Loser of the last quarter: Airbus

The world’s second-largest aircraft manufacturer Airbus issued in January 2016 an angry public warning to French cabin equipment supplier Zodiac Aerospace, according to news agency Reuters. Airbus accused Zodiac’s management of being ‘in denial’ following repeated delays and profit warnings related to the production of aircraft seats. It also announced that it had removed the supplier from one of its projects, the A330neo aircraft, so that it can remain focused on meeting its current obligations.

Zodiac Aerospace responded by saying that it had heard Airbus’s message ‘loud and clear’. The company stated that delays in the delivery of aircraft seats were ‘regrettable’ and it was doing everything it could to remedy the situation. Zodiac’s Chief Executive Officer Olivier Zarrouati said the company still faced a backlog of 300 delayed seats, but the level was stable compared with mid-December and down from 500 in November 2015.

“The message from Airbus was, ‘OK, Zodiac, we’ve had enough. Any time there is a delay on a single seat, you need to fix it as quickly as possible because it is intolerable’,” Zarrouati told the company’s shareholders. He explained that Zodiac had spent EUR300 million (USD325.71 million) to deal with the crisis, triggering several profit warnings, but that the company had wasted six months trying to assess the situation. He predicted the delays would be eliminated by September 2016. By mid-January 2016 Zodiac’s shares, which fell by 21 percent in 2015, had lost a further 12 percent since the start of the year.