At what stage is the process for the order for Airbus A330 MRTT aircraft?
The A-330 has been selected and so we are expecting contract notification as soon as possible. The longer we wait, the longer our customer has to wait for a selected product.
Is there an expiry date on your offer?
There is, of course.
Is it coming up?
Is it imminent?
Yes. Of course, any offer has an expiry date.
Are you considering extending the validity of your bid?
Absolutely, and we are being flexible in this respect because our fundamental objective here is to serve our customer. So, there is no hostage-taking or this or that. It’s a matter of economic pressures, because the longer you wait, the more prices inflate.
How long ago did you submit your proposal?
We have held the offer for two years.
It’s a matter of economic pressure and it’s a matter of availability because the tanker, I’m happy to say, is a very popular product. We can only do so many per year. So we do operate on a first-come-first serve basis.
What is the status of the Airbus-Tata bid for the Avro-replacement program with the C-295?
Our bid has been submitted and I think what the Indian government has to decide is – well, first of all I can tell you the bid was completely compliant and it is probably the only bid that is completely compliant to the requirements. So the Indian government has to decide whether they like our solution and whether they can accept the situation of a single bidder. But I don’t think that’s such a big deal.
This is clearly a priority for Airbus, because we have provided with our solution, probably the most powerful ‘Make in India’ type of solution that you can find today in the military world, with our bid – our joint bid with Tata to actually manufacture these airplanes – or a good part of these airplanes in India – and when we say manufacture, it’s not just the final assembly line; there’s a whole supply chain around it etc etc.
When do you expect the order for the MRTT aircraft to progress?
We’re receiving encouraging signs (on contract notification) there – I cannot give you a definite date or anything like that. Certainly (this year) that’s what we hope for.
You know better than I do that the Indian government has just formulated its budget, so now it is up to the user to determine which priority he wants to push and where. But that’s not up to us to say, as I said before – and we’re here to serve our customer and the customer has to decide when he wants or can do certain things.