Race to meet A380 delivery target will be close: Williams

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Airbus believes it can still meet its revised target of delivering 12 A380 aircraft by the end of this year, but admits it will be a close-run exercise.

Speaking during at briefing at Airbus' UK plant at Filton, executive vice-president of programmes Tom Williams said the manufacturer was "pushing hard" toward the target which remained "do-able". But he admits that the task will "go down to the wire".

The strike at Boeing has helped to provide a "breathing space" within a stretched supply chain, he adds, as has the move into repeat configurations.

Airbus had originally hoped to deliver 13 A380s this year but reduced the target in May as a result of snags to plans to ramp-up production. The airframer also brought down its 2009 delivery forecast from 25 aircraft to 21.

Williams says the situation in the second half of 2009 is looking "more tense" and that the possibility of a couple of deliveries being at risk is a "reasonable analysis".