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Last Updated: Thursday, 21 September 2006, 18:44 GMT 19:44 UK
Airbus confirms more A380 delays
Airbus A380
Airbus hopes its A380 will usher in a new era in passenger jets

The parent company of European planemaker Airbus has confirmed there will be a further delay in deliveries of its flagship A380 super-jumbo.

EADS said the hold-up was again linked to wiring problems, the cause of an earlier delay announced in June.

The 12bn euros ($14bn; 8bn) project is already a year late and company sources suggest the latest delay could mean customers waiting a further six months.

EADS said it would give more details on its delivery schedule in four weeks.

In Paris, EADS shares were down 1.7% in morning trade.

"Although the company's assessment is still under way, continuing industrialisation challenges with the wiring of production aircraft have been identified and are being tackled," an EADS press statement said.

Emirates: 43 aircraft
Lufthansa: 15
Qantas: 12
Air France: 10
Singapore Airlines: 10
Fedex: 10
International Lease Finance: 10
UPS: 10
Thai Airways: 6
Virgin Atlantic: 6
Korean Air Lines: 5
Etihad Airways: 4
Qatar Airways: 2
China Southern Airlines: 5
Kingfisher Airlines: 5
Malaysia Airlines: 6
Source: Airbus

The planemaker has sold 159 of the $250m jets to 16 airlines including Emirates, Virgin, Air France and Qantas, many of whom are likely to demand penalties for late delivery of the aircraft.

BAE pulls out

EADS issued the latest statement after a report in the French press which claimed that an announcement on more delays was imminent.

Last week the head of BAE Systems, which is selling its 20% stake in Airbus, warned of the risk of further production hold-ups.

In June, Airbus announced a six-month delay in A380 deliveries due to problems with the aircraft's wiring.

The delays sparked a crisis which claimed the scalps of two top executives at Airbus and EADS.

The A380, which has cost 12bn euros ($14bn; 8bn) to develop, will be the world's largest airliner - able to seat more than 800 passengers.

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