New A380 delays could impact SIA, airline says


SINGAPORE – Delays announced on Tuesday in delivery of the Airbus A380 could have an impact on Singapore Airlines (SIA), the first carrier to fly the superjumbo, SIA said.

SIA has already received four of the planes and a fifth is expected to be delivered by early July, an SIA spokesman said.

“Beyond these aircraft, the changes in production schedules will potentially have some impact, the details of which we will need to understand from Airbus,” the spokesman said.

European aviation giant Airbus said on Tuesday that the current A380 delivery schedule could not be met.

The company would be able to deliver 12 of the aircraft in 2008 instead of the 13 previously announced, and 21 in 2009 instead of the 25 it earlier said it could manage, a statement said.

“We have seen the announcement from Airbus, and are now waiting to hear from them in detail about what the changes to their production schedule mean for deliveries of our aircraft down the line,” said SIA, which has ordered a total of 19 superjumbos.

Airbus said it would be discussing the new schedule with its customers in the coming months.

The first A380 arrived in Singapore a year and a half late last year, after electrical wiring glitches and other problems caused delays.

SIA launched the first commercial flight from Singapore to Sydney in October, followed by service to London. A380 flights to Tokyo are to begin on May 20.

The double-decker plane can carry 853 people but SIA restricts seating to 471 passengers, and includes 12 suites with full beds.