Malaysia Airlines mulls cancelling A380 orders over delays

KUALA LUMPUR, June 21, 2010 (AFP) - Malaysia Airlines on Monday indicated it may cancel an order for six A380 superjumbos from Airbus over the European aircraft maker's long delays which it said were hurting route expansion plans.

The carrier in April said Airbus had pushed back the delivery of its first A380 superjumbos for the second time.

"We do not rule out anything," managing director and chief executive Azmil Zahruddin was quoted as saying by state news agency Bernama when asked if it may cancel the order.

The airline has plans to dispose some aircraft before the arrival of the A380s, "and it is frustrating to plan with the delays by Airbus," he added.

It was reported last month that Airbus had paid 30 million dollars to Malaysian Airlines as partial compensation for the late delivery of its planes.

The carrier had placed an order for six of the double-decker aircraft which were initially to be delivered from January 2007 but which was put back to late 2011.

Malaysian Airlines announced in December last year that it will buy up to 25 A330-300s wide-body aircraft worth five billion dollars to serve its growing markets.

The aircraft have been slated for delivery from 2011 to 2016.

The carrier recorded a net profit at 310 million ringgit (96 million dollars) in the three months to the end of March due to the compensation from Airbus and an increase in traffic.