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CASM: B787-10 Vs. B748 Vs. A388  
User currently offlineWingedMigrator From United States of America, joined Oct 2005, 2139 posts, RR: 56
Posted (7 years 11 months 1 week 4 days 21 hours ago) and read 8460 times:

Greetings All,

I have often seen it mentioned on a.net, particularly by Zvezda, that the B787-10 (and possibly the future, all-new, all-new A350-1000) will have lower CASM (cost per available seat-mile) than the A388 or the B748. This is often passed off as fact, and I'm sorry if I missed the analysis that supported it.

So I'm asking, how do we figure that? Take me through the (rough) numbers please.

Some better-known numbers

For the proposed B787-10:
Cruise SFC - 0.508 lb/hr/lbt
MTOW - 272 tonnes
OEW - 125 tonnes
Cabin floor area (usable) - 291 m2

For the B748:
Cruise SFC - 0.515 lb/hr/lbt
MTOW - 435 tonnes
OEW - 203 tonnes
Cabin floor area (usable) - 407 m2

For the A388, the common nickname of which is unmentionable on A.net:
Cruise SFC - 0.525 lb/hr/lbt (GP7200), 0.561 lb/hr/lbt (T900)
MTOW - 560 tonnes
OEW - 278 tonnes
Cabin floor area (usable) - 552 m2

I am leaving out the A350-1000 because its specs are not sufficiently defined at this time.

I'm sure Widebodyphotog's charts will come in handy if more is needed.

Possibly more controversial assumptions

1) Assume the number of seats is proportional to usable cabin floor area
2) For figuring fuel-related costs, assume crude settles at $50/bbl
3) Since CASM depends on sector length, assume 7000 nm
4) Assume no cargo (isn't that on the revenue side, RASM rather than CASM?)
5) Landing fees proportional to MTOW
6) Assume similar overhead costs (management, IT, gate rental, insurance, regulatory fees, etc.)
7) Assume similar crew compensation

Some things I'm not sure about

1) If CASM is drawn as a pie chart, what are all the slices and how big do they tend to be with respect to each other?

2) What assumptions shall we make about maintenance costs? Perhaps it would be fair to assume the 787-10, as a newer aircraft, would have lower maintenance costs by design.

3) How to make the overhead costs "similar"... it probably costs more to rent an A380 gate than it does to rent a B787 gate. Is that included in the landing fee? Also, it probably costs more to insure an A380 than a B787. How to be fair here?

4) What is a fair way to figure in depreciation?

So... how do the B748, B787-10 and A388 really stack up against each other on the basis of CASM? Can the claims being made be documented? If it isn't too much to ask, please keep this discussion focused on numbers. Opinions are welcome if they help to quantify the assumptions.

Thanks for helping me nail this down a little better!  airplane 

56 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlineBoeing7E7 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 1, posted (7 years 11 months 1 week 4 days 21 hours ago) and read 8446 times:

Too many variables and no real world data on any of them. If any of them turn maintenance pig/dispatch reliability pig, then what is projected is pointless. The 748 is probably the least likely to introduce such issues because its a varriant. You just don't really know until real world. The manufacturers however have the engineering data and are thus able to make better predictions on the potential, and thats what is marketed.

[Edited 2006-05-18 07:05:06]

User currently offlineZvezda From Lithuania, joined Aug 2004, 10511 posts, RR: 64
Reply 2, posted (7 years 11 months 1 week 4 days 18 hours ago) and read 8279 times:

If I understand the OP correctly, it is or can be stipulated that everything is proportional to size (cabin floor area) or TOW, except for fuel burn and (I'm take the liberty here) pilot salaries. If that's the case, then it's not too hard.

The three principle determinants of CASM are:
a) SFC,
b) aerodynamic efficiency, and
c) structural efficiency (usually measured as payload/OEW).

We'll stipulate that all other factors are proportional to TOW or cabin floor area i.e. number of seats, except those explicitly mentioned.

The OP posted the numbers for SFC. There will not be any great differences in aerodynamic efficiency among these, but those that enter service later will probably have a slight edge. The differences in structural efficiency are striking.

