First commercial Airbus A380 turned to dust

Carlos Yudica

TARMAC Aerosave, an aircraft maintenance, recycling and storage company based in Tarbes, France and in Teruel, Spain, announced that it has completed the first dismantling project of an ex-Singapore Airlines Airbus A380, with the second one still in process. TARMAC began breaking up the superjumbos in January 2019 after the lessor of the two aircraft, Dr. Peters Group, failed to find a buyer or an interested party for the A380.

The scrapped aircraft, serial number (MSN) 003, formerly registered as 9V-SKA, was the first superjumbo delivered to a commercial airline on October 15, 2007. Singapore Airlines (SIA1) (SINGY) used the A380 frame for ten years, before returning it to the aforementioned Dr. Peters Group in November 2017, according to planespotters.net data.

On June 5, 2018, the group decided the fate of MSN 003 and MSN 005, which is currently also being scrapped, after lengthy discussions with several parties, including British Airways, Hi Fly and Iran Air. Unfortunately, no airline was interested in taking up the used aircraft via sale or lease. The investment fund intends to sell the components of the A380, in hopes of generating an estimated $45 million. In addition, Dr. Peters Group has leased out the engines from the two scrapped aircraft, generating an additional $480,000 per month per one aircraft, according to a press release issued by the company. The sale of the engines by the end of 2020 is expected. All in all, the investment fund expects returns on the two A380 frames to be between 145% and 155%.

The only superjumbo that found a lifeline after its initial release was MSN 006, currently operated by Hi Fly on an ACMI basis. TARMAC noted that over 90% of the aircraft is recycled, making an abundance of spare parts available in the secondary market.

 

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