Airbus bows to Queen’s Jubilee, delays meeting of key investors

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The Airbus logo is pictured at the Airbus factory in Montoir-de-Bretagne near Saint-Nazaire, France, March 4, 2022. REUTERS/Stephane Mahe

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PARIS, May 13 (Reuters) – Airbus’ plan to hold its biggest investor meeting in three years has been postponed after the long-awaited presentation clashed with Queen Elizabeth’s Jubilee, ruffling investors and the aerospace giant’s British staff.

Airbus officials wrote to attendees acknowledging the date for Capital Market Days was “inappropriate” and set a new date for September 22-23, according to an email seen by Reuters.

The original June 2-3 date straddled two public holidays at the start of celebrations to mark Queen Elizabeth’s seven decades on the throne and raised eyebrows in Britain, where 14,000 workers build the wings of Airbus planes.

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The company is the largest supplier of wide-body aircraft to the Royal Air Force, which plans to hold a Jubilee Flyover likely to include Airbus carriers on June 2.

The plan had also upset British analysts forced to ditch family holiday weekends to travel to France for the event. “The Brits were revolting,” joked Vertical Research analyst Rob Stallard.

The company was eventually forced to rethink the idea after airlines extended summer schedule cuts until June, a reminder of the incomplete recovery seen in the aircraft maker’s main markets.

Airbus, which turned 50 three years ago, was born as a consortium of national assets in Britain, France, Germany and Spain. But analysts say its role in the UK has been increasingly marginalized since Britain left the European Union.

A company spokesperson declined to comment on the meetings’ agenda.

Capital Markets Day is set to set the tone for months as Airbus aims to defend a solid lead over rival Boeing (BA.N). Several aerospace companies are organizing such events to revive interest in the sector after the two-year pandemic.

The Airbus timing puzzle is not quite over. Boeing, which is set to hold its own investor summit in September, will also be competing for attention, analysts said.

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Reporting by Tim Hepher Editing by Mark Potter

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