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Air France: Airbus A380 Not A Good Fit For Network  
User currently offlineLAXintl From United States of America, joined May 2000, 24314 posts, RR: 47
Posted (6 months 2 weeks 4 days 23 hours ago) and read 54762 times:

Below subscription article makes it sound like Air France has found the large 516-seat A380 not the best fit, and will focus on A350/787s sized aircraft for its network instead.

Suppose this supports what CX recently has been saying about VLA's as well. They are more a niche model and not ideal backbone across a broader longhaul network for many carriers.

If anyone has access, let us know what the rest of the article says..


Air France: Airbus A380 not a good fit for network
http://atwonline.com/airframes/air-f...e-airbus-a380-not-good-fit-network

=


From the desert to the sea, to all of Southern California
250 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlineRussianJet From Kyrgyzstan, joined Jul 2007, 7623 posts, RR: 23
Reply 1, posted (6 months 2 weeks 4 days 23 hours ago) and read 54772 times:
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Quoting LAXintl (Thread starter):
They are more a niche model and not ideal backbone across a broader longhaul network for many carriers.

Unless, of course, you happen to be EK.



✈ Every strike of the hammer is a blow against the enemy. ✈
User currently offlineavek00 From United States of America, joined Oct 2004, 4281 posts, RR: 20
Reply 2, posted (6 months 2 weeks 4 days 23 hours ago) and read 54782 times:

Not at all surprising. While AIRFRANCE is a ridiculously expensive airline to operate, its Paris-CDG hub lacks the growth constraints that compelled other European legacy airlines to order the A380 superjumbo.


Live life to the fullest.
User currently offlinemercure1 From French Polynesia, joined Jul 2008, 1128 posts, RR: 2
Reply 3, posted (6 months 2 weeks 4 days 23 hours ago) and read 54202 times:

I think we saw heard hint of this in their comment earlier this year when AF stretch out delivery of some frames by 1-year.
By the time they receive their 12th frame in 2015 it will have been over a 6-year period. They certainly have not been in hurry to acquire the A380.

Unless AF want to equip its A380s with 700-seats and utilize on overseas departments and territories markets, I dont think any AF route really need the A380. Primary longhaul aircraft has become the 777, as even the 744 was deemed too big several years back and fleet trimmed.


User currently onlineMaverickM11 From United States of America, joined Apr 2000, 16934 posts, RR: 48
Reply 4, posted (6 months 2 weeks 4 days 23 hours ago) and read 54224 times:

Well, that 380-900 should be announced any day now  . I never understood the need for a 380 at AF since they're not really constrained anywhere.


E pur si muove -Galileo
User currently offlinePlaneAdmirer From United States of America, joined Jul 2009, 551 posts, RR: 1
Reply 5, posted (6 months 2 weeks 4 days 22 hours ago) and read 54091 times:

Quoting avek00 (Reply 2):
Not at all surprising. While AIRFRANCE is a ridiculously expensive airline to operate, its Paris-CDG hub lacks the growth constraints that compelled other European legacy airlines to order the A380 superjumbo.

That's an easy problem to solve. Impose slot restrictions and limit take off and landings arbitrarily. That will drive up fares, the value of the existing slots, and increase the value of VLA's to the incumbent airlines.


User currently offlinepoint2point From United States of America, joined Mar 2010, 2633 posts, RR: 1
Reply 6, posted (6 months 2 weeks 4 days 22 hours ago) and read 53969 times:

Quoting PlaneAdmirer (Reply 5):
That's an easy problem to solve. Impose slot restrictions and limit take off and landings arbitrarily. That will drive up fares, the value of the existing slots, and increase the value of VLA's to the incumbent airlines.

LOL!

Gotta love this...... someone thinking an outside the box solution here, eh?........

 


User currently offlinegegarrenton From United States of America, joined Aug 2012, 211 posts, RR: 0
Reply 7, posted (6 months 2 weeks 4 days 22 hours ago) and read 53736 times:

I predict this thread has legs.

User currently offlineNAV20 From Australia, joined Nov 2003, 9909 posts, RR: 36
Reply 8, posted (6 months 2 weeks 4 days 22 hours ago) and read 53639 times:

Quoting LAXintl (Thread starter):
subscription article makes it sound like Air France has found the large 516-seat A380 not the best fit, and will focus on A350/787s sized aircraft for its network instead.

I think that it took a great deal of courage, on the part of Air France, to say what most of us have been wondering about.

But it's out in the open now. The future looks like being B787s/A350s/B777s? NOT B748s/A380s?



"Once you have flown, you will walk the earth with your eyes turned skywards.." - Leonardo da Vinci
User currently offlineBlueSky1976 From Poland, joined Jul 2004, 1834 posts, RR: 4
Reply 9, posted (6 months 2 weeks 4 days 22 hours ago) and read 53589 times:

Quoting NAV20 (Reply 8):
The future looks like being B787s/A350s/B777s? NOT B748s/A380s?

It has been evident since the advent of 777-300ER and, to a lesser part, A340-600. Both marketed to replace "older 747/747-400" by each of their respective manufacturer.



All Hail Mighty Triple Seven, The MURDERER of the so-called "Queen"!!!!
User currently offlineSKAirbus From Norway, joined Oct 2007, 1618 posts, RR: 2
Reply 10, posted (6 months 2 weeks 4 days 22 hours ago) and read 53516 times:

Quoting NAV20 (Reply 8):
I think that it took a great deal of courage, on the part of Air France, to say what most of us have been wondering about.

But it's out in the open now. The future looks like being B787s/A350s/B777s? NOT B748s/A380s?

I wonder if the A380 was ordered for prestige. We all know that AF likes a bit of that...

I think there is a market for the A380, but it may be in 10 to 20 years time when growth in the industry becomes more difficult. Asia will be the staple for the aircraft and I am pretty sure CX will order the aircraft eventually. BA will also order more frames I am sure of and airlines like SQ, LH and EK have put in top up orders indicating that they are more than happy with the aircraft in their respective fleets.



Next Flights: LHR-LBA (319-SK), MAN-ARN (736-SK), ARN-LHR (763-BA), LHR-CPH (CR9-SK), CPH-LHR (320-SK), LHR-IAH (744-BA)
User currently offlineskipness1E From United Kingdom, joined Aug 2007, 3073 posts, RR: 1
Reply 11, posted (6 months 2 weeks 4 days 22 hours ago) and read 53281 times:

Quoting NAV20 (Reply 8):
I think that it took a great deal of courage, on the part of Air France, to say what most of us have been wondering about.

I think BA will come to the same conclusion, it's a good niche fit but hardly the backbone of the fleet. It would have been something of a shock of Air France, a semi-autonomous private airline that behaves like it was still part of the French state had not ordered the A380, it's French politics writ large. Now I am not saying there's not a decent business case on some routes, I am merely saying French pride played it's part and if it works, there's nothing wrong with that. Indeed they passed on the A340-600 after all   I think aside from SQ and EK, most A380 purchases have been of a similar vein, with AF, BA and LH at least having a commercial case. Not so sure about MH or TG.


User currently offlinetortugamon From United States of America, joined Apr 2013, 3204 posts, RR: 10
Reply 12, posted (6 months 2 weeks 4 days 22 hours ago) and read 53057 times:

Quoting RussianJet (Reply 1):
Unless, of course, you happen to be EK.

The quote was 'backbone' 'for many carriers'. EK is not 'many carriers'. Also, as EK has more than 3 times as many 777s as they do A380s I don't think I would say that the A380 is the backbone there either. In fact Tim Clark says something similar on Emirates.com:

Tim Clark, President Emirates Airline said: “The 777s form the backbone of our fleet, and we have configured these aircraft to give us maximum flexibility in terms of route deployment.
http://www.emirates.com/us/english/a...ws/news_detail.aspx?article=483394

Sorry to hear the A380 isn't completely working out for AF. Hope it turns around. I love flying on her.

tortugamon


User currently onlinewingman From St. Vincent and the Grenadines, joined May 1999, 2099 posts, RR: 5
Reply 13, posted (6 months 2 weeks 4 days 22 hours ago) and read 53055 times:

The 787, 350, and 777 have something like 1,700 unfilled orders compared to what for the 380/747...250-300? There's no debate. The 380 isn't even the backbone of the fleet for EK, at best it's one of two.

User currently offlineblueshamu330s From UK - England, joined Sep 2001, 2785 posts, RR: 26
Reply 14, posted (6 months 2 weeks 4 days 22 hours ago) and read 52947 times:

Quoting skipness1E (Reply 12):
I think BA will come to the same conclusion

I disagree. Look at the intransigence with regard to future south east UK airspace and airport capacity development and factor that into fleet and route planning for the 2020+ decade; British Airways will be in exactly the same position as they were in prior to buying bmi.

The A380s have a sure and secure future at BA and I will bet my shirt they will end up with a significantly more substantial fleet than they currently have on order and option.

Rgds



So I drive a 4x4. So what?! Tax the a$$ off me for it...oh, you already have... :-(
User currently offlineSpeedbored From United Kingdom, joined Jul 2013, 173 posts, RR: 0
Reply 15, posted (6 months 2 weeks 4 days 22 hours ago) and read 52653 times:

At the time that Air France ordered the A380, their projections obviously suggested to them that the A380 would be a good fit for their network. Since then a number of events (9/11, GFC, etc.), along with increased competition from the gulf carriers have all contributed to a significantly different market from the one that Air France was predicting 13 years ago. Other carriers have been affected in a similar way.

When the global economy recovers, and traffic picks up, I believe that Air France and other airlines will find the A380 to be a good fit for many routes on their networks.

Quoting RussianJet (Reply 1):
Unless, of course, you happen to be EK.

  
Even if things don't recover well enough for the A380 to become attractive to many airlines, I'm pretty sure that Airbus will be pretty happy if they only get the potential 180 frame replacement/fleet-doubling order from EK that Tim Clarke was talking about in a recent interview.


User currently onlinerwy04lga From United States of America, joined Jul 2005, 3115 posts, RR: 8
Reply 16, posted (6 months 2 weeks 4 days 22 hours ago) and read 52550 times:

Quoting LAXintl (Thread starter):
They are more a niche model and not ideal backbone across a broader longhaul network for many carriers.
Quoting NAV20 (Reply 8):
The future looks like being B787s/A350s/B777s? NOT B748s/A380s?
Quoting BlueSky1976 (Reply 9):
It has been evident since the advent of 777-300ER and, to a lesser part, A340-600. Both marketed to replace "older 747/747-400" by each of their respective manufacturer.

Looks like Boeing was on to something a few years ago and didn't really want to engage in a pecker contest.



Just accept that some days, you're the pigeon, and other days the statue
User currently offlinejfk777 From United States of America, joined Aug 2006, 8090 posts, RR: 7
Reply 17, posted (6 months 2 weeks 4 days 22 hours ago) and read 52462 times:
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Quoting SKAirbus (Reply 11):
I wonder if the A380 was ordered for prestige. We all know that AF likes a bit of that...

Air France purchased the jets for the "glory" of France and support French industry.


User currently offlinecasinterest From United States of America, joined Feb 2005, 4157 posts, RR: 2
Reply 18, posted (6 months 2 weeks 4 days 22 hours ago) and read 52461 times:

Quoting Speedbored (Reply 16):
When the global economy recovers, and traffic picks up, I believe that Air France and other airlines will find the A380 to be a good fit for many routes on their networks.

Perhaps, but the 787 and A350 were also not on the table then either. These aircraft offer a range and capacity that the A380 has a hard time competing with. The 747-8 and A380 have a purpose, but not nearly as large as what was once imagined.



Older than I just was ,and younger than I will soo be.
User currently offlinekanban From United States of America, joined Jan 2008, 3211 posts, RR: 26
Reply 19, posted (6 months 2 weeks 4 days 22 hours ago) and read 51787 times:
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Looks like the Concord prestige debate on a larger (more planes) scale.. Boeing shied away from going the bigger is better route years ago.. the 747-8 was needed as a niche freighter.. and to set the stage for AF1 replacement.. but is not considered essential to company profit..

User currently offlineroseflyer From United States of America, joined Feb 2004, 9375 posts, RR: 52
Reply 20, posted (6 months 2 weeks 4 days 22 hours ago) and read 51702 times:

I’ve posted this before in reference to US carriers, but not for a single hub European operator. The VLA can kill the competition on operating costs per seat. However, it is difficult to manage a network with a limited number of A380s, because there aren’t that many routes that can reliably fill that capacity and don’t have seasonal fluctuations. The VLA may have the lowest CASM, but it has the highest operating costs. That means, that it can hurt RASM in the slow season because that is a lot of seats to fill.

For AF, there certainly are some routes where the VLA capacity is needed like JFK, YUL, etc. However it constrains some flexibility have a small fleet type. Utilization is less and seasonal traffic variations can hurt load factor or revenue. I’m a bit surprised with its single mega hub that Air France has those problems. They are more pronounced in the US market with fragmented hubs and serving international destinations from multiple hubs.

By the way, I used VLA rather than A380 since the exact same argument works for why 747s are not as popular as they once were. The A380 has killer CASM, but must have a route network with the demand and flexibility to reliably fill it. Otherwise it is an expensive lease payment that burns a lot of fuel doing a 777s job. For EK it works great, but it doesn’t work for everyone. UA for example, prefers to operate 2 777s in peak season, and 1 777 in low season. In peak season it is less efficient, but in slow season, it is more efficient. CASM is just as important as fleet flexibility is.

[Edited 2013-10-01 09:56:23]


If you have never designed an airplane part before, let the real designers do the work!
User currently offlineNeutronStar73 From United States of America, joined Mar 2011, 427 posts, RR: 0
Reply 21, posted (6 months 2 weeks 4 days 21 hours ago) and read 51512 times:

Even though Air France believes that the aircraft is not a fit for it's network, I don't see them getting rid of the aircraft anytime soon. But their statements are an interesting one regarding the future of the aircraft outside of carriers like EK who seem to need huge fleets of the aircraft. But perhaps most other carriers will find they don't need as many or any of the A380 at all. Maybe just a bit too big.

User currently offlinen729pa From UK - England, joined Jan 2011, 367 posts, RR: 0
Reply 22, posted (6 months 2 weeks 4 days 21 hours ago) and read 51515 times:

IMHO, the airlines will grow into the A380. Once the world economy gets back on it's feet properly and business/tourism increases there's bound to be an increase of bums on seats, and with major gateways being more and more congested, I believe the only answer is to size up. You have to bear in mind that most of these airlines have taken in the A380 during one of the worst recessions in history, so it's only natural that the demand isn't there, (yet). I always quote the early 70s, when we had the rush of airlines to order the new 747, then the fuel crisis came and production/deliveries dropped drastically from 1972-1978, then the 747 delivery rate picked up again. Likewise we had carriers that walked away from the 747 in favour of Tristars/DC10s, but some presisted and indeed in the late 70s/early 80s new customers like SIA, Cathay Pacific, Air NZ, Saudia, ANA started to order the 747. Some airlines will make it work, others won't just like the 747 40 years ago.

User currently onlineMaverickM11 From United States of America, joined Apr 2000, 16934 posts, RR: 48
Reply 23, posted (6 months 2 weeks 4 days 21 hours ago) and read 51380 times:

Quoting Speedbored (Reply 16):
At the time that Air France ordered the A380, their projections obviously suggested to them that the A380 would be a good fit for their network.

Their projections probably just 'coincidentally' supported the order. It's a lot more common and not just prone to French airlines ordering "French" airplanes.



E pur si muove -Galileo
User currently offlinetortugamon From United States of America, joined Apr 2013, 3204 posts, RR: 10
Reply 24, posted (6 months 2 weeks 4 days 21 hours ago) and read 51159 times:

Quoting Speedbored (Reply 16):
When the global economy recovers, and traffic picks up, I believe that Air France and other airlines will find the A380 to be a good fit for many routes on their networks.

An improving economy would certainly help. However, as more time passes more A350/B787s will enter the market and inevitably take over more 747 routes/replacements and the A380 availability advantage will gradually disappear. These models are going to both be produced at over 10/month in the next couple of years. The A380 struggles to get 30/year. I just don't see an improving economy being the silver bullet here.

Of course there is a need for the A380 I just don't see its market size changing in a dramatic way.

Quoting blueshamu330s (Reply 15):
The A380s have a sure and secure future at BA and I will bet my shirt they will end up with a significantly more substantial fleet than they currently have on order and option.

BA already has the lion's share of its 747 replacements on order and have stated they aren't interested in changing the size of A380s on order. In fact there are very few 747s anywhere that need a replacement plan. Of course this could change well down the road but that will have to happen when there are no more 747s in their fleet or in many other fleets (Should be less than 150 total by 2020 and much fewer after that especially at mainline carriers). Which means that in order for the A380 to garner more orders at BA or elsewhere it will probably have to come from a market that is currently being served by a 777 or an A340-600 (much less so).

