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WhaleJet=Economics Not On Tis Side?  
User currently offlineKC135TopBoom From United States of America, joined Jan 2005, 12173 posts, RR: 51
Posted (8 years 1 month 1 week 6 days 16 hours ago) and read 3365 times:

The A-380 is by far the largest passenger jet of all time. It is a modern marvel of technoligy. But have the economics in the airline industry past it by? Currently, the A-380 has about 159 orders, but has not sold any new orders in over 2 years, dispite entering the vital flight test program to certify it to enter the world's airline fleet. By comparison, the much smaller B-787 has sold well over 400 aircraft, and it's production slots are sold through 2012. The B-787 has not even had airplane #1 assembled yet, nor has it entered flight testing.

Now the B-787 and A-380 are two completely different class of aircraft. But, they are both long haul aircraft (with vastly different passenger/cargo capacities), with similar ranges. One economic advantage the B-787 has over the A-380 is it's promose of a very low operating and trip costs, esspeically in fuel comsumption. It will also cost less in landing and parking fees, and does not need airport infastructure improvements to support the aircraft.

There are about 16 airlines that have ordered the A-380, while 28 airlines have ordered the B-787.

On the same note, it can be argued the B-747-800I has not had any airline orders to date. The B-747-800I is about 100 seats smaller than the A-380-800, but claims a lower seat mile cost. That remains to be scene by the airlines who may eventually order it.

Is there beginning to be a trend for airlines to move away from VLAs and to medium size airplanes? If you look at the sales record of the B-767, A-330, B-777, B-787 it is clear what the airlines want. I think this trend will continue, when the A-350XWB is finally defined. That airplane should also sell well, if it keeps its promises.

So are the A-380 and new version of the B-747 now going be the last of the four engine VLAs developed by Airbus and Boeing?

47 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlineBoomBoom From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 1, posted (8 years 1 month 1 week 6 days 16 hours ago) and read 3332 times:

Quoting KC135TopBoom (Thread starter):

Is there beginning to be a trend for airlines to move away from VLAs and to medium size airplanes?



Quote:
While global airline traffic has risen nearly 5% annually over the past decade, the average number of seats per aircraft has barely risen on most key routes and decreased on many, according to a recent analysis by Airline/Aircraft Projects Inc., an aviation consulting firm in New York.

Officials at Airbus were aware of the shrinking-plane phenomenon when they launched the A380 in 2000, but they continue to say that the A380 serves a large potential market.

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB1160...WORDS=a380&COLLECTION=wsjie/6month


User currently offlineMariner From New Zealand, joined Nov 2001, 25569 posts, RR: 86
Reply 2, posted (8 years 1 month 1 week 6 days 16 hours ago) and read 3330 times:
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Quoting KC135TopBoom (Thread starter):
Currently, the A-380 has about 159 orders, but has not sold any new orders in over 2 years

Um - the recent Singapore order perhaps?

Quoting KC135TopBoom (Thread starter):
s there beginning to be a trend for airlines to move away from VLAs and to medium size airplanes?

Not really "beginning". As was said of the 747:

http://www.flug-revue.rotor.com/FRheft/FRH9904/FR9904e.htm

The 747 created over-capacities, which are every airliner's nightmare. Most carriers preferred smaller aircraft: They were, however, afraid that the competition might buy the giant and in this way dominate on international routes. This is why mainly non-American airlines were queuing up outside the Seattle works.

Quoting KC135TopBoom (Thread starter):
So are the A-380 and new version of the B-747 now going be the last of the four engine VLAs developed by Airbus and Boeing?

Probably. At least within the next few decades.

mariner



aeternum nauta
User currently offlineNYC777 From United States of America, joined Jun 2004, 5796 posts, RR: 47
Reply 3, posted (8 years 1 month 1 week 6 days 16 hours ago) and read 3299 times:

Quoting Mariner (Reply 2):
Um - the recent Singapore order perhaps?

