A380 customers to receive revised A380 delivery plan in a month

Toulouse
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This story is sourced from Flight International
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Airbus expects to take about a month to finalise the revised scheduling for A380 deliveries once it has completed discussions with customers about the impact of the latest production delay.

Chief executive Tom Enders says that the delays to the power-on of the first "Wave 2" A380 (MSN026) and the challenge of transitioning the production line to full industrialisation will result in an "average delay of around two and a half to three months. Some will be more and some will be less," he says.

 airbus-a380-on-prod-line
 © Flight/Max Kingsley-Jones
Airbus A380 production is running at about one a month in Toulouse

Enders admits that Airbus "had to face up to reality" and accept that the original ramp-up plan "is not achievable" (see box).

The hold-up has only slightly affected this year's plan, with 12 instead of 13 aircraft being handed over as the delivery of the first Wave 2 aircraft has slipped into 2009.

Next year there is a greater impact, as only 21 of the 25 planned deliveries will be completed. Airbus is reluctant to be specific about the effect on 2010, when it had planned to deliver 42 A380s, with Enders saying only that he is "confident we'll will deliver between 30 and 40 aircraft".

airbus-a380-revised-delivery graphic

A380 programme chief Mario Heinen says that it will take Airbus "around a month" to work through delivery plan and establish what the impact is for each customer.

The airline likely to be most seriously affected by the delay is Emirates, which has 58 A380s on order. Deliveries are due to begin in the summer and extend through to 2014.

Emirates Airline president Tim Clark told Flight International (Flightglobal's print edition) that the delay situation is "manageable", but adds that he is still awaiting Airbus to provide the revised dates.

However, the airline is understood to be looking for six additional Boeing 777-300ERs to help bridge and capacity shortfall.

Airbus chief operating officer customers John Leahy says that some airlines may choose to delay aircraft further if the rescheduling has unfavourable timing for them.

"We'll be talking to customers about seasonality delivery optimisation and this may free up capacity for us to deliver earlier to another customer with different seasonality requirements," he says.