August 2012

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Supplier woes delay second Emirates A380; daily JFK superjumbo service to be impacted

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MSN013-taxi.jpgDelivery of the second Emirates Airbus A380 has been delayed at least several weeks due to supplier issues with interior outfitting, delaying introduction of the first daily A380 service to New York's John F. Kennedy International Airport.

According to sources in both Dubai and Hamburg, delivery has been delayed until October 20 "at the earliest."

The second 489-seat A380, MSN013, was intended for delivery in September for introduction on the airline's direct Dubai-New York (JFK) service on October 1. The aircraft was to replace a Boeing 777-300ER on the route to establish the first daily A380 service to the United States.

Neither Airbus nor Emirates denied the potential delivery delay.

"There may be a delay," says an US based Emirates spokesperson. "We are awaiting further details from Dubai."

Per company policy, Airbus declined to discuss delivery schedules of its aircraft, though the European airframer underscored it was still on track to have 12 A380s delivered before the close of 2008. Five A380s have been delivered this year.

Airbus revised its A380 delivery targets in May from 13 in 2008, citing a slow transition of staff from Wave 1 hand-wired aircraft to Wave 2 aircraft with production wiring.

Emirates' website still shows the A380 operating the 13 hour 45 minute route daily route beginning October 1. The route is currently operated by Emirate's first A380 (A6-EDA) with 491-seats and a Boeing 777-300ER configured with 354 or 358 seats. With the delay of entry into service of the second A380, Emirates will likely be required to boost capacity to compensate for the roughly 135-seat gap between the 777-300ER and the A380.

According to a source at the Dubai based airline, daily service is now potentially slated to commence on October 26, the same day as Qatar Airways, Emirates' regional competitor, is set to begin its daily non-stop JFK service from Doha using a 777-300ER.

Supplier issues of key items like seats, galleys and lavatories have impacted both Airbus and Boeing customers.  

Flight reported in June that buyer-furnished-equipment had delayed Boeing 777 aircraft for both Emirates and Qatar Airways.

Airbus has been impacted as well with "roughly 8% of widebody deliveries" facing "some delay because of problems with equipment purchased directly from suppliers," the Wall Street Journal reported earlier this month.

Airbus had anticipated delivering three A380s during the September, though with the delay, it appears that the first for QANTAS' and the sixth for Singapore Airlines will be the only September deliveries.

September will mark the first time Airbus delivers two A380s in the same month.

The aircraft in question first flew April 1 of this year in Toulouse and was transferred to Hamburg-Finkenwerder on April 4 where it has remained for painting, rewiring and outfitting of its custom interior, including two shower spas.

This story is part of a FlightBlogger comprehensive Airbus A380 update covering the remaining deliveries for 2008. Image courtesy of David Barrie.

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