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Last Updated: Monday, 2 May, 2005, 10:07 GMT 11:07 UK
What impact will Airbus have on air travel?
Airbus A380 taking off
The Airbus A380, the world's largest passenger plane, has landed safely after completing its eagerly awaited maiden flight.

Thousands of plane enthusiasts witnessed the twin-deck "superjumbo" - designed to carry up to 840 passengers - make a flypast before landing in Toulouse in southern France.

Airbus, which is owned by European firm EADS and the UK's BAE Systems, sees the A380 as the future of air travel. Arch rival Boeing is concentrating on midsized short-haul aircraft.

What impact do you think the Airbus will have on air travel? What effect will the plane have on the industry? Will the A380 revolutionise air travel? Would you travel on the plane?

This debate is now closed. Read a selection of your comments below.


The following comments reflect the balance of opinion we have received so far:

Unlike other Airbus planes, which are ugly, this actually looks pretty cool. But I don't think that there will be a huge market for such immense craft.
Tom Grommell, Brooklyn, NY

It is one of the most fuel efficient aircraft per passenger per mile
Mark Davies, London
I think it will change air travel for the better. On the busiest routes, where a plane of this size can be justified, it will reduce cost and pollution. With the correct configurations it is one of the most fuel efficient aircraft per passenger per mile.
Mark Davies, London

Today is not a day to consider the environmental or business impacts. Today is a day to marvel at a wonderful engineering achievement. The A380 is a beautiful creation and, just for a moment, we should stop to congratulate all those involved, not rush to predict its doom.
Scott, Edinburgh, Scotland

Hardly a technological marvel like Concorde was. It's just a more bloated version of what already exists. I doubt it'll be around as long as the 747 has been.
Matt, Loughborough, UK

The plane will not revolutionize travel; that was already done with the 747.
Mike, Brisbane, Australia

Irrespective of what Boeing and Airbus produces, there will be a market for it
Pranay Sonalkar, Waterville, USA
The Airbus A380 will succeed not because of its capacity or engineering but because of the general boom in aviation in China and India. Given that air travel in those countries will rise multi-fold over the next three decades, irrespective of what Boeing and Airbus produces, there will be a market for it.
Pranay Sonalkar, Waterville, USA

Fantastic news, fantastic job. Better fares and better for the environment; perfect. Boeing's strategy, on the other hand, is doomed to fail: can I take a scheduled flight from Winnipeg to any international destination? No. Not even with today's aircraft, so a new aircraft is not going to put flights on regional routes. Travel today is not about passenger convenience, it's about bucket-shop budget, and this is the way it will stay.
Ken, Pretoria, South Africa

Do any of you really believe that Boeing's 'small' aircraft will be able to keep flying into tiny airports forever? As oil supplies continue to dry up, low cost air travel will be the first thing to go. Planes like the A380 will use less fuel per person to link us to overseas hubs, where rail will carry us on to other destinations. Try thinking beyond your next short haul beach holiday and the A380 starts to make sense.
Chris, London, UK

I think the A380 has made history in aviation. It is truly a magnificent beast and we have to congratulate the people who were involved in the design, manufacture and the operation of this aircraft. I am sure it will be a pleasure to fly in it.
Anon, UK

Economy is economy whatever plane you are on. As I often fly to NZ from the UK I am only really interested in speed. Given the choice I am sure the public would prefer shorter flight times like the now shelved Boeing Sonic Cruiser started to promise than marginally better leg room.
Richard, London, UK

Congrats to Airbus on an incredible engineering achievement
Boris Forey, Singapore
Congrats to Airbus on an incredible engineering achievement, aviation history has been made and I look forward to travelling on the A380!
Boris Forey, Singapore

I think everyone involved in the A380 project should be extremely proud of themselves. Not only have they created a viable alternative in a very competitive industry, but pulled off an extraordinary engineering feat because they could; even when profit was not assured? A rare thing indeed these days.
Owain Cleaver, Cheltenham, UK

