It is now official; Airbus’s flagship A380 is in a “recovery programme”, and the first deliveries of the world’s biggest passenger plane will not now take place until the middle of next year. Parent company EADS says the production delays will lead to a cumulative operating loss of nearly three billion euros until 2010.
Airbus boss Christian Streiff says he is reviewing Airbus’s scattered factories with a view to consolidation and more outsourcing. He has already said A380 production will switch to Toulouse, with Hamburg getting the smaller new 350 model.
Production is forecast to deliver only 13 planes in 2008, with 25 the next year, and should be back on track with original estimates, rolling out 45 planes a year, only in 2010.
No airline has as yet cancelled any orders, although Emirates, with 43 in the pipeline, and Virgin with six, say they are reviewing all their options.