Aero-engine maker Rolls-Royce yesterday confirmed that it had suspended work on the Trent 900 engine for the Airbus A380 superjumbo for about 12 months.
The A380 (pictured) is now not expected to start deliveries until the last quarter of 2007, two years late, as engineers work to fix problems in wiring the mammoth doubledecker plane.
"We are suspending production for about 12 months," a Rolls-Royce spokesman said. "We made the announcement to employees yesterday."
The firm said it was too early to say if the decision would have any impact on the 11,000 jobs at its plant in Derby, which makes the Trent 900.
However, the spokesman said the company did not expect immediate lay-offs or any change in its financial guidance for the year.
"We are continuing to talk to Airbus about the exact details of their future requirements. Once we have the detailed engine programme requirements from Airbus and are clear on any potential impact on Rolls-Royce, we will consult with employee representatives."
The rival GE-P&W Engine Alliance made up of GE Aviation and Pratt & Whitney, a unit of United Technologies Corporation, is offering an engine for the A380 as well which is called the GP7200. The Trent 900 makes up a small part of Rolls-Royce's annual turnover, which includes production and support for engines for several models of planes from several manufacturers.
In addition to aircraft engines, Rolls-Royce manufactures ship engines and equipment used in the energy industry.
Meanwhile, EADS has told its European Works Council that no definitive decisions have been taken yet on the Airbus A380 or A350 XWB projects.
Rolls shares closed down 0.75p at 462.