Flying is a necessary nuisance. From start to finish, it is full of inconveniences and inconsistencies. I've found that the smaller the plane and airport, the more enjoyable the flight. The thought of boarding a plane and seeing all those tiny seats, with hundreds of people squeezing down aisles, is not appealing at all.
Andrea, NY, USA

With billions of dollars in government subsidies it is not a surprise that Airbus could create such an aeronautical wonder. I wonder how they're going to get 800 passengers off during an emergency. I used to work for the airlines and a 747 was bad enough when there was a weather or mechanical delay. I can't even imagine having to rebook or overnight a plane load this large.
N Brian, WV USA

I cannot understand all the negative comments on this page. We should be proud that our country has played such a vital role in the building of this revolutionary aircraft. This is a day we should celebrate. Our country makes precious little these days, but we sure played an important part in building this beauty.
Tim, UK

As a child I used to dream of a plane this big - I even made Lego versions of them
Michael, London
The A380 is an incredible aircraft. As a child I used to dream of a plane this big - I even made Lego versions of them. I hope to be one of the first to fly on it.
Michael, London

Passenger by passenger this aircraft will be cheaper than older planes - the benefits of economies of scale. If aviation fuel is hit hard by the Kyoto protocol, I predict the A380 running between major cities will reign supreme where shorter haul routes will bear the brunt.
Alex Knibb, Bristol

This is brilliant. It should bring down fares and make foreign travel all the more accessible. It should also mean less flights, therefore being better for the environment. Great vision. Well done all.
Alan, Eynsford, Kent

What an awesome piece of engineering! I don't know how much of a commercial success this venture is going to be, but watching the maiden flight take-off was thrilling!
Nat, York, UK

I believe that the 98 million euros spent on developing the A380 could have been spent on finding alternative fuels or more environmentally friendly engines. This just goes to show that money truly exists when there is an interest and a will. Sadly this interest never correlates to the good of our world.
Chris, Sweden

I applaud the designers and everyone else involved
Keith Horwood, Essex, UK
A marvellous feat of engineering. I applaud the designers and everyone else involved. I hate the negativity shown towards such pioneering technology.
Keith Horwood, Essex, UK

I think this is a real beauty that Airbus had provided to the passenger. I just can wait to be onboard.
Vikas Jagad, India, Mumbai

Will this aircraft really cause problems for people and the environment? As I understand it, there is a new terminal being built at Heathrow to accommodate the A380 so that people can load/unload from both levels at the same time. Also the engines have been built specially fuel efficient. Definitely a good idea for the long haul.
Cliff White, Brussels, Belgium

This shows what fantastic achievements Europe can make if we work together. It's an amazing plane and I would love to fly on it one day. Lets hope the Americans won't get too jealous!
Mathew McRae, Stockport, UK

Tube trains can carry up to 1500 passengers on them. Hundreds of people want to use ticket machines, ticket barriers etc at the same time. If you manage the crowd, you do not get problems. I cannot see 800 people getting off a plane at one time a big problem.
Rhodri, London, UK

If used and configured properly by operators, this plane makes perfect sense for passengers, airlines and the environment alike: more space, communal areas to stand up and walk around in, and the economies of scale working in its favour. I'm hopeful there will be a sensible compromise between fuel efficiency per passenger mile and greater comfort. Obviously the longer-haul the journey, the more the benefits become apparent - flown appropriately it shouldn't need to compete with Boeing's midsized aircraft. And it looks good too.
Matt, UK

It won't revolutionise air travel but will make it more comfortable and affordable
Louis Fong, Taipei, Taiwan
It won't revolutionise air travel but will make it more comfortable and affordable. The A380, will carry passengers 5% farther than Boeing's longest-range 747 jumbo at a per-passenger cost up to one-fifth below its rival's. I am looking forward to trying it !
Louis Fong, Taipei, Taiwan

Firstly I would like to congratulate Airbus because as an aeronautical engineering student I can comprehend the skill require to put something so vast into the air. Secondly I'd like to say that replacing a less efficient aircraft with a more efficient aircraft can hardly be a bad thing. I look forward to the first time I get to fly on it. Over to you Boeing, lets see if you can beat this one.
Chris, London

