Air Austral in talks to defer high-density A380s

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Air Austral, the carrier based in the French territory of Reunion, is in discussions to defer delivery of its high-density Airbus A380s.

But the carrier insists that it has not cancelled the order for the jets, which are to be configured with around 840 seats.

The airline's supervisory board approved a new business plan in mid-May through which it intends to restore profitability in the 2013-14 fiscal year.

This revised strategy calculated that the Indian Ocean carrier required a fleet comprising four Boeing 777s, two 737s and three ATR 72s.

But Air Austral says: "The [A380] orders have not been cancelled. We [entered] into negotiations for the postponement of the delivery of [the] aircraft for two years."

Air Austral had been due to take delivery of the A380s in 2014 after it firmed its order for the single-class jets in late 2009.

It selected Engine Alliance GP7200s to power the double-deck aircraft.

Air Austral says it will overhaul its flight schedule from 28 October as part of the strategy put in place by its new chief, former Air France and SkyTeam alliance executive Marie Joseph Malé. The airline will axe services to Sydney and Noumea and restructure its regional network, among other changes.