Air France is delaying taking delivery of its first Airbus A380 by five months to April 2007, but insists that the decision was made some time ago.

The SkyTeam member originally planned to take the first of its 10 ordered aircraft at the end of 2006. It confirms that it has now delayed this first delivery by five months, saying one reason for the decision is that its Paris Charles de Gaulle base will not be ready for the aircraft by 2006. Charles de Gaulle operator Aeroports de Paris (ADP) is spending €100 million ($118 million) preparing for the A380.

Air France says: "We placed the order in June 2001 at [the Paris air show] Le Bourget. We announced that the first scheduled delivery would be in November 2006. We took the decision with Airbus 18 months ago to delay delivery by five months."

Earlier this month Virgin Atlantic Airways said it was delaying delivery of its six-A380 order by 18 months with deliveries starting at the end of 2007 instead of mid-2006. It blamed concerns over the readiness of Los Angeles International airport, as well as delays from cabin-equipment suppliers.



Source: Flight International