Last month, IALPG’s European Executive Consultant and Regional Liaison, Arpad Szakal had the opportunity to attend a luncheon at the UK Aviation Club which has more than 500 professional members from a broad-cross section of the civil aviation community. The membership is drawn from airlines, airports, finance houses, manufacturers as well as regulators.

The Aviation Club hosts eight Club luncheons annually and each lunch offers a platform to network and do business. The lunch was held at the Institute of Directors and was well attended with 150+ attendees.

The guest speaker was the President and CEO of Airbus, one of the world’s leading aircraft manufacturers with sites across the globe from Europe and India to China and the United States.

Fabrice Brégier was appointed President and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Airbus on the 1st of June 2012. He is a member of the Airbus Group  Executive Committee.

He started his career in 1983 as a test engineer at the Creys-Malville nuclear power station, becoming sales manager for Péchiney (Japan) in 1984.  He was appointed Airbus COO in October 2006. As a Member of the EADS Executive Committee, he was tasked to improve the overall operational performance of the Group. His responsibilities included the company’s restructuring and change programme, the Executive Committee functions Operations, Engineering and Procurement, and the A350 XWB programme.

Among other things he discussed:

  • the outlook for global commercial aviation;
  • the opportunities and challenges arising from long term demand for air travel;
  • and the importance of recruiting the right people with the necessary skills to sustain the future of the industry.

Airbus directly employs 10,000 people in the UK through its engineering site at Filton near Bristol where wings are designed and tested, and its manufacturing plant at Broughton in Wales where wings are built before being transported to other plants for final assembly. It employs thousands more indirectly in the UK through the supply chain. In Europe it has sites in France, Germany, Spain and mainland Europe.

Upcoming events of interest at the club include:

Wednesday, 21st September– Mark Dunkerley President & CEO Hawaiian Airlines

Wednesday, 7th December – Sir Tim Clark, President Emirates Airlines