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Fri, Aug 17, 2012

Hong Kong Airline Mulls A380 Cancellation

Executives Planning To Focus More On Short-Haul Routes

While no decision has yet been made, Hong Kong Airlines is reportedly considering cancelling its order for 10 Airbus A380 superjumbo aircraft, an order worth some $3.8 billion to Airbus.

The French news service AFP reports that the airline is reconsidering its overall strategy, and may move to one that focuses more on short-haul domestic routes to tourist destinations in Asia. It has recently cut long-haul flights to Moscow, and eliminated business-class flights to London.

It's not all bad news for Airbus, however, as an unnamed airline spokesman told the news service that it would be replacing its older Boeing 737s with new A320s "as they become available." The person said the carrier would eventually become an all-Airbus fleet.

The airline was ordered by regulators in July to suspend its fleet expansion, which limits the type of aircraft it can operate until it meets certain safety requirements for large-fleet carriers.

Airbus is still feeling the effects of the international fight over the EU-ETS, which caused the Chinese government to block acquisition of the A380 by Chinese companies. Airbus CEO Tom Enders said last month that the A380 delivery projections for next year has been revised down to fewer than 30 airplanes, in part because of the emissions issue and in part due to the discovery of small cracks in wing rib feet on some of the company's flagship airplanes.

(File photo provided by Airbus)

FMI: www.airbus.com

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