Feeds

Third A380 delay tests airlines' patience

Wiring woes will cost Airbus dear

Intelligent flash storage arrays

The patience of airlines waiting to get their hands on the Airbus A380 is beginning to wear thin following an announcement yesterday that just one example of the "Superjumbo" would be delivered in 2007, as opposed to the nine previously promised by Airbus parent company EADS.

The EADS press release states: "According to this revised plan, the first A380 will be delivered in 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."

While previous delays were attributed to "wiring problems", the latest release is a bit more forthcoming:

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.

This third delay to the programme, following similar knock-backs in June 2005 and June 2006, will cost EADS an extra €2.8bn euros in profits over the next four years, in addition to the €2bn euros announced in June.

According to the BBC, EADS may also have to stump up compensation for airlines including Emirates, Singapore Airlines, Qantas, and Virgin Atlantic, who have 43, 10, 12 and six A380s on order, respectively.

Emirates will now get its first A380 10 months late, and says it is "now reviewing its options". Qantas won't take delivery of its first example until August 2008. The airline's general manager John Borghetti asked: "How are we going to mount the capacity in the short-term?"

Singapore Airlines said it was "reviewing the situation", while Virgin Atlantic expressed concern that the delay had "serious implications" for its business.

Airbus boss Christian Streiff, however, insisted all the airlines were "still on board", and told the BBC: "Our customers are just working with us, helping us on how to improve the schedule."

Indeed, experts think it's unlikely airlines will cancel orders. Analyst Scott Hamilton explained: "By the time the airlines get through extracting all the penalties and concessions out of Airbus for all the delays, they are going to have the cheapest widebody in the world. They would be crazy to let that deal get away from them."

Accordingly, there are still 159 A380s on order. Sadly, as the Airbus website notes, there are currently 0 aircraft delivered and 0 in operation. ®

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk

More from The Register

next story
GRAV WAVE DRAMA: 'Big Bang echo' may have been grit on the scanner – boffins
Exit Planet Dust on faster-than-light expansion of universe
SpaceX Dragon cargo truck flies 3D printer to ISS: Clawdown in 3, 2...
Craft berths at space station with supplies, experiments, toys
That glass of water you just drank? It was OLDER than the SUN
One MEELLION years older. Some of it anyway
NASA rover Curiosity drills HOLE in MARS 'GOLF COURSE'
Joins 'traffic light' and perfect stony sphere on the Red Planet
Big dinosaur wowed females with its ENORMOUS HOOTER
That's right, Doris, I've got biggest snout in the prehistoric world
Japanese volcano eruption reportedly leaves 31 people presumed dead
Hopes fade of finding survivors on Mount Ontake
prev story

Whitepapers

A strategic approach to identity relationship management
ForgeRock commissioned Forrester to evaluate companies’ IAM practices and requirements when it comes to customer-facing scenarios versus employee-facing ones.
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Beginner's guide to SSL certificates
De-mystify the technology involved and give you the information you need to make the best decision when considering your online security options.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.