Replacing a 777 with an A380 certainly happens (look at EK) but it is not like replacing a 744 especially if you like cargo and have an uncertain future. Its much more likely in my opinion that these routes will be disproportionately served by A350s/B787s/B777Xs during the next replacement cycle.

BA can establish solid growth without dramatic increases in frequency and without significant further growth of their A380 fleet and that is the way I think they will go. Just like UA, AF, CX, etc.

tortugamon


User currently offlineJAAlbert From United States of America, joined Jan 2006, 1491 posts, RR: 1
Reply 25, posted (6 months 2 weeks 4 days 21 hours ago) and read 52450 times:

What are the load factors on AF's 380s? (Yes, I know load factor doesn't mean much, but yields are probably proprietary info.) Is AF able to fill its 380s? Anybody have some anecdotal evidence on AF 380 flights they've taken?

Its an interesting situation that more people than ever are flying, yet the really big planes aren't popular with (most of) the airlines.

Quoting NeutronStar73 (Reply 22):
Even though Air France believes that the aircraft is not a fit for it's network, I don't see them getting rid of the aircraft anytime soon.

This was my next question: If the 380 isn't a fit, could AF sell them? I recall after the 747 came into service that airlines everywhere bought the plane with many selling them upon discovering that it was too much plane. AA for instance.


User currently onlineikramerica From United States of America, joined May 2005, 21415 posts, RR: 60
Reply 26, posted (6 months 2 weeks 4 days 21 hours ago) and read 52745 times:

Quoting Speedbored (Reply 16):
At the time that Air France ordered the A380, their projections obviously suggested to them that the A380 would be a good fit for their network.

But AF hadn't received their first 77W yet, and the 77W hadn't gained 700nm yet, and no tier one carrier had put 10Y into a 777 yet. And the 77E had only been in service a few years.

Carriers with fleets of 744s were under the impression that they needed VLAs because they had VLAs, even though some 744s were purchased for their range, not their capacity.

But as time has moved on, most have realized that many of the VLAs they owned were there because of range/payload ability, and the newer but not as large aircraft could carry more cargo and fulfill most if not all the VLA missions at a higher profit.

Both Airbus and Boeing knew that carriers would want more cargo per pax so they both designed their new jets (787/A350) with that in mind, maxing out the hold space -- some might say and sacrificing aesthetics to do it -- which shifts the argument even further from VLAs. (and from dedicated freighters, which AF also is backing away from)

The old argument held that if you could replace 2 planes with a VLA, well it's more economical. But if you can run 2 almost as economical new aircraft on the same route, and carry much more cargo, it may be a better option.



Of all the things to worry about... the Wookie has no pants.
User currently offlineSpeedbored From United Kingdom, joined Jul 2013, 173 posts, RR: 0
Reply 27, posted (6 months 2 weeks 4 days 21 hours ago) and read 53057 times:

Quoting MaverickM11 (Reply 24):
It's a lot more common and not just prone to French airlines ordering "French" airplanes.

So that would explain how Air France have twice as many Boeing wide-bodies as they have Airbus wide-bodies, would it?


User currently offlineanfromme From Ireland, joined Feb 2012, 395 posts, RR: 11
Reply 28, posted (6 months 2 weeks 4 days 21 hours ago) and read 52905 times:

Quoting kanban (Reply 20):
the 747-8 was needed as a niche freighter.. and to set the stage for AF1 replacement.. but is not considered essential to company profit..

What would a.net be without those myths you can't really find anywhere else?
What does it matter that Boeing would certainly not have launched the multi-billion $ revamp that is the 747-8 for freighters alone. What, indeed, does it matter, that Boeing initially predicted 3/4 of 747-8 sales to be for the pax variant... In short - a.net myths: Your happy place where facts don't matter.

Quoting jfk777 (Reply 18):
Air France purchased the jets for the "glory" of France and support French industry.

That's exactly what happened when they placed their initial order for 10 in 2000, and again seven years later when they ordered another 2. It's also the only valid explanation for any potential A380 top-up order by AF in the future. Or any Airbus order at all, really.
  

A big problem with this whole thread, by the way, is that the article it's based on is subscription-only. Without a subscription, it's impossible to tell what exactly Air France have said and what the context was. (Curiously, on their own website, AF still call the A380 "well-adapted to the Air France strategy" and the hub at CDG.)

Generally, the fact that they'll have more 787/A350(/777X)-sized aircraft than A380s, and that the A380 is not going to be the backbone of their fleet, should not really come as a shock to anybody. AF never had more than 12 pax 747-400, of which 5 were combis. (Their total A380 order is also 12.) Not a very VLA-heavy airline compared to LH or BA for instance.



Sláinte!
User currently offlinekanban From United States of America, joined Jan 2008, 3211 posts, RR: 26
Reply 29, posted (6 months 2 weeks 4 days 21 hours ago) and read 52397 times:
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Quoting anfromme (Reply 29):
What would a.net be without those myths you can't really find anywhere else?
What does it matter that Boeing would certainly not have launched the multi-billion $ revamp that is the 747-8 for freighters alone. What, indeed, does it matter, that Boeing initially predicted 3/4 of 747-8 sales to be for the pax variant... In short - a.net myths: Your happy place where facts don't matter.

Where I can agree with you on some points.. a hazard in today's environment is assuming all statements are absolute and immutable. The 747-8 program has been constantly re assessed by Boeing and a statement 5-10 years past may not be relevant to current thought.. Another A.net myth.. once said never revisited for update and feet should be held to the fire if perception or goals change.


User currently offlineVV701 From United Kingdom, joined Aug 2005, 7256 posts, RR: 17
Reply 30, posted (6 months 2 weeks 4 days 21 hours ago) and read 52308 times:

Quoting skipness1E (Reply 12):
I think BA will come to the same conclusion, it's a good niche fit but hardly the backbone of the fleet

I would go further and say that BA have already come to the same conclusion. It looks to be a great aircraft for those routes where curfew or other clock restraints condense operations into a narrow time window. But otherwise . . .


Quoting blueshamu330s (Reply 15):
The A380s have a sure and secure future at BA and I will bet my shirt they will end up with a significantly more substantial fleet than they currently have on order and option

I am not a betting man so will keep my shirt on my back. But with three 77Ws still on order and with totals of 18 350s and 42 787s ordered as well as the 12 380s the chances of any further BA 380 orders beyond their 7 outstanding options look very slim to me. Indeed I personally doubt whether all of their options will be exercised.

Unless BA abandon their high frequency strategy aimed primarily at the business traveller I cannot see where they would operate a significantly bigger 380 fleet then they currently have ordered. Of course if they went face to face with the likes of EK aiming their product as they did back in the 90s then things would be different. But I believe the chances of that happening are next to zero.


User currently offlinetortugamon From United States of America, joined Apr 2013, 3204 posts, RR: 10
Reply 31, posted (6 months 2 weeks 4 days 21 hours ago) and read 52096 times:

Quoting kanban (Reply 20):
the 747-8 was needed as a niche freighter.. and to set the stage for AF1 replacement..

I have a hard time believing that knowing what Boeing knows now that they still would have launched the 747-8.

Quoting anfromme (Reply 29):
Generally, the fact that they'll have more 787/A350(/777X)-sized aircraft than A380s, and that the A380 is not going to be the backbone of their fleet, should not really come as a shock to anybody. AF never had more than 12 pax 747-400, of which 5 were combis. (Their total A380 order is also 12.) Not a very VLA-heavy airline compared to LH or BA for instance.

Well said. I too would like to read the full article/quote. "Not a good fit" and "Not the backbone of the fleet" are very different things and columnists are notorious for eye-catching titles when the actual quote is more understated.

tortugamon


User currently offlineStitch From United States of America, joined Jul 2005, 29677 posts, RR: 84
Reply 32, posted (6 months 2 weeks 4 days 21 hours ago) and read 52362 times:
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Quoting blueshamu330s (Reply 15):
The A380s have a sure and secure future at BA and I will bet my shirt they will end up with a significantly more substantial fleet than they currently have on order and option.

As super-bullish as I am on the A380, I'm starting to wonder if a dozen may very well be enough for BA.

The 777-300ER has about 20% less Club World and 50% more World Traveller Plus seats and the same number of FIRST and World Traveller seats as the High-J 747-400, resulting in the same number of total seats. The A350-1000 should be the same as the 777-300ER and the 787-10 should be close. So that looks to me like BA is thinking that the majority of their 747-400 routes will see Club World demand shift towards World Traveller Plus and new premium customers will more likely choose WT+ over CW.

The A380-800 offers a significant increase in CW and WT seating compared to the High-J 747-400 so it seems to me to be only appropriate for a handful of core routes with high traffic demand in all classes (essentially cities served with a mix of High-J and Low-J 747-400s).

[Edited 2013-10-01 10:39:23]

User currently offlineevomutant From United Kingdom, joined May 2006, 450 posts, RR: 0
Reply 33, posted (6 months 2 weeks 4 days 21 hours ago) and read 51824 times:

Great thread. We get some A380 bashing and some boring cliches about the French thrown in too. Happy days!


I hate to be all pragmatic and all, but maybe they just made a mistake? Got their modelling wrong? It happens. The incessant need for conspiracies behind everything is rather tedious.


User currently onlineMaverickM11 From United States of America, joined Apr 2000, 16934 posts, RR: 48
Reply 34, posted (6 months 2 weeks 4 days 21 hours ago) and read 51511 times:

Quoting Speedbored (Reply 28):
France have twice as many Boeing wide-bodies as they have Airbus wide-bodies, would it?

It certainly could be; I think people underestimate how often decisions are made and *then* backed into with forecasts and projections. Then again Airbus didn't really have a big twin competitor at the time.



E pur si muove -Galileo
User currently offlinegegarrenton From United States of America, joined Aug 2012, 211 posts, RR: 0
Reply 35, posted (6 months 2 weeks 4 days 21 hours ago) and read 51358 times:

Quoting evomutant (Reply 34):
Great thread. We get some A380 bashing and some boring cliches about the French thrown in too. Happy days!

Expect anything less?


User currently offlineUnited787 From United States of America, joined May 2005, 2641 posts, RR: 2
Reply 36, posted (6 months 2 weeks 4 days 20 hours ago) and read 50661 times:

Quoting evomutant (Reply 34):
I hate to be all pragmatic and all, but maybe they just made a mistake? Got their modelling wrong? It happens. The incessant need for conspiracies behind everything is rather tedious.

That and maybe the aviation world has changed significantly in the last years! The A380 now is slightly older than the 777 was then...2000 was ions ago.

Also, was it ever intended to be the "backbone" of the fleet? My guess is not, that is an A-Net label. I am sure they will find a niche for it that works for them.


User currently offlinetortugamon From United States of America, joined Apr 2013, 3204 posts, RR: 10
Reply 37, posted (6 months 2 weeks 4 days 20 hours ago) and read 50284 times:

Quoting Stitch (Reply 33):
The 777-300ER has about 20% less Club World and 50% more World Traveller Plus seats and the same number of FIRST and World Traveller seats as the High-J 747-400, resulting in the same number of total seats.

Could there be something else contributing to this trend? The 77Ws seem to be used on the longest BA routes (PVG, NRT, SIN/SYD, GIG (or GRU; can't remember) where 744s are less economical. Do these longer routes have a higher mix of premium clients that may not be indicative of shorter routes that have yet to be replaced by 77Ws?

Today's premium business traveler is tomorrow's economy seat family vacationer so its not like they can ignore Y completely. They may think they can upgrade the valuable clients to W. However, there is no doubt that LCC and ME3 are eating some of BAs lunch so I don't doubt that their Y demand is down. Just not sure if these 12 77Ws are the tell tale sign.

tortugamon


User currently onlinewingman From St. Vincent and the Grenadines, joined May 1999, 2099 posts, RR: 5
Reply 38, posted (6 months 2 weeks 4 days 20 hours ago) and read 50165 times:

Quoting evomutant (Reply 34):
Great thread. We get some A380 bashing and some boring cliches about the French thrown in too. Happy days!

After 6 straight weeks of incessant Boeing 787 bashing I find it quite refreshing. Such a shame to leave Embraer and Bombardier out of it though.


User currently offlineTheRedBaron From Mexico, joined Mar 2005, 2154 posts, RR: 8
Reply 39, posted (6 months 2 weeks 4 days 20 hours ago) and read 50218 times:

Another thread:
The A380 will never be a good case, and will dry up in orders and die....

we now have 3 of those on ANet, and 4 regarding the 787 problems...

Nothing new under the sun.

AF did not order those on a whim, BUT they have big costs and they are not very efficient, hence using a very expensive airplane with expensive ops its complicated. not the AC fault.

TRB



The best seat in a Plane is the Jumpseat.
User currently offlineart From United Kingdom, joined Feb 2005, 3341 posts, RR: 0
Reply 40, posted (6 months 2 weeks 4 days 20 hours ago) and read 49968 times:

Quoting evomutant (Reply 34):
Great thread. We get some A380 bashing and some boring cliches about the French thrown in too. Happy days!

 
Quoting evomutant (Reply 34):
I hate to be all pragmatic and all, but maybe they just made a mistake? Got their modelling wrong?

Good point.

Quoting United787 (Reply 37):
Also, was it ever intended to be the "backbone" of the fleet? My guess is not, that is an A-Net label. I am sure they will find a niche for it that works for them.

You buy as many as you think will make more profit than another type for your airline, I guess. That might mean 10 A380's out of a total fleet of 200 aircraft or it might mean 20 A380's out of a total fleet of 150 aircraft.

If it does not work for AF, so be it, although I think that as pax traffic increases in the coming years it will work better and better for its present operators.


User currently offlineincitatus From Brazil, joined Feb 2005, 3964 posts, RR: 13
Reply 41, posted (6 months 2 weeks 4 days 20 hours ago) and read 49838 times:

Quoting Stitch (Reply 33):
So that looks to me like BA is thinking that the majority of their 747-400 routes will see Club World demand shift towards World Traveller Plus and new premium customers will more likely choose WT+ over CW.

Or that the premium market will become more and more schedule competitive, thus requiring fewer seats per departure on more departures....


User currently offlinelightsaber From United States of America, joined Jan 2005, 12414 posts, RR: 100
Reply 42, posted (6 months 2 weeks 4 days 20 hours ago) and read 49896 times:
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Sad to read, as I'm an A380 fan. But then again, it takes enough trunk routes to fly the A380. AF first needs to connect more cities to CDG. Sigh... I would wish for another runway at CDG and the closing of ORY for AFs sake (concentrate the connections). So for now, AF should go smaller gauge.

The reality is the business market has changed for AF. They haven't done as well to India as plan...

Quoting roseflyer (Reply 21):
it is difficult to manage a network with a limited number of A380s, because there aren’t that many routes that can reliably fill that capacity and don’t have seasonal fluctuations. The VLA may have the lowest CASM, but it has the highest operating costs. That means, that it can hurt RASM in the slow season because that is a lot of seats to fill.

   But if you can, or the seasonal premium is high enough and travel times are limited (e.g., curfews or cultural preference), the A380 will make good money.

Quoting JAAlbert (Reply 26):
Its an interesting situation that more people than ever are flying, yet the really big planes aren't popular with (most of) the airlines.

Frequency and fragmentation. When I fly, I plan on ways to:
1. Meet my business obligations (e.g., meeting times and enough time on the ground to complete tasks)
2. Maximize the time I spend with my daughters.

Only with frequency and fragmentation are both met. (For business, I do not pay, so no worries...)

Quoting ikramerica (Reply 27):
and no tier one carrier had put 10Y into a 777 yet

That changed the game. Hence why I think the 787 will be majority 9 across very quickly...

Lightsaber



I've posted how many times?!?
User currently offlineStitch From United States of America, joined Jul 2005, 29677 posts, RR: 84
Reply 43, posted (6 months 2 weeks 4 days 20 hours ago) and read 49727 times:
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Quoting incitatus (Reply 42):
Or that the premium market will become more and more schedule competitive, thus requiring fewer seats per departure on more departures....

But we're consistently being told that LHR will only become more and more slot-restricted as time goes on, so BA cannot add more departures.

Unless they plan on turning LGW into a premium hub, as well, and expanding there?


User currently offlinemercure1 From French Polynesia, joined Jul 2008, 1128 posts, RR: 2
Reply 44, posted (6 months 2 weeks 4 days 20 hours ago) and read 48602 times:

Regarding of capacity versus frequency, even with growth in air-travel I see frequency as being the more important benefit for airlines versus simply capacity.

Yes single A380 might be more efficient versus 2 smaller planes, but having 2 flights for example gives airline more market appeal. Also filling a large VLA day after day must be more challenging. With smaller planes airlines have less sales pressure and better ability to mix capacity and frequency during low traffic periods.


Quoting lightsaber (Reply 43):
AF first needs to connect more cities to CDG.

