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Airbus A380 • Review

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The Airbus A380 enabled the Dubai-based Emirates to put other established airline companies under pressure. However, after the Arab airline Emirates reduced its order, there was no basis for continued production, as Airbus announced in February 2019. Woefully, Airbus scheduled the final delivery of an A380 for December 2021.

Boeing 747 sat for a long time on the grand throne of the largest passenger aircraft in the modern world. Hence, Boeing and Airbus talked eagerly for three years about powerfully building a joint successor. However, therein common was no mutual agreement due to various legitimate reasons. Therefore, the responsible Airbus engineers started in 1996 to develop a superjumbo under the official name A3XX.

Airbus carefully examined various versions of a superjumbo. Ultimately, they wisely decided on a unique plane with two main floors. Furthermore, Airbus promptly published this gigantic bird with the name Airbus A380. At the end of 1999, France, Germany, Spain and Great Britain gave the green light for the impressive building of this Superjumbo. Instantly following that, the ambitious project got presented to various potential buyers. In brief, Emirates and Air France represent the first airlines to buy this new Superjumbo. Even before the successful production of the primary components promptly began in 2002. Besides, Singapore Airlines and Lufthansa also opted for the A380.

Airbus A380 - launched

The first effective delivery took place in October 2007, ordered by Singapore Airlines. The plane fitted 471 seats in three classes in their A380, using the upper deck for business class passengers. After that, the following three A380s were also delivered to Singapore Airlines. After that, Emirates enthusiastically received its first Superjumbo in July 2008.

In September of the same year, the Australian Qantas followed as the third leading operator. In 2013, the 100th A380 went to Malaysia Airlines.

While the Superjumbo mainly flies considerable distances, there are also ultra-short flights. Emirates has been operating efficiently from Dubai to Muscat since July 2019, flying 340 kilometres with a flight time of 1:10 hours.

The currently most extended flight with an A380 is on top set by the same airline, from Dubai to Auckland. This flight comes with a considerable distance of 14,193 kilometres and a flying time of 16:05 hours, respectively.

That is close to the longest scheduled flight with an Airbus A350-900ULR, 16,700 kilometres. Hence, the stunning 18:45 flight time between Singapore and New York Newark by Singapore Airlines.

Giant airplanes not anymore in demand

2013 was the last year with a healthy order balance for the Superjumbo, with buyers ordering 42 A380s. In the following year, there were only 13, and in 2015, only two direct orders. In 2016 there were hopelessly no orders at all. In 2017 the negative balance was admittedly minus two, and in 2018, four due to cancellations. 2019 scarcely began with the further removal of eight A380S by Qantas.

Hence, the dying days of giant aeroplanes in the passenger business seem to be over. Also, the previous Superjumbo, the Boeing 747, is mainly built as a freight version. Airbus had also planned a cargo version, the A380 F, but never implemented it.

To date, Airbus has promptly delivered 234 A380s. Forty on top of that are to follow. Irrespective of the recent unfavourable news and controversial figures, the A380 undoubtedly possesses an excellent record.

Too big, too heavy, unprofitable: the Airbus A380’s destructive path from prestige aircraft to discontinued model was already mapped out. The Corona crisis radically anticipates the demise of the world’s largest passenger aircraft – and almost forces modern planes to the graveyard.

Maximum Capacity
Airbus A380-800
Boeing 747-8i
Boeing 747-400
Boeing 777-300
Airbus A340-600

Emirates and the A380

To a great degree, for the leading airline Emirates, the business model genuinely seems to base firmly on the Airbus A380 due to airport capacity issues. Probably now even more since Dubai halts the Mega-Airport Project “Al Maktoum International” as Gulf economies stumble.

Despite this, various local news channels lately reported that Emirates, with a total order of 123 Airbus A380s soon, will phase out the more outdated models and that the number should stabilise at 115. However, this considerable number will be progressively reduced to 90 to 100 from 2025 onwards, although Emirates prominently mentioned that A380s would be extensively used in 2035.

The Airbus A380 remains our favourite aircraft. We often explicitly choose longer routes with the A380 in service. It’s a majestic way to land and roll to the dock, and the gentle path back to the sky is unattainable.

In addition, the space on board is unsurpassable. Moreover, the plane is extremely quiet outside and inside and allows you to sleep without any problems, but unfortunately, you can hear the snoring of your seat neighbours.

If you are addicted to aircraft, we highly recommend playing Playrion Airlines Manager Tycoon

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2 Responses

  1. Airbus rushed the A-380 into design and production to beat Boeing with a new jumbo jet since the 747 was ageing and a replacement was needed. Unfortunately, it did not live up to the expectations of the airlines and was not a bestseller. The A-350, on the other hand, was a new design.

  2. After two years of flying other airlines, I got involved with Emirates again. Two years ago, the A380s were already severely damaged, so I voluntarily “lost” my status, but on my last flight – just “wow”. Super plane, service and wine list like in a noble restaurant. I’m already looking forward to the next flight: with Emirates.

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