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Consolidated "Airbus 380 - problems and discontinuation" thread

Consolidated "Airbus 380 - problems and discontinuation" thread

Old Feb 26, 2019, 6:48 pm
  #361  
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An account of the Qantas deliberations back in 2000 when they decided to acquire A380:

Qantas’ assessment noted the 747X would offer newer 777-style interiors, but major passenger experience innovation would come only from the A380.

“The A3XX due to its larger size and full length upper deck is likely to appear as a more innovative new aircraft compared to the B747X,” management wrote, proclaiming it the future flagship. “The A3XX is more likely to have a positive impact on the Qantas brand in terms of a premium position and technical innovation than the B747X.”

The proposal noted the new cabin “is believed to have been a significant element in the decision by Singapore Airlines to acquire the A3XX.”

The A380 was a new platform for interiors. “The larger size of the A3XX lends itself to even greater flexibility and creativity in seating configurations and cabin space utilisation,” management wrote. In comparison, “The B747X is based on the B747 and represents the limit of improvements for that design.”

The main differences between the proposed spec in 2000 and the rolled-out product in 2008 are the introduction of premium economy and decrease in economy and business seats. Retrofits over the years would increase premium economy, including a substantial addition (35 to 60 seats) in the current retrofit.
They also anticipated that SQ might push aggressively into Australia but it turned out Emirates moved in instead.

https://runwaygirlnetwork.com/2019/0...-a380-in-2000/

The piece mentions that there were suppose to be different engine choices over time? So did Airbus promise that more fuel-efficient engines would become available?

But one big assumption appeared to be $29 oil per barrel being a long-term price.
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Old Jun 4, 2019, 5:45 pm
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Emirates say all its A380s to be retired by the mid 2030s. They take last delivery in 2021.

So after that?

777s, A330-900neo and A350-900s.

https://onemileatatime.com/emirates-a380-retirement/
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Old Aug 17, 2020, 5:27 pm
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Already on the ropes before the pandemic, even existing A380s may not fetch much in scrap value, as airliner traffic isn't expected to recover for several years.

Valuations of a380s have tumbled accordingly. The oldest models have been flying for 12 years or so. At that age, aircraft have typically lost half their value. Given each costs $250m-300m to buy when kitted out, airline accountants might have hoped for $125m. But even before covid-19 appraisers suggested between $75m and $100m. Now some a380s are fetching half what they used to be worth, says Usman Ahmed of Aircore Aviation, a consultancy. The slump is borne out by the accounts of investment funds that own planes and lease them to airlines. A fund called Doric Nimrod Air One recently cut the accounting value of its sole asset, an a380 leased to Emirates, by 51% in dollar terms.

The share prices of listed a380-owning funds suggests the residual values of the planes once the leases expire are between $10m and $15m, says Matthew Hose of Jefferies, an investment bank. Given regular maintenance overhauls of each of the a380’s four engines can cost $6m, existing motors in decent nick are, in principle, worth at least that much. Add the landing gear, also in principle reusable, and that would make the airframe itself worthless. It also signals that even the spares—which in modern planemaking are always aircraft-specific and useless for other models—may not have much value.
https://www.economist.com/business/2...-an-a380-worth
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Old Dec 28, 2020, 12:35 pm
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Reasons why the A380 failed, according to former Airbus sales chief:

1. Inefficient engines:

Leahy says Airbus was “blindsided” by the engine manufacturers:

“[Engine manufacturers] were assuring us that the specific fuel consumption was that of new generation engines, and it would be ten years before there was the next leap to a substantial improvement. We launched in 2000, but three years later we got the 787 being launched with GENx engines and Rolls Royce matching that, having a ten to 12 percent better specific fuel consumption than the A380’s engines.”

12% fuel efficiency represents a massive saving for aviation, where even a 0.5% gain can make a difference to commercial viability.

Leahy implies that a breakdown in communication meant Airbus jumped the gun instead of patiently biding its time for further improvements in fuel efficiency. “We should have had better intelligence with the engine guys.”

An A380 with 787 generation engines would have been exceptionally efficient. Such an aircraft could have competed with its smaller rivals even when not fully full:

“Had we had that better fuel burn, on a 65 or 70 percent load factor you could have done very well with the A380.”
https://www.headforpoints.com/2020/1...the-a380-fail/

2. Too heavy, using components to prep it for an A380-900 version which was never built.

3. Corporate structure. Design by German and French engineers who weren't talking to each other plus bad luck of launching in 2007 right before the financial crisis:

“How could the Germans be sitting there in their own little world in Hamburg, the French in their walled city in Toulouse, and they clearly weren’t talking to each other? How could you have gone right to the end of your design phase, you have already manufactured these wiring harnesses, you’ve built the airplane, and now for the first time you are trying to connect them, and the workmen say: Hey, they don’t fit, guys? How could that happen? It was just dysfunctional.”

In the end, A380 production problems led Airbus to re-organise itself, a process which successfully delivered the A350.

It was too late for the A380 program. Design issues meant the A380 wasn’t introduced until 2007, 2-3 years behind schedule:

“You were building up a fleet right during a financial crisis, when business travel was way down, hurting the airlines financially. When financing was difficult, the brand new largest aircraft in the world made financing even more difficult.”

