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Airbus chief lambasts cabin equipment makers over delays

Fabrice Bregier (L), Airbus President and Chief Executive Officer and Tom Enders (R), Chief Executive Officer of Airbus Group, wait for Indian Prime Minister at the Airbus headquarters in Toulouse April 11, 2015. REUTERS/Adrien Helou

PARIS (Reuters) - The head of planemaker Airbus hit out at suppliers of cabin equipment on Friday, saying their failure to get to grips with chronic production delays was "unacceptable".

Fabrice Bregier, chief executive of Airbus Group's (AIR.PA) passenger jet division, did not single out any supplier but was responding to a question about French seat maker Zodiac (ZODC.PA), which has been in the spotlight over recent delays.

"I think the cabin equipment suppliers would do well to have an equivalent level of industrial maturity to that of aircraft manufacturers," he told a group of aerospace journalists.

"They are big industrial companies now, they are not small companies, so they must put in place measures to meet their obligations. It is becoming unacceptable."

Shares in Zodiac Aerospace slid last month after a profit warning due to delays in aircraft seat production.

Airbus (AIR.PA) and Boeing (BA.N) have both intervened by placing more people in Zodiac factories to help overcome the delays, and are insisting on vetting Zodiac seat sales as an ‘exception’ to their catalogs, industry sources have said.

(Reporting by Tim Hepher; Editing by Laurence Frost)