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Consolidated "Airbus 380 - problems and discontinuation" thread

Consolidated "Airbus 380 - problems and discontinuation" thread

Old Aug 10, 2014, 6:19 pm
  #16  
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Originally Posted by wco81
So what are the Long haul routes that the 787 are flying that the A380 is shut out of?
Any "long, thin" route between two second-tier cities, or from a hub to a minor outstation, is a candidate for the 787 but not the A380. The A380 is of very limited utility for the same reasons the 747 is going out (and the new 748 is not selling). People across the eastern US don't fly to JFK to board a 747 to London. They fly 757s, 767s, and 777s CLT-LHR, PHL-LHR, RDU-LHR, etc.
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Old Aug 10, 2014, 7:03 pm
  #17  
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Originally Posted by Kagehitokiri
are numbers discussed elsewhere? not in their financials?
You quote my statement, then quote the article that supports my statement. Are you asking something?

There is far from the first article on A380 financials, and break-even production is often discussed - abut 450, with 250-270'ish currently booked.
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Old Aug 10, 2014, 7:16 pm
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Originally Posted by writerguyfl
What always seems to be missing from this conversation is the infrastructure costs associated with retrofitting existing facilities at airports. I haven't read or worked up a cost-benefit analysis of doing these types of airport improvements, so I'm not saying it's a bad investment. Still, the A380 comes with extra costs to the public entities that run airports here in the US.

I never understood the mindset of the A380 designers with regard to this issue. Standardization exists for a reason. A car maker would never design a vehicle that is wider than the generally accepted width of traffic lanes.
The article does discuss the upgrade costs, although it doesn't quantify them to any great degree. I agree with the remarks upthread that the piece lands somewhere between agitprop and advocacy journalism, but that's typical of the NYT.

To your second point, there's a legal limit on how wide automobiles may be. And ships are most definitely designed and built wider than the Panama Canal...one of several reasons the canal is being widened. FWIW..
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Old Aug 10, 2014, 7:44 pm
  #19  
 
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Originally Posted by Swissaire

Someday I will get the chance to travel using the Boeing Dreamliner, which I also look forward to.

I've flown on both aircraft and my vote goes to the A380 for overall comfort-- personal opinion only. Only downside is if travel in coach, will take much longer to get on and off this plane.
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Old Aug 10, 2014, 7:50 pm
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Originally Posted by China Clipper
To your second point, there's a legal limit on how wide automobiles may be. And ships are most definitely designed and built wider than the Panama Canal...one of several reasons the canal is being widened. FWIW..
Well, the lane width comment was more of an analogy than a reality. Although, the New Panamax container ships is a good example of how private corporations can force public infrastructure spending. By me, Port Everglades (which is part of country government) is spending billions so the massive ships can bring foreign-made products to the US more efficiently. As with airport infrastructure, I've not done enough research to say whether spending public money to expand our ports is a wise investment.
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Old Aug 10, 2014, 7:54 pm
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Originally Posted by BearX220
Any "long, thin" route between two second-tier cities, or from a hub to a minor outstation, is a candidate for the 787 but not the A380. The A380 is of very limited utility for the same reasons the 747 is going out (and the new 748 is not selling). People across the eastern US don't fly to JFK to board a 747 to London. They fly 757s, 767s, and 777s CLT-LHR, PHL-LHR, RDU-LHR, etc.
Having flown the 380 several times and book on Emirates this fall FC to Dubai I am a fan of the 380. It's smooth quiet and perfect for long haul point to point international travel. Having said that it does a limited operational aircraft in that like the SST there are only so many airports and routes it works on. The 787 on the other hand is multi dimensional in that it can easily go where the 380 can not. It appears Boeing made the proper decision.

