Airbus A380 Saves Airport Capacity
Emirates order of the Airbus A380 lends 10 years to airport capacity around the world.
Dubai-based carrier Emirates has agreed to buy 36 Airbus A380 aircraft worth a potential $16 billion at list prices. According to European aircraft manufacturer Airbus, the purchase could extend A380 production until 2029.
An innovative aircraft, the A380 is ahead of its time. In the current climate of globalisation and the highest travel requirements that the Aviation sector has ever seen, the Airbus A380 enables airlines to respond to increased demand for commercial flights and buys struggling airports time to expand.
Having closely monitored the global travel market, Airbus’ larger planes are set to lead the skies for years to come as the number of people flying soars and runways become ever more crowded.
Airport Capacity around the World: Breaking Records
As the busiest single-runway airport on Earth breaks another world record with almost one flight every minute, global airport capacity is about to reach maximum levels. In January 2018 Chhatrapati Shivaji Airport in Mumbai handled 980 flights (arrivals and landings) in just one day. The Centre for Asia Pacific Aviation warns that the Mumbai airport has reached 94% of its maximum passenger handling capacity and will reach saturation point later this year.
The UK government recently warned that UK airport capacity is set to burst. In 2016 UK airports handled over 250 million passengers and 2.3 million tonnes of freight, and although London is served by four airports in total, Heathrow is the busiest 2-runway airport in the world and Gatwick the busiest single runway airport. The London airport system will be almost entirely full by 2030, with many airports across the globe set to suffer a similar fate.
The Emirates Airbus A380 order is a welcome expansion for the sector and possible answer to the airport capacity problem. A double-deck, wide-body, four-engine jet airliner, the Airbus A380 is the biggest passenger plane in the world and can seat up to 853 people. By seating more people per journey, airlines can look forward to delivering consistently high quality levels of service for their customers, without facing extreme financial commitments.
Airbus see the Emirates order as an opportunity for other airlines to help fix the airport capacity problem. ‘This new order underscores Airbus’s commitment to produce the A380 at least for another 10 years,’ states Chief Operating Officer of Airbus Customer Services John Leahy. ‘I’m personally convinced more orders will follow Emirates’ example.’
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