Airbus Hands Over First A380
Airbus and Singapore Airlines marked delivery of the first A380 today at the airframer’s headquarters in Toulouse, France, in front of 500 well-wishers, company executives, government dignitaries and likely a few skeptics. Due to take off from Toulouse tomorrow and arrive at its home base at Singapore Changi International Airport on Wednesday, SIA’s first A380 will, according to the airline’s flight schedule, start revenue services between Singapore and Sydney, Australia, on October 28.
Whether SIA and the rest of the world’s A380 customers can so definitively mark their calendars for future deliveries, however, will depend on Airbus’ ability to execute a production ramp up that in any circumstance would pose a challenge. Airbus has committed to delivering 13 A380s next year, 25 in 2009 and 45 in 2010, all as it cuts some 10,000 jobs in an effort to reverse last year’s €572 million loss and mitigate the effects of a still weakening U.S. dollar.