A380 – white elephant or the future?

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This topic contains 49 replies, has 17 voices, and was last updated by  AMcWhirter 9 Apr 2015
at 12:07
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Viewing 15 posts - 16 through 30 (of 50 total)

  • conc001
    Participant

    It’s just to big for 90 percent of the long haul routes e.g to make it work you need to sell 100 j class tickets and those passé ages perfare a smaller place with better services plus more frequencies per day then could be achieved with a380. Sorry but it was a french idea to take on USA but they had already moved on.


    conc001
    Participant

    It’s just to big for 90 percent of the long haul routes e.g to make it work you need to sell 100 j class tickets and those passé ages perfare a smaller place with better services plus more frequencies per day then could be achieved with a380. Sorry but it was a french idea to take on USA but they had already moved on.


    MrMichael
    Participant

    Conc001, I think you might be wrong on a number of fronts there.

    You point about A380’s not going in to 90% of airports, means they can go in to 10% and that number is growing. Airports will make sure they can accomodate an A380 if they are physically able as they want/need the business and the prestige. The same argument as yours was was put forward in 1970 about the 747.

    The A380 was not actually a French idea, although it was led by the French and Germans.

    Americans tend not to like anyone threatening the dominance of Boeing….think Concorde, think A380. Both fantastic machines, just as the B747 was….yes, was.

    I don’t buy in to the A380 being scrapped theory, they will get bigger (as the 747 did) and they will take more and more pax. I can see in twenty years 12 across, with paper thin composite seats in economy for high density flights and the LoCo,s buying them. Flights such as London/Paris, Melbourne/Sydney, Hong Kong/Beijing. Anything up to around the 3 hour mark.


    MartynSinclair
    Participant

    Mr Michael

    Just realised no US airline has bought into the A380..

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Airbus_A380_orders_and_deliveries

    oh dear……


    canucklad
    Participant

    If it wasn’t for the fact that the 320 is a competitive alternative to the 737 in the U.S. I’d have considered the possibility that like the Concorde the Americans envy was stopping them purchasing a superior product to their much loved 747.

    And, getting back on topic, if airlines ( European) had a a bit more innovative spirit when deciding how to manage the 380’s USP they could still generate the same cash revenue , rather than their stale ” cram more seats in” strategy that stuck in safe old accountency land airline execs fall back on!

    A real shame, a great aircraft, with so much customer friendly potential……..Wasted.


    conc001
    Participant

    Hi Mr Michael

    Improvements in engines might make those shorter flights viable in the future. All I was saying was at present there seem to be a lot of routes not suitable for a380 service because on the very popular routes the business passengers per fare smaller flights more often. Then most of the smaller routes are two small. It works for emirates as they operate a mega hub model however not to many can operate on that scale. I do however believe in time air china will use them.


    MrMichael
    Participant

    Canucklad, I tend to agree with you. At the time (mid 80’s) the A320 was a superior product to the 737 and thus some major American Airlines went for it. It did force Boeing to up their game, and ultimately was the reason for the demise of McDonnell Douglas ( who themselves made some excellent planes but just jigged about the 60,s DC9 and that was never going to cut the mustard in the 90,s…..perhaps the B717 being an exception). Thus with the Americans buying the A320 Airbus become a serious competitor.

    Interesting about the Americans not buying the A380 MartynSinclair. The problem for the Americans is they consistently fail to make a profit wherever they fly and whatever they fly. I am used to hearing that xxx airline is in Chapter 11….in fact I have no idea which is and which is not. Buying the A380 for 350 million a piece would push most over the edge. However as they become available on the second hand market I can see AA giving it a bash.

    I know we all regret seeing accountants running things. I experience it in the business I am in, it is cyclical. When it does not work they bring in an expert and respected figure in the field, when they go they replace with an accountant for a safe if boring pair of hands. When they realise it don’t work they look for an expert again…….and so it goes on and on.


