The first Airbus A380 to be handed over to Singapore Airlines will be on long-term operating lease from Airbus, according to sources familiar with the financing.
SIA will receive the first aircraft on 15 October, but first flight isn’t scheduled until 25 October to Sydney's Kingsford Smith Airport, returning to Singapore on 26 October. The airline's next A380, which is expected to be delivered in January 2008, will also be on long-term operating lease from Airbus.
The airline previously said it would use internal cash reserves for its A380 financings. However, given the potential teething problems that are associated with all new aircraft, not just the A380, operating leases are thought to be the preferred financing for the initial few aircraft, a banker speculates.
"This give SIA the flexibility it demands as a launch customer," says the banker.
Airbus and Rolls-Royce are currently in the market talking to interested parties about taking over the leases. A source says the leases will be taken over "soon" and Airbus is not expected to be the "long-term holder" of the financings
Emirates Airlines is said to be in the market looking for finance leases for its A380 deliveries.