Ten years since making its high-profile debut appearance at the International Paris Air Show, Airbus’ A380 jetliner is going strong – taking off or landing every three minutes somewhere in the world, on average – and remains well positioned for the future.
As a key symbol of Airbus’ passion for aviation, the A380 continues to “bring the excitement back to travel” offering its unrivalled spaciousness to provide a unique passenger experience on the 100 routes and 46 destinations it currently serves – having flown more than 80 million passengers to date.
“It’s the aircraft that passengers love to fly – the quietest, the most comfortable and the smoothest way to travel,” said Frank Vermeire, Airbus’ Head of A380 Product Marketing. “For airlines it’s a flagship product, offering them the opportunity to innovate and enhance the flying experience.”
Maximising revenue: The embarking on a new chapter in innovation
Airbus has already applied its philosophy of continuous improvement to deliver key performance benefits for A380 operators – including a 2 percent reduction in fuel burn and 500 nm. more range since its introduction.
Now, the company is turning its innovative spirit to boosting revenue for operators through cabin offerings such as the new four-class 544-seat layout. This configuration features a new premium economy class, while maintaining superior comfort in all classes of service, including the Airbus modern standard of 18-inch-wide seats in economy class.
Such cabin enablers generate more revenue for operators, while boosting airlines’ contribution to profit by 65 percent through an optimized, segmented cabin.
Positioned for the future: Serving congested airports
With its superior operating economics, the A380 is Airbus’ answer for sustainable growth in rapidly-expanding markets – providing critical capacity to help capture traffic increases and service high-value routes at peak times.
A380s are ideally suited for aviation megacities – airports that accommodate more than 10,000 long-haul international passengers per day – which are predicted to nearly double, increasing from 47 today to 91 in the next 20 years, according to Airbus’ latest global market forecast.
“You cannot just increase frequency, you have to have larger and more efficient aircraft,” said John Leahy, Airbus’ Chief Operating Officer – Customers, during a briefing this week. “That’s called the A380.”
A game-changing freighter market derived from Airbus’ single-aisle product line
Also generating a “buzz” at the Paris Air Show today, is Airbus’ agreement with Singapore-based ST Aerospace to launch passenger-to-freighter (P2F) conversions of A320 and A321 aircraft, deliveries of which are expected to begin in 2018.
Elbe Fugzeugwerkre (EFW) will be responsible for marketing and managing A320/A321P2F-coverted aircraft. In order to implement the new passenger-to-freighter aircraft, ST Aerospace will provide the company’s specially-developed conversion technology and increase its stake in EFW to 55 percent. Subsequently Airbus Group will become a minority partner, reducing its shareholding to 45 percent.
More orders for Airbus on Day 3
Headlining Airbus’ other commercial announcements today were two Memorandums of Understanding (MoU) for more than 120 A320neo (new engine option) Family jetliners.
Synergy Aerospace Corporation, Avianca’s largest shareholder and owner of Avianca Brasil, has committed to 62 A320neo Family aircraft, paving the way for Avianca Brasil to base its fleet renewal and network growth strategy on Airbus’ single-aisle NEO. In the other agreement, an undisclosed Asian airline signed an MoU with Airbus for 60 A320neo jetliners.
In addition, Vietnam’s VietJetAir placed a firm order for six additional A321s, which adds on to a previous commitment by the low-cost carrier to purchase and lease 100 Airbus A320 Family aircraft.
Airbus also announced the selection of major aerostructure suppliers for the Beluga XL, which is the new-generation oversized air transporter for carrying large components between the company’s industrial locations. Separately, it was disclosed that the Airbus ProSky air traffic management subsidiary – backed by Airbus’ BizLab innovation team – has partnered with Flightradar24 to launch AirFlight, which combines aircraft data with Flightradar24’s flight-tracking program.
Capping off commercial announcements today was the agreement between Airbus and JAMCO for the development, manufacture, supply and support of a new aft galley and lavatory module option to increase cabin efficiency on the A350 XWB, while maintaining high levels passenger comfort.