Manufacturer confirms six-month delays for Air France, Emirates, Qantas and SIA
Airbus has firmed up revised delivery schedules for its initial A380 customers, confirming that the first four airlines will suffer at least a six-month slip as a result of production problems afflicting the programme.
Although these new dates are believed to be firm, industry sources say they would not be surprised if the programme suffers further slips in the schedule.
Singapore Airlines (SIA) retains its position as launch operator, with delivery of its first aircraft slipping from the second quarter of 2006 to November 2006. SIA says it has now been told to expect first delivery in November 2006 and adds that entry-into-service plans “are being worked through now, and we would hope to have aircraft in service by the end of 2006, but can’t yet be definitive about that”.
Next in line will be Emirates and Qantas Airways, both of which were due to receive their first A380s in October 2006, but say they now expect them in April 2007. While Qantas, like SIA, is a customer for the Rolls-Royce Trent 900-powered model, Emirates is the first for the Engine Alliance GP7200-powered version.
Air France, the second GP7200-powered A380 operator, had negotiated a five-month deferral of its deliveries to April 2007 but confirms that it will now suffer a further six-month delay. “We’ve had assurances that the first two will be in the fleet in time for the 2007-2008 winter season [which starts in October],” says the airline.
Airbus has warned that it will take “a couple of years” to eliminate all the A380 delays.
NICHOLAS IONIDES/SINGAPORE & MAX KINGSLEY-JONES/LONDON
Source: Flight International