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FedEx And The A380 & 748  
User currently offlineDIA From United States of America, joined Jan 2001, 3273 posts, RR: 27
Posted (7 years 2 weeks 3 days 12 hours ago) and read 3652 times:

Don't recall this being thoroughly explained:

Why would FedEx have a need for an A380F (as we saw them order before they cancelled them), but then order 777F instead of 748s? I'm not understanding the size-differenciating circumstances that apparently were "okay'd" for their system. Anybody have any background on this?

To put it bluntly: Why doesn't/didn't FedEx order 748s in the interim?


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16 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlineGigneil From United States of America, joined Nov 2002, 16347 posts, RR: 85
Reply 1, posted (7 years 2 weeks 3 days 12 hours ago) and read 3638 times:

In Fedex's business, the 748i offers very little extra cube and therefore no benefit.

The A380F offers a LOT more.

NS


User currently offlineIkramerica From United States of America, joined May 2005, 21562 posts, RR: 59
Reply 2, posted (7 years 2 weeks 3 days 12 hours ago) and read 3638 times:

Quoting DIA (Thread starter):
Why doesn't/didn't FedEx order 748s in the interim?

I believe it was because the 777F is more directly similar to the MD10/11, which streamlines their operations. And they claim not to have ruled out the A380 at a later date (in fact, they believe that there will be A380s that are going to be available for conversion sooner rather than later) so they may not have wanted to have two VLAs in the fleet.

UPS has been a long time 747 customer, so the 748 fits into their operations easily.



Of all the things to worry about... the Wookie has no pants.
User currently offlineA342 From Germany, joined Jul 2005, 4689 posts, RR: 3
Reply 3, posted (7 years 2 weeks 3 days 12 hours ago) and read 3600 times:

Quoting DIA (Thread starter):
To put it bluntly: Why doesn't/didn't FedEx order 748s in the interim?

You mean to cover the period before the A380F is eventually re-started?



Exceptions confirm the rule.
User currently offlineMoo From Falkland Islands, joined May 2007, 4043 posts, RR: 4
Reply 4, posted (7 years 2 weeks 3 days 12 hours ago) and read 3550 times:

The common answer, borne out by some things various Fedex spokesmen have said publicly, is that they are still interested in the A380F, but they needed uplift much sooner than Airbus could deliver.

Rather than trying to find the finances for both 777F and A380F, they chose to cancel the A380F order (under very good terms after the delays) and push the freed up financing into the 777F. That way they do not have two significant debts undercutting their bottom line.


User currently offlineDIA From United States of America, joined Jan 2001, 3273 posts, RR: 27
Reply 5, posted (7 years 2 weeks 3 days 11 hours ago) and read 3449 times:

Good info, everyone, thanks for the insight.

Quoting Ikramerica (Reply 2):
(in fact, they believe that there will be A380s that are going to be available for conversion sooner rather than later)

This is a pretty bold statement. Are there any more details on this? ...digging deeper...

Quoting A342 (Reply 3):
You mean to cover the period before the A380F is eventually re-started?

Yes, I guess that's what I meant. Now that I think about it, it probably wouldn't make much sense...

Quoting Gigneil (Reply 1):
In Fedex's business, the 748i offers very little extra cube and therefore no benefit.

The A380F offers a LOT more.

I know what you said makes sense...just not to me. I am not familiar with the term "cube." Please explain in laymen's terms.



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User currently offlineGigneil From United States of America, joined Nov 2002, 16347 posts, RR: 85
Reply 6, posted (7 years 2 weeks 3 days 11 hours ago) and read 3413 times:

Sure. Cubes are whatever volume you're interested in. In Fedex's case I'd imagine its cubic feet.

In terms of containers carried, a 747-8i can't carry much more standard sized containers than a 777. More, sure, but not a lot. It does carry a lot more weight.

The A380, on the other hand, is volumetrically significantly bigger. It can carry containers on 3 decks. Per container, that's less weight than either the 777 or 747, but we're talking about express parcel service and they can pretty much fill the plane ("cube out") way before they hit a weight limit.

NS


User currently offlineSeabosdca From United States of America, joined Sep 2007, 5757 posts, RR: 6
Reply 7, posted (7 years 2 weeks 3 days 11 hours ago) and read 3363 times:

The A380F has enormous volume with lower cargo density and longer range than the 747-8F. This makes it a good fit for FX, which carries mostly low-density cargo a long way.

