Airbus Group NV has agreed to drop an order for six A380 superjumbos by Japanese low-cost airline Skymark Airlines Inc., said people familiar with the decision, in a blow to a program that's struggled to keep customers.
Skymark can no longer afford the aircraft, said the people, who asked not to be identified because the discussions remain private. Negotiations between the two sides continue about compensation, and options range from delaying delivery to outright cancellation, another person close to the talks said.
The only Japanese airline to order the double-decker model, Skymark initially signed a firm contract for four A380s in 2011, and later came back for two more. The aircraft, the biggest and most expensive commercial airliner, has a list price of $414 million per unit, though customers get discounts and the jet would have been cheaper in 2011.
Pulling the Skymark order extends a drought for the A380, which has failed to attract a new airline customer in two years and came away with no new business this month at the Farnborough Air Show, typically a forum for deals. Chicgo-based Boeing competitior Airbus's most loyal customer for the aircraft is Emirates, with 50 in service and a total of 140 on order, almost half the backlog.
Airbus spokesman Stefan Schaffrath declined to comment, while officials at Skymark were not immediately available to comment outside regular business hours. Airbus Group, based in Toulouse in southwestern France, reports earnings on Wednesday.
Les Echos previously reported that Airbus and Skymark had decided to cancel the order, without saying where it got the information.
To contact the reporters on this story: Andrea Rothman in Toulouse at aerothmanbloomberg.net; Chris Cooper in Tokyo at ccooper1bloomberg.net To contact the editor responsible for this story: Benedikt Kammel at bkammelbloomberg.net