Airbus customers face delivery delay

Airbus customers are facing delays of up to six months for the firm’s new ‘super jumbo’, the A380.

Australian airline Qantas confirmed today that the delivery of its first A380 would be delayed by six months as a result of manufacturing issues at Airbus.

Qantas, which had ordered 12 of the new aircraft, said that they were now scheduled to take delivery of the first A380 in April 2007.

Qantas Chief Executive Officer, Geoff Dixon, said that the delay was “disappointing”. He said: “We have met all of Airbus’ deadlines for Qantas specifications, however we are developing contingency plans to ensure there is no impact on our schedules or available capacity during the six month delay.”

Mr Dixon said that the contingencies under discussion included delaying the retirement of a number of other aircraft, redirecting capacity and bringing forward the delivery of other aircraft on order. He said that Qantas would be working closely with Airbus to ensure that the new deadline was met and said that the airline would be seeking compensation from Airbus in line with the terms of its contract.

All airlines with early A380 orders are believed to be in the same situation. Singapore Airlines, who had been due to take delivery of the first A380s, also reported that their order had been delayed.

An Airbus spokesperson told the BBC that the delay had been caused by “a variety of things” but stressed that the A380 was still continuing to perform well in tests.

The announcement of the delays comes just over a month after the A380 successfully completed its first flight around the south west of France.


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