We note with interest that there is news about doubts Iran Air will take delivery of those A380s. The Airbus order has yet to be formally completed. We have also heard the deal on the A380 is unlikely to be completed.
Iran’s decision on the A380 may have been a deal sweetener for both sides. But there is a big risk for the airline to acquire an aircraft this size. Iran Air has to re-enter the market and attract traffic. The airline has ambitions to turn Tehran into a regional hub like Dubai, Abu Dhabi and Doha. For Tehran to reach the same levels as these hubs is a long way off. Almost certainly longer than the five years when the A380s are meant to come on stream.
Iran does have a far larger O&D potential than the three regional hubs because it is a far bigger country. But it will take a long time to develop sufficient economic activity across a broad swath of the population to require that much seat capacity. We also expect Iran will take more than five years to develop any competitive hub activity to divert traffic away from the big three in the Gulf. Moreover, second hand A380s will likely be available at that time if things go as well as the most optimistic expect. Airbus might even have a larger A350 available when Iran Air has to consider.
So the Iran deal with Airbus is still evolving. As it does, one might want to regard the forthcoming Boeing deal with the same amount of skepticism. Iran remains a great market opportunity. But these deals will take time to settle.
Co-Founder AirInsight. My previous life includes stints at Shell South Africa, CIC Research, and PA Consulting. Got bitten by the aviation bug and ended up an Avgeek. Then the data bug got me, making me a curious Avgeek seeking data-driven logic. Also, I appreciate conversations with smart people from whom I learn so much. Summary: I am very fortunate to work with and converse with great people.
747-8’s make more sense. Quicker delivery slots, less seats to fill during slow times and more routes that cannot support the A380.
Righty or wrongly today the A380 is considered the Prestige or Flagship airframe (outside the US of course), the 747-8 as the culmination of the past. And to nations such as Iran prestige is important for a national carrier.