I think this is another milestone in aviation history. I have been waiting for weeks and searching on the internet for an exact date to when it takes off.
Ali Alizadeh, London

Hopefully long haul flights will get cheaper due to the improved efficiency of this aircraft. At 95 miles per gallon per passenger, it's better for the environment than two 747s! I hope airports get their part sorted out to avoid longer queues.
Graeme, Edinburgh

A great technical achievement but yesterday it took me 25 minutes to get off a 777 at Heathrow once it reached the gate! Let's hope increased capacity planes are matched by increased capacity and efficiency through the rest of the chain.
Andy D, Oxford UK

Imagine the boarding time for this beast
Duncan, Richmond, USA
It will make no difference. For me, I want to get from A to B faster. Airbus and Boeing should be working on a plane that will fly from Miami to London in 3-4 hours, not making the same type of airplanes bigger. Imagine the boarding time for this beast.
Duncan, Richmond, USA

I work as cabin crew on 747s. They seem quite big enough to myself and my colleagues. The thought of having to work on an A380 fills me with dread.
Pete Jones, Hove, UK

This plane is more fuel efficient than the 747 and already has pre-orders that will almost cover the cost of development. Environmentally and financially it already looks like a success. When it comes down to it, the average person will fly the cheapest option possible and this looks like it.
David, Aberdeen

People who think that the A380 is a fuel hungry monster do not know or remember that we owe today's vacation opportunities to the development of the wide-body jets. I hope that the A380 will bring costs down and open up different parts of the world to us. Can't wait to get on it.
Serdar Tufekci, Boston, USA

How much poorer would the world be if Orville and Wilbur Wright had been so negative?
Peter, Preston
So many carping negative comments. If our history had not been filled with visionaries able to see beyond such small minds, then we would now be a Third World country struggling from famine to famine. How much poorer would the world be if Orville and Wilbur Wright had been so negative?
Peter, Preston

I'm not sure the A380 will revolutionize air travel. I suspect we'll still travel in cramped conditions for the lowest possible price. But the A380 certainly puts the European Aerospace Industry back on the world map.
Scott Pett, Yateley, England

I feel very positive about A380. Bigger planes, less pollution, better service (I hope), more people travelling for business or pleasure. What's wrong with all that?
Mo, Bristol, UK

In general I think it is a good thing. I disagree with some views where tax will make this a non-viable solution. Would you rather have five low cost airlines flying five full planes to the same destination or one carrying all? The disadvantage I see is airport space. With security now at boiling point in the UK and all over the world, this will make airports totally unbearable for the passenger, let alone the management. I foresee four to six hour check-in times before your flight leaves.
JC, London

This is a fantastic example of European engineering
Andy Eastham, Swindon, England
This is a fantastic example of European engineering. It has lower fuel burn, longer range, less noise and lower emissions than the current model 747. Over its production lifetime, it should bring $300,000,000 to Europe that would have otherwise gone to the US.
Andy Eastham, Swindon, England

Why are so many people negative about such an amazing engineering achievement? Just because it can hold 800 doesn't mean it has to, however if 800 people are flying somewhere, surely it is better, more efficient, more environmentally friendly etc to do it on one plane not two. I don't see the difference between two queues of 400 versus one of 800. It obviously isn't the answer to everything but has a part to play, and should be celebrated as a fine European achievement!
Peter, Sheffield, UK

Terrific. I think it's the better way to go, at least for long distance. If the fuel consumption really is less than for the 747 then obviously it has less of an impact on the environment. I think everybody agrees that it's better to have five people in one larger car than in five smaller cars, each going to the same place. And a little bit longer of a waiting time, so be it.
Christian, Austria

I disagree with the comments that people will choose to travel from their local airports and not need a plane such as this. As a regular traveller fro Manchester, I know that unfortunately, the big airlines are structuring themselves to operate form hubs such as Heathrow, Paris, Amsterdam and Frankfurt. If the airlines have already lost the will to operate "point to point", an aircraft such as this must be a winner
David, Manchester England

