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Airbus warns it could quit A380 production

Norman Nescio Silver badge

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There is some good reading amongst the comments on the Slashdot article* on the same news.

https://tech.slashdot.org/story/18/01/15/2044214/airbus-a380-once-the-future-of-aviation-may-cease-production

To sum up: the A380 is great for carrying large numbers of people between hub airports that have a constrained number of landing slots - so long as the airports have been upgraded to cope the A380s (runways able to take the load, gates able to process the passengers etc).

Unfortunately, modern twin-engine aeroplanes have become more fuel efficient, so that it is easier to eschew hubs and fly directly to and from uncongested secondary airports. Emirates operate Dubai as a super-hub, and it makes sense for them to use A380s. Other airlines, in other geographies, use the direct-routing approach, which is not ideal for A380s. Japan, domestically, might be an exception, where the demand is sufficient to fly 747s short haul within the country.

The end result is, although passengers like the A380 (quiet and spacious compared to smaller aeroplanes), the economics are against it, except on a number of specialised routes which are not enough to sustain production.

Twin engine jets can now achieve ETOPS rating of 370 minutes - which is more than enough to fly the Pacific.

From a technical and passenger point of view, the A380 is a tour-de-force. Unfortunately, from an airline economics point of view, it doesn't look so great, which is a pity. (I carefully didn't say tour-de-farce, although I was tempted. Bugger.)

*I feel slightly guilty linking away from El Reg, but on the other hand, you can find good nuggets of information in surprising places where the journalists of this esteemed organ may not have looked. The PPRuNe thread I found didn't really educate me much.

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