A report from Japan says ANA is buying three A380s. On June 21 2015 we wrote about how we thought the Skymark bankruptcy would play out. We asked Intrepid Aviation for feedback and wrote about that too.
As we noted in the second story at the time: “For Airbus to switch sides something big must have been offered. Bear in mind Airbus has a lawsuit against Skymark for the A380s, two of which are parked forlornly in Toulouse.”
As the Nikkei story points out: “It proved to be a factor in Skymark filing for bankruptcy protection in January 2015 and ANA sponsoring the subsequent rehabilitation. ANA indicated to Airbus the possibility of future orders in return for supporting the Japanese carrier’s turnaround plan during an August vote among creditors.”
So great news for Airbus and its A380 which has been in the hunt for orders for a long time. It also cements the relationship between ANA and Airbus. But no airline has ever bought three A380s. The number is simply too odd to be all there is to say. We are of the view this is the opening act in a play that is still developing. Airbus got to save the two Skymark A380s and probably one of the Transaero airplanes. But there is almost certainly more to come. The Skymark A380s came with Rolls-Royce engines and we expect to see these ANA aircraft select the same engines.
By way of interest, ANA uses the ThompsonAero Vantage seat. If one goes to their site and takes a look at their LOPA layout, note that there is an A380 listed. ANA is a ThompsonAero customer. Is this the planned upper deck configuration for these new A380s?
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So these are essentially give away free A-380s?
This is a great news for Airbus and a bad news for Boeing,
Santa will come back to take away your toys!
ANA, apparently, has 3 different four-class seating configurations for their 777-300ERs – all being extremely premium heavy (i.e. 212, 247 and 264 seats, respectively. NB: The 212 seat configuration has only 112 seats in economy class, while the 264 seat configuration has the old 7 abreast configuration in business class).
Hence, ANA-operated A380s would be able to be configured with similar sized first and business classes on the upper deck, while making room for a tripling in the size of the economy class over what’s possible with their 77Ws.
If ANA assume the liabilities associated with the Skymark A380’s, Skymark’s biggest creditor (Airbus) would for the most part have settled their debts. In essence Skymark would no longer be insolvent.
For instance, if ANA agreed to purchase Skymark with the Airbus debts considered in the purchase agreement and than ANA; and than assumes the debts associated with the Skymark A380’s by agreeing to buy the Skymark A380’s; and than is able to introduce the A380 into the ANA fleet because of favourable pricing and scale of economies the advantages for ANA buying the A380 could be multi faceted.
For Airbus, they now have ANA as a major customer.
This a money for jam order! The winners are Airbus and ANA and the losers are the original Skymark owners.
I wonder by how much Boeing lost this one to Airbus? Both OEM’s are trying to move the largest models, 747-8 and A380. I would have liked to see Boeing get a few more orders for the passenger model so as to keep the line open. Are there any more PIP’s for the 747-8?
Whether or not this order is an anomaly because it has arisen under an unusual set of circumstances (including almost certainly a near give-away price), or represents a rejuvenation of demand for the A380, will depend on what ANA’s competitors like JAL and Cathay do. To date those two, like their US Pacific competitors, have refused to buy the Big Bird. My guess is the former because the facts of running an airline that have resulted in a dearth of A380 orders for well over a year have not changed. As A is discovering (very successfully) with the A359/1000, the big mkt is in the 300-400 pax segment.
Airline load factors are at all time highs. Key airports (Narita and Heathrow) are constrained. The timing for ANA works and the price was likely irresistible. Most importantly from our view is that a likely positive experience with the A380 will ensure more are ordered by the airline. The aircraft is big and really only the largest airlines can exploit its capabilities. ANA is clearly in that category. It is a convenient outcome for both sides.
If I were ANA operations, I would probably consolidate flights 182&184, 801&845, and 805&807, to HNL, SIN and BKK respectively, all departing within an hour and still leaving great frequency. This would not add any capacity, and all airports operate A380s already, so the transition would be really simple. Trip costs would probably be cut by at least 20% instantaneously, and a superior product is offered to the travellers.
To grow Haneda services conservatively toward the end of the decade, I would probably upgage flights 186, 859 and 971, to HNL, HKG and PVG respectively. Since HKG and PVG could probably be serviced daily by one frame, rotating a fleet of 6 A380s would likely work very well, generating ANA tons of cash on those slot-constrained trunk routes.