A380s were so fashionable 5 years ago. There was no way you would go to the airport and not see one on the runway (not quite a true fact, but the sentence does have great impact). Truth is that the Airbus A380 was a force to be reckoned with.
The aircraft is beautiful, albeit slightly ‘chubby’. As a passenger, I rather fly on the Dreamliner, but the A380 had a pretty good run until the Dreamliner ascended and Airbus released the A350 – the Dreamliner competition. As demands on fuel efficiency and profitability increased, the A380 slowly began its descent in popularity among the airlines.
Why am I saying this? Because one of my goals for this year is to photograph an A380. I don’t know if it is because Melbourne is so far south that the extra 700 km from Sydney make it a less attractive port to land (remember the fuel efficiency?) or if A380s are really dying, but I struggle to find flights from/to Melbourne that are on A380s. In certain airports, like Dubai, Doha and Abu Dabi, they are probably still very much used, but in Melbourne, it is not common. Qantas, our flagship airline, is slowly replacing all the A380 routes, or creating new ones, with the 787; they just launched the third longest flight in the world: Perth-London. And with as much ambition, they are aiming for New York – Sydney (I think) to beat the London-Perth. The New York to Sydney flight is expected to have over 23 hours in duration.
Yesterday and today I trolled through the arrivals and departures at Tullamarine. I couldn’t even count 3 flights that were on an A380. I later googled “tullamarine A380” and it turns out I was wrong; the total number of flights are 7, according to the iflya380 site. There is a flight to LAX (which will be my flight on Friday) – Qantas; Doha – Qatar; Dubai – Qantas and Emirates; and Singapore – Qantas, Emirates and Singapore Airlines. Not a lot of diverse destinations.
This significantly limits my shooting options. I will either have to be at Tullamarine before 8:45 AM (LAX-MEL and MEL-LAX), or around 6:00PM for the incoming flights from the Middle East and Asia. The scheduling of the session will have to be precise and done in advance.
I write this because I wanted to impromptu go and photograph this weekend the A380 as a way to get me even more psyched up for the trip and reaching the A380 goal, but ended up being a dead end. I will probably go closer to Winter Solstice as that will be a good opportunity to photograph it all light up.
I leave you with the photo of an A380 taken from a site, until I can post my own.
P.S. – The 747 is still the Queen of the Skies.
P.S.2 – As a passenger, the Dreamliner is so far the best aircraft I have flown in. I hear the A350 is great, but have not flown in it yet.
Note: I hold no rights over the featured image, it was taken from the site Business Insider website.