Airbus wins bet, makes president less of a loser

When your reputation is so bad that you have to make a bet that you’ll meet production targets, as Airbus President Tom Enders did, you need to realize that your victory would be break-even for anyone else. The man with the poor track record scored a bottle of champagne by delivering the fourth of four planes to Emirates Airline on time. The total order is for 58, which means Airbus has plenty of work ahead of it.

Hell, he even had two days of wiggle room. If the champagne is as good as his reputation, Enders will endure an incredibly sweet victory.

Before we give Airbus too much respect, his announcement of champagne success was accompanied with a warning that the fifth plane, due by the end of March, will not be ready until mid-April. Of course, this will occur despite the fact that the on-time delivery “gives us a good basis to further ramp-up our production in 2009.” Emirates president Tim Clark leaked this tidbit to Reuters.

Enders made the bet with the media at a press conference in September because he’s missed his deadlines four times in three years. And, we all know that reporters are perpetually broke … they only make bets they’re likely to win. This says so much about Airbus and its leader.

Already, he’s screwed up 2009. Airbus parent EADS confessed that it will miss its objective of 21 A380s this year. This, apparently, is how one treats its largest customer.

[Via Reuters via USA Today]