Airbus A380 story In airplane industry if something goes wrong it could have serious consequences that may severely affect the future of the multibillion dollar investment. As an example the story of the engine problem of Airbus A380 that caused a delay in the delivery of the airplanes in the years 2005 to 2010. Of course A380 had other issues such as higher than expected development cost, the financial crisis that darkened the market outlook, and the rise of mid-size aircraft that made the plans to make very large aircrafts unjustified.
Now some industry experts questioned whether the A380 project would ever pay for itself. What happened was a massive engine failure on one of the jets in one of Qantas Airbuses that grounded the fleet of six A380s and threw the Australian carrier’s international operations into disarray. Further investigations revealed that the plane was more seriously damaged than initially thought. Oil leaks in three of the Rolls-Royce engines were also found in the grounded fleet of A380s.
Some believe that the cause of the issue was the fact that the development of the A380 engine was influenced by increasingly stringent requirements, including tight noise restrictions in Europe and an ongoing quest to reduce fuel burn. Because an uncontained failure can spray hot shards of the engine in all directions, the potential for disaster is high. Fortunately the Sydney-bound jet circled for an hour, dumping fuel, and then returned to Singapore and none of the passengers or crew was injured.
Airbus announced the first delay in delivering the airplanes in June 2005 and notified airlines that deliveries would be delayed by six months. The next year Airbus announced a second delay, with the delivery schedule slipping an additional six to seven months. The announcement caused a 26% drop in the share price of Airbus’ parent, EADS. Then, Airbus announced a third delay, pushing the first delivery to October 2007, to be followed by more deliveries in 2008 and 2009. The delay also increased the earnings shortage. In 2010 Airbus delivered only 18 of the expected 20 A380s, due to Rolls-Royce engine availability problems.