Saturday, 16 June 2018

Two Singapore A380's sold for parts

SINGAPORE A380-841 9V-SKA (CN 003)      File Photo

In 2007, the first Airbus A380s entered commercial service with Singapore Airlines. Now just 11 years later the first two A380s to fly paying passengers are slated to be dismantled and sold for parts. After trying unsuccessfully to find a lessee for the two aircraft, aircraft owner Dr Peters Group decided that the sum of the parts is greater than the whole. MSN 003 was the first A380 delivered to a customer, going home with Singapore Airlines in October of 2007 as 9V-SKA.  MSN 005 followed after in January 2008 as 9V-SKB. Upon completion of their leases to Singapore Airlines, 9V-SKA and -SKB were repainted into an all-white livery and flown from Singapore to Tarbes in southern France for storage. 9V-SKA was flown into storage on 13 November 2017.

SINGAPORE A380-841 9V-SKB (CN 005)          File Photo

As reported by Reuters, Dr Peters Group negotiated with British Airways, HiFly, and Iran Air for placement of the two aircraft, but being unable to reach a deal the lessor decided to dismantle the aircraft and sell off the useful and in-demand pieces, such as the avionics and main structural systems, like the landing gear. The eight Rolls Royce Trent 900 engines that powered the two aircraft have already been leased to other operators.
MSN 003 and 005, along with other early production A380 models are heavier and less efficient than later models, making them less attractive on the secondary market. That doesn’t mean there isn’t any interest in older A380s. Wet lease specialist HiFly will put two older A380s into service beginning later in 2018.
The decision by Dortmund-based Dr Peters Group deals a fresh blow to the planemaker’s efforts to maintain market interest in the double-decker, barely 10 years after it went into service hailed by heads of state as a symbol of European ambition.
“Psychologically it is not good for Airbus, but this is a very large aircraft with a very small second-hand market,” said UK-based aerospace analyst Howard Wheeldon.
Despite strong reviews for its quiet and spacious cabin, demand for the 544-seater has fallen as many airlines drop the industry’s largest four-engined aircraft in favour of smaller twin-engined ones that are more efficient, and easier to fill.
“It’s too big. There was a battle for airline fashions and it lost out,” Wheeldon said.
Airbus says the iconic jet will eventually prove itself as travel demand saturates airport capacity at major cities.

MSNs 001, 002, and 004 are Airbus test aircraft.

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