Again Airbus had to announce new delays on the deliveries of its superjumbo in 2008 and 2009. Airbus failed to increase the production capacity as ambitiously as they planned. And again, it’s the wiring that they blame for the delays just as they did when they had to announce the first of the numerous delays which have totalized to more than two years.
Airbus’ customers are now expected to seek for compensation. For Singapore Airlines, the A380 now seems to turn out as a bargain as it helped them to establish the brand even more as the cutting-edge airline and due to the benefit of the enormous public attention for the first commercial A380 flight, the received penalty payments as well as the fact that there is a shortage of airplanes at the moment as both, Airbus and Boeing will be working at full capacity for years and prices have increased a lot since Singapore Airlines’ first A380 order.
For Airbus in contrast, the A380 becomes more and more expensive. Singapore Airlines, Quantas and Emirates that expect deliveries this year as well as Lufthansa and Air France-KLM who expect deliveries in 2009 will not hesitate to express their disappointment and call on Airbus to increase its efforts and penalties. Emirates’ head Tim Clark said that his airline would suffer “serious damages” from further delays. Emirates has ordered 58 A380 and therefore is the biggest customer. After all, Airbus will suffer the most serious damages as far as credibility is concerned.
The new problems with the A380 are among many difficulties the European plane manufacturer has to deal with. The restructuring is far from completed as Airbus failed to sell plants to investors. Besides, Airbus suffers from the effect of the weak dollar because Airbus has to pay its bills in euro but the revenue is in dollar.
However, the new delays don’t seem to surprise anyone as huge delays appear to be inescapably linked to mega-projects. Airbus’ rival Boeing also suffers from delays with the “Dreamliner”. Most companies tend to underestimate the complexity of those projects and thus, disruptions are inevitably. In addition, Airbus has to deal with the complexity of the company itself as a lot of national interests and politicians are involved which makes decision making even more difficult. When France’s President Nicolas Sarkozy was in China, he pressured Airbus’ chief operating officer Frabrice Bregier to accept a deal over 160 jets though this deal is more a burden than a boon for Airbus as the profit will be low and the construction of the aircrafts will bind a lot of workforce.