Airbus SAS’s A380 superjumbo, designed to carry 500 people per flight between the world’s biggest airport interchanges, is carving out an unexpected new market with direct travel to non-hub cities.
Singapore Airlines Ltd., the first company to operate the A380 in 2007, is cutting costs by using the plane to reduce the number of flights to Zurich without slashing capacity. Gulf carrier Emirates has deployed it to Manchester in northern England, adding seats without the expense of extra services.
More than 70 airports are equipped to handle the A380, which has a 262-foot (80-meter) wingspan and is 239 feet long, with Munich and Berlin among non-hubs seeking to secure flights from the five carriers that operate the plane and the 10 others with orders. The development is a boost for the Airbus flagship, which has won only one new airline buyer since it first flew.