That's an LoI that has yet to be finalized so it is not an order.



That which does not kill me makes me stronger.
User currently offlineDAYflyer From United States of America, joined Sep 2004, 3807 posts, RR: 3
Reply 4, posted (8 years 1 month 1 week 6 days 16 hours ago) and read 3287 times:

I was thinking that the A-380 is going to do just fine on a limited number of routes, with a limited number of frames over time.

But the delays have cost Airbus a fortune, and I do not see the airplane breaking even anytime soon. I have seen estimates that it will now be 350 frames before it breaks even.



One Nation Under God
User currently offlineFuturecaptain From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 5, posted (8 years 1 month 1 week 6 days 16 hours ago) and read 3287 times:

Yes, the market is getting more fragmented daily. Over the last few years airlines have definately started up more routes not requiring travel through a hub to get to your destination. Just look at new routes being started up, NW now flies between BDL and AMS. (while AMS may be considered a hub) who would have thought ANY airline would fly this route 5 years ago?

Now, if the 748 and A380 will be the last 4 engined a/c remains to be seen. We can reasonably assume both will be produced for at least 10 years, perhaps 20. Alot can happen in that time and perhaps the demand will be there for a super-heavy lift airliner that will have 4 engines rated at 150,000 lbs of thrust under the wings. Or maybe in that time a new form of blasting metal tubes through the air at 40000 ft will emerge and 4 of these devices will be required for power.
Future should be interesting.

[Edited 2006-10-16 22:05:48]

User currently offlineStitch From United States of America, joined Jul 2005, 31259 posts, RR: 85
Reply 6, posted (8 years 1 month 1 week 6 days 16 hours ago) and read 3267 times:
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Quoting KC135TopBoom (Thread starter):
The A-380 is by far the largest passenger jet of all time...but have the economics in the airline industry past it by?

I believe it is too early to say. Many of those who have purchased the A380 continue to stand by it and one - SQ - has moved to increase it's commitment.

Quote:
Is there beginning to be a trend for airlines to move away from VLAs and to medium size airplanes?

Yes, where traffic supports such a move. But that does not negate the importance of the world's hub airports nor the benefits the A380 brings to some operators at some of them.

Quote:
So are the A-380 and new version of the B-747 now going be the last of the four engine VLAs developed by Airbus and Boeing?

I don't believe the 747-8 and the A380 will be the last VLA either company builds. While the "next generation" of 500-seaters might be a twin, heavy-lift passenger and cargo planes (including BWBs) might very well require four engines to lift them and their payload into the air.


User currently offlineMariner From New Zealand, joined Nov 2001, 25569 posts, RR: 86
Reply 7, posted (8 years 1 month 1 week 6 days 16 hours ago) and read 3254 times:
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Quoting NYC777 (Reply 3):
That's an LoI that has yet to be finalized so it is not an order.

Thanks for the clarification. A positive intention, perhaps?  Smile

mariner



aeternum nauta
User currently offlineBaron95 From United States of America, joined May 2006, 1335 posts, RR: 8
Reply 8, posted (8 years 1 month 1 week 6 days 16 hours ago) and read 3216 times:

Quoting DAYflyer (Reply 4):
But the delays have cost Airbus a fortune, and I do not see the airplane breaking even anytime soon. I have seen estimates that it will now be 350 frames before it breaks even.

Agreed. But these are two separate issues. The A380 can be a money drain to Airbus and still be a money maker for some airlines that ordered it.

I think there is NO question that on some routes, for some airlines, the A380 will be a money maker. It has lower CASM than ANYTHING else flying. It has modest aquisition costs/seat, particularly now with the launch and penalties "discounts". However, I don't see it being relevant to a whole lot of routes or a whole lot of airlines. I think the 748I is in the same boat, with the added disadvantage of being later to market and "not quite as large".



