Airbus grants exception to permit Koito seats on SIA A380s

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Airbus has granted exceptional authorisation to allow installation of business-class seats from Koito Industries on Singapore Airlines Airbus A380s, despite the embattled Japanese manufacturer admitting falsifying data on 150,000 seats in the world fleet.

The European airframer's authorisation accepts, under Airbus production organisation approval, Koito-made business class seats for SIA's twelfth A380, MSN058, although comments from SIA suggest the carrier intends to have Koito seats installed on at least three A380s delayed by the situation.

"We have three A380 deliveries coming up in the next few months and the priority has been to work with Airbus and Koito to meet certification requirements for the business-class seats," says SIA.

Airbus is understood to have issued its authorisation with a number of stipulations, including European Aviation Safety Agency approval before delivery.

It comes 19 months after Airbus withdrew Koito's approval, meaning Koito "cannot produce seat or seat parts for airborne use", Airbus has said.

Koito revealed last year that it had falsified safety test results on as many as 150,000 seats on 1,000 aircraft used by 32 carriers. Evidence from the Japan Civil Aviation Bureau highlighted three areas - in 16g and 9g tests, plus flammability tests - in which Koito had fabricated results. The debacle has caused aircraft delivery delays at both Airbus and Boeing.

SIA has taken delivery of 11 A380s and had expected to receive its twelfth and thirteenth in the fourth quarter of 2010, with the next arriving in the first quarter of 2011. SIA says the delay of its A380s is "only related to seats".