The Airbus A380 is a double-deck, wide-body, four-engine jet airliner manufactured by Airbus. The aircraft is capable of transporting up to 644 passengers.
The Airbus A380 is the world’s largest passenger airliner, a wide-body aircraft manufactured by Airbus. Airbus studies started in 1988 and the project was announced in 1990 to challenge the dominance of the Boeing 747 in the long haul market. The A3XX project was presented in 1994; Airbus launched the €9.5 billion ($10.7 billion) A380 programme on 19 December 2000. The first prototype was unveiled in Toulouse on 18 January 2005, with its first flight on 27 April 2005.
It obtained its EASA and FAA type certificates on 12 December 2006. Difficulties in electrical wiring caused a two-year delay and the development cost ballooned to €18 billion.
It was first delivered to Singapore Airlines on 15 October 2007 and entered service on 25 October. Production peaked at 30 per year in 2012 and 2014. However, Airbus concedes that its $25 billion investment for the aircraft cannot be recouped. On 14 February 2019, after Emirates reduced its last orders in favour of the A350 and the A330neo, Airbus announced that A380 production would end by 2021.
The full-length double-deck aircraft has a typical seating capacity of 525, though it is certified for up to 853 passengers. It is powered by four Engine Alliance GP7200 or Rolls-Royce Trent 900 turbofans providing a range of 8,000 nmi (14,800 km). As of February 2019, Airbus has received 290 firm orders and delivered 235 aircraft; Emirates is the biggest A380 customer with 123 ordered, of which 109 have been delivered.
With air traffic continuing to double every 15 years, the A380 was designed to meet the needs of the passengers and airports, while also delivering the level of efficiency necessary to protect the environment for future generations.
It has two full-length decks with wide-body dimensions, meaning its two passenger levels offer an entire deck’s worth of additional space compared to the next largest twin-engine jetliner. With more seats than any other aircraft, the A380 offers solutions to overcrowding; needing fewer journeys to carry 60% more passengers, making it the perfect solution to airport congestion, fleet planning optimization and traffic growth.