EADS is still assessing the effects of the Qantas engine-failure incident on its delivery schedule for the Airbus A380 this year and next.

It states that Airbus needs to deliver four more A380s to deliver this year to meet the target of 20 aircraft originally outlined.

But three of these, says EADS chief financial officer Hans Peter Ring, are fitted with Rolls-Royce Trent 900 engines - the powerplant at the centre of the Qantas investigation.

"Due to the ongoing developments [with the inquiry] we're not yet fully clear what it means [for the schedule]," he says.

Ring says that it "should be possible" to achieve the deliveries planned for this year and next. But he admits to "uncertainty" over the programme into 2011, given that the A380 delivery split between the two engine manufacturers is about 50:50.

While Rolls-Royce is working on a solution to replace the engine module suspected to have triggered the uncontained failure on the Qantas aircraft, Ring says: "The question is how quickly they'll deliver these modules."

He says the situation is "being managed on a daily, or even an hourly basis", but adds that if "all goes well" with the retrofit and the manufacturer is able to provide enough spare engines, then Airbus "might reach its targets".

Source: Air Transport Intelligence news