If Saudi prince Alwaleed bin Talal has truly sold his VIP Airbus A380, ordered in late 2007, it won’t come as a surprise to anyone paying close attention at last year’s Farnborough air show.
Because Airbus’s demonstrator aircraft, MSN4, arrived at the show with a subtle amendment to the customer list on its fuselage – a white space where the logo of Kingdom Holding, the prince’s investment company, had previously been slapped.
Kingdom Holding didn’t respond when Flightglobal inquired, a few weeks back, about the situation with its A380 – the Trent 900-powered MSN2 – but this story appears to confirm what had been suspected. The company, whose investments include the social network Twitter, doesn’t seem to have mentioned the buyer or the reason for the sale, but presumably prince Alwaleed will have to slum it in his private 747-400 for the foreseeable.
Of course, if his royal highness has sold the real A380, perhaps he’ll also consider putting his model version on eBay. Which he part-owns as well. So keep your eyes open.