In August 2007 the first Airbus A-380 “super jumbo” flew from Singapore to Sydney, operated by Singapore Airlines.An A-380’s life span was set at 20-25 years originally, but after just 12 years Airbus have announced that production will cease in 2021. At this point the company would have fulfilled its last delivery of 14 A-380’s to its biggest customer, Emirates Airlines. Already operating the biggest fleet of A-380’s at 100 aircraft, Emirates had a further 42 on order. This has now been scaled back to this last 14 as the cost of operating the huge jet has proven too high when compared to smaller more fuel efficient planes. When you push back to leave Dubai International airport on an Emirates A-380 you are met with an impressive line up of so many of the aircraft. But as take off, if you happen to be on a flight which has a pretty much empty upper deck you start to wonder how it is economic sense to fly these huge aircraft back and forth. When the end of production takes place there will be an estimated 300 in service around the world. However this number may be lower as what we cannot tell is how many operators will look to withdraw the A-380 from their fleets before 2021. Air France have stated they want to reduce their A-380 fleet by 50% across the course of this year. Qantas, one of the aircrafts most iconic operators, given the distances the aircraft travel has this year already cancelled its 2006 order for a further 8 aircraft. Whilst they have cancelled any new aircraft, Qantas are however currently under taking a refurbishment program for their existing 12 A-380’s. Upgrades to all cabins and new additions to the interiors mean the Qantas A-380’s will be ready to go on for some time, which will be good news for the many fans of this giant aircraft. Conceived to challenge the great Boeing 747, unfortunately it looks like they will not go on for any where near as long.
Aerospace & Aviation 2019
Image Credit: Airbus
Sources: Airbus, Qantas and Singapore airlines