It is a big week for Airbus, whose board of directors meet on Tuesday to decide on the new restructuring plan designed to drag the company out of its present problems. Problem number one is the repeated delays in delivering Airbus’s flagship plane, the new A380. Only four are due to be handed over to clients next year, with 15 for the year after, and only by 2009 does the production line get up to speed with the originally planned 25 annual completions.
The delays are costing Airbus serious money and have opened the door for Boeing to bounce back in a big way to reclaim the world’s number one planemaker spot. The A380’s new delivery calendar has so far not been commented on by airlines who have ordered, or who may order soon, and their reactions will be critical. Will they be happy to wait, or will they go shopping at Boeing? Airbus’s restructuring plan will involve costs savings, and industrial reorganisation of the company’s scattered production facilities.