"were VH-EAJ/K that clapped out that have to be broken up ?"
They were that clapped out that nobody wanted them. Looking at the market today, there are carriers in dire financial straits (mostly from the third world, UA
, et al) that are placing aircraft which WERE needed three years ago - but aren't needed now - into storage. Having those aircraft sitting around doing nothing earns them nil income, at least if they were placed on short-term lease with another carrier they are earning SOMETHING.
Who in their right minds would take an 18 year old aircraft with extremely high cycles when their is a new aircraft with low cycles available for the same cost? It is a no-brainer.