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Valentine’s Day kiss goodbye after Qantas A380 snub?

February 11, 2019 Headline News No Comments Email Email

In another blow to continued production of the A380 aircraft, Qantas has cancelled its order for the final eight of the giant double-deck planes it had been due to receive.

The Australian airline’s decision to cancel the remaining eight of the 20 A380s it initially ordered is contributing to Airbus’s loss of USD 4 billion worth of contracts, ABC News reported.

As AirlineRatings.com succinctly put it: “The problem for the A380 is that technology has flown past it and while passengers love it, accountants don’t.”

The airline comparison site pointed out that only one airline – Emirates – “has really made the aircraft work the way its builders intended with flash bars and showers”.

Even Emirates, the airline that has single-handedly kept the Airbus A380 program afloat, is beginning to have second thoughts on its latest order. See: Fly A380 while you can – big plane’s future again in doubt

Qantas has decided to keep its fleet of A380s at the current level of 12 – instead of boosting it to the 20 it originally ordered back in 2006.

Future Qantas plans for nonstop services to Europe from the Australian east coast (along the lines of its Perth-London nonstop operation from the west coast) will use ultra-long-range versions of planes such as the B787 Dreamliner and perhaps the A350. The popular double-deck, four-engine A380 has no place in those plans.

Airbus is reportedly preparing to close production of the A380 earlier than anticipated. Some analysts reckon the plane-maker may issue a detailed announcement on the matter (together with its annual results) this Thursday, 14 February 2019 – St Valentine’s Day.

Emirates, the world’s biggest international airline, has a fleet consisting entirely of A380s and Boeing 777s. Emirates currently operates 109 A380s and 139 B777s.

Qantas has 12 A380s. Unusually for an international airline, Qantas has no B777s at all.

Written by Peter Needham

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