Pilot salaries will favor the larger aircraft over the smaller aircraft, but not by much for two reasons:
1) pilot salaries are not a huge component of CASM, and
2) many airlines pay more to those flying larger aircraft.

Also, the B787 is projected to require dramatically less maintenance than metal airliners, including greater MX intervals.

In every measure except pilot salaries, the B787 has the edge.

Quoting Boeing7E7 (Reply 1):
Too many variables and no real world data on any of them. If any of them turn maintenance pig/dispatch reliability pig, then what is projected is pointless. The 748 is probably the least likely to introduce such issues because its a varriant. You just don't really know until real world. The manufacturers however have the engineering data and are thus able to make better predictions on the potential, and thats what is marketed.

Very true. Calculating specific numbers is not possible from the data available. Only relative comparisons are possible based on interpolation.


User currently offlineAirbusA6 From United Kingdom, joined Apr 2005, 2004 posts, RR: 0
Reply 3, posted (7 years 11 months 1 week 4 days 16 hours ago) and read 8165 times:

Is the SFC for the T900 THAT much worse than the GP7200? (.561 vs .525) Surely they wouldn't have got any orders if that was the case?


it's the bus to stansted (now renamed national express a4 to ruin my username)
User currently offlineA350 From Germany, joined Nov 2004, 1100 posts, RR: 22
Reply 4, posted (7 years 11 months 1 week 4 days 16 hours ago) and read 8132 times:

Quoting AirbusA6 (Reply 3):
Is the SFC for the T900 THAT much worse than the GP7200? (.561 vs .525) Surely they wouldn't have got any orders if that was the case?

I wondered about the same. Perhaps its a kind of virtual A.net reality  Wink

A350



Photography - the art of observing, not the art of arranging
User currently offlineAbba From Denmark, joined Jun 2005, 1268 posts, RR: 2
Reply 5, posted (7 years 11 months 1 week 4 days 16 hours ago) and read 8084 times:

Quoting Zvezda (Reply 2):
c) structural efficiency (usually measured as payload/OEW).

Does not say much - if anything - when comparing different models of aircrafts. The most structual efficient aircraft has no wings - also known as a rocket and the least structual efficent is known as a glider....

Quoting A350 (Reply 4):
I wondered about the same. Perhaps its a kind of virtual A.net reality

People who seems to know believe that to change the engines on the 380 to the higher by-pass version once they are ready (the RR version has been - as I underastand it - developed based on the ones developed for the 380) isn't much more than a simple 'cut-n'-past' job.

Abba


User currently offlineZeus419 From United Kingdom, joined Dec 2004, 136 posts, RR: 2
Reply 6, posted (7 years 11 months 1 week 4 days 15 hours ago) and read 8033 times:

>> Also, the B787 is projected to require dramatically less maintenance than metal airliners <<

All that extra high-current electrical power-generation equipment on the "bleedless" 787 is:

(a) expensive to procure;
(b) heavy;
(c) expensive to maintain;
(d) and the high-current ATE test equipment required will be far more costly than for hydro-mechnical ATE.

In addition, a lightening strike in the wrong place could potentially cripple the whole system.

Also, the inherent fragility of CFRP panels means that Boeing/Mitsubishi will have to make it so thick, as to negate much of the potential weight savings over Aluminium.

[Edited 2006-05-18 12:55:35]

User currently offlineAbba From Denmark, joined Jun 2005, 1268 posts, RR: 2
Reply 7, posted (7 years 11 months 1 week 4 days 15 hours ago) and read 8017 times:

Quoting Zeus419 (Reply 6):
Also, the inherent fragility of CFRP panels means that Boeing/Mitsubishi will have to make it so thick, as to negate much of the potential weight savings over Aluminium.

You have an interesting question here. SQ, EK, and LH (there might be more that I haven't seen) have all publicly (and its is everybody's guess what they did privately - did they fall to their knees crying?) urged Airbus to come up with something better than the 350 they were now offering (even if Airbus sales might have been satisfactory relative to the investment they had to make). That behavior seems pretty novel and unusual for some of the absolute deepest blue in industry! Why did they do that - rather than just going for the 787 as the better offer? That would have been normal business practice!!!!

