Global A380 sup­pli­ers should see rev­enue for 20 more years

Emi­rates, Korean, Malaysia, Thai, Lufthansa and sev­eral oth­ers will con­tinue to fly the air­craft dur­ing the course of their op­er­a­tions

Aviation Business - - CONTENTS -

Com­po­nent mak­ers and sup­pli­ers to the Air­bus A380 should see rev­enue and sales for an­other 20 years, de­spite the firm’s de­ci­sion to cease pro­duc­tion af­ter Emi­rates chose to slash its su­per­jumbo or­der book by a quar­ter.

That’s ac­cord­ing to Mark Martin, founder and CEO of avi­a­tion re­search firm Martin Con­sult­ing. The avi­a­tion ex­pert said that global air­lines would con­tinue to fly the A380, and the mar­ket for spares and com­po­nents will still be ac­tive. This is save for larger aerostruc­ture com­po­nents, which are made by Air­bus or its global part­ners.

Martin said: “Emi­rates, Korean, Malaysia, Thai, Lufthansa and sev­eral oth­ers will con­tinue to fly the air­craft dur­ing the course of their op­er­a­tions; they will need com­po­nents.”

The ex­pert added: “Un­less there is a ma­jor global eco­nomic shake­out that wipes out the very need for the A380, the world­wide A380 fleet should end up in the air­craft bone­yard lat­est by 2040.”

Bri­tish unions and Euro­pean aero sup­pli­ers have ex­pressed dis­ap­point­ment af­ter Air­bus an­nounced it was ceas­ing pro­duc­tion of the A380 air­craft on Fe­bru­ary 14.

Unite, which represents work­ers at Air­bus sites in Broughton, North Wales, and Fil­ton, near Bris­tol, and those in sup­ply chain com­pa­nies such as GKN, said it would be seek­ing as­sur­ances on jobs and fu­ture work.

A few hun­dred staff in the UK work on the air­craft, but it is hoped they can be re­de­ployed.

Unite na­tional of­fi­cer for aerospace Rhys McCarthy said: “Unite will be seek­ing ur­gent as­sur­ances from Air­bus that there will be no job losses be­cause of the de­ci­sion to end pro­duc­tion of the A380.

“We are of the firm be­lief that with a full or­der book in sin­gle-aisle planes, such as the A320, that our mem­bers af­fected can be re­de­ployed on to other work in Air­bus.”

A spokesper­son for GKN Aerospace, a ma­jor global Air­bus sup­plier, with of­fices in the UK and Hol­land, said: “Sadly, the an­nounce­ment that Air­bus will cease de­liv­er­ies in 2021 is a sce­nario that we have pre­pared for. Rates have been de­clin­ing on the A380 for some time now.

“We will work closely with Air­bus to align our pro­duc­tion sched­ule. It is en­cour­ag­ing that Emi­rates has de­cided to or­der 30 A350 and 40 A330 neo, GKN Aerospace is well po­si­tioned on both pro­grammes.”

GKN Aerospace’s global in­volve­ment on the A380 in­cludes the wing trail­ing edge and assem­bly to the wing spar, the mid-box struc­ture for the A380 wing, struc­tural wing com­po­nents and fuse­lage pan­els. The firm is in­volved in al­most all Air­bus air­craft types: A320, A330, A400M, A350 and A380.

Jee­gar Kakkad, chief econ­o­mist at Bri­tish aerospace trade union, ADS, said in a state­ment: “The A380 is an iconic air­craft and it is sad news for those who have worked on this land­mark pro­gramme.

“De­sign­ing, de­vel­op­ing and build­ing the world’s largest pas­sen­ger air­craft is a great achieve­ment and more than 230 A380s have been de­liv­ered to cus­tomers around the world.”

Kakkad said: “Modern, tech­no­log­i­cally ad­vanced and fuel-ef­fi­cient air­craft are in strong de­mand from cus­tomers around the world and the UK can ben­e­fit from the ris­ing pros­per­ity cre­ated by this high-value in­dus­try if we con­tinue to fo­cus on fur­ther boost­ing our com­pet­i­tive­ness.”

On the day of the A380 ces­sa­tion an­nounce­ment, Air­bus said it would start dis­cus­sions with its ‘so­cial part­ners’ in the next few weeks re­gard­ing the 3,000 to 3,500 po­si­tions po­ten­tially im­pacted over the next three years.

The firm said an in­crease in pro­duc­tion of its A320 model would of­fer ‘a sig­nif­i­cant num­ber of in­ter­nal mo­bil­ity op­por­tu­ni­ties’.

Global air­lines would con­tinue to fly the A380 and the mar­ket for spares and com­po­nents will still be ac­tive.

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