Airbus has cast doubt on the pace of recovery at French cabin equipment supplier Zodiac Aerospace, saying the company was still "in the ditch" despite repeated pledges to resolve output delays.
Source: Eric Piermont
The comments came in a rare public warning from Airbus CEO Fabrice Bregier, who accused Zodiac's management of being "in denial" as it waded through repeated delays and profit warnings related to seat production last year.
Bregier told an annual news conference he expected improvements from Zodiac this year after the plane maker "suffered a lot" in 2015, including missing a target for A350 deliveries due to delays in receiving toilets made by Zodiac.
Reflecting Airbus concerns that Zodiac needed to focus on its existing order book, Bregier took the unusual step of announcing that it had been removed as a supplier on the A330neo.
He said the company wanted suppliers that "do the job" and while this was the case for 99%, there were occasionally some which failed to live up to this.
"Last year it was clearly Zodiac," Bregier said.
"We expect they will manage to do a lot better this year, especially as A350 deliveries are linked to their performance on lavatories and seats."
He added: "Yes, it is a message, but they know it already."
Zodiac's troubles reflect the problems of executing orders driven by fierce competition between aircraft interior suppliers, alongside rapid increases in aircraft production.
The industry is on high alert to find out whether Zodiac's problems at a recently acquired US plant are isolated or reflect deeper strains in the global supply chain.
Bregier said problems in the supply of interior equipment went beyond Zodiac, but were in a more ordinary category.
Zodiac confirmed last month it was behind schedule in supplying toilets for the A350, but said resolving the delays would take only a few months.
Based on the article “Airbus Steps Up Pressure On Zodiac” published in Reuters.