18 March 2007
Luxury A380
Brian Micklethwait

I featured a small Airbus A380 on my blog after I’d been in France and snapped it in a shop window, and Alan Little commented, promising a picture of a bigger A380 made of granite.  Here is that picture.

A380 googling revealed that there is another obvious-when-you-think-about-it way to think of the biggest passenger aircraft ever built.  Instead of bragging about how many human sardines you can cram into it, why not convert one into the world’s most luxuriously huge flying home?  (That’s not a carbon footprint.  This is a carbon footprint.)

Trouble is, because the A380 is selling so slowly, airports are reluctant to lengthen their runways.  Or maybe it’s the other way round.

It sounds like the owner of the A380 may be able to sympathize with Larry Ellison, the owner of the Rising Sun megayacht, it’s a shame to have the most fabulous creation in the world and have nowhere to park it.

Problems problems.

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  1. >Trouble is, because the A380 is
    >selling so slowly, airports are
    >reluctant to lengthen their runways. 
    >Or maybe it’s the other way round.

    It is much more the first than the second. Because there are very few routes on which the aircraft can be economic, and because smaller, more modern aircraft are going to be more efficient on a cost / passenger basis as well as more flexible (and because a lot of airlines have lost faith in Airbus as the A380 program has turned into one screwup after another), it is not selling. And because it is not selling, airport owners are not feeling any great urge to upgrade their terminals to take it. Any airport which has a reasonable chance of having someone want to fly A380s there is doing so, and anyone building a major new terminal is building a couple of A380 sized bays just in case. But we have reached the point where this activity has slowed, rather like the A380 program itself.

    Posted by Michael Jennings on  19 March 2007 at 06:42 pm

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