Flying on the Airbus A380 — Everything You Need to Know [Pilot’s Perspective]

Seating 550 passengers, the giant Airbus A380 is one of the most distinctive aircraft flying the skies today. With its twin decks running the entire length of the aircraft, when it first took flight in the spring of 2005, it spawned a new era of “Superjumbos.”

With space for up to 853 passengers, it was hailed as a savior, solving the problem of greater customer demand in ever-crowded skies. If you can’t have fewer people on more flights, have more people on fewer flights.

Initially, the aircraft was a success. Passengers loved the comfort that the size of the aircraft brought and airlines were seduced by the economies of scale, which fitting more customers into a single flight suggested.

However, as the years went on, airlines’ romance with the A380 began to dwindle. The aircraft never proved to be as efficient as promised and the complexities of operating such a massive aircraft brought logistical headache after logistical headache.

With the orders drying up to a point where it was no longer commercially viable to continue producing the A380, in February 2019, Airbus announced that it would stop making the aircraft by 2021. The project, hailed to be the next revolution in air travel, had its wings clipped far earlier than anyone could have ever imagined.

Still, some of the world’s largest airlines continue to fly the A380 as it remains a firm favorite with passengers.

Here’s the definitive guide on all you need to know about flying on the “Superjumbo.”

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