For sale: Malaysia Airlines puts 6 of its Airbus A380s on the market

Jul 17, 2021

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In a move that surprised few industry observers, Malaysia Airlines has officially put the “For Sale” sign up on its fleet of A380-800 aircraft.

The sale was a move seen as inevitable, given the challenges facing the aviation industry in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic. The expected slow return of international travel demand makes double-decker, long-haul and fuel-inefficient planes like the A380, which can seat close to 500 people, a woe for most airlines. The jets currently sit in storage in Kuala Lumpur.

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In fact, one of the most surprising aspects of the announcement that Malaysia Airlines was selling its half-dozen A380s was the platform it chose for the announcement. The airline posted the news on its LinkedIn page, asking for offers on the planes to be submitted by noon on August 12.

Unloading the A380s has been something the airline has wanted to do for some time. TPG reported six years ago that Malaysia Air was exploring selling off the planes back then. But the fallout from the coronavirus and how it is transforming air travel seems to have convinced the airline to unload its giant jets.

Malaysia is far from the only airline getting out of the super-jumbo jet. Air France, Etihad, Lufthansa, Qatar and Thai have all grounded at least a portion of their A380 jets.

Malaysia Air’s fleet isn’t very old. The planes were all purchased around the same time, and are each less than 10 years old.

Featured photo by Nicky Kelvin/The Points Guy.

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