ATW Editor's Blog

Looking for a buyer: Skymark A380s sit on Airbus tarmac in Toulouse

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Taking in the Toulouse sunshine, and clearly not going anywhere soon, is this pair of Airbus A380s which were originally bound for Japan and Tokyo-based low-cost carrier Skymark Airlines, which defaulted on its payments for six A380s early this year and filed for bankruptcy protection.

I’m in Toulouse today for Airbus’ annual Innovation Day briefing for journalists and the event is taking place in the company’s A380 VIP center. With me is ATW correspondent Kurt Hofmann, who took these photos of the A380s sitting just outside the building.

Skymark was de-listed from the Tokyo Stock Exchange in March; it struggled, and ultimately failed, to make its business model work against Japan’s fiercely-competitive LCC market.

All Nippon Airways (ANA) has agreed to buy up to 20% of Skymark, but the current restructuring plan has been rejected by two of Skymark’s largest creditors, Airbus and lessor Intrepid Aviation.

In the foreground of these photos you will also see an A380 built for British Airways, one of 12 that BA ordered and which it is now operating on routes such as London Heathrow to Washington Dulles and Singapore. Happier times for that A380, at least.

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