Vietnam Airlines Abandons A380 Plans

Vietnam Airlines has formally dropped the A380-800 from its five-year operational plans, according to local Vietnamese media.

Vietnam Airlines has formally dropped the A380-800 from its five-year operational plans, according to local Vietnamese media.

The airline, which had signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Airbus for the purchase of four A380s back in 2009, put off a firm commitment to the plans and has now said that the A380 would present too great a financial burden. As a result, it did not renew the MOU on its expiration in 2013.

According to the Thanh Nien News, the national carrier has scaled down the plan which was first approved by Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung i 2008. As a result, its fleet will have 122 aircraft, not 150 as initially planned by 2020.

A change in market conditions has also seen a greater focus on the A350-900 and the Boeing 787 Dreamliner. In addition, the planned Long Thanh International Airport, which will become the main base for Vietnam Airlines, will not be able to accommodate the superjumbo passenger jet until after 2020 when it becomes fully operational.

Finally it said there are a number of reasons including the pressure of seeking funds for the purchase of the aircraft.

Between 2015 and 2019, Vietnam Airlines will still take delivery of eight Boeing 787-9 Dreamliners and 10 Airbus A350XWB aircraft.

Currently there are 14 airlines which operate the Airbus A380 including Asiana Airlines, Air France, British Airways, China Southern Airlines, Emirates Airline, Etihad Airways, Korean Air, Lufthansa, Malaysia Airlines, Qantas, Qatar Airways, Singapore Airlines and Thai Airways International

See where the A380 flies, with our latest report here.

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