In a confusing set of stories, reports suggest that there may be a new round of delivery delays for the Airbus A380. These generated from comments made by Airbus CEO Thomas Enders, who said Airbus is engaged in a major review of the A380 production to assess the delivery schedule of 13 A380s this year and more in succeeding years.
This apparently was interpreted to mean that Airbus might not deliver the 13 airplanes promised this year. A spokesman immediately denied that’s what was meant.
We’re told by two sources–one inside Airbus and one a former Airbus executive–that program reviews are normal and there’s much ado about nothing on this one. The former Airbus executive told us he was puzzled why Enders even made the remarks.
Given the A380′s delay history, any hint of delays–whether founded or unfounded–are bound to cause concern and questions such as expressed in the news reports. This is similar to the trials now experienced by Boeing with the 787 program and fears by 777F and 747-8 customers of knock-on effects to these programs.
The 777F program appears to be on track now that there is no conflict in flight testing schedules between the 787 and 777F, as emerged on a previous 787 revised schedule. Some customers remain concerned–and are predicting–delays of several months in the 747 program, however, because of the level of engineering resources previously diverted to the 787. These customers believe Boeing won’t have time to catch up on the 747 to keep this program on track. Boeing previously pushed back roll-out by three months, according to reports, but has vowed to keep to the delivery schedule even if it means initially delivering a plane that’s about 1% overweight, according to Flight International.
New, 2:00 PM PDT: Speaking of A380 delays, Reuters has this report about Airbus penalty payments to Emirates Airlines for the delays. An excerpt: DUBAI (Reuters) – European plane maker Airbus paid Dubai’s Emirates EMAIR.UL as much as $110 million during the last year in compensation for the late delivery of the A380, of which the Arab carrier is the largest customer, Emirates said.
Here are a couple of items about the refueling capability of the KC-30/KC-330 tanker, which is one point of controversy in the continuing saga of the Boeing-Northrop Grumman tanker contract award.
Boeing likes to point out that Northrop’s KC-30 hasn’t passed gas through its bloated airplane (sorry, we couldn’t resist the puns) and that there are delays in the EADS/Airbus KC-330 program to Australian. The KC-330 is the basis for the KC-30.
Northrop likes to point out that Boeing’s sixth generation boom proposed for the air force hasn’t been built, nor has the airplane to which this boom will be installed.
New, 0920 PDT: A Reuters report published in London’s The Guardian raises precisely the issue we raised weeks ago: that efforts by the US Congress to overturn the tanker award based on jingoism can potentially do more harm do Boeing in the global market than letting the USAF award stand, assuming the GAO reject’s Boeing’s protest.
Our Corporate Website has been updated with a new Commentary, News Articles and the Boeing Conference Call transcript.
This week we examine the pledge by Boeing CEO James McNerney to tone down the rhetoric in Boeing’s protest of the USAF tanker contract award to Northrop Grumman, and Northrop’s response to McNerney’s pledge. We also touch on the 747-8I, the close tie between GE and Boeing on the 787 program; and Boeing’s Shadow.
The Wall Street Journal’s Lynn Lunsford has a good piece on what Boeing’s CEO, Jim McNerney is doing about the 787 and KC-X and how McNerney views things at the moment. It’s a rare interview granted by the low-key McNerney.
Speaking of the tanker, Northrop Grumman, in one of its e-blasts, cites a National Journal story suggesting Boeing is willing to spend an eye-popping $250 million to overturn the tanker decision. Boeing denies the figure. The story may be found here.