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Why was the Airbus A380 a Failure?

Why was the Airbus A380 a Failure?
the largest commercial passenger aircraft in the world the Airbus

a380

will officially turn 12 years old this month this incredible aircraft comes with four massive engines a wingspan of nearly 80 meters and can hold more than 500 people it first entered service on October 25th of 2007 when Singapore Airlines made the aircraft's first commercial flight between Singapore and Sydney Australia despite the aircraft being a technological marvel it is sadly meeting its end since its inception 239 83 ATS have been delivered to various airlines around the world however Airbus now concedes that its 25 billion dollar investment in the aircraft can no longer be recouped Emirates the aircraft's largest customer having ordered 162 aircraft out of the total 313 orders decided to cut its

a380

fleet earlier this year to just 123 spurring Airbus to reconsider the viability of the a380 project and ultimately decide to cancel production by the end of 2021 so how can such an amazing aircraft be so short-lived the Boeing 747 after all has been around since the late 1960s and it is still being produced to this day it all starts with the idea for the a380 which began in the year 2000 when Airbus performed its global market forecasts and estimated that the demand for very large aircraft with greater than 400 seats would be over 1250 over the next two decades however Airbus never foresaw the many challenges that this technological marvel would incur unlike their counterparts at the time at Boeing whom had previously dropped out of talks about a possible joint venture to build a very large airplane together the

airbus

team stayed the course determined to build the world's largest passenger aircraft whether you blame it on political grandstanding or national pride or in this case continental pride as Airbus is a multi nation European company primarily consisting of the United Kingdom Spain France and Germany whatever you choose to blame it on there are plenty of options and when Airbus announced earlier this year that it will stop making the a380 it came as a surprise to no one in the airline industry in short the problems with the a380 can be summarized into three main points first the aircraft is a logistical nightmare number two Airbus never foresaw the change in airline market and finally the a380s very poor operating efficiencies starting with point number one the a380 is an absolute logistical nightmare and supporting the plane is extremely difficult with a wingspan stretching almost 80 meters the giant four-engine jet is much larger than any other commercial passenger aircraft even outpacing the Boeing 747 which itself has a wingspan of nearly sixty eight and a half meters as a result airports that support the a380 are required to undergo all sorts of changes to support the aircraft such as longer and wider runways wider taxiways more gate space and dual boarding bridges for the top and bottom levels of the plane as an example New York's JFK International Airport estimated that it spent up to 175 million dollars on infrastructure upgrades for the a380 alone these enhanced requirements and increased cost severely limit the airports that are able to accommodate the aircraft for example across the US and Canada there are only 16 airports that are capable of accommodating the a380 compared to nearly double that for the Boeing 747 apart from the logistics Airbus's theory on how they believe air travel would evolve into the future was also fundamentally wrong the thesis essentially was that long haul and higher volume flights between large markets would be handled primarily by the a380 and other very large aircraft while medium and short haul connections would be handled by smaller aircraft with more frequent flights Airbus originally thought that there would be something like 15 to 20 of these major international hubs across the world however the market changed and this never came about what is becoming increasingly outdated for the international travel market is what is known as the hub-and-spoke model in this model Airlines aim to collect passengers from many cities at a central collection point or hub and then fill larger planes such as the a380 for flights to international destinations this same model is used by many domestic airlines but by using planes at half or even a third of the size of a typical international carrier at the time the Boeing 747 was incredibly successful and longer and more fuel efficient aircraft had yet to be developed or enter service but as more and more advanced aircraft came onto the scene such as the Boeing triple7 and the Airbus a350 providing customers with direct point-to-point service became much more practical and appealing the International hub-and-spoke model wasn't helped by other industry and economic factors that led to the rise in additional airline destinations in the dilution of powerful mega hubs this led carriers that once operated primarily out of single mega hubs to increase their services and destinations across the world this increase in size of the airline industry by the mid to late 2000s led to the rise of new hubs of service and created new airline giants like Emirates Qatar and Etihad as the global airline industry grew over the next decade annual passenger volume grew with it as it increased over 500% in just 15 years another contributing factor to this was the increasing amount of open skies agreements signed between entries which allowed Airlines a higher degree of freedom to choose where they fly where before an international carrier may have only been able to fly to Delhi for example these new agreements allowed new flights to arrive in other large regional cities which counterbalanced the power that the large hub once had likewise in China Beijing became counterbalance by cities like Shanghai and Guangzhou as they grew in size it became clear that travelers would prefer to take direct routes to their destinations regardless of whether the plane was a bit smaller this of course was something that Boeing managed to position itself well for in the early 2000s the a380 also suffers from specific problems related to its operating economics on almost any of its routes the airline business is not consistent year round there are peaks and valleys generally coinciding with certain seasons and holidays but generally speaking the Northern Hemisphere summer represents the peak of the business for something like 90% of the world's most important airlines during this period there are plenty of routes where the a380 can be filled to maximum capacity ranging from London to Los Angeles Bangkok to Rome and New York to Munich but in the wintertime it is a much different story you may fill up the most popular route of the bunch such as the London to Los Angeles route but the other routes don't stand a chance unfortunately for most airlines the a380 is not an airline you can fill up year round a few airlines do have hubs large enough to fill say 10 to 15 of the Jets but only Emirates has the hub volume to nearly always fill its a380s according to Qantas on a recent flight of their a380 from Sydney to Los Angeles it cost the airline three hundred and five thousand seven hundred and thirty five dollars to operate the flight and transport 484 passengers to their destination this roughly 14 hour flight brings the cost per hour to operate the a380 to 21,000 eight hundred and thirty eight dollars compare this to the Boeing triple7 which Qantas states cost them one hundred ninety thousand four hundred and twenty two dollars to fly the same distance and transport three hundred and sixty one passengers to their destination and the operational cost is just thirteen thousand six hundred and one dollars per hour this means that although the a380 can carry thirty four percent more passengers than the triple seven it also costs sixty percent more to fly the same distance now of course not all passengers are equal first and business class passengers certainly do pay more in ode as the a380 cater to them however you get the picture the a380 is expensive to fly and this is especially true when the plane is not at full capacity with a list price of nearly 465 million dollars it is critical that airlines sell their seats on the aircraft to recoup the cost the future of the very large aircraft market that was invented by the original Boeing 747 and now encompasses the a380 is looking grim the latest variant of the 747 the - 8i is essentially on its last legs with the advent of newer more fuel-efficient aircraft such as the a350 the 787 dreamliner and the upcoming triple 7x the cost of operating these planes will essentially match the unit cost of the a380s while seating fewer passengers when needed this means that as long as the airlines can fill their aircraft profitably in the summer months they can at a minimum break even in the winter if you have not had the chance to fly on the a380 you still have the time as the production doesn't end until 2021 current orders are still being filled and airlines are destined to fly this plane for years to come even after production has ended I myself am excited to be flying on my first a380 flight this December when I have the chance to visit Australia let me know in the comments below on what your thoughts are on the a380 and where you see the airline industry headed going forward and as always thank you so much for watching this video
why was the airbus a380 a failure

Source : RealLifeLore2