NEW YORK, Jan. 16 /PRNewswire/ -- T. Allan McArtor, Chairman of Airbus
North America Holdings, Inc., spoke today at The Wings Club's Monthly Flyer
Luncheon on the status of the world's largest airliner -- the twin-aisle,
twin-deck Airbus A380.
McArtor introduced his presentation with a number of key points regarding
the cutting-edge program.
"The market wants the A380, airlines and airports have approved the A380
and the A380 is launched and on schedule," said McArtor. "This aircraft will
embody every positive aspect of commercial aircraft before it, and offer
enhancements that will make the A380 the paragon for any large aircraft
developments to follow it."
Reflecting on the state of the industry as a result of the events of 9-11,
McArtor discussed the resilient history of the commercial aviation sector, its
ultimate rebound to growth and how the A380 fits into that picture.
"Besides the three major shocks of the oil crisis of 1981, the Gulf War of
1991 and the Asian financial crisis of 1997, world traffic has grown
seven-fold during the past 30 years," noted McArtor. For that reason, the
A380 will be perfectly timed and placed to deal with customers' growing load
McArtor also presented data demonstrating the anticipated growth of
hub-to-hub traffic, the market for which the A380 is designed. Even last fall,
hub-to-hub growth was least affected by capacity drops, illustrating the
strength of that segment.
"Industry leaders have publicly stated that the recent events will cause a
shift to bigger airplanes and fewer frequencies on big markets. It is for
that reason that the industry will embrace the A380."
Airbus currently has 97 firm orders for A380s from nine customers, an
unprecedented customer base for an aircraft program of its magnitude. A380
passenger use is expected to be heaviest on Asia routes, both to and from and
within the continent. In the freighter version, the opportunities are great,
including an ability to transport 150 metric tons a range of 5600 nautical
miles, enabling much greater non-stop hub-to-hub operations for both express
and conventional shippers.
McArtor also addressed industry comments about airport compatibility of
the A380. "More than 50 airports worldwide have participated in the
development of the A380 to ensure compatibility. This resulted in a number of
key specs for the aircraft, including the fact that every dimension of the
A380 fits into the industry-standard 80-meter box. Takeoff and landing
distances will be less than the 747. And it is being designed to the most
stringent noise requirements resulting in half the noise of the 747-400 with
35 percent more seats."
In closing, McArtor summarized the progress of the A380, noting that a
long list of U.S. suppliers have been signed onto the program, including
Eaton, Goodrich, Parker Aerospace, Rockwell Collins and TRW. Many more U.S.
suppliers will be signed on in the coming months.
"We are on target with every developmental milestone for the program,"
said McArtor. "Construction is underway in Europe for facilities to build and
assemble the A380; hundreds of people have been hired and continue to be
recruited for the program; first flight is slated for 2004; and entry into
service is coming in 2006. The A380 is not becoming a reality. It is a
An organization for aviation professionals and enthusiasts that preserves
the history and perpetuates the traditions of aviation, The Wings Club
provides an important forum for discussion and debate on aeronautic and
aviation issues. For more information on The Wings Club call (212) 867-1770.
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SOURCE The Wings Club