Airbus plans upgraded A380

Airports “unimaginable” without the A380
Airbus is planning an upgraded version of its A380, despite sales of the original model continuing to flag. In an interview with the Sunday Times, its president and chief executive Fabrice Brégier said the A380neo will cost up to $3 billion to develop.
But he argued that with more and more people taking to the skies and airports often limited for space, demand for larger aircraft will only grow.
“We will move to the A380neo type. You can say that, absolutely. We will need it between 2020 and 2025. The air passenger market is doubling every 15 years. Airlines can’t simply rely on flying more planes more often. We have to have larger aircraft.”
He added: “How can you imagine crowded Heathrow in 2030 without the A380? This is the same for New York, Washington, Los Angeles, Frankfurt and China in a few years.”
He said that although the new A380 will be the same size as the current one, new wings and more powerful engines would mean it could lift a fuselage four metres longer with space for up to 700 seats.
“I cannot tell you if it will be stretched or not,” he said. “We will not do it for one airline, however big. It will depend on more orders. We’re supposed to make money, you know.”
The airline had hoped to sell 50 A380s a year but is barely making it to 25. There are currently enough orders to keep production running until the end of the decade.
Brégier is planning on introducing other smaller aircraft including an A330 with lean-burn engines due at the end of 2017 and for which there are already 145 orders, while a new version of the A320 will arrive at the end of the year.
TTG Digital / Sunday Times