United Airline
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Questions Regarding The A380-900

Thu Sep 15, 2011 5:49 am

Will Airbus launch the A380-900 anytime soon? If yes when?

What's the difference between the 900 and the 800? Bigger? Longer range?
 
Glareskin
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RE: Questions Regarding The A380-900

Thu Sep 15, 2011 9:55 am

My guess: not before they only have less than 15 to manufacture for EK and the production slots are irreversibel. Which will be 2018?
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N14AZ
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RE: Questions Regarding The A380-900

Thu Sep 15, 2011 10:05 am

Quoting United Airline (Thread starter):
Will Airbus launch the A380-900 anytime soon? If yes when?

Some years ago CEO Enders said during on of these air shows (don't remember if it was Paris or Farnborough) that they will not think about a new A 380 version before .... if I remember correctly he said 2013. In a recent interview he said that all available resources are required to work on the A 350 and the M 400 and that was before they announced the NEO.
 
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SEPilot
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RE: Questions Regarding The A380-900

Thu Sep 15, 2011 10:40 am

Quoting N14AZ (Reply 2):
Some years ago CEO Enders said during on of these air shows (don't remember if it was Paris or Farnborough) that they will not think about a new A 380 version before .... if I remember correctly he said 2013. In a recent interview he said that all available resources are required to work on the A 350 and the M 400 and that was before they announced the NEO.

If they operate on the basis of which investment will produce the greatest ROI my guess is that it will be never. Let's face it; anyone who is holding out for the A389 will, once convinced that the A389 will never appear, will buy the A388. Therefore the amount of sales that the A389 will add to the A380 program is zero. The only competitor, the 748, is smaller and less capable, and hence will only take sales from the low end, not the high end. As it will be a long time, if ever, before the A380 program will generate a positive ROI throwing more money at a new variant makes no business sense whatsoever. Meanwhile, it is clear that the A320NEO is only a stopgap; it is highly likely that a new narrowbody will be necessary to stave off competition from Embraer, Bomardier, and Comac (to say nothing of Boeing), and that is far more important than a new A380 variant. And then Airbus will undoubtedly want to come up with something to plug the gap between the new narrowbody and the A350; right now the A330 is holding its own because the 787 is not yet in service and hence readily available; once it becomes available in the same time frame as the A330 the A330 sales will dry up. I do think Airbus will not want to have the A320RS, the A350, and A380 as its lineup; just as Boeing will not want to surrender the 777 market to the A350. And by the time that Airbus has the A320RS and the A330RS in service the A380 will be obsolete, and will need a replacement, not a new variant.
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Cerecl
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RE: Questions Regarding The A380-900

Thu Sep 15, 2011 10:51 am

Quoting N14AZ (Reply 2):
all available resources are required to work on the A 350 and the M 400 and that was before they announced the NEO.

  
Getting A350 right, avoiding a 787-like fiasco, and ensuring a smooth transition and production ramp-up for A32xneo is much more important than thinking about A380-900. To be honest I struggle to see the business case of A380-900, it will be filling a niche market that probably can be filled by A388 anyway. IMHO Airbus's effort on A380 should be focused on making the -800 an even better plane.
 
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RE: Questions Regarding The A380-900

Thu Sep 15, 2011 11:00 am

Quoting SEPilot (Reply 3):
If they operate on the basis of which investment will produce the greatest ROI my guess is that it will be never. Let's face it; anyone who is holding out for the A389 will, once convinced that the A389 will never appear, will buy the A388. Therefore the amount of sales that the A389 will add to the A380 program is zero. The only competitor, the 748, is smaller and less capable, and hence will only take sales from the low end, not the high end. As it will be a long time, if ever, before the A380 program will generate a positive ROI throwing more money at a new variant makes no business sense whatsoever

Hmm, if we apply the same logic to the B 747 we would have never seen a B 747-200, -300, -400 nor a B 748.
 
United Airline
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RE: Questions Regarding The A380-900

Thu Sep 15, 2011 2:05 pm

CX wants the A380-900 I think.

What's the difference between the 800 and the 900?

[Edited 2011-09-15 07:07:50]
 
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RE: Questions Regarding The A380-900

Thu Sep 15, 2011 2:15 pm

Quoting United Airline (Reply 6):
What's the difference between the 800 and the 900?

100!    sorry, not my day....
 
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seabosdca
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RE: Questions Regarding The A380-900

Thu Sep 15, 2011 2:19 pm

Quoting SEPilot (Reply 3):
Let's face it; anyone who is holding out for the A389 will, once convinced that the A389 will never appear, will buy the A388.

Not necessarily true. The A389 would have a dramatic cargo advantage over the A388 once passenger bags are taken into account. Operators for whom cargo is important (like CX) might choose something like a 77W or its replacement, that can carry lots of cargo, even at a slight CASM disadvantage, rather than an A388.

