has put the back into its fleet expansion plans and is in talks with leasing companies to take on up to four units.
The airline’s vast order book for new widebody aircraft does not include A380s, but Chief Executive Temel Kotil has indicated to Aviation Week that the carrier now has enough traffic to start operating the aircraft on several high-density routes from its hub at Istanbul Ataturk Airport.
“The leasing companies are making their offers to us and we are fixing our decisions considering those offers,” a Turkish Airlines spokeswoman tells Aviation Week.
“There is no firm board decision of Turkish Airlines yet concerning the lease of A380 aircraft,” despite receiving offers from the market, she adds. She declined to confirm whether the discussions concern the wet-lease of fourA380s or aircraft destined for Japan’s Skymark Airlines.
Qantas, which is in the midst of a restructuring and is expected to detail new initiatives to cut costs and raise capital on Feb. 27 when it announces financial results for the six months to Dec. 31, cautioned against “a series of unsubstantiated and unsourced rumours swirling around ahead of our half-year results [announcement], ranging from estimates on job losses to route changes.” It also would not comment on possible changes to its A380 fleet. The carrier has 12 A380s in operation and eight on order, according to AWIN’s commercial fleets database.
“The facts are that Qantas has flagged the need to make tough decisions as part of strengthening our business, which we will outline next Thursday [Feb. 27]. For our customers, this won’t change our focus on being one of the world’s best airlines,” a representative says. The airline also says any notion that it is planning to reduce its services to London is “inaccurate.”
But Qantas is planning to cut at least 1,000 jobs over the next year, and last week issued guidance for a pre-tax loss of up to $300 million for the first half of its fiscal year.
Skymark is due to take delivery of its first A380 in August. The vertical tailplane for the aircraft was painted with the budget airline’s logo at Airbus’s facilities in Hamburg last month. Final assembly of the aircraft is now underway in Toulouse. Skymark has placed six firm A380 orders with Airbus.