It will only impact air travel if it's allowed to be used in the US! I remember a similar Anglo-French consortium building a "unique" airliner only to be a commercial flop because it was not permitted in US air space for a number of years. Somehow I don't think Airbus has the same lobbying power as the US manufacturers.
Richard Crossley, Athlone, Ireland

The 747 is 40-odd years old, so it is about time there was a replacement
Richard Rose, Solihull, UK
Some years ago I had a fleeting involvement in the fuel system for this aircraft, and I know a lot of people still working in this area. The aircraft uses less fuel than a 747, is quieter, and even in the most likely 540-seat configuration emits less pollution per passenger-mile. The 747 is 40-odd years old, so it is about time there was a replacement. Well done Airbus.
Richard Rose, Solihull, UK

The concerns expressed below are just the same as those expressed when the 747 first flew in 1969. Thirty six years later everyone takes 747's for granted.
Alex, Aylesbury, UK

Putting the fact that I am a Boeing aerospace engineer aside, I must first congratulate Airbus engineers for making this possible. In the spirit of technical prowess, my hat's off to you. However, if the plane didn't carry its enormous price tag I'd say it'd be a hit with emerging markets with densely packed population centres. On the other hand, Boeing's products are geared towards fragmentation of the commercial aerospace market. It is clear the hub-and-spoke method of flight will only continue on international flights in the future ... so I believe Boeing's plane will do better in the long-run with it's hyper-efficient engines and low-overhaul design.
Patrick McCormick, Saint Louis, USA

Absolute triumph! Almost twice as many passengers in a marginally larger plane than the 747 due to the excellent idea of having two floors. Check in and collecting baggage? What's your problem? No different from two 747s arriving at the same time as happens all the time at the moment. Less flights and a much more economical miles per gallon per passenger must be good for the environment too. Contrary to the suggestion that fuel tax (which is long overdue) will kill this plane, higher fuel charges will enable this aircraft to shine above others.
John, London

I hope there's a vacant spot, in the museum, next to the Concorde. This aircraft will be there very soon! Typical European misjudgement. The inferiority complex that spurs this type of project is really quite pathetic. Good thing that a third of the project was funded by EU governments, as a real business would need to ensure there is profitability involved.
Michael, USA

I am surprised at the comments about environmental impact. The A380 uses less fuel per passenger mile. This means less environmental impact per passenger mile. This will hopefully signal the end of the hopelessly fuel inefficient Boeing 747-400 and its sardine-like seating arrangements
Eric Parsonage, Adelaide Australia

The newly launched Airbus A380 shall have far reaching impact on air travel especially on trans Atlantic and intercontinental long haul flights. The mighty plane has already sent shocking waves to its biggest rival Boeing. Its emergence shall have a positive impact on both the airline as well as the aviation industries by providing healthy competition and better service in effect to ordinary passengers like me. For sure, A380 shall completely revolutionize air travel for many more decades to come based on the old American proverb "Bigger is Better"
Aamir A. Salaria, St. Louis, Missouri - USA

Typical British cynicism. A piece of engineering like this comes along once every 50 years. It's a great achievement. It's quieter and more fuel efficient than any other plane, which is a consequence of it being new. It will more than likely serve to limit the number of flights rather than reduce the current levels. The alternatives are skies more congested with smaller planes. I'm sure specific terminal configurations will limit congestion on the ground. Well done Airbus, Well done Europe!
Steve Glenister, London

Just because something can be done is not a reason to do it
John, Windermere, Florida
Like the Concorde, the A380 is the answer to a question no one is asking and a business problem no one is facing. Just because something can be done is not a reason to do it. Russia and the US have larger freight aircraft but no desire to load them with human cattle.
John, Windermere, Florida

More pollution, more global warming and more countryside ripped up to provide massive runways. At a time when we need to be cutting our fossil fuel use we're building super jumbos.
Peter, London, UK

Congratulations to Europe on a magnificent achievement. I look forward to visiting there more frequently now that cheaper travel is about to come down under!
Stephen Fox, Sydney Australia

