Airbus has informed its A380 customers about a further delay in the delivery schedule of the superjumbo, which will not be delivered until October 2007.Thirteen more will be delivered in 2008 and 25 in 2009. The industrial ramp-up will be completed in 2010, when 45 A380s are going to be delivered.
Fully aware of the impact this has on their development plans, Airbus is in close contact with its customers and is doing its utmost to find ways and means to alleviate the burden this represents for them.
In June, the amount of work to be done to finalise the installation of the electrical harnesses into the forward and rear section of the fuselage had been underestimated. Beyond the complexity of the cable installation, the root cause of the problem is the fact that the 3D Digital Mock up, which facilitates the design of the electrical harnesses installation, was implemented late and that the people working on it were in their learning curve.
Under the leadership of the new Airbus President and CEO Christian Streiff, strong measures have been taken, which, in addition to management changes, include the implementation of the same proven tools on all sites, as well as the creation of multi-national teams to better use the best skills available. Simultaneously, training is being organised to swiftly bring the employees using those tools to the optimum level. With the right tools, the right people, the right training and the right oversight and management being put in place, the issue is now addressed at its root, although it will take time until these measures bear fruit.
Furthermore, in order to regain its competitive edge and to counter the financial impact of the delay as well as the weakening Dollar, Airbus is launching the Power8 programme. The objective of the programme is to reduce costs, save cash and develop new products faster. The development cycle times are to be reduced by two years while the overall productivity is to be increased by 20 per cent. The programme aims at annual cost savings of at least € 2 billion from 2010 onwards and delivering some € 5.0 billion in cumulative cash savings by 2010.
Airbus will this year deliver around 430 aircraft, the highest ever, with a plan to deliver even more next year. It currently has an order-book of some 2,100 aircraft, filling the production lines for the next 4.5 years. The measures here-above should allow Airbus to even better satisfy its customers and be even more competitive.