Engine checks on the world's largest airliner following last month's Qantas emergency have scuppered Airbus's hopes of meeting a target of delivering 20 A380 superjumbos this year.

A spokesman said on Wednesday Airbus would deliver just one more aircraft, on top of 18 which have already left the assembly line, before the end of the month instead of a further two.

The shortfall reflects the time taken for checks on Rolls-Royce Trent 900 engines similar to the one which exploded mid-air on November 4, forcing a fully laden Qantas A380 to return to Singapore with a punctured wing.

Engineers last week replaced one of the Rolls-Royce engines on an undelivered Qantas plane following an oil pipe inspection, after regulators linked last month's incident to a flawed pipe.

That plane was due to leave Toulouse by Thursday.

The revisions will leave Airbus parent EADS short of an estimated $200 million in revenue for its 2010 accounts on the undelivered plane, which is among 12 ordered by Qantas in 2001 at launch prices. The official price tag is $346.2 million.

It will also dent a recovery in A380 production just as Airbus Chief Executive Tom Enders urges the planemaker's 52,000 staff to learn the lessons of past A380 delays and to ensure its next project, the mid-sized A350, passes off without a hitch.

The development and ongoing industrialization of the A350 XWB remains our biggest challenge, Enders said in a staff letter, according to two people familiar with its contents.

Having gathered 573 orders from 35 customers, we need to get this program and its ramp-up right the very first time.

Rival Boeing is wrestling with delays on its 787 Dreamliner. Investigations into a fire on a test plane are expected to push the first delivery, now around three years late, back by some six months to around the middle of the year.

The first A350 is due to be delivered by the end of 2013, but Airbus has already dropped a goal to deliver it by mid-2013.


While previous delays that pushed the A380 more than two years behind schedule were blamed on internal failings, the latest slippage in the plane's timetable is likely to focus attention on relations between Airbus and industry suppliers.

Airbus has said it may seek compensation from Rolls-Royce for disruption from the A380 blowout, which includes the cost of supporting airline customers amid a shortage of spare engines. Unlike Qantas, however, it has not launched any legal action.

Just over half of the 41 A380s delivered so far have Rolls-Royce engines, operating on routes flown by Qantas, Singapore Airlines and Lufthansa .

The rest use engines supplied by a joint venture between General Electric and Pratt & Whitney .

Enders told staff A380 deliveries would continue to be hampered in 2011 by the Qantas scare but did not give a figure.

Airbus has also had to scale back its ambitions because of a scandal affecting the supply of seats from Japanese manufacturer Koito Industries <6747.T>, which admitted earlier this year it had falsified safety results, leading to delivery delays as it sought to renew safety certification.

Airbus said at mid-year it hoped to go above its target by producing 22 A380s in 2010. The outcome of 19 reflects both the Rolls engine checks and seat delivery delays, a spokesman said.

Singapore Airlines depends on Koito seats for its business-class section in the A380 and also uses Rolls-Royce Trent 900 engines to power the double-decker airliner.

Engines and seats are among the items which airlines buy directly from their respective manufacturers, but the supply of buyer-furnished equipment can affect production schedules.

EADS unit Airbus still aims to deliver a total of more than 500 aircraft in 2010, up from last year's record 498 deliveries, and secure orders before cancellations of up to 500 aircraft.

By end-November it had delivered 461 aircraft and sold 440.

Airbus is the world's largest planemaker ahead of Boeing based on deliveries to airlines, but is lagging well behind its U.S. rival in the race for new orders this year.

(Editing by Hans Peters and David Holmes)