Airbus Group has performed a partial U-turn on plans to cut production of its profitable A330 aircraft as it posted 2015 profits in line with expectations. As Hayley Platt reports it's also warning Britain there could be consequences to a ''Brexit.''
Airbus sees bluer skies ahead after flagging order books last year forced it to cut production. It's done a u-turn and will next year increase the number of A330s it makes to seven a month. A bumper order from Iran worth $27 billion has helped. So has low oil prices. Airbus reported a 2 percent rise in 2015 operating earnings - close to forecasts. Jeremy Cook is from World First. (SOUNDBITE) (English) WORLD FIRST, CHIEF ECONOMIST, JEREMY COOK, SAYING: "Oil prices may repair up to $50/$60/$70 a barrel then you'd have to say that airlines are still going to be looking for fuel efficient vehicles with which to operate their business. So anything around that is likely to be seen as a positive for airline manufacturers." Plane makers have been moving towards lighter more fuel-efficient planes. But the global economic downturn has meant less demand for wide-body jets like the A330. U.S. rival Boeing says that even with new engines, the upgraded A330neo will be made obsolete by its 787 Dreamliner and even Airbus's own A350. Airbus may not agree - it also has reservations about a possible Brexit. Paul Kahn is Airbus's UK chief. (SOUNDBITE) (English) AIRBUS GROUP UK , President, PAUL KAHN, SAYING: "If Britain leaves it will certainly have an impact on our business and that's why we will have to review our future investment plans and look at what happens if that were to occur." Airbus employs around 16,000 staff in the UK. They build wings for passenger jets. But their jobs could be under threat if Britain leave's the EU.