Airbus has confirmed that the delivery of its first A380 would be delayed by up to six months. This disappointing news comes just weeks after the A380’s maiden test flight onÊ 27 April 2005.
Singapore Airlines is the launch customer for the ‘Super Jumbo’ A380, and plans to initially use the plane on routes such as Singapore - Sydney or Singapore - London where the A380, in SIA’s configuration, will be able to hold roughly 100 more passengers per flight than the 747 it currently uses, and at greater fuel savings per passenger.ÊQantas, another airline with firm orders on Airbus’ books, said that the airline was now scheduled to take delivery of the first of its 12 new A380 aircraft in April 2007.
Chief Executive Officer of Qantas, Mr Geoff Dixon, said, “This is disappointing, given that we have met all of Airbus’ deadlines for Qantas specifications, however we are developing contingency plans to ensure there is no impact on our schedules or available capacity during the six month delay.”
Possible contingencies under discussion include deferring the retirement of a number of aircraft, redirecting capacity, and bringing forward the delivery of other aircraft on order.
Mr Dixon said that all airlines with early A380 orders were in the same situation, and that Airbus had advised that the deliveries would be made in the same sequence with the same time differentials.
“We will be working closely with Airbus to ensure the new deadline is met,” Mr Dixon said.
Airbus may well be forced to pay compensation to airlines depending on the terms of each contract.