The part that caught our attention: “The Airbus A380 is an ideal platform for our customers who need a long-haul aircraft with premium interiors on racetracks and between airports with few slots. Hajj flights have great potential, but there are many other possibilities. Many airlines are reluctant to take over an A380 completely. Now they can hire it for the high season with the crew of Hi Fly. So they can also try the A380. We believe that some of our customers will later purchase A380 after testing it with Hi Fly. We believe that we are helping to market the A380.”
Airbus must look favorably on this move by Hi Fly. Parting out the aircraft would have been painful for the program. The German investors would not have liked booking a capital loss either.
Mr. Mipuri is exactly right – Hi Fly offers a chance to test the A380 in a controlled, low-risk, way. Hi Fly understands airline operations risk management very well – it is t the core of their business. Where do airlines go when they have a broken aircraft? Guess who is on top of the short list?
Once an airline has tried the A380 and seen how it performs in that airline’s environment, the risk profile is much more easily understood. Clearly, the A380 offers a very specific value – as Mr. Mipuri points out, slot constrained airports.
Moreover, the first two A380s are the start of a steady flow of retirements. This really should create market opportunities. Hi Fly is quite possibly “helping to market the A380”.