Malaysia Airlines A380s Find New Owner

Malaysia Airlines A380s Find New Owner

DALLAS – After a series of attempts to sell the Airbus A380, Malaysia Airlines (MH) has found a new owner, Airbus. The dispatch came through Kuala Lumpur’s The New Straits Times.

The plan to give away the A380s was part of the recent deal where MH ordered 20 new A330-900 aircraft.

“The plan is for them (Airbus) to take back all the aircraft (A380) by the end of this year. It’s up to them what they want to do with the aircraft.”

“The discussion is ongoing. It’s a work in progress,” sources told The New Straits Times.

Airbus A380-841 ‘9M-MNC’ Malaysia Airlines. Photo: Hawkeye UK, CC BY-SA 2.0

The downfall of Malaysia’s A380s

Last July, MH listed its A380s for sale, either the entire aircraft or parts. We’ve already passed July 2022, and nothing has happened. Solution? It’s time to get rid of them for good by the end of this year. Goes to say that there’s absolutely zero second-hand market for the A380.

A MAG spokesperson said the group planned to retire and exit the A380 by the end of 2022, as stated in the New Straight Times. “However, the terms related to the deal with Airbus remain confidential,” the spokesperson said when asked about the deal.” An Airbus spokesperson also cited a similar comment, saying, “the terms of our agreement with MAG are confidential.”

Malaysia Airlines CEO Captain Izham Ismail said in June that the aircraft was not included in the airline’s fleet anymore due to the sky-high operating costs of the type.

“If you look at future aircraft technologies, it’s all about twin-engine and long-range. So, if you want to be competitive, you cannot put an A380 in play because the operating cost is high.”

“It will not bring you to the level playing field to be competitive. No doubt the product on the A380 is superior, but at the end of the day it (comes down to) profit and loss,” he said.

Malaysia Airlines Airbus A380-841; 9M-MNE. Photo: Aero Icarus from Zürich, Switzerland, CC BY-SA 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Short-lived MH A380 Network and Future Fate?

The first A380 for MH came in May 2012 (MSN 78), and the remaining five joined the carrier by the following March. As the pandemic broke, all six were grounded and have remained in the state ever since. How were they configured and where did they fly to?

A solid 412 seats in Economy, 66 in Business, and 8 in First. Primarily operated on the Kuala Lumpur (KUL) – London Heathrow (LHR) route, twice a day in each direction. Paris (CDG) also was another European destination. Hong Kong (HKG) and Sydney (SYD), Australia were also on its network. During the Hajj season, The A380s flew rigorously to Mediana (MED).

As for the incoming 20 A330-900, 10 will be directly purchased and the remaining 10 will be leased. So what happens to the six A380s after Airbus receives them? Another shot at a resell, convert it into a demonstrator or as a research bed, or strip it apart and auction its parts?

Featured image: Tony Bordelais/Airways

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