AIRSHOW-HK Airlines to drop A380s in order reshuffle -sources

FARNBOROUGH, England, July 17 Thu Jul 17, 2014 8:59am EDT

FARNBOROUGH, England, July 17 (Reuters) - Hong Kong Airlines is preparing to cancel an order for 10 Airbus A380 superjumbos after an associated leasing company struck an expanded deal to buy 70 smaller A320-family aircraft, people familiar with the matter said on Thursday.

Asked about the status of the order at a news conference, Airbus officials said it remained on the company's order book.

Since March, however, the order is no longer attributed in the order book to the airline itself but to an "undisclosed" customer, according to Airbus data.

Hong Kong Airlines was not available for comment.

The order had been in doubt for some time after it was first caught up in a row between the European Union and China over environmental policy and then the airline was reported as saying it might exchange the A380 commitment for other aircraft.

Hong Kong Airlines shares a common investor, HNA Group , with Hong Kong Aviation Capital which finalised an order for 70 jets at the Farnborough Airshow on Thursday after initially preparing the ground for a 60-plane order at the Paris Airshow last year. (Reporting by Tim Hepher; Editing by Victoria Bryan)

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