Airbus' global market forecast from 2000 predicted 1,235 "very large aircraft" to be delivered to customers between 2000 and 2019. But by January 2019, Airbus had received 313 firm orders and delivered 234 aircraft.
The company's ambitious goal was quickly undermined by the introduction of fuel-efficient offerings such as the Airbus A350 or the Boeing 787 Dreamliner.
The smaller aircraft were lighter and could be driven more efficiently, as the expectation of a steep increase in passenger travel did not occur. It has also been discovered that very few lines can operate the A380 at full capacity.
The timing seems to have been a problem. When the A380 hit the runways of the world, a worldwide liberalization of the air routes, known as "open skies", was in progress. This allowed airlines to downsize and fly more regularly.
Added to this is the rise of the ultra-long-haul flight. The airlines have asked both Boeing and Airbus to develop aircraft that can carry passengers from one side of the world without stopping.