Airbus is underlining the positive effect that a number of retrofit measures on various systems has had on A380 dispatch.

A total of 82 A380s have been delivered, including the entire complement ordered by initial customer Singapore Airlines.

A380 marketing head Richard Carcaillet says the retrofit improvements lifted the fleet's dispatch reliability rate by a percentage point, to 99.3%, from the beginning of 2012.

The improvement has been notable during the course of delivery of the past 25 aircraft, he says.

Modifications have been made to systems such as landing-gear door sensors which, he says, were "a bit too twitchy" as well as fuel pumps, electro-hydraulic actuators and door systems.

Emirites A380

 Emirites A380 at ILA

Credit: BillyPix

While the retrofit actions have been "nothing spectacular", Carcaillet says they have made a large difference to the type's operational statistics. "For weeks on end [the A380s] just fly, fly, fly," he says.

Carcaillet insists the wing-rib bracket cracking issue is not responsible for a dip in A380 sales because the airframer is marketing slots for 2015, beyond the date by which the problem will be resolved.

Airbus admits the target of 30 orders for 2012 is looking increasingly tough to meet, but Carcaillet says there are several "good campaigns" under way in Asia, Europe and the USA, with interest equally split between new and existing customers.

He points out that the increasing integration of airline networks through alliances means more passengers are being connected to the A380 on their journeys.

"Every airline that wants to fly in this game at network level has to be looking at the A380," he says. Carcaillet claims carriers are "taking time to look around to see what other airlines are doing", and he believes a domino effect will result once the interest converts into orders.

Source: Flight Daily News