    IanFromHKG
    Participant

    I agree with others that the onboard product (both hard and soft, in my case) and price are the main factors in my buying, rather than the airframe. The only relatively recent exceptions to this have been the B787 which I was avoiding for a while, and the fact that I recently changed my summer trip outbound leg so I could fly on an A380 (marginal difference in timing and a choice of that or a 777-200).

    That is not to say that I don’t have opinions about aircraft – the B777 is my least favourite long-haul plane, for instance, because I find the noise and vibration from the engines harsher than on any other modern airliner. I suspect the contrast with the A380 will be quite marked! I have a soft spot for the A340, which in its day had much better air quality than its competitors. The aircraft I am most looking forward to flying, however, is the A350.

    What I still don’t understand is why Airbus have both the A330 and the A350 in their line-up (they are pretty similar size-wise), and no obvious competitor to the B777. Very odd.


    K1ngston
    Participant

    Regarding the A380 in the US market, surely for their market its the domestic market that drives them and cannot see a 380 on the NYC to Pittsburgh route anytime soon.

    AA have recently stepped up their game with the 777-300 service to London but has been such a long time in coming to be honest the rest of the US airlines International product is way behind even BA and thats saying something, so I believe the 380 is a long way off in their thoughts.


    AMcWhirter
    Participant

    Emirates is now saying today that it will buy 100 more A380s if Airbus commits to developing a “neo” version which will be equipped with new engines.

    http://www.businesstimes.com.sg/transport/emirates-will-buy-100-more-a380s-if-airbus-agrees-to-upgrade


    TiredOldHack
    Participant

    I’m a 380 fan since I sampled one for the first time last year (BA to Jo’burg) and was delighted when one was put on our route from Doha to Colombo later in the year. My wife, who’s not interested in aircraft at all, was delighted to hear that Qatar Airways had replaced the 777 on our Colombo flight with the 380, as well.

    It really is noticeably quieter and smoother – at least on the upper deck in J. I can’t speak for economy.

    It strikes me there’s a touch of the old 707 vs. VC10 argument here. The VC10 was simply a nicer aircraft to fly in (faster, as well, but that’s not really an issue here) and while the 707 had a lower cost per seat, BOAC found that VC10s consistently carried a higher load which negated the 707’s notional advantage.

    I’m not surprised the US hasn’t bought it – most of their operations are domestic and not really long-haul. This is where the A380 is starting to make a difference and, as others have said, should continue to make inroads.

    Me, I really will try and seek long-haul flights that use it. It’s that much of a game-changer. I’m sure that as time goes by, other passenegers who get the chance to fly in it will feel the same way.


    AMcWhirter
    Participant

    TiredOldHack –

    I agree with you regarding the VC-10. But, leaving aside the operating cost, its big drawback is the VC-10 only had the range for London-Chicago and therefore it couldn’t (unlike the B707) operate non-stop from London to the US West Coast.

    Many years ago the US carriers operated the world’s largest and most modern aircraft. How things have changed today.


    TiredOldHack
    Participant

    Oh, thanks for that. I thought the Super VC10 had the range, but evidently not.

    (Still a nicer aircraft to fly in!)


    AMcWhirter
    Participant

    It definitely did not have the range. And it was the time when the US West Coast was becoming a fashionable destination.

    In the days when BOAC operated its Super VC-10s to Australia via North America, the flight was routed London-NewYork-Los Angeles and then across the Pacific (with stops, if my memory serves me correctly, in Honolulu and Fiji and/or Auckland).


    TiredOldHack
    Participant

    I’m really interested now, because I know one problem with the early 707 was that it was a bit pushed for range when flying the Atlantic east to west, against the prevailing winds.

    Hm…. a certain amount of Googling shows this was the case, but later versions of the 707 had a range of 4,000 miles, and eventually 6,000 miles with turbofans.

    VC10 range was 5,850, according to Wiki. Assuming that’s the Super version.

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