A380 final roll out in Toulouse

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  • AMcWhirter
    Participant

    Yesterday the final A380 emerged from “Station 40” at the Toulouse plant.

    This tweet shows this particular A380 (destined for EK) with NH’s last A380 behind.

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    TiredOldHack2
    Participant

    I will really, really miss the 380. Along with the VC10, it was a unique aircraft that passengers preferred, but the bean counters didn’t.


    NorskSaint
    Participant

    I couldn’t agree any more with these sentiments. I’be been really lucky to travel on the A380’s with Qantas, Qatar, Emirates, BA and Singapore over the years, and you really can’t knock this aircraft from a passenger perspective. I remember someone who worked for Qatar saying they disliked the plane as it had little cargo space, you could tell then the writing may be on the wall for it.

    I’ll certainly miss sitting at a bar working, there is nothing quite like it when you’re flying 17hrs from DOH-SYD.

    Norsk

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    Bullfrog
    Participant

    Well I for one won’t miss the A380 .. a rather soulless monstrosity, IMHO.

    Sadly I never managed to fly on a VC10, so I don’t know what I am missing.

    I’ll miss the 747, the ‘without doubt’ Queen of the Skies. Elegant in her appearance, masterful in flight, and fortunately I was able to enjoy seat 2K over the last decade or two.

    I’ll also miss the delights of the MD 80s and the Fokker 100, which were supremely quiet and comfortable for short haul routes.

    My previous loss was the wonders of boat planes. Experiencing trips ‘taking off’ or landing on water were always so exciting.

    9/11 changed air travel hugely, and let’s hope Covid isn’t the ‘swan song’ for many airlines.

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    tomwjsimpson
    Participant

    A sad day, love flying on the A380 and watching the huge wings flex.

    Takeoff seems effortless and it provides such a nice, quiet ride for passengers!

    2 users thanked author for this post.

    Ah,Mr.Bond
    Participant

    I bet EK really, really want this thing!!!!


    K1ngston
    Participant

    I agree a really sad day for flying, the 380 is a magnificent aircraft comfortable in all classes and the crews loved working on them… Having lived in Asia I flew SQ 380s to many destinations and often. The 350s or 777s or 787s just dont have the same space and comfort IMHO…

    4 users thanked author for this post.

    AMcWhirter
    Participant

    Bullfrog – yes by not having taken a VC-10 you missed out on a great subsonic flying experience.

    As for the A380 the super jumbo would have looked better had Airbus achieved its original plan to stretch the A380 to accommodate more passengers. This would have made the A380 more economical to operate.

    The A380 was designed to be stretched in the future hence its very wide wingspan (on the existing A380s) which means pilots must take great care at certain airports when moving the super jumbo around the tarmac.

    I realise the idea of a 900+ seater aircraft sound silly today but one must remember it’s probably some 20 years ago that Airbus started work on the super jumbo.

    Back then Boeing was so worried about losing future orders for its B747 money-spinner that it began developing its Sonic Cruiser (a project that was later disbanded) as a ripost to the A380.

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    GivingupBA
    Participant

    I will really, really miss the 380. Along with the VC10, it was a unique aircraft that passengers preferred, but the bean counters didn’t.

    I love the A380 – I’ve had many, many 11-hour and also 12-hour flights on it. Quiet [i.e. engine noise], comfortable, and roomy. (PS I’ve also been lucky enough to have many flights on VC-10s to and from Africa and the Middle East. And India once. I agree about the VC-10. And Concorde just once, LHR-JFK – I’m so glad I grabbed the chance when it was possible for me).

    Bean counters, yes, but I won’t complain about that personally, sadly airlines have to make money!

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    Rizwan
    Participant

    Despite travelling on one numerous times, the mere presence of an A380 next to your aircraft as it pulled into the gate or the sight of one laboring down the runway and ultimately lifting off, remained a sight to behold despite so many years of its being in service. I shall miss it for a long time.

    I think the fact that it remained the only major wide bodied jet that no US airline purchased, says a lot about its selective popularity with air carriers, and ultimately contributed to its early exit.

    The Americans continued to view it with skepticism, unwilling to invest in that long haul option. Of course the result was the Middle Eastern and Asian airlines captured that market segment with this giant. But long term survival of the A380 remained handicapped once the US carriers had decided to stay away from it. But I hope one fine day, there is a reversal in passenger volumes and operation of this aircraft type becomes viable. And on that day all Airbus would need to do is pull out the drawings, dust up some machines and start rolling it out. Who knows!

    But until then, I wish all the carriers flying the A380 to stay safe and stay blessed.

    1 user thanked author for this post.

    Swissdiver
    Participant

    Finally the lorry of the sky is out. Beyond any personal preference, it is interesting to look at a couple of numbers…

    Only 242 were delivered as of September 30th. This is to be compared with the A340 program (377), another financial flop of the manufacturer, but also with the 330’s (1501 plus about 300 ordered). Boeing meanwhile built over 1500 747s and 1637 B777s (plus about 300 ordered).

    The first commercial flight took place on October 25th, 2007. It seems the last one (excepted of course for Emirates that is stuck with it for a long time) was in March 2020. That is just over 12 years of commercial activity. I am not sure any other aircraft had such a short lifetime…

    Airbus has been wrong with this program from day 1. They now got it and run after the B787 with the A350. But billions were lost in between, of course mostly state money so they didn’t really care. As Lady Thatcher was saying, “The problem with socialism is that you eventually run out of other people’s money.”

    1 user thanked author for this post.

    cwoodward
    Participant

    Production of the A340 started 30 years ago and when one considers that there are still some 70 A340s still in service it is reasonable to expect to be able travel on the A380 for another couple of decades. All looks a little bleak for the 380 at the moment but as the industry recovers I have little doubt so will the fortunes of the A380.


    Swissdiver
    Participant

    cwoodward

    The big difference, cwoodward, is there is a market for 250-300 seats aircraft, which isn’t the case for 500 seats lorries.


    Rizwan
    Participant

    Fair enough but both aircraft types feed different marketing strategies. The 250+ seaters like the 787 Dreamliner or A350 are usually deployed by carriers on point to point market i.e. where the airline is capable of selling those number of seats between any two cities on their long haul routes. While the A380 like the B747 invariably catered to the hub and spoke model, where the airlines’ home bases took center stage. Take Emirates for example, Dubai connects to the entire South Asia, South East Asia and Far East market using medium range jets (2 – 6hrs duration) after a loaded A380 lands from Heathrow or JFK. Of course the A380 was intended to replace or compete with the B747 on that business model, by making it more fuel efficient and more comfortable. Unfortunately, it was confronted with rising fuel costs, falling passenger volumes and unwillingness by many airport owners to adapt to this aircraft type. Many customers were simply put off by its steep list price, a fact that was not lost on Airbus. But they were unable to bring the price down mainly owing to insufficient number of confirmed orders.

    2 users thanked author for this post.

    cwoodward
    Participant

    cwoodward

    The big difference, cwoodward, is there is a market for 250-300 seats aircraft, which isn’t the case for 500 seats lorries.

    At the moment there is not much of an international market at all -but there will again for aircraft both large and small.
    I do not accept that there is no ongoing market for the A380 but time will of course deliver an answer

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