Something must be SERIOUSLY wrong with the 787 in their eyes...

But what?

Abba


User currently offlineWidebodyphotog From United States of America, joined Jun 1999, 917 posts, RR: 67
Reply 8, posted (7 years 11 months 1 week 4 days 15 hours ago) and read 7973 times:

Quoting Zeus419 (Reply 6):
(a) expensive to procure;
(b) heavy;
(c) expensive to maintain;
(d) and the high-current ATE test equipment required will be far more costly than for hydro-mechnical ATE.

The 787 chief designer has addressed these comments publicly in the past:

In summary people criticizing the bleedless approach have a very narrow view of the aircrafts integrated systems scheme. In fact not having to build in provisions for bleed air systems saves a significant level of wieght and cost, and allows some remarkable future upgrade possibilities with very little change to the system architecture.

Quoting Zeus419 (Reply 6):
Also, the inherent fragility of CFRP panels means that Boeing/Mitsubishi will have to make it so thick, as to negate much of the potential weight savings over Aluminium.

Where does this come from and in comparison to what is it based on? The A350 MkIV was a smaller aircraft in some respects to the 787 models but its structure was up to 19t heavier by comparable model. In point of fact the 787 skins at their thickest are 1 inch, but the density of the material is very low and strength is very high allowing greater frame spacing and elimination of many of the structural components that are needed for an aluminum fuselage. Make no mistake the 787 is has the lowest structural weight of any aircraft produced in it's size class by fold. On either an absolute or specific basis. There is really nothing comparable in that regard.



-widebodyphotog



If you know what's really going on then you'll know what to do
User currently offlineSteve6666 From United Kingdom, joined Sep 2003, 384 posts, RR: 0
Reply 9, posted (7 years 11 months 1 week 4 days 14 hours ago) and read 7933 times:

Quoting Abba (Reply 7):
Something must be SERIOUSLY wrong with the 787 in their eyes...

But what?

Only the fact it doesn't have a credible competitor. In a monopoly the supplier always commands premium prices. In a duopoly the seller at least has a choice.

As for calling LH and EK die-hard Boeing airlines.....erm...have you reviewed their fleets this century?



eu nasci ha dez mil anos atras, e nao tem nada nesse mundo que eu nao saiba demais
User currently offlineBrendows From Norway, joined Apr 2006, 1020 posts, RR: 4
Reply 10, posted (7 years 11 months 1 week 4 days 14 hours ago) and read 7928 times:

Quoting Abba (Reply 7):
Something must be SERIOUSLY wrong with the 787 in their eyes...

That's not necessarily the case. The only thing that might be wrong with the 787 in SQ's and EK's eyes are the price Boeing are offering them.


User currently offlineAbba From Denmark, joined Jun 2005, 1268 posts, RR: 2
Reply 11, posted (7 years 11 months 1 week 4 days 14 hours ago) and read 7913 times:

Quoting Steve6666 (Reply 9):
Only the fact it doesn't have a credible competitor. In a monopoly the supplier always commands premium prices. In a duopoly the seller at least has a choice.

I would have accepted that explanation as meaningful if

- The 330 hasn't reigned supreme in its class for years (the 767 never had a chance)

- The 777 in its class (nor did the 340)

- The 747 in its class

- The 380 in its class

It seems to me that having no real competitor - as far as the WB sector is concerned - is very much the rule rather than the exception. Your explanation - even if it might play a part - cannot stand alone.



Abba


User currently offlineLeelaw From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 12, posted (7 years 11 months 1 week 4 days 14 hours ago) and read 7832 times:

Quoting Brendows (Reply 10):
Quoting Abba (Reply 7):
Something must be SERIOUSLY wrong with the 787 in their eyes...

That's not necessarily the case. The only thing that might be wrong with the 787 in SQ's and EK's eyes are the price Boeing are offering them.

I think you've got it right Brendows. Certainly, if there was something "seriously wrong" with the 787 in his eyes, Tim Clark of EK wouldn't be shy about saying so.


