Friday, March 02, 2007

UPS to Cancel A380F. It's Official. UPDATE

UPDATE: My buddy Addison Schonland over at IAGblog noted yesterday that Mark Giuffre, spokesman for UPS, said in an interview that da Festung never even told them that they were stopping work on the A380F. Business Week confirmed that today.

Addison thinks somebody told somebody a whopper. I think so too. Negotiating an agreement to defer delivery and then pulling people off the program the next day without bothering to inform your customer what you're doing tells me one of two things: either you don't know what you're doing, or you're ok with treating a paying customer like crap.

Either way you slice it, it smells worse than last week's salmon. Treating customers like this is a sure way to get your name known in airline circles. People DO talk to each other.

Now.....look at the chronology of this affair. There seem to be two distinct threads emerging from it. We went from a revised delivery schedule to an agreement to defer delivery to a future time to a cancellation inside of a week. That's not a good place to be if you're Airbus and trying to save a foundering program. ANY customer desertions can't be tolerated.

Business Wire has a UPS press release stating that they will cancel their order for 10 A380F freighters at the first opportunity.

By the way, I just discovered Business Wire. You've got to register but it is most interesting reading.

Here's the text of the press release.

UPS (NYSE:UPS - News) today announced its intent to cancel later this year an order for 10 Airbus A380 freighters.The final cancellation decision will be formally presented to Airbus on the first date specified under an agreement reached last week that gives either party the right to terminate the order.Last week's agreement specified a revised delivery schedule that delayed UPS's first A380 jumbo freighter from 2010 to 2012. UPS originally expected its first freighter in 2009.UPS had intended to complete an internal study of whether it could wait until 2012 for the aircraft, but now understands Airbus is diverting employees from the A380 freighter program to work on the passenger version of the plane."Based on our previous discussions, we had felt that 2012 was a reasonable estimate of when Airbus could supply this plane," said David Abney, UPS's chief operating officer and president of UPS Airline. "We no longer are confident that Airbus can adhere to that schedule. UPS has built one of the largest airlines in the world in order to ensure reliable service to our customers, and we're confident we have the resources to continue doing so in the future."


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