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Thu, Dec 28, 2006

No Surprise Here: Emirates Hits Airbus For A380 Compensation

Says Delivery Delay Has Hurt Airline "Badly"

Emirates said Wednesday it is going after European planemaker Airbus for additional compensation for delays in deliveries of the superjumbo A380.

"We are determined to claim compensation. We've been badly hurt by this delay," said Emirates CEO Sheik Ahmad bin Saeed Al Maktoum in an interview published Monday by the Al-Bayan newspaper.

"After the first delay, we had the option of cancelling the deal, but we didn't -- maybe because the results would have been worse," Al Maktoum added.

Citing confidentiality matters, the Dubai-based carrier wouldn't say just how much it is asking Airbus to cough up.

"We don't intend to say any more," said a terse statement issued by the Emirates media office this week.

Given that Emirates is the largest A380 customer, however, with 45 planes on order... you can bet Emirates wants a steep discount.

The French newspaper Le Parisien reports Emirates is seeking over $292 million in compensation against its $13.5 billion order.

Airbus refused to confirm that figure.

So far, Airbus has 167 firm orders for the A380 -- against a break-even point of 420 planes.

FMI: www.emirates.com, www.airbus.com

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