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Squawks & HeadlinesAirbus Scraps Target of 30 A380 Sales as Demand Dwindles

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Airbus Scraps Target of 30 A380 Sales as Demand Dwindles

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Airbus SAS abandoned a target of selling 30 A380 superjumbo jets this year, as airlines opt for smaller, less-expensive airliners in an economic slump. Airbus has struggled with its flagship model, after cracks emerged in wing components and output in the first half only reached a third of the annual goal of 30 deliveries. (www.bloomberg.com) More...

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AccessAir
AccessAir 7
The Airbusdenburg.....
preacher1
preacher1 -1
LOL.

Sad part is that the 747 had it's share of teething problems too, although I don't think there were near as many or as serious as some that the 380 has had. Boeing had been at it a long time and probably saw some of those coming. AB has a whole bunch on their plate right now. Although Boeing does it to some degree, it probably doesn't help them any by mfg. in one place and assemble elsewhere else.
Wingscrubber
Wingscrubber 3
Somebody's wearing some rose-tinted glasses I see. The 747 has had more than it's fair share of troubles, read a little history;
http://www.centennialofflight.gov/essay/Aerospace/Boeing_747/Aero21.htm

http://news.google.com/newspapers?nid=1368&dat=19890225&id=u35QAAAAIBAJ&sjid=qhIEAAAAIBAJ&pg=6778,6565889

Notable 'serious' problems discovered on the 747 include the structurally inadequate cargo door, mentioned in the article above, the discovery of the need for fuel inerting on TWA 800, among numerous other airworthiness directives issued over the years.

The Airbus A380 in comparison is a young airplane with new engines, and as such is going through an infant mortality period where they're finding lots of things to fix. The 747 has been tempered with age, as most of the serious issues have already been remedied.
Derg
Roland Dent 1
Ha Ha..Wayne rumour has it in the early days parts of the electrics were made as AC and the part it needed to mate with was using DC. After they got that fixed they realised that the male connector did not fit the female side of the job. Then there was the famous crash at an airshow where the top test pilot trusted all in the FMS and the machine flew into a forest. Then they decided it was NOT engineers they needed but more MBAs from a certain MBA school in France. Then they decided they needed statisticians to work out probabilities. As noted below why operators went for the A380 really has me puzzled??. The UK has now decided we need more apprentices after giving out worthless social science quals for the last 15 years.
mgsegal
Mark Segal 1
The safety record of the 747 is remarkably good. 747 pilots have explained to me years ago that on account of the amount of redundancy in just about every key system in the aircraft, the risk of fatal malfunction is extremely low.
frncz
frncz 3
The Singapore airline A380s always seem to be pretty full, in all classes
Flyboy187
Nathan Quast 3
This may answer the question of how big is too big... Great plane though.
skuttlerats
Jeffrey Babey 1
Beautiful aircraft but my question is when is bigger big enough? I love seeing monster jumbo jets but there must be a point where you max out in size. Is the A380 as big as it can get?
preacher1
preacher1 5
breaks my heart
Wingscrubber
Wingscrubber 4
A drop in sales numbers does not automatically conclude that the aircraft has 'failed', it's 'too big' etc etc, take a look at the numbers yourself...
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Airbus_A380_orders_and_deliveries
And bear in mind that many were saying the same thing about the 747 in it's infancy;
http://news.google.com/newspapers?nid=1356&dat=19691214&id=_4VPAAAAIBAJ&sjid=QgUEAAAAIBAJ&pg=4064,7103472
jetlagged
Martin Weaver 2
One thing about the Airbus--you don't have to worry about their resale value.
elfynh
Elfyn Hanks 2
Starting to look like Boeing were right when they said that the demand for large aircraft wouldn't be there so the moved onto the 787.
The 747-8 is a relatively small expense as its just an improvement on a current model rather than a completely new plane design.
toolguy105
toolguy105 2
I wonder how this will affect the A350. Airbus has 500 plus firm orders for the plane. The A380 not meeting sales goals is a hardship on the finances of Airbus. Some forecasted it would be a financial disaster for Airbus. Fact is it looks like Airbus will eat the R&D costs of this plane. Will the Board of directors give the go ahead to start building the A350 without firm orders for enough planes to cover the development costs. That's the big question that needs to be answered.

Any problems in the assembly of the prototype A350 and delay of first flight like Boeing had with the 787 could be a disaster for Airbus. Especially when you consider they are also locked in a battle with Boeing on the next Generation A320 series to compete with Boeing 737MAX. That and the fact that Boeing is already shopping conceptual designs on a 797.
MHarryE
Michael Enzmann 2
They've made 2 market errors that hurt. First they felt passengers wouldn't accept a 2 engine plane for long overseas flights, built the A340 and were crushed by the expense of a four engine plane during increasing fuel prices and customer acceptance of the twin engine 777. Next they worked through the delays getting the A380 into production only to be hit by a worldwide economic crisis. Another thing - I live by a small airport, MSP, and like having my choice of 3 daily flights to Amsterdam daily plus flights to Paris, London and Frankfort instead of thinking about 1 packed A380 to AMS and then shuttle off to the others. What is immigration like when you are last passenger off a packed A380? I have dreaded pulling into MSP from Amsterdam and seeing a B744 from Tokyo pull in just in front of us and think of the queue. Does this affect passenger acceptance of a 500+ passenger plane?
patricko
Patrick O'Malley 2
Beautiful concept for a plane. But a lot of money to lay out for one of these. Most airlines would never be able to afford one. I'm thinking in terms of the high growth airline sector in Asia, Africa, South America etc. Legacy carriers and the handful of others with deep pockets have already ordered. Yikes. Perhaps Boeing was right, smaller density point to point flights are the coming wave. Who doesn't prefer a direct flight + growth in global urbanization. Toss in some high density hub to hub and replacement of large freighters down the road.... that's the market. Sorry, but Emirates is nuts.
davysims
David Sims 2
Ford went through a similar situation in the 90s trying to compete with Chevrolet. For many years, Chevrolet dominated the large SUV market with the Suburban. In the late 90s Ford decided they wanted a piece of the pie. Problem was, even Chevrolet was having trouble selling Suburbans by then, and the even larger Ford Excursion was a bust.

