What’s Next For Airbus Now The A380 Production Is Ending?

What started as a major engineering feat has come to an end. The Airbus A380 is has been canceled, with production ending in 2021 after fulfilling its current back orders. With the A380 model only being active since 2008, why would Airbus be ending production so soon?

Airbus A380 in flight
Airbus A380 in flight via Unsplash.

Troubles With Airbus A380 Model

The Airbus A380 Model began to have its issues long before the first planes were delivered. The A380 is a super jumbo passenger jet developed by Airbus to compete with the Boeing 747. The success of the A380, however, hasn’t been close to what the company has predicted.

Many of the issues with the Airbus A380 aircraft which lead to the decision to end production have been centered on financial matters. Airbus has invested billions of Euros in the A380 project, only to project that it won’t break-even. The demand for the model hasn’t been close to what was expected. In the case of the Airbus A380, the airlines have been a significant barrier more than trends in the airline industry. The high price tag, high operational costs, and overall efficiency of the aircraft have halted many carriers from investing in the model.

What Does This Mean For Airbus?

The production of the Airbus A380 was expected to carve out a new niche for air travel; a niche that should have attracted aircraft buyers to line up to buy the jumbo jet. With plans to cease production within the next couple years, Airbus is now turning their attention to consumer behavior.

Featured Video:

Although the A380 was debuted in 2008, rumors of its cancellation began to arise as early as 2014. Airline companies initially expecting to invest in the model lost faith in the delivery and servicing of the A380, leading to order changes. The largest customer of the A380, Emirates, decreased their order from over 50 aircrafts to just 14.

Emirates A380 Jumbo Jet
Emirates A380 jumbo jet during takeoff via unsplash.

Consumer behavior is altering the types of aircraft investments that airlines are making. The A380 superjumbo jet would have been the perfect aircraft for operating between major hubs around the world such as New York, London, Dubai, and Shanghai. Travelers, however, are changing their preference from stopping through airport hubs to flying more direct to their end destinations. While the major hubs can host a large aircraft such as the A380, other airports can’t support it.

Advancing technology is allowing smaller airplanes to fly farther and at a cheaper cost. Airbus is shifting their focus to tailor to this market by continuing to develop their models, and potentially new models in the small- to mid-range aircraft size to match consumer behavior.

The announcement of the cancellation of the Airbus A380 model will affect over 3,000 jobs. The company still plans to keep many of these jobs available, just transitioning their focus to the production of their other more popular models such as the A320 which has a large back order.

Mid-sized airplane landing
Mid-sized airplane landing via pixabay.

The Airbus A380 model was an overall unsuccessful project for the company. The timing of the aircraft came at a period when air travel is becoming less a luxury and just another means of transportation. Shifting behaviors in the industry are affecting how carriers as making their investments in newer aircrafts. The question remains open to how Airbus will respond to the latest industry trends and what products they will reveal as a result.

13
Leave a Reply

8 Comment threads
5 Thread replies
0 Followers
 
Most reacted comment
Hottest comment thread
9 Comment authors
newest oldest most voted
e. danny

the factor that affects the production of a380 is the fuel price. the solution is to get electric. design a power plant may be a nuclear fusion reactor small enough to fit in a380 and use the latest technology electric engine or thruster. it will be the new queen of the sky.

Bob Smith

The seating pitch is specified by the customer, not the manufacturer. Don’t blame Airbus for cramped quarters in cattle-class. The worst I’ve experienced was on a China Airlines 747-400.

Bob Smith

I understand Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is working on just such a propulsion system.

Tim Edmunds

Such a terrible shame that this EXTREMELY BEAUTIFUL AIRCRAFT is just going to be dumped!

Anjali

EXTREMELY BEAUTIFUL AIRCRAFT? I guess beauty is in the eyes of the beholder!

john menary

After flying on an Airbus 380 800 twice to australia economy class,my opinion of this aircraft cannot be put in strong enough negative terms. It is nothing but a CATTLE BOAT with the passengers crammed into the smallest seats for up to and beyond 12 hours. Indeed if it was to be used for animal transportation the RSPCA would get involved. Half of available space is on the upper deck which is for Business and First class. The aircraft is for extraction of the greatest revenue and stuff the customer. Glad to hear of its demise. The Boeing 777 is… Read more »

john menary

After travel to Australia (twice) on this aircraft I find that it is nothing but a Cattle Boat with customers in Economy crammed into the smallest seats possible. Indeed if cattle was being transported the RSPCA would be involved. The flight time varied from 12 to 14 hours and without the excellent cabin staff it would have been unbearable. Half of the available space is on the upper deck which suits Business and First Class and stuff the plebs on the lower deck. The good news is that many orders for this aircraft are being cancelled but only for cost… Read more »

a b linn

The A380 is dying a predictable death. Boeing realized that the market would move to smaller more flexible aircraft decades ago where efficiency would be key to a successful aircraft. The A380 was developed despite this trend using public EU funds fueled by corporate hubris wanting the bragging rights of the largest passenger airplane on the planet. Airbus and it’s investors will pay the price.

Dennis

I normally don’t say I told you so but I told you so. The limited number of destinations where this aircraft made sense made it a failure from the start. To those that say it’s beautiful I have a cousin with a great personality for you.

WhyLee

it is sad that the a380 did not have a chance for a redesign. it was designed for a higher weight in longer versions which made it inefficient in the smaller version. also the engines are not the most efficient ones. would have been nice to see a new version with more efficient wings, lighter and more modern engines. could at some point be a two engine version possible?