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How Can BA compete to SYD without the A380?

How Can BA compete to SYD without the A380?

Old Oct 27, 04, 3:25 am
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How Can BA compete to SYD without the A380?

BA has so far not shown any interest in being a customer of the A380.

I would imagine this is partly due to getting the debt down, and the preference for smaller more versatile equipment eg 777.

However, with VS and QF both using these aircraft in the next five years, it seems odd that an airline the size of BA will not be using these new supersized planes.

For instance several routes have "double departures" eg HKG and MIA where two 747s depart within a few hours of each other.

Surely these would more efficiently be served by larger aircraft given anticipated increased demand which could puch this to a "triple departure" scenario?

Is BA waiting for the next variant (stretched) A380, or for some cheap deals from either ILFC or cancelled orders I wonder?
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Old Oct 27, 04, 3:42 am
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Originally Posted by apudme
Surely these would more efficiently be served by larger aircraft given anticipated increased demand which could puch this to a "triple departure" scenario?
Efficient yes. Convenient the premium/business passenger, no.

Offering a 6 and 9 pm departure to HKG is beneficial - if you take the 6pm you can make it into the office by late afternoon. Take the 9pm and you can finished off a full day in the UK - and you the passenger have the flexibility to choose. Given BA's continued goal of pursuing premium pax, I would suggest that being able to offer a good frequency is as an important consideration as CASM.
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Old Oct 27, 04, 4:17 am
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Originally Posted by Swanhunter
Efficient yes. Convenient the premium/business passenger, no.

Offering a 6 and 9 pm departure to HKG is beneficial - if you take the 6pm you can make it into the office by late afternoon. Take the 9pm and you can finished off a full day in the UK - and you the passenger have the flexibility to choose. Given BA's continued goal of pursuing premium pax, I would suggest that being able to offer a good frequency is as an important consideration as CASM.
Yes, I see the point on frequency.

However, I think frequency is not so much the issue, as I am really trying to say that if the number of travellers increased to the extent that, say, both 747s were leaving full, and yields supported a third flight, then you have the scenario of three or more 747 planes leaving quite close together, when perhaps two A380s would do the job better, and more cost effectively for the airline, without sacrificing frequency of depature.

Are there any examples (likely pre-9/11) of three 747 services for long haul (non JFK) flights) departing within a few hours of each other?
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Old Oct 27, 04, 4:46 am
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Originally Posted by apudme
Are there any examples (likely pre-9/11) of three 747 services for long haul (non JFK) flights) departing within a few hours of each other?
Only ones I can think of this the wave ex SIN (2 x BA 747) and HKG on the return where there are 2 or 3.
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Old Oct 27, 04, 7:38 am
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Without a doubt, the bank of SE Asia depature spring to mind, as well, perhaps, as SAfrica. But then again, probably the most frequent LH service, NYC, seems so make so much more sense as an hourly service, rather than a 'huge plane 4 times a day' service.
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Old Oct 27, 04, 7:56 am
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As I understand, airlines are limited to add additional flights at LHR as there is not enough slot capacity. The new terminal will of course not change the situation - but maybe attract even more passengers.

1.) The A380 would help an airline to grow as more passengers can be transported on a flight.

2.) Replacing e.g. 3 B747s with 2 A380s would free a slot. The slot could be used for new routes.
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Old Oct 27, 04, 8:08 am
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I think BA could use the A380 to 'grow' a number of routes, perhaps by replacing one of the two 747s per night from, for example, HKG, with an A380.

Unfortunately, this sort of strategy would not necessitate a large order, so there's unlikely to be any incentive from Airbus' p.o.v (apart from prestige of having BA as a customer) and BA are not particularly interested in "being the launch customer for anything."

(Apart from the 777-200IGW, Concorde, Tristar and the 757!)
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Old Oct 27, 04, 11:19 am
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If the rumors behind the news are true (that Airbus intends to solve the '380's weight problem by replacing copper wiring with aluminum), I won't set foot on one.
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Old Oct 27, 04, 11:34 am
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Gee, a lot of assumptions here:

1) That VS for example will be operating this a/c in five years time (last I heard they were in fact delaying).

