IAG Chairman Willie Walsh told the press today that British Airways would purchase more A380s if the price is right. Speaking in London, the former Chairman of British Airways said that he was “very happy” with the A380s so far.
British Airways currently has 12 A380s, however, the future of the A380 program was yesterday cast into doubt as Airbus held talks with Emirates about converting the remaining A380 orders to A350 orders. Currently, Emirates is the only Airline operating with A380 aircraft on order. As such, the talks marked a definite blow to the whole program which is yet to break even. Willie Walsh told mebers of the media: “We’re pleased with [the A380], pleased we ordered the aircraft and we’re absolutely committed to continuing operating the 12 aircraft that we have in the fleet at the moment.”
More BA A380s?
British Airways currently has a fleet of 12 A380 aircraft. Registered G-XLEA through G-XLEL. While the airline’s youngest A380 is just under three years old, the oldest is coming up on 6 years old. The carrier primarily uses the aircraft on high capacity long haul routes where the frequency of flights is not a key factor, like London to Los Angeles. Earlier today, IAG Chairman Willie Walsh said that the carrier was “very happy” with the aircraft. British Airways has a varied portfolio of Airbus aircraft, with the latest addition set to be the A350.
The airline is currently in discussions with both Airbus and Boeing regarding replacing the B747 fleet which is due to be retired in the coming years. Willie Walsh said: “We have made it clear to Airbus that we might consider some additional aircraft, but that would only be at a price that we would find attractive.” He then went on to say: “Those discussions are ongoing and we’re very engaged with both Boeing and with Airbus, and we’re pleased to have the choice of excellent aircraft.”
Priced Too High?
While BA is certainly interested in the A380, it is not currently priced correctly for the airline. Speaking about pricing, Mr Walsh told: “I’ve always been clear about the A380. It works extremely well for us, we’re very pleased with it. But the pricing on that aircraft has not been as effective as we believe it needs to be to encourage us.” If British Airways was to purchase the aircraft, it is clear that Airbus would need to significantly drop the costs. It becomes a question of whether Airbus would be willing to drop the price on an aircraft that has yet to make the manufacturer money.
Do you think British Airways should purchase more A380s? Will Airbus drop to their price demands? Let us know your thoughts in the comments down below!