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Airbus Delays Transaero A380 Delivery Due to Russian Economy

Plans for Airbus Group SE to deliver 4 A380 superjumbos to Transaero Airlines have been further delayed. The contract which was structured to help the No. 2 Russian carrier cope with slowing travel demands in its home market will have to be put on ice for the time being. Transaero is buying four A380s, initially slated for delivery from this year. Talks of a new schedule are taking place as lower oil prices and sanctions over Russia’s annexation of Crimea weigh on the economy and ruble, crimping flight bookings.

“We’re working with them to determine new dates,” Chris Buckley, Airbus’s executive vice president for customer affairs, said Wednesday in an interview at the Moscow Air Show. “Given the turbulence in the Russian market overall over the last two years, this is no big surprise.”

The number of Boeing and Airbus planes deployed by Russian airlines has fallen as they return rented planes to lessors to help curb capacity. Carriers are taking a double hit from the economic contraction combined with high borrowing costs after interest rates were raised to slow the ruble’s slide. Buckley said Airbus also needs to work on getting Transaero to firm up contracts for 20 A330 planes for which it signed an outline deal at the Farnborough Air Show in 2014.

The A380’s service introduction ushered in a new era of airline transportation for operators. Whether it’s being used to reduce the number of flights and create cost savings while maintaining capacity, or to offer more capacity with fewer takeoff slots, the A380 brings operators a wide range of commercial advantages.  Furthermore, with two full-length decks, more space for every passenger, and a flying experience no other aircraft in the sky can match, the A380 has become a must-have ticket on every route it flies – resulting in a significant first-mover advantage for operators.

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