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Airbus CEO reveals why the company is safe during an economic downturn

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Airbus CEO Tom EndersAirbus CEO Tom EndersAirbus

  • Airbus CEO Tom Enders told reporters that the company’s large order backlog will serve as a buffer against many of the ill effects of an economic downturn.
  • According to Enders, the company’s 7,577-plane backlog will give Airbus the flexibility to move around production slots so deliveries aren’t negatively affected.
  • The Airbus CEO was in Mobile, Alabama to celebrate the groundbreaking of the company’s new Airbus A220 assembly plant. 

MOBILE, ALABAMA —With the potential of an economic slowdown on the rise, businesses around the world have been in preparation for such an event. 

Airbus CEO Tom Enders told reporters at the company’s assembly plant in Mobile, Alabama on Wednesday that the success of past Airbus sales campaigns functions as a sort of a barrier against the ill effects of an economic downturn. 

“Obviously we follow very closely what’s happening politically and economically around the world. We are a global business,” Enders said at a press briefing. “But different from any other businesses, we have a huge order backlog in most of our products and that serves as a buffer in terms of regional and national downturns.”

According to Enders, Airbus has experienced so many past years where the company’s order intake far exceeded the number of aircraft it could build. As result, the long-time executive says that people shouldn’t “sound the alarm” if Airbus has a year or two when they sell fewer planes than they build. 

At the end of 2018, Airbus Commerical Aircraft had a global backlog 7,577 planes which will require more than half a decade to work through. Of the backlog, 925 planes are from US customers. 

Instead, Enders says the focus should be on the company’s ability to deliver aircraft. After all, it’s when the airplane maker actually gets paid. 

Airbus A321 JetBlue sustainable jet fuel blendAn Airbus A321.AirbusEven though an airline’s ability to pay may be hindered by an economic slowdown, Airbus has enough financially stable clients that deliveries shouldn’t be greatly affected. 

“If you look at the Airbus A320, for instance, we have so much overbooking already on the delivery slots,” Enders told Business Insider. “During the last big downturn in 2008-2009, we had to shift a lot of delivery slots and postpone into the future for weaker airlines, on the other hand, we had a lot of airlines who were eager to get those earlier slots.

Read more: The amazing story of how the Airbus A320 became the Boeing 737’s greatest rival.

“Today we are in a situation where if someone orders (a narrow body) Airbus Aircraft they have to wait in a queue for five years and that’s not what people like,” he added.

As a result, during an economic downturn, financially strong carriers with an immediate for airplanes will be able to get them in a more timely fashion while those who are less stable can delay delivery. 

Guillaume Faury Airbus a220 delta delivery 1999Airbus Commercial Aircraft president Guillaume Faury will take over as Airbus CEO in October.AirbusHowever, Enders went on to clarify that this buffer doesn’t exist for all sectors of its commercial aircraft business. The A380 superjumbo program, for example, does not have an overbooking issue. 

Enders was in Mobile for the groundbreaking of the new Airbus A220 production line. It will be located next door to the company’s existing Airbus A320-family assembly plant. 

Wednesday will likely Enders’s last big event in Mobile as Airbus CEO. The company announced last October that he will step down from the top job in October 2019 with current Airbus Commercial Aircraft president Guillaume Faury taking over as the new chief executive. 

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More groups join in support of women in STEM program at Carleton

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OTTAWA — Major companies and government partners are lending their support to Carleton University’s newly established Women in Engineering and Information Technology Program.

The list of supporters includes Mississauga-based construction company EllisDon.

The latest to announce their support for the program also include BlackBerry QNX, CIRA (Canadian Internet Registration Authority), Ericsson, Nokia, Solace, Trend Micro, the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission, CGI, Gastops, Leonardo DRS, Lockheed Martin Canada, Amdocs and Ross.

The program is officially set to launch this September.

It is being led by Carleton’s Faculty of Engineering and Design with the goal of establishing meaningful partnerships in support of women in STEM.  

The program will host events for women students to build relationships with industry and government partners, create mentorship opportunities, as well as establish a special fund to support allies at Carleton in meeting equity, diversity and inclusion goals.

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VR tech to revolutionize commercial driver training

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Serious Labs seems to have found a way from tragedy to triumph? The Edmonton-based firm designs and manufactures virtual reality simulators to standardize training programs for operators of heavy equipment such as aerial lifts, cranes, forklifts, and commercial trucks. These simulators enable operators to acquire and practice operational skills for the job safety and efficiency in a risk-free virtual environment so they can work more safely and efficiently.

The 2018 Humboldt bus catastrophe sent shock waves across the industry. The tragedy highlighted the need for standardized commercial driver training and testing. It also contributed to the acceleration of the federal government implementing a Mandatory Entry-Level Training (MELT) program for Class 1 & 2 drivers currently being adopted across Canada. MELT is a much more rigorous standard that promotes safety and in-depth practice for new drivers.

Enter Serious Labs. By proposing to harness the power of virtual reality (VR), Serious Labs has earned considerable funding to develop a VR commercial truck driving simulator.

The Government of Alberta has awarded $1 million, and Emissions Reduction Alberta (ERA) is contributing an additional $2 million for the simulator development. Commercial deployment is estimated to begin in 2024, with the simulator to be made available across Canada and the United States, and with the Alberta Motor Transport Association (AMTA) helping to provide simulator tests to certify that driver trainees have attained the appropriate standard. West Tech Report recently took the opportunity to chat with Serious Labs CEO, Jim Colvin, about the environmental and labour benefits of VR Driver Training, as well as the unique way that Colvin went from angel investor to CEO of the company.

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Next-Gen Tech Company Pops on New Cover Detection Test

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While the world comes out of the initial stages of the pandemic, COVID-19 will be continue to be a threat for some time to come. Companies, such as Zen Graphene, are working on ways to detect the virus and its variants and are on the forefronts of technology.

Nanotechnology firm ZEN Graphene Solutions Ltd. (TSX-Venture:ZEN) (OTCPK:ZENYF), is working to develop technology to help detect the COVID-19 virus and its variants. The firm signed an exclusive agreement with McMaster University to be the global commercializing partner for a newly developed aptamer-based, SARS-CoV-2 rapid detection technology.

This patent-pending technology uses clinical samples from patients and was funded by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research. The test is considered extremely accurate, scalable, saliva-based, affordable, and provides results in under 10 minutes.

Shares were trading up over 5% to $3.07 in early afternoon trade.

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