In fact, I wonder if CX's latest 77W order is an acknowledgment that there won't be an A389 for awhile.
 
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RE: Questions Regarding The A380-900

Thu Sep 15, 2011 2:26 pm

Quoting seabosdca (Reply 8):
In fact, I wonder if CX's latest 77W order is an acknowledgment that there won't be an A389 for awhile.

Well, the engineers at Airbus have their hands pretty much tied up with the A350 (various models) and the A3XX-NEO (and the A400M). So I would guess that after EIS of the A350-1000 (2017) they will be very serious about the A380-900. Right now I would expect an A380-900 to have a possible EIS in 2020 where I earlier anticipated 2018. But who knows what Airbus might have up their sleeves.  .

Of course CX could/can not wait another 10 years or so, so they had to order the next best thing. At present that is the B77W imho.
 
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RE: Questions Regarding The A380-900

Thu Sep 15, 2011 3:00 pm

Ive always said we'll see it, but Airbus are unlikely to launch before 2016 or so, once the A350 programme is up and running the majority of the R&D work has been done.

A 2016 launch puts the A389 in the 2019-20 sort of bracket for EIS, which I'd guess fits in nicely with the likes of SQ, whose early A388s will be knocking on for 12-13 years old by then, and potentially in line for replacement in line with their fleet policy. EK and QF will just be taking the last of their A388s by then.

My feeling is that the A389 is not just going to be an 80m long A388.

By 2016-20 the A388 will have matured further, more range and aerodynamic tweaks will have been added, and importantly, the next generation of large high bypass turbofans will have entered service and be ready to be developed into the sort of thrust range the A389 would need. I'm speculating here, but a 85-90k sort of ballpark is probably going to be what is needed. A beefed-up Trent XWB would certainly fit the bill, and one suspects the GENX can be scaled up that high pretty easily as well. Happy to hear anyone's ideas on this?

I would imagine Airbus would be looking to launch the A389 as having the same or better range at MTOW than the current 578t A388. Anything less would likely be a deal-breaker for CX, who have been one of the biggest backers of the A389 thus far.

82m LOA is about as large as I think the A389 can feasibly get i reckon - thats a circa 9m stretch of the current A388. Question will be how much weight can they add before they need to beef up the landing gear?

A 9m stretch of the A389, with circa 15-18% better CASM per seat than the A388, the same range, commonality with existing fleets of A388s, much improved cargo space and MTOW - i think its a tall order, but Airbus will be onto an absolute winner if they can pull it off.
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RE: Questions Regarding The A380-900

Thu Sep 15, 2011 3:01 pm

Quoting Cerecl (Reply 4):
IMHO Airbus's effort on A380 should be focused on making the -800 an even better plane.

  


GEnx/Trent XWB engines and the like!
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lhcvg
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RE: Questions Regarding The A380-900

Thu Sep 15, 2011 3:17 pm

Quoting SEPilot (Reply 3):
If they operate on the basis of which investment will produce the greatest ROI my guess is that it will be never. Let's face it; anyone who is holding out for the A389 will, once convinced that the A389 will never appear, will buy the A388. Therefore the amount of sales that the A389 will add to the A380 program is zero. The only competitor, the 748, is smaller and less capable, and hence will only take sales from the low end, not the high end. As it will be a long time, if ever, before the A380 program will generate a positive ROI throwing more money at a new variant makes no business sense whatsoever. Meanwhile, it is clear that the A320NEO is only a stopgap; it is highly likely that a new narrowbody will be necessary to stave off competition from Embraer, Bomardier, and Comac (to say nothing of Boeing), and that is far more important than a new A380 variant. And then Airbus will undoubtedly want to come up with something to plug the gap between the new narrowbody and the A350; right now the A330 is holding its own because the 787 is not yet in service and hence readily available; once it becomes available in the same time frame as the A330 the A330 sales will dry up. I do think Airbus will not want to have the A320RS, the A350, and A380 as its lineup; just as Boeing will not want to surrender the 777 market to the A350. And by the time that Airbus has the A320RS and the A330RS in service the A380 will be obsolete, and will need a replacement, not a new variant.

Good points, but what if a carrier decides to stick with 747s on the notion that they don't see the CASM and CATM improvements aren't large enough yet, and elects to wait until the -900 theoretically comes along? I realize this may not apply to any real carrier, but I wonder about the hypothetical of a carrier who would only buy the 389 and not settle for a 388 they saw as sub-optimal.
 
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RE: Questions Regarding The A380-900

Thu Sep 15, 2011 3:35 pm

Quoting Chrisba777er (Reply 10):
A 2016 launch puts the A389 in the 2019-20 sort of bracket for EIS, which I'd guess fits in nicely with the likes of SQ, whose early A388s will be knocking on for 12-13 years old by then, and potentially in line for replacement in line with their fleet policy. EK and QF will just be taking the last of their A388s by then.

