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Last Updated: Friday, 17 November 2006, 10:59 GMT
Thai Airways warns on A380 order
Airbus A380
Thai Airways says it will make a decision on its A380 order soon
A senior Thai Airways executive has said the airline cannot rule out cancelling its order for six Airbus A380s because of production delays.

Wallop Bhukkanasut told Reuters that late delivery of the superjumbo planes would force the state-owned carrier to alter its long-term business plan.

Airbus has said problems with the A380 would result in two-year delivery delays and cost it $6.1bn (3.3bn).

Separately, Thai Airways said it was in partnership talks with Alitalia.

Although the negotiations remain at an unofficial level, Mr Wallop said Thai Airways was keen to cash in on lucrative routes between Europe and Thailand.

The Italian government has expressed its desire to see troubled Alitalia - which reported fresh quarterly losses on Monday - forge a commercial alliance with an Asian carrier.

Airbus fallout

Mr Wallop said Thai Airways expected to make a decision on the future of its A380 order early next year.

His comments follow a decision earlier this month by US logistics firm Federal Express to cancel its order for 10 Airbus superjumbos and switch to rival Boeing.

Last month, British carrier Virgin Atlantic said it was deferring its order for six Airbus A380s by four years.

Setbacks at Airbus have hit the planemaker's parent firm, Franco-German aerospace giant EADS, which reported a surprise quarterly net loss of 195m euros earlier this month.

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