Airbus A380 Stalling?

Spiegel Online is reporting a major restructuring in store for Airbus.

“Power 08” is supposed to be the name of the new restructuring concept for Airbus according to several newspapers today. The plan will be discussed today and tomorrow by the EADS  board of directors, which is Airbus’ parent concern. “Les Echos” reports that the plan will be presented to the employees on Wednesday.

According to the plan, the production of the aircraft manufacturer would be completely reorganized. The paper reports that long range aircraft would only be built in Toulouse. This would mean the end of the A380 production in Finkenwerder [Hamburg] where in the future the entire production of A320 would be concentrated.

In addition, the report continues by explaining that more work sould be outsourced to external partners. Thus, about 30 percent of the A350 and 15 percent of the A380 would be outsourced – even to Chinese and Russian companies. This would mean savings of not only about two billion (or for the English millard) Euros per year but reduce the development times for new aircraft by approximately 40 percent. [my translation]

This is a result of the problems with the construction of the A380. The delivery of the new class of super-sized passenger plane has already been postponed, a major image loss for the new class of aircraft. This delay was followed earlier this year with a management purge shake up costing the top people their jobs. (Don’t worry, I’m sure they got nice severance packages and aren’t looking for work. Poor managers – it’s just hire and fire.)

This change seems to be the final reaction to the chaos.

One of the sad parts of this story, is that environmental groups fought the construction of the enlarged landing strip in Hamburg for several years. They lost and some of Hamburg’s Alster (a recreational lake in the city) was filled in to make landing strips.

I’m not always on the side of the environmental groups, but in the case of an urban recreation area vs. a new iffy class of aircraft, I’d  agree with the tree huggers. One of the arguments used against the construction project was exactly that the project wasn’t safe enough. The A380 wasn’t proven to be an economical success and even the market for the airliner is rather uncertain. Airbus went ahead despite warnings.

Anyway, it’s all just water under the landing strip now; even if the A380 doesn’t really take off.


1 comment so far

  1. […] I wrote the other day about the Airbus situation and that EADS, the parent company, having had problems with the delivery of the new A380. I was talking about the delays announced earlier. Little did I know Airbus would announce yet another major slip in the delivery schedule. […]

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