10 years of the Airbus A380. But has it been all clear skies?

Posted on 29 Apr 2015 by Callum Bentley

On this day 10 years ago, the world's, largest and heaviest passenger aircraft, the Airbus A380, took to the skies for it's maiden flight.

However the plane’s lifespan hasn’t been without its fair share of turbulence, with its maker still struggling with secure sufficient sales.

About a dozen airlines have walked away form orders following development and production delays in its early years, as well as the financial crisis hindering buying intentions form major carriers.

Emirates and Singapore Airlines have remained major customers.

It was in 2000 when Airbus committed to the build programme of the massive jets, with intentions laid out to build 1,550 planes in 20 years. So far the company has taken 317 orders for its A380 aircraft, 158 of which have been delivered to customers.

With Airbus spending about $15bn to develop the plane, each of which comes with a suggested price tag of $428m (although most customers always pay less), the company hoped to break even on the project after 250 deliveries.

In an interview with the Wall Street Journal, Airbus’ chief operating officer for customers, John Leahy said that although the market for A380s would remain “soft” for the next couple of years, orders in hand were roughly in line with what Airbus expected.

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