What Concluded the A380 Production and How it's still Making a Fortune for Emirates!
Airbus A380, sometimes referred to as “King of the Skies” is the world’s biggest passenger jet. Launched on 25th October 2007 with Singapore Airlines, it was one of the few aircraft that made such a buzz. No other aircraft could give a quieter and a more comfortable flight than this flying giant.
What's likeable about an A380?
A survey conducted by Airbus found 20% of passengers said they would pay a fortune to fly on an A380, even in Economy Class. This was because, even in economy, you get extra legroom and one of the quietest cabins, without feeling much turbulence. It is the most environmentally-friendly wide-body aircraft, which burns 17% less CO2 emissions.
It has 40% more usable space than B747 (Second Largest Aircraft).
What made it go bust?
Even though everyone prefers to fly direct, passenger’s biggest factor of choice is Ticket Price. In the real world, 500 seat A380 aircraft with 3 seat configuration are difficult to fill with paying passengers and rarey fly full. Irrespective of the aircraft being full or empty, the 4-engines of the aircraft are thirsty for fuel making it the world’s most expensive aircraft for airlines to operate.
The operating cost for any given flight is mostly the same. The cost per available seat is an important measurement and A380 has the lowest cost per seat of any competing wide-body aircraft. An airline must ensure that its flights are nearly full capacity or in other words, have a high load factor to truly take advantage of the space. Airlines simply don’t have demand to justify operating an aircraft with this much capacity on their routes. Also, a weak backlog of orders has meant that A380 does not have customers from airlines to warrant and to ensure continued production.
In fact, it’s no big secret that some of the world's A380s have already arrived at the scrapyard. TARMAC Aerosave, was the first company to dismantle A380 and they managed to complete it in 11 months. TARMAC worked with VAS Aero Services to carefully remove the spare parts.
How is the A380 still stacking a loot for Emirates?
The Emirates business model focusses on long haul flights. It operates the A380 primarily on long-distance A380 high-traffic routes. The airline connects major cities with 115 A380s all over the world via it’s hub in Dubai. It is the perfect place for stopovers and connecting flights and it moreover is a popular tourist destination.
There have been allegations that Emirates is able to keep its operating costs low because it receives fuel subsidiaries from the Government of Dubai. However, these allegations have never been confirmed and the airline has denied them, totally.
Emirates grounded temporarily all of A380s as the COVID-19 pandemic erased most demand for international flights, which is by far the only kind of flight Emirates does.
Overall, it appears that A380s are great fit for Emirates' business model of moving large number of passengers on its long haul flights. However, Emirates seeks to cancel last 5 A380 deliveries.
Many airlines are currently requesting government support for survival. Airlines like Singapore Airlines, Etihad and Qatar Airways are still likely to operate their A380s as the aircraft showcases these carriers' highest quality products and not to mention all 3 airlines are receiving a government backing.
Air France was already in the process of scrapping its oldest A380 jets before the COVID-19 outbreak spread across the world. Malaysia Airlines attempted to sell its 6 A380s in 2018, but no buyers were to be found. Airbus announced in 2019, that the last A380 is set to be delivered in 2021
Currently, the only alternative for Airbus to replace its A380 is its flagship aircraft A350.
Therefore, the future of A380 looks bleak and airlines may not fully operate after the global travel resumes.