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|Six Years ago this month William Carvalho Portugal Jersey , the worlds largest civilian airliner, the Airbus A380,entered service for the first time with Singapore Airlines operating a ground-breaking ,non-stop flight from Singapore to Sydney, in Australia, to open a new era in civil aviation .The aircraft had been delivered to the airline ten days previously.
Since that day on October 25,2007,a dozen airlines have already taken delivery of various numbers of these gargantuan, totaling some 112 aircraft at the time of writing, and the huge assembly plant at Toulouse, in France Vieirinha Portugal Jersey ,continues to deliver them at a rate of two a month on average.
Between them, these aircraft have already flown over 4-million passengers-that figure was passed at the end of August-and logged well over one million flight hours-that milestone was reached during the PARIS Air Show in July this year. This means that, on average the current fleet has transported just over 20000 passengers a day over routes which span the globe-and this is climbing steadily.
Although capable of carrying well over 800 passengers in a single-class layout, most airlines to date have opted to take more advantage of one of the A380s greatest plus factors -space. During the first few years of class layout was only 450, but this has subsequently crept up slowly to appoint where today the average number of seats is around 490 in a three-class configuration, well above almost anything else in the sky to date.
Only one airline has so far gone for the maximum seating capacity of around 830.When Air Austral takes delivery of its two A380s,it will be operating them on a holiday service between Paris and its home base in Reunion Island in conjunction with Air France.
The A380 has a lot of plus factors going for it such as fuel economy, low emissions, a seat-mile cost which is the envy of most carriers.
Then its cabin space,comfort,humidity and its low noise level in the cabins-yes Tiago Mendes Portugal Jersey , even in economy class-are the biggest passenger draw cards .And this spells profits for the airlines already operating the type.
Commenting on the low cabin noise level, a Lufthansa spokesman said: This is a huge achievement compared to older aircraft.
The average across-the-fleet passenger load factor is an estimated 83%, although most airlines are hesitant at giving out such figures. On some sectors, it is obviously much higher if you take, as examples, the Johannesburg -Paris route flown by Air Frances A380s; Johannesburg -Frankfurt by Lufthansa and Johannesburg -Dubai by Emirates.
Most of these services each fly in both directions with up to 100% load factors on most occasions. Witness the queues of stand-by passengers waiting for a seat.
Small wonder then that British Airways ,which only recently took delivery of the first of 12 A380s,will be introducing the type on its services to Johannesburg in February next year. Which, of course, poses the question as to how much longer can South African Airways afford to wait before following suit?
Even Air Zimbabwe is rumored to be negotiating for at least one or possibly two A380s with which to operate to Europe.
Lufthansa which began operating the A380 in June 2010 with its first flight being Frankfurt to Tokyo following not long afterwards by introducing the type on its daily service to Johannesburg, already has ten aircraft in its fleet and has topped the mark of the seven-millionth passenger flown by the fleet. Its aircraft fly an average of between 13 and 14 hours a day-utilization which says much for the types on-going serviceability and the carriers own maintenance standards.
Lufthansa has been quick to point out that: Both the specific fuel consumption of three lit res per passenger per 100 kilometers and the quiet Rolls Royce Trent 900 engines with very low emissions Silvestre Varela Portugal Jersey , make the A380 the most environmentally friendly aircraft in our fleet.
None of the operators we approached for comment about the A380s economics was prepared to reveal company statistics about the aircraft actual profit margins, which is perhaps understandable, but the consensus was that it was better than expected.
More Milestones for Airbus
The many milestones already reached by the A380 in its comparatively short career have contributed in no small manner to the others logged by Airbus which brought it to yet another major landmark recently -the delivery of its 8000th aircraft -an A320 for Air Asia.
This has already begun operating from its base in Jakarta and is contributing to the more than 10-billion passengers worldwide who have already flown in Airbus aircraft.
When it reached this milestone, Airbus said that the delivery of the 8000th Airbus aircraft highlighted its position as leader in the civil aircraft market, delivering airlines the most advanced, fuel efficient family of aircraft available today. The product line is also the most comprehensive ever offered by an aircraft manufacturer, covering every segment of the market from 1000 to over 500 seats.
The Airbus product line comprises the A320 Family in the single aisle market, the A330 and all-new A350 XWB in the mid-size wide-body category, and the flagship A380 in the very large aircraft segment.
In the freight market Airbus currently offers the new-build A330-200F and the A330 Passenger-to-Freighter (A330P2F) program me.
Over 13000 Airbus aircraft have been ordered and 8000 delivered to nearly 500 customers and operators worldwide.
Every two seconds an Airbus aircraft takes off or lands somewhere in the world.
Anthony A Juma is the Editor and Director Commercial and Flights Operations at Wings Over Africa Aviation Limited. This is an Air Charter Company that specializes on Business Aviation News Airbus 380 Flights On Long Haul Daily Scheduled Passenger Flights Globally.. The website has guided thousands of travelers to achieve their drea锘? If you're like me, t.