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Is The A380 Useless For US Airlines?  
User currently offlineBobcat From United States of America, joined Jun 2007, 0 posts, RR: 0
Posted (13 years 11 months 3 weeks 1 day 14 hours ago) and read 6285 times:

Is the A380 useless for US airlines? What are the chances of ever seeing A380s in the US?(operated by US airlines)

57 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
User currently offlineDutchjet From Netherlands, joined Oct 2000, 7864 posts, RR: 56
Reply 1, posted (13 years 11 months 3 weeks 1 day 13 hours ago) and read 6204 times:

Useless is a strong word, the A380 does not really suit most US airlines since the US carriers are much more focused on hubs and frequency. For example, assuming landing slots permitted, a US carrier would rather fly two 777s per day between a hub and Tokyo than one A380 - this way they can offer more connection possibilities and better departure/arrival times for more customers. This is why huge airlines like DL, AA and CO do not have the 747 in their fleets, so stepping up to an A380 with even more seats does not seem likely.

In the future, when air traffic grows quickly again, we may see airlines like NW and UA taking another look at the A380 for specific routes, like the West Coast to Japan, the Far East and Australia. I do not see any US carrier ordering the A380 in large numbers, but a conservative order is possible for select routes where time zones limit the range of dep/arrival times, where airport access is limited, or for competition reasons.

No airline, worldwide, has yet ordered a huge number of the A380......its big and its expensive and airlines must be conservative in these difficult times, but in the long run I think the A380 will be a success.

And, dont forget, FedEx will be an A380 operator, so even if you cannot fly on one, your packages can.

User currently offlineFrequentflier From United States of America, joined Aug 2000, 422 posts, RR: 1
Reply 2, posted (13 years 11 months 3 weeks 1 day 12 hours ago) and read 6171 times:

In my opinion, A380s will never become mainstream in the US, but will still be seen with 2 airlines in particular: United and NW. Both of these airlines have large hubs outside of the country, and directly compete with the committed A380 carriers (Virgin, Singapore, etc.)

User currently offlineSingapore_Air From United Kingdom, joined Nov 2000, 13756 posts, RR: 18
Reply 3, posted (13 years 11 months 3 weeks 1 day 12 hours ago) and read 6172 times:

Domestically yes. 4 727s = 1 A380 = not good as US pax like convenience of timing.

Internationally, a possible oversaturation on transatlantic routes?

Anyone can fly, only the best Soar.
User currently offlineSjc>sfo From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 4, posted (13 years 11 months 3 weeks 1 day 12 hours ago) and read 6139 times:

I agree with the above. The only place I really see the addition of the A380 to US fleets is with United and Northwest. And that makes sense because they are the only US majors even flying the 747 right now. CO,AA, and DL are all going with the 777 which gives them range, cargo capacity, and frequency, and are all easier to fill than a 747.

I would expect we'd see the A380 reach the US on routes like West Coast- Asia (heavily dominated by UA, and from the midwest by NW) and its possible we might see it on routes like LAX-LHR or SFO-LHR.

We also might see NW stick one or two on the DTW-AMS routing.

User currently offlineA388 From Netherlands Antilles, joined May 2001, 10780 posts, RR: 15
Reply 5, posted (13 years 11 months 3 weeks 1 day 12 hours ago) and read 6133 times:

I agree with Dutchjet and can't add much more. US airlines focus more on frequency and their hubs. Even though the major US airlines are on the list of top airlines like Singapore Airlines, Qantas, Cathay Pacific Airways, they have different strategies, like more frequencies rather than larger capacities. I expect United Airlines and Northwest Airlines to order/lease the A380 after 2010. I don't see the other major US airlines flying the A380 as the 777 is the ideal aircraft for them for the coming years.

Dutchjet has earnt a place as a respected user on my list. Very good view on the aviation. Are you an airline manager by any chance Dutchjet? You seem to know a lot about the aviation. I'm looking forward to see more good stories from you. I also live in the Netherlands by the way  Smile/happy/getting dizzy



User currently offlineTwaneedsnohelp From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 6, posted (13 years 11 months 3 weeks 1 day 12 hours ago) and read 6113 times:

fine, so the big question if US airlines are so focused on "convenience and timing" as nearly every poster has said, why aren't the European and Asian ones, who are buying this mammoth bird?


User currently offlineSingapore_Air From United Kingdom, joined Nov 2000, 13756 posts, RR: 18
Reply 7, posted (13 years 11 months 3 weeks 1 day 11 hours ago) and read 6100 times:

TNNH who doesn't like SIA and their ground service: Because Asians aren't that timey, so as to say they do not have planes landing at 1518 etc.. In addition, flight to and from SIN and SFO/LAX for example are daily flights, not 20 - 40 a day like LAX - SFO or JFK - West Coast for example.

