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As Airbus and others look to avoid potential supply chain problems resulting from the earthquake in Japan, careful spares management appears to be a key tool.EADS CFO Hans-Peter Ring does not expect major aircraft delivery delays, although he will not rule out some handovers may slip a few weeks. One of the issues for Airbus is that engine-supplier Rolls-Royce gets key parts from Japan. Ring says Rolls is working the issue "heavily" and that currently the situation is "somewhat under control." Perhaps the biggest big risk area is the A380 program. Ring notes that since the program is still in rampup mode, there is an absence of a large spares pool (the pool was further drained by last year's Trent 900 uncontained engine failure on QF32), so supply chain disruptions can't be paved over as easily. Still, Ring so far still believed more than 20 A380s will go to customers this year (he puts the figure at around the mid-20s).On the single-aisle side, he is less worried about engine supply bottlenecks because of the larger supply of spares.Overall, Ring says "people are rather inventive in how to deal with this."
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