Airbus has informed its A380 customers of a further delay in the production schedule. According to this revised plan, the first A380 will be delivered in October 2007. Thirteen more will leave Hamburg”s interior fitting workshops in 2008 and 25 in 2009.
The industrial ramp-up will be completed in 2010, when 45 A380s are planned to be delivered. Under the original schedule the first Airbus A380 should have been with launch customer Singapore Airlines in the second quarter of this year.
In June Toulouse admitted that the amount of work to be done to finalise the installation of the electrical harnesses into the forward and rear sections of the fuselage had been underestimated. Airbus revealed: "Beyond the complexity of the cable installation, the root cause of the problem was the fact that the 3D Digital Mock-up, which facilitates the design of the electrical harnesses installation, was implemented late and that the people working on it were on a learning curve”.
There are 15 A380 aircraft partially completed at Toulouse. Under the original schedule the full production ramp-up should now be under way. There will be a knock-on effect from this announcement, not only with airlines that have the A380 on order, but also with the airframe and engine contractors, and the myriad of suppliers, big and small, world wide, who are involved with the project.
At the last count it was thought that something in the order of 350 units would need to be sold to make the whole project remotely viable. What the figure is now is anybody”s guess. Currently the order book stands at 159.
The industry also expects an update on the equally late development of the A330, the A350XWB.