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Demand For Biggest Aircraft Is Softening

A380, 747-8F Demand And Backlogs Are Shrinking

By Jens Flottau, Guy Norris

That the very large aircraft market has its limits has long been recognized by Boeing and Airbus. But five years after entry into service of the Airbus A380 and two years after the Boeing 747-8F was first delivered, even their existing backlogs appear to be partially under threat.

Boeing has listed 108 firm orders and 37 deliveries for the 747-8 and -8F, leaving it with a backlog of just 71 aircraft. The situation looks more comfortable for Airbus, which still has 165 outstanding deliveries for the A380. But, in spite of the wing-rib-feet redesign slowing production next year, its output is still much higher.

One factor also cannot be disregarded in the A380 figures: More than one-third, 62 aircraft, are still to be delivered to the single largest operator of the aircraft, Emirates, which has left no doubt that it will take the outstanding jets as part of its huge expansion plans. But of the 103 other orders, there are several commitments for 23 aircraft with big question marks.

Read the entire article from Aviation Week by clicking here.