sorry to jump in, but I'd just like to add a bit of info on what makes the A380 special. I'm talking from a business standpoint, not from engineering standpoint (since I'm not).
3 positive unique aspects, and 1 negative one as well... (we need to talk on both sides)
What is A380 for airlines ? obviously, a bigger airplane, which was indeed originally designed to increase capacity at crowded expensive airports (like sbdy said before), while being more fuel efficient, etc; This was the original business interest;
Now from a business standpoint, A380 has three key advantages (call them core competencies, unique abilities,... or what best suits you) :
- it is an excellent plane on secondary airports for airlines, which differentiate him from its equivalents. If sbdy need to go from Munich to Singapore, he doesn't care that much about the timetable, but much more on safety and price.
Therefore, if you can offer an affordable flight from this city, and catch all of your demand in one shot, you tremendously reduce your operating costs (less staff needed, no dedicated counter needed (alliance counter is fine),... please note that the new B747-8 is expected to play a similar role.A380 allows business to serve airports with good demand, but not good enough to develop several stops.
- it is also an excellent marketing tool, probably unique. People actually WANT to fly the A380. The airline I work in did a test for that, by tracing the choices of people on the booking website. When people have the choice for the same day, at 1h30 difference, between a B777-300ER and an A380, 72% of people asked for the A380, although it was 6% more expensive. This makes the A380 unique, altough it is also unique by the mess at boarding...
- it is a damn profit maker, the best one of all airplanes, since the cost per seat is far smaller than on all equivalent aircrafts (i have figures, but sry can't share them since they're confidential). it rationalizes the costs, allows big savings, etc. May sound like nothing, but it is crucial for airlines like us.
And one last point making the A380 unique... (not a good one though)... it is probably a program which won't break even... the most admired plane of world need approx. 520 aircrafts to break even, due to tremendous costs generated by delivery issues. However, Airbus benefits from "success loans". They reimburse them only if they break even, downsizing their delivery point to around 125 a/c. This makes life easier for Airbus.
I love Airbus, I admire Boeing as well. I have no clear preference for the brand, but mainly for the type of a/c. To me, B777 is a GREAT plane, as well as the A330/340.
As for the debate on B777 development time, it was strongly delayed because the plane was too advanced at its first release and did not convince. It was also less well balanced than the current ones. The A340 suffers from the same issues of wrong balance. production lines are being slowed down to stop. The A350 will take over with a fresh breath (might also take over A330, but not so soon I guess ;-) )
Ok, I stop there the long reply. Thank you to those who read me to the end.
Kind regards to all of you, and good luck for your presentation mate.