2) That the a/c actually fulfills its range and efficiency goals (many recent a/c such as the A340 and MD11 did NOT do so with their first versions).

3) That aside from 4 or 5 routes which BA flies that there is the necessity of this a/c (hell BA dumped 747's for 777's because of certain downturns in traffic). It's more than just buying some planes, its maintanence, training and a bunch of other issues in adding a new fleet type.

4) That passengers will even like the a/c (unless you believe that airlines will actually put in health clubs and all the other carp promised in the mock up).
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Old Oct 27, 04, 11:34 am
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I understand that a major factor in BA staying well away from the 380 is that Rod has sworn blind to the city that BA won't consider new planes until they've got the debt a long way down.
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Old Oct 27, 04, 11:38 am
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Originally Posted by hfly
4) That passengers will even like the a/c (unless you believe that airlines will actually put in health clubs and all the other carp promised in the mock up)
^ The 380 will be hell in cattle class and probably not a lot better in biz, 777 J cabin gets enough complaints, imagine the 380 version!
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Old Oct 27, 04, 12:55 pm
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Originally Posted by LH738

2.) Replacing e.g. 3 B747s with 2 A380s would free a slot. The slot could be used for new routes.
But because the A380 is so large its not quite that simple because of the increased threat from wake turbulence - larger planes create more, so need increased spacing between them to prevent wake turbulence - so for example the spacing between a 747 and a narrow body could be 4 minutes - for a 380 it could be 5 or 6 minutes, so the runway capacity is actually decreased by having 380s in the mix. Mixed mode ops might help this, as departing aircraft are most at risk IIRC, but I'm not sure how much by.
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Old Oct 27, 04, 1:01 pm
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Given the current weight problems with the A380, BA may simply be waiting to see what happens. I have heard that Virgin delayed/downgraded their orders not only because of the LAX problem, but also because of the weight problem. My father, who has been in aviation for 35 years, calls the extra few percent above planned weight as an "absolute catastrophe" for Airbus if not solved properly and on time.

What is wrong with Al vs. Cu wiring, by the way? Not conductive enough?

Additionally, replacing two 747s with one A380 is not really the same for a few reasons (and this is just my inexperienced and relatively uninformed opinion mind you):

1) Frequency issue already brought up here. I cannot wait for the 7E7 to fly long-haul on a small aircraft (maybe) with options to fly several times a day (although maybe not to LHR given the persistant slot problem).

2) Two aircraft gives the airline flexibility in its schedule, able to vary loads by season and days of the week. CPT, for example, will have two daily flights only 6 days/week, and YCR will get extra flights in busy summer months. Imagine, also, if the one BA flight to Hong Kong or JNB is cancelled... what a disaster that will be. With two 747s, there is still the possibility of moving around pax more easily.

3) Some routes are better served by a few smaller aircraft than by one enormous aircraft. Two 747s is still (slightly) greater capacity than one A380, but two A380s might be too much for one route.

4) The sheer size of the A380 may put off some pax. Why do you think we all of this board would kill to have a seat upstairs on a 744? I would only because it is small, private etc. etc. The term "cattle class" will truly have meaning in Y on an A380, and J might merely become an improved version of cattle class.
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Old Oct 27, 04, 1:07 pm
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I believe BA has publicly indicated concerns about 380's boarding/turn-around times.

And best reason of all -- it's hideously ugly.
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Old Oct 27, 04, 1:13 pm
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Originally Posted by Alpha Golf
And best reason of all -- it's hideously ugly.
Oh gos yes... it is, isn't it?

It looks extremely fat, with little stubbly wings, and I have trouble imagining being able to gain enough speed to lift off without becoming winded. It is greatly in need of the Atkins diet I believe, and some time in the pool.

The 747 is much more beautiful... long and slender body, with a beautiful profile and commanding nose, with long wings and a perfectly proportioned tail. The extended upper deck was a great improvement as well. The 747 was recently included on a list of "10 most beautiful industrial designs" by a magazine I read or show I watched, I forget now.
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