User currently offlineWidebodyphotog From United States of America, joined Jun 1999, 917 posts, RR: 67
Reply 13, posted (7 years 11 months 1 week 4 days 13 hours ago) and read 7735 times:

Quoting Abba (Reply 11):
- The 330 hasn't reigned supreme in its class for years (the 767 never had a chance)

- The 777 in its class (nor did the 340)

- The 747 in its class

- The 380 in its class

It seems to me that having no real competitor - as far as the WB sector is concerned - is very much the rule rather than the exception. Your explanation - even if it might play a part - cannot stand alone.

This is misleading at best and I'll exmanine it aircraft by aircraft.

Comparison by most similar sub-type and relative capability:




Notes:

In terms of marketing Airbus has pitched the A340-600 as an alternative to the 747-400 citing more similar seating capacity and range relative to Boeing product as opposed to 777-300ER.

With respect to capacity and range the Airbus A340-200 product has had no direct competition.

With respect to capacity and range the Boeing 777-300A product has had no direct competition.



-widebodyphotog



If you know what's really going on then you'll know what to do
User currently offlineClassicLover From Ireland, joined Mar 2004, 4602 posts, RR: 24
Reply 14, posted (7 years 11 months 1 week 4 days 12 hours ago) and read 7626 times:

Quoting Widebodyphotog (Reply 13):
widebodyphotog

Loving your form as always. Keep on posting, and thanks!



I do quite enjoy a spot of flying - more so when it's not in Economy!
User currently offlineAbba From Denmark, joined Jun 2005, 1268 posts, RR: 2
Reply 15, posted (7 years 11 months 1 week 4 days 2 hours ago) and read 7374 times:

Quoting Widebodyphotog (Reply 13):
With respect to capacity and range the Boeing 777-300A product has had no direct competition

Well - what do you mean by 'competitor' - I believe it is a little bit more than the other just having a product in the same category to offer. 'Competitor' needs two very similar aircrafts in terms of capasity and quite close in CASM. This also means that the two offerings must have been developed about the same time - as is just now happening with the 787 and the 350.

Abba


User currently offlineZvezda From Lithuania, joined Aug 2004, 10511 posts, RR: 64
Reply 16, posted (7 years 11 months 1 week 3 days 20 hours ago) and read 7193 times:

Quoting Abba (Reply 15):
'Competitor' needs two very similar aircrafts in terms of capasity and quite close in CASM.

I respectfully disagree. I would say that two airliners are competitors if airlines consider proposals to buy either or. If an airline were considering buying either A350s or B747-8s to fly transpacific routes, for example, that would be an indicator that they are competitors. Size doesn't necessarily have anything to do with it.


User currently offlineAbba From Denmark, joined Jun 2005, 1268 posts, RR: 2
Reply 17, posted (7 years 11 months 1 week 3 days 18 hours ago) and read 7114 times:

Quoting Zvezda (Reply 16):
I respectfully disagree. I would say that two airliners are competitors if airlines consider proposals to buy either or. If an airline were considering buying either A350s or B747-8s to fly transpacific routes, for example, that would be an indicator that they are competitors. Size doesn't necessarily have anything to do with it.

Your are right: Not necessarily. But most of the time, however. Wonder how many airlines have ever evaluated the 350 against the 748?

Sure - the 300 and the 767 are still on the market. But I wouldn't consider them as serious competitors save for a few very special contexts and defiantly not in the general market.


Abba


User currently offlineAndesSMF From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 18, posted (7 years 11 months 1 week 3 days 18 hours ago) and read 7095 times:

Quoting Abba (Reply 7):
Something must be SERIOUSLY wrong with the 787 in their eyes...

But what?

Abba, please, take a deep breath and say to yourself '392 firm 787 orders'. Repeat this figure a number of times in your head. And then go back to attempting to say there is something 'seriously wrong' with the 787.

OK, there is something wrong. See the following qoute:

Quoting Abba (Reply 7):
You have an interesting question here. SQ, EK, and LH have all publicly urged Airbus to come up with something better than the 350...

There is no viable 787 competitor from Airbus, yet. These airlines want Airbus to come up with something better than their current offer. That is public info now. And you try to turn it into a 787 problem. Got the wrong manufacturer this time.