However, with the retirements of 747 and A380s in the next couple of years, will this spend the end of large aircraft?

Maybe not:

The answer is probably not. If air travel continues on the same trajectory it was on pre-Covid there will be a niche for very large aircraft:

“Because you still got London-Heathrow, you still got Los Angeles, you’ve got around 50 airports all over the world that, if traffic continues to grow at 3-4% a year or even faster, you are going to end up with congested hubs, and even going hub-to-hub is a point-to-point trip. If you can make that 400- to 500-seat airplane 15% more efficient than the 300-seat airplanes, you are giving people a really good reason to go hub and spoke. The problem with the 747 and the A380 is that there is no real economic reason now.”
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Old Dec 29, 2020, 1:01 pm
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I'd be interested to see an A380 variant without the vestigial bits required for the -900 variant and with next generation engines. If those two things are a large part of what killed it then I'd bet we'll see something like it again in the not too distant future.

Last edited by cblaisd; Dec 29, 2020 at 8:53 pm Reason: Corrected non-standard orthography for the sake of future searches
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Old Mar 16, 2021, 10:46 am
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May not be dead yet. BA CEO talks about the possibility of resurrecting the jumbo aircraft.

However, speaking out five months after taking the top spot at the airline, Doyle said that the A380 would still be part of the future British flag carrier. The actual timing of flying the four-class, 469-seat aircraft is yet to be determined.

“The A380 isn’t flying at the minute but it is in our plans for the future rebuild of the airline,” Doyle told The Independent. “Exactly when we will put the A380 back into service is something that we’re not clear on.”

If British Airways continues to operate the A380, they may be the only European airline to continue to use it for passenger operations. The virus outbreak caused Air France to fly their final A380 in June 2020, while Lufthansa announced in March 2021 they would permanently ground their superjumbos.
https://www.flyertalk.com/articles/b...&utm_campaign=

Would be ironic, the German and French flag carriers have bailed on the A380 but post-Brexit BA may still continue to fly it?
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Old Mar 18, 2021, 8:03 pm
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The Final A 380 takes it's first flight:
Per CNN

Nearly 16 years after the world's largest passenger airliner first took to the skies, the last ever Airbus A380 superjumbo has completed its first flight.
At lunchtime on March 17, the final A380 to be assembled took off from Airbus' Jean-Luc Lagardere plant, a purpose-built facility at Toulouse-Blagnac Airport in southern France.
Student pilot Virgile Prodault shared a video on Twitter of the craft performing a low pass and a "wing wave" -- a traditional dip of the wings for a new craft to say goodbye to the airport where it was made.
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Old Dec 21, 2021, 10:29 am
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Twenty facts about A380.

13. The longest flight

Emirates operates the A380's longest scheduled passenger flight: Dubai to Auckland, 8,800 miles and over 17 hours in the air. In 2019, Qantas flew one of its A380s back to base in Sydney from Dresden, Germany, after refurbishment. The plane was empty and flew for over 18 hours and about 10,000 miles.

14. The shortest flight

Singapore Airlines has announced it will offer the new shortest A380 flight in the world: a quick hop of only 180 miles between Changi Airport in Singapore and Kuala Lumpur in Malaysia. Previously, Emirates held this record with a flight from Dubai to Muscat, Oman, which clocked in at around 210 miles.
Read in CNN: https://apple.news/A8T6jCGRNQ1mWm5YVS5_Olg
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Old Dec 26, 2022, 8:05 pm
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Which airlines are still flying the A380?
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Old Jan 8, 2023, 9:35 pm
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I’ve been wanting to try an a380 for more than 15 years now, I should probably do it this year. Is emirates the only options if I want to experience the bar? And is the bar area usually crowded?
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Old Jan 9, 2023, 2:08 am
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Originally Posted by RedBet
Ive been wanting to try an a380 for more than 15 years now, I should probably do it this year. Is emirates the only options if I want to experience the bar? And is the bar area usually crowded?
Qatar also has a bar on their A380s for Business and First Class passengers. I should have been looking forward to my first experience of it in a couple of months but in typical QR fashion it's been substituted already. I've been in the EK one with me as the only peron there and also with it crowded and loud. It all depends on the route and the time I suppose.
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Old Jan 10, 2023, 5:44 pm
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Originally Posted by joeyday
Which airlines are still flying the A380?
Wikipedia, as of a few months ago, said:
Originally Posted by RedBet
And is the bar area usually crowded?
I've never experienced more than a handful of pax hanging around the bar area. These were always JFK-DXB and back, so overnight. Daylight flights may see more traffic.
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Old Jan 11, 2023, 2:00 am
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Originally Posted by CPRich
Wikipedia, as of a few months ago, said:
Add Etihad from July this year. And it too has a bar area.
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Old Jan 15, 2023, 2:42 pm
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LH is also bringing back the A380
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Old Jul 9, 2023, 1:58 am
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Video shows first resumed LH A380 flight, MUC to BOS.

https://flip.it/zm.Etn

LH employees seem excited.
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