Malaysia Airlines’ parent company has taken to social media in a bid to find new owners for the cash-strapped airline’s six A380 jumbo jets.
Malaysia Aviation Group announced a tender on LinkedIn to sell the aircraft or their components, with a list price of more than $400 million for one plane.
However, some experts say the value of A380s – which are falling out of favour with the world’s airlines – was less than $100 million, Traveller reports.
The move comes as Malaysia Airlines seeks to recover from the massive hit to revenue caused by the Covid-19 pandemic.
Last year the airline announced plans to restructure with about $5.2 billion in debt, which was completed in May.
That month, group chief executive Captain Izham Ismail said offloading the fleet of A380s was part of the restructured airline’s plan.
“We are cognisant of the challenges to sell this aeroplane, but we are still looking at ways and means to dispose of our 380 fleet,” he told Reuters.
“At the moment, the management is convinced that the 380 doesn’t fit the future plan.”
In the meantime, the six A380s awaiting new owners are sitting idle at Kuala Lumpur International Airport.
Malaysia Airlines is among many airlines that have sought to retire or sell off their A380s as the jumbo jet is phased out in favour of more efficient aircraft models.
Manufacturer Airbus had previously announced no more A380s would be built after 2021 – even though planes in service could keep flying well into the 2030s.
Like the Boeing 747, the double-decker, four-engine A380 – which turned 15 in 2020 – has been increasingly shunned by airlines in favour of large but more efficient twin-engine aircraft like the Boeing 777 and Airbus A350.
The Covid-19 pandemic, which ground international air traffic to a virtual standstill in March last year, appeared to hasten its demise.
“Even larger than the 747, the A380 is way, way too big for the new world of reduced demand for air travel we are seeing now,” Alberto Rivo from the Points Guy wrote last year.
“While many A380s are grounded, some of them are likely to return to service once demand comes back, but the writing is on the wall: The future belongs to twin jets.”
The final two A380s are expected to be delivered to Emirates in 2022.