EADS, parent company of troubled plane maker Airbus, has reported a third-quarter operating loss as delivery delays to its A380 superjumbos led to cancelled orders. It took a one billion euro charge in the period for the delays and cost overruns on the A380. It did announce strong performances at its helicopter, defence and space divisions and the shares rose.
The third quarter loss – before interest, taxes and other items – was 239 million euros, compared with profit in the same period last year of 559 million and 473 million euros in the third quarter of 2004.
For the moment Airbus remains the world’s biggest maker of commercial aircraft, but US firm Boeing could well retake the number one slot because of the two year delays to the A380 and the fact that, after a false start with the A350, it is five years behind Boeing in producing a mid-sized plane to compete with the 787 Dreamliner.
The figures were released one day after package shipping company FedEx cancelled an order for ten cargo versions of the A 380. If others, such as UPS, also pull out, Airbus might not even not bother to make a freight version of the superjumbo.