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Airports impacted as A380 production winds down

Timescales are relatively shorter in the airline industry, where aircraft can be leased through a variety of measures and easily disposed of. They are relatively longer in the airports business where infrastructural investment in terminals and runways can run to billions of dollars, particularly so where those facilities are not disposable and there is no other use for them.

Now the equation has been turned on its head by Airbus’ decision, 11 and a half years after the aircraft first flew commercially, to end production of the A380 in 2021. The A380 has reverted to its prototype designation from its inception in 1994 – the A3XX. XX for cancelled.

Across the globe, some airports have invested heavily and admirably to cater for the ‘superjumbo’, yet many haven’t. This report examines the airports which host the A380 most frequently and questions which of them got their planning for it right.

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