In another heavy blow to the already threatened A380, Qantas announces cancelling its order for eight Airbus’ superjumbos.
“Following discussions with Airbus, Qantas has now formalised its decision not to take eight additional A380s that were ordered in 2006,” a Qantas spokesman said, reported by Reuters. “These aircraft have not been part of the airline’s fleet and network plans for some time,” he added, confirming the global trend of skepticism regarding the aircraft.
This leaves only 79 aircraft in Airbus order book, including 53 for Emirates, 20 for leasing company Amedeo, 3 for All Nippon Airways and 3 for Air Accord. However, a week before Qantas’ decision, Bloomberg reported that Emirates was also considering canceling its last order for 20 A380s to order A350s instead. The order of the Gulf company had allowed for the program to survive. It sees now that the A380 is threatened more than ever.
While rumors of a potential Chinese order have been spreading, IAG (British Airways, Iberia, Aer Lingus, Vueling, Level) could also be in negotiations with the European manufacturer to acquire more A380s. However, on February 1, 2019, IAG’s CEO Willie Walsh criticized the current list price of €400 million during a Oneworld event in London. “I’ve been very clear with Airbus that if they want to sell the aircraft, they’re going to have to be very aggressive on the price,” he declared.
The A380 recently lost its popularity within several companies. In November 2018, Air France announced that, following an audit of its network, it would trim down A380 fleet by up to 50%. In June 2018, Singapore Airlines (SIA1) (SINGY) , the launch customer of the model, returned two superjumbos to a lessor, German investment company Dr. Peters Group. As the planes failed to find interest among other airlines, the company decided to scrap them and sell for parts.