Even if it is quieter than the 747 (and I have my doubts) it'll still mean less sleep for those living near major hubs like Heathrow. 50% more seats simply means 50% more noisy connecting flights to keep the A380s filled to capacity.
Marc Brett, Hounslow, West London

Fantastic. I can't wait to fly in one. This a real achievement for European collaboration - what a shame the nay-sayers are out already...
Gavin, Brent Knoll, England

No difference whatsoever. The A380 won't see 500 passengers in complete comfort, rather 900 in sardine-like conditions.
Dave Bowling, Pontefract, UK

Sim, Plymouth, UK

This is just an opportunity to destroy the planet faster than before
Jon, Leic, UK
As far as I am concerned, this just means more pollution. Planes are the biggest polluters of them all. When will the government start taxing airlines for their fuel? This is no great fete for humans, this is just an opportunity to destroy the planet faster than before. Now a green plane, that would be a talking point.
Jon, Leic, UK

In this day and age they should be thinking about making planes as fuel economic as possible.
Dave Walker, Leicester

Good Luck to the A380! Can't wait to see it at Filton. I worry though that if the A380 is just a bigger cattle shed full of people then the airlines will have missed a trick: they could improve profits AND comfort with the A380. As a frequent flyer I know which airlines are more comfortable to fly with - and the price is rarely much different. I hope the A380 really does raise the bar for all classes of travel.
Nigel, Bristol

I'm surprised at all the negative comments. This is the first major development in air travel since the launch of the 747 (yes, I know Concorde has come and gone since then). It brings air travel into the 21st century - I'm looking forward to flying in it at the first opportunity! As for the effect on the environment, which do you think is worse - a single A380 or a fleet of jumbos?
Harry Lee, London, England

This is the most exciting thing to happen to European industry for decades
Richard I Stone, Lowestoft, UK
This is the most exciting thing to happen to European industry for decades. I remember shedding tears when the last Concorde flight took place but now have a renewed joy in my heart for European aviation. I will be praying everyday for a chance to fly on the new A380 at least once before I die.
Richard I Stone, Lowestoft, UK

Two aircrafts carrying 450 passengers each will be safer than one super jumbo carrying 840 passengers, if a disaster should occur.
Agha Ata, Houston, USA

I hope that the increased fuel economy of this aircraft is offset by a higher tax on all aviation fuel around the world so that passenger volumes do not increase (due to cheaper flights), but that total COČ emissions decrease instead.
Peter, London

There has never been a design of passenger aircraft yet that has not crashed on a fare paying flight. I hope the emergency services (and insurers) are prepared for the time when this one does too. Small is beautiful.
TW, UK

Just imagine having to arrive at the airport four hours in advance for checking in
Gerard Tranquille, Geneva, Switzerland
Great technological achievement, but that's all. Just imagine having to arrive at the airport four hours in advance for checking in. Then wait forever for your luggage at your destination only to have to get on another plane to finally arrive where you wanted to go. Total madness!
Gerard Tranquille, Geneva, Switzerland

EADS (European Aeronautic Defence and Space Company) have produced a wonderful machine, capable of transporting many people. They also produce many wonderful weapons including Ground-Based Air Defence systems designed to take out aircraft. I hope their own destructive creations are never used against the airbus, which will soon be the largest airborne civilian target.
Martyn Croft, Birmingham, UK

This aircraft looks great and I think will be the plane of economic choice if the cost of fuel continues its forever upward trend. I do feel though as there is a question mark over its potential for dramatic micro climatic change due to the large concentrated amount of COČ it will produce at airports. We may be heading towards heat wave summers quicker as a result.
Stephen Sharp, Huddersfield

As someone who works in the airline industry, I hope this encourages people to take more pride in air travel and have some "prestige" put back into the airline industry as opposed to people thinking it is so wonderful to fly to Europe for 1p on a low cost airline, or more importantly that this is even possible.
Tania, Edinburgh

Will the airports spend the millions to accommodate them? A380 may wind up with only a handful of places to land.
ray Cronin, Melbourne, Fl, USA