The idea they current A380 operators will replace them with new build A380's does not fit the current pattern of airframe replacement. 747's were replaced with 777 's. When the A380's are ready for replacement the logical choice would be the A350-1000 or another yet to be announced large twin.
 
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RE: Questions Regarding The A380-900

Thu Sep 15, 2011 3:35 pm

Quoting SEPilot (Reply 3):
If they operate on the basis of which investment will produce the greatest ROI my guess is that it will be never. Let's face it; anyone who is holding out for the A389 will, once convinced that the A389 will never appear, will buy the A388. Therefore the amount of sales that the A389 will add to the A380 program is zero. The only competitor, the 748, is smaller and less capable, and hence will only take sales from the low end, not the high end. As it will be a long time, if ever, before the A380 program will generate a positive ROI throwing more money at a new variant makes no business sense whatsoever

I think the big exception to the above is if the 787/350 are close enough in CASM for point to point advantages to eat into the 388 sales. I understand there is a substantial CASM advantage with the 900.
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RE: Questions Regarding The A380-900

Thu Sep 15, 2011 3:48 pm

Quoting 474218 (Reply 13):
The idea they current A380 operators will replace them with new build A380's does not fit the current pattern of airframe replacement. 747's were replaced with 777 's. When the A380's are ready for replacement the logical choice would be the A350-1000 or another yet to be announced large twin.

That is highly unlikely imho. The B747 is being replaced by and the B77W (if the airlines can't fill the plane well enough) and by the A380 (and to some respect the B748i) if the airlines can fill the plane well enough. Most importantly the B747's are replaced by much more economical planes which are virtually almost as capable (B77W) of quite more capable (A380).

With the numbers of passengers quite steeply rising, especially in the South-East Asian region, the A380-900 will make perfect sense. And not only there.  .
 
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RE: Questions Regarding The A380-900

Thu Sep 15, 2011 3:49 pm

Quoting LHCVG (Reply 12):
Good points, but what if a carrier decides to stick with 747s on the notion that they don't see the CASM and CATM improvements aren't large enough yet, and elects to wait until the -900 theoretically comes along? I realize this may not apply to any real carrier, but I wonder about the hypothetical of a carrier who would only buy the 389 and not settle for a 388 they saw as sub-optimal.

You could certainly count CX in this camp.
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RE: Questions Regarding The A380-900

Thu Sep 15, 2011 3:49 pm

Quoting SEPilot (Reply 3):
If they operate on the basis of which investment will produce the greatest ROI my guess is that it will be never. Let's face it; anyone who is holding out for the A389 will, once convinced that the A389 will never appear, will buy the A388. Therefore the amount of sales that the A389 will add to the A380 program is zero.

This is a very good point. As much as we'd all love to see the A389 (the bigger, better A380), the business case really isn't there. Certainly not now. I think it's possible that in 10 years or so it may be another story. Especially because in that time frame we may see Boeing start drawing up concepts for their own A380-size VLA. I think the A380 is proving to be a success, even though it will take a long time for the program to break even. A market like that will eventually have a second entrant.
 
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RE: Questions Regarding The A380-900

Thu Sep 15, 2011 3:53 pm

Quoting Chrisba777er (Reply 16):
You could certainly count CX in this camp.

Good catch - I forgot about CX's vocal 389 lobbying. Part of me wonders if they will settle eventually, though.
 
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RE: Questions Regarding The A380-900

Thu Sep 15, 2011 3:54 pm

Quoting 474218 (Reply 13):
Quoting Chrisba777er (Reply 10):
A 2016 launch puts the A389 in the 2019-20 sort of bracket for EIS, which I'd guess fits in nicely with the likes of SQ, whose early A388s will be knocking on for 12-13 years old by then, and potentially in line for replacement in line with their fleet policy. EK and QF will just be taking the last of their A388s by then.

The idea they current A380 operators will replace them with new build A380's does not fit the current pattern of airframe replacement. 747's were replaced with 777 's. When the A380's are ready for replacement the logical choice would be the A350-1000 or another yet to be announced large twin.

No I dont buy that.

The 747s that were replaced by 77Ws had inferior CASM to the aircraft they replaced.

There is nothing that can beat the CASM of an A388. The 744 and 77W or A346 get nowhere near it, the A3510 might come close, but unlike the 744-77W example, cannot do all the missions the A388 can do in terms of range/payload. So when the time comes to replace the current A388s the only answer is another, improved, A380.

