For many, the gigantic Airbus A380 is an awe-inspiring machine. However, many have been retired since the start of the pandemic, including all nine of Air France’s remaining aircraft. While the second-hand A380 market remains non-existent, you could now buy a former Air France A380.
Except for Emirates, which is flying 15 Airbus A380 aircraft, and China Southern, most of the world’s A380s remain firmly on the ground due to COVID-19. Many A380s have even been prematurely retired, including all of Air France’s and Hi Fly’s. However, these aircraft aren’t being sent straight to scrap, with the option to buy or lease them remaining.
Buy an A380
According to MyAirTrade.com, the opportunity currently exists to purchase or lease five of the 251 A380s built. Firstly, four Airbus A380s are presently listed as for Operating Lease or Sale. These are four of the ten former Air France A380s, all owned by the Dr. Peters Group. The fifth Air France A380 owned by the group has already been scrapped.
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While F-HPJD is available immediately, the remaining A380s (F-HPJE, F-HPJG, and F-HPJJ) won’t be available until February, March, and April, respectively. Each of the Air France aircraft comes equipped with Engine Alliance Engines.
Lease an Airbus A380?
However, the opportunity to lease an aircraft also exists if you’re not ready to commit to operating the aircraft yourself. You may remember that Hi Fly revealed it would be retiring its only Airbus A380 on November 3rd.
However, since November 17th, the airline has also been listing their aircraft as available for ACMI immediately. ACMI stands for Aircraft, Crew, Maintenance, and Insurance, essentially meaning that it is still available for wet lease hire. Interestingly, the aircraft is listed with its passenger configuration, something that was removed earlier this year.
Will the aircraft find buyers?
One would hope that the Airbus A380s manage to find buyers. After all, F-HPJJ is only seven years old, and retiring such an aircraft would be a real shame. However, the second-hand market for the Airbus A380 is virtually non-existent. Airlines are not flying the aircraft they already have, and except for significant slot controlled hubs such as London Heathrow, the aircraft can be more of a hindrance than a help.
In October, Simple Flying reported that the value of Airbus A380s had dropped by around 50% due to the COVID-19 pandemic. By comparison, the value of A350 engines has fallen by just 1% in the same period.
Only time will tell if the aircraft find a buyer. Perhaps one could find a new life as a hotel like the Jumbo Stay in Stockholm.
Would you buy an Airbus A380 if you could? Let us know what you think and why in the comments!