Airbus Ready To Deliver A380 to MAS by 2009

MAS had ordered six Airbus A380 valued at US$1.8 billion at list price with the first delivery to have been in early 2007.


BERNAMA -- Airbus said today it is ready to deliver the A380 superjumbo aircraft by 2009 to Malaysia Airlines, a two-year delay from the original delivery date.

Its chief operating officer for customers, John Leahy, says MAS has indicated it will continue with its purchase of the aircraft but no time frame has been set yet for the new delivery date.

"We are discussing with them on the compensation and the new delivery date, which was initially thought to be by 2011 or 2012. We can actually deliver to them with just two years' delay from the original date," he says after briefing the media on Airbus' business plan on the sidelines of the 51st Assembly of Presidents of the Asia Pacific Airlines Association here.

"It's up to them when they want the aircraft," he adds.

MAS had ordered six Airbus A380 valued at US$1.8 billion at list price with the first delivery to have been in early 2007.

Asked if MAS has indicated ordering more A380s, Leahy says there is a possibility but nothing has been finalized so far.

MAS managing director and chief executive officer Datuk Idris Jala, when met at the meeting, said nothing has been finalized yet but indicated that MAS will continue with the purchase despite reports that the order will be cancelled due to the long delay.

He said the actual date of delivery will be clear by the middle of next year.

If the purchase goes through, Jala said, MAS will probably use the aircraft for long haul and to serve congested airports like Heathrow in London.

Singapore Airlines became the first commercial user of the airline recently, with flights to Australia.

Leahy says the European manufacturer, which suffered a two years of delay in building and delivering the A380, has firm orders for 193 A380 aircraft from 17 customers worldwide, including 21 firm orders and 16 commitments this year.

"A380 is the magnet to attract passengers. Singapore Airlines is pulling passengers from other airlines and getting cost effiency," he says.

Asked about the huge orders from Middle East airlines, including 58 from Emirates, Leahy said there is big potential in that region due to the connections to 2.5 billion people within five hours flying time and five billion people within nine hours.

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