Two A380’s to be stripped for parts

When the press gets hold of a story it likes to put it in the most sensational and negative way possible when it comes to the A380.

Words like unwanted, unloved, all spring up.

It is true that the two Dr Peters owned (a German leasing company), ex-Singapore Airlines aircraft are not going to find a buyer.

The aircraft are 11 years old, which is still young. Yet they were also the A380 equivalent of Boeing’s disastrously over weight first twenty 787’s.

They too, were over weight, had technical problems that needed solving in use, and were the first identified with wing root fatigue.

These things happen with new aircraft types.

They’re not the best when it comes to efficiency and they would cost a huge amount of money to strip out and refurbish for another airline.

So, Dr Peters has taken a decision to let the aircraft go. And they’ll make a tidy sum doing it. The engines will be re-used, most of the parts are desperately needed by A380 operators currently paying Airbus for new, because quality refurbished simply aren’t available yet.

Is it overall a bad thing? I don’t believe it is. If they’re not viable one way they are another. They won’t be the first or the last aircraft type to go through such a process.

The second hand parts market is a crucial part of the aviation industry – the chances are that it extends the life of other A380’s and makes them more viable in the long term, and that’s a good thing for airlines and the environment.

Dr Peters had struggled with HiFly, BA and IranAir to work out a deal, but the average cost of a full refurbishment was $40m. That on top of buying 11 year old aircraft with a history was too much of a deterrent.

So parts and restoration is their future. Long may recycling continue.