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Air France A380: Really Needed?  
User currently offlineAerokiwi From New Zealand, joined Jul 2000, 2748 posts, RR: 4
Posted (14 years 1 week 14 hours ago) and read 569 times:

I'm a bit puzzeled as to why Air France ordered the A380. They have been replacing their 744s with 772 on flights to Singapore and will do the same to Hong Kong soon (if not already). I believe Sth American routes are in for the same fleet movements too.

So apart from Tokyo and New York flights and maybe LA, why does Air France really need this plane? Where would they put such a beast. Ok, yes, in 7 years time there will be more pax flying, but on their Asian routes at least they would probably want to add frequency first, as they don't seem too frequent now.

Just an observation. Any thoughts?

23 replies: All unread, jump to last
User currently offlineEraxandaf From United States of America, joined Aug 2000, 154 posts, RR: 0
Reply 1, posted (14 years 1 week 12 hours ago) and read 493 times:

Truthfully I've wondered that as well. I mean, I think they have 13 744's (maybe less), and some 743's (which were, along with a few 744's I belive, inherited from UTA - and are being put on the carribbean leisure routes) and are getting rid of their 742's. When was their last 744 purchase? It must have been the early 90's? And like you mentioned, they've been buying 777's and A340's for the past several years focusing on more flights with reduced capacity, now all of a sudden they'll need a 550 seat aircraft (and ordered almost as many as they have 744's)? I did, by the way, read an article 2 weeks ago in either the WSJ or Economist where the CEO of Air France was quoted as saying "Any airline that doesn't have the A3XX in its fleet with be 'phhh'" or something to that fact pertaining to be a big player in the industry. PS, I am a big Air France fan myself (yearly to Tahiti and/or Paris), so I am not trashing them, just curious as well.

User currently offlineERJ135 From Australia, joined Nov 2000, 688 posts, RR: 1
Reply 2, posted (14 years 1 week 12 hours ago) and read 477 times:

" Tokyo and New York and maybe LA"
I think you just suggested to Air France that they need six!
Do they need it?
Difficult to say with an aircraft that wont even fly for at least five years.
On the other hand if the aircraft is not warranted then why has Boeing pursued the 747x?

I remember when the DC-3 was new!
User currently offlineUdo From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 3, posted (14 years 1 week 12 hours ago) and read 475 times:

Will Tokyo get an new airport within seven years? No.
Will airlines be then able to double or triple their frequencies to Narita? NO!
What will they do to satisfy demand? Use larger aircraft. Is it so hard to understand?

By the way, Tokyo is just one example, there are more right now and more within seven years...


User currently offlineAF Cabin Crew From French Polynesia, joined Sep 1999, 1041 posts, RR: 34
Reply 4, posted (14 years 1 week 11 hours ago) and read 465 times:
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Bonjour !

First I would like to say that we fly daily to all our important asian destinations such as BKK, NRT, SIN, BJS, KIX, DEL.

Also, our chairman, Jean-Cyril Spinetta has specified that the A380 would be used to routes that demand more than a daily 747-400 load these are NRT (2X744) JFK (up to 5 flights day), YUL (3 flights a day during the summer), MIA (2 flights a day) and LAX (2X744) the NRT and LAX routes request 2 planes each to operate the flights and one plane each for the other 3 destinations for a daily flight. That takes us to 7 planes. We might want to put more than one flight to NYC and introduce another 1 or 2 A380 on the route.

Happy Flying,

AF Cabin Crew.

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Ia Maitai to tatou tere !
User currently offlineQB001 From Canada, joined Apr 2000, 2053 posts, RR: 4
Reply 5, posted (14 years 1 week 5 hours ago) and read 427 times:

Couldn't agree more with AF Cabin Crew. Also, another concern that Air France has is that CDG is becoming more and more busy, to the point that the French Government is seriously considering adding a totally new airport near Paris. In the mean time, CDG's slots availability is probably a concern here.

Also, Air France is looking at any possible ways to increase its seat offering. I read recently that it will buy Aeroflot's fleet of 772, since Aeroflot cannot pay for it anyway. AF is really agressive now, and that agressivity translates into more and more seats.

Final note to AF Cabin Crew : I'd love to see the A380 in Montreal (that is where I live), but I doubt it, since YUL is such a crapy airport that it will probably not be possible to maneuvre that airplane to the terminal. If politicians here put their act together, maybe they will someday realize that YMX is a much better airport.

Never let the facts get in the way of a good theory.
User currently offlineSteman From Germany, joined Aug 2000, 1403 posts, RR: 7
Reply 6, posted (14 years 1 week 5 hours ago) and read 424 times:

Hi guys,
actually the A380 is such a huge plane that very few airlines could now afford it. One is Air France, who is buying airplanes at an incredible rate.
What do you think if Air France would share its A380 fleet with other member in the SkyTeam alliance?
I mean Delta and Alitalia (if the latter will join) could use some of the AirFrance's A380s on their routes with their colours sharing costs and revenues with the French carrier.If 3 or more carriers would put together some of their resources and efforts they could get a huge fleet of these giant aircrafts and the maintanance and opertaions could be divided between the partecipating members.
Of course this is applicable also to the other big alliances: BA/QF/CX and LH/SQ/UA come to mind for example



User currently offlineSingapore_Air From United Kingdom, joined Nov 2000, 13745 posts, RR: 19
Reply 7, posted (14 years 1 week 3 hours ago) and read 405 times:

i@ve actually wondered why AF hav brought the A3XX. There was somewhere where it said that because it was European, AF have bought it. I agree with that but I also agree that CDG is getting crowded and cute.

