 31% increase in first-half net profits on the same time last year to 759 million euros ($1 billion).
EADS says the changes will “enhance integration and cohesion” of the 13-year-old group formed from the French, German and Spanish aerospace companies.
In the first half, the Airbus unit took in 722 net orders in the first half, up from 230 a year earlier. The civil aircraft business still accounts for almost 70% of EADS’ group sales.
EADS had once sought to become less dependent on its civil aircraft business with a goal of growing its defence business, maker of the A400M European freighter, to around half of total revenue. Those plans were shelved with the global economic downturn and government belt-tightening.
Under its new organization, a new defence entity will be created dubbed Airbus Defence & Space, housing the existing military business along with satellite maker Astrium and drone and electronics business Cassidian.
Airbus delivered 295 civilian planes in the first half, just less than the 306 record by arch-rival Boeing. At last month’s Paris Air Show, Airbus took in firm orders for 241 aircraft including 65 for its A350 widebody.
The A350 is still undergoing testing, but is expected to enter into service in the first half of next year. EADS said the program “is now entering the most critical phase” and that it “remains challenging.”
“Any schedule change could lead to an increasingly higher impact on provisions,” EADS said.