Why is it that the Airbus 380 has not proved as successful, despite being a technological marvel, and having the backing of many airlines and Europe?

The A380 is one of the most expensive and lavish airplanes ever built with a price tag of $436 million. With a capacity for as many as 800 passengers, the double-decker’s sheer size means that whenever it lands, it’s an event.

The Airbus A380, in 2007, entered service with great fanfare. The double decker jet, dubbed the superjumbo, was designed to take everything that made the Boeing 747 an icon and push it to the limits of modern engineering. .

There is no denying that the A380 is an engineering marvel. As an airliner, the A380 promised luxury and comfort on an unprecedented scale with premium features such as walk-up bars, private lounges, etc. Singapore Airlines was the first airliner to take delivery of the first production A380. Soon, other global airlines such as Qantas, Etihad, Thai Air and British Airways also took deliveries. But no airline has been Emirates. Of the 317 jets ordered, 142 have been by the Dubai-based carrier. No other airline operates more than 19 of the double deckers.

However, a decade later, things are not the same for the A380. The Airbus 380 which was supposed to be a game-changing aircraft is fighting to survive in the aviation market.

However, there are some obvious reasons, why the Airbus 380 has been less popular, One, it costs less to operate two Dreamliners than it does to fly a single A380. As a result, the A380 never developed into a true workhorse like the 747. Instead, it’s been relegated to a niche aircraft economically feasible only on routes with heavy airport congestion.

In a low cost aviation market, as well as cost-conscious market and with fluctuating fuel prices, the very attributes that made it very distinctive are also what may have negated the brand of the plane and its value.

Without another order from Emirates, the future fate of the A380 grows dimmer by the day. Making things worse, early production A380s will soon be coming off lease. This means Airbus will have to compete against its own second-hand planes. That will be sad.

Source-The Economic Times

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