A380 vs B747

Following Airbus decision on A330neo, speculation is now on next steps for A380 with A380neo (see post on May 21st and recent J. Leahy quotes).

To understand A380 situation and potential, we have decided to go back to B747 days and compare both programs.

Hereunder a cumulative sales comparison of A380 and B747 (including all its major versions).

A380vsB747 v3

First of all, A380 sales profile is similar to B747 sales profile in its first years (delta of between 50 to 100 aircraft in favor of B747, around 20%).

Secondly, after period of stagnation, B747 sales increased significantly (« second breath ») with launch of B747-400.

Thirdly, B777 launch affected and canibalized some B747-400 sales: B747-400 sales did not reach 10 units in one year after B777 launch.

In summary, if we base our analysis on B747 experience, A380neo development is an imperative to get a new « sales impulse » for the program. However, depending on B777X success, this upgrade could very well not be enough to significantly increase sales…