Airbus Group said Tuesday that it canceled an order from Japan's Skymark Airlines for six A380 superjumbo jets
Skymark is having a rough year. It already downsized its NRT operations (which had raised some eyebrows, as the airport is known for being Tokyo's international hub, not a national one) and hinted at reducing its fleet.
It seems now clear it doesn't have the capacity to pay for its international ambitions (FRA, LHR, CDG and JFK were in the 2010 plan).
The WSJ states that the cancellation is a blow for Airbus' A380 program. It's certainly true that sales are not doing that well (they must be glad to have Emirates being so keen on the aircraft).
Hong Kong Airways and Kingfisher have cancelled their commitments, Air France and Qantas have asked for delays.
And now, Airbus has two A380s ready to be delivered but with no customer.
Airbus reportedly asked Skymark to join an alliance in order to stay at the negotiating table, which was refused for "independence" claims. Independent or not, the Japanese airline seems to not really know where it wants to stands: it's no longer a low-cost (imagine that: it used to rent its livery as billboard in the 90s, you could see a Yahoo or Microsoft ad flying), but not really a premium one either. It's attendant uniforms are not a premium idea either.
In very Japanese fashion, the cancellation was delivered by fax.