According to AF corporate presentation, CDG is already ahead of FRA and buy a huge market ahead of LHR in connection opportunities. Average daily flights is almost 800, with 52% of all passengers on connecting ittinaries.

Quoting lightsaber (Reply 43):
I would wish for another runway at CDG

CDG does quite well. Already have 4 runways with last one just coming into service in 2005. Operational capacity is reported at 160 movements/hr with peak today not even reaching 120.

Quoting lightsaber (Reply 43):
and the closing of ORY for AFs sake

Orly is the domestic heart of AF network. Without being in ORY, AF would turn over market to people like EasyJet and Ryanair. For most local traffic ORY is much better and central than venturing out to CDG.

If you suggest closing ORY entirely in favor of CDG only for Paris, I dont see how this would be possible as ORY itself generates 30mil passengers, and CDG could never become a single airport handling almost 100mil customers for Paris region.
Like any other large metro area, multiple airport system function quite well.


User currently offlinebirdbrainz From United States of America, joined May 2005, 449 posts, RR: 0
Reply 45, posted (6 months 2 weeks 4 days 19 hours ago) and read 46548 times:

Quoting mercure1 (Reply 45):
If you suggest closing ORY entirely in favor of CDG only for Paris, I dont see how this would be possible as ORY itself generates 30mil passengers, and CDG could never become a single airport handling almost 100mil customers for Paris region.
Like any other large metro area, multiple airport system function quite well.

Having flown out of both, I'd cry if ORY was closed. It's far more convenient for much of Paris.



A good landing is one you can walk away from. A great landing is if the aircraft can be flown again.
User currently onlinelhrnue From United Kingdom, joined Jun 2010, 140 posts, RR: 0
Reply 46, posted (6 months 2 weeks 4 days 18 hours ago) and read 45843 times:

Quoting LAXintl (Thread starter):
Air France: Airbus A380 not a good fit for network

So what AF is saying is that they got their homework wrong and bought the wrong aircraft.


User currently offlineViscount724 From Switzerland, joined Oct 2006, 24066 posts, RR: 22
Reply 47, posted (6 months 2 weeks 4 days 18 hours ago) and read 44985 times:

Quoting JAAlbert (Reply 25):
This was my next question: If the 380 isn't a fit, could AF sell them? I recall after the 747 came into service that airlines everywhere bought the plane with many selling them upon discovering that it was too much plane. AA for instance.

And CO, DL, TP, EI and quite a few others. TWA also returned many of their early 747s to Boeing after only 3 or 4 years service to generate cash. Most of them wound up with the Iranian Air Force. Pan Am also had far too many 747s in the 1970s, resulting in low load factors and unprofitable low fares introduced to help fill them.


User currently offlineN14AZ From Germany, joined Feb 2007, 2607 posts, RR: 25
Reply 48, posted (6 months 2 weeks 4 days 18 hours ago) and read 44636 times:

That's really funny: nobody has read that article but everyone comes up with an "I-told-you-analysis". The only thing which is missing in this thread is that joke about AF's dirty aircrafts...

But if it is as simple as presented in the headline: I am sniffling the next candidate for the 779X?


User currently offlinetortugamon From United States of America, joined Apr 2013, 3204 posts, RR: 10
Reply 49, posted (6 months 2 weeks 4 days 18 hours ago) and read 44347 times:

Quoting N14AZ (Reply 48):
sniffling

I wonder if you meant to include the 'l' in this word. I can see it both ways.  

tortugamon


User currently offlinegoosebayguy From United Kingdom, joined Sep 2009, 372 posts, RR: 0
Reply 50, posted (6 months 2 weeks 4 days 18 hours ago) and read 44222 times:

AF have bought the right aircraft in the A380 they just simply have not worked out how to make it work like EK has.

User currently offlinePRAirbus From Puerto Rico, joined Apr 2005, 1105 posts, RR: 1
Reply 51, posted (6 months 2 weeks 4 days 18 hours ago) and read 44066 times:

Why didn't AF buy the 748i????? Shame!  

User currently offlinepar13del From Bahamas, joined Dec 2005, 6728 posts, RR: 8
Reply 52, posted (6 months 2 weeks 4 days 18 hours ago) and read 43281 times:

Quoting goosebayguy (Reply 50):
AF have bought the right aircraft in the A380 they just simply have not worked out how to make it work like EK has.

Routes on which the a/c are deployed and fares charged can always be wrong or need to be tweaked to maximize an a/c potential, no one spends millions purchasing the wrong a/c.


User currently offlinea380787 From Canada, joined Jul 2013, 963 posts, RR: 0
Reply 53, posted (6 months 2 weeks 4 days 18 hours ago) and read 43227 times:

Quoting mercure1 (Reply 44):
According to AF corporate presentation, CDG is already ahead of FRA and buy a huge market ahead of LHR in connection opportunities. Average daily flights is almost 800, with 52% of all passengers on connecting ittinaries.

I thought FRA connects to more destinations than any european hub ? Or is the AF presentation only talking about frequencies ?


User currently offlinepeanuts From Netherlands, joined Dec 2009, 1411 posts, RR: 4
Reply 54, posted (6 months 2 weeks 4 days 17 hours ago) and read 42859 times:

The pieces will all fall into place. Give it time.

The best competitive response to EK A380's? Many more 787/A350's...
It surely ain't A380's.



Question Conventional Wisdom. While not all commonly held beliefs are wrong…all should be questioned.
User currently offlineairproxx From France, joined Jun 2008, 600 posts, RR: 0
Reply 55, posted (6 months 2 weeks 4 days 17 hours ago) and read 42526 times:

Quoting peanuts (Reply 54):
The pieces will all fall into place. Give it time.

The best competitive response to EK A380's? Many more 787/A350's...
It surely ain't A380's.

To me, the best summary of it all... Couldn't agree more.



If you can meet with triumph and disaster, and treat those two impostors just the same
User currently offlinefcogafa From United Kingdom, joined May 2008, 738 posts, RR: 0
Reply 56, posted (6 months 2 weeks 4 days 17 hours ago) and read 42478 times:

Quoting Stitch (Reply 43):
But we're consistently being told that LHR will only become more and more slot-restricted as time goes on, so BA cannot add more departures.

But if a third runway is approved that problem will disappear (and values of the current slots dive!) ....


User currently offlineYULWinterSkies From United States of America, joined Jun 2005, 2169 posts, RR: 5
Reply 57, posted (6 months 2 weeks 4 days 17 hours ago) and read 42522 times:

Quoting Speedbored (Reply 15):
At the time that Air France ordered the A380, their projections obviously suggested to them that the A380 would be a good fit for their network. Since then a number of events (9/11, GFC, etc.), along with increased competition from the gulf carriers have all contributed to a significantly different market from the one that Air France was predicting 13 years ago. Other carriers have been affected in a similar way.

When the global economy recovers, and traffic picks up, I believe that Air France and other airlines will find the A380 to be a good fit for many routes on their networks.

There was also no AF-KL-AZ-DL-(NW) mergers and joint venture, 3 and only 3 global alliances, yes, times have changed, markets have fragmented, and high yielding business travel demand has taken a big hit.

Quoting jfk777 (Reply 17):
Air France purchased the jets for the "glory" of France and support French industry.

Right, that's also exactly why they launched the 77W and are now operating about 40 of them!

Getting high capacity planes also is all about competition and market shares... in freshly deregulated EU aviation market, what was AF supposed to do? Sit down and watch LH buy the A380 and take over market shares by flooding AF's main markets by adding more seats?
Note, this is a bit what BA was doing until they decided unsurprisingly that they should join the band wagon.

The A380 was never meant to be AF's workhorse, is not, and will never be. This role is claimed by the 777.

I understand that AF may struggle with it right now, but it remains a great long-term investment in my opinion, however, if AF had THAT much fleet overcapacity, they would have gotten rid of these fuel guzzling antiquated 744s long ago! Note to our Af-bashing Dutch friends: they can always hand them over to KL in the future, after all, KL knows how to make money with planes!   



When I doubt... go running!
User currently offlinefrancoflier From France, joined Oct 2001, 3613 posts, RR: 11
Reply 58, posted (6 months 2 weeks 4 days 17 hours ago) and read 42383 times:

Quoting lhrnue (Reply 46):
So what AF is saying is that they got their homework wrong and bought the wrong aircraft.

I don't know about the bad planning part. The thing is, the world was a different place when they ordered the bird.

I doubt Air France expected then to be in such dire financial straits, and having to focus so much on becoming leaner.
The A380 is hardly the backbone of their fleet. If anything, it's a minor subfleet.

Being an airline that operates an extensive network of international routes to major world hubs, they either have them configured wrong for the yields the seek, or it simply goes to show how much their market has eroded over the last few years.

I suspect EK has a lot to do with it. Ironically, the A380's popularity in the Middle East is hurting the A380's popularity elsewhere.



Looks like I picked the wrong week to quit posting...
User currently offlineharleydriver From United States of America, joined May 2010, 80 posts, RR: 0
Reply 59, posted (6 months 2 weeks 4 days 17 hours ago) and read 42083 times:

Quoting blueshamu330s (Reply 15):
The A380s have a sure and secure future at BA and I will bet my shirt they will end up with a significantly more substantial fleet than they currently have on order and option.
Quoting SKAirbus (Reply 11):
BA will also order more frames I am sure of

The July 8th Aviation Week has an article specific to BA's A380 order and how they are done at 12 frames. It mentions AF only ordering 12 as well and LH ordering 17. The title of the article is "British Airways Will Likely Limit A380 Fleet To 12", key word "likely" so I am not going to say they are not going to order more but it appears their B747-400 replacements will be handled by the B777. I don't know if they have buyers remorse or are just happy with the number they ordered for trunk routes and that's it. A 12 frame fleet doesn't scream efficiency when you are stocking a stockroom of parts and the more frames the better.

Quoting tortugamon (Reply 25):
BA already has the lion's share of its 747 replacements on order and have stated they aren't interested in changing the size of A380s on order.


Exactly!!!



Department of Redundancy Department
User currently offlineairmagnac From Germany, joined exactly 2 years ago today! , 276 posts, RR: 43
Reply 60, posted (6 months 2 weeks 4 days 17 hours ago) and read 41412 times:

Quoting evomutant (Reply 33):
Great thread. We get some A380 bashing and some boring cliches about the French thrown in too. Happy days!
Quoting TheRedBaron (Reply 39):
Another thread:
The A380 will never be a good case, and will dry up in orders and die....
we now have 3 of those on ANet, and 4 regarding the 787 problems...

Another few years and between two rounds of strikes AF will be flying both (dirty) A380s with the dangerous Airbus FBW, and (dirty) 787s with dangerous system failures...
Can't wait for the epic threads to come    bouncy 

[Edited 2013-10-01 14:35:55]


One "oh shit" can erase a thousand "attaboys".
User currently offlineStitch From United States of America, joined Jul 2005, 29677 posts, RR: 84
Reply 61, posted (6 months 2 weeks 4 days 17 hours ago) and read 41153 times:
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Quoting PRAirbus (Reply 51):
Why didn't AF buy the 748i?

It was not available to order until five years after the A380 was available to order?


User currently offlineart From United Kingdom, joined Feb 2005, 3341 posts, RR: 0
Reply 62, posted (6 months 2 weeks 4 days 16 hours ago) and read 40224 times:

Quoting fcogafa (Reply 56):
Quoting Stitch (Reply 43):But we're consistently being told that LHR will only become more and more slot-restricted as time goes on, so BA cannot add more departures.But if a third runway is approved that problem will disappear (and values of the current slots dive!) ...

Any 3rd runway at LHR would likely not be operational for 10-15 years from now, so pretty much the only way to grow one's pax numbers in the next 10-15 years is to operate higher capacity aircraft.


User currently offlineStitch From United States of America, joined Jul 2005, 29677 posts, RR: 84
Reply 63, posted (6 months 2 weeks 4 days 16 hours ago) and read 39989 times:
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Quoting art (Reply 63):
Any 3rd runway at LHR would likely not be operational for 10-15 years from now, so pretty much the only way to grow one's pax numbers in the next 10-15 years is to operate higher capacity aircraft.

Not all of which needs to be at the top end when you consider 65% of daily movements at LHR were for domestic or European destinations, the vast majority of which are handled by single-aisle aircraft.


User currently offlinephxa340 From United States of America, joined Mar 2012, 832 posts, RR: 1
Reply 64, posted (6 months 2 weeks 4 days 16 hours ago) and read 39840 times:

While I don't believe AF ordered the A380 due to political pressure, I wish folks would stop saying that politics never interfere with Aircraft purchasing and they only purchase based on solely on business needs every time.

Diplomatic cable leaks proved this and further proves that Political inteference works sometimes.

http://www.france24.com/en/20110103-...s-diplomacy-jet-sales-bush-sarkozy

As for the A380 being the glory of France , I would give that distinction to their wine with the A380 in close second  

[Edited 2013-10-01 15:25:47]

User currently offlineavek00 From United States of America, joined Oct 2004, 4281 posts, RR: 20
Reply 65, posted (6 months 2 weeks 4 days 16 hours ago) and read 39704 times:

Quoting Speedbored (Reply 15):
I believe that Air France and other airlines will find the A380 to be a good fit for many routes on their networks.

The A380 makes less sense as time goes on for the AF fleet, as:

1. Many potential A380 markets have significantly liberalized their air agreements with France or the EU, lessening the service restrictions that give rise to superjumbo consideration in the first place;

2. AF will become a more cost-efficient airline by choice or by force, lessening the need for a superjumbo that can "absorb" the high cost inefficiencies of the airline over 500+ seats; and

3. Going forward, in light of factors #1 and #2, and in consideration of CDG's ability to accommodate any reasonable set of AF expansion plans, the airline is better off chasing thinner but high-yielding traffic flows with 787s/A330s/A350s over seeking volumes in more robust markets where fares are much more subject to downward competitive pressures.



Live life to the fullest.
User currently offlinealfa164 From United States of America, joined Oct 2012, 301 posts, RR: 0
Reply 66, posted (6 months 2 weeks 4 days 16 hours ago) and read 38906 times:

Quoting roseflyer (Reply 20):
I’ve posted this before in reference to US carriers, but not for a single hub European operator. The VLA can kill the competition on operating costs per seat. However, it is difficult to manage a network with a limited number of A380s, because there aren’t that many routes that can reliably fill that capacity and don’t have seasonal fluctuations. The VLA may have the lowest CASM, but it has the highest operating costs. That means, that it can hurt RASM in the slow season because that is a lot of seats to fill.

For AF, there certainly are some routes where the VLA capacity is needed like JFK, YUL, etc. However it constrains some flexibility have a small fleet type. Utilization is less and seasonal traffic variations can hurt load factor or revenue. I’m a bit surprised with its single mega hub that Air France has those problems. They are more pronounced in the US market with fragmented hubs and serving international destinations from multiple hubs.

By the way, I used VLA rather than A380 since the exact same argument works for why 747s are not as popular as they once were. The A380 has killer CASM, but must have a route network with the demand and flexibility to reliably fill it. Otherwise it is an expensive lease payment that burns a lot of fuel doing a 777s job. For EK it works great, but it doesn’t work for everyone. UA for example, prefers to operate 2 777s in peak season, and 1 777 in low season. In peak season it is less efficient, but in slow season, it is more efficient. CASM is just as important as fleet flexibility is.

That could be the most intelligent - and accurate - analysis I have seen here. As more and more airlines chase premium passengers - and those premium passengers want frequency over size-of-aircraft - the demand for VLA's has fallen in direct proportion to the demand for 787's and 350's.


User currently offlineDTW2HYD From United States of America, joined Jan 2013, 1378 posts, RR: 2
Reply 67, posted (6 months 2 weeks 4 days 15 hours ago) and read 37923 times:

It is evident that Airbus prefers bigger WBs and Boeing prefers smaller WBs. Even with A350 Airbus couldn't resist from going bigger. Two different strategies and both will be successful. In the long run Airbus WBs will be successful on thick and short routes and Boeing WBs on thin and long routes.

Like A333R, Airbus should have a regional version of A380. Boeing's next gen should be of smaller capacity than B787 with same or more legs, also should be cheaper to operate current gen aircraft. Is it possible only A & B would know.


User currently offlinePolot From United States of America, joined Jul 2011, 2042 posts, RR: 1
Reply 68, posted (6 months 2 weeks 4 days 15 hours ago) and read 37756 times:

Quoting DTW2HYD (Reply 69):
It is evident that Airbus prefers bigger WBs and Boeing prefers smaller WBs. Even with A350 Airbus couldn't resist from going bigger. Two different strategies and both will be successful. In the long run Airbus WBs will be successful on thick and short routes and Boeing WBs on thin and long routes.

I don't think Airbus and Boeing have a preference either way. A still has the A330 and B will have the 777x. The A350 is bigger because Airbus didn't have a choice-they needed something to compete against the 777 in addition to the 787 as it was clear the A340 wasn't cutting it.