Same situation here, Boeing has ruled the super jumbo market for decades, Airbus wanted in. Problem is, although Boeing is still selling 747s, the market for aircraft that size is not the most lucrative, and really doesn't have room for two manufacturers. The 747 is a known product for many airlines. The A380 is more of a curiosity than anything.
cblair0608
cblair0608 2
The A380 is just TOO BIG. I believe the 380's problem is where a lot of the airports have to widen their taxiways. Personally I expected the A380 to be "in demand" with cargo carriers like Evergreen, UPS, Fedex and DHL (Airbone Express or whatever its name is now. Never believed it would make it as a passenger carrier.
99NY
99NY 2
Same thing happened to the container shipping industry before the '08 bust. Every shipping line was eyeing 11-13000 TEU containerships at a time when 8-9000 TEU ships was the norm. Pride and prestige over common sense. When the market flatlined, those with ships still in the order books were quick to get rid of them and those who already had them did their best to make the things work, even if they were 1/3 full. Only the most financially solvent lines survived. The A380 is in the same boat. Having the biggest airplane in the world is a nice feather in your cap, but its worthless money drain if you cant keep it full all the time.
MACGSO
MACGSO 1
If you'll recall, Fedex had some on order, but cancelled them when Airbus kept delaying delivery and went with the 777.
Doobs
Dee Lowry 1
Being a "Boeing Brat", AccessAir...I couldn't have said it better. Lol
douglaswint
Douglas Wint 1
Their piece of the market has already been saturated, unfortunately. The A380 just isn't feasible for airlines in the Americas or Europe...airlines that have numerous hubs vs one or two hubs like the carriers that already use this plane.
onceastudentpilot
tim mitchell 1
hopefully they will get on the right track before they decide to just abandon the line and only repair the ones in service....If the Antonov 225, 747, and c-17 can fly relatively worry free so can this bird....just take the figures that the computers give you and multiply by three and stop being greedy in the since of profit.
Doobs
Dee Lowry 1
Just watch the B-787 out perform the A380 in so many ways! If you think about it, what is better?
Quality of the airplane or the Quantity of the passengers the airplane can hold!? My vote is for the Quality and Workmanship that put this "Dreamliner" in high regard. Who ever thought that the B-737-100 would be such a hit? We used to call her "Fat Albert"! Now look at how she's grown up! Now they are going to call her "Max"! With all due respect, I might add! A true workhorse for the airlines. With "Dreamliner" and "Max"...all we need now is one more "filly" to win the triple crown! Good job, Boeing!
Doobs
Dee Lowry 1
They can't make a taxiway wide enough to accommodate the A-380! The beast keeps clipping the tails of aircraft perched at the gate!
cyu1829
Charles Yu 1
The thing is, when companies roll out all these new HUGE airplanes, its not just the airlines who buy them, but its also the airports that have to expand their terminals and gangways to fit the big jets. Remember the bombarder A380 accident?
theschoolofchuck
Charles Collins 1
I couldn't imagine working in aviation finance or accounting. So many variables, such large numbers.
buttineleven
buttin eleven 1
Dunno much about each, but if something sells, everyone wants to make it.One thing for sure BIG has no limit.
bcopter
Brent Nixon 1
Bigger is not always better
smegster
Robert White 1
Would be nice to see the industry change focus from volunm to more efficient design. Much like the wind turbine industry, they just improve in small increments on the same concept... Not saying the industry haven't made huge improvements... Just same focus!
JoanieLynn
Joan Murdock 0
Not surprised since this aircraft was built for a market that doesn't exist. Glad to see Boeing kick Airbus in the ass, the slower than anticipated development and deliver of the 787 is going to be a great decision for Boeing. Plus the success of the new 747-800 will insure Boeing's position as a leader in the commercial aircraft industry for decades to come.
Doobs
Dee Lowry 0
I think I can complete the field for the "Triple Crown". It began with the B-777. The first of its kind to "Fly By Wire"! The "Triple Seven-300ER proved it's airworthiness with intense tests. I have to acknowledge, my friend, my Flight Instructor and Boeings 777 Test Pilot, Capt. John Cashman for taking the Test Airplane to it's fullest performance, and beyond the point of certification! He flew that airplane beyond what the FAA thought it could do! We have a "Triple Crown"! Great John!
barrettjet
Richard Barrett 0
Absolutly correct. The 747 and the 380 have one thing in common.... They are too BIG for the normal
load and too expensive to maintain.
cmac888
Stephen Yee 0
The 380 can,t carry the payload like the 747 or the 777.
sparkie624
sparkie624 0
One plane I will stay away from.