18 June 2006
18 June 2006
The A380 programme will undergo a shift of six to seven months due to production ramp-up issues, although certification and delivery of the first aircraft is expected by the end of the year.
The new delays are caused by industrial issues, mainly traceable to bottlenecks formed in the definition, manufacturing and installation of electrical systems and resulting harnesses. The shift in the production ramp-up is likely to limit aircraft delivery to nine in 2007.
A recent programme review has led Airbus to the conclusion that 2007 deliveries will likely be limited to nine, and that a shortfall of five to nine aircraft deliveries in 2008 and around five aircraft in 2009 could be expected, compared to initial delivery planning. The review also concluded that further actions are required to secure a ramp-up recovery in 2008 and 2009.
Airbus continues to be very satisfied by the performance of the A380. The aircraft handles extremely well and airline pilots who have already flown the aircraft, report enthusiastically about it. Overall, the aircraft have performed more than 1,400 flight hours in over 430 flights. Since the first flight of the first A380 in Toulouse on 27th April 2005, four more aircraft have taken to the air. The first two are heavily involved in the flight test campaign, two more are used for cabin testing and the fifth one is currently undergoing customisation and cabin furnishing in Hamburg to be ready for first aircraft delivery at the end of 2006.