What Carriers Ordered The A380 But Never Actually Received Them?


Now that the end of the Airbus A380 program is in sight, it is time for us to take a look at the orders airlines placed for the aircraft. Airbus received a total of 313 firm orders for the A380.

Airbus A380
Airbus had originally anticipated to sell over 1,000 of its A380 aircraft. Photo: Airbus.

Here is a list of all the firm orders and deliveries (as of the end of January 2019):

CustomerNumber of A380s orderedNumber of A380s delivered
Air Accord30
Air France1010
All Nippon Airways30
Asiana Airlines66
British Airways1212
China Southern55
Korean Airlines1010
Malaysia Airlines66
Qantas Airways1212
Qatar Airways1010
Singapore Airlines2424
Thai Airways66

As we can see, most of the orders have been filled.


All Nippon Airways still has open orders for three aircraft and is awaiting their delivery.

ANA A380
All three of ANA’s A380s will feature different sea turtle liveries. Here is the first one fresh out of the paint shop (December 2018). Photo: Airbus.

Emirates is supposed to receive 14 more A380s. The airline converted the remaining open orders to orders for A330-900s and A350-900s

According to Airbus, it will build 17 more A380s before ending production of the aircraft. With that being said, who ordered A380s but never actually received them?


Who ordered A380s but never actually received them?

As we can see in the table above, Air Accord ordered 3 aircraft and Amedeo ordered 20 aircraft. These aircraft have not been delivered and also will not be delivered.

Air Accord is based in the Bahamas and reportedly was supposed to take delivery of the 3 aircraft ordered by the former Russian airline Transaero. Transaero ceased operations in 2015.

Amedeo is an aircraft leasing company. It had delayed its order indefinitely and finally formally canceled it a few days ago.


It has been evident for a while that these orders would most likely never be fulfilled, but it is not clear why Airbus did not remove them from its backlog.

Simple Flying reported last month that Hong Kong Airlines had ordered 10 aircraft in 2011 and never took delivery of these aircraft. The airline had already tried to cancel the order in 2014; however, the order remained on Airbus’ books until 2018.

Furthermore, Virgin Atlantic never received its six A380 aircraft and ended up canceling its order in 2018. Virgin Atlantic was actually one of the aircraft’s first customers and had ordered it as early as 2001.

Moreover, former Indian airline Kingfisher Airlines, Japan’s Skymark Airlines as well as Reunion’s Air Austral had placed orders for the Airbus A380. None of these airlines had the opportunity to welcome the aircraft though.

Additionally, Qantas canceled its order for 8 additional A380s earlier this month. This order had been placed all the way back in 2006.

Reportedly, a client from the Middle East had even ordered a private version of the A380. Nonetheless, this order was never filled either.

The A380F

At some point, Airbus was also planning on building an A380 Freighter, the A380F. Several customers including Emirates, FedEx, ILFC, and UPS had ordered this version of the A380. It never became a reality though, and all 27 orders were either canceled or converted to orders for other aircraft.

Airbus A380F
The Airbus A380F was supposed to carry 150 tons of cargo with a range of 5,600 nm. Photo: Airbus.

Now that the production will soon come to an end, we know that Airbus will not deliver more than 251 A380 aircraft, far less than it had originally planned for. Most of the orders have been filled, some are still open, and some were canceled or converted at some point. Apparently, several orders remained on Airbus’ backlog even though it was pretty clear that they would never be fulfilled.

Anyhow, we will see the last A380 aircraft leave the final assembly line in Toulouse in 2021.