Killer Fleet: E190, 737-900ER, 777-300ER
User currently offlineNYC777 From United States of America, joined Jun 2004, 5796 posts, RR: 47
Reply 9, posted (8 years 1 month 1 week 6 days 15 hours ago) and read 3216 times:

Quoting Mariner (Reply 7):
A positive intention, perhaps?

Perhaps. I t hink they would probably firm it up but I'm not sure when. I think the A350 order is more in jeopardy though. That is something hat may not be firmed up and it all depends on what Airbus does in terms of launching it.



That which does not kill me makes me stronger.
User currently offlineZvezda From Lithuania, joined Aug 2004, 10511 posts, RR: 64
Reply 10, posted (8 years 1 month 1 week 6 days 15 hours ago) and read 3189 times:

Quoting KC135TopBoom (Thread starter):
So are the A-380 and new version of the B-747 now going be the last of the four engine VLAs developed by Airbus and Boeing?

Yes, almost certainly. It's all twins for the forseeable future.

Quoting Mariner (Reply 2):
Um - the recent Singapore order perhaps?



Quoting Mariner (Reply 7):
Thanks for the clarification. A positive intention, perhaps?

Prior to the fourth WhaleJet delay, it would have been reasonable to expect SQ's LoI to be firmed into an order. There isn't much basis to hope for that now. It seems likely to go the way of SQ's A340-500 options.


User currently offlineMariner From New Zealand, joined Nov 2001, 25569 posts, RR: 86
Reply 11, posted (8 years 1 month 1 week 6 days 15 hours ago) and read 3189 times:
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Quoting NYC777 (Reply 9):
That is something hat may not be firmed up and it all depends on what Airbus does in terms of launching it.

That may be true, too.

Then again, I'm one of that small group that thinks they might have done better to have stuck with the original A350.

Mr. UH said it would earn them a silver medal, not a gold. But hey, nothing wrong with a silver.

 Smile

mariner



aeternum nauta
User currently offlineRJ111 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 12, posted (8 years 1 month 1 week 6 days 15 hours ago) and read 3163 times:

There's a trend towards smaller jets at present but there's another more fundamental trend that trends change over time.

Some factors to consider...

The 744 is somewhat dated technology vs A330/A340, 777 ect. The 773ER has lower CASM i'm led to believe, and has a much better cargo capacity.
The market has been somewhat on the defensive post 9/11 and hugher fuel prices, especially in the US.
Traffic is growing, expected to double by 2020.

Lets see how the market reacts to the A380 when is in service.

[Edited 2006-10-16 22:15:16]

User currently offlineZvezda From Lithuania, joined Aug 2004, 10511 posts, RR: 64
Reply 13, posted (8 years 1 month 1 week 6 days 15 hours ago) and read 3122 times:

Quoting RJ111 (Reply 12):
The 744 is somewhat dated technology vs A330/A340, 777 ect. The 773ER has lower CASM i'm led to believe, and has a much better cargo capacity.

No, the B747-400 has lower CASM than the B777-300ER, but airlines generally prefer the latter because it is smaller and therefore has higher RASM. The B777-300ER also has higher dispatch reliability (because it's a twin) and less market risk and more flexibility (because it's smaller). It also has better range and, as you pointed out, can carry more LD3s.


User currently offlineTeamAmerica From United States of America, joined Sep 2006, 1761 posts, RR: 23
Reply 14, posted (8 years 1 month 1 week 6 days 15 hours ago) and read 3107 times:

Quoting KC135TopBoom (Thread starter):
So are the A-380 and new version of the B-747 now going be the last of the four engine VLAs developed by Airbus and Boeing?

We may yet see large blended-wing body [BWB] aircraft in the future, and they quite possibly could have four engines. There's a distant possibility that Boeing's Y3 might be a conventional 4 engine planform, but I doubt it. Far more likely to be a giant twin or not get built at all.

