It has been reported that Emirates is to seek compensation from Airbus for the disruption to its operation caused by the discovery of cracks in wing-rib feet on A380 aircraft.
The carrier is the largest operator of the type with 21 in its fleet. It estimates the grounding of the aircraft – six at a time – to effect temporary repairs will cost it $90 million in lost revenue by the end of March. As a result, it will look for compensation from the airframer.
Emirates says the cracks have been discovered in 10 of its A380s, but believes it is likely that all 21 will require remedial work.
It is also concerned over the likelihood of future groundings in order to apply a long-term solution for the problem.
On 8 March EADS, Airbus’s parent, said it had made a €105 million ($138 million) provision to cover the cost of repairs to the initial 67 in-service A380s.
No mention was made of any provision for compensation and the airframer could not immediately indicate whether there would be additional costs arising from manufacturing changes.
This follows a directive made on 8 February by the European Aviation Safety Agency, which ordered inspections of wing-rib feet on all A380s. All Airbus A380s are to be subjected to inspections for wing-rib feet cracking, those with fewer than 1,216 cycles must be checked before 1,300 cycles. Those with over 1,216 but fewer than 1,384 cycles have six weeks for the checks, while those with more must be inspected in three. Emirates has a further 69 A380s on order.
Further details of EASA’s directive can be found here.