Emirates CEO Tim Clark recently revealed that Airbus could have continued to make the A380 for the carrier on a bespoke basis. The quotes were made to Airline Ratings in an interview earlier this week.
The Airbus A380 is known around the world as the giant of the skies. With two complete passenger decks, it is the largest aircraft in passenger service. The aircraft took its first flight in 2005, entering service with Singapore Airlines in 2007. However, earlier this year Airbus pulled the plug on the gentle giant. Now, only a handful of the aircraft remains to be built at the Airbus factory in Toulouse.
Airbus decided to end sales of the Airbus A380 in February, putting a huge dampener on Valentine’s day. The aircraft manufacturer took the tough decision following dwindling sales. In fact, the first airlines, such as Singapore, had already begun to retire the aircraft.
Somebody had to call time on the program, and in the end, Emirates cut their order for the craft. Emirates traded a number of A380 orders for the Airbus A330neo and A350. As a result of the closure of the program, ANA became the last airline to receive its first A380 earlier this year.
Airbus could have built more A380s
Emirates’ CEO, Tim Clark, has revealed to Airline Ratings that Airbus could have continued to construct the Airbus A380 for the Middle Eastern carrier. However, due to the closure of the program, the aircraft would have been constructed on a bespoke basis.
Clark told the publication: “In November 2018 we had a grown-up discussion with Toulouse. It was clear to us that Toulouse was struggling with the aeroplane. They would have continued to build it but on a bespoke basis which would have cost a fortune.”
Not the end of the A380 yet!
However, while Airbus has axed the sale of new Airbus A380s, it is not the end of the road for the type yet. For starters, Airbus is actively working on the second-hand market for the A380. So far this has seen Hi Fly take delivery of one of the aircraft.
With a large fleet of over 100 A380s, it will take Emirates a while to retire the A380. In fact, the airline will continue to operate a sizeable fleet of the aircraft through the next decade at least. British Airways’ owner IAG is also happy with the A380’s performance. It is currently last to receive the new Club Suite in 2025, meaning that the airline will likely operate the aircraft until the late 2020s. To do otherwise would be a waste of money to refurbish the aircraft’s interiors.
Should Emirates had continued to accept the A380 on a bespoke basis? Let us know your thoughts in the comments!