Singapore to dump a380. why doesnt anyone want this super big?

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sales not doing too well

Original post
Profile picture for user Moggy C

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Not a 'commercial' specialist myself, but how does retiring an airframe at the end of its lease become 'dumping'?


Profile picture for user J Boyle

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I agree with Moggy, it's not the end of the world, but sales have been disappointing, even the Airbus member nations haven't bought many: BA:12, Lufthansa: 14, Air France 10.
Not that airlines need many...but I do see them flying over (enroute to California) regularly.

How has Airbus been able to repay development loans...or have they been forgiven (IIRC, didn't much of the money...or loan guarantees...come from French and German government banks?).

Perhaps the lesson is there may be a market for a specific type...but whether or not it makes commercial sense is another matter.

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Aircraft is 9V-SKA, msn. 003.

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Simply put, the A380-800 is not "more efficient" enough when its full of passengers than the 777-300ER to justify the risk of not being able to find passengers to fill those extra seats.

The A380-800 is a shrink of the stillborn A380-900. So the wings are too big (and due to the 80m wingspan limit, of poor aspect ratio), the landing gear too big and the empennage too big. All this adds up to tonnes of additional weight that isn't needed, burning more fuel to little gain.

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... as the matter of fact the first two Singapore Airlines´ A380-841 aircraft, MSN 003, reg. 9V-SKA (test reg. F-WWSA), delivered to the customer on 12. Oct 2007 and MSN 005, reg. 9V-SKB (test reg. F-WWSB), delivered to the customer on 11. Jan 2008, both with the cabin configuration F12 C60 W36 Y333 and powered by four Trent 970B-84, three-shaft, high-bypass, turbofan engines (fan diameter: 2.946,4 mm / 116,0 in; BPR: 7,7-8,5:1; engine architecture: 1F–8IPC=6HPC1HPT=1IPT–5LPT), OPR: 39,0:1, each rated at 348,31 kN / 35.518 kgf / 78.303 lbf, were withdrawn from the service.

SQ´s Airbus A380-841, reg. 9V-SKA, was the first delivered A380 superjumbo and the first to fly passengers almost a decade ago and now taken out of service by the airline. Its last commercial flight was to London in June. Singapore Airlines has already said it plans to hand back its first Airbus A380s to a German leasing company, Dr Peters Group, rather than extend its 10-year lease. Otherwise, SQ continues to take delivery of the new Airbus A380s which will be fitted with the upgraded cabins.

The problems in finding a new airline willing to operate the giant aircraft as they come off their initial leases have highlighted the lack so far of a fluid second-hand market. While the most of the airliners have an economic life of 25 years and are built to last even longer, the first A380 faces an uncertain future less than 10 years after it went into service in 2007, marking what European leaders hailed as a new era in air travel.

Those early produced A380 frames not only have the physical differences (wiring system, wings produced before all the fixes and without updated wing twist compared to newer builds, various other weight-saving updates and consequent economic deficiencies) but their uniqueness also makes maintenance and paperwork a big headache compared to a later build frames. The wiring in those 25 early built frames was basically assembled by hand in response to a design defect and differs from the specifications for standard production A380s. This and several other oddities in these early airframes make them a fair bit heavier, more expensive and more complex to maintain and as such they are not so desirable. Besides, those frames are not covered by the standard Airbus A380´s production certificate. That means it's also going to be expensive to insure them as insurers don't care for one-offs as a rule.

Personally, I deeply doubt that the situation would be different now if a later built frames were available today. Malaysia Airlines had made its new build A380s available for quite a while and after finding no takers decided the best use of the expensive capital was to try to make a go of the pilgrimage market with the reconfigured cabins of their A380s.

If the leasing company cannot find a new operator, it is widely expected to break up the first one or two aircraft for parts. While the first frames do have value as scrap for parts, once you start parting out 1 or 2 airframes of each engine type, Trent 900 and GP7200, the spares market is well-covered, especially given that production and the supply chain are active...

In the recent months there were some reports that the Portuguese ACMI/charter specialist Hi Fly could take those two frames in question, in the tirst quarter of 2018. Their prime market would most probably be the Hajj-Umra Charters. Hi Fly is well known to be very closely connected to Airbus, so issues of operations support and maintenance won't be significant. If Hi Fly can make a meaningful operation out of the A380, then it is a step in the right direction for the viability of used A380 secondary market. Hi Fly does also a lot of troop charters for different nations. Those two A380s should have 560 seats in a 2-class configuration. Otherwise, Hi Fly is an EU - OPS carrier, FAA approved, EASA and IOSA certified, currently operating 8 aircraft: Airbus A321 (1 aircraft), Airbus A330 (3 aircraft) and Airbus A340 (4 aircraft), exclusively available for wet lease worldwide. Its subsidiary, Hi Fly Malta, currently operates 6 Airbus A340 aircraft.

Tarbes-Lourdes airport received the first Singapore Airlines´ Airbus A380-841 aircraft, reg. 9V-SKA, which is being placed in storage following its withdrawal from SQ's fleet, on 13. Nov 2017.

SQ´s Airbus A380-841, reg. 9V-SKA, ferry flight SQ8898 (SIN-LDE) - Click on the image below
Airbus A380, MSN 003 on Tarbes-Lourdes airport following its withdrawal from SQ's fleet.

According to those latest news, there could be some other customers for the SQ´s four Airbus A380´s, and British Airways is just one of them ...

Click on the image below

Since the article in the previous link requires signing in, here it is in the images. If You need a larger view, just click on the images ...

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....· The list of the delivered A380 aircraft - Singapore Airlines

.......... 20 x Airbus A380-841 aircraft



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Quality posting, guys. Thank you.