PARIS --- Representatives of the partner nations of the Airbus A400M military transport aircraft are due to meet next Monday (Feb. 5) in London to discuss delays in aircraft deliveries due to technical problems, according to the Spanish website Actualitad Aerospacial citing sources close to the meeting.
The meeting was initially scheduled for last November, but was postponed for three months.
Airbus has been hit with substantial financial penalties because it has delivered aircraft that do not meet contracted capability requirements, and because it has fallen behind contractual delivery schedules, notably due to successive technical problems including cracks in some engine gearboxes.
Because of the penalties and deferred payments, Airbus last year took an additional charge of 1,200 million euros for the project, and asked the seven A400M partner nations to limit the financial penalties and deferrals of payments which they imposed because of delivery delays and to capability shortfalls.
Company CEO Tom Enders warned last year that the program would be at substantial risk if Airbus did not obtain financial relief.
The seven A400M partner nations (Germany, Belgium, Spain, France, Luxembourg, the United Kingdom and Turkey) and representatives of the Joint Organization for Armaments Cooperation (OCCAR), which oversees the A400M Program on behalf of the seven buyers, will hear proposals by Airbus regarding delivery schedules, upgrade of delivered aircraft, and costs.
However, the scope of the Feb. 5 meeting may be limited by the fact that Germany, the largest customer of the A400M, and also the country considered most opposed to easing Airbus penalties and payments, is still negotiating to form a new coalition government.