Wednesday, March 21, 2007

MAS still in talks over A380 order

Malaysian Airline System Bhd (MAS) is still in talks with Airbus SAS over an order for six A380 superjumbos after a newspaper reported the airline is likely to cancel the purchase.

MAS and its parent, Penerbangan Malaysia Bhd, have “yet to come to any conclusion,” the airline said in a statement. The order is worth as much as US$1.8bil.

Airbus is about two years late introducing the 555-seat A380, and an English daily (not The Star) said yesterday that MAS would probably scrap the order.

Some analysts said the company, which agreed to buy the A380s in December 2003, might no longer need the planes.

“If you look at their strategy for 2008, they are looking at China, India and South-East Asia,” said OSK Research analyst Christopher Eng, who has a buy rating on MAS stock. “For that, you don’t need the Airbus A380.”

MAS said in January it was in discussions with Airbus over possible compensation and it might cancel the order.

Tony Philips, a spokesman in Singapore for Airbus, declined to comment on what he called “ongoing commercial discussions.”

Source : STAR
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