Bloomberg News was reporting yesterday that after Emirates had made their purchase earlier in the week (read more here) and guaranteed the A380 project until 2029 British Airways was now showing interest buying too.
British Airways currently operates operates 12 A380 and has apparently been looking to purchase some secondhand but conversion to BA’s liking would have been too expensive.
Here’s an excerpt from Bloomberg (access the piece here):
British Airways is interested in the superjumbo because of the jet’s ability to maximize the number of passengers per flight at its London Heathrow hub, which is running close to capacity limits. The carrier’s main focus is on North Atlantic routes that are among the world’s busiest long-haul services, and it ranks as the No. 1 operator of Boeing Co.’s 747 jumbo, the second-biggest passenger plane after the A380.
While Airbus says that order will keep the A380 production line going for more than a decade, it’s still looking at slashing build rates to just six annually from 12 this year. Follow-on orders from carriers such as British Airways are therefore still vital in lifting the annual tally to a level where the manufacturer can break even on each plane.
Airbus originally designed the A380 for busy city pairs and congested airports. Unfortunately, the entire project has mainly been driven by Emirates that has acquired more than half of the planes and their most recent order keeps the production line open.
Let’s hope that this order from BA comes through. They certainly need larger aircraft to grow at Heathrow.