January 27, 2014
Credit: Airbus/P. Pigeyre
Emirates' follow-up order for 50 more A380s has been a great relief for the Airbus sales department. And the engineering group continue to point out that the manufacturer's largest jet is now “a normal serial program,” as executive vice president for programs, Tom Williams, puts it. But this is not yet the case for its customers.
While Airbus has identified and developed short- and long-term fixes, as well as a new wing design for the aircraft, airlines are still feeling the effects of the modification work required to repair the cracks in wing rib feet, which were discovered during routine maintenance. Some of the operators will feel the pain until the end of 2015, as the needed work can take each afflicted aircraft out of service for up to eight weeks.