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Wednesday, September 21, 2016

The Airbus A380 Will Be Around For A While

Above, the A380 I flew to Japan in last October. Photo by Armand Vaquer.

Last October, we flew to Japan aboard a Singapore Airlines Airbus A380 to Tokyo (Narita International Airport) from Los Angeles.

The ride aboard the A380 was a smooth one, but my only complaint was the lack of legroom in Economy Class. There was hardly any room and it caused problem with my knees. Although I generally get up and walk around several times during long-distance flights, I had to get up and walk around more frequently.

I had no such problems with the five-hour flights to and from Hawaii aboard Hawaiian Airlines few months ago. But then, I was flying aboard a Boeing-manufactured jet. It had more legroom.

Above, inside the A380. Photo by Armand Vaquer.

It is amazing that the A380 has been in passenger service for nearly ten years already. Will it remain in the air much longer, since most airlines prefer smaller and fuel-efficient jets?

Condé Nast Traveler reported:
When Singapore Airlines revealed last week that it won’t renew the lease on its first Airbus A380—the double-decker behemoth the carrier helped launch nearly ten years ago—news quickly circulated that the plane’s days might be numbered. “Airlines are abandoning the world’s largest passenger airplane” read one such headline. Several other major operators of the plane, like Qantas and Air France, were also said to be cooling on the jet’s prospects and delaying or cancelling orders. 
But is the 550-passenger superjumbo—which debuted in 2007 with grand plans to reshape the way we fly—really headed for the airplane graveyard? Far from it, say industry analysts and a number of airline executives, who note that with the fleet already in the air, and new models still rolling—albeit more slowly—off the assembly line, the plane will be flying the skies for many years to come.
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