Airbus A380 faces further delay

21-09-2006

The parent company of aircraft manufacturer Airbus has admitted that there will be a further delay in the delivery of the A380 super jumbo.

Responding to media reports, the European Aeronautic Defence and Space Company (EADS) said that an ongoing review of the programme had identified additional problems with the wiring of the aircraft and that as a result a further delay in production was inevitable.

"Although (the) company’s assessment is still under way, continuing industrialization challenges with the wiring of production aircraft have been identified and are being tackled," EADS said in a statement.

"Consequently, from what is known today, there will be further delays," the company added in reference to the delivery of its A380 jet, which is set to become the world's largest airliner.

EADS said that it had not yet finalised a schedule for the delivery of the planes, which will be able to set more than 800 passengers, nor completed an assessment about the likely financial impact of any further production delays.

The company, which owns an 80 per cent stake in Airbus, said that it would provide "more detailed information" about the latest production setback within four weeks.

EADS announced a six-month delay in its €12 billion (£8 billion) A380 production programme back in June as a result of wiring problems.

Production of the plane is now around a year behind schedule and it is likely that the 16 airlines who have agreed to purchase the $300 million (£158 million) passenger jet, including Virgin and Qantas, may demand compensation for the latest delay to the delivery of the aircraft.

News of the latest problems to hit the production of the A380 comes just a week after BAE Systems announced that it intended to sell its 20 per cent stake in Airbus in anticipation of further potential hold-ups.

The announcement of a delay in production of the aircraft back in June prompted EADS to issue a profits warning and led to the departure of two key Airbus and EADS executives in the wake of the crisis.




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