Singapore Airlines Ltd. and Australia's Qantas Airways Ltd. said Wednesday the latest delay in the delivery of the Airbus A380 superjumbo was disappointing and that they were assessing the impact of the postponement on their capacity needs.
Singapore Airlines said it expected its first A380 delivery in the fourth quarter of 2007 after the latest delay, the carrier said in a statement. Deliveries of subsequent aircraft are scheduled for 2008 and beyond.
The Southeast Asian city-state's flag carrier was originally scheduled to be the first customer to receive the A380 in December after an previous one-year delay due to wiring problems.
"The delays are disappointing; all the more so because the flight test and certification program is proceeding well, and the delays are down to production issues,"the statement said."Singapore Airlines is assessing the impact that the delays, just notified, will have on forward capacity growth, and assessing options to mitigate the situation."
The carrier added that the Toulouse, France-based aircraft maker would compensate Singapore Airlines for the delay, but said the terms of the compensation were confidential.
Singapore Airlines has 10 A380s on firm order and options for a further nine, while Qantas has ordered 12 planes. Dubai-based Emirates is the A380's largest customer, with 45 aircraft on order worth over $13 billion at list prices.
Airbus'majority owner, European Aeronautic Defence and Space Co., or EADS, on Tuesday pushed back the delivery date for the first A380 superjumbos for the third time, causing frustration among many carriers that had been counting on using jumbos on their most heavily traveled air routes.
Qantas'Chief Financial Officer Peter Gregg said Wednesday the carrier now expects to have four of the 555-seat aircraft by August 2008 and a further seven by mid-2009, after Airbus said the Australian carrier's first A380 aircraft would be delivered two years late.
Gregg said the Qantas"was disappointed with the delay and had commenced a review of its capacity needs in light of the revised timetable from Airbus."
However, he said Qantas was satisfied the delay was due to production problems at Airbus and not technical issues with the aircraft.
Emirates Airline's president said Tuesday the company was"reviewing all its options"after a further 10-month delay on the delivery of its A380s.
"This is a very serious issue for Emirates and the company is now reviewing all its options,"Tim Clark said.
EADS said the latest delays will lop an extra 2.8 billion euros, or $3.6 billion, off operating profit and announced a restructuring plan to cut costs and boost productivity at Airbus.
Airbus sees no significant signs that cancelations are likely from any of its A380 customers, CEO Christian Streiff said Tuesday.
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