Over the years, a lot of sceptics have always said that the Airbus A380 doesn’t have a long-term future, but Emirates has changed this notion at the Dubai Airshow.
We did see a handful of operators retire the aircraft, but when you look outside of the airshow, we can begin to see it’s revival that will last for years, if not decades to come.
Without further ado, let’s get into it…
Sir Tim Clark: Emirates A380s Could Last Until 2040s…
In an interview with CNBC, Emirates President Sir Tim Clark mentioned that the 116 A380s in their fleet will remain with the carrier until the 2030s, and “even until the early 2040s”.
This is, of course, despite the supply chain issues and delays to the Boeing 777X aircraft, which will appear to operate in tandem with the superjumbo.
Sir Tim Clark’s words have been backed up by the massive investment placed in the aircraft type, amounting to around $1.5bn worth of agreements made at the Dubai Airshow.
On the announcement made by Emirates today, Clark added to his words mentioned on the CNBC interview:
“The A380 has been and will continue to be very much part of the Emirates story. Its size and capacity has allowed Emirates to unlock growth at some of the world’s busiest airports, opened new opportunities for travellers, and substantially raised standards for passenger comfort.”
“Our continued commitment to and confidence in the A380 are why we’re investing heavily to keep the fleet in optimal shape and pristine condition.”
“The A380 will remain core to our network and customer proposition for the next decade, and we want to ensure our fleet is in tip-top shape.”
Looking Away from The Dubai Airshow: Emirates & Etihad’s Return of the Superjumbo…
Etihad and Lufthansa are two key case studies in the return of the Airbus A380 post-pandemic, especially at a time where sceptics thought this would be the end of the aircraft.
Since restrictions have lifted, the demand for air travel has been so high to the point that airlines such as Etihad and Lufthansa are filling their planes.
At the start of this month, the Abu Dhabi-based carrier announced it would be offering the London Heathrow service with a third A380 daily service.
Ed Fotheringham, the airline’s VP of Global Sales commented on this milestone from London Heathrow:
“Our third A380 on flights to London is great news for our guests.”
“The aircraft adds increased capacity between Abu Dhabi and London Heathrow and is ideally timed to further connect people between the UK, the UAE and onwards across Etihad’s growing global network.”
Although the future of the other six A380s for Etihad are uncertain, it is still a positive strength for the aircraft type.
On the Lufthansa front, half of their fleet of eight A380s are back in commercial service, with the other half either in storage or are undergoing maintenance ahead of a return to such passenger service.
What this week’s announcements from Emirates has done has solidified the position of the A380 for at least the next decade, if not longer.
That, alongside the return to service of the aircraft by Etihad and Lufthansa outside of the Dubai Airshow highlights further strength to the program.
It could even be argued that the post-pandemic heavy uptick in demand has created a further business case for the aircraft’s longevity going into the future, which is why Emirates has made such deals at the .
For enthusiasts and the industry alike, it is strong and positive news that the A380 will remain commercially operation for a long time yet.
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