Airbus Reviewing A380 Delivery Schedule

Told its largest customer, Dubai's Emirates, that there are new delays

Airbus' most important client Emirates said May 6 had been told to expect new delays. Airbus chief executive Thomas Enders said he was running "a major review" of the A380 production program, which has already suffered three delays and generated billion of dollars in cost overruns. Enders conceded that "our plan to ramp-up production is definitely quite ambitious."

Meanwhile, Dubai's Emirates, the largest A380 customer with an order for 58 of the massive aircraft, said it had received a letter from Airbus.

The flagship A380 has been hit by successive problems that have caused total delays of 18 months, slamming Airbus' parent company EADS with an estimated $6 billion in cost overruns.

After explaining that Airbus sought to move from "handwork/manual work" to a "real industrial process," Enders said: "We now have to look at this and to see if we indeed manage the production, or if this is not the case, respectively which counteractive measures we have to take."

Cooperation between an Airbus site in the northern German port of Hamburg and the southern French city of Toulouse, where final assembly takes place, has hit snags and 2,000 German employees were now working in Toulouse to sort out the problems, he added.

Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2008

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