The World’s First “Superjumbo” Passenger Plane Gets Grounded

Nov 15, 2017

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Sometimes bigger isn’t always better. Just ask the Airbus A380.

According to the Independent, the first double-deck Superjumbo plane (which can seat up to 800 passengers, but most are arranged to accommodate less than that) now resides in an airport parking lot patiently waiting to fly.

The aircraft, which started service back in 2007 with Singapore Airlines, needs a new partner to get back up and running again.

The plane’s owner,  Dr. Peters Groupflew the plane back to Tarbes Lourdes Pyrénées Airport in France (not far from where it was built) and repainted it white while it’s kept in storage.

The A380 has had trouble attracting customers in the past due to a delayed “entry into service,” among other reasons. As a result, airlines (think: Virgin Atlantic) have canceled orders. Also, most airlines are rarely able to fill a plane that size to the max, tapping out at just 500 passengers. There remains, however, one customer that wants to continue the A380 boom — Emirates.

Other, competing aircrafts, including the twin-engine Airbus A350 have become increasingly more desirable among airlines like Ethiopian Airlines and Qatar Airways — it’s more efficient with less capacity.

MRO Network states if the owner of an aircraft cannot find a new operator, it will “consider dismantling the aircraft for parts.”

Emirates Airline based in Dubai (which recently acquired its 100th Airbus A380) is said to be interested in a new version of the aircraft, as is the Portuguese airline Hi-Fly.

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