The Airbus A380 is known as the world’s largest passenger airliner. The unique design and size of the A380 as such that airports had to reconfigure the scale of their airport hangers in order to accommodate it. The Airbus corporation designates the A380 is a three class plane, economy, business and first, but if the entire plane was converted to economy seating it could hold up to 960 passengers on one flight.
The double decker floors are a feature that passengers who wander inside an A380 tend to point out the most. The plane’s design and consruction allow it to be equipped with two types of engines known for their noise reduction levels, the Rolls-Royce Trent 900 and the Engine Alliance GP700.
Some of the largest international airports, such as Heathrow in London, England, Haneda airport in Tokyo, Japan and John F. Kennedy International in New York, have named the A380 as a passenger friendly plane. Emirates Airways, the largest customer of A380 units in the past decade, states in its environmental statistics report, “The A380’s fuel efficiency is better than most modern small passenger cars in terms of fuel economy per passenger kilometre – this is a key advantage in reducing our emissions and maximising eco-efficiency.” That fuel efficiency is calculated to be 3.1 liters per passenger per 100 kilometers.
Despite these facts, the number of orders for the Airbus A380 have steadily declined for the long-term fiscal period. As of September 2015, 317 A380s were ordered by 18 airlines, and close to 45 percent of those ordered units will be delivered to Emirates Airways. Fabrice Brégier, Chief executive Officer and President of Airbus, assured shareholders and reporters that the backlog of orders that Airbus has for 2016, 2017 and 2018 will give the company time to market to other potential customers in markets different from the ones they cater to currently, as stated in a news conference in Miami. Airbus will decide whether or not the plane that has progressed past the Boeing-777 airliner will continue to be produced for airline markets.
Bloomberg Business, along with correspondents from Oddo Securities in Paris, France, reported back in 2014 that a probable solution for Airbus might be an engine upgrade to increase its fuel efficiency and speed.
An engine upgrade would lead to a cost of $2.4 billion, due to upgrades on the wing and internal restructuring. Airbus executives dismissed the idea since it will potentially offset the cost past the efficient consumer price tag.
Emirates president Tim Clark stated in an interview with Reuters, “I got pretty miffed when we have put so much at stake.” The double decker A380 has been featured in Emirates’ commercials and posters. The Middle Eastern airline has invested heavily in the passenger airline and a ceaser in production would be bad for business for Emirates as well.