The A380's success will depend on the price of the ticket
Piers Catton, UK
With the possible exception of Concorde nobody travels these days to fly on a specific aircraft people just book tickets to destinations. The A380's success will depend on the price of the ticket - if it is cheaper it will be successful if not then it won't. It is also the route that is important - Cathay Pacific have two flights from Hong Kong to Heathrow most days that fly about 10 miles apart as one takes off about 30 minutes before the other - the A380 could do the job of both these aircraft but if it isn't cheaper for the customer it won't work. On the other hand a great piece of engineering and all those involved in developing it should be very proud - nice to see the RR engines once again - one of the last UK engineering companies that makes you feel proud to be British !
Piers Catton, Blandford Forum, UK

Well done to the BBC, lots of coverage but not a mention of those Rolls Royce Trent 900 engines pushing it skywards.
Mick, Derby

I love aeroplanes and this is an emotional and revolutionary day, like Concorde's last flight and Titanic's maiden journey.... I hope nobody has bragged that it is indestructible. I am just amazed at how something so large can stay in the air. I wouldn't want to fly in it myself.
Sophia Rentzing, Israel

What a magnificent sight. A truly amazing aeronautical engineering feat. I look forward to seeing it in full operation. Well done and congratulations to all those involved. Let's just hope airports can cope with everything that comes along with such a big aircraft.
Helen, Bristol, UK

There is no doubt that the Airbus A380 would revolutionize air travel with its speciousness which would allow space for more services on board and the economies is scale (size) that it would engender.
Osuagwu, Kuwait

Disappointing that your feature on the Airbus A380 maiden flight doesn't mention the Rolls-Royce produced Trent 900 engines.
A J Stanley, Derby

It is an absolute triumph for engineering
Stefan P, London, England
It is an absolute triumph for engineering. I can't wait to fly in one. I echo the sentiment about greater comfort for all passengers, which with airlines such as Emirates, Virgin Atlantic and Singapore, is not an issue anyway. Oh, and one thing to the BBC team, would you please for once leave out the constant "Boeing doesn't believe in this big thing anyway" reminders? Why attempt to mute the enthusiasm for this new plane by constantly bringing Boeing into this?
Stefan P, London, England

Wow! Can't wait to take my first flight!
John R, Sydney

Major airports like Heathrow just cannot cope with current aircraft designs; there are too many planes. You need to keep large distances between planes to avoid serious wake turbulence, and air traffic control with so many aircraft is truly a nightmare at best. The best solution is having aircraft with larger passenger capacity. The A380 should make it slightly easier for air traffic control and for airports to cope in the future; that is the only way that the increasing demand on air travel can be handled with; at least for long-haul flights. It can definitely fly; massive military aircraft such as the C-5 Galaxy and Antonov-255 already exist, and they fly very well with very heavy payloads. I just hope that they make the seats slightly more comfortable, although it can't really get any worse than we have with the 747, or else nobody would buy the aircraft. The A380 definitely seems like a perfect solution.
Mark, Portsmouth, UK

If I ever fly in an A380 it will be in economy class, so I will only notice an improvement if they provide more legroom, staff, toilets, etc.
John, Swindon, UK

It seems that British people on this board are desperately pessimistic, they don't have crazy projects anymore. This is more than a plane, it's a sign that European's technology is still something. In France, we all hope that it will be a great achievement. We even don't think about a failure.
Luc, France

This is an absolute triumph for British and European manufacturing. It will contribute billions of pounds to the UK economy and support 100s of companies throughout the UK. Let's hope it really takes off!.
Paul Ratcliffe, Sheffield UK

Who wants to be caged up with 800 other people for endless hours? Not me for one. The 747 experience is great - and enough to bear, but a third more people crammed into a little more space. No thanks.
Linda, Lancashire, UK

It will do nothing for air travel unless airports extend their runways to accommodate the A380
John, San Antonio, TX, USA
The plane is certainly a marvel of engineering. However, it will do nothing for air travel unless airports extend their runways to accommodate the A380. As most airports are in heavily developed areas the cost is prohibitive. This has been discussed in the US and most major airports are not about to shell out the money to accommodate a plane that does not make up the bulk of their business; perhaps European airports will be more willing to pay. Unless this problem is addressed promptly this could prove to be a huge financial blunder, and the plane may end up being marketed as a military troop transport.
John, San Antonio, TX, USA

