Over half the in-service Airbus A380s currently undergoing the wing-rib fix are being modified with a one-off grounding rather than a step-by-step procedure.
Twenty-seven aircraft have been modified with a “nose-to-tail” process, says Airbus executive vice-president for programmes Tom Williams.
Another 22 are being fixed over the course of several maintenance visits.
“Some prefer to split the job up, some prefer the certainty of grounding the aircraft,” says Williams.
He says another 11 aircraft will be modified by June 2014. “We’re well on [track] with the programme,” he adds.
Airbus has delivered 122 A380s, a number of which underwent the fix before being handed over. Qatar Airways is due to take its first A380 this year, the first with a completely new wing developed to avoid the modification.
Qatar will be one of four new operators of the A380 this year, the others comprising Skymark Airlines, Etihad Airways and Asiana.