Airbus to miss A380 delivery target
PARIS (Reuters) - Airbus (EAD.PA) will fall one plane short of its delivery target for the A380 superjumbo this year, following engine checks in the wake of last month's Qantas (QAN.AX) emergency, a spokesman said on Wednesday.
The revision means the European planemaker plans to deliver one more superjumbo to Qantas between now and end-December, instead of two as previously planned, and total superjumbo deliveries for the year will reach 19 instead of 20 as targeted.
Engineers were last week forced to swap one Rolls-Royce (RR.L) engine on a Qantas plane coming off the assembly line following an oil pipe inspection ordered by Australian safety authorities in the wake of an engine blowout on November 4.
That plane, one of three A380s originally earmarked for delivery to Qantas by end-month, left Toulouse on Tuesday.
Airbus has said it will consider seeking compensation from Rolls-Royce (RR.L) over the disruption caused by the mid-air explosion on one of its Trent 900 engines, which led to a series of checks and upgrades on planes in service and in production.
The A380 has a list price of $346.3 million (£220.6 million), most of which is paid when ownership of the plane is transferred on delivery but industry sources estimate the revenue shortfall linked to an A380 aircraft, based on launch pricing, closer to $200 million.
The setback follows earlier adjustments to Airbus's hopes of exceeding its target for A380 deliveries because of a safety scandal affecting the supply of seats from one manufacturer.
Japanese manufacturer Koito Industries (6747.T) admitted earlier this year that it had falsified safety results, leading to delivery delays as it sought to renew safety certification.
Airbus said at mid-year that it hoped to go above its target by producing 22 A380s in 2010. The actual outcome reflects a combination of the Rolls-Royce engine checks and delays in delivery of seats from Koito Industries, the spokesman said.
Singapore Airlines (SIAL.SI) depends on Koito seats for its business-class section in the A380 and also uses Rolls-Royce Trent 900 engines to power the world's largest airliner.
Engines and seats are among the items which airlines buy directly from their respective manufacturers.
EADS unit Airbus still aims to deliver a total of more than 500 aircraft in 2010, up from last year's record 498 deliveries, and grab orders before cancellations of up to 500 aircraft.
As of the end of November it had delivered 461 aircraft and received orders for 440 aircraft.
Airbus is the world's largest planemaker ahead of Boeing (BA.N) based on deliveries to airlines, but is lagging well behind its U.S. rival in the race for new orders this year.
(Reporting by Tim Hepher; Editing by Hans Peters)
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