Airbus, Arianespace and ESA together are sewing up the skies, orbit and space. It's hard to see another country or continent providing stiff competition for the next decade. A very proud moment for all Europeans.
Matt, Amsterdam, The Netherlands (ex-UK)

As a long-haul airline pilot my concern is that with perhaps 600 passengers onboard for an increased flying time the chances for disruption are substantially increased. It only takes one critically ill passenger to necessitate a diversion - to which airport? It will fly over long distances over remote areas. Even in a 747 one's choices are limited; what about this leviathan? I would dread the prospect of taking 600 passengers into an emergency airfield in Siberia.
Mark McEvoy, Sydney, Australia

I wish innovation in aircraft was matched by innovation on the ground. Ever growing queues shuffling towards the check-in desk puts me off air travel.
David, Halkirk, Scotland

The A380 will be able to carry more passengers, more cheaply, and if you look at the fast growing economies of the Far East, with their increasing desire and ability to travel then in that region alone there is vast potential for long term A380 sales.
John, Northwich, UK

Still not a patch on Concorde...
James Murphy, Dorset

This is the most important new aircraft since Concorde took its maiden flight
Rich, Coventry, UK
This is the most important new aircraft since Concorde took its maiden flight. It's also a clear message to the US and euro sceptics what can be achieved when Europe works together!
Rich, Coventry, UK

Airlines will be unable to resist the temptation to cram in as many passengers as possible and, of course, facilities will be minimal (forget those mock-ups of possible interiors you saw in the newspapers). Passengers will fly just once on one these behemoths and, after joining a queue of thirty people for the lavatory and waiting three hours for gone-cold airline food, will swear "never again". Oh, and just imagine the queues at immigration. And another thought, just imagine the outcry when one of them crashes.
John Lamble, Cambridge, UK

I hope that it will make it a bit more environmentally friendly. If you can have one flight with an A380 instead of two with existing planes it may well help.
Chris Q, Bradford, England

It will be great for airlines' profits and miserable for passengers. There will be less direct flights and more connections as these planes are too big for most airports. Waiting at gates is already a crush and will just get infinitely worse. There will be more delays as a larger number of passengers per plane means more selfish idiots who can't be bothered to get to the departure gate on time. It will take longer to load and unload passengers. And you can bet your bottom dollar the on-board experience will be no better and no cheaper than with current aircraft. This is a great day for Airline shareholders but not for passengers.
Graeme, England

The A380 is an engineering marvel. It will allow the world to travel more freely and efficiently. It can go from London to Sydney in one flight instead of two or three - it is a revolution in air travel. Airbus took a risk, used advanced materials and cutting edge technology then applied the best brains in the world and it has paid off. I work for a rival aerospace company and the idea from Boeing to building more medium sized planes is just stupid as the market is simply saturated with cheap, small and medium sized planes. I look forward to my next trip to Australia on a double-decker (plane that is!).
James O'Brian, Glasgow, UK

All this money has been spent on making high passenger-capacity planes when I think the industry needs to address anti-terrorism concerns and prevent further atrocities.
James Anthony, Nantwich, Cheshire

The Airbus will revolutionise the way we travel. It will also attest to the fact that technology has come a long way, and is improving more and more. We have seen twin-deck buses, trains and now, airplanes. The airbus posses a serious challenge to other aircraft makers.
Omorodion Osula, Boston, USA

The impact of the A380 on air travel remains to be seen. Its impact if one crashes can only too easily be imagined.
David Anderson, Wakefield, West Yorkshire

What time will you need to check in before an 840 person flight? About 24 hours I should think.
Giles Clinker, London, UK

Why would I drive 6 hours to Heathrow to catch an A380 when I can catch a smaller plane 4 hours closer at Manchester?
Simon Sheil, Cleator Moor, UK
In my opinion this aircraft will make very little difference. Why? Because people increasingly want to fly from local airports direct to their destination. In this case smaller planes are needed. Why would I drive 6 hours to Heathrow to catch an A380 when I can catch a smaller plane 4 hours closer at Manchester? Also consider the growth in the airline industry, it is not the airlines with the big planes, it is the low cost airlines, and look at the planes they are running.
Simon Sheil, Cleator Moor, UK

