Eight Years In Service: Who Flies The Airbus A380Rupa Haria
Originally expected to enter commercial operations in March 2006, the Airbus A380 eventually made its first revenue flight in October 2007 as Singapore Airlines Flight 380 from Singapore to Sydney.
There are now 171 A380s in service with 13 carriers. Airbus’s backlog of 146 aircraft includes orders from Air Austral, Transaero and lessor Amedeo. Most importantly, Emirates Airline has outstanding orders for another 73 aircraft. Qantas, Singapore Airlines, British Airways and Air France also will take more A380s. However, it remains to be seen how long Virgin Atlantic’s order for six A380s will stay on the order book. Airbus has yet to break into India, after the now-defunct Kingfisher’s 2011 order for five A380s was removed from the order book in January 2014.
Airbus has also failed to crack the North American market with the model, but a U.S. carrier could operate the A380 if Amedeo is correct in its prediction that it will find customers for its 20 A380s, with the lessor’s CEO Mark Lapidus pinning hopes on Delta Air Lines.
Fleet data: Aviation Week Intelligence Network
All photos: Airbus