...EK had to ground six A380s while the inspections/modifications were performed. “That means 30% of our A380 fleet stopped flying. Each one [was] flying 15 hours daily, [with a] 90% load factor,” he said, adding the aircraft were replaced with Boeing 777-300ERs.
“We have to handle it, because we have no choice,” said Clark. “It [the A380] is a hugely successful airplane for us.”
“nearly $100 million was hit [to] our bottom line as a result [of] not having [these] six A380s in service.” Aircraft had been grounded for eight weeks “and we had thousands of crews sitting there doing nothing. Is there compensation possible? No one is paying anything at the moment,” Clark said, adding that “John Leahy [Airbus CCO customers] said there is no compensation. We have a different view.”
However, Clark said, “All this wouldn’t stop our interest in getting more [A380] or -900 aircraft. They [Airbus] will fix it. I hope they learn from it.”