LONDON: At one of the world’s key hub airports, the A380 is enabling airlines to effectively attract passengers while managing their precious takeoff/landing slots in an increasingly congested operational environment.
According to 2016 figures released by London’s Heathrow Airport, 10 per cent of all passengers who travelled through the facility last year arrived or departed on an A380. This equates to more than seven million passengers, and represents an increase from eight per cent in 2015 and six per cent in 2014.
The A380 is omnipresent at Heathrow, with the jetliner utilised in service to and from the airport by British Airways, Emirates, Etihad Airways, Malaysia Airlines, Qantas, Qatar Airlines, Singapore Airlines and Thai Airways. These aircraft fly to 14 destinations from the London-area facility, including Los Angeles, Singapore and Dubai.
“As air traffic doubles every 15 years, and 90 per cent of long-haul passengers are travelling through 55 hub cities around the world, the A380 is the best aircraft to capture peak demand, while also relieving airport congestion and boosting hub operations,” explained John Leahy, the Chief Operating Officer – Customers, at Airbus Commercial Aircraft.
Leahy added that the A380 passenger volume at Heathrow is expected to reach 12 per cent in 2017, and growth in traveller numbers flying on A380s is anticipated at other hub airports such as Los Angeles International, New York/JFK, Hong Kong and Singapore.
He noted that with more than 200 aircraft delivered to date, an A380 takes off or lands somewhere in the world every two and a half minutes.