Author Topic: The rise and fall of Airbus a380  (Read 203 times)

Offline KB4TEZ

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The rise and fall of Airbus a380
« on: October 30, 2020, 06:58:53 AM »
Interesting, yet not surprising.

About journey of A380-
As we already knows that the a380 is the worlds biggest passenger jet, and most expensive one as well. Last year Airbus announces that they will stop production of A380 by 2021. But what went wrong with the aircraft, in just 10 years the airlines status symbol of the A380 towards  reject.
Airbus has spent a decades trying to build a market, which will dominate the b747. The Airbus has to develop a new Aircraft even bigger as compared to the b747, with minimal operating costs. Result is the double decker concept, also called A3xx.

 Which eventually known as the A380, the A380 launched in dec 2000.
The first A380 flight is carried out in Toluse on 27 April 2005.

In front of 1000s of spectractors across the world. Now A380 take off or lands in every 2 minutes before covid-19, currently it operates more than 300 flights a day, the aircraft operates more than 120 routes , and 60 destinations across the world.
The first A380 is delivered to the Singapore airlines on 25 October 2007,

And first flight is from Singapore to Sydney. Now currently 14 airlines across the world are operating A380, but Air France decided to retire entire fleet of A380 by 2022.
As we know covid-19 brought a catstrophe to the aviation industry, with fleet grounded and passenger numbers are free falling, A380 is a too big and most expensive as well for it's maintenance, the price tag of one A380 is near about $445 million. A380 is always second choice of all airlines even before covid-19, now smaller next generation composite wide body Aircrafts like b-787 and A350 offers airlines more flexibility and less risks with a lower fuel burn and low maintenance costs as well. In a just a few months the A380 market decreases drastically, Now A380 is the plane that airlines don't want to talk about.
As per aviation experts half of the A380 will not be able to come to service, airlines are having large number of smaller planes and efficient Aircrafts for fly, compared with A380. Now all OVER the world A380 Aircrafts are grounded.
Till now only 251, A380 builds so far and half of them are operated by Emirates airlines, which uses more than 115 A380, now all are grounded,

As per Chief executive of Airbus Tom enders,

As per them, if you have a product that no-body wants anymore or you can sell only below production cost then you have  to stop it, we have know we don't give up easily On the A380, I think you know we did various analysis recent times, what else we could do with A380. We did all re-engineering, stretching of Aircraft also introduces the new version of A380 i.e. A380+,
Which gives the 4% less fuel burn ratio, also gives the longer range, and additionally 18 seats more, comfort for all passenger, 3 tonnes more payload capacity.

Then also we wouldn't get customers.

As per Airbus, A380 will be a game changer for the aviation industry, but there opinion get reverse due to covid-19.

But what are the major reasons for failure of an A380-

In short the problems for the A380 can be divided into a three major points-
1. The aircraft itself is a logistical nightmare.
2. Changing in airlines market
3. Operating efficiencies.

Logistical nightmare-
The A380 is a absolutely a logistical nightmare and supporting the plane is very difficult, with a wing span stretching upto 80m and 262ft large, as compared with b747 Aircraft has a wing span of 68.5m and 225ft. As a result the airport that supports the A380 are undergoes all the changes to support and maintenance for the aircraft, by enhancing the size of runway lengths, taxi ways, wider gate space, bigger hangers for the maintenance and dual boarding bridges for the top and bottom levels of plane.

As an example new York international airport JFK, estimates that they spent more than $175 million, for infrastructure updates for an A380 alone.

Only few of the airports across the world can be able to manage the A380.

2. Changing the airlines market-
Apart from the logistics the Airbus believes that air travel will evolved into the future was also a wrong opinion from Airbus.
They believes like, long haul flights or intercontinel flights will be handled by A380 and other domestic flights will be handled by smaller Aircrafts with there frequent flights.
Airbus originally thought like there will be 15 to 20 major spot or routes for the A380,

But it never happens, only Emirates airlines are operating 115, A380 across the world, Emirates is the only airline which holding the market and major important routes across the world.

Operating efficiencies-
According to Qantas airline there recent flight of A380 from Sydney to Los Angeles, it costs a near about $305,735 dollars for operates the flight and transportation of 484 passengers, this is roughly 14 hr flights in that per hour cost for A380 is $21,838 dollars.
Compare this to b777 and A350-1000, on the same routes it costs near about $190,422 dollars for transportation of 361 passenger to there destinations. And it's operating costs is near about $13,601 dollars per hour.

A380 Carrie's 34% more passenger with cost of 60% more than b-777 Aircraft.

And on the other hand A380 has it's issues throughout the decades such as more profile problems, including in flight engines failure and cracking in the wind shields problems.
Therefore A380 flights are cancelled or delayed or grounded several times.

Now today due Covid-19, Air France planning to retire it's 14, A380 by 2022,

similarly Qatar airways are operating 10, A380 and planning to retire all the aircrafts by 2024 and start removing the aircrafts by June 2021.

Singapore airlines was the first to launch the A380 in there fleet. And it's operates in 13 destinations such as Asia, Europe, Australia etc. And are the first to retire 19, A380 Aircrafts from there fleets.

Yesterday Emirates retired 3, A380 Aircrafts with a ege of only 9 years.

Major problems to the A380 manufacturing units -
Due to cancelled orders from the airlines such as UK, virgin Atlantic ordered 6 Aircrafts in 2001 and then cancelled after a few months,  Russian airline transero ordered 6 A380 and cancelled on 2018 due financial problems,
3. Hong Kong airlines ordered 10 A380 and cancelled in 2014.
4. Qantas ordered 8 additional Aircrafts and cancelled due to decreases in market of an A380 in 2019.
5. Emirates cancelled orders of 39 additional Aircrafts in March 2019. As per Emirates they will order A330 neo, and A350 instead of A380. And will buy only 8 A380 instead of 39 Aircrafts.
This many amount of decrease in orders Airbus plans to stop the manufacturing of A380.

The final A380 is on the assembly line in Toluse which is going to be a part of Emirates, serially number as ( MSN) 272, this is the last Aircraft after that Airbus close there production of A380.

Good bye giant of the sky.

  A380 will be always remembered as a great whisper giant, offers a incredible comforts for all passengers, but proves that it's profit that really makes an airliner to fly. The unforgiving Covid-19 delivered the final blow to the A380. I would love to hear your thoughts on this plz comment below and share your thoughts about such a great Aircraft ever built in the history of commercial aviation.

Offline diskus

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Re: The rise and fall of Airbus a380
« Reply #1 on: October 30, 2020, 07:58:11 AM »
Interesting read. Amazing that some of the issues could not have been forseen.