Airbus Announces New Delays to A380

Company says it can produce between 30 and 40, not the originally planned 45.

Airbus admitted on May 13 it could not meet its delivery schedule for its troubled A380 superjumbo in a new blow to the world's biggest passenger jet. The company, struggling to emerge from deep crisis over earlier delays and production problems, signalled a shortfall of about a third in deliveries.

The head of Airbus, Thomas Enders, said the group could produce and deliver "between 30 and 40" of the giant A380s in 2010 -- when it originally planned to hand over 45.

"At the moment, we are confident of being clearly able to produce and deliver more than thirty aircraft, or let's say between thirty and forty aircraft in 2010," Enders said. Airbus said earlier it would now only deliver 12 of the aircraft in 2008 instead of the 13 forecast, and 21 in 2009 instead of the 25 it had expected.

The A380 has already suffered three production delays that put the jet 18 months behind schedule and cost Airbus and parent company EADS an estimated six billion dollars (3.87 billion euros).

The group is in the throes of massive restructuring intended to cut 10,000 jobs although last week plans to dispose of some production facilities went awry.

Airbus would not put a figure on the financial losses caused by the new delays but major client Singapore Airlines, the first carrier to take delivery of an A380, was quick to announce they could have an impact on its operations."The extent of the additional costs will be influenced by the actual production and delivery scenario," said a statement released by the European Aeonautic Defence and Space Company, EADS.

Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2008

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