A380 – a growing presence in North America


It is seven years since the inaugural Emirates A380 flight from Dubai to New York’s JFK airport. That first flight on August 1st 2008 heralded the beginning of a new era in North America – with the A380 gradually replacing older high capacity aircraft on some of the world’s highest demand hub-to-hub routes into the North American continent. And while there are no North American operators of the A380 just yet, North America forms a significant part of the global A380 network.

A snapshot of August 2015 A380 traffic in the USA and Canada

The A380 can be found at nine North American airports, operated by nine different airlines (representing all three global alliances). There are currently 29 routes in operation, with two new British Airways’ routes coming on-line in the coming months – Miami and Vancouver to London Heathrow. Today, there are almost 240 A380 frequencies a week from North America, a 125% increase in just the past two years. Thanks to the A380’s seating capacity, these frequencies generated 500,000 seats during the month of August 2015.

A380 operations focused at Los Angeles and New York JFK 

With operations currently scheduled out of nine North American airports (and the 10th – Vancouver, Canada – will come on line early in 2016) the A380 is not just being operated profitably on the eastern and western seaboards, but also out of major airports in Florida, Texas, Georgia and Virginia. That said, the two largest A380 bases in North America are LAX and JFK. Between them they generate over 70% of all A380 departures in North America. Los Angeles is the largest A380 hub in the region, with 12 daily departures (including triple daily to Seoul and double daily to London). New York JFK comes a close second with 10 daily frequencies, including triple daily flights to both Seoul and Dubai, in addition to a double daily to Frankfurt.

Connecting large hubs and O&D (Origin & Destination) traffic flows

The A380 has been increasingly deployed into North America, doing exactly what it was designed to do: efficiently carrying large volumes of traffic on premium, higher yield routes, connecting large population centers focused at some of the world’s biggest and most runway capacity constrained airports. With global traffic expected to double in the next 15 year period, and an increase in the number of aviation mega cities that will require significant aircraft capacity – there is every reason to suggest that the growth trend in A380 usage into North America will continue unabated.

A diverse customer base

The current A380 orderbook stands at 317 units sold to a diverse mix of 18 customers based in the Asia-Pacific, Middle East and European regions. Since service entry in 2007 with launch customer Singapore Airlines, the A380 fleet has carried over 99 million passengers in well over 2 million flight hours of reliable, fast, comfortable and quiet operations.