"SIA intends for them to replace the A380s coming off lease rather than to be for growth. These SIA A380s were some of the first off the production line and, as would be expected for early models, do not have the efficiency and programme lessons learned from aircraft delivered later. SIA does not believe this batch of A380s will be viable to continue operating.
The second-hand A380 market is uncertain given the large size of the A380 and its heavy level of customisation. Standard configured aircraft can fit easily into another airline's fleet, customised ones not so. Second-hand operators would have to be content with the type's basic configuration and willing to take on some retrofit work (SIA would not allow its custom seats to be used by others). More extensive retrofits could be prohibitively costly. It was recently enough of a challenge to replace Skymark Airlines' all premium economy A330s, a newer and smaller aircraft than the A380.
Emirates plans to replace its oldest A380s with new order A380s; it does not plan to operate 140 A380s at the same time - or any sum near that (comprised of its 67 in-service A380s and 73 on order as of Oct-2015). Although Emirates expects its aircraft, well utilised, will be scrapped rather than re-allocated, for its leased fleet that will be a decision for lessors. Whereas SIA has 10 year leases on its initial A380s, Emirates has 12 year leases, which mean its A380s only start to come off lease in 2020.
So my takeaways are the following:
-SQ appears to have decided to return their first five A380s to the lessor.
-Scrapping is very possible, ('some believe they will be scrapped') due to high cost of interior mods and inefficient early versions. What is the first scrapping of an operational aircraft not involving an incident? Is this close?
-The EK A380 fleet size comment 'or any sum near that' caught my eye.How many A380s will be replaced by A380ceos?
-Only about 15 A380s will be 12 years old or older by 2023. Five more versions hit 12 years by 2024. The question becomes, assuming 12-year leases, how many does EK mean by 'any sum near that' because the more ceos they use to replace ceos the later the EIS of a possible NEO in my opinion. That would mean a fleet of ~120 but that doesn't sound like it qualifies as 'any sum near that'. 11 hit 12 years old the following year - most leased to Doric.
-Also, are there really A380ceos planned for delivery after 2022/2023/2024 to accommodate these retirements? Some of us believe that the line won't be able to produce at rate during those years but if EK isn't planning on operating a fleet anywhere near the size of 140 and plan on operating them for 12 years each, I don't see how all of these things can be true.
I think if this is true then something has to give. (1) An order cancellation for EK. (2) EK operating a Fleet of 130+. (3) EK returning aircraft early. (4)Airbus producing aircraft at a profit at very low rate in the 2020s. All of these seem unlikely but but #2 seems most right and CAPA being wrong seems most likely.
Would like to hear your thoughts.