Don't forget that sooner or later, we need to start taxing aviation fuel to meet the Kyoto protocol and whatever comes after. For this reason, I think the A380, being the huge beast it is, will only be successful in the short term. I think that Boeing's smaller aircraft will be much more suited to a world in which the climate and energy problems we speak of now start to manifest themselves.
Andrew, Stafford, UK

Queues at airports are bad enough, but can you imagine the chaos and queues at check-in, security, immigration and baggage reclaim when the equivalent of three jumbo jets depart/land all at once? 800+ people who've been stuck in a cramped space for many hours all arriving at the same time - horrendous thought! The only impact this plane will have on me is that I won't fly in it, and I'll fly airlines that offer the (smaller) Boeing alternative.
Brian, UK

Hopefully larger planes will mean fewer flights overall and less pollution
Matt Nailon, Bath Spa, UK
Hopefully larger planes will mean fewer flights overall and less pollution, but would the A380 still be a viable proposition if aviation fuel was taxed at anything approaching the rate of petrol and diesel?
Matt Nailon, Bath Spa, UK

Will probably make no difference to the rest of us, we'll still be sat hunched up at the back, while those with money, or on business, will have a more luxurious time. Are they really going to let us in economy use the bars and facilities up the front?
Andy, St Neots, England

The world has gone stark raving mad. Why do we need such a monster of an aircraft? I despair.
Pam

Looks great, but I'm hoping operators will see it as a plane that can carry a hundred or so more passengers than a 747 and give them all more space, rather than cram in as many as possible.
Antony Shepherd, Croydon, UK

More people on the plane, probably longer queues for the loo and the same sardine-like conditions. Unless, of course, you're paying a huge premium for first-class in which case there'll be more space to while away the hours being treated like a deity.
Jonny, England

The big question for me is whether the economies of scale will stretch to fuel usage. I have deliberately been avoiding unnecessary air travel recently as the facts come to light about the potential environmental affects of increasing use of fuel for planes. Will this use less fuel proportionately, or will it just encourage ever more people onto planes?
Katherine, London, UK

I can't comprehend something so vast staying in the air so long
Karen, Berkshire
I can't comprehend something so vast staying in the air so long. I really do have a bad feeling about this. I'm counting the time until the first disaster is announced.
Karen, Berkshire

I'm just not convinced that it is really needed. With more low cost airlines travelling to more and more destinations I think most airlines would prefer to keep costs down by buying second hand or smaller aircraft. Having said that I hope that it's a success and that it will secure jobs at BAE systems for decades to come.
Dean, Manchester

840 passengers at the check-in desk, 840 passengers waiting at the baggage carousel, 840 passengers queuing at immigration. I can't wait.
Trevor, Cambs, UK

Bigger aircraft equals greater environmental damage (I don't believe it will reduce traffic!) and bigger airports to cope with the volumes. Extra capacity will attract yet more people to travel long haul, which is good for the airline industries and passengers looking for cheaper fares, but the benefits end there.
Andy Millward, Broxbourne, UK

Congratulations to Airbus. I look forward to travelling in greater comfort to Australia from the UK. I hope that the airlines will take this chance to treat all passengers as VIPs, and not just those travelling "up front"!
John Atkins, Bridgwater, England

This will likely turn out to be another white elephant just like Concorde. It's the wrong product for the wrong market at the wrong time. Airlines are going broke and can't afford these planes. They are an irresistible target for terrorists. The prospects of loading and unloading up to 800 passengers at an air terminal is a nightmare. And will the US and others make necessary modifications to air terminals to accommodate these passengers, especially in the US's case in a time of conflict between Airbus and Boeing, the American and French governments, and between the American public and Europe in general? Perhaps China or India will buy some with the profits they've made on jobs and markets they have taken away from Europe.
Mark, USA





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