Is Airport Congestion looming back? Emirates wants a lighter, windowless Airbus A380

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Emirates CEO Tim Clark again expressed his concern that aircraft manufacturers are no longer focusing on higher capacity models such as the Airbus A380. For him this will be a problem in the future, as airports in various parts of the world (such as London) will no longer support new flights.

Clark’s assumption is that the number of passengers worldwide will grow rapidly at a rate of 4% to 6% per year, while the number of slots at airports remains limited. Therefore, large-capacity aircraft are needed. Although Emirates has 118 Airbus A380s, with a capacity of almost 500 people each (in Premium Economy configuration), Clark believes that once these models get old, there will be no replacement to match.

His proposals, however, are wide-ranging. One of Clark’s preferred alternatives would be a modernized A380, with a composite wing and fuselage (made of more sophisticated and lighter, yet stronger materials), as well as more economical engines, capable of reducing fuel consumption by 25% compared to the current ones.

However, the most recent discovery about the executive’s plans came in a Flight Global article last week, when he said he is willing to accept a windowless aircraft.

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«I don’t want windows,» Clark said at an event in the United States. «I can create individual windows with a camera.» The big advantage of this, in his view, is «eliminating the weight that is built into the fuselage through the windows.»

According to our partner site Aeroin, all these ideas, if added together, could turn the A380 into a «money-making machine.» Today, airlines using the A380 (except Emirates), openly criticize the aircraft and the fact that it is inefficient compared to more modern twin-engines. Therefore, for the aircraft to be profitable, it has to fly full all the time.

Airbus, for its part, does not seem very inclined to revive the A380 project and Boeing has not expressed a desire for a competitor either. Also, apart from Emirates, no other airline in the world has indicated that it has such a demand, which leaves the Emirati carrier in a rather unique position.

Pablo Díaz (diazpez)
Pablo Díaz (diazpez)
Director Editorial de Aviacionline. Ante todo, data-driven.

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