Airbus reviews delivery schedule of A380

The review plan raises concern that Airbus may not be able to meet its delivery targets for the year (SATISH KUMAR)


Airbus is in the process of carrying out a review of delivery schedules for the Airbus A380 for 2008, according to its chief executive, Tom Enders.

Having delivered the first A380 to Singapore Airlines in October last year, the European plane manufacturer has a target of delivering 13 A380s this year. But the review plan raises concerns that Airbus may not be able to meet its delivery targets for the year.

"We are currently conducting a major review of the ramp up plans and then we will see if we would be able to deliver all the 13 A380s this year," said Enders.

"It might well be that we are able to achieve our targets. But again, it is a difficult subject. Keep in mind we delivered one A380 in 2007, with targets of delivering 13 this year and 25 in 2009. This is a very steep ramp up and this is something we will always need to be concerned about," he added.

Emirates, meanwhile, is confident it will receive its four scheduled A380s this year, with the first aircraft arriving in August. The airline has 58 A380s on order.

"We will definitely be receiving all the four A380s by the end this year as per the original delivery schedule, and another one by March 2009," said Emirates President Tim Clark.

Enders said Airbus had a limited ability to save costs by cutting jobs. "That is because we need staff to meet the delivery obligations," he said. The planemaker has announced plans to cut 10,000 jobs and sell its plants. "At a time of ramp up, cutting jobs has its limits so we are thinking seriously about thorough structural measures," said Enders, adding these include offshoring major parts of the work in manufacturing and engineering. Airbus would be deciding on the future of its European factories in a matter of weeks, said Enders.

"We have terminated discussions with our so-called preferred bidder in Germany and we are now in the final stages of figuring out what we are doing in France and the UK. A decision on this will be made soon." spares centre Airbus yesterday opened its Material and Logistics Centre in the Middle East, to be located at the Dubai Airport Free Zone "We have already invested $10 million (Dh36.7m) in the space for the spares centre. And the spend on the inventory would amount to $55m, Habib Fekih, Airbus' President for the Middle East, told Emirates Business.

 The company said that the opening of the logistics centre would give it greater proximity to customers besides reducing the time and cost in transporting spares.