State of the Airlines

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

A380 Customer First to Report on Delay...What's Wrong With This Picture

Does anybody but me find something wrong with the customer reporting the bad news? 'Cause that's exactly what is happening with the latest A380 delay. Last week EADS concluded their board meeting and left everyone, including their customers, wondering just what the latest delay on the A380 would be. In fact they were rather nonchalant about it in their press statement:
"Today the EADS board of directors met in Amsterdam to -- among other regular topics -- discuss the A380 situation. The board of directors will continue this discussion in the near future,"
Yeah, like this was just a bullet point in the agenda. If the A380 delay didn't dominate that board meeting then things are more disfunctional at EADS than I thought.

So we find out today, not from Airbus, not from EADS, but from their biggest A380 customer, Emirates Airline, that the latest delay will add another 10 months to their delivery date. The following is not the quote of a happy customer:
Our first aircraft will now arrive in August 2008. This is a very serious issue for Emirates and the company is now reviewing all its options," Emirates President Tim Clark said in a statement.
. Furthermore, Emirates is mulling over their next mid-range aircraft, the A350 or the 787. Rumors estimate that deal to be worth $15 billion. Which way would you go? Yeah...that's what I thought.

What a debacle. Will the A380 become a modern day Spruce Goose? At this point I say no but I am willing to go out on a limb with this thought. If Airbus does not halt this backslide the A380 may be doomed to be a bit player much like the Concorde was a bit player. Just a few airplanes flying to the few airports that can actually take the aircraft. Specialized service for specialized routes. It is becoming evermore doubtful that the A380 will be the revolution that Airbus envisioned.

Labels: , ,