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Last Updated: Wednesday, 28 May, 2003, 18:42 GMT 19:42 UK
Airbus warning over docks
Airbus A380
Wings for the plane are due to travel to France through Mostyn
The head of one of north Wales' biggest employers has warned that the threat to Mostyn docks is a "major blow".

The first wings for the new Airbus superjumbo are due to be transported to France through the Flintshire port next year.

But senior Airbus official Brian Fleet said the decision by ferry company P&O to pull out of the docks has jeopardised his firm's timetable.

Airbus is unsure whether the port will remain commercially viable.

The wings for the plane, the A380, are made at Broughton, Clwyd, where 5,000 staff are employed.

Mr Fleet, senior vice-president of Airbus UK and head of the Broughton operation, said there was "no way" that the wings could be flown to France.

The wings are 38 tonnes each, and are far too heavy to be transported by air.

Mostyn docks
The redevelopment of Mostyn docks cost 17m
Airbus is to hold urgent talks with officials at the Flintshire port to see whether the first consignments can be delivered via the docks.

The Airbus warning follows the announcement by P&O that it is halting ferry trips between Mostyn and Dublin.

That will leave Mostyn without a company running ferries to Ireland.

Council leaders have said Mostyn will remain a key port, and the docks operator is looking for a new ferry company to replace P&O.

The company has commissioned barges to transport the wings, but Mr Fleet said the first superjumbo flight in early 2005 could be in doubt.

Ferry operator banks on Holyhead
28 May 03  |  North East Wales
Deal helps secure plant's jobs
02 Jan 03  |  Wales
Wings to go by land and sea
06 Feb 02  |  Wales
Mostyn dock wins P&O contract
06 Nov 01  |  Wales

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