Airbus A380 Hits 10th Anniversary Despite Uncertain Future
On April 27, 2005, the Airbus A380 entered the aviation industry by taking its first flight from France’s Toulouse-Blagnac Airport while 50,000 onlookers observed the historic moment.
The A380 is a gigantic twin-deck plane created for a new standard of travel for passengers ready to pay a premium price. With 652 seats, Transaero’s A380s was once touted as the future leader among commercial passenger jets.
Singapore Airlines was the first company to fly the aircraft with paying passengers in 2007. It has yet not been ordered by any U.S.-based airlines, but the aircraft itself finds many routes going to several U.S. destinations, according to USA Today.
Initial eagerness with the superjumbo plane doubled over the years, but it was not enough to keep each flight commercially viable. The aviation industry has grown during the recent years, expecting to receive a 31% increase among international airlines passengers in 2017.
Interestingly, companies such as Airbus and Boeing have not seen a decrease when it comes to demand for smaller economic aircraft. The story, however, is different with that of A380.
The A380 is a game-changer, providing luxury with profitability. However, in recent years the sales have dropped along with demand. Only more than 300 planes have been sold as of April 2015.
Initial forecast for demand have been wrong. The prediction was that around 1,500 orders would be booked, but only one-fourth of the amount was sold, bringing in speculations that the company may stop production by the end of the decade.
The future of the A380 looks uncertain, especially that production of the plane might be discontinued in the near future.
Airbus Group CEO Tom Enders said late 2014, “The group will face a decision over the near to midterm on the future of the A380.”
Days later, Fabrice Bregier, Airbus CEO, denied the fact by saying, “I can tell you the A380 will have a brighter future as the market gets bigger.”