International Lease Finance's cancellation of its Airbus A380s will end months of uncertainty over whether the lessor intended to retain the type in its backlog.
ILFC was an early customer for the aircraft and half of its 10 A380s were originally freighters, before being swapped to the passenger version. Four of the jets would have been powered by Engine Alliance GP7200s.
The lessor was intending to take the aircraft from 2013 but last year deferred deliveries by a year and extended the deadline for a cancellation option. It has since opted to axe the order.
ILFC had been the only leasing company holding an order for the double-deck aircraft.
But Airbus chief operating officer for customers John Leahy shrugs off the cancellation, confirmed as ILFC signed a preliminary agreement for 100 A320neo aircraft.
"The A380 is a long-term programme," he says. "Over the next 20 years we see a market of over 1,300 passenger aircraft in the very large aircraft segment."
He points out that two carriers - Japan's Skymark and Korea's Asiana - have signed for a total of 10 A380s this year and says there are "more queuing up".
"The A380 continues to win new customers and many are coming back with repeat orders," he adds.
With the ILFC decision, Airbus' orders for the A380 stand at 234 aircraft. By the end of February 43 of these had been delivered.