One of us here has a sad about the cancellation of the Airbus A 380 having been in business life a supplier to Airbus. Even one to the experimental side of the organisation where they plan and plot their new products. Yet this is still just markets doing their stuff for us, that process of making us all ever richer:
Airbus has announced it will end production of its A380 superjumbo passenger jet after failing to secure orders – a move that puts UK jobs at risk.
The European aerospace group said it had made the “painful” decision to stop making the world’s largest superjumbo in 2021 after Emirates, the A380’s biggest customer, reduced an outstanding order for 53 planes to only 14.
Emirates will instead order 70 of the smaller A330 and A350 aircraft, underlining the trend towards smaller, more efficient aircraft that made the A380 unsustainable.
The particular thing here being, well, how do we want to fly? Vast numbers of us from one terminus to another? Perhaps with feeder flights into and out of those termini. What is often known as hub and spoke. Collect people from across northern Europe to, say, Frankfurt, then fly them all to Sydney, then disperse them on local flights. Or would we prefer to fly direct from Oslo to Melbourne, Cologne to Perth and so on?
If we prefer that second then we need what is known in the jargon as point to point flights.
Well, obviously, we’d prefer the p to p but at what price?
Boeing put their money on p to p, Airbus on hub and spoke. Which is where our market thing comes in. For before this all started we didn’t know. We didn’t know generally as a society, the people making the planes didn’t know, we passengers didn’t know. Various ideas and inclinations were there, obviously. And the two plane companies certainly tried very hard to find out which was going to be the right answer. That they came to different conclusions shows that there wasn’t any method of actually knowing ahead of time.
Which means doing that market thing. People try it out, suck and see, and then we all decide when we’re faced with real, actual, choices. That is, we’ve got to get to the point where revealed preferences are possible, not just expressed, before we can find out. The market thing being exactly that, people get to try stuff and we all give our verdict by doing or not as we desire.
Sure, the A 380’s a marvelous beast and it’ll be sad to see it go. But as it turned out that’s not what we all wanted, not enough to pay for it at least. That resources are no longer devoted to making what we don’t want means they’re available for something we do, making us richer.