Airbus To Slow A380 Delivery Rate

 - May 6, 2009, 6:58 AM

Airbus has adjusted its delivery schedule for the A380 superjumbo for this year to reflect a planned cut in production from 18 to 14 airplanes “due to the current economic and aviation crisis and following specific customer requests for deferrals,” the company announced today. The European manufacturer also revealed that it planned to deliver 20 airplanes next year, and added that rate schedules beyond 2010 will depend “on airline demand and availability of customer financing.” The company said it planned to take “mitigating actions” against the negative effects of the production cut and expects “no significant impact” on earnings.

An Airbus spokesman couldn’t elaborate on the nature of the so-called mitigating actions, saying only that “it is too early to say, like job-wise, etcetera.”

Although the spokesman said he must respect confidentiality agreements with the customers who asked for the deferrals, Qantas last month said it had asked for an 11-month delay of one airplane due this year and three airplanes due next year.  

Airbus also reiterated its intention to reduce the A320 family production rate from an average of 36 to 34 aircraft per month starting in October and that production of the A330/340 family now runs at a rate of 8.5 aircraft per month. “The A350XWB development process continues with full speed,” it added.

“Of course, for example, if it’s necessary to cut production even more, then of course you’ve got to see where the flexibility lies,” said the spokesman.

Finally, the company confirmed its plan to deliver roughly the same number of airplanes it delivered last year, when it set a record by shipping 483 airplanes.