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A380: Delivering on all commitments, exceeding expectations

23. August 2010. | 06:38 15:46

Source: Emg.rs

Two and a half years into its commercial service life, the young A380 fleet of 33 aircraft has met all its commitments, and is even exceeding expectations at its four initial operators: Singapore Airlines, Emirates, Qantas, Air France and most recently Lufthansa.

The A380 Family starts from a baseline passenger aircraft with a capacity of 525 passengers in a three-class configuration, seated over two spacious decks, and with a range of 8,300nm / 15,400km.

Two and a half years into its commercial service life, the young A380 fleet of 33 aircraft has met all its commitments, and is even exceeding expectations at its four initial operators: Singapore Airlines, Emirates, Qantas, Air France and most recently Lufthansa.

The original “A3XX” concept promised a lot – now the A380 delivers. Indeed, the A380’s economic efficiency already allows airlines to boost profitability, stimulate demand and grow market share, while the A380 popularity with the travelling public has led to significant capacity growth and higher load factors on major routes.

In short, the A380 is clearly delivering the lowest fuel burn and operating cost; it is flying higher, further, and quieter; it is achieving greater revenue and profits by attracting passengers with its more spacious, more comfortable, and quieter cabin, resulting in higher average load factors; it has been seen to have the ability to increase its operator’s market share.

Over six million passengers have already enjoyed the unique experience of flying on board the all-new A380, between 18 major airports worldwide. The A380 programme has garnered 234 firm orders from 17 customers, while the in-service fleet has accumulated over 156,000 revenue flight hours in around 17,000 commercial flights.

With seating capacity ranging from 400 to more than 800 passengers, the A380 is an essential part of the solution to sustainable growth, doing more with less: alleviating traffic congestion at busy airports by transporting more passengers with no additional flights and at much lower cost.

Fleet highlights

Singapore Airlines took delivery of the first production A380 on 15th October 2007 and now has 11 aircraft in operation on routes from Singapore to Hong Kong, Tokyo, London, Paris, Zurich, Sydney and Melbourne. Emirates took delivery of its first A380 on 28th July 2008 and now has 11 aircraft in service on routes from Dubai to Bangkok, Seoul, Toronto, London, Paris, Sydney, Auckland, and Jeddah.

Qantas received its first A380 on 19th September 2008 and now has six aircraft in operation on routes from both Sydney and Melbourne to Singapore, London and Los Angeles. Air France received its first A380 on October 30th 2009, and now has three aircraft in operation on routes from Paris to New York and Johannesburg. Lufthansa received its first A380 on 19th May 2010, its second on July 16th 2010 and is operating its new aircraft between Frankfurt and Tokyo.

The fact that these A380 customers all started flying long sectors right from the start, is proof both of confidence in their carefully prepared A380 entry into service (covering airport operations, technical and spares support from Airbus), and in the A380’s maturity.

A380 operators have publicly reported a very smooth service entry, and, remarkably, significantly higher load factors on their A380 flights compared with other aircraft types in their fleets. In short, the A380 is having a noticeable effect on the market, comparable only to that of the 747 introduction in January 1970, over 40 years ago.

Outstanding fuel efficiency, superior performance, and half the noise

The former largest aircraft, the venerable Boeing 747-400, burns 20 percent more fuel per seat than the A380—a fact confirmed by A380 operators. Even the latest 747 derivative, the 747-8, burns eight percent more fuel per seat than the A380. And the twin-engined 777-300ER burns 12 percent more fuel per seat than the A380.

These figures result from Airbus best-estimate engineering analysis using same-comfort standards, three-class cabin layouts - a basic requirement for meaningful and credible comparisons. In fact, all four A380 operators have stated that the aircraft meets or exceeds all fuel efficiency expectations and guarantees.

The A380 excels in performance too. Compared with the 747-400, the A380 offers 1,100nm more range, requires 17 percent less runway to take-off and uses 11 percent less runway to land. In addition, the A380 not only offers a 4,000ft higher initial cruise altitude capability than the 747 (35,000ft versus 31,000ft), but also demonstrates a 20kt lower approach speed. Moreover, compared with the 747-8i derivative, the A380 offers 500nm more range and similar improvements in take-off, landing and climb capability.

The A380 also delivers on reduced noise, being the quietest long-haul aircraft for the foreseeable future, generating only half the noise on departure than the 747-400, and three to four times less noise on landing – while carrying 40% more passengers. These are facts which have now been documented by several airport noise-monitoring reports.

With the lowest fuel burn per seat, the A380 allows airlines to reduce substantially that environmental footprint in terms of CO2 emissions and to achieve profitable, sustainable growth for decades to come.

The A380 enables profitable growth... and profitable consolidation

The A380 also brings profitable consolidation, both in good times and in times less good. For example, the A380 allows operators to increase capacity by around 20 percent at no overall extra cost, or maintain the same capacity but fly it at 15 to 20 percent lower cost per trip and per seat, over a week’s schedule.

A key enabler for these figures is the A380’s step-change in cash operating costs, building on the fuel efficiency advantage mentioned above. This is due to cutting-edge technology in both structure and systems, thus substantially reducing maintenance costs. On a per-seat basis (again using same-comfort standards and comparable cabin layouts) the 747-400 costs 24 percent more, the 747-8i costs 14 percent more, and the 777-300ER costs 22 percent more to operate than the A380.

Importantly, as its early operators have said, the A380 delivers, on every single commitment. And the A380 even exceeds the high expectations it had generated. The A380 offers the most comfortable, quietest, most efficient and innovative cabin; the lowest fuel burn, cost per seat, and noise of any large aircraft; it leverages the latest technology, and has been certificated to the very latest standards; it has superior performance, and family development potential.

And it is hugely popular with passengers, leading to higher load factors and more revenue, for higher profitability. In short, the operator feedback is unanimous – and enthusiastic: nothing compares. It takes an A380 to compete with an A380.


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17. September 2010. 08:45:20

| lme


Regarding the fuel burn of a Airbus A380:



30. April - 06. May 2012.