Airbus, says it has finally been able to fix the electrical cabling problems in its A380 super jumbo, which had led to delivery delays that enabled to Boeing overtaking its Toulouse-based Boeing rival in new order booking in 2006, for the first time since 2004. (See: Airbus trails Boeing in new orders in 2006)
Solving the critical electrical problem - each A380 has around 500km of wiring - means it had "passed a major milestone" for the plane's production.
Problems with the A380 had left Airbus two years behind with deliveries, and last week Airbus boss and joint CEO of parent firm EADS, Louis Gallois, announced an annual loss of number of $6 billion (Rs26,700 crore) as orders for A380s fell from 20 to 17; with additional charges for delays expected from irate airlines whose, plans suffered due to delay in deliveries.
Meanwhile, Financial Times reports that Airbus's manufacturing base in the UK, which employs 13,000 people, could be under threat.
The paper quoted an bus executive vice president Tom Williams as saying the company may award a £100-million contract to make wings for the A350 to plants in Germany or Spain.
The fuel-efficient, medium-sized long haul jet is seen as Airbus's direct challenger to Boeing's 787 "Dreamliner", a long-range, mid-sized, wide-body, twin-engine passenger airliner capable of carrying 200-350 passengers.