Southeast Asian Airline Wants Its Pound Of Flesh
State-owned Thai Airways
is now demanding Airbus pay fines and compensation for delivery
delays of the A380 superjumbos it's ordered.
Thai Airways president Apinan Sumanaseni told AFX News Limited,
"Negotiations with Airbus started last month and remain underway,
with the exact amount of the fines still not decided. We also
demanded other forms of compensation for damages caused to our
The airline was to receive the six A380s it ordered in 2009, but
like everyone else on the order list has been told to expect them
22 months later.
At list prices, that order is worth $1.7 billion, but a
spokesman for the airlines says their order was less that.
Sumanaseni said, "We aim to conclude the negotiations [with
Airbus] this month. Then, it would be subject to the [airline's]
board's consideration by mid-December for a final decision."
He said despite the airline's calls for fines and compensation,
it still hasn't ruled out cancelling the order completely.
"It depends on the negotiations. If we are not satisfied with
the results, the deal needs to be canceled," he said.
To date, only Fedex has cancelled its order for the tardy
aircraft, but several airlines still haven't said what their final
Presumably, holding cancellation over Airbus' head might lead to
better terms for any finalized deal. Airbus has said it needs to
sell around 550 of the superjumbo airliners to break even
on its development costs. The planemaker's
customers likely believe it will go to great lengths to hold
onto the 150 or so orders it now has.
No matter how things turn out, Airbus is sure to be the biggest