Airbus’ A380 has earned its place as the airline industry’s new “queen of the skies,” with the first five years of service confirming this 21st century flagship jetliner’s passenger appeal and revenue-generating capabilities.
Appropriately timed with Singapore Airline’s fifth anniversary date for the aircraft’s historic service start-up, the carrier announced yesterday that it was ordering A380s for a third time, bringing the total bookings to 24. This takes overall A380 firm orders to 262 from 20 customers.
Since beginning commercial operations on 25 October 2007, the current total of 88 A380s in world airline fleets have accumulated nearly 800,000 flight hours, performing around 80,000 revenue flights. With over 120 flights conducted daily by A380s at the top 10 airports they serve around the world, the A380 world fleet performs a takeoff or landing every seven minutes and carries more than a million passengers per month, with average daily utilization across the fleet above 13 flight hours per aircraft.
Airbus has delivered A380s to nine carriers so far: Air France, China Southern, Emirates, Korean Air, Lufthansa, Malaysia Airlines, Qantas, Singapore Airlines and Thai Airways International.
Emirates continues as the largest A380 customer, having 90 jetliners on order and 26 of them already in use on a globe-circling route network. Singapore Airlines – which was the first to implement A380 operations with the jetliner’s October 2007 introduction – now has 19 aircraft flying in its colours.
The list of top 10 airports in terms of A380 operations is led by Dubai, followed by Singapore, Frankfurt, London-Heathrow, Paris-Charles de Gaulle, Sydney, Hong Kong, Seoul, New York-JFK and Tokyo-Narita. Up to five A380 operators serve some of these key gateways. One of the A380’s newest routes links China’s Guangzhou Baiyun Airport with Los Angeles International Airport on service instituted this month by China Southern Airlines.