There Are Only 79 Orders Left for A380s. Will They Ever Be Delivered?
This post contains references to products from one or more of our advertisers. We may receive compensation when you click on links to those products. Terms apply to the offers listed on this page. For an explanation of our Advertising Policy, visit this page.
Airbus’s A380 program was dealt yet another blow this week as Qantas canceled a long-standing order for eight of the super jumbos. Recent months have seen the backlog of orders dwindling down as more airlines cancel orders. Airbus had netted only four orders for the A380 in the whole of 2018, a number that included Emirates’ lifeline order for the behemoth aircraft. Airbus delivered only 12 of the massive jets to operators in 2018.
The plane manufacturer’s official order backlog for the A380 officially stands at 79, broken down by airline as follows:
A380 Official Backlog: 79
- Emirates: 53
- Amedeo: 20
- Air Accord: 3
- ANA: 3
While the official order backlog currently stands at 79, we can safely say that at least 23 of planes will never get built. The orders for Amedeo and Air Accord will never actually take to the air. Amedeo, a leasing company, is already struggling to find a use for its current A380 fleet, with no takers to be found. They have delayed their A380 order indefinitely. Air Accord, which appears to be a shell company used to take delivery of aircraft for defunct Russian airline Transaero, will most certainly never actually take delivery. So why are these orders still on the books? It would seem Airbus is happy to keep the orders around simply to make the backlog numbers look better than they actually are.
The Emirates A380 order is also in question at this point. Just last week Airbus confirmed that it was in talks with Emirates about its current A380 order. The doubt stems from the fact that Emirates hasn’t completed contracts with engine maker Rolls Royce to outfit the planes with its required four powerplants. Emirates hasn’t been happy with the performance of the current Rolls Royce engines. This calls into question if the lifeline order will even be completed.
The issue for Airbus is twofold. Not only are new orders not being placed, but the secondary market is uninterested in the plane as well. As lessors have planes returned, no one is stepping up to take over operation of the jets. Recently we have even seen leasing companies sending A380s off to the scrap heap.
If you are looking to catch a ride on an A380 before it goes the way of the dodo bird, you have some options from a number of operators:
- Air France
- Asiana Airlines
- British Airways
- China Southern
- Korean Air Lines
- Malaysia Airlines
- Singapore Airlines
- Thai Airways
If all of the current issues with the A380 program leads to Airbus stopping production, the A380 would be one of the shortest-run production commercial aircraft in history. Certainly not what Airbus had in mind when it made its estimated initial investment of $25-30 billion in the A380 program.
Richard Aboulafia, VP of analysis for the Teal Group, who has closely followed the A380 program for years, is not optimistic. His outlook for the program over the past few years has been bleak to say the least but his current opinion leaves little room for hope:
“It’s dead. It was born to die. Simply the dumbest program of modern times,” he told TPG in an email.
For now it seems it’s just a matter of time before Airbus will announce it’s ending the program. The bigger question at this point is just how many of the aircraft in the order backlog will realistically take to the skies.
Featured image by Shutterstock.
Welcome to The Points Guy!
Earn 50,000 bonus miles and 5,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $2,000 in purchases on your new card in your first three months of card membership. Plus, earn up to $100 back in statement credits for eligible purchases at U.S. restaurants with your card within the first 3 months of membership.
With Status Boost™, earn 10,000 Medallion Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $25,000 in purchases on your Card in a calendar year, up to two times per year getting you closer to Medallion Status. Earn 3X Miles on Delta purchases and purchases made directly with hotels, 2X Miles at restaurants and at U.S. supermarkets and earn 1X Mile on all other eligible purchases. Terms Apply.
- Earn 50,000 bonus miles and 5,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $2,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months.
- Plus, earn up to $100 back in statement credits for eligible purchases at US restaurants with your card within the first 3 months of membership.
- Accelerate your path to Medallion Status, with Status Boost®. Plus, in 2021 you can earn even more bonus Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) to help you reach Medallion Status.
- Earn 3X Miles on Delta purchases and purchases made directly with hotels.
- Earn 2X Miles at restaurants worldwide, including takeout and delivery and at U.S. supermarkets.
- Earn 1X Miles on all other eligible purchases.
- Receive a Domestic Main Cabin round-trip companion certificate each year upon renewal of your Card. *Payment of the government imposed taxes and fees of no more than $75 for roundtrip domestic flights (for itineraries with up to four flight segments) is required. Baggage charges and other restrictions apply. See terms and conditions for details.
- Enjoy your first checked bag free on Delta flights.
- Fee Credit for Global Entry or TSA Pre✓®.
- Enjoy an exclusive rate of $39 per person per visit to enter the Delta Sky Club® for you and up to two guests when traveling on a Delta flight.
- No Foreign Transaction Fees.
- $250 Annual Fee.
- Terms Apply.
- See Rates & Fees