Navigating projected traffic growth with the A380

17 November 2013 Feature story

As the air transport sector continues its upturn, Airbus expects the A380 to play an even greater role in accommodating air traffic demand. 

According to Antonio Da Costa, Head of A380 Marketing at Airbus, the crisis left airlines in a challenging situation to plan their future fleets. “As we look ahead, we foresee a strong return of air traffic growth,” he said. “We’re already seeing major signs of this in emerging markets, and the developed markets are following.”

This growth is expected to include more intercontinental traffic, particularly from Aviation Mega-Cities like London, Tokyo and Hong Kong – whose airports are becoming more and more congested as traffic increases.

Airlines cannot accommodate traffic increases simply by adding aircraft to their fleet – they must use the right aircraft, Da Costa explained. The A380 – with its superior range of 15,700 km., as well as the capacity to carry 525 passengers in a comfortable three-class configuration, and up to 853 in a single-class layout incorporating wider seats than its competitor – is an optimal solution.

Da Costa cited several examples of the A380’s capability to meet airlines’ traffic demand on dynamic routes and to key destinations: Asia-Europe is the biggest A380 market, with 116 frequencies weekly; the 13 daily A380 flights to London offer more than 6,400 seats every day, in each direction from Dubai, Hong Kong, Kuala Lumpur, Los Angeles and Singapore; and there currently are over 63 weekly A380 services to Japan, along with 56 services to Hong Kong each week.  

He added that Airbus is on track to provide a total of 25 A380s to customers in 2013, with deliveries so far this year including the first three for British Airways, along with additional jetliners for the fleets of Air France, China Southern, Emirates, Korean Air, Malaysia Airlines and Thai Airways International.