How much does a airbus a380 cost? One of the last convoys of giant A380 components just completed its journey through Spain and France to the Airbus factory in Toulouse. Amid the coronavirus-caused carnage in the travel industry, only a few aviation fans (affectionately called “avgeeks”) paid attention to the nostalgic journey of the cancelled plane,whose production ends next year. So let’s review the airbus a320 price.
While the fate of the world’s largest passenger plane provides some diversion from the coronavirus pandemic, in its own way the Airbus A380 is a disaster, at least financially. The big plane “will attract the attention of passengers at airports for many years to come” wrote, Henrik Böhme of Deutsche Welle. But “fascination is one thing, economics another.”
airbus a320 price
The most recent published list price for the Airbus A380 is $445 million. However, a recent estimate by Valerie Bershova, valuations analyst at Ascend by Cirium, claims actual market value of an A380 now ranges between $77 million for a 2005-build “half-life” aircraft and $276 million for a new 2019-build aircraft in “full-life” condition. And of course, all this was written before the coronavirus ravaged A380 operator Korean Air, reportedly grounding 100 of 145 planes and threatening bankruptcy.
A pair of early production A380s have already been “parted out”, or cannibalized, bringing about $80 million per plane. By 2030, she projects the part-out value of an A380 dropping to just $35 million.Recommended For You
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How Much Does A Airbus A380 Cost
In the 1990’s, Boeing and Airbus reportedly collaborated on the design of a next-generation superjumbo, known as the Very Large Commercial Transport. But the collaboration between the world’s most competitive commercial airline manufacturers fell apart, with no joint aircraft was built.
It was clear to both Boeing and Airbus that the number of airline passengers would rise significantly. But each interpreted how to serve them differently. Boeing decided that there was no need for a follow-on to the 747. It instead focused on smaller long-range double-aisle, twin-engine jets.
On the other hand, Airbus research convinced the company that the future growth of air travel, as well as restriction in gate availability (London Heathrow still only has two runways and operates at 98% of capacity) demanded enormous aircraft for hub cities around the world. Hordes of passengers would disembark or switch to smaller craft to fly to their ultimate destinations.
To serve this market, Airbus designed a giant double-decker aircraft, the A3XX, which evolved into the A380. When Airbus secured promises to buy from six launch customers, manufacture of the Airbus A380 began.
Instead, the aviation world changed. Smaller twin-jet aircraft that had better fuel economy, lower operating costs and were easier to fill with passengers appeared. Planes like the Boeing 777 and 787 Dreamliner, and Airbus’ own A350ULR, could fly those passengers directly to many destinations around the world, not just giant airports capable of serving the enormous A380.
In the end, the $25 billion reportedly spent in developing the A380 could not be recouped, with much of it absorbed by European taxpayers. Meanwhile, a World Trade Organization panel ruled in December 2019 that the European Union has not complied with an order to end illegal subsidies for Airbus, which led the Trump administration to impose tariffs on nearly $7.5 billion of EU goods. ember M of the EU had failed to abide by an earlier panel ruling and had not withdrawn French, German, Spanish and British subsidies for the A380. (Unsurprisingly, each of those countries is a major supplier to the A380.)
airbus a380 capacity
Over the short production lifespan of the A380, no American carriers purchased any, and only a handful of Chinese customers. One airline, Emirates, successfully used more than 100 of the giant aircraft to build up Dubai (DXB) as a premier world destination and intercontinental transport point. The A380 also made an impact with world airlines serving overcrowded Heathrow, where gate availability is at a premium. For many other airlines, the A380, which gulped fuel and could require more than 20 cabin crew, proved an expensive white elephant.
Another problem that limited the production lifespan of the A380 was the lack of a freighter version. Airbus planners had designed a cargo version called the A380F. It would have offered up to 150 tons of long-range cargo capacity, compared to the 113 tons of capacity offered by the 747-400F in 2005. However, various delays that held up production for almost two years. Frustration led UPS and FedXEx to cancel their orders, and Airbus dropped the freighter version.
While 84 7477-400 aircraft were converted to freighters with the installation of a large freight door, Cirium’s Bershova wrote, “For the A380, the freighter conversion market is effectively closed since the aircraft’s double-deck design renders conversion impractical.
A third major issue with the long-term prospects of the A380 are its costs of operation, typically among the highest in the airline industry. One report indicated that the A380 cost between $26-29,000 per hour to operate, even higher than the next highest, the aging 747 at $24,000-$27,000, and far higher than the Boeing 777, at about $7400 per hour. Costs include depreciation, interest, fees and charges, insurance crew cost, fuel cost, and engine and airframe maintenance.
The two highest components of cost per hour are fuel and crew. When operated full, the A380 is surprisingly cost efficient, but for most airlines, constantly filling a 550 seat aircraft is a challenge. Another costly challenge: upgrading airports and gates to handle the large, heavy, double-deck aircraft. In the end, only a relative handful of airports were optimized for the A380.
An airline considering keeping its aging A380s would face the cost of upgrading the cabin to be competitive in today’s Business Class seating wars. Rather than spend an estimated $45 million per aircraft to upgrade cabins and seating, Air France chose to ultimately retire all ten of its A380 aircraft.
Considering the aircraft’s size , complexity and cost of operation, no real market for used aircraft has developed. While sales and leases of smaller aircraft are steady (and leaped after the 737 MAX grounding) reportedly only one used A380 aircraft has been put to work, a former Singapore Air jet owned by HiFly.
Aviation enthusiasts might find the decline and depreciation of the great plane said. But for Airbus, the end of the line means the beginning of another; the production line used to believe the A380 will be turned over to build A320neo variants, a plane that airlines really want.