100 airplanes is half of the combined Qantas/Jetstar fleet. I'm highly skeptical we'll see any of those A380s come back. Does QF own those outright or are they leased/financed?
Such a sad way to end the 747 era at Qantas.
The A380's were financed through syndicated loans. Unfortunately, we don't know the loan terms, but if we use 12-year terms as a datum, aircraft should start coming off finance latter this year.
Either way, these aircraft have been largely paid for.
I think the issue for these aircraft revolve around the book values and the impact a write down would have on the QANTAS asset register.
Just some quick numbers using my QANTAS data base.
The current value of the QANTAS fleet (less interiors and spares) and excluding QANTASlink and Jetstar is somewhere around the $5 billion mark.The A380's represent nearly 22% of that total valuation with the aircraft having a current valuation close to $1.1 billion. To put this into perspective, the 737-800 fleet, the workhorse of the very profitable domestic operations have a valuation close to $1.3 billion.
The problem for QANTAS revolves around their owned and financed assets. My numbers suggest owned aircraft / equity in aircraft have valuations close to $4 billion meaning the A380's represent around 28% of the value of those assets. If we consider some of the A330's and 737's may be returned to lessors early (resulting in a book loss of asset), QANTAS could find themselves in a situation where they are in breach of finance contract covenants provisions.
I suspect one of the reasons for the share placement issue revolved around minimum equity provisions of their finance contracts. Simply, the share placement allowed the airline to raise cash, whilst at the same time meet minimum equity requirements. I suspect QANTAS does not need cash or cash equivalents (at this stage) close to $4.7 billion, so from this perspective QANTAS have probably restructured their whole business and subsequently financing arrangements around a substantially smaller airline and asset valuation base.
A write off aircraft assets would more than likely result in a substantial book loss. the book loss can be used to offset cash profits once the industry recovers. As such, it is probably a very prudent decision to write off assets that have limited economic value, as at some stage these airlines are going to need to generate as much cash they possibly can to pay of the debt they will amass during the pandemic.