Emirates A380 superjumbo deliveries postponed by Airbus

Confirmation of delay comes after airline cited concern over the jetliner's Rolls-Royce engines, and adds to Hawaiian's decision to put off deliveries of A321s.

An Emirates A380 lands in Jordan. Airbus is postponing the delivery of a dozen of the planes to Emirates. Courtesy Emirates
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The European planemaker Airbus said it was postponing the delivery of 12 A380 planes to Emirates airline over the next two years, and added it would step up cost cuts to minimise the impact of these delays.

Airbus, whose main rival is the US group Boeing, said six deliveries of the A380 would be postponed from 2017 to 2018, with another six postponed from 2018 to 2019, following an agreement between Emirates and engine maker Rolls-Royce and a consecutive deal between Airbus and Emirates.

“Airbus re-confirms the target to deliver around 12 A380s per year from 2018 as announced earlier in July 2016. Further fixed cost reduction initiatives will be accelerated so the impact on break-even in 2017 is minimal,” the company said.

Emirates Airline, which in September flew an A380 to Amman in Jordan for a one-off special flight, had said in November it was having some unspecified technical issues with Rolls-Royce engines for A380 jets.

Airbus, which earlier this month announced a deal to sell 100 jets to IranAir, reported in October lower-than-expected third quarter profits, although it broadly maintained its full-year financial forecasts.

Airbus shares closed flat on Tuesday. The stock is up by around 1.5 per cent since the start of 2016, underperforming a 4.6 per cent rise on France’s benchmark CAC-40 index.

The news comes after Hawaiian has announced an anticipated three-month delay on a delivery of A321neos from Airbus, months after the European plan manufacturer appeared to be getting back on track to its 2016 delivery goals.

Hawaiian said Airbus had notified it of the hold up on the three narrow-body jets, pushing their expected delivery to the fourth quarter of 2017.

The carrier did not detail the cause of the delay, but “Airbus mentioned on its last earnings call A321neo delays were likely due to problems with Pratt & Whitney’s GTF engine and associated ramp-up challenges”, Wolfe Research analyst Hunter Keay said in a research note.

Airbus’ delivery schedule has been plagued by delays in recent months. The company’s deliveries started the year below trend because of problems with supplies of engines and cabin parts, including the Pratt & Whitney Geared Turbofan engine that required extra time for cooling before restarting under some circumstances.

Some versions of the A321 will now come equipped with CFM engines, known as the LEAP-1A and made by a joint venture of General Electric and Safran of France, expected to reach customers in early 2017.

* Agencies


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