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Airbus to delay A380 deliveries to four carriers


11 June, 2005: Airbus Industrie is to delay the deliveries of A380 superjumbo to five carriers - Air France, Lufthansa, Singapore Airlines, Emirates and Qantas Airways - due to an expected delay in production. The airframe manufacturer has informed the companies about the delay, even as Qantas was planning to seek compensation from Airbus. 

Airbus has informed Air France that deliveries of the A380 superjumbo would be delayed, but the reason for neither the delay nor the expected time of delivery was provided. Air France has ordered 10 A380s, due to be delivered in April 2007 and had an option to by an additional four more planes. An Air France spokesperson said they were discussing the details and reasons for the delay.

Australian carrier Qantas Airways had said earlier that deliveries of the double-decker planes would be delayed by six months. A380s are the world's largest passenger planes and had made its maiden test flight in April.

All airlines that had placed early orders for the A380s like the Singapore Airlines and Emirates, which is the biggest customer with an order for 43 planes, would be affected.

In a statement, Qantas said "manufacturing issues" were the reasons for the delay and now the company would receive the first of its 12 A380s in April 2007. The airline is also planning to seek compensation from Airbus Industrie.

Singapore Airlines, scheduled to be the first flyer of A380, beginning in the first quarter of 2006, would receive the new plane in the final quarter of that year due to a production delay.

Meanwhile, the delivery of its 15 A380s might occur for Lufthansa, but the company was yet to receive any notification from Airbus in this matter. Lufthansa expects the first of its superjumbos to arrive in autumn of 2007.

Airbus said earlier that deliveries of its new A380 superjumbo to customers would be delayed by two-six months. However, the airline manufacturer did not give any specific reasons for the delay. Airbus is majorly owned by European Aeronautic Defence and Space Co (80 per cent), while UK group BAE Systems PLC holds the rest 20 per cent stake in the company.


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