A380 failure 'totally predictable' - aviation expert

  • 17/02/2019

A Kiwi aviation expert says the Airbus A380 can't compete with more modern plane designs.

Airbus is to stop delivering the iconic superjumbo jet after Emirates slashed its order from 162 to 123 aircraft, instead choosing to buy smaller jets.

Aviation commentator and former Aviation New Zealand chief executive Irene King said the A380's success was reliant on constant market growth, but airlines are struggling to fill the huge planes, which could carry up to more than 800 passengers.

Ms King says the A380 was built for long-haul flights and could no longer compete.

"It's just not as fuel-efficient as the new generation 777s that are coming off the line, and some of the new Airbus [planes] as well," she told Newshub.

More than 3000 jobs could be lost at the manufacturer - a "totally predictable" outcome, Ms King says, considering the A380 needs four engines, compared to newer planes' two.

"They call them the 'plastic fantastics' - much, much lighter, two engines, very efficient."

Ms King says the challenge for plane makers from now is to make them faster rather than bigger.

"The big challenge now is to get them going much faster - a la the next generation of Concordes."