* Airbus has delivered 18 A380s this year
* Delays 19th A380 delivery until January
PARIS, Dec 30 (Reuters) - European planemaker Airbus trimmed its forecast for deliveries of its A380 superjumbo this year for the second time this month as engine checks after the emergency landing of a Qantas QAN.AX plane in November led to delays.
Airbus has delivered 18 A380s this year, below an initial target of 20, and the planned delivery of a 19th A380 this year to Qantas will slip into the “first weeks of January”, an Airbus spokesman said on Thursday.
The shortfall reflects the time taken for checks on Rolls-Royce RR.L Trent 900 engines similar to the one that exploded mid-air on Nov. 4, forcing a fully laden Qantas A380 to return to Singapore with a punctured wing. The delay will leave a further hole in Airbus parent EADS's 2010 revenue, as airlines pay the bulk of the price of new aircraft on delivery.
Qantas ordered 12 A380s in 2001 at launch prices. The official price tag is $346.2 million.
Airbus still expects to deliver a record of more than 500 aircraft overall this year, the spokesman added.
Airbus Chief Executive Tom Enders told staff in an end-of-year memo dated Dec. 15 that he was upbeat about the planemaker’s 2010 performance in terms of deliveries and orders.
“Overall, 2010 has been a good year, with a better-than-expected market recovery with, again, record commercial deliveries and an order intake which will be at least 50 percent higher than we expected it to be at the beginning of the year,” Enders wrote.
China Eastern Airlines 0670.HK600115.SS said on Thursday that it had agreed to buy 50 Airbus A320 family aircraft. [ID:nTOE6BT06N] (Reporting by Gwenaelle Barzic; Writing by James Regan; Editing by Will Waterman)
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