One aircraft I specifically exclude is the A380-900. Airbus designed a wing for a plane that will never be built, and in doing so compromised the A388.



Failure is not an option; it's an outcome.
User currently offlineMariner From New Zealand, joined Nov 2001, 25569 posts, RR: 86
Reply 15, posted (8 years 1 month 1 week 6 days 15 hours ago) and read 3072 times:
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Quoting Zvezda (Reply 10):
There isn't much basis to hope for that now. It seems likely to go the way of SQ's A340-500 options.

Well, that may be true, too.

But since it hasn't happened yet, I reserve judgement.

mariner



aeternum nauta
User currently offlineNYC777 From United States of America, joined Jun 2004, 5796 posts, RR: 47
Reply 16, posted (8 years 1 month 1 week 6 days 15 hours ago) and read 3032 times:

For Airbus the next 6 - 8 months are going to be critical. Do they have another delay in the A380? Do they launch the A350 and if so is it a version that the market wants? Most critically, how are they going to revamp their corporate governance structure and introduce cost cutting measures that may not be politically popular? It seems that launch aid has taken a back seat to all these questions but it may be revived with a roar if Euro govts' want to help solve those questions with more launch aid and other cash infusions.


That which does not kill me makes me stronger.
User currently offlineTeamAmerica From United States of America, joined Sep 2006, 1761 posts, RR: 23
Reply 17, posted (8 years 1 month 1 week 6 days 15 hours ago) and read 3027 times:

Quoting RJ111 (Reply 12):
The market has been somewhat on the defensive post 9/11 and hugher fuel prices, especially in the US.
Traffic is growing, expected to double by 2020.

I'll spare you my full soapbox rant, but please consider the contradiction of citing higher fuel prices and a doubling of traffic by 2020. Rising fuel prices will slow traffic growth...or worse...and spell doom for VLA's.



Failure is not an option; it's an outcome.
User currently offlineScouseflyer From United Kingdom, joined Apr 2006, 3398 posts, RR: 9
Reply 18, posted (8 years 1 month 1 week 6 days 15 hours ago) and read 3005 times:

Quoting KC135TopBoom (Thread starter):
Currently, the A-380 has about 159 orders, but has not sold any new orders in over 2 years,

I'm sorry that's wrong - if you are taking the signing of a firm order (as you must be as the SQ MoU is not included) then there have been 29 sales in the last two years (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/A380#Orders) I will grant you that it is true that there haven't been any orders signed in the last year but I hope that they get this sorted sharpish - I want to fly on one!


User currently offlineDfwRevolution From United States of America, joined Jan 2010, 997 posts, RR: 51
Reply 19, posted (8 years 1 month 1 week 6 days 15 hours ago) and read 2989 times:

Quoting TeamAmerica (Reply 14):
There's a distant possibility that Boeing's Y3 might be a conventional 4 engine planform, but I doubt it. Far more likely to be a giant twin or not get built at all.

I don't think that's necessarily true.

It's quite possible that the market for the Y3 will not be large enough to justify a significant investment in an all-new mega-turbofan in the Ge90 legacy. Existing turbine technology could concievably scale up to 140-150 klb but that does bring a number of logistic and technical hurdles.

Consider two scenarios:

- Develop a high-risk new engine for several billion dollars for a product with market projection of maybe 300-400 units, and no application outside Y3.

- Apply a significant midlife upgrade to GEnx/Trent1000 in 2015-2020 for application on both Y3 and 787/A350, at a fraction of the cost and risk of a new engine.

By 2020, Boeing could concievably build a 400-500 seat jet capable of trouncing the A388's economics without using a twin configuration, so why assume all that risk for that extra percent off economics? Sometimes it's not having the absolute best product, but the sufficiently best product...

Quoting TeamAmerica (Reply 14):
One aircraft I specifically exclude is the A380-900. Airbus designed a wing for a plane that will never be built, and in doing so compromised the A388.

