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Bottlenecks in aviation – airlines want to react to the A380 – news


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Too big, too expensive, yesterday’s news: that’s what was said about the giant jet until recently. Now he could make his comeback.

After two years of the corona pandemic, global demand for passenger flights is currently recovering strongly. This has an impact on the industry: only recently the end of the A380 seemed to be sealed. Several airlines mothballed their copies. Now, however, two major airlines are flirting with using the double-decker more frequently due to the current high passenger volume.

The A380 was launched in 2005 to great fanfare. The European aircraft manufacturer Airbus impressed the world at the time, as did its competitor Boeing, whose 747 (also known as the “Jumbo”) bore the title of “Queen of the Skies” for decades.

Legend:

The A380 was presented to the public when it first arrived in Switzerland in 2010 – which showed great interest.

key stone

The giant aircraft, which can transport over 800 passengers, fit into the so-called “hub concept” of many airlines – i.e. flying as many people as possible between the major hubs of the world. Lufthansa and Emirates were among the largest customers, but Air France, Quantas and Singapore Airlines also placed orders.

But just a few years later it became clear: aviation was developing in a completely different direction. As it turns out, passengers prefer direct connections – even if they are very long – to the annoying route via a transfer airport. The airlines followed suit and are increasingly relying on twin-engine, kerosene-saving machines that can be used to fly to distant destinations.

Even before Corona, it became clear that the jet could have a difficult time. There were hardly any new orders. In early 2019, Airbus announced that it would end production. During the pandemic, many of the double deckers have been parked permanently. “No future” was what Lufthansa boss Carsten Spohr said at the beginning of this year. Recently, practically only Emirates relied on the A380.

Many details about reactivation open

But now the situation has changed significantly in the face of rapidly increasing demand in aviation. In addition to the increasing number of passengers, there is currently an acute staff shortage at the airlines. When more and more people have to be transported with fewer and fewer people, it makes sense to rely on larger devices. And this is where the A380 comes in.

Lufthansa boss Carsten Spohr said at a meeting of the world aviation association IATA this Monday in Doha that his company could activate the A380 again. Lufthansa still has eight machines. They are currently parked in Spain due to the good weather conditions.

The second major A380 customer, Emirates, could also bring out mothballed machines, as its boss Tim Clark said at a conference on Wednesday. The company moves in different spheres than the competitor from Germany. Up to 70 of the jets are already in regular use. According to Clark, the other 50 devices owned by the airline could also be reactivated.

Tim Clark, Emirates CEO, sitting in a chair, gesturing in front of a picture of an A380 in Emirates livery.

Legend:

He believes in the A380: Emirates is the only airline that has remained loyal to the A380 for the past three years. Its CEO Tim Clark has now announced that all aircraft of the type will soon be used again.

key stone

How long it will take until the giant jet populates the air again is still open. At Lufthansa they are talking about next summer. Emirates wants to move faster: “We’ll bring them back as soon as we can,” Clark said. In order for the machines to be able to take off again, the pilots must be retrained on the machines.

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