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Last Updated: Tuesday, 3 October 2006, 20:21 GMT 21:21 UK
Airbus super-jumbo in new delay
Airbus A380
Airbus hopes its A380 will usher in a new era in passenger jets

EADS has confirmed a further delay to the delivery of its giant flagship A380 super-jumbo of about a year.

The Airbus parent firm will only be delivering one A380 aircraft in 2007, having previously promised nine.

Emirates, which has the biggest order of A380 airliners, will see its first delivery arrive 10 months late, and says it is now reviewing its options.

Total delays are now two years late, leading EADS to see operating losses of 2.8bn euros ($3.56bn) up to 2010.

'Irrecoverable expenses'

The firm aims to deliver 13 more A380 aircraft in 2008 and 25 the following year, it said in a statement. In 2010, a further 45 of the aircraft are due to be delivered.

Earlier, Emirates' president Tim Clarke reacted to the further delay by saying: "It's a very serious issue."

Germany's national carrier Lufthansa has been told it faces an extra year's wait - with the first of its 15 planes not available until summer 2009.

Virgin, which has ordered six A380s, said it had been given details of the delays and was also reviewing its options.

"Cost overruns and late delivery payments will result in irrecoverable expenses," said EADS.

But in confirming the delays, Airbus also announced a cost-cutting scheme "to reduce costs, save cash and develop new products faster".

Penalty demand

The development of the A380 has been blighted by delays, partly linked to wiring problems - the cause of an earlier delay announced in June.

The 12bn euro project is already more than a year late.

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 aircraft maker has sold 167 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.

The A380 will be the world's largest airliner - able to seat more than 800 passengers.

Cancelled orders would be a blow to the programme - which is responsible for thousands of British jobs.

The GMB union, which represents many of those working on the A380 in the UK, urged airlines to have faith with the project.

"GMB believe that the delay is due to teething problems with the internal wiring circuits to operate the ancillary equipment such as the entertainment portals. It has nothing to do with the plane flying," said GMB national officer Keith Hazelwood.

"We are calling on the airlines with orders for the plane to bear with the teething problem. The A380 is a revolutionary project in civil air transport which will be a great success with the travelling public."

There are fears of job losses for A380 workers

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