Without customers, old Airbus A380 can be disassembled
Owner of A380 aircraft, investment fund Dr. Peters is considering dismantling aircraft with 10 years of use if they do not appear interested in leasing them
Due to lack of interest, Airbus A380 aircraft with 10 years of use run the risk of being dismantled. This hypothesis is considered by German investment fund Dr. Peters, owner of nine units of the largest passenger aircraft in the world. The German company, which leases its aircraft to airlines, will soon get back four A380 jets after the expiration of 10-year leases. The aircraft will be returned by Singapore Airlines, which has decided not to renew the agreements.
In an interview with the Bloomberg network, Dr. Peters executive director Anselm Gehling said the aircraft could be dismantled for the recovery of engines and other parts that could be worth at least $ 100 million per plane. “Our main goal is to find new customers,” Gehling said. “We are also willing to sell the aircraft, as some companies said they would prefer that. Still, there are almost no spare parts when it comes to engines for the A380, so it may make sense to do the dismantling of one or two airplanes. ”
Gehling said there were talks with six potential operators, one of them being a low-cost Asian company interested in setting up the A380 with just one class with 700 seats. Other potential customers are airlines from Europe and the United States, where Airbus’ largest aircraft does not yet have customers.
Leasing with discounts
As Peters’ director pointed out, there are companies discussing A380 leases for shorter periods of two to four years in order to assess the potential of the Airbus giant aircraft only to sign longer contracts. According to Gehling, after 10 years of use the leased A380s have already returned from 65% to 70% of the amount invested at the time they were acquired, for about $ 250 million – the current value of the aircraft is in the US $ 435 million. The company now needs approximately $ 60 million per aircraft for no loss. That is why dismantling the planes and selling their parts can be a short-term alternative.
Doric Corporation, another German group that leases the A380 (the company’s five aircraft are also operated by Singapore Airlines), is offering its aircraft lease with a 40% discount. The company’s rent for the aircraft costs about $ 2 million a month.
End of line for the four engines
Airbus has not received new orders for the A380 since 2015. This year, the European manufacturer delivered only six units of the “superjumbo”, lower than the number of 2016, when 26 units were delivered. Due to the low demand, the production of the aircraft will be reduced to only one unit per month from 2018.
Boeing is in a similar situation to the 747-8, and even admits the end of the production of the aircraft, launched in 1969 and that revolutionized commercial aviation by creating new standards of performance and capabilities. The US company has not received orders for Jumbo since 2016 and this year delivered only four units.
With high acquisition and operating costs, four-stroke commercial aircraft, such as the A380 and 747, are losing space for large models driven only by two engines, such as the latest models Airbus A350 and Boeing 787.