The Airbus A380 – how it all began

In a special publication on the Airbus A380 in 2020, Mark Ayton detailed how Europe's largest aerospace programme come into being. Mark Ayton goes back to where it all began.

In the early years of the new century, Airbus SE’s goal was to provide aircraft best suited to market needs and to support these aircraft with the highest quality of service. Quite a mission, and one that could only be achieved by product differentiation, primarily with those of the Boeing Company.

Armed with this all-important vision, the Toulouse-based company now seeks to be the number one supplier of quality aircraft of more than 100 seats – not a bad strategy given results for 2019 when Airbus delivered 863 aircraft. Boeing, blighted by the ongoing grounding of the 737 MAX following two tragic crashes, delivered just 380.

Airbus first grabbed pole position in the annual aircraft deliveries race back in 2003. That was a strong performance for the time given the global downturn in air passenger traffic after 9/11 and the continuing conflicts in Afghanistan and Iraq.

Become a Premium Member to Read More

This is a premium article and requires an active Key.Aero subscription to view.

I’m an existing member, sign me in!

I don’t have a subscription…

Enjoy the following subscriber only benefits:

  • Unlimited access to all KeyAero content
  • Exclusive in-depth articles and analysis, videos, quizzes added daily
  • A fully searchable archive – boasting hundreds of thousands of pieces of quality aviation content
  • Access to read all our leading aviation magazines online - meaning you can enjoy the likes of FlyPast, Aeroplane Monthly, AirForces Monthly, Combat Aircraft, Aviation News, Airports of the World, PC Pilot and Airliner World - as soon as they leave the editor’s desk.
  • Access on any device- anywhere, anytime
  • Choose from our offers below