Emirates CEO Says “The Airbus A380 Is Over”

Emirates CEO Tim Clark has said that the Airbus A380 is over. The comments come from the largest…

Emirates CEO Says “The Airbus A380 Is Over”

Emirates CEO Tim Clark has said that the Airbus A380 is over. The comments come from the largest Airbus A380 customer as the industry experiences its worst-ever crisis, given the current circumstances.

Emirates CEO Time Clark has said that the A380 is over. Photo: Getty Images

The current pandemic has walloped the world of aviation. Fleets across the globe have been grounded. However, the Airbus A380 has been the hardest hit with all but a handful now grounded. The aircraft has become a victim of its design just 15 years after its first flight. However, even the largest A380 customer has come to realize its time may now be up.

Tim Clark’s comments

In an interview with UAE publication The National, Clark commented that he thinks that the world’s biggest jets have reached the end of the road. Clark said:

“We know the A380 is over, the 747 is over”.

He added that he sees demand for these bigger jets slowing, which has been mirrored by actions from both Airbus and Boeing. Over a year ago, Airbus pulled the plug on the entire A380 program. Meanwhile, in the first quarter of 2020, Boeing delivered zero 747s.

Emirates, Jimmy Fallon, The Today Show
The Airbus A380 is a crucial part of the Emirates fleet. Photo: Tom Boon – Simple Flying

What about the future?

Across the industry, we’ve seen a general move from larger, less-efficient four-engined aircraft to smaller twinjets. The smaller aircraft are easier to fill and burn less fuel than their larger cousins. A real win-win. Clark echoed this sentiment, saying:

“The A350 and the 787 will always have a place. They may not be ordered soon, they may have orders deferred and pushed back, but eventually they will come back, and they will be a better fit probably for global demand in the years post the pandemic.”

What does this mean for Emirates?

While Clark’s comments about the A380 may be alarming for the aircraft’s fans, it is unlikely that the giant of the skies will be going anywhere soon. According to Planespotters, the airline has 257 widebody passenger aircraft.

This figure is comprised of 115 Airbus A380s and 142 Boeing 777s. If the airline were never to fly its Airbus A380s again, it would instantly cut its fleet in half. This would be a very drastic measure.

Emirates, Dubai Airshow, Airbus, Boeing
Emirates ordered 30 Boeing 787-9s at the Dubai Airshow. Photo: Emirates

Instead, a more likely scenario could see Emirates returning with a slightly smaller A380 fleet and an increased retirement schedule. At the Dubai Airshow, the UAE flag carrier signed a deal for 50 Airbus A350 aircraft and separately for 30 Boeing 787-9s. In conjunction with other emirates orders, these could be used to replace part of the A380 fleet.

The airline is not expecting to receive its first A350 and Boeing 787 aircraft until 2023. Emirates has eight Airbus A380s still to be delivered. Earlier this year, we reported that the airline was reportedly looking to defer deliveries.

What do you make of Clark’s Airbus A380 comments? Let us know your thoughts in the comments!

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Chilling Images: Singapore Airlines’ A380s Stored In The Desert

An Alice Springs photographer has captured images of parked jets at the Asia Pacific Aircraft Storage facility in…

Chilling Images: Singapore Airlines’ A380s Stored In The Desert

An Alice Springs photographer has captured images of parked jets at the Asia Pacific Aircraft Storage facility in Alice Springs, Australia. The global airline crisis has proved a boon for the desert facility. In a matter of months, it has seen the planes parked there increase from eight to 24 with more expected to arrive soon.

Four Singapore Airlines A380 aircraft are being stored at Alice Springs. Photo: Getty Images

A good spot to store a clutch of A380s

Asia Pacific Aircraft Storage (APAS) has been in business for a decade. The dry desert climate and ample space around Alice Springs Airport made it a logical spot for an aircraft storage facility. It doesn’t hurt that a nearby top-secret US eavesdropping outpost saw the airport upgraded to handle the largest planes.

That’s what the airport had to do two weeks ago when four Singapore Airlines A380s landed at Alice Springs and taxied over to the APAS facility. Singapore Airlines is proving a good customer for APAS. Besides the A380s, the airline has three Boeing 777s parked there. This is in addition to a pair of NokScoot Boeing 777s and four Scoot A320 aircraft. The Scoot brand is a low-cost subsidiary of Singapore Airlines.

History today as the first of four A380 aircraft lands at Alice Springs Airport to enter storage at the Asia Pacific Aircraft Storage facility (APAS).

Publisert av Alice Springs Airport Lørdag 25. april 2020

Last year, as the Boeing 737 MAX grounding began to bite, another Singapore Airlines subsidiary, Silk Air, sent eight 737 MAX 8s to APAS. They remain at the facility. Rounding out the customers at Alice Springs is Fiji Airways with a pair of 737 MAX 8s and a clutch of Alliance Airlines Fokker jets. Alliance Airlines does some regular passenger transport and resources charter flying in Australia. It is the largest operator of Fokker jets in the world.

A380s strike a pose in the desert dust

Alice Springs photographer Steve Striker has had some of his photos of the parked aircraft published on Air Plus News twitter feed. They show the parked aircraft off to the side of one of Alice Springs Airport’s two runways. Parking bays run off access roads. The big A380s are particularly striking against the red dust desert landscapes.

“It’s low humidity, it’s low rainfall, it’s the ideal climate for asset preservation,” APAS owner and manager Tom Vincent told the Financial Times last year.

The bulk of APAS’s customers come from the Asia Pacific. While Alice Springs is remote, it’s relatively accessible for airlines in that region. In the next 20 years, Asia Pacific is expected to account for 40% of the global aviation market, a handy market share for APAS to tap into.

$2.8 billion worth of aircraft dumped in the desert south of Alice Springs this morning. Four Singapore Airlines A380's…

Publisert av Steve Strike Lørdag 25. april 2020

All the aircraft are expected to fly again

Mr Vincent notes his facility isn’t a graveyard, it is a storage facility. His employees induct the planes into storage then preserve and maintain them. While a large amount of work will have to be done on each plane to get them flying again, the expectation is that each plane at Alice Springs will fly again.

The storage facility is being expanded to handle up to 100 aircraft. The owners of the facility expect business to be brisk as airlines continue to look for places to park their surplus aircraft. Many analysts predict it will take some years for airline traffic to return to pre-pandemic levels. This isn’t good news for the likes of Singapore Airlines, but it does suggest a bright future for storage facilities such as the one in Alice Springs.

Simple Flying has approached APAS but has not heard back before publication.

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