Skymark Airlines May Buy 15 A380s for International Flights


Japanese low-cost airline Skymark may buy as many as 15 Airbus A380s as it expands into international flights.

The planes would be delivered starting 2014 and would initially fly to destinations including London, Frankfurt and New York, Bloomberg News reported. Skymark has already signed a memorandum of understanding with Airbus to buy four A380s.

The carrier will divide the jets between business and premium economy, and fit each with 394 seats.

Currently, Skymark flies domestic flights only. It uses 15 all-economy Boeing (BA) 737 planes.

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"We believe price is the number one way to appeal to customers," said company President Shinichi Nishikubo. "We like markets with high fares the best."

The A380 is making a lot of headlines, after an engine on one of the jets exploded mid-air last week. The explosion, on a Qantas Airways (QUBSF) flight from Singapore to Sydney, forced the plane to make an emergency landing. Qantas has since grounded its fleet of A380s.

Skymark may sell roundtrip business class tickets from Tokyo to London starting at 347,000 yen ($4,230), Nishikubo said. That's less than half the price of the same ticket with All Nippon Airways.