User currently offlinesankaps From United States of America, joined Jan 2008, 2252 posts, RR: 2
Reply 69, posted (6 months 2 weeks 4 days 14 hours ago) and read 36297 times:

Quoting wingman (Reply 38):
After 6 straight weeks of incessant Boeing 787 bashing

Discussions of 787's reliability problems and of two customers making their unhappiness with the situation public, and a third unlikely defender through the entire grounding period, AAB of Qatar, also signalling he is losing patience, is not "bashing".

Quoting Viscount724 (Reply 47):
And CO, DL, TP, EI and quite a few others. TWA also returned many of their early 747s to Boeing after only 3 or 4 years service to generate cash. Most of them wound up with the Iranian Air Force. Pan Am also had far too many 747s in the 1970s, resulting in low load factors and unprofitable low fares introduced to help fill them.

Yet over the years as air traffic grew, the 747 went on to become a hugely successful aircraft. It all depends on the economics of demand growth vs runway capacity growth, and the balance between the two.

Quoting DTW2HYD (Reply 69):
It is evident that Airbus prefers bigger WBs and Boeing prefers smaller WBs. Even with A350 Airbus couldn't resist from going bigger.

That is a sweeping generalization given until the A380, and except for the A380, Boeing has consistently had larger widebodies, and with the 777-9, continues to plan for 747-size aircraft. There is no "preference", there are just slightly different views of the demand forecast for these aircraft.


User currently offlinecmf From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 70, posted (6 months 2 weeks 4 days 14 hours ago) and read 35905 times:

Quoting avek00 (Reply 67):
superjumbo that can "absorb" the high cost inefficiencies of the airline over 500+ seats

What high cost inefficiencies are those?

Quoting DTW2HYD (Reply 69):
It is evident that Airbus prefers bigger WBs and Boeing prefers smaller WBs

Why is Boeing making bigger 777s then??


User currently offlinefpetrutiu From United States of America, joined Aug 2007, 866 posts, RR: 0
Reply 71, posted (6 months 2 weeks 4 days 13 hours ago) and read 35697 times:

I think successful backbone operations in between hubs hinges more on frequency than size. The A380 was never built for that.

User currently onlineikramerica From United States of America, joined May 2005, 21415 posts, RR: 60
Reply 72, posted (6 months 2 weeks 4 days 13 hours ago) and read 35386 times:

Quoting sankaps (Reply 71):
Yet over the years as air traffic grew, the 747 went on to become a hugely successful aircraft. It all depends on the economics of demand growth vs runway capacity growth, and the balance between the two.

That was mostly due to the range the 747 offered and restrictive treaties.

What is killing the VLA market is open skies and the range of midsize aircraft.

What keeps VLAs flying at all are the existence of curfews and slots at some of the most important airports in the world.



Of all the things to worry about... the Wookie has no pants.
User currently offlineDTW2HYD From United States of America, joined Jan 2013, 1378 posts, RR: 2
Reply 73, posted (6 months 2 weeks 4 days 13 hours ago) and read 35309 times:

Quoting Polot (Reply 70):
I don't think Airbus and Boeing have a preference either way. A still has the A330 and B will have the 777x. The A350 is bigger because Airbus didn't have a choice-they needed something to compete against the 777 in addition to the 787 as it was clear the A340 wasn't cutting it.
Quoting sankaps (Reply 71):
That is a sweeping generalization given until the A380, and except for the A380, Boeing has consistently had larger widebodies, and with the 777-9, continues to plan for 747-size aircraft. There is no "preference", there are just slightly different views of the demand forecast for these aircraft.
Quoting cmf (Reply 72):
Why is Boeing making bigger 777s then??

If EK,EY,QR,SQ,LH are the only successful carriers "forever", larger WBs will survive. EK,EY,QR are born and successful because of B777,A332 and A380. At this juncture aircraft technology + location helps them. Otherwise single city countries have no reason to be world's aviation leaders. LH and TK will be there but in couple of decades EK,EY,QR,SQ will loose their leadership.

A350 is designed for ME3 so does B779. Basically low hanging fruits for A & B.

There are 100+ other countries in the world and there are secondary cities in larger countries. They prefer non-stop or one-stop options. Larger hubs + 60% OTP RJs(in USA) are not going to cut forever. Just my 2 cents, time will tell.

Like with BA AUS service, start nibbling into large hub market share, Whale gets beached. Ofcourse A380 has its place particularly in China and Airbus can build a SCLR.



[Edited 2013-10-01 18:36:58]

User currently offlinecmf From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 74, posted (6 months 2 weeks 4 days 13 hours ago) and read 35145 times:

Quoting fpetrutiu (Reply 73):
I think successful backbone operations in between hubs hinges more on frequency than size. The A380 was never built for that.

Explains why airlines typically use their smallest planes on long distance hub to hub routes. Or wait, they typically don't.


User currently offlinefpetrutiu From United States of America, joined Aug 2007, 866 posts, RR: 0
Reply 75, posted (6 months 2 weeks 4 days 13 hours ago) and read 35046 times:

Quoting cmf (Reply 76):
Explains why airlines typically use their smallest planes on long distance hub to hub routes. Or wait, they typically don't.

I was not implying that. I was strictly saying that is not the same to have 5 daily 777's or 3 A380's on a route.


User currently offlinetortugamon From United States of America, joined Apr 2013, 3204 posts, RR: 10
Reply 76, posted (6 months 2 weeks 4 days 13 hours ago) and read 34570 times:

Quoting goosebayguy (Reply 50):
AF have bought the right aircraft in the A380 they just simply have not worked out how to make it work like EK has.

I don't think you change your route structure to fit your aircraft. I think the priority might go the other direction.
.

Quoting harleydriver (Reply 59):
it appears their B747-400 replacements will be handled by the B777

Actually they have more A351s on order than 777s for 744 replacement.

Quoting DTW2HYD (Reply 69):
In the long run Airbus WBs will be successful on thick and short routes and Boeing WBs on thin and long routes.

All of the A350s are built for 8knm+. Even longer than the 788. The 787-10 will be more successfull on short/thick routes than long and thin.

Quoting DTW2HYD (Reply 69):
Like A333R, Airbus should have a regional version of A380.

No they shouldn't. I see offering derated versions for lowered cost but A380s are not built for short routes and if they have to use them for it its because they lose less money doing it rather than making more money. A380 is built for long routes, too much weight to carry only a short distance.

Quoting DTW2HYD (Reply 69):
Boeing's next gen should be of smaller capacity than B787 with same or more legs

No it should not. It will compete with the 787 if they do that. Airbus will not have a 250 seat aircraft for the first time in a long time and the A358 isn't exactly selling well at 270 seats. Airbus won't have much of any current generation aircraft (a poor selling A358) on offer that can fly more than 3,500nm and seat less than 300 in three class configuration. I think its Airbus that has the opportunity in this capacity range as the 788 is overbuilt and in 10 years time the engines won't be enough to get by on. But the 787-9 should be a very tough competitor at the higher capacity range.

Quoting DTW2HYD (Reply 75):
Otherwise single city countries have no reason to be world's aviation leaders.

In a world where borders matter less and less and more open skies agreements are being signed at record rates I completely disagree.

tortugamon


User currently offlineXT6Wagon From United States of America, joined Feb 2007, 3320 posts, RR: 4
Reply 77, posted (6 months 2 weeks 4 days 13 hours ago) and read 34627 times:

Quoting sankaps (Reply 71):
Yet over the years as air traffic grew, the 747 went on to become a hugely successful aircraft.

The 747 sold so many on the basis of

1. Range. It could fly routes no other plane could PERIOD. So you buy a 747 you could fly non-stop between cities that the airlines with DC-8/707's are flying 1 or 2 stop. The Tri-jets didn't make the range either for many airlines.

2. prestige. It was a different time, when marketing was everything and price was most often fixed by regulations/collusion. Now where 30 seconds with a computer or smartphone can get you 6 different airlines' pricing.... Its... not so much marketing anymore.

3. Ignorance. Jet Airlines were still pretty young and still learning to navigate the ever changing conditions they operate in.

The 747 likely also KILLED more of its customer airlines than it saved. I really don't think Airbus wants the A380 to follow that example.


User currently offlinebrilondon From Canada, joined Aug 2005, 4057 posts, RR: 1
Reply 78, posted (6 months 2 weeks 4 days 13 hours ago) and read 34559 times:

Quoting fcogafa (Reply 56):
But if a third runway is approved that problem will disappear (and values of the current slots dive!) ....


And Sasquatch and the Tooth Fairy will be at the press conference as well. There will never be a third runway at Heathrow while the present political climate is in place in the UK and in London. Even if this is approved by, some miracle, I don't see it happening for at least 20 years.

[Edited 2013-10-01 18:53:02]


Rush for ever; Yankees all the way!!
User currently offlinetortugamon From United States of America, joined Apr 2013, 3204 posts, RR: 10
Reply 79, posted (6 months 2 weeks 4 days 12 hours ago) and read 33776 times:

Quoting XT6Wagon (Reply 79):
1. Range. It could fly routes no other plane could PERIOD.
astuteman had an excellent thread about this in Tech Ops. Was The 747 Really "bought For Its Range"? (by astuteman Jun 8 2013 in Tech Ops)
He showed that the 747 did have a range advantage during a 16/17 year window of operations (1976-1992). Although more 747s were sold in that window than in all other years combined, he isolates just 460 frames that truly had an advantage over comparable aircraft.

Be your own judge but I think that range mattered for many sales, and it did not matter for other sales (commonality, brand, and lower CASM could have meant success on other routes), and it should not have been purchased for other routes (namely routes undertaken by aircraft purchased after the mid/late 1990s).

Who would have known at that time we would have rising gas prices/September 11/ETOPS/SARS/Recession and other things that made it a liability.

tortugamon


User currently offlineRayChuang From United States of America, joined Jun 2000, 7929 posts, RR: 5
Reply 80, posted (6 months 2 weeks 4 days 12 hours ago) and read 33436 times:

I do think that Air France will emphasize more usage of the 777-300ER, since unlike LHR, CDG was designed to have way less landing slot restrictions. It will even more interesting now what large twinjet will AF turn to next after 2017, the 777-9X or the A350XWB-1000.

User currently offlineViscount724 From Switzerland, joined Oct 2006, 24066 posts, RR: 22
Reply 81, posted (6 months 2 weeks 4 days 11 hours ago) and read 33335 times:

Quoting roseflyer (Reply 20):
For AF, there certainly are some routes where the VLA capacity is needed like JFK, YUL, etc.

AF didn't use the A380 at YUL even during the peak summer season this year. It has far too many premium seats for the YUL market.


User currently offlinecmf From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 82, posted (6 months 2 weeks 4 days 11 hours ago) and read 32886 times:

Quoting ikramerica (Reply 74):
That was mostly due to the range the 747 offered and restrictive treaties.

In some cases it was. In others it wasn't. Remember that the 747 is sized based on airline request and had two passenger size increases, 9 to 10 abreast and extended upper deck. Neither would have happened if range was the driver.

Quoting ikramerica (Reply 74):
What is killing the VLA market is open skies and the range of midsize aircraft.

The VLA market isn't dying.

Quoting ikramerica (Reply 74):
What keeps VLAs flying at all are the existence of curfews and slots at some of the most important airports in the world.

What keeps VLAs flying is the need to transport plenty of passengers at preferred times efficiently.

Quoting fpetrutiu (Reply 77):
I was not implying that. I was strictly saying that is not the same to have 5 daily 777's or 3 A380's on a route.

A lot more expensive to have 5 x 777 than 3 x A380. Sometimes the first is better, sometimes the second.

Quoting XT6Wagon (Reply 79):
The 747 likely also KILLED more of its customer airlines than it saved. I really don't think Airbus wants the A380 to follow that example.

Do you have data to support this? Really interested to see it.


User currently offlinelightsaber From United States of America, joined Jan 2005, 12414 posts, RR: 100
Reply 83, posted (6 months 2 weeks 4 days 11 hours ago) and read 32488 times:
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Quoting ikramerica (Reply 72):
What is killing the VLA market is open skies and the range of midsize aircraft.

It has definitely limited the A380 to trunk routes or routes that can be made into trunk routes thanks to its low CASM.

Quoting mercure1 (Reply 44):
According to AF corporate presentation, CDG is already ahead of FRA and buy a huge market ahead of LHR in connection opportunities.

For one airline? Maybe, but FRA is the most connected airport:
Airports With Greatest Number Of Connected Cities (by lightsaber May 14 2012 in Aviation Polls)

Quoting mercure1 (Reply 44):
Orly is the domestic heart of AF network. Without being in ORY, AF would turn over market to people like EasyJet and Ryanair. For most local traffic ORY is much better and central than venturing out to CDG.

But that is the problem. ORY has those domestic connections that would benefit AF international. If ORY were to be closed and merged into an expanded CDG, AF would have many more convenient connections. Frequency would be fabulous.

I think you are missing my main point in that a split hub is missed connections. If AF had those domestic connections, far more of the seats on the A380 would be filled. I'm not saying AF could maintain a large enough subfleet of A380s... but it would be help their profit margin tremendously.

FWIW, I believe the minimum subfleet for long haul aircraft is 17. As AF has 9 with 3 more on order. If AF could expand sufficiently, they could have an economical sized subfleet of A380s.

Lightsaber



I've posted how many times?!?
User currently offlineAF185 From Hong Kong, joined Sep 2012, 240 posts, RR: 0
Reply 84, posted (6 months 2 weeks 4 days 10 hours ago) and read 32217 times:

Quoting phxa340 (Reply 64):
While I don't believe AF ordered the A380 due to political pressure, I wish folks would stop saying that politics never interfere with Aircraft purchasing and they only purchase based on solely on business needs every time.

Totally agree here. Look at how many a/c orders are sealed during political meetings involving US or European officials.
Though these political pressures mostly happen in developing countries in counter parts of investments in the country, let's face it.

Quoting jfk777 (Reply 17):
Air France purchased the jets for the "glory" of France and support French industry.

Right.  
I guess they also decided to make the B777 (with GE engines, Rockwell IFE) the flagship of their long haul ops to be part of the American dream

Funny how AF is always linked to some kind of political involvement while LH or BA always take wise and independent decisions on their fleet renewal.


User currently offlineseahawk From Germany, joined May 2005, 578 posts, RR: 0
Reply 85, posted (6 months 2 weeks 4 days 9 hours ago) and read 30908 times:

Well it is not the fault of the plane, when an airline buys one or two sizes too large.

User currently offlineLO231 From Belgium, joined Sep 2004, 2392 posts, RR: 23
Reply 86, posted (6 months 2 weeks 4 days 8 hours ago) and read 30165 times:

I thought they're pretty packed on Montréal service....


Got both LO 788 frames already, next LO E95 and 734 BRU-WAW-BRU
User currently onlineMIflyer12 From United States of America, joined Feb 2013, 785 posts, RR: 0
Reply 87, posted (6 months 2 weeks 4 days 8 hours ago) and read 29753 times:

Quoting lightsaber (Reply 83):
FWIW, I believe the minimum subfleet for long haul aircraft is 17.

Can you create the derivation for that, or outline your logic and evidence? It seems awfully specific!


User currently offlineart From United Kingdom, joined Feb 2005, 3341 posts, RR: 0
Reply 88, posted (6 months 2 weeks 4 days 7 hours ago) and read 29175 times:

Quoting Stitch (Reply 64):
Quoting art (Reply 63):Any 3rd runway at LHR would likely not be operational for 10-15 years from now, so pretty much the only way to grow one's pax numbers in the next 10-15 years is to operate higher capacity aircraft.

Not all of which needs to be at the top end when you consider 65% of daily movements at LHR were for domestic or European destinations, the vast majority of which are handled by single-aisle aircraft.

Your point? Where LHR slots are concerned I don't see that it matters what proportion of aircraft movements are long haul or short haul. A slot is a slot and they have all or nearly all been taken at LHR so the question is, how do you increase long haul pax numbers without increasing the number of pax per flight?


User currently offlineUnflug From Germany, joined Jan 2012, 392 posts, RR: 2
Reply 89, posted (6 months 2 weeks 4 days 7 hours ago) and read 28815 times:

We are reaching post #100 and sill nobody has provided any further details. I got a bit annoyed and purchased a subscription to read the article quoted in the opening post.

The interview was with chief officer-long-haul passenger activity Bruno Matheu. What he says is

1) Some Airports cannot easily handle the aircraft. For example it took them 3 years to get traffic rights into Shanghai Pudong. They will switch Operation from Shanghai to Singapore.

2) The A350s and 787s are able to reach the same operating costs per seat as the A380, but Air France can offer more frequencies.

3) He expects that, if Air France plans to add more A380s, “it will be not tens of more.”