Excellent point IMO. While not the cause of today's A380 problems, it does hurt the economics in the short to medium term. If the A388 can't make a dent in that time, there may not be a "long term" to consider for a -900 stretch...

[Edited 2006-10-16 22:56:13]

User currently offlineTeamAmerica From United States of America, joined Sep 2006, 1761 posts, RR: 23
Reply 20, posted (8 years 1 month 1 week 6 days 14 hours ago) and read 2903 times:

Quoting DfwRevolution (Reply 19):
Develop a high-risk new engine for several billion dollars for a product with market projection of maybe 300-400 units, and no application outside Y3

This is exactly why I doubt that Y3 will be built at all. I think super stretched B787's are more likely (think B787-11). Of course, Boeing may not call it a 787...but Y3 may be a 787 derivative rather than the all-new aircraft we think of. If that occurs we may see B748F in production much longer than we expect.  airplane 



Failure is not an option; it's an outcome.
User currently offlineRJ111 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 21, posted (8 years 1 month 1 week 6 days 14 hours ago) and read 2889 times:

Quoting TeamAmerica (Reply 17):
but please consider the contradiction of citing higher fuel prices and a doubling of traffic by 2020. Rising fuel prices will slow traffic growth...or worse...and spell doom for VLA's.

I never implied fuel would continue rise in the future. I believe they've dropped slightly recently.

Nor do fuel prices alone determine air traffic growth. If the cost of fuel doubled over a time period but the need to travel through increased commerce and population rose four fold, there would still be traffic growth. Just not to the magnitude of four.

So there is no contradiction.

And would higher prices necessarily spell doom for the VLAs? That's a double edged blade. Traffic will be down but CASM will be more important than ever, and this is where the VLA's traditionally shine. Maybe the new trend could be kissing goodbye to frequencies.


User currently offlineZvezda From Lithuania, joined Aug 2004, 10511 posts, RR: 64
Reply 22, posted (8 years 1 month 1 week 6 days 14 hours ago) and read 2875 times:

Quoting TeamAmerica (Reply 20):
I think super stretched B787's are more likely (think B787-11).

While I don't expect it, Boeing could build an 80 meter long B787-12. It would have taxi issues at a lot of airports, but it would have great economics relative to the B747-8I SuperJumbo.


User currently offlineDfwRevolution From United States of America, joined Jan 2010, 997 posts, RR: 51
Reply 23, posted (8 years 1 month 1 week 6 days 14 hours ago) and read 2849 times:

Quoting Zvezda (Reply 22):
While I don't expect it, Boeing could build an 80 meter long B787-12. It would have taxi issues at a lot of airports

And while CFRP mitigates some of the structural inefficiency of a long/thin tube, it does not erase them completly.

Quoting RJ111 (Reply 21):
Traffic will be down but CASM will be more important than ever, and this is where the VLA's traditionally shine. Maybe the new trend could be kissing goodbye to frequencies.

You must keep in mind that the 787-10 and A350-1000 are both projected to have better CASM than the A388.

If depressed traffic volume is an anticipated risk, there is no contest between midsized jets and VLA of equal CASM.

Quoting TeamAmerica (Reply 20):
This is exactly why I doubt that Y3 will be built at all.

Don't get me wrong, I consider 300-400 units a conservative number that would still be sufficient to launch a VLA in 2020.

The A380 was projected to have a 300 unit break-even once true unit price and program cost were accounted for, but now who knows given the events of the last six months?

Unless demand for a 400-500 seat jet absolutely plummets, I consider it highly unlikely that a long-term 747 replacement would not be in discussion by 2020.


User currently offlineGokmengs From United States of America, joined Mar 2005, 1125 posts, RR: 2
Reply 24, posted (8 years 1 month 1 week 6 days 14 hours ago) and read 2849 times:

Quoting TeamAmerica (Reply 14):
One aircraft I specifically exclude is the A380-900. Airbus designed a wing for a plane that will never be built, and in doing so compromised the A388.

