Bloomberg news is reporting today that the Airbus may end the production of the A380 aircraft due to low demand from the airlines.
The Airbus would need to spend more than $2 billion to come up with an engine upgrade before airlines (mostly Emirates) would “line up” to purchase more.
You can access this Bloomberg news piece here.
Here’s an excerpt from Bloomberg:
In its seventh year in operation, the aircraft that cost $25 billion to develop threatens to become a costly misstep. While popular with travelers, most carriers prefer smaller twin-jet models that are more fuel efficient and can access more airports. Emirates is the only stand-out sponsor, having ordered 140 units, while other airlines have either backed off or are struggling to fill the two decks of the jumbo.
“Airbus will be obliged to make a decision one way or the other in 2015,” said Yan Derocles, an analyst at Oddo Securities in Paris, who estimates an engine upgrade may cost Airbus 2 billion euros ($2.47 billion) because of work required on the wing.
The A380’s lackluster demand contrasts with a boom in orders for other models. Airbus’s bestseller remains its A320 family of single-aisle jets, which it made even more popular by offering new engines. The same concept added momentum to the A330 wide-body jet.
The all-new A350, a twin-engine long-range wide-body plane made of advanced light-weigh materials, has almost 800 orders before its first handover.
It was interesting to read this news while waiting for boarding the Qatar Airways flight from Bangkok to Doha on an A380. I just switched my flights the other day to check out how their business class compares to Emirates or Thai.
It is certainly true that there are not many airlines that have ordered this specific aircraft type beyond Emirates, but it would really be sad to see its production coming to a halt or end altogether.