Emirates seeks compensation for Airbus superjumbo cracks
LONDON (Reuters) - Emirates Airline, the world's largest operator of Airbus's A380 superjumbo, plans to seek compensation from the aircraft maker after complaining of widespread disruption and an expected loss of revenue, the airline's president told the Financial Times on Friday.
Emirates President Tim Clark said the airline expected to lose up to $90 million by the end of March because of the A380 groundings that began in January.
The FT cited him as saying that the Dubai-based carrier would be seeking compensation from Airbus EAD.PA.
"From a commercial point of view, it's a dreadful experience. It has caused a lot of commercial hardship and we are not very happy with the way this has gone," Clark is quoted as saying.
European air safety regulators last month ordered checks for Airbus A380 wing cracks for the entire superjumbo fleet after safety engineers found cracks in almost all the planes inspected.
Emirates EMIRA.UL has found wing cracks on the 10 A380s that have been inspected so far, and its president is cited by the FT as saying that all 21 in its fleet would need remedial work.
Clark criticised Airbus' handling of the wing cracking issue, accusing the company of initially being in a state of "denial" about the scale of the problem, although he accepted that the company was now seeking to rectify the situation. Emirates has a further 69 A380s on order with Airbus.
Airbus could not be reached for immediate comment.
(Reporting by Stephen Mangan; Editing by Chris Lewis)