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Consolidated "Airbus 380 - problems and discontinuation" thread

Consolidated "Airbus 380 - problems and discontinuation" thread

Old Dec 12, 2014, 5:06 am
  #196  
 
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Originally Posted by eternaltransit
EK like to have a very young fleet (I think the average age is around 6 years at the moment) - with Airbus not supporting the A380, EK might have a problem with values in the secondary market causing them to take a bigger than expected write down in the asset value when it comes to their scheduled replacement. Later A380s operated by EK have shifted this problem onto lessors and investors though, but it's still going to be a hit for their balance sheet.

Unfortunately for EK, they are probably the only operator with the cost base and route network to make the plane actually regularly profitable - whether Airbus are going to build a plane just for one customer...well...!
The plane definitely has a spot between big, slot-constrained, hubs. BA's LHR-SIN and LHR-HKG service are good examples. As well as places where scheduling is less important than moving loads of folks.

I would be shocked if they stopped production because there is certainly a place for the plane and it seems like they can make a marginal profit on each one.

Yeah, the program as a whole may have been a bad decision, but it's a sunk cost unless they can somehow get money for un-developing the plane. The question is how they take the loss, but it seems silly to scrap the whole program over what is essentially an accounting issue. That said, I'm sure they are much more well informed than I and this is all wild speculation.
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Old Dec 12, 2014, 7:28 am
  #197  
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Originally Posted by the4aces
Not to mention it takes awhile to board/deboard it.
I've only flown the 380 once - on AF IAD-CDG - and I thought boarding and debarkation were efficient and not all that much longer than on a 773 or 747.
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Old Dec 12, 2014, 7:45 am
  #198  
 
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Originally Posted by halls120
I've only flown the 380 once - on AF IAD-CDG - and I thought boarding and debarkation were efficient and not all that much longer than on a 773 or 747.
The advantage of boarding both decks simultaneously - 3 air bridges, one for the top deck, and then one for each side of the bottom deck, but of course, this requires terminal investment, which, if the A380 is going to disappear, may not spread to further airports!
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Old Dec 12, 2014, 8:14 am
  #199  
 
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Honestly though, competition with Boeing is the only reason Airbus developed the 380 in the first place. Boeing has dominated the super jumbo market for decades with the 747 and Airbus had plane envy. Like most European automakers nowadays, Airbus thought they needed a plane in every size to have a comparable portfolio.

Unfortunately for Airbus, they read the market wrong. The 380 may "have a place in the market" but I think the current super jumbo market tell us that place could very well be served by ONE plane. Boeing's benefit is that the 747 was developed so long ago and has been paid back so many times over that marginal upgrades to the 747 don't cost much and can be quickly repaid at a much lower break even. Basically, Boeing can afford to keep the 747 in the portfolio much cheaper than Airbus can the 380.

And I think Airbus is finally realizing that fact . . . flown on it many times, it's nice enough. End of the day though, they're all still tubes with wings. Until there's some step change or paradigm shift in aircraft design the experience will be pretty much the same to me.
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Old Dec 12, 2014, 8:30 am
  #200  
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Everyone has their bad days.

The 747-8, on its own, is a commercial disaster with virtually no passenger versions and limited cargo interest. The only lifeline the production line (running at I believe less than 1.5 planes per month) has is a possible selection by the US Air Force as a replacement for the VC-25s, which are now 25 years old.
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Old Dec 12, 2014, 8:42 am
  #201  
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Originally Posted by zarkov505
Y(Open a plastic water bottle at cruise altitude. Drink about half the water. Seal the bottle. Look at it after landing. It will be about half-crushed, because of the lower pressurization at altitude. I do this on just about every flight, just for the fun of it. Except on the 787, it didn't crush!)
...
I was a bit surprised on one thing. The airplane actually seemed smaller than I expected it to be.
That's odd. The 787 cabin is pressurized to 6000 feet MSL. Other planes are 8000 feet. The bottle should still compress.

As for seeming smaller, remember that in terms of fuselage size it is sort of a cross between the 767 and 777, where Boeing wanted a more efficient plane to replace the 767 (16.5' width, 8 across coach seating), but have similar missions closer to a 777 (19.3' width, 9 across..sometimes 10..seating). The 787 fuselage with an 18.9' width and 9 across seating, along with the composite construction, among other things, made that possible.
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Old Dec 12, 2014, 8:49 am
  #202  
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Originally Posted by TMtraveler
Honestly though, competition with Boeing is the only reason Airbus developed the 380 in the first place. Boeing has dominated the super jumbo market for decades with the 747 and Airbus had plane envy. Like most European automakers nowadays, Airbus thought they needed a plane in every size to have a comparable portfolio.

Unfortunately for Airbus, they read the market wrong. The 380 may "have a place in the market" but I think the current super jumbo market tell us that place could very well be served by ONE plane. Boeing's benefit is that the 747 was developed so long ago and has been paid back so many times over that marginal upgrades to the 747 don't cost much and can be quickly repaid at a much lower break even. Basically, Boeing can afford to keep the 747 in the portfolio much cheaper than Airbus can the 380.

And I think Airbus is finally realizing that fact . . . flown on it many times, it's nice enough. End of the day though, they're all still tubes with wings. Until there's some step change or paradigm shift in aircraft design the experience will be pretty much the same to me.
There isn't even room for the 747. Every airline but LH is getting rid of 747s. The limited business from LH is unlikely to keep the 747-8 on the factory line.

It's all about the 777 next gen now.
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Old Dec 12, 2014, 9:29 am
  #203  
 
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Originally Posted by LondonElite
Everyone has their bad days.

