Airbus Delays New Superjumbo A380

The European aircraft manufacturer Airbus said on June 1 that it would be two to six months late in delivering its new superjumbo A380 airliner to airlines.The delay raises the risk of financial penalties on the European consortium for late delivery, but Airbus declined to comment on any such penalty clauses in its contracts. Airbus spokeswoman Barbara Kracht told AFP that the airliners would be delivered with a delay of "two to six months depending on the case" and that: "We are in the process of reviewing the timetable. We are informing all of our customers."

Airbus has taken 144 orders, and 10 options, from 15 airlines at a catalogue price of $263-286 million each. The Emirates have ordered 43 planes. Air France has ordered 10 of the airliners and has an option for four more. The Australian airline Qantas head Geoff Dixon said that the first of the 12 superjumbo aircraft ordered by the airline had been delayed from October 2006 to April 2007, and said that his company would seek damages in accordance with terms in its contract. Singapore Airlines had said at the beginning of May that that the first of its planes would now be delivered in the second half of 2006 instead of in the first half. It now expects delivery in the last quarter of 2006.

Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2005

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