Two bits of news from Airbus today.
Firstly, the Airbus A350 unsurprisingly.. is going to be late (and anyone who thought the A350 would be on time really needs to look at the recent history of new aircraft deliveries from both Boeing and Airbus).
The A350-900’s schedule has now slipped to “final assembly” beginning in early 2012, and Entry into Service to the first half of 2014. Airbus had hoped to get those numbers into 2011/2013, but it seems technological issues as well as a desire to avoid immature sections of the new aircraft being delivered (which would necessitate massive rebuilds) force this time slip. Suffice to say it’s costing Airbus €200 million for this little time slip.
Lets hope this one of the last – although going by previous constructions, I’d expect more slips to come…
Secondly, for fans of the BendyBus (aka the Airbus A340), the programme to build new ones has ended. By canning the project, it’s costed €192 million ($260 million) on its earnings before interest and taxes.
EADS/Airbus have not given further reasons on the cancellations, but it isn’t hard to work out. There have been no fresh orders for A340’s for the past two years, and the numbers of the A340 don’t stack up in comparison to the 777-200LR – hence the lack of sales of the A340 family. This makes the second class of Airbus aircraft that Airbus will retire – the first being the A300 family.
Whilst there is a resurgence in the A330 models, the A340 models have been left stagnated, with Boeing hoovering up the trade with it’s 777-200LR and 777-300ER models.