A380: Good Plane At The Wrong Time?

Thu Aug 30, 2001 12:38 pm

I am wondering that why Airbus launches A380 in 2000 when the Global economy was at its worst side (and right now, we don't see any signs to see the recovery of economy) and the major airline are reducing their capacity?

Shouldn't Airbus wait for another few years to launch the A380 when the Global economy gets stronger?

A380 should be a good plane for the future of travel. But I just think it just came out at a wrong time.
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RE: A380: Good Plane At The Wrong Time?

Thu Aug 30, 2001 12:42 pm

Excellent plane at the RIGHT time. The wordwide semi recession will have ended by the time the A380 enters service. I personally have no interest in riding one though. I do not like the jumbos very much. Yhe fact is that Airbus timed this one perfectly.
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RE: A380: Good Plane At The Wrong Time?

Thu Aug 30, 2001 12:46 pm

Perfect time. Boeing not coming up with good heavy ideas. Airlines in need for long range, high capacity heavies.
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RE: A380: Good Plane At The Wrong Time?

Thu Aug 30, 2001 12:46 pm

This may actually be a blessing. During the development of the aircraft, Airbus will stimulate the local economies of the cities where the engineering is taking place. This also includes the thousands of suppliers worldwide. Then, when the planes are ready to roll off the assembly line, the economy will be recovering (hopefully) and demand will grow.

The question is, how deep will the recession be, and will the supplier base survive? I am not worried about Airbus surviving, as they have a sugar daddy looking after them.

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RE: A380: Good Plane At The Wrong Time?

Thu Aug 30, 2001 12:48 pm

With such a long time needed to develop A380, a recession/slow down was bound to take place during its development phase. IMHO, it's a good timing for Airbus: it secured enough orders when economy was strong, and by the time the jet enters service, economy should be on the upswing by then.
As for airlines needing an aircraft with the capcity of A380, it's up to them to decide the fate of the program (and possibly the Airbus itself).

RE: A380: Good Plane At The Wrong Time?

Thu Aug 30, 2001 12:49 pm

Maybe I'm missing something, but can someone point me to an A380?

Build the damn thing first and then sing its praises.

RE: A380: Good Plane At The Wrong Time?

Thu Aug 30, 2001 1:21 pm

Airlines in need for long range, high capacity heavies

Perhaps they would rather want the smaller capacity with long-range feature plane like A345/346 or B777X?



Thu Aug 30, 2001 1:36 pm

Airlines are having a hard time to fill up their 747-400 in this weak economy era. I wonder will the airlines have the abilities to fill up their A380.
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RE: A380: Good Plane At The Wrong Time?

Thu Aug 30, 2001 3:45 pm

I am sure they will. However as Cheong says. The strategy is not to predict too far into the future, but to be able to adapt the Airline so that it maintains profitable, competitive, and innovative. If they continue to do that under Mr Micheal Tan Jiak Ngee or the other contender, then the SIA Revolution will continue.

Therefore any economic crisis, SIA will deal with it. However of course profits will fall.

It's true that SIA aren't filling up that much nowadays. However a recession is normally about 10 - 12 months (Source: CNBC Interview with someone last night), so we should be getting back to the good old days!
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RE: A380: Good Plane At The Wrong Time?

Thu Aug 30, 2001 4:33 pm

The A380 is timed perfectly. It will fly just at the point that demand reaches the level where 500+ seaters are trully needed. Making a big transport isn't like putting out a CD, where you do all the hype up front and get as many people to buy it in the first week so you go into the charts high and watch it then slide down the charts. Airbus need a product that will sell for 20 years+ (like the 747) so if they size it to cater for the market now, or even in 2006, by 2015 it's going to be too small. They may not get much past 100 orders til (say) 2004, but the first flight will still be 2 years away. Then the recession will be receding and by the first flight, orders will have jumped to 300 (say). I bet that including stretched models, by 2015 they're past the 600 mark.
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RE: A380: Good Plane At The Wrong Time?

Thu Aug 30, 2001 4:57 pm

Name me an aircraft that has not has some of it's launch/development coinciding with some kind of ecomonic downturn. The trick is to stay focussed and have faith, not do what DH did with the Trident 40 years ago and let the design get screwed-up because a launch customer, (in this case BEA), had a bad year and wanted a size reduction.
As for Airbus having a 'sugar-daddy', so have Boeing, it's called the Military-Industrial complex.
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RE: A380: Good Plane At The Wrong Time?

Thu Aug 30, 2001 5:07 pm


Airbus (or more exactly, it parent companies) depends more on military/government contracts revenue than Boeing, according to their annual reports. That arguement is dead. The difference is that the Airbus name is applied to their commercial aircraft. If Boeing were to give a completely seperate name to their commercial division, would you be fooled as well?

I think the A380 is well timed, although I am not yet convinced that it will ever be profitable on a cash flow basis.

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Thu Aug 30, 2001 5:16 pm

I was really thinking of all that research work done by NASA, and going back, the boost the 707 got from the KC-135 programme, and the CX programme in the 60's that led to the 747. (Boeing losing out to Lockheed for that contract was the best thing that ever happened to Seattle).
I'm not saying any of this is wrong, actually it's necessary to advance things, but glass houses, stones etc.

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