Skymark Airlines, Japan’s third-largest airline, has placed a $700 million-plus firm order for two more Airbus A380s, bringing the total number of A380s it has on order to six.
Additionally, Airbus indicates it has received a commitment from an unidentified customer for 10 A380s. According to an unnamed industry source cited by Reuters, the carrier behind the commitment (valued at $3.8 billion at list price) is Hong Kong Airlines, a sizable customer for Airbus A330s, A350 XWBs, Boeing 777 Freighters and Boeing 787s. Hong Kong Airlines is also reportedly the airline behind the unidentified-customer order for 15 Boeing 747-8 Intercontinental passenger jets announced earlier in the week by Boeing at the Paris Airshow.
Skymark Airlines plans to use its Airbus A380 on international routes linking Tokyo’s Narita International Airport to destinations in Europe and the U.S.
The latest Skymark Airlines contract was signed on June 23 at the Paris Airshow, in the presence of Skymark Airlines President, Shinichi Nishikubo; Airbus President and CEO, Tom Enders; and Airbus Chief Operating Officer Customers, John Leahy, together with Airbus Japan CEO, Stephane Ginoux.
“The A380 is a remarkable aircraft, setting new standards in air travel, and giving us strong competitive advantages in the international market,” Nishikubo said at the signing ceremony. “Therefore, we have decided to increase the firm order to six aircraft. We are extremely happy to become the very first Japanese airline to offer our passengers a unique and new experience of flying with the A380.”
More than 12 million passengers have already flown on board Airbus A380s and the 50th A380 was delivered to A380 launch customer Singapore Airlines just before the Paris Airshow began. The in-service A380 fleet has accumulated almost 300,000 revenue flight hours in nearly 33,000 commercial flights.
The A380 is already a common sight at Narita Airport, with Singapore Airlines, Lufthansa, Air France, and Korean Air operating the aircraft on daily services to the Tokyo gateway airport.
Following announcement of the latest Skymark Airlines deal, total firm orders for the A380 stand at 236 from 18 customers worldwide. When the 10-aircraft deal for the unidentified customer is confirmed as a firm order, the number will rise to 246.
As of June 23, 51 A380s have been delivered to six customers: Singapore Airlines, Emirates, Qantas Airways, Air France, Lufthansa and Korean Air (which has just taken delivery of its second A380). China Southern Airlines is soon to take delivery of its first A380, which is now fully painted in the airline’s colors.