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March 2, 2024
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During the Farnborough Air Show, Airbus announced a production rate cut for the A380, reducing production to one aircraft per month.  This rate cut reflects the waning backlog for the aircraft, which has yet to emerge as a favorite among airlines, although it is a favorite among passengers.  This rate cut also buys time for Airbus, and leasing company Amedeo, to garner orders for the A380 should demand begin to increase for the type.

Has the A380 program peaked?  We don’t think so and offer this report (buy it here) laying out our thinking.

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4 thoughts on “Reports of the A380’s Demise Are Premature

  1. I don’t see the A380 getting more orders apart from EK. Bigger is not always better. The A380 is very limited where it can fly to and does not lend itself to be shifted to many other routes during economic downturns. The large twins are much more attractive to the airlines and frequency is what customers want.

  2. You may be right – certainly it appears as if in the US frequency is the pattern to be sold. But it seems otherwise elsewhere – notable shown by airlines serving the ME, Singapore and Australasia where the much greater comfort level of the A380 is revising that assumption. Yet of course we will not know the answer unless US airlines test the thesis and that – bearing in mind their investment pattern – is unlikely to say the least.

  3. I totally understand the “frequency is what customers want” argument. But it does not address the issue of slot limitations at major airports. Traffic between crowded airport pairs (LHR-JFK for example) will continue to increase and slots availability do not grow accordingly. The only solution is not increase the planes’ capacity. For that reason, the A380 will continue to sell for the foreseable future, but at a slow pace.

  4. The A380 has it’s place in the market today and in the future, with congestion of airways, limited landing slots and gates. The aircraft was not designed to serve secondary airports, only major city airports. So that is where it belongs and has it’s place. Now this US Airline fascination with 2 or 3 flights per day from one major airport to another is not logical. They are sending two 767, 787, 777 or 747 alternatively between lets say for example…Washington/NY/LAX to London or Frankfurt, where just one flight of the A380 would do…. and be more economical all around….. so the US Airlines have created a very competitive and unprofitable environment for themselves, by each trying to undo the other by offering more flights between major city pairs. If fuel was not so cheap, it would be a disaster. The global airlines outside of the USA have not generally taken that approach and are flying into the USA and Canada with the A380 profitably one flight per day. I am astonished that N.A. airlines have not caught on.

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