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Business

Airbus superjumbo deliveries delayed

European aircraft maker Airbus has said that it may fail to meet sales targets for its new A380 plane this year. The discovery of cracks in the wings of the superjumbo has made customers cautious.

Airbus was originally planning to deliver 30 of its new wide-body A380 airplanes to customers in 2012 - a sales target which Airbus Chief Executive Fabrice Bregier said would, in likel have to be revised.

"We will probably have difficulties to reach this number this year," Bregier told journalists late on Monday.

Speaking on the sidelines of the Berlin Air Show, ILA 2012, Bregier attributed the backlog in deliveries to the wing cracks that had occurred in a number of A380 aircraft in operation, indicating that the problem might not be finally resolved before 2014.

To date, Airbus has delivered 82 of its superjumbo to eight airlines, but has 257 orders for the aircraft from 20 different companies in its books.

Bregier noted that in 2012 Airbus was giving priority to fixing the wing issue, which was just a "minor thing" but upset customers for "good reasons."

Last month, Hong Kong Airlines announced it was considering cancelling an order for 10 A380 planes, but added that no firm decision had been made yet on the deal worth 3.8 billion euros ($4.8 billion)

Describing the A380 as the "aircraft of the future," the Airbus CEO said he expected to get "more customers" for the superjumbo as German airlines alone would need more than 1,000 planes over the next 20 years.

uhe/sej (Reuters, AFP)

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