Airbus slows production to target wing cracks

Posted on 26 Apr 2012 by Tim Brown

Airbus has slowed production of its A380 aircraft so as to better address recent problems with wing cracks but the company says it will keep its target of manufacturing 30 of the aircraft this year.

Cracks blamed on manufacturing flaws were discovered on some of the 2,000 brackets inside each wing earlier this year.

Airbus delivered four A380s in the first quarter of this year, equalling its output for the same time last year.

A spokesman for the European planemaker confirmed a report in France’s La Tribune that it had slowed down production to 2.3 aircraft a month from 2.7 as it prepares to install fixes to prevent a repeat of cracks found earlier this year.

“We decided to take a bit of steam out of production temporarily to install fixes and will ramp back up by the fourth quarter to the original plan,” a spokesman said.

“This has no impact on plans to deliver 30 aircraft this year, nor on the breakeven point which is still scheduled for early 2015.”

Safety authorities have set a deadline for fleet-wide checks but have said the aircraft is safe to fly meanwhile.