Thai Airways plans to take delivery of its first three A380 aircraft in 2012, with a further three to be delivered in 2013, stating it has organised loans with foreign financial institutions (Reuters, 28-Aug-09). The first A380 will be delivered in Sep-2012.
Thai Airways to take delivery of first three A380 aircraft from Sep-2012
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Iran Air drops the A380 from its Airbus order; a logical decision as the A380 ages, enters mid-life
Iranian aviation is being revitalised with the long-term prospects of re-establishing a global hub in Tehran. The first of many steps is re-fleeting and growth at the flag operator Iran Air, which has confirmed orders for 180 aircraft from Airbus and Boeing. The 80-aircraft Boeing order includes 737 MAXs, 777-300ERs and 777-9s, while the 100-aircraft Airbus order includes A320s, A321s, A330s and A350s.
Iran Air has dropped preliminary plans to take 12 A380s. Although this is being marked as the latest blow to the A380 order, Iran Air taking A380s was always a distant prospect. Tehran is a small hub prospect in the short term and, irrespective of whether Iran Air could find sustainable markets for the type, by the time Iran Air planned to receive its first A380 the type would be well into its mid-life, with dwindling spare parts and support.
A380 phase-out is beginning. Of the A380's early operators: Singapore Airlines is not renewing the leases on its initial A380s, Emirates will have new A380s replace older A380s it expects to part-out, and Qantas is studying stretched A350 types and the 777X to replace its A380s. That said, there may be renaissance concepts for the aircraft, such as Malaysia Airlines' charter plans.
Thai Airways Outlook Part 3: new five-year plan to result in more orders, potentially faster growth
The Thai Airways Group is determining a growth rate and assessing its aircraft needs for the medium to long term as part of a new five-year plan. The new plan should be completed by mid-2017 and may result in new narrowbody and widebody aircraft orders by the end of 2017.
Thai Airways is at an important juncture with its fleet as it has only 12 outstanding aircraft orders, all of which will be delivered in 2017 and 2018. The group currently does not have any commitments for additional narrowbody aircraft, which are needed to continue pursuing regional international growth at its full service subsidiary Thai Smile in line with its current multi-brand strategy.
New widebody aircraft are also required for growth and replacements, starting with its ageing 747-400 fleet. The group’s widebody passenger fleet will increase from 72 to 77 aircraft by the end of 2017, partially offsetting recent reductions in the fleet.