Is the A380 heading for the scrap heap?

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Biggest operator demands guarantee before it orders more

For the first time, an A380 superjumbo has been retired from service and put into storage. Singapore Airlines grounded it in June after only 10 years of use. Now in France, it has been painted white, its engines have been lobbed off and it awaits a new owner.

The German leasing company Dr Peters Group is keeping it at a storage facility at Tarbes Lourdes Pyrénées airport, near the Airbus factory in Toulouse where it was originally built.

But a new owner may be hard to find. Sales for the world’s largest passenger jet are struggling. The return of three more Singapore Airlines A380s are expected soon, the Telegraph reports. If new homes can’t be found, they will be broken up for their spare parts.

The original list price of the superjumbo was around €215 million; the spare parts would be worth €85 million.

Production guarantee
Emirates owns by far the most A380s, at the moment 100 of them. It had been expected to confirm up to 38 more. But in a shock move, it announced at the recent Dubai Airshow that it would be buying 40 of rival Boeing’s 787-10 Dreamliners.

Now, to keep selling A380s, Airbus will have to convince other airlines to make orders. This is especially necessary as Dubai now demands a guarantee that production of the A380 will be kept open for at least 10 years before Emirates places a new order.

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