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Airbus confirms new A380 delays

Airbus has confirmed a new round of delays to the A380 programme that will affect deliveries at least this year and next year.

The manufacturer says in a statement that it has “completed the A380 programme review and is now informing customers about changes to its delivery schedule”.

It says it now plans for 12 deliveries this year, rather than 13 as previously expected, and 21 next year, instead of 25.

“Details about the new plan and the further ramp-up and delivery slots in 2010 and the following years will be discussed with customers in the coming weeks,” it adds.

“The results of this review do not, at this stage, cover the financial impact. The extent of the additional costs will be influenced by the actual production and delivery scenario. This will follow discussions with the customers and a more precise evaluation of the implications of the new delivery schedule for 2010 deliveries and beyond.”

Speculation has been brewing in recent weeks about fresh delays to the A380 programme. Airbus says they have now been confirmed following a review that assessed the programme status “at the critical juncture of transitioning from low rate ‘individual’ production, so-called Wave 1, to the full serial design and manufacturing process, called Wave 2”.

Under a production recovery plan launched in 2006, the 13 deliveries that Airbus planned for this year and 25 next year were to be followed by around 45 annually from 2010.

“Overall, the recovery programme, initiated in summer 2006, is progressing well. Four aircraft were delivered as planned and are performing very well in airline operations on long-range routes. Seventeen aircraft are in various stages of production, mainly in the wiring installation and system testing phases. Most aircraft earmarked for delivery in 2008 have already flown,” says Airbus.

“However, the review has also shown that the steep ramp-up planned in 2006 is not fully achievable. Time and resources needed for Wave 1 production aircraft are higher than expected, and this has created some delay in the changeover to Wave 2 with its new design and manufacturing process.”

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