by Vinay Bhaskara
|Computer rendering of A380 in Kingfisher Airlines livery
Image Courtesy of Malaysia Flying Herald
At its recent annual results conference, European aerospace manufacturer Airbus released a bit of shocking information.
Apparently, the ill-fated order for five Airbus A380s by now-defunct (though perpetually on the verge of “re-starting” in the eyes of chairman Vijay Mallya) Kingfisher Airlines is still active.
Said John Leahy, Chief Operating Officer – customers of Airbus:
“I have legally binding contracts with Kingfisher right now. We got deposits, we rescheduled the aircraft and it is probable at some point we will take the orders out… We certainly don’t want to get out [of this contract]. It [Kingfisher] is a good customer, operates an all-Airbus fleet. I don’t see a reason to give up [yet].”
I can of course think of several good reasons why Airbus shouldn’t count on an A380 order from Kingfisher. Even if the troubled full service carrier manages a truncated restart within the next year, it will not be in a financial position to order the A380 any time in the foreseeable future. However, from Airbus’ perspective, since it already has the deposits on hand, it doesn’t hurt to have an extra five orders on the books for the A380’s backlog.