After having considered buying used A380s, British Airways gave up because of the cost of the operation.
As part of the renewal of its long-haul fleet, British Airways has chosen to order 42 B777-9s, but Airbus has tried to exist in the project with an unorthodox approach.
The European aircraft manufacturer has offered the airline used Airbus A380s, recently withdrawn from the fleet of some of its customers. This would have allowed British to have aircraft quickly, to place a “mixed” order, and even to accelerate the retirement of its old B747 fleet.
We saw that Airbus was trying to make the used 380 market more fluid, in particular by buying out Lufthansa’s used aircraftsto encourage an order for A350s.
An alternative considered then rejected by British Airways. The issue is not so much the cost of acquiring the aircraft as the cost of reconfiguring them: $30 to $50 million per aircraft for retrofitting.
So British Airways is going to wait for their new 777-9s, while Airbus is still not able to create a second-hand market to continue flying A380s, which are still very young aircraft, even though they are no longer in the fleet.