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SCOTT JAGOW: Not only is A380 a massive airplane — it can carry 555 passengers — but the super jumbo jet has been a massive headache for European plane-maker Airbus. Airlines that ordered the A380 were told this week they’ll have to wait another year to get it. Today, board members of Airbus’s parent company are meeting to figure out damage control. More now from Ashley Milne-Tyte.
ASHLEY MILNE-TYTE: The Middle East’s Emirates Airlines is the biggest A380 buyer with 43 planes on order and the first won’t be ready until August 2008.
Airline consultant Michael Boyd says these delays prove Airbus took on more than it could handle with the super-jumbo.
MICHAEL BOYD:“I think they need to consider cutting their losses because this is not gonna be a big seller, it’s not gonna have a lot of demand, and that could have been understood three years ago.”
But Flight International Magazine’s Guy Norris says there’s no way Airbus will cut and run.
Despite the problems, building this plane has been a huge technical achievement.
GUY NORRIS: “To do a U-turn at this stage would be unthinkable, and the long term potential of this program particularly if they go for the next version, could be a big earner for them in the end of this decade and into the next.”
Still, while Airbus has struggled to get its giant plane off the ground, U.S. rival Boeing has scored an industry hit with its 787 Dreamliner.
It’s smaller and lighter than the A380 and it’s seen three times as many orders.
I’m Ashley Milne-Tyte for Marketplace.
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