Following the news (14 February 2019) that Airbus is ceasing production of its A380 aircraft, Nick Wyatt, Head of Travel & Tourism at GlobalData, a leading data and analytics company, offers his view on this development:
“In an industry characterized by razor thin margins, the A380’s four-engine configuration, high fuel consumption and enormous weight made the plane expensive to run on top of its eye-watering average procurement cost of $445m.
“The loss of the A380 is undoubtedly a setback for Airbus with the plane superseded by planes like the Airbus A350 and A330 and Boeing’s 787, which offer greater fuel efficiency but can still carry large passenger numbers over a comparable range to exploit the trend for end-to-end flights.
“Airbus gambled on a continuation and maybe even increase of hub-and-spoke flying. Although the 787 has not killed that model in the way many predicted, hub-and-spoke is unpopular in an era defined by time poverty and smaller jets are flying direct, showcasing the limitations of hubs.
“However, Airbus’s order books show that it is at the forefront of these market dynamics because although Emirates has cancelled its A380 order, it has signed $21.4bn worth of orders for 40 Airbus A330 Neo and 30 A350 aircraft.”