Airbus Claims Engine Makers Are To Blame For Delivery
Faced with more late delivery
penalties and production woes, Airbus is in a situation that seems
to be snowballing. Adding to the tension of running behind schedule
on several projects, France and Germany are applying political
pressure to EADS, Airbus' parent company.
Two years behind on proposed deliveries of its A380 superjumbo
airliner, EADS is facing huge sums in late penalties to several
airlines. According to the International Herald Tribune, another
EADS project likely to incur penalties is a naval variant of its
NH90 Helicopter, running behind as well.
Adding to current woes is a dispute with engine makers for its
A400M military transport. Previously announced to be 11 months
behind schedule, the first flight of the A400M has now been
postponed indefinitely until powerplant difficulties can be ironed
EADS, facing late penalties due seven European nations waiting
for ordered A400Ms, is balking at carrying the financial burden on
its own. EADS' attitude is that since the delay is because of the
engine makers, the engine makers should cough up the payment.
After talks between European Union defense ministers in
Deauville, France, French defense minister Hervé Morin said,
"EADS is telling us, 'You can't make us pay all that,' and we are
saying, 'We'll see.'"
Defense Minister Franz Josef Jung stood firm on Germany's
position on the delays. "I can only urgently demand that the
industry does its utmost to respect treaties," he said.
EADS, originally preferring Pratt & Whitney Canada to be
their sole engine supplier, insists that a political arrangement
forcing them to enlist three rival European engine makers in the
$27 billion A400M project is at the center of the problem.
Rolls Royce, Safran, and MTU Engines have disputed EADS claims,
saying they delivered their end of the bargain on time.
Stretching EADS even thinner is Latécoère, a
French builder of fuselage parts for the A380. Saying that it had
been left stranded by delays in completing the A380, it wanted
Airbus to hand over money it was owed on the aircraft earlier than
scheduled, IHT said.