Seen Better Days: Malaysia Airlines’ A380s At Tarbes

Malaysia Airlines Airbus A380 stored at Tarbes.
Photo Credit: @MSN3503/Twitter
James Field - Editor in Chief 4 Min Read
4 Min Read

LONDON – Via pictures taken by @MSN3503 on Twitter, it’s clear that Malaysia Airlines’ Airbus A380s at Tarbes have seen better days.

The photographer based in the area has been able to take clear pictures of the aircraft in Tarbes, where it is currently in storage.

The Six Malaysia Airlines Airbus A380s…


  • Malaysia Airlines Airbus A380 stored at Tarbes.
  • Malaysia Airlines Airbus A380 stored at Tarbes.
  • Malaysia Airlines Airbus A380 stored at Tarbes.
  • Malaysia Airlines Airbus A380 stored at Tarbes.

As you can see from the slideshow above, the aircraft are showing signs of seeing better days from lack of use.

Courtesy of Planespotters.net, all six of the airline’s Airbus A380s are stored in Tarbes. You can see a brief history of all six frames below:

9M-MNA: Delivered to Malaysia Airlines in May 2012. It was withdrawn from use and stored in Kuala Lumpur between February 2020 and December 2022. 9M-MNA was ferried over to Tarbes on December 12, 2022.

9M-MNB: Delivered to Malaysia Airlines in July 2012. Withdrawn from use and stored in Kuala Lumpur between March 2020 and November 2022. 9M-MNB was ferried over to storage in Tarbes on November 28, 2022.

9M-MNC: Delivered to the airline in October 2012. Withdrawn from use and stored in Kuala Lumpur between February 2020 to November 2022. Ferried over to storage in Tarbes on November 14, 2022.

9M-MND: Delivered to Malaysia Airlines in October 2012. Withdrawn from use and stored in Kuala Lumpur between April 2020 to November 2022. Ferried over to storage in Tarbes on November 21, 2022.

9M-MNE: Delivered to Malaysia Airlines in February 2013. Withdrawn from use and stored in Kuala Lumpur between February 2020 to December 2022. Ferried over to storage in Tarbes on December 5, 2022.

9M-MNF: Delivered to Malaysia Airlines in March 2013. Withdrawn from use and stored in Kuala Lumpur between April 2020 and December 2022. 9M-MNF was ferried over to Tarbes on December 19, 2022.

Low Cost The Priority After Turbulent Few Years…


Photo Credit: @MSN3503/Twitter

In the last decade or so, Malaysia Airlines hasn’t had an easy period. Back in 2015, the airline was transferred to the newly founded Malaysia Airlines Berhad (MAB).

The airline made major cuts and streamlining in order to bring the aircraft back to some form of financial stability and went down the aircraft leasing route instead of direct purchases.

An example of this was when four new Airbus A350-900 aircraft were delivered by Air Lease Corporation.

MAB has also had a difficult time during the COVID-19 pandemic, where they needed to raise RM1 billion of capital annually if the Malaysian Government was to assist in the sustainability of their operations.

Overall…


Malaysia Airlines Airbus A380 stored at Tarbes.
Photo Credit: @MSN3503/Twitter

Whilst it is a shame to see these Airbus A380s in a condition like this, it is typical of what life is like for an aircraft in long-term storage.

With Malaysia Airlines not appearing to be taking these aircraft back anytime soon, it is a question of whether these aircraft will have a secondary life in the future.

Things could remain hopeful that other airlines lease these aircraft, especially ahead of what is going to be a busy Summer 2023 season.

But as we have seen, the time needed to reactivate an A380 is long, so we will have to see if any airline will give these aircraft a secondary life that is well-deserved.

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