Qantas and Airbus quietly announced yesterday that the order, which dates back to 2008 has now been officially cancelled and removed from the forward order books.
Qantas said that the existing fleet of 12 will be retained in service for many years to come, and all will be progressively refurbished.
Airbus also admitted that an order for 10 A380’s from Hong Kong Airlines has also been officially cancelled and removed from the order books.
Depending on the outcome of the negotiations with Emirates, which is likely to see either an entire 36 aircraft cancellation or a substantial reduction of around 20 aircraft, it’s looking very likely that the A380 will soon be wound up.
Leasing company Amadeo has an outstanding order for 20 A380’s and despite it’s optimism at the time of ordering, its been completely unable to place even one aircraft with an airline.
Indeed Amadeo were so bothered by the fact they were unable to place the orders, they came up with a solution to sell the seats to anyone who wanted them in blocks – a sort of wholesale arrangement, here’s a plane, its going to New York, offer us money. Strangely enough, nothing’s come of the idea since.
Airbus won’t even consider it when they make their decision on the production lines future.
Air Accord technically has an outstanding order for three, but thats unlikely to ever happen as it was the ordering company subsidiary for TransAero registered in the Bahamas, and that order died with the airline.
Once ANA receives its third aircraft, other than Emirates, there are in effect no customers waiting for delivery.
There were two production peaks, at 30 aircraft, in 2012 and 2014, but that had dropped to 12 in 2018. Even with the Emirates order, production would only be set at 6 aircraft per year – a figure that Airbus accountants have said is not really viable.
Emirates currently have 109 operational, with 8 more due. The oldest was delivered in 2008 and the first leased aircraft, A6-EDC is due to be returned in August 2020, 2 more in 2021, and as many as 9 over 2022-23. What the airline will do with its owned aircraft isn’t yet known. the 36 aircraft order with Airbus was intended to replace outgoing leased aircraft up to 2028, but that now seems ever more unlikely.
Singapore airlines were the second largest customer with 24 aircraft delivered, Lufthansa 14, BA & Qantas 12 each, Air France, Korean Air, Etihad & Qatar all 10 each, Malaysia, Thai and Asiana 6 each, China Southern 5, and ANA with 3.
Air France has already stated that it intends on withdrawing all of its leased A380’s – a total of 6, 5 of which belong to the German Dr Peters Leasing, the same company that had to scrap 2 of the Singapore Airlines returned aircraft last year.
One A380 is in the used market, deployed by HiFy, an ex-Singapore Airlines aircraft.