Airbus promotes Bennett to new top comms role

Airbus UK has merged its PA and comms functions, creating a new director of communications and government affairs post.

The troubled planemaker has promoted head of government affairs Katherine Bennett to the post. Bennett joined Airbus in 2004, having previously been head of government affairs and public policy at Vauxhall Motors.

Based in France with significant operations in other European states, Airbus produces around half of the world's jet airliners, with most of the rest built by rival Boeing Commercial Airplanes.

It recently revealed plans to cut 10,000 jobs across ­Europe over the next four years. The firm faces a raft of problems, including delays to its flagship project to build the A380 superjumbo and squabbles between shareholders.

Bennett will be responsible for managing media coverage of the job cuts and building goodwill among the Department for Trade and Industry, the Treasury and environment ministers, as well as backbench MPs.

Reporting to Airbus senior vice president of comms Hubert Faure and Airbus UK MD Iain Gray, Bennett will oversee 11 staff. Her responsibilities include UK media relations, internal communications, com­mu­nity relations and corporate social responsibility.

Airbus, owned by European Aeronautic Defence and Space Company and BAE Systems, uses Good Relations Political to handle public affairs and retains Merlin for corporate PR. 

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