Airbus released a video on Friday celebrating 10 years of their A380 program.
The video was produced before Airbus announced a new higher-density economy configuration, or they conveniently ignore their own announcement when talking about economy class comfort.
Of course it’s a promotional video and they make some rather incredible claims.
The video suggests that the A380 is more efficient than the Boeing 787 because you’d “need 2 787s to carry as many passengers” and that would be more costly and burn more fuel.
That misses the point, of course: the question is whether a given route has as many passengers as an A380 can hold, where it’s economical to fly such a large aircraft. You need to fill an A380 for it to make sense. And that’s not something that works on most routes. The point of the 787 is to bypass hubs and fly passengers between cities where they want to go directly, and earn non-stop premium doing so.
They actually say that “The A380 will become essential in emerging markets like Africa and revolutionize mature ones like the United States.”
It’s one thing to surmise that hub-to-hub flying between heavily congested slot-controlled airports — London Heathrow to Tokyo-Narita, for instance — could make sense with an A380. There are plenty of passengers, and airlines can reduce their number of flights, making it possible to serve more destinations. (Passengers still prefer greater frequencies, of course, which means more choices for flight times, and that goes unmentioned in the video.) It’s another thing to suggest that the A380 will takeover the world and indeed no US airline has ordered a single Airbus A380.
Still, as a passenger, I love the A380 or at least I love what some airlines have done with it like Emirates (showers!), Singapore (double beds in their middle section suites), and Qantas (the best way to fly between the US and Australia). Even as I don’t love all A380s (I’m talking to you, Air France).
(HT: World Airline News)