Thu, Jun 09, 2005
No A350 To Announce, No A380 To Show Off
It was supposed to be the mother of all parties at the Paris Air
Show this month -- Airbus celebrating the launch of its A350 and
the flight testing of its behemoth A380. But orders for champagne
have been put on hold, as has any announcement on the launch of the
A350. That won't happen until at least September.
So says EADS, the number-one shareholder in Airbus, with the
concurrence of the UK's BAe Systems.
"We need to be absolutely sure of how to manage the A350, with
all the other programs we are pursuing," said EADS spokesman Rainer
Ohler. He was quoted by the New York Times.
In the meantime, there are apparent
production problems with the super-jumbo A380 (above), which took
its maiden flight in April. Those problems have forced
delays of at least six months in the first A380 deliveries and
some carriers are screaming they want compensation
as a result.
Two other factors cast a shadow over Airbus' presence at the
Paris Air Show, which starts on Monday: the ongoing boardroom
tussle over who will lead Airbus, now that former CEO Noel Foergard
has been kicked upstairs to help lead EADS and the ongoing trade
dispute between Airbus and arch-rival Boeing.
The delay in launch financing for the A350 (above) dampens
Airbus plans to announce it has more than 100 pending orders for
the 787 rival. There are also continuing questions about the
plane's viability as a model unto itself, rather than a rehash of
an earlier Airbus design.
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