I am surprised Airbus went direct to market with these planes. I would have thought they would have handled this quietly. Since they did not, I presume they want the market to know they will not just sit on undelivered planes, they will do what is needed to protect their interests. In essence they wanted to make an example using this particular situation to show the market how they will deal with undelivered planes.
I think Airbus realises that Covid-19 has placed a lot of pressure on its deliveries and will try to make hay before the sun sets. There are 2 A321NXs in this job lot of 6 planes and they may be using them to attract buyers - so selling it as a job lot may be a good move. Moving forward, it may not be so easy to remarket ntu's.
It is interesting that AirAsia is the customer being made an example of. As I suggested in the thread starter, there were earlier media reports that the Airbus / AirAsia relationship was very strained due to AA thinking Airbus could have handled the corruption scandal better. Maybe this meant Airbus was OK using AirAsia of an example of what happens if one does not work with them to find acceptable approaches to postponing delivery.
There is no doubt that the relationship between the two companies have changed. Gone is the free and easy attitude that Airbus took in the past. Gone too is the talk by Airasia that Airbus is one of their closest partners. It is now strictly business, no more family talk.
In the past Airasia has been very quick to postpone deliveries when market conditions change, only to get it wrong. They then found that by postponing delivery, they did not have sufficient aircraft when markets or their plans changed again. As such, they have taken a number of additional aircraft from leasing companies and not from Airbus directly. They are doing the postponing of deliveries again this time - but I am not sure if any recovery will be as quick as in the past.
It is interesting the planes are A320 family and not the A330neo. I guess Airbus knows there's a good chance someone else will come bargain hunting for A320 family aircraft, much less so for A330neo.
Airbus has played hard ball before. They drove SkyMark into bankruptcy due to missed payments on A380. This crisis will probably generate more opportunities for ugliness in the future.
Well, the widebody market is now extremely soft and there is no point doing a firesale now - they won't get any takers!
Skymark is a good model to use, should Airasia X decide that they cannot continue in its present form. Airbus can make its claims as creditors for those 3 or 4 frames that have been built for Airasia X.