Did Airbus ever said they won't build the 900? I was thinking that would be offered somewhere down the line and actually become the popular model?
I think everyone is writing off the A380 way too early, its safe to say that we are talking about an aircraft with 20-30 year product life.



Gercekleri Tarih Yazar Tarihide Galatasaray
25 Zvezda : Airbus have never said they would or wouldn't build it. Opinions vary. There is a chance some may still be flying in 20 years, but I don't see any ch
26 EbbUK : Yes good quote. I ask of the Boeing model, will the point to point always remain so? If they continue to be successful will they not become hubs? If
27 Lumberton : I belong to this group as well. The old all new and improved A350, based on the A300/310/330 fuse would have allowed them to get a product to market
28 Antiuser : Umm... one is a niche aircraft, the other is an all-purpose workhorse. How many airlines have ordered the 747-8?
29 EbbUK : It would never have worked. With everyone knowing that it is a stop gap, they would have resisted buying it (40% very unlikely) and the re-sale value
30 Post contains images Mariner : Yeh, I think you are right. Still, it's good to be in agreement on something. mariner
31 Post contains images DfwRevolution : Well first, you have a flawed interpretation of "the Boeing model." You have the Boeing cheerleader/basher model, but those fanaties are far removed
32 TeamAmerica : Fuel prices will rise. I'm not a believer in doomsday scenarios, but I have studied the history of petroleum production. There is a limit, and we mus
33 Baron95 : If nothing else changes, doubling of fuel prices would cause less than a 10% rise in airline costs, since fuel represents 16-20% of total airline cost
34 RJ111 : Agreed with the latter statement, but i'd rather see some full specs for the 7810, A3510 first (+ possible Trent 1700s on the A380?). I'm not denying
35 DfwRevolution : Jeez tap the brakes... There is certainly a market for VLA aircraft, both passenger and freight. Granted it will not grow as quickly as the midsized
36 Post contains links TeamAmerica : Let's assume that you were right and fuel represents 18% of current costs and all other costs remain the same. If the fuel price doubles, it would re
37 Post contains images WingedMigrator : The financial pain of the A380 debacle has already come about. The decision to launch the A389 will be made on an incremental ROI basis. While the A3
38 Zvezda : The more realistic choice is: fly WhaleJets 30% full or fly some B787s 60% full while parking some others.
39 TeamAmerica : How many orders would Airbus need to have in order to justify a launch? I'd think at least 50. The smaller version has only taken in 159 orders in si
40 RJ111 : IMO these remarks are flippant at best. And the words 'dead' and 'kill' (come on we're not, 12-years-olds) are akin to some of the thoughts of the A3
41 Post contains images TeamAmerica : I have seen these terms used many, many times here on A.Net. I agree that it is hyperbole - so please suggest a better way to say it. For myself, I w
42 Zvezda : The A330 was a great aircraft in its time with remarkably good CASM. The WhaleJet, on the other hand, is remarkable for its structural inefficiency.
43 Post contains links RJ111 : Quoting TeamAmerica (Reply 41): but I did offer exactly that possibility. Arguably. Airbus can do a lot better than a trickle of sales before Boeing t
44 Post contains links Jdevora : http://www.airbus.com/store/mm_repos...media_object_file_OD_1974-2005.xls 2002->10 2003->34 2004->10 2005->20
45 AADC10 : Is there any data on that? I find that hard to believe that the 744 has lower CASM than a 773 in real world seating configurations. I know that UA's
46 Zvezda : My friend in fleet planning at UA says that's not correct. No, UA parked the B747-400s first because they are the most difficult to fill. The largest
47 Post contains links and images KC135TopBoom : Even the Airbus web site only counts 159 orders for the A-380. Wikipedia is a site I go to more for entertainment than facts. Anyone can write anythi
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