The 747-8, on its own, is a commercial disaster with virtually no passenger versions and limited cargo interest. The only lifeline the production line (running at I believe less than 1.5 planes per month) has is a possible selection by the US Air Force as a replacement for the VC-25s, which are now 25 years old.
While the 747-8 is certainly a failure, the money invested is a pittance compared to what Airbus spent on the A380.

Keep in mind that part of the reason for the 747-8 to exist was to deny market share to the A380. Boeing knows the VLA market is small and even stealing a fairly modest number of orders from Airbus would justify the 747-8s existence. Even the very small numbers of 747-8 orders that KE, LH and CA have placed would have represented an additional year+ of production of the A380.
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Old Dec 12, 2014, 9:31 am
  #204  
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Originally Posted by mre5765
There isn't even room for the 747. Every airline but LH is getting rid of 747s. The limited business from LH is unlikely to keep the 747-8 on the factory line.

It's all about the 777 next gen now.
There is more of a market for the 747 than the A380, simply because of its age, and that it fits into many more airports than the 380. But the 4 engine planes are a thing of the past. That's why the 777X is the future of aviation, at least in the long range market. Because maintenance and crew can be so easily merged with existing Boeing products, it makes sense for airlines to choose the 777 over the A350.

Airbus should have put more effort into their short and medium-haul products. THAT'S where a huge market will exist in the coming years. But they wasted so much money on the 380 and other stupid products (the 340 comes to mind) that they neglected to advance their 319-320-321 line, while Boeing was making advances on the world's workhorse, the 737.
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Old Dec 12, 2014, 9:32 am
  #205  
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Originally Posted by FLLDL
While the 747-8 is certainly a failure, the money invested is a pittance compared to what Airbus spent on the A380.

Keep in mind that part of the reason for the 747-8 to exist was to deny market share to the A380. Boeing knows the VLA market is small and even stealing a fairly modest number of orders from Airbus would justify the 747-8s existence. Even the very small numbers of 747-8 orders that KE, LH and CA have placed would have represented an additional year+ of production of the A380.
Rumor is that as soon as the government buys their new Air Force One planes, the 747 line will go away.
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Old Dec 12, 2014, 9:45 am
  #206  
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Originally Posted by flyinbob
Rumor is that as soon as the government buys their new Air Force One planes, the 747 line will go away.
That decision will be soon since the two VC-25's that transport POTUS are based on the 747-200 (granted...very highly modified) and coming up on 30 years in service for the USAF.

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2013-0...placement.html
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Old Dec 12, 2014, 10:41 am
  #207  
 
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The A380 for me is an interesting novelty, because of its size, the double deck boarding and the ways that some premium carriers have tricked it out — Emirates with showers, Singapore with FirstSuites, Ethiad with 'The Residence' and Korean with the lounge. But over time those premium features may evaporate, as the airlines that have them are pressured to get more revenue out of the plane. Remember back when Pan Am launched the 747 in 1969, a big feature was the sit down dining room upstairs for first class. Continental once had lounges on its DC10's, but they were ditched in favor of seats. The gulf carriers may stick with a super premium product up front (or up top), but not so sure with other airlines.

U.S. carriers probably haven't jumped on the A380 because they have a different business model than the gulf carriers or premium Asian carriers. U.S. carriers aren't looking to compete in the super premium space, and don't want to devote an inch of space to anything that won't generate revenue. The Big 3 have a pretty good understanding of the business market that wants lie flat seats with direct aisle access in business class, schedule frequency and inflight connectivity. No Krug champagne or caviar and no super premium lounges or first class terminals. They also deal with a sophisticated managed travel market, with corporate contracts and travel policies that limit if not outright prohibit first class international travel. Large U.S. companies won't pay for Krug champagne and caviar outside of entertainment and finance, so they probably don't see the need for a super jumbo they can trick out in a super premium configuration.
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Old Dec 12, 2014, 11:08 am
  #208  
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Originally Posted by PHL
That's odd. The 787 cabin is pressurized to 6000 feet MSL. Other planes are 8000 feet. The bottle should still compress.

As for seeming smaller, remember that in terms of fuselage size it is sort of a cross between the 767 and 777, where Boeing wanted a more efficient plane to replace the 767 (16.5' width, 8 across coach seating), but have similar missions closer to a 777 (19.3' width, 9 across..sometimes 10..seating). The 787 fuselage with an 18.9' width and 9 across seating, along with the composite construction, among other things, made that possible.
Sounds like 787 would feel more claustrophobic than the 777.
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Old Dec 12, 2014, 11:16 am
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Airbus to build A380neo and A380 'stretch'...

http://www.ausbt.com.au/airbus-confi...d-a380-stretch

Airbus CEO Fabrice Bregier has confirmed plans for an A380neo with more fuel-efficient engines as well as a longer version of the superjumbo – dubbed the A380-900 – capable of carrying even more passengers than today's double-decker jet.....
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Old Dec 12, 2014, 11:52 am
  #210  
 
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Preference for Boeing?

Originally Posted by Purim
The fact that no US carrier has signed on to the A380 - with their woebegone service and preference for Boeing - makes me more sure that the A380 is a success.
If there ever was a "preference for Boeing", it certainly doesn't exist now. Look at new orders of aircraft and see how false your statement is. What actually happened is that the quality of Airbus aircraft has steadily increased over the years, and made airplanes that fit the US market -- A319, A320, A330 (with the notable exception of the A380).

Airlines are one of the most mercenary, capitalist businesses in the world (second only to banks). No airline buys a plane based on "preference". I can tell you from years in the industry it is a very mercenary decision, and the value of an aircraft is considered through it's lifetime and beyond (resale, etc.).

As for gauging success based on unpopularity in the US-- I guess the Il-96 was a runaway hit, since US Airlines never bought one of those, either.

It's great you love the A380, it's a great aircraft, but don't abandon logic because you feel like there's some weird anti-Airbus sentiment in the US.
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