My opinion regarding

1) Strange. If it took them 3 years to get the rights, why would they give them up now if the loads were OK?

2) Astonishing. If the smaller aircraft reach the same cost per seat obviously they cannot fill the A380, I'd say. The point with frequencies depends on route.

3) No one ever expected AF to order tens or dozens more A380s.

In essence they currently seem to be struggling to fill the aircraft, but don't exclude ordering a couple of more at some time in the future.


User currently offlineSeJoWa From United States of America, joined May 2006, 328 posts, RR: 0
Reply 90, posted (6 months 2 weeks 4 days 6 hours ago) and read 28189 times:

Quoting Unflug (Reply 89):
I got a bit annoyed and purchased a subscription to read the article quoted in the opening post.


  

Amen, and thank you for that.


User currently offlineart From United Kingdom, joined Feb 2005, 3341 posts, RR: 0
Reply 91, posted (6 months 2 weeks 4 days 6 hours ago) and read 27912 times:

Quoting Unflug (Reply 89):
We are reaching post #100 and sill nobody has provided any further details. I got a bit annoyed and purchased a subscription to read the article quoted in the opening post.

Yes, thanks for doing that.


User currently offlinecuriousflyer From United States of America, joined Oct 2006, 675 posts, RR: 0
Reply 92, posted (6 months 2 weeks 4 days 6 hours ago) and read 27910 times:

The A380 makes sense on busy routes where ticket price makes a difference and/or slots are constrained and/or frequency does not matter.

Typically on CDG-JFK where there is a lot of business traffic it might be hard to fill it up while offering maybe 6-7 flights a day. Now given the length of the flight, it is probably better to meet upcoming growth in demand with larger aircraft than by adding frequency that do not make much of a difference any more. This applies to BA too on the LHR-JFK route, at terminal 7 at JFK the BA boarding calls never stop from 5 PM to 10 PM, they might be better off with less flights and a larger aircraft, or at least upgauging as demand grows rather than adding frequency.

And as was mentioned above, AF may make a killing with the A380 on the Martinique, Guadeloupe and Reunion routes, if that allows them to offer a 3 class service (Y, W, J) with competitive fares and high density in Y. Not sure this would be profitable though. even if they offer 2 flights a day, frequency does not matter there.

Same with ULH flights with lots of vacationers, Frequency does not matter so much so instead of having multiple flights one 380 a day may be enough. That would be Rio de Janeiro and maybe South Africa (French vacationers), and to a lesser extent Tokyo, Beijing and Shanghai (Asian vacationers but also quite a bit of business).


User currently offlinePlaneInsomniac From Canada, joined Nov 2007, 647 posts, RR: 0
Reply 93, posted (6 months 2 weeks 4 days 6 hours ago) and read 28002 times:

Wow, a few days ago LH with their implicit admission that they're focussing on widebody twins in the mid-term, and now such a statement from AF. It seems even the long-time champions of the VLA concept are beginning to change their mind. (And yes, by "VLA" I do mean four-engine double deckers, i.e., A380 and 748, no matter how silly that term seems today in light of the 777X).

Quoting Unflug (Reply 89):
I got a bit annoyed and purchased a subscription to read the article quoted in the opening post.

Thank you very much!

  

Quoting Unflug (Reply 89):
2) The A350s and 787s are able to reach the same operating costs per seat as the A380, but Air France can offer more frequencies.
Quoting Unflug (Reply 89):
2) Astonishing. If the smaller aircraft reach the same cost per seat obviously they cannot fill the A380, I'd say. The point with frequencies depends on route.

IMHO nothing astonishing here. If I remember correctly, it has been said for a while that the 787 and A350 will reach about the same per-seat economics as the A380 at comparable load factors. (Some even say they're actually better.) That's the unstoppable march of technological progress.

This is exactly the reason why the business case for VLAs is rapidly imploding.




However, this will not stop the apologists from reiterating that they have concluded based on "pure logic" that the golden age of the VLA is only just dawning, if we only wait and see for yet another year, of course.



Am I cured? Slept 5 hours on last long-haul flight...
User currently offlineanfromme From Ireland, joined Feb 2012, 395 posts, RR: 11
Reply 94, posted (6 months 2 weeks 4 days 6 hours ago) and read 27690 times:

Quoting Unflug (Reply 89):
We are reaching post #100 and sill nobody has provided any further details. I got a bit annoyed and purchased a subscription to read the article quoted in the opening post.

Thanks for that, as well as your summary of points from the article.

Quoting Unflug (Reply 89):
In essence they currently seem to be struggling to fill the aircraft, but don't exclude ordering a couple of more at some time in the future.

Sounds fair enough to me and not really all that surprising.



Sláinte!
User currently offlineart From United Kingdom, joined Feb 2005, 3341 posts, RR: 0
Reply 95, posted (6 months 2 weeks 4 days 6 hours ago) and read 27512 times:

Quoting PlaneInsomniac (Reply 93):
If I remember correctly, it has been said for a while that the 787 and A350 will reach about the same per-seat economics as the A380 at comparable load factors. (Some even say they're actually better.) That's the unstoppable march of technological progress.

If you compare an A380 fitted with 400 seats to an A351 fitted with 400 seats, the A351 will have better per-seat economics. I think you need to compare different aircraft based on equivalent seating breakdowns in terms of space per passenger to get a realistic comparison of economics.


User currently offlinePlaneInsomniac From Canada, joined Nov 2007, 647 posts, RR: 0
Reply 96, posted (6 months 2 weeks 4 days 5 hours ago) and read 27096 times:

Quoting art (Reply 95):
If you compare an A380 fitted with 400 seats to an A351 fitted with 400 seats, the A351 will have better per-seat economics. I think you need to compare different aircraft based on equivalent seating breakdowns in terms of space per passenger to get a realistic comparison of economics.

Frankly, I do not believe anybody is talking about such skewed comparisons.

The sources I am able to pull up right now state real-life A380 consumption of between 2.9 and 3.1 L/100 km (or "less than 3L", respectively):

http://travel.cnn.com/explorations/l...and-airbus-a380-death-match-152563
http://www.enviro.aero/A380casestudy.aspx
http://www.theemiratesgroup.com/engl...r-vision-values/emirates-a380.aspx

LH says both the 787 and A350 (will) reach 2.9L / 100 km:
http://www.lufthansagroup.com/en/the...eet-development/2-liter-class.html

Obviously, results will vary and only time will tell.

However, the VLA certainly has an uphill battle to fight from here, unless we assume 787/A350/777X figures to be entirely made up. And the recent orders speak for them themselves in this regard.



Am I cured? Slept 5 hours on last long-haul flight...
User currently offlineseahawk From Germany, joined May 2005, 578 posts, RR: 0
Reply 97, posted (6 months 2 weeks 4 days 5 hours ago) and read 27013 times:

cost per seat does not mean yield per seat.

User currently offlinePlaneInsomniac From Canada, joined Nov 2007, 647 posts, RR: 0
Reply 98, posted (6 months 2 weeks 4 days 5 hours ago) and read 26947 times:

Quoting PlaneInsomniac (Reply 96):
cost per seat does not mean yield per seat.

That is true.

However, if the yield of the average VLA seat were so much higher that it could easily compensate for the drawbacks of the VLA (e.g., reduced flexibility), airlines would be ordering them in droves.

They are not. In fact, we see more and more airlines starting to turn their backs on the VLA.

So either these airlines are all bad at math, or the VLA concept is beginning to become obsolete.



Am I cured? Slept 5 hours on last long-haul flight...
User currently offlineAzure From France, joined Dec 2012, 598 posts, RR: 16
Reply 99, posted (6 months 2 weeks 4 days 5 hours ago) and read 26669 times:

Quoting Unflug (Reply 89):
We are reaching post #100 and sill nobody has provided any further details. I got a bit annoyed and purchased a subscription to read the article quoted in the opening post.

I too am annoyed by all these comments based only on the title of an article, leading to surprising theories on AF management or on the future of the A380 ...
Thank you for your summary. Maybe the OP should have done it first.




Quoting Unflug (Reply 89):
1) Some Airports cannot easily handle the aircraft. For example it took them 3 years to get traffic rights into Shanghai Pudong. They will switch Operation from Shanghai to Singapore.

2) The A350s and 787s are able to reach the same operating costs per seat as the A380, but Air France can offer more frequencies.

3) He expects that, if Air France plans to add more A380s, “it will be not tens of more.”

My opinion regarding

1) Strange. If it took them 3 years to get the rights, why would they give them up now if the loads were OK?

2) Astonishing. If the smaller aircraft reach the same cost per seat obviously they cannot fill the A380, I'd say. The point with frequencies depends on route.

3) No one ever expected AF to order tens or dozens more A380s.

In essence they currently seem to be struggling to fill the aircraft, but don't exclude ordering a couple of more at some time in the future.

My opinion on these 3 points :

(1) Some Airports cannot easily handle the aircraft. Some AF strongholds are not A380-ready yet, or have not been until very recently. MEX is an example, GRU or ABJ as well.
As for PVG, I think something got lost in translation! AF switched A380 operation from SIN to PVG two weeks ago, they do not intend to reverse right now.
The traffic rights issue should not be overlooked. Reportedly AF wanted daily A380 ops to PVG, they have obtained rights for 3x weekly only. The current bilateral agreement does not allow them to send the A380 to PEK either...

(2) Not a surprise, we are talking of operating costs per seat. I fail to read any indications on the loads of their A380s here. With identical load factors, and other things being equal, the unit cost per seat of the A380 is not lower than the new generation twins. But it can carry more pax at the preferred timing or at slot constraint airports.
However I am not surprised that AF does not consider building its network solely on the A380s...No airline has done so. AF needs flexibility and only a limited number of routes from Europe can support the A380 all year long.

(3) Basically he is not ruling out to order more A380s in the future which clearly indicates there is a business case for the A380 in the AF network.
Many destinations served by daily or several daily 77Ws are likely candidates for future A380 expansion, subject to traffic rights / airport configuration : HKG, PEK, GRU, GIG, ABJ just to name a few, notwithstanding the leisure destinations served with the high density 468-seater 77Ws (PTP, FDF, RUN, MRU, BKK).




Quoting lightsaber (Reply 83):
Quoting mercure1 (Reply 44):
According to AF corporate presentation, CDG is already ahead of FRA and buy a huge market ahead of LHR in connection opportunities.

For one airline? Maybe, but FRA is the most connected airport:
Airports With Greatest Number Of Connected Cities (by lightsaber May 14 2012 in Aviation Polls)

Your methodology is not 100% satisfying as it does not take into consideration the frequencies at each hub. The number of destinations is irrelevant to determine connectivity at one given airport. Frequencies do matter. You know this as you further state :




Quoting lightsaber (Reply 83):
If ORY were to be closed and merged into an expanded CDG, AF would have many more convenient connections. Frequency would be fabulous.

See, we agree on frequency  
But how serious are you about closing ORY ? Do you mean closing the airport or AF axing all ops at the airport ? Well, neither is going to happen anytime soon I am afraid. ORY is Paris favorite airport due its location. In fact, AF plans to downsize ops at ORY and use the freed slots for Transavia.

[Edited 2013-10-02 03:14:54]


I fly because it releases my mind from the tyranny of petty things - A. de Saint Exupery
User currently offlineart From United Kingdom, joined Feb 2005, 3341 posts, RR: 0
Reply 100, posted (6 months 2 weeks 4 days 5 hours ago) and read 26625 times:

Quoting PlaneInsomniac (Reply 98):
So either these airlines are all bad at math, or the VLA concept is beginning to become obsolete.

Were traffic levels stable with negligible future market growth envisaged, I would see VLA's having a very small niche. That is not the case. Traffic doubles roughly every 15 years. I expect there to be a greater demand for A380's in the next 15 years, providing they maintain a CASM advantage over smaller WB's.


User currently offlinePlaneInsomniac From Canada, joined Nov 2007, 647 posts, RR: 0
Reply 101, posted (6 months 2 weeks 4 days 5 hours ago) and read 26372 times:

Quoting art (Reply 100):
Traffic doubles roughly every 15 years. I expect there to be a greater demand for A380's in the next 15 years

Well, the A380 has been for sale for 13 years already, through massive oscillations in the global economy, oil prices and air travel. It has never sold excessively well and virtually stopped selling 1-2 years go. I find it hard to construct a scenario of such a massively altered environment that it would not only reverse the trend but essentially lead to more sales than it ever had.

Quoting art (Reply 100):
providing they maintain a CASM advantage over smaller WB's.

Well, according to all we know, they haven't. I would say Party's Over, but there never really was a party to begin with.



Am I cured? Slept 5 hours on last long-haul flight...
User currently offlineart From United Kingdom, joined Feb 2005, 3341 posts, RR: 0
Reply 102, posted (6 months 2 weeks 4 days 4 hours ago) and read 26258 times:

Quoting PlaneInsomniac (Reply 101):

This is off topic for AF. With your leave, I will reply in this thread

Is The 4 Engine Widebody Days Numbered? (by mia305 Oct 1 2013 in Civil Aviation)


User currently offlinepar13del From Bahamas, joined Dec 2005, 6728 posts, RR: 8
Reply 103, posted (6 months 2 weeks 4 days 4 hours ago) and read 25745 times:

Quoting fcogafa (Reply 56):
But if a third runway is approved that problem will disappear (and values of the current slots dive!) ....

A runway far far far away  
Quoting sankaps (Reply 69):
and except for the A380, Boeing has consistently had larger widebodies,

If my memory is accurate this is not correct.
Airbus produced the A300, Boeing had nothing in that class, Boeing then went to the 767, Airbus countered with the A330, Airbus countered the 747 with the A330 and the ultimate -600, Airbus has now produced the A380.
Boeing may have consistently had greater sales of its widebody a/c but I'm not sure it is accurate to say that they have consistently had larger widebody a/c in their product line, and this is even when you compare the A330 and the 777 base versions


User currently offlineseahawk From Germany, joined May 2005, 578 posts, RR: 0
Reply 104, posted (6 months 2 weeks 4 days 4 hours ago) and read 25530 times:

Quoting PlaneInsomniac (Reply 98):
That is true.

However, if the yield of the average VLA seat were so much higher that it could easily compensate for the drawbacks of the VLA (e.g., reduced flexibility), airlines would be ordering them in droves.

They are not. In fact, we see more and more airlines starting to turn their backs on the VLA.

So either these airlines are all bad at math, or the VLA concept is beginning to become obsolete.

You need to sell those seats, that is the problem. The having a higher percentage of F and J seats for the same number of seats overall, means you need to fill those seats. If you keep the higher percentage of Y, J and F in the VLA you need to sell those extra Y seats. Now if you have a hub which is not slot limited, passenger will prefer frequency over flying a VLA. In end the A380 is too big for AF.


User currently offlineScipio From Belgium, joined Oct 2007, 815 posts, RR: 8
Reply 105, posted (6 months 2 weeks 4 days 3 hours ago) and read 25321 times:

Quoting Unflug (Reply 89):
We are reaching post #100 and sill nobody has provided any further details. I got a bit annoyed and purchased a subscription to read the article quoted in the opening post.

Thanks for taking away the annoyance that many of us undoubtedly shared  
Quoting Unflug (Reply 89):
1) Some Airports cannot easily handle the aircraft. For example it took them 3 years to get traffic rights into Shanghai Pudong. They will switch Operation from Shanghai to Singapore.

2) The A350s and 787s are able to reach the same operating costs per seat as the A380, but Air France can offer more frequencies.

3) He expects that, if Air France plans to add more A380s, “it will be not tens of more.”

1) This is a constraint that should get relaxed with time. I fully expect that, at some point, even India will allow A380 operations. As we discussed in the "Almost One Year Since Last A380-Order" thread, the number of airports that see regular A380 service is steadily increasing. There are currently 30 airports that see daily A380 operations, and by the end of next year that number is likely to approach 40.

Almost One Year Since Last A 380-order (by N14AZ Sep 10 2013 in Civil Aviation)#144

2) Airbus is fully aware that, sometime around 2020, it will need to do something to restore the A380's CASM leadership. There is a wide range of technological and cabin arrangement options available to do this. We have discussed this before:

Airbus Considering A380 Refresh, No Stretch (yet) (by Scipio Jun 20 2013 in Civil Aviation)
http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2013-0...resher-to-help-rekindle-sales.html

3) So, the bottom line is that, as it sees things at the current juncture, Air France might or might not incrementally add more units to its existing A380 orders. Big deal. And this is meant to herald the end of the VLA era?


