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New expected delay for A380 aicraft

Latest update : 2008-05-26

The Airbus A380, the major EADS project, may have a three-to-fove months delay according to EADS's CEO Louis Gallois. The superjumbo already suffered three production delays.

Louis Gallois, chief executive of European aerospace giant EADS, said Monday that the latest delays to its flagship A380 superjumbo project would be three or five months.

Questioned at the annual shareholders meeting held here, Gallois repeated several times that the most recent delays in A380 deliveries would be "three to five months."

Gallois stressed that "ramping up (A380) production was underway and so we are not faced with the same catastrophe we faced two years ago but (the ramping-up) is not going fast enough."

Earlier this month, EADS unit Airbus confirmed that the A380 had run into further problems and its delivery schedule would have to be put back, explaining that production changes required the changes.

Airbus said it would deliver 12 of the aircraft in 2008 instead of the 13 forecast, and 21 in 2009 instead of the 25 it had expected.

Airbus chief executive Thomas Enders said at the time the group could produce and deliver "between 30 and 40" of the giant A380s in 2010 -- when it had originally planned to hand over 45.

The A380 has already suffered three production delays that put the jet 18 months behind schedule and cost Airbus and parent company EADS an estimated six billion dollars (3.87 billion euros) in compensation for customers.

Gallois also told the meeting Monday that orders for Airbus were likely to slow as airlines grappled with problems arising from soaring fuel costs.

"In coming quarters, I expected the order flow to slow, especially because of the difficulties airlines are having because of the sharp rise in oil prices," he said.

Additionally, Gallois said the first flight of the A400M military transport, also facing delays, should take place this summer but noted that that target could be under strain.

Date created : 2008-05-26

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