Airbus confirms further A380 delay and launches company restructuring plan

Airbus has announced a further delay in the delivery schedule of the A380. The first A380 will now be delivered in October 2007. Thirteen more will be delivered in 2008 and 25 in 2009. The industrial ramp-up will be completed in 2010, when 45 A380s are to be delivered. Airbus is in close contact with its customers and is doing its utmost to find ways and means to alleviate the burden this represents for them.

In June, the amount of work to be done to finalise the installation of the electrical harnesses into the forward and rear section of the fuselage had been underestimated. Beyond the complexity of the cable installation, the root cause of the problem was that the 3D digital mock up, which facilitates the design of the electrical harness installation, was implemented late and that the people working on it were still in the learning curve.

New Airbus President and CEO Christian Streiff has announced management changes, implementation of proven tools on all sites, as well as creation of multinational teams to make better use of the best skills available. In order to regain its competitive edge and to counter the financial impact of the delay as well as the weakening dollar, Airbus has announced the Power8 programme to reduce costs, save cash and develop new products faster. Development cycle times are to be reduced by two years while overall productivity is to be increased by 20 per cent. The programme aims at annual cost savings of at least €2 billion from 2010 onwards, delivering €5.0 billion in cumulative cash savings by 2010.

This year, Airbus will deliver around 430 aircraft, the highest ever, with a plan to deliver even more next year. Its order book has 2,100 aircraft, filling the production lines for over the next four years. Airbus is an EADS joint company with BAE Systems.