Airbus has delivered the 100th A380 superjumbo, handing the aircraft over to Malaysia Airlines on March 14 at the manufacturer’s Henri Ziegler Delivery Centre in Toulouse.
The aircraft is the sixth Airbus A380 for Malaysia Airlines (MAS), completing the airline’s A380 delivery schedule for now.
“We are delighted that our 100th A380 delivery is to Malaysia Airlines as this gives us an early glimpse into the future shape of aviation,” said Fabrice Brégier, Airbus president and CEO. “We see a growing demand from dynamic, competitive airlines such as MAS for larger aircraft, with many markets and routes, and in particular in the fast developing Asia-Pacific region, being ideally suited to A380s.”
Now in its sixth year of commercial service, the A380 is flying with nine major airlines. To date, the worldwide fleet has carried some 36 million passengers in 100,000 flights.
Airbus says previous-generation very large aircraft (VLAs of 400 seats and above) would have required 140,000 flights to get to the same passenger total.
This reduction in flights brings essential relief to airport-congestion and the environment and has resulted in a corresponding saving of 5.7 million tonnes of CO2, according to the manufacturer.
The A380 fleet performs more than 140 flights each day and carries more than one and a half million people each month. Nowadays, Airbus A380s are on average either taking off or landing every six minutes at one of the 32 international airports where the type operates to date.
On top of these, more than 50 other airports are getting prepared to accommodate the A380 and answer the airlines’ need for more A380 destinations, according to Airbus.
The manufacturer forecasts that over the next 20 years more than 1,700 very large aircraft such as the A380 will have been delivered.
The Asia Pacific region will lead VLA demand (45 per cent) for these high-capacity aircraft, followed by the Middle East (23 per cent) and Europe (19 per cent), Airbus forecasts.
Typically seating 525 passengers in three classes, the A380 is capable of flying 8,500 nautical miles (15,700 kilometers) non-stop.
Since 2006 the A380 has registered repeat orders by customers every year, bringing the total order book to date to 262 aircraft from 20 customers.
On the same day that Airbus delivered the 100th A380, Airbus announced that the Lufthansa Group supervisory board had given Lufthansa the go-ahead to order two more A380s, as well as 100 Airbus A320-family jets.
Lufthansa Group is the largest airline customer for Airbus aircraft, having ordered 532 to date. The March 14 order approval will increase Lufthansa’s A380 buy to 12 aircraft.