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In history, the largest passenger aircraft A380 will be discontinued: "Airborne Big Mac" is doing something wrong.

Although it is an industrial city, Valentine's Day, the French city of Toulouse, nicknamed the Pink Capital, has never been romantic. However, Valentine's Day in 2019 is destined to be a somewhat sad exception -

This day, the European Airbus, which is headquartered in the Pink Capital, announced that it will be discontinued in 2021. It was once the city and even the proud European A380, the world's largest four-engine passenger aircraft.

First, one more corner than the Pentagon

Since 2007, one A4, two-story, A380 passenger aircraft with a maximum capacity of 893 passengers, from the Toulouse Airbus Assembly Workshop Hexagon Building, which is proudly declared by the locals to be a corner more than the Pentagon Born and flew around the world.

The birth of this Big Mac is extremely important for Toulouse, France and Europe: With the A380, Airbus has the full strength to compete with Boeing, the number one rival.

Before this, the Airbus from the wide-body short-haul airliner has not been able to compete with the main player of the Boeing Airliner, the four-layered transoceanic ace Boeing 747.

In the past 12 years, the A380 has created 700 important jobs for Toulouse and 3000-3500 for the whole of Europe, distributed in France, Germany, Britain and the West.

The Pink Capital has invested 172 million euros to develop an Airbus Industrial Park covering an area of ​​about 220 hectares north of the airport. The most important thing is the hexagonal building.

This three-story giant with a 360-million-dollar, wavy roof can accommodate up to 2,000 employees and four A380s per month.

In the past, the elegant and beautiful white bird of the A380 has attracted worldwide attention and is also the pride of the Toulouse, the French and the Europeans. However, why did this pride foresee the tragic ending in less than 12 years?

Second, one move fails to lose all the time

As early as the development, many people in the industry did not catch the A380, and suggested that Airbus should change their minds early.

According to the analysis of the civil aviation analysis agency JLS, etc., the market positioning of the A380 is a high-end passenger aircraft. The suitable route is very small, and the passenger runway requirements are too high, so the closest opponent is the A747. The series is not so expensive.

The 600-seat jumbo jet market was originally small in capacity. The previous generation of this-level trunking machine was at the time of the international civil aviation giants Boeing (747), Douglas (later McDonnell Douglas, DC10), Lockheed (L1011 Samsung). As a result, the two companies were squeezed out (Douglas was merged twice and the brand disappeared, Lockheed exited the civil aviation field), leaving only the Boeing 747.

Two people, an airline saved this Big Mac. These two are the successor Airbus President Breguet and Chief Operating Officer Lacey.

The former shouted out that unless the madness stopped the A380's rhetoric, the latter settled the Emirates airline's big customer at a critical moment. The latter accumulated a total of 162 super orders, allowing the Hexagon to be in 2011. - In 2016, it can maintain normal operation at a constant speed of 25-30 aircraft per year.

Airbus is so persistent because they firmly believe that the future model of the global trunk passenger airline network will be a hub-and-spoke type, that is, the remote intercontinental routes will be concentrated in a point-to-point manner, that is, through the trunk lines of individual hub airports. Then take a smaller plane and ferry to other airports in the continent.

However, Airbus is miscalculated: Since the global financial crisis in 2008, intercontinental flights have become increasingly characterized by de-hubization: continents and continents no longer rely on the primary links and ferry transits of a few hubs. More direct transoceanic routes to establish a point-to-point.

In this way, the advantages of the dual-issue wide-body aircraft with relatively low fuel economy and relatively small passenger capacity are undoubtedly obvious. The Boeing 787, which is developed at the same time as the A380, is a dual-mode medium-sized (in fact, a small and large) passenger aircraft. It became a market darling.

The Airbus's rivalry is not the big star of the star A380, but the long-range A330, which is much earlier and not originally developed.

In the reality of such a hard core, current Airbus executives, such as Executive President Enders and Commercial Aircraft President Free, have no choice but to bow to reality.

Three, Cheng also Xiao Xiao also lost Xiao He

When the A380 was launched in 2005, Airbus thought they could seize at least 1200 orders throughout the entire cycle, even passing through the second and third assembly lines.

But the ideal is very full, the reality is very skinny, and the stable production in 2011-2016 has become a yellow flower. In the past 2018, they only delivered 12, and the number of orders in 2019 was only 8. From 2020 to the present, only Seven sets were made, and in 2021, there were only two in the end - this is the number of orders that are destined for blood.

Laisi, who is known as a super-luxury salesman, has said with enthusiasm that Emirates is the first super customer we have ever won – but it turns out to be the first and last.

There are 234 Emirates flights to date, 109 of them, and the remaining 12 airlines from 11 countries have only received 115 of them; 17 have been ordered, have not been delivered, and have not returned orders. 14 are belonging to Emirates.

The German Lufthansa, Air France and British Airways and KLM, which had been highly hoped, had only 14, 10, 12 and 0 orders.

The Chinese airlines, which were once expected to set up dozens or even hundreds of A380s, only had a list of Southern Airlines after the clouds were scattered, but the total number was only five.

The so-called Cheng Xiaohe, defeated Xiao He, the super-customer's generous order of Emirates, the original 380, which was difficult to produce, was finally able to fall, but it was the shrinking of this big customer's order, which led to the untimely mammoth curtain call. .

In fact, in the context of high operating costs and the hub-and-spover mode being replaced by the point-to-point direct flight model in intercontinental civil aviation passenger transport, the four engines that once covered the world have all returned to their homes—

Don't say that the A380 and the Boeing 747 are two older protagonists. Even the A340, which is much smaller, is now lonely and premature.

□陶短房( columnist)

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