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Qantas to receive A$100m compensation for Airbus A380 delays, will add more A330s

Australia’s Qantas Airways is to receive more than A$100 million ($77 million) in damages from Airbus for delays in deliveries of its 12 firm-ordered A380-800s. It has meanwhile confirmed orders for four more Airbus A330 twinjets, two of which will be leased.

The Oneworld alliance carrier says in its financial results announcement today that “delays in the delivery of 12 A380 aircraft has resulted in the recognition of A$104.4 million of liquidated damages from Airbus”.

A spokesman says in an emailed reply to a query from Flight's 24h premium aviation news and data service Air Transport Intelligence that “the A$104 million from Airbus will be paid over time until the final delivery of the aircraft”.

Qantas has 12 A380s on firm order and was originally due to have taken delivery of its first Rolls-Royce Trent 900-powered example later this year. That was later pushed back to the first half of next year and recently was pushed back again, to late 2007, as a result of production delays that have forced Airbus to delay nearly all early A380 deliveries by around 6-7 months.

The carrier also holds 10 A380 options and there has been speculation that it will soon convert some of these into firm orders, although Qantas says there was no mention of this at a press briefing this morning.

Qantas says in its fiscal full-year earnings statement that it believes the A380 “remains the optimal aircraft for flying between hubs and on dense point-to-point routes”.

Meanwhile, Qantas has also revealed that it has “confirmed orders” for four additional A330-200s for delivery from 2007, “including two for Jetstar and two for Qantas’s use in growing point-to-point markets”.

Qantas currently operates four A330-200s and 10 A330-300s, all powered by General Electric CF6 engines. Airbus shows on its website that it booked orders for two more A330-200s from Qantas on 1 March. The airline says the additional two will be acquired under operating lease arrangements with CIT.

Its low-cost subsidiary Jetstar currently operates 23 Airbus A320s on domestic routes within Australia as well as to New Zealand but in November it plans to start operating an initial fleet of four A330-200s on medium-haul international routes. It plans to replace the A330s with Boeing 787s from late in 2008.

Read Airline Business Deputy Editor Brendan Sobie speculating on the total cost of the A380 delays to the manufacturer

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