FedEx absolutely, positively cancels Airbus A380

Federal Express, whose former slogan was the famous "When it absolutely, positively has to be there on time", has run out of patience with Airbus. The wait for delivery of its order for 10 A380s is over. Fedex cancelled, and just ordered 15 Boeing 777F aircraft instead.

It is the first outright cancellation for Moby Jet, and leaves Airbus with only 15 remaining orders for the freighter version of the jet. Ten go to UPS and 5 go to an aircraft leasing company. If UPS also cancels, the freighter program is likely to be terminated. Because its dual decks cannot accept the heaviest pallets, the A380 freighter primarily appealed to parcel shipment companies.

Boeing's 747—800F frieghter has sold strongly. Although slightly smaller, it can accommodate a wider variety of cargo sizes and weights.

Cancellation of the freighter program might free up some engineering and manufacturing resources for use elsewhere at Airbus, though it will be a blow to overall program profitability. Via the BBC, here are the remaining orders for the entire A380 series:

A380 ORDERS SO FAR
Emirates: 43 aircraft
Lufthansa: 15
Qantas: 12
Air France: 10
Singapore Airlines: 10
International Lease Finance: 10
UPS: 10
Thai Airways: 6
Virgin Atlantic: 6
Korean Air Lines: 5
Etihad Airways: 4
Qatar Airways: 2
China Southern Airlines: 5
Kingfisher Airlines: 5
Malaysia Airlines: 6
Source: Airbus

The company will be winnowing down the number of its suppliers from 3000 to 500, following the pattern of Japanese auto makers and other manufacturers, and, more to the point, Boeing.

Such a program does promise great savings, if it is successful. But there are risks, and the transition does require considerable attention.

The company has not yet formally approved the planned A350XWB plane, a competitor for the 787 that would utilize composites for half of the fuselage. That, too will require formidable engineering resources.

Hat tip: Bryan Demko, Dennis Sevakis

Ed Lasky and Thomas Lifson   11 7 06

Federal Express, whose former slogan was the famous "When it absolutely, positively has to be there on time", has run out of patience with Airbus. The wait for delivery of its order for 10 A380s is over. Fedex cancelled, and just ordered 15 Boeing 777F aircraft instead.

It is the first outright cancellation for Moby Jet, and leaves Airbus with only 15 remaining orders for the freighter version of the jet. Ten go to UPS and 5 go to an aircraft leasing company. If UPS also cancels, the freighter program is likely to be terminated. Because its dual decks cannot accept the heaviest pallets, the A380 freighter primarily appealed to parcel shipment companies.

Boeing's 747—800F frieghter has sold strongly. Although slightly smaller, it can accommodate a wider variety of cargo sizes and weights.

Cancellation of the freighter program might free up some engineering and manufacturing resources for use elsewhere at Airbus, though it will be a blow to overall program profitability. Via the BBC, here are the remaining orders for the entire A380 series:

A380 ORDERS SO FAR
Emirates: 43 aircraft
Lufthansa: 15
Qantas: 12
Air France: 10
Singapore Airlines: 10
International Lease Finance: 10
UPS: 10
Thai Airways: 6
Virgin Atlantic: 6
Korean Air Lines: 5
Etihad Airways: 4
Qatar Airways: 2
China Southern Airlines: 5
Kingfisher Airlines: 5
Malaysia Airlines: 6
Source: Airbus

The company will be winnowing down the number of its suppliers from 3000 to 500, following the pattern of Japanese auto makers and other manufacturers, and, more to the point, Boeing.

Such a program does promise great savings, if it is successful. But there are risks, and the transition does require considerable attention.

The company has not yet formally approved the planned A350XWB plane, a competitor for the 787 that would utilize composites for half of the fuselage. That, too will require formidable engineering resources.

Hat tip: Bryan Demko, Dennis Sevakis

Ed Lasky and Thomas Lifson   11 7 06