The A380 was an engineering success but definitely not a commercial success. I doubt if they even played even on the model. The Boeing wide body strategy is beating that of Airbus and their is no way around that.
Not a commercial success, according to whom? Does EK think the A380 was a commercial failure?
And as for the Boeing strategy, it is exactly the same as Airbus or they wouldn't have launched the 748 and the 779. Boeing has the financial advantage because those are derivatives rather than clean sheet projects but the commercial strategy is exactly the same: to cover all market segments with a competitive product.
American 767 wrote:
It is true that the A380 is a commercial failure, I don't even know if it made it to Break Even point. But to say that it's the biggest commercial failure ever, I don't agree.
I think you're mixing up commercial and financial. The biggest problem affecting A380 sales was the initial delays that led to huge cost over-runs combined with a global aviation recession at the time of its launch. Most A380 operators seemed to be very happy with it until something better came along.
Airbus was a serious contender before the A380 was launched.
Not in the widebody segment they were not. Boeing had something like 70% of the market share.
The A310/A300 although technologically revolutionary, were relative niche aircraft.
The A340 had been made obsolete by the 777 only 5 years after EIS.
The A332 was doing good but the A333 was doing very poorly.
The business case for the A380 was reasonable, but global economic events, competition from EK and low-cost airlines made airlines more conservative and more capable rival airframes sealed the case.
I think Airbus overestimated demand from Asia and underestimated the ability of Asian countries to build infrastructure.
The "line" at the time was that demand for air travel in Asia was about to explode (which it did), but unlike in Europe and the U.S. airport construction kept pace with the growth. As a result those markets which Airbus envisioned needing the A380 were being served by smaller aircraft and mainly by LCC's.
The LCC revolution more than anything killed the A380, IMO. At the time (pre-2000), airlines like Singapore Airlines and others were operating 400+ seat 744's on short 1-2-hour hops. If you visited Narita or Kai Tak in those days, most gates were occupied with 747's. That was the the world we lived in, pre 2000.
As far as the R&D and development costs for the A380, the silver lining is that at least Airbus got something out of it and will continue to use it in the future. I can only imagine how much money has been thrown into R&D by both manufacturers for products that have never seen the light of day and that we probably never even heard of. All of the people bashing the A380 spending are probably the same ones defending Boeing's money spent on the Sonic Cruiser for 15 years and justifying it because some of that technology was later applied to the 787. Isn't that exactly what Airbus did with the A380 -> A350?