UPS has denied newspaperreports that it plansto cancel its order for 10A380Fs. The cargo carrieris the last customer for thefreighter version of the aircraft.Earlier, rival FedEx cancelledits order for 10 A380Fsin November and placed anorder for 15 777Fs with 15options instead.
French newspaper LesEchos reported last monththat UPS would cancel theorder, but the company clarifiedthe report by saying thatno decision had been madeand that it was continuingtalks with Airbus about a reviseddelivery schedule.
A spokesman for UPSsaid that the company wasstill reviewing its order. InOctober UPS set up a teamto evaluate its US$2.5 billionfreighter purchase after Airbusannounced a third delayin A380 production due towiring problems.
Talk of cancellations wouldbe a further blow for Airbus,which last month revealed its2006 overall orders total fellbehind rival Boeing for thefirst time since 2000. Thenumbers revealed Airbus’weakness in freighters, asBoeing took orders for 81while Airbus won none.
In July Airbus plans todeliver the last of its onlyfreighter model, the A300-600F, while the company hasannounced plans to build afreight version of the A330-200.
Earlier, UPS rival FedExcancelled an order for 10A380 freighters citing delays,which have put the projecttwo years behind schedule.It bought Boeing’s 777freighter instead. If the A380freighter programme wouldbe shelved, Airbus’ hopeswill be pinned on the smallerA330-200F due in the secondhalf of 2009.