Costs, The Costs of running these behemoths, from an economical stand point the A380 is not viable. Nobody wants to use them is an understatement. Now first off I want to say that, I’ve said this before, when bringing up the more complex side of Economics within the Aviation industry but I need to dig deeper into this, so prepare for a long read time, grab some snacks so you don’t bore yourself out. And also I’m not pointing fingers at you Gabe, or anyone else for saying that its unpopular because airlines don’t want to use them, I simply thought this sentence here is a great conversation starts and a way for me to get down to the point of why the A380 is leaving planet earth.
The A380 is still today being used by many airline companies out there, and with newly purchased ones by ANA they are to stay with the Japanese carrier for a few more years. Emirates is a madman operating more then 90 of these. Now, no one in this world shares the same business tactics and philosophy as Emirates and therefore, Emirates can and are using so many of the A380 with another 5 or 10 more on order… Well it’s a tactic that won’t last forever. Emirates as of now (Jan, 2019) believes in 1 Full Packed Flight each day will profit them today. Yes, they’re winning, but they have to send their beloved A380 away in the coming 5 years so. Because as they first ones are being scrapped, you an start to understand why no US airline ever bought these. They don’t fit into the market. Surely Atlanta could manage to house the A380 if i.e Delta were to use them but there’s no need for the American market, and smart enough today the US Trio (AA, UA & DL) are going for 787 & A350’s, which both of them being the latest and greatest in terms of design, fuel consumption and comfort, that both Boeing and Airbus has to offer.
A380 had it coming. Only after a few years of operation at Singapore Airlines, they said their farewell. SQ investing in 787’s and A350’s really was one of many keys to unlock the exit door for the A380. Now it’s definitely sad to see the Super Jumbo leaving us. Many will feel something missing, a hole needed to fill now that the A380 is making its exit out our world while others will laugh and enjoy the days that pass when the A380 leaves it’s last tiremarks on the runways around the world. But the A380’s era may be over but they’re still being used by a couple of airlines in the Middle East, Europe and Asia.
Emirates the largest operator, who’s philosophy is on the line, a flight that will get you from point A to B, that idea is sweet and all, but won’t last for too long. When they are forced to change their ways to managing passengers and operating aircraft, they need to branch out to where the A380 does not fit in. In conclusion, the days are counted, as EK has already declined in putting orders for the A380plus and on the flip-side has placed a order of a whopping, GOD KNOWS WHY??? 150, 777X’s to be delivered in the next decade to follow! In theory and most likely this is coming in practice as we near 2020, is that EK will phase out their A380’s slowly alongside their older 777’s (Probs, the 777L) and try to maintain their current tactic with a twist here and there to cope with changes that are brought into air travel.
ANA new kind in the block, tryin’ out this toy Santa gave them for X-Mas, but will break before or after the Decade ends. ANA already heavily invested in other aircraft better suited for most of their routes and with orders for the 777X… 2020 may be the year we see a significant change in aircraft usage from a wide variety of airlines. And with JAL, their main competitor opting for the A350, ANA can’t profit with A380’s in the long term due to the… you guessed it costs and a bunch of additional issues that I’ve covered in my other posts about the A380.
I know it became a long essay again, but there’s one last thing. Who still operates the A380 besides EK and ANA, and why? Well the list is somewhat long but here’s a quick rundown of a few interesting ones.
All Airlines That Currently Still Operates The A380
- Air France
- Asiana Airlines
- British Airways
- China Southern Airlines
- Etihad Airways
- Korean Air
- Malaysia Airlines
- Qatar Airways
- Singapore Airlines
- Thai Airways
I’ve put down some extra A380 talkies down below, read as you please. It’ll give you an idea of why, and for how long some airlines still operate the A380…? 👇
- Asiana - Switcheroo, the A380’s in their possession are lower in number compared to Day 1. A350’s are the new kid to run the show. Today Asiana uses the A380 on high demand routes from its Hub in Seoul to Sydney, (Tokyo) Narita, Los Angeles and a few more destinations. LHR, SFO and HKG are two high demand destination nowadays seeing A350’s instead.
- Etihad - Err, Economical Crisis? Do you know about JAL, that they almost went under once? They expanded too fast, taking wrong opportunities to start investing in Hotels and Resorts… I Welcome Etihad to the club of Companies that wants to be at the top too quickly. Their A380’s are the doomsday in their hangar. Etihad doesn’t operate many A380’s but are used on JFK, LHR, SYD flights.
- China Southern - I had no clue why they began using the A380 up until I realized… Qatar Airways uses a A380 to Guangzhou as well… Sigh … Of course. Guangzhou, China’s 3rd Biggest City and a Major Economic Powerhouse. Businesses, Cargo, Trade and Investments - All connects to this city. A380’s take passengers from Beijing and LA to China for all sorts of business related reasons but also vacation, it ain’t bad. But the A380’s are too be overshadowed soon. China Southern is one The Worlds Biggest Airline Operators, but the A380 is one odd plane to co-exist with the others, or will be odd in the coming years.
- Malaysia Airlines - This is the last one I’ll tackle on and it’s a good example. Despite all the tragedy Malaysia Airlines has gone though in recent time, we cannot forget MH370 and MH17, Malaysia Airlines, is not economically able to use the A380 any longer. A350 once again is leading the way. And today MH only uses the A380 on two routes. Kuala Lumpur to Seoul and Narita. This goes to show, that the A380 really won’t last for too long. Now with the first ones scrapped, Malaysia Airlines are about send another batch of too pricey to operate A380’s…
If you read above blurred then you’ll understand this, but despite the downfall of A380’s in recent years. And it never being the success Airbus hoped for. With less and less routes flown by the A380 nowadays… there’s a exception. One Airline does it differently… Qatar Airways has over the years expanded it’s A380 routes to where it now serves not only Paris, Sydney and London, but also a few years back introduced Bangkok and Melbourne, with Guangzhou following closely and now Perth has joined in since 2018. This is though a slow expansion which is clearly hinting at that the A380 is not able to grow big in the market, as fast as other aircraft are that are also more suitable for the routes they fly. And the A380 is still doomed from QR’s side as well. The costs are becoming a ever growing concern even for the Gulf States to handle.