When it comes to whether or not the VLA era is ending, a much more relevant interview is the one that Tim Clark gave to Flightglobal less than two weeks ago:

http://www.flightglobal.com/news/art...ng-engine-technology-clark-390796/

Highlights, as posted before in the "Almost One Year Since Last A380-Order" thread:

- Emirates plans to start replacing its fleet of A380s by new A380s starting from 2020, so there is an "automatic replacement" requirement for another 90 A380s (on top of the 90 currently ordered)
- In addition, if Dubai's airport constraints could be resolved, Emirates could take "many more", possibly doubling its fleet size
- Mr. Clark firmly believes that "the A380 is the future for long-haul mass transit"
- the A380's slow sales in recent years are due to an "accident of timing", as the A380 entered into service just as the global financial crisis hit
- Clark is pushing GE / Engine Alliance to upgrade the GP7200 with the latest engine technologies

Somehow, this interview triggered far fewer reactions than the Air France one when I originally posted it...

Almost One Year Since Last A 380-order (by N14AZ Sep 10 2013 in Civil Aviation)#265

[Edited 2013-10-02 04:03:49]

User currently offlinecmf From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 106, posted (6 months 2 weeks 4 days 2 hours ago) and read 24221 times:

Quoting seahawk (Reply 104):
If you keep the higher percentage of Y, J and F in the VLA you need to sell those extra Y seats. Now if you have a hub which is not slot limited, passenger will prefer frequency over flying a VLA.

It is not that simple. Passengers have preferences when they want to fly and they are not even throughout the day. With flying you find most want to fly at mornings and evenings. If you take away half the morning capacity and reinstate it with a new frequency at noon you have most likely made it worse for most passengers. The extremes of this is when you see airplanes landing in the morning and then sitting all day waiting for an evening departure before flying home again, e.g. South Africa.

It is always about balancing capacity to demand. This is why there are airplanes in many different sizes. I don't know how anyone can look at the ever increasing number of passengers and think that there is never a need higher than what a twin can carry. Since twins have a maximum capacity I find idea they are always enough a strange conclusion.


User currently offlinePolot From United States of America, joined Jul 2011, 2042 posts, RR: 1
Reply 107, posted (6 months 2 weeks 4 days 2 hours ago) and read 23497 times:

Quoting Scipio (Reply 105):
- Emirates plans to start replacing its fleet of A380s by new A380s starting from 2020, so there is an "automatic replacement" requirement for another 90 A380s (on top of the 90 currently ordered)

Of course that is a double edge sword, as that means the market will begin to be flooded with used A380s which other carriers may pick up versus ordering new from Airbus.


User currently offlineanfromme From Ireland, joined Feb 2012, 395 posts, RR: 11
Reply 108, posted (6 months 2 weeks 4 days 1 hour ago) and read 23144 times:

Quoting Polot (Reply 107):
Of course that is a double edge sword, as that means the market will begin to be flooded with used A380s which other carriers may pick up versus ordering new from Airbus.

Drifting slightly off topic here, but what you describe seems to be the case for each and every type of plane once it reaches an age where the first few used examples become available on the 2nd hand market. So that factor is usually taken into account when planning the lifecycle for a plane type.

If Airbus still gets the A380 1:1 replacement business for new frames from EK, I'm sure they're ok with it - and for that matter, Airbus are probably still happier about an airline operating a 2nd hand A380 than a 1st or 2nd hand 777 or 747-8i, as they'll still get revenue from support contracts and the likes for 2nd hand Airbus frames.



Sláinte!
User currently offlinetortugamon From United States of America, joined Apr 2013, 3204 posts, RR: 10
Reply 109, posted (6 months 2 weeks 4 days 1 hour ago) and read 23062 times:

Quoting par13del (Reply 103):
Airbus produced the A300, Boeing had nothing in that class

Right but they had an aircraft that was larger.

Quoting par13del (Reply 103):
you compare the A330 and the 777 base versions

Where the 777 is both longer and wider.

Quoting Unflug (Reply 89):
2) The A350s and 787s are able to reach the same operating costs per seat as the A380, but Air France can offer more frequencies.

It is interesting that he says operating cost and not just fuel cost/seat. Typically I give a per seat advantage on flight crew/pilots/admin/gate agents etc to the A380.

Thank you for getting the article Unflug

tortugamon


User currently offlinelightsaber From United States of America, joined Jan 2005, 12414 posts, RR: 100
Reply 110, posted (6 months 2 weeks 4 days 1 hour ago) and read 23058 times:
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Quoting MIflyer12 (Reply 87):
Can you create the derivation for that, or outline your logic and evidence? It seems awfully specific!

HB-IWC has done a number of analysis of longhaul aircraft fleets here on a.net that are well worth the read.

AA:
http://www.airliners.net/aviation-fo...ral_aviation/print.main?id=3127593

DL:
Delta Airlines Widebody Operational Analysis (by vin2basketball Jul 21 2011 in Civil Aviation)

KLM:
KLM B77W Schedule And Network Development (by HB-IWC Sep 10 2008 in Civil Aviation)

EK A380:
Emirates A380 Deployment - Operational Analysis (by HB-IWC Jan 9 2012 in Civil Aviation)

latest on overall EK:
Emirates At DXB - Ultimate Operational Analysis (by HB-IWC Sep 27 2010 in Civil Aviation)

UA-CO:
UA-CO Widebody Operational Analysis (by HB-IWC Oct 4 2010 in Civil Aviation)

After reading through those analysis, I've noted that 17 seems to be the minimum number of aircraft for efficient replacement of aircraft when one airframe is out for maintenance (which is quite often). Airlines with fewer aircraft must have lower utilization in order to recover from an incident.

Yes its specific. Obviously efficiency grows with numbers. I also believe a suitable pilot pool is required. While I couldn't put an exact number on that, I doubt the number is less than a hundred captains and a hundred copilots in order to pay for the training of the check ride pilots. That puts the minimum fleet north of 13.

An airline needs a spare engine at their main hub to operate efficiently. That actually implies a larger number of aircraft as 1% spare engines is where the industry is going. But that isn't that onerous of an expense past 8 or 9 aircraft.

The ideal is to have an aircraft in maintenance at all times except the 3 or 4 busiest months of the year. Assuming 7 days of maintenance/transit per aircraft, then that implies a fleet of 34. I arbitrarily divided that by two.

Any way one slices it, AF's fleet is too small for efficiency. But my opinion is mostly on the costs of providing a standby aircraft as nothing else can substitute for an A380 but another A380 (downfall of being the largest airframe).

Lightsaber



I've posted how many times?!?
User currently offlinebabybus From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 111, posted (6 months 2 weeks 4 days 1 hour ago) and read 23000 times:

Maybe Air France need to look at their fares?

You can fill any plane if the price is right. There are many places that AF fly to that other airlines do cheaper.


User currently offlinePolot From United States of America, joined Jul 2011, 2042 posts, RR: 1
Reply 112, posted (6 months 2 weeks 4 days 1 hour ago) and read 22959 times:

Quoting anfromme (Reply 108):
If Airbus still gets the A380 1:1 replacement business for new frames from EK, I'm sure they're ok with it - and for that matter, Airbus are probably still happier about an airline operating a 2nd hand A380 than a 1st or 2nd hand 777 or 747-8i, as they'll still get revenue from support contracts and the likes for 2nd hand Airbus frames.

True, although I will be careful with statements such as Airbus already has 90 automatic A380 orders from EK etc- that is counting your chickens before your eggs hatch. Who knows what might happen to EK or what decisions they end up making. They may find the A350-1000 to be an absolutely phenomenal aircraft that is completely perfect for the airline, and decide to grow that fleet at the expense of some of the A380 fleet for example.


User currently offlineUnflug From Germany, joined Jan 2012, 392 posts, RR: 2
Reply 113, posted (6 months 2 weeks 4 days 1 hour ago) and read 22298 times:

Quoting cmf (Reply 106):
It is not that simple. Passengers have preferences when they want to fly and they are not even throughout the day. With flying you find most want to fly at mornings and evenings. If you take away half the morning capacity and reinstate it with a new frequency at noon you have most likely made it worse for most passengers. The extremes of this is when you see airplanes landing in the morning and then sitting all day waiting for an evening departure before flying home again, e.g. South Africa.

To back this up with statistics: page 55 of this document has a nice graph showing how departures from North America to Europe are spread through the day:

http://www.airbus.com/company/market...?eID=dam_frontend_push&docID=33603

90% of all departures take place in a window of 8 hours, 50% in a window of only 3 hours!

Quoting cmf (Reply 106):
It is always about balancing capacity to demand. This is why there are airplanes in many different sizes. I don't know how anyone can look at the ever increasing number of passengers and think that there is never a need higher than what a twin can carry. Since twins have a maximum capacity I find idea they are always enough a strange conclusion.

Couldn't agree more!


User currently offlinesankaps From United States of America, joined Jan 2008, 2252 posts, RR: 2
Reply 114, posted (6 months 2 weeks 4 days ago) and read 22127 times:

Quoting PlaneInsomniac (Reply 93):

IMHO nothing astonishing here. If I remember correctly, it has been said for a while that the 787 and A350 will reach about the same per-seat economics as the A380 at comparable load factors. (Some even say they're actually better.) That's the unstoppable march of technological progress.

This is exactly the reason why the business case for VLAs is rapidly imploding.
Quoting art (Reply 95):
If you compare an A380 fitted with 400 seats to an A351 fitted with 400 seats, the A351 will have better per-seat economics. I think you need to compare different aircraft based on equivalent seating breakdowns in terms of space per passenger to get a realistic comparison of economics.

So do we know if AF was comparing on a normalized basis, or on their current configuration which is medium density seating for the A380?


User currently offlinephxa340 From United States of America, joined Mar 2012, 832 posts, RR: 1
Reply 115, posted (6 months 2 weeks 4 days ago) and read 21616 times:

Quoting Scipio (Reply 105):

Using Tim Clark as an example for a reason the VLA market is not imploding isn't honest. EK is so heavily invested in the A380 that he needs it to be a success so engine manufactures and Airbus will keep improving it. If it doesn't sell well , Resources will be moved else where. Thus Tim Clark is probably one of the A380s best sales people. Btw, I do agree however with many of the reasons on why he says it's not selling well now.


User currently offlineStitch From United States of America, joined Jul 2005, 29677 posts, RR: 84
Reply 116, posted (6 months 2 weeks 4 days ago) and read 21123 times:
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Quoting art (Reply 88):
Your point? Where LHR slots are concerned I don't see that it matters what proportion of aircraft movements are long haul or short haul. A slot is a slot and they have all or nearly all been taken at LHR so the question is, how do you increase long haul pax numbers without increasing the number of pax per flight?

By up-gauging narrowbody flights onto larger narrowbodies (or consolidating two or more onto a widebody), you free up slots which can then be allocated to additional long-haul frequencies.


User currently offlinetortugamon From United States of America, joined Apr 2013, 3204 posts, RR: 10
Reply 117, posted (6 months 2 weeks 3 days 23 hours ago) and read 20544 times:

Quoting Polot (Reply 112):
They may find the A350-1000 to be an absolutely phenomenal aircraft that is completely perfect for the airline, and decide to grow that fleet at the expense of some of the A380 fleet for example.

EK has stated that 340 seats is really their minimum size aircraft. In many cases and in the not so distant future the A351 may even be considered to be too small for them  Wow!. They are growing at a solid rate and they do not have enough space at DXB or DWC to fit 'small' aircraft. A380 may be more expensive to operate but it is the only way to make their model and their growth rates work unless the airport(s) catch up.

tortugamon


User currently offlineseahawk From Germany, joined May 2005, 578 posts, RR: 0
Reply 118, posted (6 months 2 weeks 3 days 23 hours ago) and read 20297 times:

Quoting cmf (Reply 106):
It is not that simple. Passengers have preferences when they want to fly and they are not even throughout the day. With flying you find most want to fly at mornings and evenings. If you take away half the morning capacity and reinstate it with a new frequency at noon you have most likely made it worse for most passengers. The extremes of this is when you see airplanes landing in the morning and then sitting all day waiting for an evening departure before flying home again, e.g. South Africa.

It is always about balancing capacity to demand. This is why there are airplanes in many different sizes. I don't know how anyone can look at the ever increasing number of passengers and think that there is never a need higher than what a twin can carry. Since twins have a maximum capacity I find idea they are always enough a strange conclusion.

It is that simple, at least when the airplane is too large. It seems AF has few routes that can fill an A380 without reducing the frequency on the route and so reducing the overall number of pax using your service.


User currently offlineScipio From Belgium, joined Oct 2007, 815 posts, RR: 8
Reply 119, posted (6 months 2 weeks 3 days 22 hours ago) and read 20183 times:

Quoting phxa340 (Reply 115):
Using Tim Clark as an example for a reason the VLA market is not imploding isn't honest. EK is so heavily invested in the A380 that he needs it to be a success so engine manufactures and Airbus will keep improving it.
EK obviously has a stake in the continued development of the A380. Whether Mr. Clark's comments are driven by ulterior motives can be debated, but the ways EK's network and Dubai's airport infrastructure are developing are consistent with a continued heavy reliance on VLAs.

And I honestly do think that, for the A380's future, the possibility that its largest customer may order another 90-180 frames is more relevant than the possibility that a struggling airline like Air France might not order many more...

180 frames is 6 years of production at 30 units per year...

[Edited 2013-10-02 09:23:35]

User currently offlineAzure From France, joined Dec 2012, 598 posts, RR: 16
Reply 120, posted (6 months 2 weeks 3 days 22 hours ago) and read 20184 times:

Quoting seahawk (Reply 118):
AF has few routes that can fill an A380 without reducing the frequency on the route and so reducing the overall number of pax using your service.


The introduction of the A380 on AF routes has resulted in a decrease of frequency and sometimes but not always in a slight increase of capacity to allow growth. On all the markets where the A380 is deployed (America and Asia), load factors are above 90% per their latest financial release, above the average LF where it is not deployed.

I fail to see how the A380 is hurting AF long-haul ops...

Source : http://www.airfranceklm-finance.com/en

[Edited 2013-10-02 10:01:34]


I fly because it releases my mind from the tyranny of petty things - A. de Saint Exupery
User currently onlinetugger From United States of America, joined exactly 8 years ago today! , 5249 posts, RR: 8
Reply 121, posted (6 months 2 weeks 3 days 22 hours ago) and read 20070 times:

Quoting Azure (Reply 120):
The introduction of the A380 on AF routes has resulted in a decrease of frequency and sometimes but not always in a slight increase of capacity to allow growth. On all the markets where the A380 is deployed (America and Asia), load factors are above 90% per their latest financial release, above the average LF where it is not deployed (Africa for instance)

I fail to see how the A380 is hurting AF long-haul ops...

It's not just LF, it can also be frequency.
Are they missing passengers by only flying one or two times a day (the flight schedule doesn't mesh as well with the prospective passenger's)? If they could fly two or three+ flights (frequencies) a day would more people want to fly on them because those times fit their schedules better?

So the flights might be full for the ones they fly but they might be better off overall with "more".

Tugg



I don’t know that I am unafraid to be myself, but it is hard to be somebody else. -W. Shatner
User currently offlinecmf From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 122, posted (6 months 2 weeks 3 days 22 hours ago) and read 20002 times:

Quoting seahawk (Reply 118):
It is that simple, at least when the airplane is too large. It seems AF has few routes that can fill an A380 without reducing the frequency on the route and so reducing the overall number of pax using your service.

Few routes is a different argument, one that I agree with. However your statement was rather different:

Quoting seahawk (Reply 104):
Now if you have a hub which is not slot limited, passenger will prefer frequency over flying a VLA.

If what you said was true then we would only have small planes flying with high frequency. There wouldn't be different sized planes, just very small planes flying very frequently.

We wouldn't see any 777s as you could fly smaller A330s with higher frequency. But we wouldn't see any #330s as 757s can fly with higher frequency. And so on.

Reality is that we have different sized planes because demand varies and it varies enough to justify optimizing equipment. That the smaller models represent more of the market is natural distribution. Why we see many more A320s and 737s than A330/A350s and 787/777. That the A380/747 market is natural but that doesn't mean it isn't significant enough to justify its existence. That they have sold above expected positive ROI is evidence enough. That they failed to perform is a different issue.


User currently offlineAzure From France, joined Dec 2012, 598 posts, RR: 16
Reply 123, posted (6 months 2 weeks 3 days 21 hours ago) and read 19883 times:

Quoting tugger (Reply 121):
It's not just LF, it can also be frequency.

You are right, but AF has deployed the A380 on routes it has decades of experience. The schedules chosen for the A380s are the "preferred" ones as it states on its corporate website. Furthermore frequency is less an issue when the flight is over 8 hours.
At the end, for an airline, what matters is not the total number of passengers it carries on one route, but the profitability of this route. And I still have to read how the A380 is an handicap for this matter.



I fly because it releases my mind from the tyranny of petty things - A. de Saint Exupery
User currently offlineastuteman From United Kingdom, joined Jan 2005, 9835 posts, RR: 96
Reply 124, posted (6 months 2 weeks 3 days 21 hours ago) and read 19717 times:
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Quoting PlaneInsomniac (Reply 93):
If I remember correctly, it has been said for a while that the 787 and A350 will reach about the same per-seat economics as the A380 at comparable load factors. (Some even say they're actually better.) That's the unstoppable march of technological progress.This is exactly the reason why the business case for VLAs is rapidly imploding.

