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What are the principle advantages and disadvantages of the Airbus A380 in respect of airlines, passengers and airports?

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Introduction

What are the principle advantages and disadvantages of the Airbus A380 in respect of airlines, passengers and airports? By Iain Dudley 15th October 2004 Introduction Never since the introduction of Concorde in 1969, has there been so much Public interest in an aircraft as in Airbus's A380. This giant of the sky has captured the public imagination in many ways from its shear size to possible futuristic cabin arrangements. So it begs the question what are the advantages and disadvantages of the A380 for the Airlines who operate her, the Airports who accommodate her and the passengers whom fly in her? There are endless positives and negatives about the A380 but in the following analysis the major and most important ones shall be discussed. Information about A380 is mainly obtained from the manufacturer. Other information has been found on the CAA website and in Kings Norton library, Cranfield. Airlines Airbus claims that the A380 has a lower operating cost when compared with the largest aircraft flying today. They also say that its higher capacity and range is accompanied by a reduction in both noise and emissions when compared with its nearest competitor. ...read more.

Middle

As a consequence many airlines are deciding to support their A380's in-house, this could prove to be an expensive matter with investment in new hangers built on expensive land at some of the world's busiest airports. This somehow contradicts the philosophy of many airlines now trying to concentrate on their "core" business; and out-source that which they believe others can do more cost effectively such as maintenance. Passengers So let's discuss some of the advantages and disadvantages for those who will fly in her. Public perception is such that flying on an A380 will give passengers more room such as seat and aisle width, although this is true it is very little when looking at the same configurations of an A380 and a 747-400. On seat width the Airbus will give each passenger in a 10 abreast configuration 2 cm more seat width and access to an aisle 1 cm wider. Is this really an advantage? One definite advantage will be increased seat availability on busy routes where A380 is operated, however due to the increase in passengers there could be an increase in boarding time and check-in queue lengths at peak times. ...read more.

Conclusion

Having so many passengers at the gate will also prove a problem. Airports may also choose to have a two level system thereby incurring extra terminal extension costs. This can be useful however; assuming the upper deck is for premium passengers, airports can separate premium passengers from the economy passengers after security and tailor the airside facilities to their needs. For example lounges and specific shops where premium passengers are more likely to purchase goods or services, in a way discrimination or yield management. As regards disembarkation, due to the possibility of large numbers of passengers arriving at once, one assumes that the immigration system should be optimised or improved to cope with that added demand. It has been estimated that the average cost of restructuring for 30 surveyed airports by ACI is $100 million3. As a result of investment by airports into supporting A380, airports can also expect to increase their revenue from retail activities due to the increased number of passengers, these passengers also come with out an increase in aircraft movements. This allows airports that have expanded to their maximum aircraft movements to increase passenger numbers. ...read more.

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