Airbus slows ‘superjumbo’ production after wing cracks

Airbus is cutting production of A380 superjumbos as it addresses recent problems with wing cracks.

But the European manufacturer is maintaining a target of delivering 30 of the double decker aircraft this year.

A spokesman 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,” the spokesman told Reuters.

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

La Tribune said the slowdown had cast doubt on both the delivery and breakeven targets. Cracks blamed on manufacturing flaws were discovered on some of the 2,000 brackets inside each wing earlier this year.

Safety authorities have set a deadline for fleet-wide checks but have said the aircraft is safe to fly meanwhile. Airbus delivered four A380s in the first quarter, the same total as in the first three months of last year.

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