Airbus (IW 56/1000) expects to have a permanent solution for tiny cracks in the wings of its A380 superjumbo jets by the end of the year and repairs completed by the end of 2013, a spokesman said Monday.
The company is making temporary repairs to the micro cracks found in the wings of some 17 of the aircraft last year.
At the same time, the company is looking to come up with a permanent solution to the problem, which has been traced to a small number of faulty brackets among the thousands that hold the wing's skin to the structure.
"The solution will be ready in the fourth quarter of this year. Repairs will be staggered from the end of 2012 through 2013," said the Airbus spokesman.
A new manufacturing process is being tested and certified by engineers, and then repair kits will be produced and should be available for airlines as soon as in October.
Airbus has insisted that the cracks do not pose a safety risk, and envisages that the repairs can be made in 2013 when the aircraft undergo regular servicing.
The European Aviation Safety Agency nonetheless has ordered that all A380s be inspected.
Airbus provisioned 105 million euros ($138 million) on its 2011 books to cover the cost of repairing the wing cracks.
The double-decker plane capable of carrying up to 800 passengers entered service in 2007 after years of technical delays. There are now 70 in service around the world.
Airbus last month said it still plans to increase production of the A380 despite the wing-crack issue.
Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2012