Japan’s Skymark Airlines converted a memorandum of understanding for four Airbus A380s to a firm order yesterday, officially marking the first sale of the superjumbo to a Japanese airline.
Skymark Airlines president Shinichi Nishikubo, Airbus president and CEO Tom Enders, Airbus COO for customers John Leahy and Airbus Japan CEO Stephane Ginoux hosted a ceremony held at the aircraft manufacturer’s headquarters in Toulouse, France, to celebrate the occasion. Earlier this week Airbus announced that All Nippon Airways subsidiary A&F Aviation would lease 10 A320s from GECAS, in a further sign that Boeing no longer enjoys virtual exclusive access to Japanese airline markets.
Today, Singapore Airlines, Lufthansa and Air France operate the A380 every day to Narita Airport, one of 20 airports now served by the world’s largest passenger jet. Starting March 27, Singapore Airlines plans to extend its A380 operation from Narita to Los Angeles, while Korean Air expects to fly its first A380 service to Narita on June 1.
Total firm orders for the A380 now stand at 244 from 19 customers, and the company has delivered 43 aircraft to five customers.