Airbus Takes Poland to Task

FILE - Airbus Group President and CEO Tom Enders attends the annual press conference of Airbus Group in Blagnac, Southern France, 26 February 2014. EPA/GUILLAUME HORCAJUELO (zu dpa «Airbus Zahlen 1. Quartal» vom 13.05.2014) +++(c) dpa - Bildfunk+++
Airbus CEO Tom Enders has some uncharacteristically harsh words after Poland cancelled a major order.
  • Why it matters

    Why it matters

    The decision by the Polish government to cancel the Airbus helicopter deal could damage its close military relations with France.

  • Facts


    • The previous Polish government awarded Airbus a €2.7-billion contract to deliver 50 Caracal military helicopters.
    • Airbus says it offered to build a factory in Poland, share its technical know-how and create 6,000 jobs as part of the deal.
    • The right-wing Law and Justice party, which came to power at the end of 2015, canceled the Airbus deal citing Poland’s national security interests and has opted to go instead with Sikorsky, a subsidiary of Lockheed Martin.
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The Polish government’s abrupt decision to cancel a €2.7-billion ($2.9-billion) contract with Airbus for 50 Caracal military helicopters has triggered a fierce backlash not just from the European aerospace giant, but also from the government of France – one of Poland’s oldest and closest allies.

In response to the failed helicopter deal, Paris has announced that it will cut military aid to Poland. French President Francois Hollande and his defense minister, Yves Le Drian, have also canceled a long-planned meeting with Polish officials in Warsaw.

Airbus, which has its headquarters in France, has taken the unusual step of publishing an open letter to the Polish government, publicly refuting Warsaw’s claims about why the helicopter deal was canceled.

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