Airbus announces shift in A380 production schedule

Herndon, Va., 3 July 2006. Airbus has announced that a review of the A380 program has shown that the delivery schedule will undergo a shift of six to seven months due to production ramp-up issues. In parallel, Airbus confirmed to its customers the satisfactory progress of the flight test campaign, which is expected to lead to certification and delivery of the first aircraft by the end of the year. The shift in the production ramp-up is likely to limit aircraft delivery to nine in 2007.

Jul 3rd, 2006

Herndon, Va., 3 July 2006. Airbus has informed its customers that a review of the A380 program has shown that the delivery schedule will undergo a shift of six to seven months due to production ramp-up issues. In parallel, Airbus confirmed to its customers the satisfactory progress of the flight test campaign, which is expected to lead to certification and delivery of the first aircraft by the end of the year. The shift in the production ramp-up is likely to limit aircraft delivery to nine in 2007.

The new delays are caused by industrial issues only, largely traceable to bottlenecks formed in the definition, manufacturing, and installation of electrical systems and resulting harnesses.

As testing and development advances, as well as customization specifications from airlines are integrated, modifications of electrical systems and reworks have been necessary at section level, disturbing the final assembly flow.

A new organisation for the equipment of sections and a revised pacing of transfer to the final assembly line have been put in place, to absorb past inventory build-up and to deal with further mitigating factors. As a result, 5 aircraft are already assembled, including the static and fatigue test frames, while production of sections for aircraft serial number 36 has started.

A recent program review has led Airbus to the conclusion that 2007 deliveries will likely be limited to nine, and that a shortfall of five to nine aircraft deliveries in 2008 and around five aircraft in 2009 could be expected. The review also concluded that further actions are required to secure a ramp-up recovery in 2008 and 2009.

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