More delays for 787, A380: German magazine

Reuters picked up a report from a German magazine saying Boeing and Airbus are notifying customers of new delays in the 787 and A380 programs. Here’s the report; we’ll try for comment ourselves.

New, 1045 AM PDT: Reuters has a follow-up report, quoting Yvonne Leach, a Boeing 787 spokesperson, denying the German magazine story. According to the new Reuters report, Leach says there’s been no change to the basic 787 schedule announced last month, in which a 15-month delay for initial entry-into-service was identified. Reuters reports Leach said that on average, delivery delays will be about 20 months.

Note the phrase “on average” in the Reuters story. This doesn’t specifically discount the 27 month figure reported by the German magazine while affirming the 15 months EIS delay.

Monarch Airlines, in an internal memo, reportedly told employees its 787s will be 30 months late; Monarch has not confirmed (to us, anyway) the authenticity of this memo. This was followed by an interview by Royal Jordanian Airlines in which it expects 787 delays of up to 30 months; and Lan Chile, which anticipates a 24 month delay for its 787s.

So how could this be, when Boeing announced a 15-month delay for EIS?

It’s because there will be a much slower ramp-up on the production schedule. Boeing’s original plan was to be at 10 per month by 2010; now this won’t happen until 2012, Boeing said in its April program update. The ripple effect is what’s at hand here.

As for the same original report by the same German publication that there is another delivery delay in the offing for the Airbus A380 2009 schedule, we’re still trying to nail this one down.

New, Sunday, 800 AM PDT: The European news agency AFP picks up a report from another German magazine saying that Airbus will “nearly” deliver 13 A380s this year (which by our interpretation means Airbus “won’t”) and that it will miss its target of 25 deliveries next year. Here is AFP’s story. Our inquiry of Airbus produced this response, quoting directly:

Airbus and in particular Airbus President and CEO Tom Enders have said on several occasions that our delivery schedule has always been and will continue to be a major challenge for the company until the ramp-up is completed.

Currently, the A380 is in the critical phase of steep production ramp-up and the changeover from the recovery wiring installlation (Wave1) to the ramp-up mode with full industrialization (Wave2) .

A major review of the programme at this transition phase is standard practice.This includes amongst other things an analysis of the progressive shift of the experienced work force from Wave1 to Wave2 aircraft, the ramp-up readiness of the supply chain and the status of the delivery schedule. It confirms the continues tight management attention the A380 programme and its delivery schedule are receiving in order to satisfy our customers.

So far, no A380 customer has specifically revealed new delay timeframes although the Reuters report indicated that the first German magazine said Airbus has notified customers.

New, Monday, 715 AM PDT: Airbus spokespersons, reached Monday by European media, decline to comment on the reports of the German publications that it won’t deliver 13 A380s this year or 25 next year, causing EADS stock to fall.

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