By contrast, those exact attributes put the A380F at a disadvantage for heavy cargo carriers, which is why it never sold any copies to those carriers.

Quoting Ikramerica (Reply 2):
the 777F is more directly similar to the MD10/11

Superficially, the 777F looks like it would integrate almost perfectly into an MD-11F operation. Its fuselage diameter and floor area are almost identical. Its payload is higher, but not staggeringly so. The biggest difference has nothing to do with what it can carry; it's that the 777F has longer range and burns less fuel.

Can anyone with deeper knowledge than me of the two aircraft confirm all of this? It seems like the 777F is almost perfectly positioned to replace MD-11F aircraft for carriers who use longer routes or have high enough utilization that the efficiency improvement will make up the (high) acquisition cost. (It would also presumably do a good job of replacing DC-10 freighters.) If so, shrewd move by Boeing, and they'll be selling 777Fs for many years to come, probably after the 777 pax variants are dead and buried.


User currently offlineDIA From United States of America, joined Jan 2001, 3273 posts, RR: 27
Reply 8, posted (7 years 2 weeks 3 days 11 hours ago) and read 3348 times:

Quoting Gigneil (Reply 6):
The A380, on the other hand, is volumetrically significantly bigger.

Interesting. I guess I never thought of the volume vs. weight issue. Makes a lot more sense no that I see it from that point-of-view. Thanks for opening my eyes. Good explanation, too.



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User currently offlineGigneil From United States of America, joined Nov 2002, 16347 posts, RR: 85
Reply 9, posted (7 years 2 weeks 3 days 11 hours ago) and read 3288 times:

Your analysis is correct, except the DC-10 part, just in my opinion.

I think that converted 777-200As and 777-200ERs will be better to replace the DC-10 fleet, both from a cost perspective and potentially an economics perspective.

Sure, a 77F has great fuel burn across its missions with its payload. But DC-10s from AFW to MEM are unlikely to need all that, so you have a really expensive plane with expensive engines carrying a bit more structure. You could do that pretty handily with a cheapo 777 or a converted A330-300.

I think original build 777s and A330s are going to hit big in this country on the converted freight market. I also believe that Airbus will likely offer a new-build A330-300 based freighter to capture as much of that DC-10 market as possible, once they get the 332F out the door.

I remain surprised that FedEx hasn't signed for the 332F, but it could be the same thing we're discussing here. Too capable, not enough volume to make their numbers work.

NS


User currently offlineIkramerica From United States of America, joined May 2005, 21562 posts, RR: 59
Reply 10, posted (7 years 2 weeks 3 days 11 hours ago) and read 3258 times:

Here's another reason: just like Chew, Smith insulted the 747 program while he was still on board with the A380 in 2006. Would look stupid to change his mind so soon afterward.

from a midwest trade meeting:

Quote:
Though recognizing the current strategic value of the 747 Boeing transport, Smith said it was a “pipsqueak” compared to the A380.

http://www.midwestbusiness.com/news/viewnews.asp?newsletterID=15498

Quoting DIA (Reply 5):
This is a pretty bold statement. Are there any more details on this? ...digging deeper...

It's a fact that it was said. It's far from a fact it will come true. But if you want to dig deeper, go back and look at the Fedex CEO's comments on the A380 (you can do an anet search and find all the A380/fedex cross references, I don't feel like it). He repeatedly stated that the A380-900 would lead to older A380s being available for conversion, and he also said they'd be very interested in these A380s. I say "sooner rather than later" in the sense that normally, it takes about 20 years for a plane to become conversion fodder (MD11 notwithstanding) and the Fedex comments aren't about 20 years from now. Or they weren't, as now they don't have any on order. Then they had 10+10.



Of all the things to worry about... the Wookie has no pants.
User currently offlineSeaBosDca From United States of America, joined Sep 2007, 5757 posts, RR: 6
Reply 11, posted (7 years 2 weeks 3 days 11 hours ago) and read 3236 times:

Quoting Gigneil (Reply 9):
I think that converted 777-200As and 777-200ERs will be better to replace the DC-10 fleet, both from a cost perspective and potentially an economics perspective.