As for the €uropeans, same for LH and AF. They fly to Asia and the US daily, occasionally twice daily.

Anyone can fly, only the best Soar.
User currently offlineSTT757 From United States of America, joined Mar 2000, 17593 posts, RR: 50
Reply 8, posted (13 years 11 months 3 weeks 1 day 11 hours ago) and read 6102 times:

There's no airline outside the US with more than one major hub,


American carriers


When a airline like BA or AF serves NRT they only have one routing LHR-NRT or CDG-NRT, under such a system larger aircraft less frequencies are better than multiple aircraft multiple frequencies.

Now when a US carrier flies to NRT they usualy offer more than one routing,


etc ..

So US carriers because of their larger hub system can offer more frequencies then say European carriers for the sole reason of they have more routings, more options for travelers. In the US if a traveler in the Mid-West wants to go to Europe they don't have to fly to JFK, they have many local choices. If that same person wants to go to Japan they don't have to connect in SFO, they can fly localy from DTW, ORD, DFW etc.

If a British business traveler wants to fly to Asia there's only one option, fly out of LHR. French have to fly out of CDG etc.

The old days of Pan Am where all European flights were funneled through JFK and all Asian flights were funneled through SFO and all Latin America flights were funneled through MIA supported large fleets of 747s. Today the market is much different.

Eastern Air lines flt # 701, EWR-MCO Boeing 757
User currently offlineManni From South Korea, joined Nov 2001, 4221 posts, RR: 22
Reply 9, posted (13 years 11 months 3 weeks 1 day 11 hours ago) and read 6061 times:


There are airlines outside the US with more than one major hub.


User currently offlineArsenal@LHR From United Kingdom, joined Mar 2001, 7792 posts, RR: 18
Reply 10, posted (13 years 11 months 3 weeks 1 day 10 hours ago) and read 6045 times:
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I wouldn't use the word "useless", but at the moment it is not top priority for US airlines to buy a ultra long range high capacity plane. Like it's been mentioned before, for the likes of CO, DL and AA, the 777 is big enough and perfect for their operations. Since UA and NW are large Airbus customers, i expect them to pick up a handful of A380's in the future once the industry is back to it's best and where demand warrants it.


In Arsene we trust!!
User currently offlineGreg From United Kingdom, joined May 2005, 0 posts, RR: 0
Reply 11, posted (13 years 11 months 3 weeks 1 day 8 hours ago) and read 5985 times:

I imagine UA and NW could you some for Asia.

User currently offlineAC340 From Canada, joined Aug 2001, 337 posts, RR: 0
Reply 12, posted (13 years 11 months 3 weeks 1 day 7 hours ago) and read 5942 times:

Air Canada has 3 hubs, YYZ, YUL and YVR. None of those are in the States.

User currently offlineIvo From Belgium, joined Sep 2000, 470 posts, RR: 0
Reply 13, posted (13 years 11 months 3 weeks 1 day 7 hours ago) and read 5939 times:


Emirates: 22 x A380. Not a huge order?


User currently offlineRick767 From United Kingdom, joined Jan 2000, 2662 posts, RR: 50
Reply 14, posted (13 years 11 months 3 weeks 1 day 7 hours ago) and read 5925 times:

Useless - no, likely to be purchased in big numbers - no. As others have said, several hubs and high frequencies are the backbone of US air travel.

Asia routes, however, could use em. Watch this space, I'd forecast a handful at least.

I used to love the smell of Jet-A in the morning...
User currently offlineBobcat From United States of America, joined Jun 2007, 0 posts, RR: 0
Reply 15, posted (13 years 11 months 3 weeks 1 day 6 hours ago) and read 5912 times:

what exactly does Emirates have in mind when placing 22 firm orders for the A380s? At least they also selected GE and P&W engines for their A380s... Are these engines built in the U.S.?

User currently offlineHardkor From Canada, joined Aug 2001, 236 posts, RR: 0
Reply 16, posted (13 years 11 months 3 weeks 1 day 6 hours ago) and read 5903 times:

do any of you know if Air Canada would be interested in the A380 at all? I would think not, I don't think there would be much use for the A380 with the sixe of our population, it just wouldn't make sense

User currently offlineDutchjet From Netherlands, joined Oct 2000, 7864 posts, RR: 56
Reply 17, posted (13 years 11 months 3 weeks 1 day 6 hours ago) and read 5897 times:

To Ivo, you are right, the Emeriates order for 22 A380s, in my opinion, is extraordinary; I am not sure what they have in mind but I wish them luck and success. Is the order for 22 now confirmed, or is the first group (about 10) confirmed with the rest still to be negoitiated?

