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How Will The A380 Affect Intercontinental Flights?

Sun May 09, 2004 7:21 am

This has probably been discussed before in this forum but I was thinking, if a few major airlines can have a few flights a day on the A380 where they can cram in around 500 passengers, then wouldn't make sense to have only flights from these hubs to other hubs and eliminate service to smaller cities. For example, have 3 or 4 A380 flights between JFK and LHR and not have any between BOS or IAD and LHR or from say JFK to AMS. If a passenger wants to fly BOS-AMS, they'd fly BOS-JFK and LHR-AMS on smaller aircraft but fly the A380 JFK-LHR. It seems to me that airlines could reduce their costs this way although it would be an inconvenience to travelers going to/coming from smaller cities not to have direct flights. I hope this doesn't happen but it seems like in 10 years or so, thats how it will be.
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RE: How Will The A380 Affect Intercontinental Flights?

Sun May 09, 2004 11:16 am

In the short-term, all things equal, international airlines that operate A380's will see less frequency. As the rate of travel rises, more planes will be needed, until you can't go any farther (i.e. gate capacity maximum) and it would be better to just get a bigger plane, and so on.

Elliminating serive to smaller cites? Where then will they go? If the capability to move those people to where they want to be along with using an A380 for major serivce runs exists, do it. I wonder how small a city can accomidate an A380? Maybe just fly the plane three-quarters full and hop to each city, dragging everyone along for the ride. Like you step into an elevator and suddenly see all floors have been pressed.

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RE: How Will The A380 Affect Intercontinental Flights?

Sun May 09, 2004 6:28 pm

Something that you won't see is, for example, Lufthansa, switching all it's AB) (FRA / FRF / EDDF), Germany">FRA-NYC flights operating on 747s to A380s - what you will see is those services that today have a high load switched to the A380 to offer even more capacity.

Will the A380 eliminate services to smaller cities? No, it won't - why should it? Passenger numbers are growing again, and there are services today where the only capacity adding would be possible by adding yet another flight in a very tight timeframe (there are Europe-Asia services where you can see 4 or more 747s departing within 2-3 hours), or adding flights with schedules that the passengers do not want (for example daytime flights from Europe to South Africa - several airlines have tried, but passenger numbers went down drastically enough that most, if not all, have gone back to night flights).

It will be a trickle-down-effect - services that today manage to fill one or more B744s per day will eventually be upgraded to A380s, while services that today manage to fill one or more B777s or A340s per day will move up to B744s... and so on.

The additional capacity by the A380s is not being introduced in bulk, that is all currently ordered planes in one day - but over a timeframe of several years.

If routes "survived" being upgraded from B767s to B777s or from B777s to B747s without a serious reduction in frequency, then why should the upgrade from B747s to A380s now suddenly constitute a situation that warrants a (more or less drastic) reduction in frequencies?

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RE: How Will The A380 Affect Intercontinental Flights?

Sun May 09, 2004 6:45 pm

In Europe and parts of Asia, speed trains directly from major airports will compete with connecting flights, I don´t know how it´ll be in North America?

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RE: How Will The A380 Affect Intercontinental Flights?

Sun May 09, 2004 11:14 pm

AF currently flies one 744 daily between CDG and MEX. Its loads are fantastic and plans are for AF to switch to 2 daily 773ER's next summer. On the other hand, LH currently flies 10 weekly 744's between FRa and MEX. Loads are also incredibly high and it also looks like they could easily increase capacity. Do you see AF and or LH switching to one A380 daily and one smaller widebody some days of the week in their routes to MEX once the A380 is launched?
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RE: How Will The A380 Affect Intercontinental Flights?

Mon May 10, 2004 4:09 am

Your argument is just the same as Boeings. It's just that Boeing is betting that passenger convienience and passenger oriented scheduling is more important than forcing consolidation against the passengers will. In large markets you cannot force passengers to go your way because they will support another carrier that goes theirs. Remember, market share (in some analysts books) is almost everything.
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