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Business

Reports: Airbus and Boeing Could See More Delivery Delays

Franco-German aircraft maker Airbus has written to clients warning of more possible delays in deliveries of its A380 superjumbo, a German magazine said on Sunday. Boeing's Dreamliner will be reportedly late as well.

Singapore Airlines' A380

The A380 delivered to Singapore Airlines was 18 months late

The company will "nearly" manage to deliver 13 of the aircraft this year as planned, the weekly Wirtschaftswoche cited unnamed insiders as saying, but it will definitely not be able to deliver the promised 25 in 2009.

It is also highly questionable "whether we will be able to manage to produce four (A380) aircraft a month as planned in the foreseeable future," the magazine cited its source as saying.

A spokeswoman for Airbus contacted by the AFP news agency declined to comment, reiterating that the company's chief executive of nine months Thomas Anders was currently conducting a review of the A380 program.

Model of the A380

Production delays are no stranger to the A380

Airbus, a unit of EADS, delivered the first A380 to Singapore Airlines last October -- 18 months late -- due to production problems.

Seventeen airlines have so far ordered or committed to ordering A380s, the world's largest passenger airplane.

The A380 has been beset by huge delays and cost overruns running into billions of euros, helping to drag EADS into the red and prompting a management shake-up and a major restructuring program.

Boeing's woes

Just as Airbus hits a rough patch, US aerospace giant and Airbus competitor Boeing has signalled a further nine-month delay to clients awaiting delivery of its 787 Dreamliner launch, German newspaper Die Welt reported on Saturday.

model of the Dreamliner

Boeing's Dreamliner has hit some turbulence

Contacted by AFP in London, a Boeing spokesman refused to comment on the report, which cited a letter sent by the company explaining that orders will now be fulfilled a total of 27 months late.

On April 9, Boeing said the first flight would move into the fourth quarter of this year rather than the end of the second, with first delivery planned for the third quarter of 2009 instead of the first.

The latest delay primarily affects companies expecting to take delivery from 2012 and beyond, Die Welt spelled out, citing Air Europe, Gulf Air, Vietnam Airlines and British Airways.

The Dreamliner, Boeing's first new model in over a decade, was designed using high-tech plastic composites instead of aluminum, which reduces its weight. Boeing maintains that it will consume 20 percent less fuel then similar-sized planes.

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