User currently offlineZvezda From Lithuania, joined Aug 2004, 10511 posts, RR: 64
Reply 19, posted (7 years 11 months 1 week 3 days 16 hours ago) and read 7045 times:

Quoting AndesSMF (Reply 18):
take a deep breath and say to yourself '392 firm 787 orders'.

According to www.boeing.com, there are 350 firm orders for the B787, not 392. Has there been an announcment of another 42 in the last few days?


User currently offlineAbba From Denmark, joined Jun 2005, 1268 posts, RR: 2
Reply 20, posted (7 years 11 months 1 week 3 days 16 hours ago) and read 7038 times:

Quoting AndesSMF (Reply 18):
Abba, please, take a deep breath and say to yourself '392 firm 787 orders'. Repeat this figure a number of times in your head. And then go back to attempting to say there is something 'seriously wrong' with the 787

But only few deep blue (save for QF - forget the Japs. Their hands are being forced) and a few highly questionable and most in between.

Quoting AndesSMF (Reply 18):
There is no viable 787 competitor from Airbus, yet. These airlines want Airbus to come up with something better than their current offer. That is public info now. And you try to turn it into a 787 problem. Got the wrong manufacturer this time.

Which is rather unusual. Why ask Airbus publicly rather than just go for the 787? This must be a first!

Abba


User currently offlineBrendows From Norway, joined Apr 2006, 1020 posts, RR: 4
Reply 21, posted (7 years 11 months 1 week 3 days 16 hours ago) and read 6989 times:

Quoting Abba (Reply 20):
Which is rather unusual. Why ask Airbus publicly rather than just go for the 787? This must be a first!

Why is it so difficult to understand that they want a better product from Airbus since it would put them in a better position when it comes to negotiating price with Boeing? As all should know, a monopoly doesn't press prices down, competition does, and at this point, the A350 isn't competitive enough.


User currently offlineWidebodyphotog From United States of America, joined Jun 1999, 917 posts, RR: 67
Reply 22, posted (7 years 11 months 1 week 3 days 16 hours ago) and read 6982 times:

Quoting Abba (Reply 20):
But only few deep blue (save for QF - forget the Japs. Their hands are being forced) and a few highly questionable and most in between.

First of all there is no need for racial slurs in this forum...and second of all there is no "forcing" involved in the choice of 787 by the Japanese majors. If Airbus were offering something competitive it would have been seriously considered, but they have not been able to do that. Furthermore I can tell you from having worked closely with the launch customers of 787 that Airbus is seriously out of touch with the primary concerns and airliner development concepts the Japanese carriers have...


-widebodyphotog



If you know what's really going on then you'll know what to do
User currently offlinePavlin From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 23, posted (7 years 11 months 1 week 3 days 15 hours ago) and read 6927 times:

Quoting Zvezda (Reply 19):
Quoting AndesSMF (Reply 18):
take a deep breath and say to yourself '392 firm 787 orders'.

According to www.boeing.com, there are 350 firm orders for the B787, not 392. Has there been an announcment of another 42 in the last few days?

What is your problem? Boeing will surely have more than 500 firm orders by the time the first prototype flies. Airbus didn't redesign A350 and that is a big mistake. Even if they redesign it wont have composites. In the meantime Boeing will extend or maybe open second 787 line


User currently offlineTifoso From United States of America, joined Jan 2006, 440 posts, RR: 0
Reply 24, posted (7 years 11 months 1 week 3 days 14 hours ago) and read 6914 times:

Quoting Zvezda (Reply 19):
According to www.boeing.com, there are 350 firm orders for the B787, not 392. Has there been an announcment of another 42 in the last few days?

No, it is 350 firm + 43 unsigned commitments.

