We have been following the progress of HiFly’s first A380 like parents watching a toddler’s first steps, we continue to find the concept of a wet leasing airline to be fantastic and to see the A380 rebirthed in such a way heralds a, hopefully soon to be, golden age for the airline industry.
But one thing we have failed to discuss in length is the 2ndHiFly A380 that is supposedly currently waiting in the wings (pun very much intended).
If you are wondering what the fuss is all about, or who HiFly even is, we are happy to summarise it quickly for you. HiFly is a ‘wet-leasing’ airline, meaning you can’t buy tickets from them or they operate any routes, but they charter out their planes as a stop gap to other airlines to help continue service last minute or for seasonal demand, such in the case of Norwegian Airlines or Air Austral who have both picked up the ex-Singaporean HiFly A380 so far.
Understanding the demand (or possible lack of as the months continue) of this current A380, one has to enquire if there will be a next member of the HiFly family.
“We will use them [Two A380’s] for markets where high capacity is needed and for airports where slots are scarce,” Managing director Paulo Mirpurito aeroTELEGRAPH last August 217
Where is the 2nd HiFly A380?
Whilst the deal was confirmed previously to media in an annoucement by HiFly, we have not yet seen any action by HiFly in acquiring a second A380.
To understand where this plane is, we need to start at the beginning when Singapore Airlines decided to retire five A380’s (And started to acquire five new A380s to maintain a consistent fleet of 19 A380’s). Three of the planes are leased by German leasing and finance company DS Aviation, part of the Dr. Peters Group and two planes are leased from Doric Asset Finance.
We can, fortunately, identify each plane with their registration numbers, which are as follows:
|Manufacturer number||Type||Airline||First flight||Registration||Status|
We know obviously that one that is active and in usage by HiFly, but what of the other four? Let us put on our detective hats to find out.
We suspect that number two (9V-SKA) and three (9V-SKB) will be broken up for spare parts.
The airliners will not be completely scrapped, but valuable components such as landing gears and electronics will first be salvaged for sale.
It starts to get a little trickier when it comes to tracking down number four (9V-SKD) and number five (9V-SKE). Number four is only listed at stored, and upon looking up it appears to have been retired from Singapore on the 18thDec 2017 and returned to the owner DS Aviation. Further research looks like it has been moved to Tarbes–Lourdes–Pyrénées Airport (LDE) in France until they know what to do with it.
The last A380 (9V-SKE) seems to also be in storage and currently mothballed at Toulouse since 23rdApr 2018. However, as this is the 2nd plane owned by Doric Asset Finance (the same company that leased the previous HiFly A380), this is most likely the candidate for the 2nd Hifly A380.
What will happen to the last two A380’s?
Unless the owners of these two planes can find a new leaseholder for the craft, such as HiFly then they may suffer the same fate as their two older brothers and broken down for spare parts (for a very lucrative $80 million) or perhaps turned into a private luxury flying palace for a Gulf prince.
“The A380 once came close to private use: Saudi Prince Alwaleed bin Talal bin Abdulaziz Alsaud, chairman of Kingdom Holding company, signed for the only Flying Palace but that deal collapsed with the global financial crisis in 2008.”