Amedeo, an Irish based aircraft leasing company said today that its creating its own airline since it cannot find customers to lease its A380 jets. The company currently has 8 A380s with 20 more on order from Airbus.
The Telegraph reports that the new airline will offer seats and a fully staffed cabin crew to established carriers. They are hoping that low cost airlines might decide to use the aircraft to enter international markets, in much the same way that Norwegian and WOW have been expanding.
“Joint ventures and codeshares are making passengers feel accustomed to buying tickets with one [airline] but flying with another.”
The A380 needs “disruptive” airlines to secure its future, citing Norwegian, the airline suggests that the model is a natural fit for budget airlines willing to squeeze in more economy class seats. While the A380 is certified to carry up to 868 people, most operators use a two- or three-class seating configuration which means it carries far fewer in practice. “When the A380 is properly configured with 600 to 700 seats it beats the economics in terms of unit costs of anything flying,” he said at the time.
Just three days ago we shared another sad milestone for this jumbo, the first A380 went into storage in France back in June after Singapore Airlines returned one of its 10 year old leased aircraft. At the time, the German leasing company said it expected to find a replacement operator “shortly”. Fast-forward to almost December and the aircraft is still in storage with additional Singapore A380s also being returned.
The plane had its engines removed and was painted in white and stored at Tarbes Lourdes Pyrénées airport, not far from its birthplace at the Airbus factory in Toulouse.
Since then, Singapore has grounded another A380 at SIN and plans to return it to the leasing company along with a third A380.
The double-deckers could be “parted out” to recover engines and other spares worth at least $100 million per plane, according to German fund manager Dr. Peters, which owns four A380s due to be returned between October and June by Singapore Airlines Ltd.following the expiry of 10-year lease deals.
“Our main goal is to find new lessees, we’re also willing to sell the aircraft as some airlines told us they’d prefer that. Still, there are hardly any spare parts around when it comes to engines for A380s, so it may make sense to do a part-out for the first one or two aircraft returning.”
Could “Head of State” reconfigurations be the next use for returned A380s?