Fri, Jul 21, 2006
Play Nice, You Two!
Is Airbus skirting US regulatory requirements in its quest to
sell its A330 airframe as an aerial refueling tanker for the US Air
'Heck no,' says Ralph Crosby, chairman and chief executive of
the North American branch of Airbus parent company EADS. But that
was precisely what Boeing CEO James McNerney says Airbus is
His remarks come in an interview with the Seattle Times this
week. Speaking from the Farnborough Air Show, McNerney said Boeing
is at a disadvantage in the aerial tanker contest, because it must
comply with the federal laws that govern control of exports of
military items, as well as regulations requiring transparent
business practices by US companies overseas to discourage bribing
of foreign officials to win contracts.
Airbus is under no such regulation, McNerney asserted... but
that is "just patently wrong," Crosby told the paper Thursday.
Crosby points out that on the tanker bid, EADS is a
subcontractor to Northrop Grumman. As far as the implication that
Airbus is under no legal obligation to disclose its business
practices... Crosby says there is no need, as EADS "operates by a
strong code of conduct and quite frankly we find it unusual to have
it suggested otherwise."
Crosby goes on to say his company is "squeaky clean"... before
mentioning that it was Boeing, not Airbus, that was fined $15
million recently for exporting 737s containing a secret gyrochip to
China, over objections from the State Department.
Ouch... with all the mud flying around, it seems there's hardly
any space in the skies left for the planes...
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