U.S. carriers have not ordered a single Airbus A380, Scott McCartney notes, largely because the super jumbo does not fit with the typical strategy of offering travelers the largest possible selection of flights. But as airlines grow their networks through consolidation, "there should be more passengers to fly around the globe," McCartney writes, and that could lead to greater demand for the 500-seat A380. "[S]ome day, maybe aided by mergers and industry consolidation, airlines will reduce congestion, environmental emissions and traveler delays by replacing multiple trips on small planes with fewer trips on bigger planes."

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