Thu, Dec 21, 2006
Airline 'Down Under' Confirms Earlier Commitment
Australia's flagship carrier Qantas has a need, a need for more
seats. Now it's going to get them with a few more of Airbus'
new A380 superjumbo airliners.
Qantas already had 12 of the giant aircraft on order, but just
one day after Singapore Airlines added nine more to its
order, Qantas confirmed an earlier commitment to
purchase eight more.
This brings order totals for the A380 to 166 -- that's eleven
over the previous total before FedEx cancelled its ten-plane
freighter order in November.
BBY transport analyst Fabian Babich told Bloomberg, "Its good
news for Airbus. It's a greater level of commitment and a certain
level of risk that previously existed from Airbus's perspective has
now been eliminated."
Qantas is to take first deliveries staring in August 2008 --
almost two years behind schedule. The planemaker says installation
issues with the giant airliner's 300 miles of wiring caught
engineers off-guard. Analysts say the delay will cost Airbus and
parent company EADS upwards of $6 billion.
The latest figures from Airbus predicts the A380 program will
break even on development costs with the sale of aircraft number
420. The initial estimates on that number before Airbus announced
massive delays with the program were closer to 270.
As for how the delivery delay is affecting Qantas, its CEO Geoff
Dixon told Bloomberg, "We've reviewed capacity and made other
arrangements and have coped quite well. Initially there was some
frustration about it, but as in most airlines you deal with issues
as they arise."
Singapore Airlines chose to keep details of compensation Airbus
may have paid it for delivery delays confidential. The company's
CEO would only say the pair have reached a "satisfactory
Details of compensation, if any, Qantas may have received
are also being kept under wraps.
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