Hawaiian Airlines is considering adding the A380 to its fleet to connect Honolulu to cities like Los Angeles, Las Vegas and Tokyo.
The development would represent a breakthrough for Airbus, for although 194 A380s ply the world’s skies, none are based in the US.
Hawaiian Airlines chief executive Mark Dunkerley revealed the airline’s thinking about the giant plane in an interview with Bloomberg’s Christopher Jasper.
No firm decision had been taken, Dunkerley added. Three of America’s four big carriers, American, Delta, and United, have so far decided against the A380.
While the massive aircraft costs USD 432.6 million new (profitable Emirates is the world’s largest operator) second-hand A380s will soon hit the market.
Singapore Airlines recently announced that it will not renew its first lease for A380s, despite being the plane’s second-biggest operator after Emirates. According to a report in the South China Morning Post, SIA is likely also to drop its other A380s.
IATA reported that in 2014 the average net profit margin was “an unspectacular 4%, which translates as USD 8.27 per passenger, aviation observer Stephen Vines wrote.
Malaysia Airlines is in discussions with airlines in the region about offloading its fleet of six A380s.
While airlines ponder the profitability of the big, four-engined A380, passengers have long since made up their minds. They just love the plane, with its spacious feel and quiet flight. Emirates knows this and is putting the A380 on all sorts of routes where competitors would fear to add so much capacity.
Emirates will use A380s to operate its three daily flights to Sydney from the end of October as part of changes to its Asia, Australia and New Zealand schedule.
From 30 October 2016, the airline will use an A380 to operate its Dubai-Bangkok-Sydney-Christchurch flights, instead of the B777-300ER it currently uses. The stop in Bangkok will be dropped. The Christchurch stop will become Christchurch Airport’s first A380 service.
Written by Peter Needham