Airbus A380 launch operator Singapore Airlines (SIA) is warning that it could miss its 2006 entry-into-service target for the ultra-large airliner as a result of a major new delay to the delivery schedule.

a318 a380 formation

The manufacturer has warned early A380 operators, including Air France, Emirates, Qantas and SIA, that deliveries will be delayed by up to six months, and is now in formal negotiations about revised schedules.

SIA – which has adopted the slogan "First to fly A380 in 2006" – had originally expected to receive its inaugural A380 by next March and put it into service during the following quarter. Recent delays have already slipped the service-entry target to October. SIA chief executive Chew Choon Seng told Flight International at a Star Alliance event in Kyoto, Japan last week that this will be delayed further, and first delivery is now not likely until October next year, adding: "We think we have a fair chance of getting it into service before 31 December 2006." He said discussions have been ongoing with Airbus on a compensation package.

Emirates and Qantas are next in line for A380 deliveries – now October 2006 – and both confirm they are expecting delays. Qantas is looking at six months, while Emirates has not been advised yet of its new schedule. Air France, which was due to put the A380 into service in April 2007, is also discussing a rescheduling.


Source: Flight International