Print 47 comment(s) - last by Clauzii.. on Nov 11 at 7:25 PM

FedEx kicks the Airbus A380 to the curb
Airbus loses 10 orders for the A380 worth $2.5 billion USD

After some pretty hefty setbacks with its A380 superjumbo program, Airbus was dealt another blow today by FedEx with the announcement that the shipping company would cancel its orders for the A380-800F. FedEx has originally signed on to purchase 10 of the superjumbos, but will now instead purchase 15 Boeing 777s.

"The decision to purchase Boeing 777s was taken after Airbus announced significant delays for delivery of A380s. Global package demand continues to grow and we need the appropriate aircraft to meet that demand," said Maury Lane, a spokesman at FedEx Express.

FedEx's first batch of four 777s will arrive in 2009 with eight more coming in 2010. FedEx will take delivery of the remaining aircraft in 2011 and has taken options to purchase at least 15 more planes. "We are very pleased to meet the needs of such an important customer," said a spokesman for Boeing.

Airbus announced back in September that it was delaying its A380 due to problems with the plane's wiring layout. In early October, Airbus announced that the A380 would be delayed by at least a year.

When asked to comment on the FedEx announcement, an Airbus spokesman remarked that the company "regrets FedEx's decision, but we understand their need to urgently address capacity issues." The spokesman went on to say "We still expect the A380 freighter to be a successful program from the outset, although we did not expect demand to be very high at the start."

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Why not build the cargo's first?
By slarry on 11/7/2006 6:51:32 PM , Rating: 2
Why doesn't Airbus build the cargo planes first? There would be much less wiring to do and since the planes are an empty shell it would be easy to slap them together compared to the passenger jets.

RE: Why not build the cargo's first?
By Clauzii on 11/7/2006 7:01:25 PM , Rating: 1
I'd agree with You on that, but what about all the passengers then?

Getting to LA by AirBox!

RE: Why not build the cargo's first?
By clayclws on 11/7/2006 7:29:42 PM , Rating: 3
Did u read what he posted?

By Clauzii on 11/7/2006 7:33:10 PM , Rating: 2
Yes :)

But I'll guess that Airbus has some passenger planes to deliver ;)

RE: Why not build the cargo's first?
By OddTSi on 11/7/2006 7:45:46 PM , Rating: 2
Although I've never built an airplane before my guess would be that wiring complexity is mostly due to airplane controls and safety equipment, not for internal lighting and all the other creature comforts needed for passenger flights.

RE: Why not build the cargo's first?
By Griswold on 11/8/2006 4:37:53 AM , Rating: 3
Most of the so called wiring problems are related to the inflight entertainment system, though.

By timmiser on 11/8/2006 5:50:44 PM , Rating: 2
I think you are right. They probably got their little red, white, and yellow RCA jacks, routed them around the HDMI cables powering the HDTV's, then the monster S-video cables and those funky digital audio cables. After it was all done they go to plug it all in and nothing works. Now they have to tear apart the whole God-D**M plane and start over! I guess even aerospace engineers have a hard time figuring out those home entertainment systems! :)

By lemonadesoda on 11/7/2006 9:28:51 PM , Rating: 3
I agree on safety grounds. If there is a "new concept" plane, I'd prefer it to have a million flying hours before crowding people onto the thing. Cargo is a good way to test the plane without putting people at risk (and costing airports a fortune in gate conversion costs)

"Can anyone tell me what MobileMe is supposed to do?... So why the f*** doesn't it do that?" -- Steve Jobs
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