Does size matter? according to Emirates airlines, it sure does. They have staked their airline on the A380 Airbus. A larger than life plane with a seating capacity of 460. Its wing span is 54% larger than a Boeing 747 and yet it is super efficient. With 320 miles of wiring inside the plane, it is also super state of the art technology. Add to that a comfort cabin that boasts in first class a shower and discreet sleeping and you get the picture.
So, why are BA and most other airlines not buying the Airbus and why is the A380 not realizing its early potential? Because BA sees the future in the Dreamliner 787. A smaller and more cost effective plane with 214 seating capacity and the ability to travel long distances and land in smaller hub cities. Add to that a fleet of 777 and you can see that nobody at BA is craving the move for a monster plane.
Emirates is dreaming that Dubai will become the new world hub of all routes to Australia and the far East. But from the USA, nobody is going that way, and from Europe, the traffic to Dubai may not be able to sustain a full plane of business travelers on such a grandiose scale. Did Emirates gamble wrong? Maybe. But as Emirates is wholly owned by the government of Dubai, I am sure that at least for the time being, the money is not going to run out. And at least they haven’t been so foolish and made a bid to bail out Alitalia which is still shopping itself around. Etihad didn’t take the bait. Oh well.