User currently offlineTimeForFlight From United States of America, joined Feb 2000, 267 posts, RR: 0
Reply 18, posted (13 years 11 months 3 weeks 22 hours ago) and read 5774 times:

Emirates is smart... I guarantee they will pull a profit with every one of those A380s, especially around Hajj time. Muslims must send at least 1 family members to the Hajj (a yearly event in Mecca) to fulfill religious duties as deemed by the Koran. The airport serving Mecca is literally one major paved surface with a very small terminal. 99% of the time it's relatively empty, but when the Hajj comes each year the tarmac is packed with flights. Emirates will put the A380s on Hajj routes and I'm sure can easily create a combi aircraft to funnel both passengers and crago into their route network. 22 A380s? Sure - It was a great choice for them!

User currently offlineAq737 From United States of America, joined Nov 2000, 612 posts, RR: 0
Reply 19, posted (13 years 11 months 3 weeks 22 hours ago) and read 5760 times:

No, AC would see the 380 useless...if they don;t want any more 744s, and want to phase them in the next year, why the bigger one?? As for the 380 in the US, i doubt it. All the carriers don't need it. The only routes the 380 could be used on would be LAX/SFO - SIN/NRT/KIX...UA and NW don;t need it either because their 747s are enough. Even though them may be close to capacity, there is no need for the 380s. Plus, with a limited amount of routes, it is not economical. For example, you can't just operate a daily LAX-NRT and remain profitable. You need to be like DL and have a ATL-LGW-ATL-MIA-ATL thing (intermideate route ATL-MIA-ATL) to use the time. Remember that the aircraft makes $$ only when in the air! For Europe, frequency is needed for all those business passengers. 767s 4x daily JFK-LHR or 777 2/3x daily is better then 1 380! For S.America and Africa - no need/yields
P.S. By the way, Haneda is HAN... Big grin

User currently offlineNa From Germany, joined Dec 1999, 11580 posts, RR: 9
Reply 20, posted (13 years 11 months 3 weeks 21 hours ago) and read 5733 times:

All of you thinking US airlines don´t need Superjumbos think traffic will not grow anymore, right?

If the estimated 100% increase in air travel will happen within one decade or so even AA and the like will find it hard not buy something bigger than they fly now. Around 2010 it might be the only chance to fly a A380 rather than a 777 to offer more attractive fares than the competition.

National pride is a serious factor. To buy the flagship of the commercial "enemy" is something else than ordering a fleet of low interest A320s. When it comes to replace top-of-the-line aircraft for UA and NW its more likely to me that their choice will be a new 747 version (with more efficient engines).

User currently offlineAviasian From Singapore, joined Jan 2001, 1490 posts, RR: 14
Reply 21, posted (13 years 11 months 3 weeks 17 hours ago) and read 5677 times:

While I generally agree with the many opinions expressed above, I wish to clarify some others:

STT757 : British business travellers heading to Asia have been using Manchester for quite a while already. There are daily flights from there to Asia by a handful of Asian carriers such as Malaysia Airlines, Singapore Airlines etc.

TimeForFlight : Muslim families don't have to send one family member a year to the Haj. Every Muslim is encouraged to perform the Haj pilgrimage "once in a lifetime" if he/she could afford it. Emirates is not going to make a profit dedicating the A380 for Haj traffic . . . and parking it in the desert for ten months out of twelve.

Singapore Airlines currently flies three times daily from Singapore to London-Heathrow. It definitely could use even more capacity for most parts of the year. It is unlikely to be granted further frequencies, certainly not slots that are attractive enough. The A380 would allow it to increase capacity significantly without any increase in frequencies.

Qantas Airways must surely be aiming to put this big bird on the Sydney/Melbourne to London route.

KC Sim

User currently offlineAdria From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 22, posted (13 years 11 months 3 weeks 14 hours ago) and read 5609 times:

The Airbus A380 will be the most revolutionary aircraft when it comes into service in 2006. In this fight Boeing is one step behind

User currently offlineN79969 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 23, posted (13 years 11 months 3 weeks 13 hours ago) and read 5595 times:

The thing I don't understand about the Emirates order is that if they have a need for that many A380's--why don't they have a single 744 today? (Notwithstanding the freighter from Atlas Air) It seems like they would at least lease a few 744 until their A380s arrive. Do you guys see what I mean?

User currently offlineGreg From United Kingdom, joined May 2005, 0 posts, RR: 0
Reply 24, posted (13 years 11 months 3 weeks 13 hours ago) and read 5593 times:

Airbus admits its a 'evolution' not a 'revolution.' It's a fantastic piece of metal and plastic, but it will not change transportation as we know it.

There will be some revolutionary composite pieces in her constuction--but she's basically an 'existing technology' aircraft. Even the seat mile costs are evolutionary...fully 12% of the 17% savings is in increased seating..not in new technology. My source is Airbus.

I'm very excited to see them start production.