Or alternatively why the case for an upgrade becomes more pressing

Quoting Azure (Reply 99):
Basically he is not ruling out to order more A380s in the future which clearly indicates there is a business case for the A380 in the AF network

No he did not.
And yet the airline is characterised as "turning its back on the A380".   

Quoting Scipio (Reply 105):
Clark is pushing GE / Engine Alliance to upgrade the GP7200 with the latest engine technologiesSomehow, this interview triggered far fewer reactions than the Air France one when I originally posted it...

True enough. Can't think why though   

Quoting anfromme (Reply 108):
Drifting slightly off topic here, but what you describe seems to be the case for each and every type of plane once it reaches an age where the first few used examples become available on the 2nd hand market

   It's only the case for the A380.   

Rgds


User currently offlinegoldorak From France, joined Sep 2006, 1778 posts, RR: 4
Reply 125, posted (6 months 2 weeks 3 days 18 hours ago) and read 19138 times:

Quoting babybus (Reply 111):
Maybe Air France need to look at their fares?

You can fill any plane if the price is right. There are many places that AF fly to that other airlines do cheaper.

Hmmm...are you aware of AF load factors on long-haul flights (often >90%) ?


User currently offlineJHwk From United States of America, joined Jan 2013, 182 posts, RR: 0
Reply 126, posted (6 months 2 weeks 3 days 15 hours ago) and read 18660 times:

Quoting art (Reply 100):
Traffic doubles roughly every 15 years.

Beware the man with the hockey stick. Assuming exponential growth continues indefinitely is the source of many a bubble.

The economics of alternatives change as the passenger miles increase.

VLAs may eventually dominate, but there are really only incremental benefits on flights less than 8 hours today outside of specific routes. The incremental benefit does not always outweigh the incremental risk.


User currently onlineikramerica From United States of America, joined May 2005, 21415 posts, RR: 60
Reply 127, posted (6 months 2 weeks 3 days 12 hours ago) and read 18616 times:

Quoting anfromme (Reply 108):
Drifting slightly off topic here, but what you describe seems to be the case for each and every type of plane once it reaches an age where the first few used examples become available on the 2nd hand market. So that factor is usually taken into account when planning the lifecycle for a plane type.

Not necessarily.

1. EK and SQ get rid of aircraft earlier than most other carriers.

2. It's more likely a problem at the extremes of the market in size. RJs don't have much value, but they weren't costly to begin with. The A380 doesn't have a lot of customers to begin with, so finding a place for 50 12 year old A380s at a decent price will be a challenge. But maybe the business case for AF or DL becomes better if they take 12 year old A380s than if they paid for new ones?

3. Anyone who's tried to place a 20 year old 744 knows that it's hard to place old VLAs these days with efficient twins that have the same range available. That experience alone makes some carriers more wary of the A380, because they already are dumping the 744 for no value, and would be replacing those with A380s which would have an even worse problem at the end of their life due to poor prospects as an A380CF.



Of all the things to worry about... the Wookie has no pants.
User currently offlineLO231 From Belgium, joined Sep 2004, 2392 posts, RR: 23
Reply 128, posted (6 months 2 weeks 3 days 10 hours ago) and read 18391 times:

Just hated their 343 take off from CDG to MIA... Took ages.... Then again, service with champagne in economy was superb... Kuddos


Got both LO 788 frames already, next LO E95 and 734 BRU-WAW-BRU
User currently offlineScipio From Belgium, joined Oct 2007, 815 posts, RR: 8
Reply 129, posted (6 months 2 weeks 3 days 7 hours ago) and read 17936 times:

Quoting ikramerica (Reply 127):
so finding a place for 50 12 year old A380s at a decent price will be a challenge

Given the A380's slow production ramp-up, the time that the 50th used A380 will hit the market is a long way off. End-2024 to be precise...

Assuming that both SQ and EK will take frames out of service exactly 12 years after delivery, while other early users will keep their frames for at least 18 years, this is what will become available on the used market:

2019: 1 frame (SQ)
2020: 9 frames (5 SQ, 4 EK)
2021: 7 frames (4 SQ, 3 EK)
2022: 9 frames (1 SQ, 8 EK)
2023: 8 frames (3 SQ, 5 EK)
2024: 16 frames (5 SQ, 11 EK)
2025: 13 frames (all EK)

In other words, used A380s will be a very scarce commodity until at least the mid-2020s...

I don't think it is hard to imagine those 50 first frames easily finding new homes. By the 2020s, many 2-nd tier carriers might be ready to take on VLAs if they can avoid the capex and risk that come with new frames, and package carriers might be keen to get a hold of some frames for conversion into freighters.

And once A380s will start hitting the used market in considerable numbers, we will already be in the second half of the 2020s and the global aviation market will be about twice as large as it is now...

In fact, if all other operators fly their A380s for 20 years, we would see a grand total of just 129 frames reach the used market by end-2030... This would be 90 from Emirates, 24 from Singapore, 7 from Qantas, and 4 each from Air France and Lufthansa.

So, there doesn't seem to be much basis to expect a glut in the used A380 market, as long as operators do not start dumping the type prematurely en masse.





[Edited 2013-10-03 00:44:35]

[Edited 2013-10-03 01:15:55]

[Edited 2013-10-03 01:18:08]

User currently offlineanfromme From Ireland, joined Feb 2012, 395 posts, RR: 11
Reply 130, posted (6 months 2 weeks 3 days 5 hours ago) and read 17633 times:

Quoting ikramerica (Reply 127):

2. It's more likely a problem at the extremes of the market in size. RJs don't have much value, but they weren't costly to begin with. The A380 doesn't have a lot of customers to begin with, so finding a place for 50 12 year old A380s at a decent price will be a challenge. But maybe the business case for AF or DL becomes better if they take 12 year old A380s than if they paid for new ones?

See Scipio's post - there won't be a flood of 2nd hand A380s becoming available any time soon. For those that will become available, I do think that your scenario is quite conceivable, i.e. that airlines that currently don't operate the A380 will find it easier to take the plunge with used frames (and possibly leased ones from Doric).

Quoting ikramerica (Reply 127):
3. Anyone who's tried to place a 20 year old 744 knows that it's hard to place old VLAs these days with efficient twins that have the same range available.

I think this comparison is invalid on many levels. You're comparing 20 year-old 744s to 12 year-old A380s. 20 year-old frames will always be much harder to place - especially as pax aircraft - than 12 year-old ones. Also, a 744 that was built 20 years ago is an example of a type that had an EIS 25 years ago and that was a refresh of a much older base model, with engines that were mostly only refreshes of 1960s/1970s designs. It's a quad that got replaced by a twin of only marginally smaller capacity.
None of these factors apply to 12 year-old A380s - beginning with the fact that the first customer-owned A380 won't turn 12 for another six years.
Mind you, I'm not saying that it will be simple to place used A380s in 2019 onwards - an A320 or A330 is always going to have many more potential customers. I just don't think that the situation is going to be comparable to the reasons it's difficult to place 20 year-old 744s today. For one, there is not going to be a twin by 2020 that offers even close to the same capacity as the A380.

Quoting ikramerica (Reply 127):
That experience alone makes some carriers more wary of the A380, because they already are dumping the 744 for no value, and would be replacing those with A380s which would have an even worse problem at the end of their life due to poor prospects as an A380CF.

It doesn't help old pax 744 that the cargo market isn't exactly buoyant at the moment. The A330 P2F conversion is still waiting for its first customer, a 777 conversion programme is yet to be launched after a decade of discussions...
I do think this is not going to last and we will see both types converted eventually - my point is that currently is an unusual point in time when even these popular types don't find freighter customers. I wouldn't assume that this situation is going to last forever, though.
Regarding an A380CF specifically - the A380 was designed with a freighter in mind, so a freighter conversion should be very doable. But I do agree with you that it's currently not worth spending much thought on, given that even easier sells like the 777BCF and A330P2F are not exactly selling like hot cakes.

Quoting Scipio (Reply 129):
Assuming that both SQ and EK will take frames out of service exactly 12 years after delivery, while other early users will keep their frames for at least 18 years, this is what will become available on the used market:

Thanks for that post and doing the research for it - hadn't looked at it that way, so that was very interesting.



Sláinte!
User currently offlineseahawk From Germany, joined May 2005, 578 posts, RR: 0
Reply 131, posted (6 months 2 weeks 3 days 3 hours ago) and read 17319 times:

Quoting cmf (Reply 122):
If what you said was true then we would only have small planes flying with high frequency. There wouldn't be different sized planes, just very small planes flying very frequently.

We wouldn't see any 777s as you could fly smaller A330s with higher frequency. But we wouldn't see any #330s as 757s can fly with higher frequency. And so on.

Reality is that we have different sized planes because demand varies and it varies enough to justify optimizing equipment. That the smaller models represent more of the market is natural distribution. Why we see many more A320s and 737s than A330/A350s and 787/777. That the A380/747 market is natural but that doesn't mean it isn't significant enough to justify its existence. That they have sold above expected positive ROI is evidence enough. That they failed to perform is a different issue.

Well ok I meant an hub, which is not even slot limited during the peak hours. It is easier to add an evening frequency to a morning flight from Europe to North America, when you have slots in the evening peak time. It is likely that passenger will prefer this to flying a A380 in the morning. And if you have more slots at your hub and the destination, you might be thinking about a 3rd frequency (maybe using even smaller plane) or up-grading one of your existing frequencies to a larger plane. But in general, if you hub has slots (even in the peak times) VLAs might not be the best option for your network.


User currently offlineskipness1E From United Kingdom, joined Aug 2007, 3073 posts, RR: 1
Reply 132, posted (6 months 2 weeks 3 days 3 hours ago) and read 17330 times:

Quoting Scipio (Reply 129):
And once A380s will start hitting the used market in considerable numbers, we will already be in the second half of the 2020s and the global aviation market will be about twice as large as it is now...

Ever thought the A380 is only suitable for a top tier airline so second hand aicraft won't remain active. Majors tend to buy new long haul aircraft, the A380 is not suitable for anything less than a major legacy, so it's not clear to me how big the second hand market would be. It's not like the days of B707s and Dc8s where any old cowboy outfit could have a crack at making money with one.


User currently offlinekanban From United States of America, joined Jan 2008, 3211 posts, RR: 26
Reply 133, posted (6 months 2 weeks 2 days 22 hours ago) and read 16828 times:
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Quoting Scipio (Reply 129):
I don't think it is hard to imagine those 50 first frames easily finding new homes. By the 2020s, many 2-nd tier carriers might be ready to take on VLAs if they can avoid the capex and risk that come with new frames, and package carriers might be keen to get a hold of some frames for conversion into freighters.

Because the first 50 were hand made, any 2nd tier make have higher refurbishment and reconfiguration costs than if they waited until the more "normalized" production articles appear on the market. Some might say tour operators are a possible customer for second hand planes.. here I think there will be several factors they will consider.. cost of conversion, cost of maintenance of older planes, smaller airport accessibility , and the resistance of increasing numbers of vacationers to arrive in volumes that swamp the destination and uniqueness. Darn if I want to vacation in a location where I spend an inordinate amount of time standing in line to shoulder to shoulder with other tourists.

The fantasy of a second life as a package freighter exists but I think there again, conversion will price the first batch out of range. Even package carriers are looking at frequency vs volume and their terminals can handle much more as staggered departure/arrivals than the current models concentrating on overnight operations.

I have also noticed, although I don't know how prevalent is is across the larger field, that sometimes greater available frequency with multiple carriers drives the ticket cost down, where limited frequency isn't as impacted. Yes, there are some that don't look at ticket price and only look at amenities.

Basically we can talk about all the airlines profit motives, but frequency and volume ultimately depend on the passengers decisions.


User currently onlineCubsrule From United States of America, joined May 2004, 22302 posts, RR: 20
Reply 134, posted (6 months 2 weeks 2 days 22 hours ago) and read 16748 times:

Quoting kanban (Reply 133):
The fantasy of a second life as a package freighter exists but I think there again, conversion will price the first batch out of range. Even package carriers are looking at frequency vs volume and their terminals can handle much more as staggered departure/arrivals than the current models concentrating on overnight operations.

  

I don't see much of a freighter market for the 388, either as a resurrected 380F or as a P2F. The logistical problems of second deck loading of passengers pale in comparison to those that would exist for freighters, and most cargo hubs do not have capacity issues.



I can't decide whether I miss the tulip or the bowling shoe more
User currently offlinesassiciai From UK - Scotland, joined Jan 2013, 300 posts, RR: 0
Reply 135, posted (6 months 2 weeks 2 days 21 hours ago) and read 16503 times:

Quoting kanban (Reply 133):
the resistance of increasing numbers of vacationers to arrive in volumes that swamp the destination and uniqueness. Darn if I want to vacation in a location where I spend an inordinate amount of time standing in line to shoulder to shoulder with other tourists.

You think this is something unique to the A380? There are some truly sardine canned B747s flying around on the holiday circuits


User currently offlinekanban From United States of America, joined Jan 2008, 3211 posts, RR: 26
Reply 136, posted (6 months 2 weeks 2 days 21 hours ago) and read 16454 times:
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Quoting sassiciai (Reply 135):
You think this is something unique to the A380? There are some truly sardine canned B747s flying around on the holiday circuits

NO, it was a general statement relating to charter / vacation operators using VLA's to smaller -remote destinations. Yes it applies to 747's and 777's as well.


User currently offline747megatop From United States of America, joined May 2007, 603 posts, RR: 0
Reply 137, posted (6 months 2 weeks 2 days 20 hours ago) and read 16379 times:
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Quoting blueshamu330s (Reply 14):
I disagree. Look at the intransigence with regard to future south east UK airspace and airport capacity development and factor that into fleet and route planning for the 2020 decade; British Airways will be in exactly the same position as they were in prior to buying bmi.

The A380s have a sure and secure future at BA and I will bet my shirt they will end up with a significantly more substantial fleet than they currently have on order and option.

   With passenger number set to exponentially increase globally over the next few decades the only option for some airports to increase capacity will be to encourage VLAs and give more incentives. It is not that airports can have their way and dream up runways out of thin air, plan them in a couple of years and build them in 2 or 3 years. Airports like BOM, LAX, LHR, NRT are all constrained by finite amount of space and face very stiff resistance from local communities when these airports talk about expansion. At some point they are going to hit their saturation point when the only alternative is to switch to VLAs for high density trunk routes. Granted that VLAs like A380 and 747-8 will not sell like 787/777/A350 in large numbers, but A380 will have a small market and there will be a demand for these aircraft. And yes, the A380 in it's current 4 holer form may not remain in production 20 or 30 years from now....who knows...it may come in a twin engine BWB form!.


User currently offlinebillreid From Netherlands, joined Jun 2006, 968 posts, RR: 0
Reply 138, posted (6 months 2 weeks 2 days 20 hours ago) and read 16356 times:

I have posted multiple times that KLM stated while the A380 was in the design phase that it was a "Frequency Killer"

That said AF and several other airlines are finding out that managing the A380 and a network doesn't make sense to support the high yielding pax.
One flight per day on a A380 is a killer versus 3 on a A350 or B787. If you have a corporate executive who is costing $2500/hour it is impossible to spend an additional 8 - 24 hours en-route with lost frequency. Then the B787 takes the pax away through dropping in three flights per day or running other hours on a competitor. End result, lost $12,000 fare. And guess what? This is all about forward cabin sales.

The A380 is an excellent choice if there are only one daily flight in the first place, without competition, or if flow can be controlled regionally. Another choice is with high density leisure routes, for instance London-Orlando.
Even EK is under pressure from connection schedules on Qatar or Ethihad at there nearby hubs. In the end even EK knows the A350 is a A380 killer!

Isn't competition wonderful.



Some people don't get it. Business is about making MONEY!
User currently offlinepnwtraveler From Canada, joined Jun 2007, 2199 posts, RR: 12
Reply 139, posted (6 months 2 weeks 2 days 18 hours ago) and read 16031 times:

I think there will be a market for used A380 when they become available. I can see charters filling an aircraft on their heaviest routes for vacation travel. Because Charter passengers tend more to advance planning and can be a bit more flexible than business travel to get cheaper prices, this is the one instance where frequency can readily be replaced by less frequent larger aircraft. Certainly travel to Mecca and for Haj flights might also be a seasonal use. These charter aircraft will be all economy or with a possible premium economy section. But again, as I have been saying ad nauseum on these sorts of threads, the aircraft (or for that matter a B748i) has to be able to effectively used year round. So not only sun charters, but off season travel. Until of course someone offers the aircraft later on Power by the Hour, where the user is only charged for airtime.

