Mon, Oct 23, 2006
Emirates Doubts Latest Delivery Predictions
There's more bad news for Airbus, as the full implications
of the latest delay to the A380 program become known.
When Airbus first pitched the idea of the superjumbo airliner,
the planemaker told investors it would only need to sell 250
airframes to break even on the project -- a mere pittance, armed
with market forecasts claiming enough buyers for 1,250 aircraft
over 20 years.
Those were better days, however... and well before Airbus
announced three delays in the program, accounting for 22 months.
EADS Chief Financial that with those delays come significant added
costs for the planemaker -- so much so, that rumors of a higher
break-even point for the program were indeed true.
How much higher? The Financial Times reports a whopping 55
percent -- or 420 airframes. That's still not bad, given that 1,250
plane forecast... but when you consider Airbus only has 159
confirmed A380 orders to date, well...
Adding insult to injury comes news the largest A380 customer,
Dubai-based Emirates, has gone public with its doubts the current
delivery schedule announced by Airbus two weeks ago is worth the
paper it's written on.
Emirates CEO Tim Clark told the German magazine Der Spiegel the
airline plans to send its own team of specialists to Toulouse to
monitor Airbus' progress... and "to see if the current timetable
can be met."
Emirates has 45 of the mammoth jets on order. While the airline
stated before it does not intend to cancel any of its orders, due
to the fact the airline has already invested in the necessary
ground-support network for the planes... it can't be a good sign
the airline plans to bolster its fleet with up to seven Boeing
777-300s, while Airbus gets its chickens in a row on the A380.
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