Flight Delays

SINGAPORE, Oct 13, 2006 (AFP) – Delays in delivery of the Airbus A380 super jumbo have led to “a big problem” for Dubai-based Emirates, the single biggest customer for the passenger aircraft, the airline’s president said Friday. Other regional carriers, including launch customer Singapore Airlines, have also expressed disappointment at the A380 delays, which Airbus said are due to wiring problems. “We have a big problem in terms of the loss of profitability from the A380 and the cash that they would have generated,” Emirates president Tim Clark said.

Emirates has 43 orders for the double-decker A380 but was informed early this month of a further 10-month delay in delivery when the European Aeronautic Defence and Space Company (EADS), Airbus’s parent firm, announced the program’s third setback since June 2005.

Asked whether the delivery delays had damaged Emirates’ relationship with Airbus, Clark said: “Airbus have got some ground to make up, there is no question about that. They really have to put their house in order and I’m sure they are going to do that.”

He said Emirates is concentrating on capacity and network expansion and still aims to have a fleet of about 160 aircraft by 2010.

“The A380 has been pushed ba