HNA Group chairman Chen Feng said the company is in talks with Airbus and may cancel its order for 10 A380 aircraft, expected to be used by Hong Kong Airlines, due to weak market conditions, according to a report by China Daily. "The world economic downturn may last for a long time and we have to be prepared to tackle it," he said. Mr Chen said the A380s were ordered when the market was good and now the group had to consider the potential for a prolonged period of global economic weakness. "A380 is such a big aircraft, in these years, 10 of them, who has such strength (to buy)," he said. He also said HNA would continue to order new aircraft in 2013, stating, "We have to buy new planes but whether we need to order that many and that soon is another matter."
HNA Group may cancel order for 10 A380s, will acquire other new aircraft in 2013
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The USD10 billion deal will create the world’s third largest lessor - and they may be more to come yet.
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Where the A380 flies: Japan and intra-Asia routes decline while Australia & Middle East grow
The A380 is once again under media scrutiny, despite there being no major movement on the type. Comments from Air France and Qantas about not taking further A380s have long been assumed, and it has been apparent that Malaysia Airlines does not even have the need for its A380s. Singapore Airlines not renewing the lease on its first A380 is hardly surprising, and offers no definitive conclusion about the A380 or second-hand market; early A380s had different production and are not as efficient as later models. The lack of movement on the A380neo continues to irk the model's largest customer by far, Emirates, and may not make for a productive relationship as Emirates weighs an A350 or 787 order.
For most, the A380 continues to fly. How and where it flies is changing. Flights to and from the Middle East are becoming more common as Gulf airlines, and mostly Emirates, take delivery of A380s. A further shift to the Middle East is inevitable. In Japan there has been a near exodus of A380s; airlines dropping the type as they moved from Narita to Haneda, which cannot accommodate the A380 during the day, and Singapore Airlines down-gauging. Intra-Asia flying is decreasing – notable given the growth of A380s based in the region. Services by the A380 to Australia are growing, perhaps as it becomes an easy market for airlines to redeploy capacity amid European security concerns and trans-Pacific overcapacity.