Hong Kong Airlines is discussing with Airbus to take over the A380 slots that were previously filled by Australia's Qantas Airways.

Earlier this year, Qantas deferred its order for six A380s, which it was due to receive in 2014, to be delivered between 2018 and 2012.

The aircraft may be taken over by Hong Kong Airlines, which is keen to order the aircraft to increase its capacity on its long-haul routes, said an industry source close to the company.

This may be part of a bigger order for 10 A380s, which was placed by China's HNA Group, Hong Kong Airlines' parent company that also owns mainland carrier, Hainan Airlines.

The remaining A380s may be placed with Hong Kong Airlines or operated by Hainan Airlines itself, the source said.

Airbus said at the Paris Airshow in June this year it had signed a tentative agreement for 10 A380s with an undisclosed customer.

Sources later told Flightglobal the customer was Hong Kong Airlines, although neither the carrier nor the airframer confirmed the information.

Source: Air Transport Intelligence news