American 767 From United States of America, joined May 1999, 3505 posts, RR: 13 Posted (1 year 2 months 1 week 4 hours ago) and read 5597 times:
I doubt it. Because even tough AF, LH, SQ and QF were among the early customers to first show an interest for the A380 already in 2000 when the then project was still called A3XX, managers at Airbus would have thought it would not be profitable to build it. EK has ordered many more than any other airline, so imagine how many less orders Airbus would have received if EK said no. I don't think the A3XX project would have been profitable. I thought of this after reading the other thread about EK ordering more A380s.
Stitch From United States of America, joined Jul 2005, 28476 posts, RR: 84 Reply 1, posted (1 year 2 months 1 week 3 hours ago) and read 5569 times:
EK was a "bit player" when it came to the A380 at the time Airbus launched the program. They're now the dominant customer for the type, but that took over a decade after the program was already in play.
EK was the first customer to announce an order for the model (though the sixth to firm an order), however they only ordered 5 passenger models and 2 freighters. Compare this to AF (10), SQ (10), QF (12) and ILFC (10). VS also had ordered 6 and I expect Airbus knew they had the FX order (10) when they formally launched the program in December 2000.
EK did not place their second order until November 2001, and they only took 15. They then added another 22 in June 2003, which almost matched the 15 LH added in December 2001 and 6 MH added in January 2003. Emirates did not place their next order until April of 2006, and that was just a conversion of two A380-800Fs to the A380-800. They added a total of 15 (across three orders) in 2007 and it was not until June of 2010 did EK place another large order - for 32.
EK may be the airline that makes the A380 program profitable, but they had little impact, IMO, on launching the program in the first place.
LHCVG From United States of America, joined May 2009, 1422 posts, RR: 1 Reply 4, posted (1 year 2 months 6 days 5 hours ago) and read 3637 times:
Quoting Blueshamu330s (Reply 2): You seem to overlook the fact that the A380 is potentially a 40+ year project. I've no doubt the A380 was going to be built, with or without Emirates.
I think this is key - given the massive resources and clout expended on the program, even from the A3XX days, the bar to officially launch was probably lower than you might think given the long view that Airbus was taking. As said above, EK may well put the 380 into the black for Airbus That could end up being more significant than a key initial order. But EK alone was probably not the green light for the 380. I would point to the numerous programs over the years where initial models sold quite poorly when compared to later derivatives as to the releative significance of initial orders for a type.
airfrnt From United States of America, joined Jul 2004, 2814 posts, RR: 43 Reply 5, posted (1 year 2 months 6 days 5 hours ago) and read 3495 times:
EK has bailed Airbus out of the debacle, but not out of profitability. EK's ability to raise cheap capital, and it's tax haven status allows it to be more aggressive then other carriers, and has masked the complete failure of several ideal early targets - the US carriers (where around half of world wide capacity lives) and the Japanese carriers.
That being said, while we are thinking of hypotheticals, I don't think there is any way in the world Airbus would have built the A380 if they knew then what they know now. I say this not to rag on the plane - I fly trans-pacific all the time, and prefer to fly on a A380, but from a pure market perspective. It's simply not their.
But it could be worse. They could be boeing with the 747-8i.
LHCVG From United States of America, joined May 2009, 1422 posts, RR: 1 Reply 6, posted (1 year 2 months 6 days 5 hours ago) and read 3318 times:
Quoting airfrnt (Reply 6): It's simply not their.
But it could be worse. They could be boeing with the 747-8i.
This is where the "40 year program" comes in. The market for the A380, I would argue at least, is still not fully mature yet. We have statements from several aviation folks that they are eagerly awaiting a -900 version, and there are some rumors of an "-800LR" variant from time to time. It has even been said on here that the -900 may be the real killer model. All of that is conjecture at this point, but it is definitely a bit early to be saying the market isn't there for the A380.
Regarding the 748, the pax variants are gravy for Boeing to help flesh out the line. The investment was relatively minimal, and all the better if they make a few bucks while keeping a handful of orders from Airbus. Plus, if there really does turn out to be a sizable market just under the A380, they could sell a decent number of 748i's. Not a bad spot to be in.
astuteman From United Kingdom, joined Jan 2005, 9594 posts, RR: 97 Reply 7, posted (1 year 2 months 6 days 5 hours ago) and read 3100 times:
Quoting American 767 (Thread starter): I doubt it. Because even tough AF, LH, SQ and QF were among the early customers to first show an interest for the A380 already in 2000 when the then project was still called A3XX, managers at Airbus would have thought it would not be profitable to build it. EK has ordered many more than any other airline, so imagine how many less orders Airbus would have received if EK said no.
As Stitch points out, EK were only 7 of the 50 frames required to secure launch. From memory, the order which finally caused the launch to take place was VS (ironically perhaps)
As for Airbus having less orders without EK, one of the issues the huge EK demand places on the A380 supply is that no-one else can get hold of one, even if they want to. This is particularly so in light of the issues Airbus have had in ramping up production. The plane is pretty much sold out until 2018 at current rate already.
IMO we don't really know what other airlines might or might not have done without EK.
I am sure they didn't expect them to take 12 years to sell that many and if the program had tracked to plan I am confident that it would not have taken 12 years to sell that many and that after 12 years they'd have a fair bit more than 257 sales.