ISTANBUL, TURKEY — Emirates Airline president advocates for Airbus' superjumbo despite industry shift.

Emirates Airline President, a staunch advocate of the super-jumbo A380, has reinforced the importance of these double-decker giants despite Airbus ceasing production in 2019 due to dwindling orders. Emirates, Dubai's state-run airline that operates over 100 of these colossal aircraft—surpassing any competitor—intends to maintain its A380s well into the next decade, with retirement starting in 2032.

The executive on Tuesday compared the A380 to a Dyson vacuum cleaner, suggesting its unparalleled capacity to absorb and redirect transfer capacity. With booming travel demand and an increasing number of passengers opting for upgraded cabin spaces, he emphasized that the Emirates A380s are running full and that passengers relish the experience.

He added that crowded airspace and obstacles faced by airports like London Heathrow in expanding runway capacity have amplified the need for large aircraft that can cater to large passenger volumes. On well-trafficked routes, the A380's economies of scale permit it to transport an equivalent number of passengers as two and a half trips by the smaller Boeing 787 jet.

However, this advantage hasn't been widely accepted by other airlines. While travelers enjoy the A380 for its spaciousness and premium features like business-class bars and first-class showers, many operators have deemed it an eccentricity, purchasing it in significantly smaller numbers than Airbus initially expected.

The pandemic further expedited the aircraft’s downfall, with airlines like Air France completely phasing out the A380, and Deutsche Lufthansa AG and Qatar Airways reintroducing it in limited numbers while already planning for the next-generation Boeing 777X and Airbus A350—twin-aisle jets that offer improved fuel-efficiency and easier point-to-point operation.

Despite these realities, the Emirates president proposed creating a lighter, double-deck aircraft capable of carrying 500 passengers, powered by more fuel-efficient engines such as the yet-to-be-released Rolls Royce Plc’s Ultrafan turbine.

Nonetheless, resurrecting the A380 production would be nearly impossible. Airbus has already started converting the final assembly line of the jet at its Toulouse headquarters into a production line for the more profitable A320 family jet.