Why The Airbus A380 Is Making An Unlikely Comeback
The Airbus A380 made its first commercial flight in 2007. When it debuted, it overtook the long reigning Boeing 747 as the world’s biggest passenger plane. It has four engines and is a full double-decker that can carry over 800 people depending on the airline.
The plane’s huge number of seats was seen as key in helping to free up the air traffic overcrowding at several big airports such as London’s Heathrow, New York’s JFK and Chicago’s O’Hare.
But orders for four engine aircraft began to decline alongside the arrival of more fuel-friendly planes such as Airbus’s own A350 and Boeing’s 787 Dreamliner.
The European plane maker Airbus announced an end to its A380 superjumbo program just 12 years after it first took to the skies. During the Covid-19 pandemic it was one of the most heavily impacted fleets due to its sheer size and cost to operate it, along with a near-halt to international long-haul travel. Many said it was the end for superjumbos, but the A380 has been making a comeback with several airlines pulling planes out of retirement.
Airbus expects the A380 to be flying for the next two decades and is currently still being operated by 10 airlines including Emirates, Lufthansa, Etihad Airways and British Airways.
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