The voluminous cargo BelugaXL has finally entered into service, and it now provides Airbus with a 30 per cent extra transport capacity to support the progressing production of commercial aircraft programs.
The first operational flight of this huge aircraft, belonging to airbus industrial system, was made on January 9th.
This engine is the first of six other BelugaXL that are programmed to begin working alongside with the belugaST predecessors, and other extra aircraft types that will be introduced between 2020 and 2023.
Let’s not forget that this ambitious project launched over five-years ago and entered into service on November 2014, made a successful turning point for internal aircraft programs.
In fact, this airplane was certified by the European Aviation Safety Agency in November, then it has effectuated elaborate and rigorous flight tests, making the BelugaXL achieve over 200 flight tests and clock more than 700 flight hours.
With its characteristics indicating: 8 meters wide, 63 meters long and a capacity of 50,500 kg payload, the BelugaXL with its bay cross-section, seems by far to be the biggest existing cargo at a worldwide scale.
Speaking about its tremendous capacity, this airplane can easily carry two A350 XWB wings compared to the BelugaST which is only capable of transporting one. It is also known with its large payload of 51 tones, and it has a range of 4.000 kilometers.
The BelugaXL is built on an A330-200 freighter that facilitates the re-use of existing components and is propulsed by Rolls Royce Trent 700 engines.
The distinctive and genuine look of this aircraft is due to its lowered cockpit, its cargo bay structure and it’s rear-end tail.
Today, the BelugaXL constitute the latest valuable addition to Airbus’ transportation portfolio.
Airline, Aircraft, Line maintenance, MRO
The first Airbus A380 has been dismantled and will be sold as spare parts as a new lessee or buyer could not be found following expiry of the 10-year lease in October 2017. For investors, this is likely to mean a modest end to their investment.
After the 10-year lease with Singapore Airlines expired, shareholders had three options: lease, sale or part-out. Given that the first two options proved to be unsuccessful, the aircraft will be sold in parts.
The engines have been leased to manufacturer Rolls Royce, so liquidity and scheduled debt repayments are secure for the time being. Nevertheless, in a report on the options open to management of the A380 fund, Scope points out that this provided no cost-covering and therefore is not a long-term solution because of debt service yet to be performed on the bank loans.
The decision to part-out means the engine lease agreement with Rolls Royce will be extended until the end of 2020 under existing conditions, after which they will be sold. The rest of the A380’s components are expected to be sold by the end of 2020.
Proceeds from the sale of the components and engines will initially be used to repay bank loans and then be distributed to investors following the redemption of senior loans in 2019 and 2020.
Management of the fund has outlined three capital-return scenarios, with possible sale revenues of between USD 64mand USD 74m.
In USD, the fund’s trading currency, cumulative distributions would be 128% (scenario A), 133% (scenario B) and 138% (scenario C), following an original commitment of 105%.
“On the plus side, even the most pessimistic scenario presented by Dr. Peters should result in positive returns for investors, albeit well below the 7%-8% annual returns anticipated at the time of the fund’s launch,” said Frank Netscher, associate director, alternative investments, at Scope.
“But while investors are unlikely to suffer losses, the scenarios outlined are uncertain because no A380 has yet been parted-out”.
Investors in closed-end fund secondaries are reacting to the decision to part-out. “The reduced uncertainty and the improved predictability regarding potential returns has resulted in increasing trading prices, although even with the spike in prices, fund shares continue to trade at a high risk-discount.
This shows that the market still lacks sufficient historical values to validate price estimates for A380 components,” said Netscher.