Anyone can fly, only the best Soar.
User currently offlineF.pier From Italy, joined Aug 2000, 1527 posts, RR: 9
Reply 8, posted (14 years 1 week 1 hour ago) and read 385 times:

Today I was surfing the Boeing site and I realized that some airline still need 747s!!!!
A lot of people say that now big airliners aren't needed, but I noticed that they're still useful, that's why airlines still place orders for that model.
I think that the 747-400 is a good airplane, but it was born in the late 80s.
A380 will be really modern and it can offer a lot of interesting features, that are and will be unavailable on the old 747, despite of the work that Boeing engineers are making to improve their product.
That's why I think Air France made the right choice; Air France will have a really good fleet and it can change the older 747 with the new 380.
I hope that a lot of airlines will decide to do the same thing.
Thank You and Happy Christmas

User currently offlineAFa340-300E From France, joined May 1999, 2084 posts, RR: 26
Reply 9, posted (14 years 6 days 23 hours ago) and read 373 times:


As pointed out by AF Crew Cabin, there are quite a few routes on Air France's network which actually require the capacity for A380s.

Besides, the A380 being an airplane larger and with lower DOCs (Direct Operating Costs) than the 747-400, the aircraft would allow to carry more passengers using the same slots at NRT and JFK for instance (where they are restricted) and with a greater profitability.

As far as the Aerflot's 777-200ERs are concerned, I would like to give a precision: these aircraft have always been maintained by Air France Industrie. Thus, Air France isn't ready to buy anything as an airplane to cope with its growing traffic.

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Best regards,
Alain Mengus

User currently offlineYHU From Canada, joined Jun 2000, 429 posts, RR: 1
Reply 10, posted (14 years 5 days 23 hours ago) and read 339 times:

The new International expansion should give the A380 plenty of room to move at Montreal Dorval. The apron area will be much bigger. The only problem YUL has is the sam problem all other airports are having, including Heathrow. The runways need to be wider. That's one of the things AF has requested to Aeroprt de Montreal to do. They have asked them to bring the runways and taxiways up to A380 standards. ADM are not going with it full speed ahead though. They are not sure if it is worth while or not at this point.

User currently offlineWatewate From Canada, joined Nov 2000, 2284 posts, RR: 1
Reply 11, posted (14 years 5 days 23 hours ago) and read 329 times:

Good point YHU. AF is likely to be the only tenant at YUL with A380 service if at all. Wasting tax payers money to accomodate 1 or 2 or 3 flights a day is totally ludicrous. I can't see Air Canada operating A380 anytime soon, so that money for expansion can be better spent elsewhere.

User currently offlineAFa340-300E From France, joined May 1999, 2084 posts, RR: 26
Reply 12, posted (14 years 5 days 23 hours ago) and read 329 times:

Hello Watewate,

You're right about the limited operations the A380 would have at YUL. But still, the matter for Quebec is to know whether they want to keep an international standards airport or not.

Many airlines have pulled out from Montreal over the past years. And ADM must be keen on getting them back. Thus they need to offer what they customers would get at BOS or YYZ, don't they?

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Best regards,
Alain Mengus

User currently offlineWatewate From Canada, joined Nov 2000, 2284 posts, RR: 1
Reply 13, posted (14 years 5 days 23 hours ago) and read 320 times:

Which major airports have runways that aren't upto par with A380 standards? I was led to believe that A380 will be able to fly to airports with minimum modifications for the aircraft. Runway modification is a big task and I just wonder how many airports (the charter destinations- the small island airports) can afford to make such changes.

User currently offlineTheCroupier From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 14, posted (14 years 5 days 22 hours ago) and read 309 times:

Why so suprised? I'd be more surprised if they did not order.

Air France is on board to share in the glory or wallow in the blame depending on the success of the A380. Air France (more than any other EU carrier) has support the French/EU workers assembling the plane.

I personally like this plane (and Airbus) and hope it flies, but I think some orders from EU airlines might be made under duress.

User currently offlineTWAneedsNOhelp From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 15, posted (14 years 5 days 22 hours ago) and read 306 times:

AF uses 777s to JFK in addition to 744. If they need all this new capacity move those 77s somewhere else. A3XX is simply a job development project and AF was expected to order before the plane was ever launched.

I have feeling the 5 ships going to Intl Lease & Finance will probably end up at AF, VS, or SQ anyway under very favorable lease payments for the carriers to avoid embarrasment.

User currently offlineDatamanA340 From South Korea, joined Dec 2000, 547 posts, RR: 0
Reply 16, posted (14 years 5 days 21 hours ago) and read 304 times:

"10 A380" means "AF can fly to Tokyo, Seoul, Hong Kong, New York, Dallas, Los Angeles, Bangkok and Singapore daily once for each." I think '10 A380' is not wasting money, especially for 2007 or later. At that time, another Skyteam founder KAL will need 15 or more A380 (of course B747X possible), that means it's worthless mentioning something like 'A380 sharing'.

Just good for AF's decision. They won't think so roughly. Even currently CDG takes more than 30 minutes to take passengers on gates to runways. Imagine the situation, when 2E opens.

User currently offlineYHU From Canada, joined Jun 2000, 429 posts, RR: 1
Reply 17, posted (14 years 5 days 16 hours ago) and read 292 times:

I'm not sure what airports can currently handle the A380, but I know that BAA has decided to make Heathrow's runways up to standard for the A380, which I believe means make them wide enough.