That makes a lot of sense, especially for the 777-200As. Most importantly, they should be relatively cheap to acquire as A330-300s perform most of the pax missions 777-200As can perform more efficiently and will continue to do so. As cargo birds their range will be very limited, but that's presumably OK if they're replacing DC-10-10s...

But, on the other side of the same coin, could a new-build A330-300F really compete cost-effectively with 777 conversions in the DC-10 replacement market? I'm inclined to think this is a market that just doesn't really justify the cost of a new-build aircraft, even one with slightly superior efficiency. These missions have relatively low payload requirements and generate low utilization figures.


User currently offlineAstuteman From United Kingdom, joined Jan 2005, 10167 posts, RR: 97
Reply 12, posted (7 years 2 weeks 3 days 11 hours ago) and read 3202 times:
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Quoting Ikramerica (Reply 10):
But if you want to dig deeper, go back and look at the Fedex CEO's comments on the A380

IIRC, David Sutton, head of aircraft acquisitions at FX, was interviewed by FI about 18 months ago.
The comments I recall are:-

They anticipated a total of 200 A380's going into freighter service in the next 20 years, many from pax conversions.
They envisaged A388's coming onto the conversion market when airlines upgraded to A389's..... (  Smile )
The A389F is the plane they REALLY want, and would order it almost the moment it is offered..
A388 Pax conversions wouldn't have the same freight capability as a new-build A388F.

Regards


User currently offlineGigneil From United States of America, joined Nov 2002, 16347 posts, RR: 85
Reply 13, posted (7 years 2 weeks 3 days 11 hours ago) and read 3196 times:

IDK... both FedEx and UPS operate bunches and bunches of new build A300s, and FedEx a whole lot of new build 75s and 76s.

Depends on where the A350 is built. My guess, and its an uneducated one, is that the A350's tooling being completely useless for the A330 and 340 means it will be built where the A300 was plus new space. Like the A300, Airbus has long since paid for the A330/340 line.

That being so, Airbus can sell Fedex, UPS, and whomever else A330Fs until the cows come home at cost plus however many percent they can get, just like they did with the A300F. Its all free money, basically.

That being so, the lifespan of a 777 or A330 in service will still be a very long time, minus the small numbers of 777-200As and A330-301s that will get snapped up and converted. If Airbus says "here's some A330-300Fs at cost(ish)" and the price of fuel continues to climb...

Who knows?

NS


User currently offlineFXramper From United States of America, joined Dec 2005, 7317 posts, RR: 85
Reply 14, posted (7 years 2 weeks 3 days 10 hours ago) and read 3150 times:
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Quoting DIA (Thread starter):
Why would FedEx have a need for an A380F

The plan with the A380 was to go into CAN and CDG and use smaller a/c to fly internally. In China alone, we now serve over 200 cities. You can leave the 'cubes' out of this one...

We were planning on using the A380 90% out of MEM and 10% out of IND to Asia and Europe.

 twocents 


User currently offlineEI321 From Iraq, joined Jul 2009, 0 posts, RR: 0
Reply 15, posted (7 years 2 weeks 3 days 10 hours ago) and read 3069 times:

Quoting FXramper (Reply 14):
Quoting DIA (Thread starter):
Why would FedEx have a need for an A380F

The plan with the A380 was to go into CAN and CDG and use smaller a/c to fly internally. In China alone, we now serve over 200 cities. You can leave the 'cubes' out of this one...

We were planning on using the A380 90% out of MEM and 10% out of IND to Asia and Europe.

And what are the future plans, re: the A380F?

Quoting Seabosdca (Reply 7):
By contrast, those exact attributes put the A380F at a disadvantage for heavy cargo carriers, which is why it never sold any copies to those carriers.

Low cargo density was not the only reason the A380F is/was useless to heavy cargo operators. The fact that special equipment is needed to load the upper deck means that it could only be used on trunk routes where the airports have suitable equipment available.


User currently offlineFXramper From United States of America, joined Dec 2005, 7317 posts, RR: 85
Reply 16, posted (7 years 2 weeks 3 days 5 hours ago) and read 2814 times:
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Quoting EI321 (Reply 15):
And what are the future plans, re: the A380F

On the back burner. I don't care to get into a A v. B argument, but FX is very happy with the specs on the 777F.

Can't wait to get training on that bad boy.

 airplane 


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