Airbus is putting the six jets it built for AirAsia up for sale, in what may herald a “fire-sale of unwanted planes” after weeks of a halt on air travel due to the global lockdown over Covid-19, Reuters reports quoting sources.
The aircraft manufacturer has decided to put the planes on sales and give up reserving the pending orders for AirAsia, one of their largest customers.
Out of the six canceled aircraft, four are A320neo, and two are A321neo, the report said.
Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, almost 96 percent of the airline’s fleets grounded and with negligible monthly revenue, AirAsia said that the decision is a part of its cost-cutting methods to help the airline survive.
AirAsia’s CEO Tony Fernandes had earlier said in a statement that, although the airline is going through a tough time, not one single AirAsia employee would lose their job.
He added that all employees were told to take pay cuts of between 15 percent and 75 percent, depending on seniority, while customers were encouraged to accept credit for replacement flights instead of refunds.
“It’s an uncertain time. Never could I have imagined it, no one could have predicted it and yet everyone has been touched by it. So I want to be open and transparent with you in this time of uncertainty.”
The airline has decided that it will look towards its other commitments to help save money, which explains why AirAsia might not be taking any more aircraft deliveries.
As of now, the airline has announced to resume its operations for their domestic routes on April 29.
Only time will tell if AirAsia will be able to stand strong through the coronavirus crisis.
Although the next few years may be a trying time for aircraft manufacturers, Airbus hopes that some airlines might be interested in buying aircraft at special discounts.
By Sharon Chang