The Airbus A380 Might Find a New Savior: British Airways

Feb 1, 2019

This post contains references to products from one or more of our advertisers. We may receive compensation when you click on links to those products. Terms apply to the offers listed on this page. For an explanation of our Advertising Policy, visit this page.

British Airways “might consider” stepping in and providing a lifeline for the struggling Airbus A380 program, according to Willie Walsh, CEO of International Airline Group, BA’s parent company.

“We might consider some additional aircraft, but only if at an attractive enough price,” Walsh said at a Oneworld press conference in London on Friday. “They’re going to have to be aggressive on the pricing.”

The order would follow another from Emirates Airline, which was hailed as the savior of the world’s biggest passenger plane — but that order is not firm yet. In January 2018, the Middle Eastern carrier — the operator of the world’s largest fleet of A380s — placed a $16 billion order for up to 36 of the aircraft, which would have effectively saved the program from closing for lack of orders.

However, that order is in doubt, and therefore so is the future of the A380 program itself. On Thursday, Reuters reported that Emirates was exploring switching some of its order from the A380 to the smaller A350. Emirates has been struggling to finalize the deal because of differences with engine maker Rolls-Royce. Currently, Emirates operates a fleet comprised entirely of A380 and Boeing 777 aircraft, and has dozens of Boeing 787s on order. Adding A350s would mean yet another aircraft type for an airline that relies on fleet simplification as a profit-driving strategy.

With the uncertainty from Emirates, the A380 program remains in limbo. Without a large order, the A380 assembly lines would be forced to close, and Airbus might well be amenable to negotiations on price, meeting Walsh’s requests for cheap A380s. But negotiations about additional orders from BA have stalled before: in May 2018, British Airways suspended its talks with Airbus to order as many as 10 of the superjumbos.

Walsh said that British Airways has “no concerns” about the A380s already in its fleet. The airline remains fully committed to operating the 12 it currently flies. Walsh noted that it’s an efficient operation and customers love flying the superjumbo. Each of British Airways’ 12 A380s can carry a total of 469 passengers across four cabins — First, Club World, World Traveller Plus and World Traveller.

Featured image courtesy of British Airways.

Delta SkyMiles® Platinum American Express Card

Earn 90,000 bonus miles and 10,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $3,000 in purchases on your new card in the first three months of card membership. Offer ends 11/10/2021.

With Status Boost™, earn 10,000 Medallion Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $25,000 in purchases on your Card in a calendar year, up to two times per year getting you closer to Medallion Status. Earn 3X Miles on Delta purchases and purchases made directly with hotels, 2X Miles at restaurants and at U.S. supermarkets and earn 1X Mile on all other eligible purchases. Terms Apply.

Apply Now
More Things to Know
  • Limited Time Offer: Earn 90,000 Bonus Miles and 10,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $3,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months. Offer expires 11/10/2021.
  • Earn up to 20,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) with Status Boost® per year. After you spend $25,000 in purchases on your Card in a calendar year, you can earn 10,000 MQMs two times per year, getting you closer to Medallion® Status. MQMs are used to determine Medallion® Status and are different than miles you earn toward flights.
  • Earn 3X Miles on Delta purchases and purchases made directly with hotels.
  • Earn 2X Miles at restaurants worldwide, including takeout and delivery and at U.S. supermarkets.
  • Earn 1X Miles on all other eligible purchases.
  • Receive a Domestic Main Cabin round-trip companion certificate each year upon renewal of your Card. *Payment of the government imposed taxes and fees of no more than $75 for roundtrip domestic flights (for itineraries with up to four flight segments) is required. Baggage charges and other restrictions apply. See terms and conditions for details.
  • Enjoy your first checked bag free on Delta flights.
  • Fee Credit for Global Entry or TSA Pre✓®.
  • Enjoy an exclusive rate of $39 per person per visit to enter the Delta Sky Club® for you and up to two guests when traveling on a Delta flight.
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees.
  • $250 Annual Fee.
  • Terms Apply.
  • See Rates & Fees
Regular APR
15.74%-24.74% Variable
Annual Fee
$250
Balance Transfer Fee
N/A
Recommended Credit
Excellent/Good
Terms and restrictions apply. See rates & fees.

Editorial Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

Disclaimer: The responses below are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser’s responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.