TOULOUSE, France --- A Reuters news agency report filed yesterday, 26th April 2007, quoted an official of the Zodiac company, a supplier to the A400M programme, as confirming a three-month delay to the aircraft’s production schedule, with a further twelve months’ delay being probable.
In early March this year, during the EADS Financial Results Briefing to the press, the company’s CEOs announced the decision to postpone the formal start of the A400M final assembly process by up to three months. This decision was taken as a risk-mitigation measure following an extensive internal review of the programme undertaken in December 2006. This re-adjustment to the production programme has been undertaken in order to ensure optimum flow-through of assemblies and sub-assemblies to the Final Assembly Line in Seville.
The customers were duly informed of the decision and are satisfied that the measures will not affect the aircraft delivery schedule.
It is categorically denied that a further twelve months’ delay is or has been contemplated and any such comments by outside parties are speculative and without foundation.
The A400M production process has in fact started with major sub-assemblies in series production and being delivered. The first complete airframe is currently being assembled at the EADS-MTA test facility in Getafe where it will begin the rigorous programme of static tests to be undertaken before the aircraft’s first flight.
Information on the status of the A400M programme may be obtained from the Airbus Military website Airbusmilitary.com.