European aircraft manufacturer Airbus is describing the status of its A380 freighter aircraft as “interrupted”, but says the variant remains on offer.

Its last remaining customer for the aircraft, US cargo operator UPS, earlier today announced its intention to cancel its order for 10 aircraft. It cited concerns about Airbus’s ability to adhere to its new delivery schedule for the aircraft – revised to start in 2012 – after learning the manufacturer is diverting employees from the A380 freighter programme to work on the passenger version of the aircraft.

The manufacturer had earlier said the rescheduling of UPS deliveries opened a “window of opportunity” for development teams to work on the passenger variant of the aircraft, but stressed the programme had not been suspended.

Airbus says: “Airbus is disappointed at the decision, however we respect the airline’s decision which is consistent with the agreement we reached last week. UPS remains a valuable customer and strong customer and business partner of Airbus.”

The manufacturer reiterates that while the freighter development programme has been “interrupted”, the variant remains on offer: “We are confident about the size of the cargo market for the A380F. When the market is there we will resume the programme,” says a spokeswoman.

Everything about the A380