photo by NguyenDaiAirbus unsurprisingly announced that it would lower the amount of A380 aircraft it produced this year to 14, down from 18. Originally, the company had planned to increase production this year compared with last (and still is expected to deliver 20 next year), but the weakened economy and recent scare over swine flu has had an impact on travel demand, causing airlines to defer/delay some aircraft deliveries. IATA has estimated that air traffic, which started declining back in September, fell by 11% in March. (The figures for April will be released soon.)
It's only the latest bump in the A380 program, which has not only seen cost overruns (development spending is now at $18 billion, up from the originally planned figure of $12 billion) but also substantial delays. Singapore Airlines, Qantas and Air France are expected to be among the airlines that take delivery of A380s this year. And Airbus is also scaling back production of other models, too - a move that competitors Boeing and Embraer have also followed.