Airbus believes it can still meet its revised target of delivering 12 A380s by the end of this year, but admits it will be a close-run exercise.

Executive vice-president of programmes Tom Williams says the manufacturer is "pushing hard" towards the target, which remains "do-able". But he admits that the task will "go down to the wire".

The strike at Boeing has helped to provide a "breathing space" within a stretched supply chain, he adds, as has the move into repeat configurations.

Qantas A380

Airbus had originally hoped to deliver 13 A380s this year, but reduced the target in May after snags foiled its plans to ramp up production. The airframer also brought down its 2009 delivery forecast from 25 aircraft to 21.

Williams says the situation in the second half of 2009 is looking "more tense" and that the possibility of a couple of deliveries being at risk is a "reasonable analysis".

Air France - which will be the next new operator of the type - is expecting to receive its first of 12 A380s in October 2009, nearly three years on from its original delivery date. Until the May production rescheduling, the first aircraft had been due in spring next year.



Source: Flight International