How the mighty have fallen

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SIA A380 (Stock pic).

Just 13 years since the A380 was launched, the first Airbus A380 has been dismantled and will be sold as spare parts. A new lessee or buyer could not be found following expiry of a 10-year lease in October 2017. For investors, this is likely to mean a modest end to their investment.

According to German aviation investment house Dr Peters, no new lessee could be found at short notice; potential lessees either had no current demand for the A380 or were unable to present a convincing plan. It was also not possible to sell the aircraft.

The option to sell the aircraft in parts was presented to investors as the only viable alternative.

Having hoped to sell the aircraft, registration 9V-SKA, for between $64m and $74m, investors should receive pay-outs in 2019 and 2020, following repayment of the remaining senior loans.

Cargo chiefs never rated the A380’s cargo capacity while passenger managers have difficulty filling this four-engine aircraft in an age of two-engine aircraft.

The life of 9V-SKA

9V-SKA has been parked since 10 June 2017 in a Changi airport hanger. Its last commercial service was SQ317, a London Heathrow-Singapore flight. It was then returned to German aircraft investor Dr Peters Group which had acquired it in 2007 from Double Deck Leasing Ltd., an SPV held by Airbus and Rolls-Royce. The engines had remained leased from Rolls Royce.

In 2007, 9V-SKA became a part of aviation history when it operated the world’s first commercial A380 service on the Singapore-Sydney sector. A charity auction held for seats on the highly-anticipated first flight, with 6,000 aviation enthusiasts bidding for 650 seats – half on the Singapore-Sydney leg, half on the flight back. A total of S$1.9 million ($1.3 million) was raised for charity.