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Airbus Wins Order for A380s From Hong Kong Airlines

Airbus, the world’s largest passenger-jet maker, won a contract from Hong Kong Airlines Ltd. for 10 double decker A380s, valued at about $3.8 billion at list prices.

The planemaker plans to deliver the first A380 to the Chinese airline, backed by HNA Group, in 2015, Kenneth Thong, head of corporate governance and international affairs at the carrier, said in an interview today. Airbus spokesman Stefan Schaffrath declined to comment on orders in advance of a Jan. 17 press conference.

The orders lifts Airbus’s A380 backlog to 188 planes, amid doubts surrounding Kingfisher Airlines Ltd.’s ability to proceed with its planned purchase of five A380s. The Indian airline has reduced flights and in late 2011 deferred delivery of its orders,which include five Airbus A350-800s, 15 A330s, and 24 A320s, to preserve cash.

“We’re in constant communication with Kingfisher but as always, we can’t give details about talks with customers,” said Justin Dubon, a spokesman for Airbus, by telephone from Toulouse.

Shares of Kingfisher fell the most in three weeks today after the Directorate General of Civil Aviation in India requested that it provide a recovery plan following financial and safety audits.

“I don’t see any significant deliveries coming over the next couple of years for Kingfisher,” said Kapil Kaul, the Indian director for CAPA Centre for Aviation, which advises carriers. “Certainly not this year, not next year, though if the airline’s performance improves Airbus should be able to keep the planes in the backlog.”

The Hong Kong Air order hasn’t yet appeared in Airbus’s order and delivery figures on the Internet. It will bring Airbus’s order tally for A380s to 27 won last year, when the manufacturer also signed contracts with Japan’s Skymark Airlines and South Korea’s Asiana Airlines Inc. for six each, and a further five for Qatar Airways Ltd.

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