Dubai-based airline Emirates - the biggest customer for the Airbus A380 superjumbo - yesterday said it had given no thought to cancelling its order despite delays in manufacturing the world's biggest passenger aircraft.
"We are not considering cancelling our order," an Emirates official said. "We have not thought about that."
Fast growing Emirates, which operates twice-a-day services between Birmingham and Dubai, said it was informed by Airbus, which is controlled by European aerospace company EADS, of a further six-month delay in deliveries and that it hoped to put the aircraft into operation by January 2008.
A delay of up to seven months for the A380 announced last week and blamed on wiring complications has angered customers, sparking calls for compensation and warnings that some may rethink their orders.
The A380 was set back before due to similar problems with wiring, which thread through the plane and drive systems such as inflight entertainment.
The world's biggest aircraft leasing firm, International Lease Finance Corporation, warned on Tuesday that it may cancel deals to buy the A380 and the planned A350 model, contracts which are worth more than $5 billion at list prices.
Emirates has ordered 43 of the A380 planes, which carry a list price of $300 million - by far the largest order for the plane.
Emirates expects to receive its first A380 in October 2007 to be put into operation in January 2008, an Emirates official said.
The mammoth A380, along with the long-range 777-300ER from Boeing, are key to the expansion plans of fast-growing Emirates, which is planning more routes into Africa and to South America. It plans to introduce the new Boeing on one of its flights from Birmingham to Dubai n ext month, increasing capacity.
Emirates, based in the Gulf Arab region's trading hub of Dubai, is also considering an order from Boeing or Airbus that could be valued at up to $20 billion for mid-sized airliners.
Emirates said last month that once Boeing and Airbus settle on their respective offerings to Emirates for midsized planes, the airline could purchase up to 100 aircraft.
Meanwhile, French Transport Minister Dominique Perben said the government wanted to preserve the French-German agreement on the management structure of EADS, despite the current turmoil involving the Airbus parent company's top management.
On Tuesday Finance Minister Thierry Breton said he met with EADS co-chairman Arnaud Lagardere "to speak with him about possible changes" in the group's shareholding and management.