25 Capt.Picard : I'd also like to know why Emirates hasn't any 744s in its fleet (as opposed, or in addition to the 777s and A330s). Is it something to do with route s
26 Racko : I think Emirates is more a toy of it's government, than really a serious company. Not only they ordered over 20 A380s, they also ordered tons of 777s
27 Arsenal@LHR : The reason why Emirates ordered 22 A380's is simple: EK market research predicts Emirates passeneger numbers will triple in 10 years time, therefore t
28 N79969 : Arsenal@LHR, If traffic will triple in 10 years- it must be building fast right now. It would make sense to me given the numbers you provided that the
29 Wingman : The Emirates order has nothing to do with realistic forecasting or financial modeling. This is about a man who has found the world's most expensive to
30 N79969 : I'm glad the UAE, unlike a few of its neighbors, has focused on things other than puritanical religion. If that means them spending absurd amounts on
31 Capt.Picard : I have heard Racko's type of argument before; Maurice Flanagan rejected such claims, insisting people ought to check their facts before screaming abou
32 Srbmod : Other than those to be used in a freighter role, the A380 will not have much call for by U.S. carriers than those in other parts of the world. Other t
33 Arsenal@LHR : Capt.Picard is spot on again. Another reason why EK aren't operating multiple 744's right now is because of slot constrainsts. Emirates cannot expand
34 N79969 : Arsenal@LHR, That does not make sense. If you are slot-constrained, you would operate the largest jet possible- the 744 at the moment. The argument wi
35 Capt.Picard : I'm not sure how I got into this Arsenal, but anyway, some info on Emirates's performance and activities: 1/ Emirates cut costs by 5% in response to a
36 Arsenal@LHR : What i'm trying to say is that airlines like EK would prefer to operate multiple flights instead of using just 1 big jet like A380/747. I used CDG and
37 Sllevin : Emirates order is quite significant. I believe that EK feels they're covered in two ways: 1) Traffic really does triple and they need the capacity or
38 N79969 : I think Sllevin is correct. They are rolling some big dice with twenty-two of the A380 jets though. Even half of the total would be a lot to place wit
39 Capt.Picard : Valid thoughts, which I agree with; BUT, we don't yet know how many pax the A380 will carry *in Emirates's configuration*. It may be the standard 3-cl
40 Post contains links QatarAirways : Capt.Picard "Valid thoughts, which I agree with; BUT, we don't yet know how many pax the A380 will carry *in Emirates's configuration*. It may be the
41 Udo : People are talking loads of crap about Emirates and don't even know where the United Arab Emirates actually are... Some of you should take the time an
42 N79969 : QatarAirways, Those are interesting points. You obviously know your stuff about these airlines. But given these numbers, why wouldn't these guys obtai
43 QatarAirways : Getting the 744 will be useless for both Qatar Airways and EK. Both EK and QR would have to go through the costs of introducing a new type to the flee
44 N79969 : Fair enough. Thanks for the analysis and answer.
45 N79969 : I think eventually that NWA will purchase the 380. They are already slated to receive widebody 330s. It won't be a defection like if UA bought them. I
46 Post contains images EA CO AS : I'll be brief. The A-380 will see use from many international flag carriers, but U.S. carriers really don't have much of a use for it, save for FedEx.
47 N79969 : The A380 is ahead of its time in terms of size. An aircraft of that size will not become necessary on a widespread basis until the middle or end of th
48 Post contains images David_itl : Udo, I couldn't agree more with your sentiments. Add in the MAN & BHX services which are "full", and you end up with 7 aircraft leaving the UK every
49 TimeForFlight : Aviasian, I did not say that Muslim families had to send one family member a year to the Hajj. Hajjis are usually once in a lifetime attendees. And no
50 HUYfan : all this talk of emirates not being able to employ their 380s when they come on line is absolute rubbish! the following routes are IDEAL for the 380 a
51 Donder10 : Picard, no 744s due to commanaliy.The 773 has similar capacity to the 744 and keeps alot of commonality to the 772.Maybe some pilot pool too ,I'm not
52 Post contains images Capt.Picard : Ok, thanks guys, for the explanations, a really good thread, this one. Cheers p.s. QatarAirways, I meant no offence to QR, I guess their emergence fro
53 Boeing nut : To answer the question...... useless indeed is too strong a word. However, as some have said already, it just wouldn't fit into the US sytem very well
54 Greg : I think Airbus has made it clear that the initial A380 will be one that carriers will 'grow' into. With a modest capacity increase of 4%/annum...the 3
55 Reggaebird : The sophisticated American flyer went through the "bigger is better" phase back in the 1970's. They now know that the best way to travel is point to
56 Joni : Reggaebird, There is by no means a certainty that the non-US market will migrate to smaller planes and more remote destinations, or that the US marke
57 RayChuang : I don't think UA will buy the A380-800 anytime soon. After all, they already got a big enough plane for US West Coast to Asia services, namely the 747
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