The announcement from the A380 will disappoint many passengers. They enjoyed not having to travel long distances like sardines in a can – even though some airlines packed so many seats in the giant planes that it became a bit tight again. The comparatively quiet take off was also a pleasure.
Fourteen years after the first flight, the technology is already on again. The flight in the younger and smaller long-haul aircraft A350 or a Boeing 787 shows that the comfort in the cabin can be further increased.
A380 stands for an overestimation. The giant plane was born only by a forceps birth, the production difficulties exposed the internal weaknesses of Airbus brutal. Factories in different countries worked more against each other than with each other, just remember the cables that proved too short.
Mutual finger-pointing between German and French plants raised doubts about the team spirit within Airbus. With great pain, the European group overcame its chaos, but the misjudgment of the market remained: Four instead of two engines scared the airlines fear, because the A380 consumed too much fuel. It is impossible for an airline to afford to fly such a giant airliner daily without almost all of its seats being sold.
The freight version of the A380 also found no takers. In the end, the arch rival Boeing was right: he predicted that the direct traffic with slightly smaller machines from airport to airport would increase.
Airbus, however, said that the passengers fly in the giant aircraft A380 first large hubs, and then switch again – a serious misjudgment. Competitor Boeing, on the other hand, knew why he was not launching a successor to his jumbo jet, the 747.
The failure of the A380 will also be charged to the European taxpayers. The development costs of such aircraft programs often reach up to one third of the governments with subsidized loans.
If the aircraft fails, Airbus will not have to pay for this launch aid. This is what it says in the agreements, whose meaningfulness should be checked, even if Boeing also receives substantial subsidies.
It is to be expected that Airbus will draw the right lessons from the debacle. The fact that the Group is doing well financially and strategically today shows that this has already largely happened.
But the A380 should remain in permanent reminder with every machine, the manufacturers have to read the signals of the customers that the bigger is not always has the sweet solution.