Virgin unlikely to ever take its A380s: Kreeger

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Virgin Atlantic's new chief executive Craig Kreeger has played down the likelihood of the airline ever taking delivery of the six Airbus A380s it has on order.

The UK airline was among the early customers for the ultra-large aircraft, placing an order for six Rolls-Royce Trent 900-powered A380s in 2001. It was also originally slated to be one of the initial customers, but this changed when production issues delayed the programme and the airline's order has now been deferred indefinitely.

Speaking at the Royal Aeronautical Society in London, the airline's recently appointed chief executive Craig Kreeger indicated that the chances of the airline ever being an A380 operator were low.

"We have six A380s on order and have deferred them yet again," he said. "It's hard, but not impossible, to foresee a world where we operate the aircraft."

Kreeger says that the airline still has the option of operating the 550-seater in the future, but it's not "a clear choice" for Virgin.

Kreeger succeeded long-standing Virgin chief executive Steve Ridgway in February after almost three decades with US major American Airlines. Shortly before his arrival, Delta Air Lines acquired Singapore Airlines' 49% stake in the London Heathrow-based airline. Founder Sir Richard Branson retains a 51% holding in Virgin Atlantic.