User currently offlinejfk777 From United States of America, joined Aug 2006, 8090 posts, RR: 7
Reply 140, posted (6 months 2 weeks 2 days 17 hours ago) and read 15845 times:
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Quoting AF185 (Reply 84):
Right.
I guess they also decided to make the B777 (with GE engines, Rockwell IFE) the flagship of their long haul ops to be part of the American dream

Actually Air France using GE partially because of politics. Snecma is the French airplane engine maker which makes the CFM engines for teh 737NG and A320 in joint venture with GE. It also makes GE90 engine components, so AF having GE engines 777 is not without "politics". One reason AF didn't get A340-600 could be those Rolls Engines on the -600. I know AF is getting A350 with Rolls engines( only ones on A350) but the 787 are GE as are the A380 with Allinace engines.


User currently offlinetortugamon From United States of America, joined Apr 2013, 3204 posts, RR: 10
Reply 141, posted (6 months 2 weeks 2 days 16 hours ago) and read 15613 times:

Quoting 747megatop (Reply 137):
With passenger number set to exponentially increase globally over the next few decades

Doubling every 15 years or around 4% per year is more like cubic growth than exponential growth. JL likes to say that there are 42 aviation megacities today and there will be over 90 in 2031 but that benefits large twins as well as well as A380s in my opinion.

tortugamon


User currently offlinecmf From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 142, posted (6 months 2 weeks 2 days 15 hours ago) and read 15489 times:

Quoting seahawk (Reply 131):
It is easier to add an evening frequency to a morning flight from Europe to North America, when you have slots in the evening peak time.

Question is if your passengers want to fly in the evening. If they don't then you better provide seats at the times they want to fly.

Quoting seahawk (Reply 131):
And if you have more slots at your hub and the destination, you might be thinking about a 3rd frequency (maybe using even smaller plane) or up-grading one of your existing frequencies to a larger plane.

What do you upgrade to if you already fly 77W?

Quoting seahawk (Reply 131):
But in general, if you hub has slots (even in the peak times) VLAs might not be the best option for your network.

Or they may. It is all about the demand. Most city pairs do not have enough demand to support any flights at all.

Quoting billreid (Reply 138):
The A380 is an excellent choice if there are only one daily flight in the first place

Most of the time it isn't an excellent choice on doutes with a single flight. Sometime it is an excellent option also when there are multiple flights. Yet again, it is about balancing capacity to demand. It goes from not enough for a single flight to multiple rightly scheduled VLAs. Most are the former. Plenty enough of the later.


User currently offlineStitch From United States of America, joined Jul 2005, 29677 posts, RR: 84
Reply 143, posted (6 months 2 weeks 2 days 14 hours ago) and read 15312 times:
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Quoting kanban (Reply 133):
Because the first 50 were hand made, any 2nd tier make have higher refurbishment and reconfiguration costs than if they waited until the more "normalized" production articles appear on the market.

I thought MSN025 was the switch-over point. Did it extend out to MSN050?


User currently offlinetjh8402 From United States of America, joined Jan 2013, 153 posts, RR: 0
Reply 144, posted (6 months 2 weeks 2 days 11 hours ago) and read 15088 times:

Quoting billreid (Reply 138):
Another choice is with high density leisure routes, for instance London-Orlando.

I had someone ask me my thoughts on our likelihood of seeing an A380 in Orlando. I can't really speak for the charter operators that go into SFB. I think the point you make is the best argument for why it be a good choice for flying here (along with the fact that we're not a freight heavy route). However, WRT MCO, my feeling was that while occasional or seasonal upgauging to MCO is certainly possible, unless we become a major hub, I don't think we'll see year round scheduled A380 service. MCO is not a gate or slot restricted airport, so adding frequency here is not a problem, and all our London traffic comes from LGW, which as far as I know, is not slot restricted like LHR. For a carrier like BA or VS (should they take delivery) to put an A380 on the Mouse run would require them to reposition the airplane to LGW (can LGW handle an A380?). I know MAN can handle the plane, but are there enough PDEW to support a plane that big?

Also, while I don't know about traffic from Europe specifically, I know that overall tourist traffic into the area is highly seasonal, meaning the A380 could be an expensive operation during the slow season. It would seem that as costly as that plane is, airlines aside from EK aren't likely to be ordering them en masse, and will I assume only want to spend that sort of $ where the plane is absolutely necessary (a higher yielding or heavily slot restricted route). It would seem that a high density 500+ seat 777-9 would be plenty of airplane, have a lower purchase price, and be able to absorb seasonal swings much easier. It's also worth pointing out that we don't see that many VLAs now - VS is the only one with year round 747 flights (LH being seasonal), and if I had to guess, I'd say our most commonly seen regular service widebody is the A330 (VS, TAM, EI, and LH)...excluding all the Douglas freighters, of course.


User currently offline747megatop From United States of America, joined May 2007, 603 posts, RR: 0
Reply 145, posted (6 months 2 weeks 2 days 11 hours ago) and read 15034 times:
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Quoting tortugamon (Reply 141):
like cubic growth than exponential growth

Sure, technically speaking by the book definition you are right. But does it really matter? Passenger numbers are going to go up by leaps and bounds and at some point is going to far outstrip the available runway space, that is what matters. If growth is exponentional then it will happen far sooner than if the growth was cubic  


User currently offlinefrmrcapcadet From United States of America, joined May 2008, 1690 posts, RR: 1
Reply 146, posted (6 months 2 weeks 2 days 10 hours ago) and read 14922 times:

Quoting 747megatop (Reply 145):
Passenger numbers are going to go up by leaps and bounds and at some point is going to far outstrip the available runway space

Trends which cannot continue in fact do not continue. Leaps and bounds, unending exponential growth will not continue. There are already signs of some slowdowns in some parts of the world. One can be a bit bullish about the airline business without believing in another bubble. Higher energy costs and world economies coming up against limits will have an effect.



Buffet: the airline business...has eaten up capital...like..no other (business)
User currently offlinekanban From United States of America, joined Jan 2008, 3211 posts, RR: 26
Reply 147, posted (6 months 2 weeks 2 days 10 hours ago) and read 14899 times:
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Quoting Stitch (Reply 143):
I thought MSN025 was the switch-over point. Did it extend out to MSN050?

I was relating more to the continued hand fitting than a program turn.. they may have improved at line 25.. however we still have wing issues and hand fitted interiors to get past when looking at the secondary market


User currently offlineanfromme From Ireland, joined Feb 2012, 395 posts, RR: 11
Reply 148, posted (6 months 2 weeks 2 days 1 hour ago) and read 14375 times:

Quoting frmrcapcadet (Reply 146):
Trends which cannot continue in fact do not continue. Leaps and bounds, unending exponential growth will not continue

Ironically, that is actually a very strong counter-argument to the "frequency over capacity" argument that is often bandied about when it comes to the A380. You can't increase frequency indefinitely.

I actually do agree with you that exponential growth can't and won't continue endlessly. However, the current slow-down is more due to the results of the financial crisis than the fact that some sort of natural limit has been reached. Just look at the numbers of planes Airbus and Boeing have been selling of the 787, A350, MAX and NEO - the trend is towards more fuel-efficient planes, but certainly not towards fewer planes. Orders that would have been major news in the 1990s - like DL's order for 10 A330 and 30 A321 - hardly even register these days because we're so used to seeing orders for 30+ widebodies at a time.
At the same time, aircraft sizes are trending up as well - the 767-200 was by far eclipsed by the -300, the 787-9 is expected to outsell the -8, the A350-900 the -800, and possibly even the -1000 the -900, and the main focus of the 777X programme is the 777-9X, with even the -8X being only slightly smaller than the 777-300ER.

With that said, there should in the future be a solid-enough market for the A380. But I don't expect it to sell in the same numbers as the A330, 787, 777(X), A350, etc.

[Edited 2013-10-04 06:54:42]

Quoting kanban (Reply 147):
I was relating more to the continued hand fitting than a program turn.. they may have improved at line 25.. however we still have wing issues and hand fitted interiors to get past when looking at the secondary market

I believe the main difference for those frames wasn't technical specs, but simply the amount of additional manual work required to make the planes fit the specs. They shouldn't be any different from other MSNs, except regarding the amount of work that went into them because the process requiring less manual labour didn't work.


[Edited 2013-10-04 06:57:29]


Sláinte!
User currently offlinekanban From United States of America, joined Jan 2008, 3211 posts, RR: 26
Reply 149, posted (6 months 2 weeks 1 day 22 hours ago) and read 14065 times:
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Quoting anfromme (Reply 148):
I believe the main difference for those frames wasn't technical specs, but simply the amount of additional manual work required to make the planes fit the specs. They shouldn't be any different from other MSNs, except regarding the amount of work that went into them because the process requiring less manual labour didn't work.

That's what I refer to as "hand built".. too much variation for tooling and parts standardization.. that will be a problem both for spares/maintenance/resale configuration changes, and for reassembly following major checks. Not insurmountable - - - but costly.


User currently offlinetortugamon From United States of America, joined Apr 2013, 3204 posts, RR: 10
Reply 150, posted (6 months 2 weeks 1 day 21 hours ago) and read 13912 times:

Quoting anfromme (Reply 148):

There I still a lot of room for capacity before going to VLA's. A330s are starting to become popular in China but we should see domestic 787-10s and A359Rs.

The reason larger models in a family sell better (757-200 and 767-400 excepted) I because they are more efficient not because there is increasing demand for larger frames. Airlines realize they can sell more seats for very little additional trip cost.

tortugamon


User currently offlinemercure1 From French Polynesia, joined Jul 2008, 1128 posts, RR: 2
Reply 151, posted (6 months 1 day 22 hours ago) and read 12534 times:

There was story in French business journal and speak about AF plans to boost connections at CDG and made mention carrier would be looking to increase long-haul frequencies to create more diverse schedule and how smaller aircraft - like 787/A350 would feature big roll in this.
Article have specific example of how AF would prefer to fly 2 or even 3 daily to place like Tokyo using smaller planes, that single service using A380. The higher frequency much more attractive option and ultimately more beneficial for network versus using large models.


User currently onlineikramerica From United States of America, joined May 2005, 21415 posts, RR: 60
Reply 152, posted (6 months 1 day 22 hours ago) and read 12566 times:

Quoting mercure1 (Reply 151):

There was story in French business journal and speak about AF plans to boost connections at CDG and made mention carrier would be looking to increase long-haul frequencies to create more diverse schedule and how smaller aircraft - like 787/A350 would feature big roll in this.
Article have specific example of how AF would prefer to fly 2 or even 3 daily to place like Tokyo using smaller planes, that single service using A380. The higher frequency much more attractive option and ultimately more beneficial for network versus using large models.

This is the banking model, that some have succeeded with and others have moved away from.

EK banks, but also use the A380 during those banks. They aren't mutually exclusive.



Of all the things to worry about... the Wookie has no pants.
User currently onlineMaverickM11 From United States of America, joined Apr 2000, 16934 posts, RR: 48
Reply 153, posted (6 months 1 day 21 hours ago) and read 12436 times:

Quoting ikramerica (Reply 152):
EK banks, but also use the A380 during those banks. They aren't mutually exclusive.

Paris also has a much larger local market.

Quoting mercure1 (Reply 151):
There was story in French business journal and speak about AF plans to boost connections at CDG and made mention carrier would be looking to increase long-haul frequencies to create more diverse schedule and how smaller aircraft - like 787/A350 would feature big roll in this.

This is my big problem with the 380--it was designed for another world, where everything needs to connect to everything, and frequency is less important. This works great in DXB, but in CDG AF is probably always better off with a second trip on a big twin than one VLA, as it sounds like they're finding out.



E pur si muove -Galileo
User currently offlinepnwtraveler From Canada, joined Jun 2007, 2199 posts, RR: 12
Reply 154, posted (6 months 1 day 21 hours ago) and read 12248 times:

Quoting MaverickM11 (Reply 153):
Quoting mercure1 (Reply 151):
There was story in French business journal and speak about AF plans to boost connections at CDG and made mention carrier would be looking to increase long-haul frequencies to create more diverse schedule and how smaller aircraft - like 787/A350 would feature big roll in this.

This is my big problem with the 380--it was designed for another world, where everything needs to connect to everything, and frequency is less important. This works great in DXB, but in CDG AF is probably always better off with a second trip on a big twin than one VLA, as it sounds like they're finding out.

The North American model is frequency, frequency, frequency. When there was too much excess capacity and everybody matching everyone else, it lead to a bloated industry that went through the various trauma's. This has resulted in a merger environment with fewer redundant carriers fighting over customers. But the consumer is King and still wants frequency.

Many who tout the A380 or B748 for every route that has multiple flights, miss the consumer when they are pointing out how much more efficient an A380 would be. Smaller more flexible jets is an insurance policy against swings in traffic whether it be seasonal or event related (health outbreak in certain areas) or whatever. Ironic we now see some airlines outside of NA who are struggling now adopting a more conservative approach because they are struggling, and in Europe where many did not seem to get the frequency model.

Unless the economy does an amazing rebound, business confidence rises dramatically, and people return to higher volumes of air travel, it seems the prediction for VLAs will be closer to Boeing's numbers than Airbus'. And with cargo even slower to rebound since businesses, particularly retail, nervous about over stocking and selling too much at discounts to move extra stock, the signs are that a rebound isn't going to happen at high speed.


User currently offline747megatop From United States of America, joined May 2007, 603 posts, RR: 0
Reply 155, posted (6 months 1 day 20 hours ago) and read 12061 times:
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Quoting MaverickM11 (Reply 153):
This works great in DXB,

Even that may come under pressure if and when smaller capacity long range efficient aircraft enable people to bypass DXB all together. Imagine BOM-BCN, BOM-BOS, PER-BCN, SYD-FRA, SYD-AMS, DEL-IAH, DEL-IAD, BLR-SFO, MEL-ZRH, MEL-CDG, type of city pairs on such an aircraft that flies small (100 to 150) number of passengers non-stop efficiently to make such city pairs profitably viable for airlines. That kind of aircraft is probably the next logical step in evolution of aircraft even if that means a BWB aircraft. Much like how the B 787 is considered to be a game changer; a SCLR aircraft would be a game changer that would really turn the concept of VLA & large hubs on their head.


User currently onlineMaverickM11 From United States of America, joined Apr 2000, 16934 posts, RR: 48
Reply 156, posted (6 months 1 day 20 hours ago) and read 11948 times:

Quoting pnwtraveler (Reply 154):
The North American model is frequency, frequency, frequency

It is but it's really just a product of deregulation and competition as it spreads around the world. If you look at the SQ/TG/MH hubs, they really don't have that many banks at their hubs, whereas ATL/IAH/DFW have 10-12+ banks/waves. As the region frees up, those hubs will go from 5 777s/day to XYZ, to hourly 320/737s, and that will have major implications on the longhaul flying.

Quoting 747megatop (Reply 155):
Even that may come under pressure if and when smaller capacity long range efficient aircraft enable people to bypass DXB all together.

   Can you imagine what you need to feed 2-3 380s to MAN? A bunch more 380s, and surely on all those thousands of seats, the top flow markets worth having onboard number 50-100PDEW at a decent fare, and you can peal right off and put on a nonstop.



E pur si muove -Galileo
User currently offlineLAXintl From United States of America, joined May 2000, 24314 posts, RR: 47
Reply 157, posted (6 months 1 day 19 hours ago) and read 11875 times:

If AF is looking to make its CDG network denser with more frequency, smaller capacity is the key.

A few weeks ago as part of the restructuring plans they indeed said they want to grow longhaul, so combined with these other comments about growing frequency at CDG, the need and appeal of VLA's for AF is certainly reduced further.



From the desert to the sea, to all of Southern California
User currently offlinesassiciai From UK - Scotland, joined Jan 2013, 300 posts, RR: 0
Reply 158, posted (6 months 1 day 18 hours ago) and read 11605 times:

If the maxim of eternal growth is correct, then where is the argument against larger aircraft in the future? Take away the pathetic and partisan A versus B crap

The world is finite, but its population is doubling on a reducing periodicity! At some point, flying everyone who wants and can afford to pay, in endless A320s or B737s will obviously cause problems in PEK, LHR, FRA, ... and very many other "elsewheres"!

I firmly believe that the VLA has a safe future, for no other reason than the constraints on runways and slots on runways in the (not too distant) future!

I think hub-busting is a nice idea, but perhaps it was an idea of an earlier date, and now today's technology that could do it meets unexpected fuel prices and unexpected ATC limits!

[Edited 2013-10-18 13:31:49]

User currently offline747megatop From United States of America, joined May 2007, 603 posts, RR: 0
Reply 159, posted (6 months 1 day 17 hours ago) and read 11396 times:
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Quoting sassiciai (Reply 158):
I firmly believe that the VLA has a safe future, for no other reason than the constraints on runways and slots on