As Airbus rolled out the A380, the world's largest commercial jet, with the capacity to whisk away as many as 800 passengers (though stylistically configured for a still-hearty 550 flyers) in its beefy double-decker center, two words came to mind: Monster Thickburger.
Yes, I'm talking about the decadent, artery-clogging burger, weighing in with a massivve 102 grams of fat, that CKE Restaurants'
Likewise, you wouldn't expect the aircraft makers to be getting bigger these days. If you go by the rare profitable airlines, such as Southwest
So would it surprise you to hear that Airbus already has orders for roughly 130 of its A380 behemoths -- with that number expected to climb sharply? It shouldn't. Just as the Monster Thickburger has thrived by standing out, the A380 isn't just gluttony embodied in the aviation industry.
The rollout of the monster jets is actually in line with what's happening in the cruise industry. Operators such as Carnival
The A380's size lends itself to more passenger diversions, including retail establishments. Virgin even plans on adding an onboard casino, as well as first-class beds, to its fleet of A380s. These offerings could make the big plane very appealing to a lot of customers.
So, does the A380 signal that thin is no longer in and that fat is where it's at in the world of commercial jets? Not exactly. The plane will make those dreaded international flights from the world's largest cities more bearable, but the airline industry is still banking on its fleet of compact jets to make shorter flights as cost-effectively as possible. In other words, enjoy the aerial Thickburger -- but in moderation.
Have any pet peeves about flying? Are you looking to fly in an A380, or will you just hop on the most affordable flight you can find? All this and more -- in the Cheap Air Fares discussion board. Only on Fool.com.
Longtime Fool contributor Rick Munarriz has always dreaded the boredom of long flights. He does not own shares in any of the companies mentioned in this story. He is a member of the Rule Breakers analytical team, seeking out the next great growth stock early in its defiance.