Airlines Virgin Atlantic drops A380 order

  • Virgin Atlantic

According to aviation media, British long-haul airline Virgin Atlantic has canceled its order for six Airbus A380.

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The deal was originally signed in 2001. However, the deliveries were postponed several times. Virgin Atlantic planned to take delivery of its first A380 in 2006. Since the airline then postponed the arrival of its aircraft many times until 2018, a delivery was unlikely to happen anyhow.

Virgin Atlantic CEO Craig Kreeger said in the "Air Transport World": “We have cancelled our options on the A380 [...] We just can’t find enough markets that made sense for an aircraft that big and it didn’t make sense to take just one or two because of fleet complexity.”

In February 2018, Airbus noted six cancellations for the A380, but did not provide any information on the customer.

By early 2019, Virgin Atlantic expects to take delivery of its first Airbus A350-1000. The airline has 12 A350-1000 on order. Aging Airbus A340-600 and Boeing 747-400s will be replaced with the 366-seater.

This week, Airbus announced to reduce its production rate for the A380 programme to six aircraft per year. This reasons in weak demand for the aircraft. Over 3,700 employees will be affected by the changes.

Virgin Atlantic is a British airline, headquartered in Crawley, England. The carrier has three operational bases in London-Gatwick, London-Heathrow and Manchester. Its fleet consists of 43 aircraft. 12 Airbus A330s, eight A340-600s, eight Boeing 747-400s and 15 Boeing 787-9s are flying to 33 destinations. Virgin Atlantic focuses on the long-haul market.

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