Regards


25 Post contains images Keesje :    The most realistic approach IMO. B747-8 3 class : 450 A380-800 3 class : 555    These numbers you use are your choice & has huge implications
26 Abba : Racial slurs - you have no clue as to what you are talking about. How long time have you been living and working in Aisa? Japan has had a highly "coo
27 PolymerPlane : It just means that A350 as of today sucks. That is what have been said, and nothing else. There is nothing behind it none, nada. If you think there i
28 Leelaw : The term "Japs" isn't considered appropriate/P.C. in the U.S.
29 Widebodyphotog : Nearly 10 years working for and with Japanese carriers, and five years as a trainer and consultant for four Asian airlines, thank you...And as my wif
30 Keesje : Are you serious?
31 ClassicLover : Nor in Australia. I actually gasped out loud when I read it. It's been a long time since I've heard anyone refer to a Japanese person like that. The
32 Widebodyphotog : Yes, of course I am, and do you have something more substantive to support your dispute regarding 747-8 vs A380-800 seat specific costs? -widebodypho
33 Abba : Oh - I didn't know that. People arround here uses it often - and call people like me a white ghost. P.C might varry from place to place... Abba
34 Keesje : LH is doing a 747-400 cabin upgrade at this moment : 330 seats. Their B748 /A380 would seat 360 / 510? It's hard to predict, class build up plays a b
35 Widebodyphotog : They make an impact but what you are discounting is the actual cost of operating the aircraft relative to that. From the generic baseline, trip cost
36 Par13del : I liked the start of this thread because I too would like to know more about these CASM figures. What I seem to have gathered - correct me if I'm goin
37 N328KF : If you are referring to Widebodyphotog, his analysis is based upon professional experience and the figures he uses for his job.
38 Trex8 : you are correct that there is an element of human nature in all business decisions but ultimately when there are only effectively 2 suppliers of the
39 Par13del : NK328F I was not, it's why I said some, did not want to get into a naming thing listing names. I have looked at his charts previously, and things that
40 DeltaDC9 : I think this is pretty universal, like the "N" word. Add to that the fact that since WWII, the US and Japan have together developed a combined and in
41 DfwRevolution : Qantas seats 343 passengers in their B747-400. SQ seats either 372 or 375 in their B747-400. You assume that QF would only gain twelve more seats and
42 Post contains links Keesje : I don't we should get to romantic on US-Japanese relations. If they have a 600 seat requirement in a few years for China-Pacific hubs they probably ha
43 Abba : Sure - but this is (more!) a matter of strategy (but not only). Once you have decided to go for two smaller aircrafts you will then look at which of
44 Keesje : If you put a consistent spec on both aircraft, the same seat width, pitch, lounges etc., I'm not sure what the seat countdifference would be, about 3
45 Brendows : 74 767-300ER's and 10 767-200ER's have been ordered since April 2000 (and I'm not counting freighters.) The last order for 763ER was for LAN on the 3
46 Abba : And how many of these are from new operators of the model? Abba
47 DeltaDC9 : I am actually agreeing with you in my post, I just dont think that if a need arisses for a 600 seat plane in Japan, Boeing will get blindsided. Nothi
48 Brendows : Hainan with three 763ER Turkmenistan Airlines with one 763ER Kazakhstan Airlines with one 762ER Shanghai Airlines with two 763ER. Except from three 7
49 Post contains images DfwRevolution : All models of B767 are still in production and still on offer, there's nothing technical about it. The B747-400 only has about 3-5 unsold delivery sl
50 Boeingguy1 : since when? Its much worse in the US to call someone the "n" word over to call them a Jap... i dont see the harm in the term "Jap" myself.
51 Post contains images DfwRevolution : A whole heck of a lot of people would disagree with you, so you can either continue being callice, insensitive, and just plain ignorant or get with t
52 PolymerPlane : First there is no "technically speaking" on ordering an aircraft. It is either you can or you cannot. You can still buy 767 and 744, but A300 line is
53 Ikramerica : They've deleted my post (again) regarding Keesje's repeated use of false arguments about the 748 seating, which allows his crap to continue to be spou
54 Post contains images WingedMigrator : Ahh, gotta love a.net... go away for a couple of days, and the thread drifts to discussions about slurs and the 767. What are you saying... that Zvezd
55 Abba : Sure - but if you were a reputable airline - let us say an MD11 operator (lets say Finn Air) - and would like to re-new you fleet would you then be l
56 Stitch : I wonder if anyone takes into account the shelf area on the upper deck of the 747-400 and 747-8 when doing floor space calculations?
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