17:51 Oct. 11, 2016
CEO of Europe's largest aerospace group threatens to seek remedies
Airbus Group SE lashed out at Poland for scrapping a USD 3.5 billion helicopter deal and handing orders to rivals apparently without a tender process, saying it will seek remedies in a dispute that's boiled over into an international diplomatic incident.
Airbus Chief Executive Officer Tom Enders said Tuesday that the Polish government had "slammed the door" on his company, which appeared to have "been misled for months," adding that it has expended huge amounts of effort and cash on the bid and "will of course seek remedies."
"Never have we been treated by any government customer the way this government has treated us," Enders said in a statement hours after Polish Defense Minister Antoni Macierewicz revealed that a batch of helicopters would be bought from U.S. defense giant Lockheed Martin Corp. and that Leonardo-Finmeccanica SpA of Italy could also expect orders.
France-based Airbus is fuming after an April 2015 outline deal to supply 50 H225M Caracal multi-role helicopters in Poland's second-biggest military order ever was scrapped on Oct. 4, with Prime Minister Beata Szydlo saying it represented poor value in terms of the so-called offset work granted to the country for placing the order.
French President Francois Hollande postponed an Oct. 13 visit to Poland following the decision and will review the continuation of military pacts between the nations, according to French Defense Ministry advisers.