Still like flying the 380. AF does a great job on it.
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Old Aug 10, 2014, 8:03 pm
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Originally Posted by relangford
. Airbus does have the advantage of European taxpayer support in their commercial line.
Unlike Boeing who had $5bn of US subsidies for the 787 and other aircraft deemed illegal by the WTO then?
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Old Aug 10, 2014, 8:21 pm
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I wouldn't call it an catastrophe and it's quite an beautiful aircraft. However it's use is quite limited. I think a lot of people would agree they'd rather have a couple flights a day at different times than one big plane that hauls everyone at a time that isn't convenient for everyone.
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Old Aug 10, 2014, 8:30 pm
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Unlike Boeing who had $5bn of US subsidies for the 787 and other aircraft deemed illegal by the WTO then?
I wasn't getting into the Airbus vs. Boeing WTO arguments/counter-arguments (BTW, Airbus was ALSO hit with fines, and it wasn't specifically for the B787); I was saying that the specific model A380 could have some losses made up by the taxpayers.
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Old Aug 10, 2014, 8:44 pm
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It is entirely possible that the A380 may prove a success for airlines who take it up and a failure for the manufacturer. It wouldn't be the first aircraft to be so.
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Old Aug 10, 2014, 9:04 pm
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It's still too early to say on the A380. The aircraft was designed at a time when the market was booming and entered into service when there was a crash.

Its nearest competitor the 747-8 has had an even worse time in the market, and really hasn't seen any decent take up at all.

The A380 will be on sale for some time to come, and even if the product just breaks even there will be technical developments within the design that will help Airbus/Engine OEMs and systems OEMs with future designs. This benefit is often overlooked by the papers.

I personally don't think that there should be comparisons between the 787 and the A380. Each aircraft has its own niche that they are trying to fill. A closer comparison to the 787 is the A330 or XWB (depending on the route).

The A380 is designed for high capacity slot limited routes, it is no surprise that Heathrow has the largest number of A380 operators - it is the only way that Heathrow can increase passenger numbers whilst still retaining its decent route network.
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Old Aug 10, 2014, 9:17 pm
  #27  
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Article did note that Airbus' 787 competitor (A350) has something like 750 orders, more than double what the A380 has but still well under the 1000 orders for the 787.

But I don't see the big hubs losing any more traffic over time. Maybe it'll be the 787 and the A350 which serves those hubs rather than the A380.
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Old Aug 10, 2014, 10:22 pm
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I absolutely love this airplane, but it's all in the implementation. Flying on SQ, the experience is hard to match. It's not only optimized for high volume medium to long haul routes, but specifically ones where a premium can be charged for very good product. While in theory, one could load the whole thing up with coach seats on both levels, where this thrives is where there is a large demand for paid business class seats. There are simply not a lot of routes that need 600+ coach seats, multiple times a day.

With the longest haul intra-continental-US being about 6-7 hours, it's at the low end of what this machine is designed for. It's really for large business population centers well separated geographically. This is why it's the perfect plane for SQ (with extensive routes to Australia, North Asia, the Middle East, and Europe), but not really an ideal fit for UA, DL, or AA, which do the vast majority of business in sub-5 hour chunks.
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Old Aug 10, 2014, 10:33 pm
  #29  
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Success and failure are relative terms, and they require context. I think if the metric is the goals and expectations Airbus had for the A380 when it committed such massive resources to its design and production, it's been a big disappointment. Not a failure, but closer to failure than success.
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Old Aug 10, 2014, 10:34 pm
  #30  
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Originally Posted by lazard
As others have mentioned, the A380 would probably be more popular if more airports had the infrastructure to accommodate the behemoth.
Nonsense. The issue is cost, not only to the airlines, but the manufacturer. As to the former, the cost of operating 4 engine fuel hogs is too great in an era of the 777 and the upcoming 777X and A350. In addition, the after-market for the A380 simply doesn't exist. Where airlines and leasing companies can unload smaller planes on secondary markets in the third world, there is no market anywhere for used A380s, as no secondary markets operate long distance high capacity.

And Airbus will never recover their investment costs. This behemoth cost far more to develop than even the 747-8, which only had to be reconfigured from an existing plane, and which itself is only remaining on the market so the government will buy several as replacements for the current 25 year old Air Force One and backup. Once those sales are in, look for the 747-8 to slowly fade away.
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