India’s Kingfisher Airlines is reportedly planning to firm up its options on five Airbus A380s.

Kingfisher chairman and CEO Vijay Mallya is quoted on the website of India’s Mint newspaper as saying that “I am planning to convert the options to confirmed orders”.

The carrier in 2005 became the first Indian airline to commit to the A380 when it placed firm orders for five of the ultra-large aircraft and took options on five more. Deliveries are due to begin in 2011.

Kingfisher, which launched services in 2005, currently only operates domestic services but it has dozens of Airbus widebodies on order for planned international services.

It is currently barred from operating international services under Indian Government rules that prevent privately owned airlines from doing so until completing five years of continuous operations, but it will meet that in August as it is merging with Deccan, which launched in August 2003. The Government is also looking at easing the five-year restriction.

Kingfisher A380

Kingfisher executives were not immediately available for comment on when the A380 options may be converted into firm orders.

In a separate development another Indian newspaper, the Financial Express, says Kingfisher is planning to temporarily wet-lease to Air India four of the Airbus A340-500s that it has on firm order for delivery from this year.

Source:'s sister premium news site Air Transport Intelligence news

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