Summary version of the article: the A380 was the wrong choice for Airbus to make as airlines want fuel-efficient, long-distance aircraft like the 787. This has led to many fewer orders for the A380 than originally planned, which means that Airbus might not even fully recoup their R&D costs. The only airline to bet big on the A380 is Emirates, and they love the luxury factor that the A380 brings.
My take? I love flying the A380. I’ve flown the A380 in first class on Emirates, Lufthansa, Thai, and Singapore (trip reports for the latter two coming whenever I can get to them), and it’s my favorite plane in the sky. Yes, the 747 is iconic while the A380 looks like a bit strange, but the A380 takeoff is magical, the plane is super quiet, and the novelty still hasn’t worn off after 5+ years of service. It’s an amazing feat of engineering and it makes me giddy whenever I get the chance to fly it.
I also agree with Tim Clark, the president of Emirates, that the A380 offers a kind of luxury experience that no other plane can. There are showers on board the Emirates A380! It’s so wasteful and crazy and ridiculous but also wonderful and special and something that makes it stand apart from everything else.
I can’t speak to the feasibility of the aircraft for the aviation industry, but I personally seek out the A380 when I can, and I’ll always be fond of it. What are your thoughts on the A380?