I struggle to envisage a yet-to-be-announced large WB twin that will have CASM that will beat the 2020-era A388 let alone the A389. Just dont see it, unless you are talking a WB twin of A380 sort of size?
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RE: Questions Regarding The A380-900

Thu Sep 15, 2011 4:08 pm

Quoting bonusonus (Reply 17):
Quoting SEPilot (Reply 3):
If they operate on the basis of which investment will produce the greatest ROI my guess is that it will be never. Let's face it; anyone who is holding out for the A389 will, once convinced that the A389 will never appear, will buy the A388. Therefore the amount of sales that the A389 will add to the A380 program is zero.

This is a very good point. As much as we'd all love to see the A389 (the bigger, better A380), the business case really isn't there. Certainly not now. I think it's possible that in 10 years or so it may be another story. Especially because in that time frame we may see Boeing start drawing up concepts for their own A380-size VLA. I think the A380 is proving to be a success, even though it will take a long time for the program to break even. A market like that will eventually have a second entrant.

Long term I think you are absolutely right.

People tend to view the A380 programme as the here and now, whereas Airbus always intended it to be an ongoing programme that could easily extend out 30 or 40 years or more. I've always viewed the A388 as we know her today as the 772 of her time.

Next came the 772ER, then the 773A and then the 77W and 77L and 77F. We may well see a 778 or 779X as well in due course.

But the point i was making goes to the gestation and improvements of the modern airliner family. Just as the 772A was the smallest, least capable and shortest-lived of the 777s variants, it was a vital stepping stone to the more luminary 77W etc which is generally regarded as the ultimate 777 as we know it today.

The A380's development will take a lot longer, but the business case is not here and now - its 40 years from now. Airbus are betting that hubs will need A389-size megaplanes shuttling across from hub to hub and whilst we are certainly in the era of the big twin, there are limits to how large you can make a twin because of current engine technology, so as things stand, if you need something REALLY big to shuttle passengers from hub to hub at the lowest cost possible, then the A380 is where its at. (unless you spend megabucks to build a truly giant 150-200k?? fan)

The A389 will happen around 2020. I fully expect Boeing to allow Airbus to develop and build the business case, and then step in with its own VLA monster in the next decade. Who is to say we wont see a Chinese competitor in due course as well?

What next for the A380 family after the A389? Quieter engines, LPG fuels, greater CFRP use, bigger, better, quieter, more fuel efficient?

Might we see Boeing step in with their own VLA after going down the monster twin route and working with Pratt and GE to spend the R&D $$$s to get a 200k HBTF? Would such a plane have to be high-winged, and if not in that case, would Airbus respond with a A3810 twin?

Am dreaming out loud here. None of use really know for sure but we can say for certain the A380 is here to stay and will dominate the VLA market for the next 20 years and far longer if Boeing do not respond in the next decade. Will be a hell of an arms race!

[Edited 2011-09-15 09:15:57]
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RE: Questions Regarding The A380-900

Thu Sep 15, 2011 4:16 pm

Quoting United Airline (Reply 6):
What's the difference between the 800 and the 900?

I expect the A380-900 to be 80m in length with an MTOW of 590t. This is the MTOW of the A380-800F so Airbus has already designed the airframe structure to support that weight and both Pratt and RR planned to scale the Trent 900 and EA 7200 to support that weight. I also expect the center fuel tank option of the A380-800F will be offered.

I'm not sure about the chances of an A380 longer than 80m. Such a plane could be limited to new-build airports designed around it. And while such airports are "easy" in areas like the UAE and coastal Asian cities (where they can be built offshore), you are not going to see a new massive airport built near a large population center in the Americas and Western Europe.

So if you have a plane that can only fly certain city pairs (and probably only DEN and DFW in North America), that is going to limit the usability and economic case.
 
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RE: Questions Regarding The A380-900

Thu Sep 15, 2011 4:16 pm

Quoting N14AZ (Reply 5):

Hmm, if we apply the same logic to the B 747 we would have never seen a B 747-200, -300, -400 nor a B 748.

There is some validity to what you say; however, when Boeing developed the earlier variations they did not have other compelling projects competing for resources. They strongly resisted developing the 744, but the customers demanded it, and had they not I'm sure the 747 would have sold far fewer frames, as it would not have been economically competitive with the planes that emerged in the late 80's and the 90's. As for the 748, it was developed as an answer to the A380; whether or not Boeing should have done it is at this point an open question (but I for one am glad they did.) There is no such case for the A389; as of yet no plane is seriously challenging the A388's economics, and Airbus has its plate full with far more pressing projects. If they had engineers that they wanted to keep busy then it would be a different story.
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RE: Questions Regarding The A380-900

Thu Sep 15, 2011 4:39 pm

Quoting Chrisba777er (Reply 10):
A beefed-up Trent XWB would certainly fit the bill, and one suspects the GENX can be scaled up that high pretty easily as well. Happy to hear anyone's ideas on this?

What about Prat's GTF? It's supposed to be able to reach 100k? (recent quote, I can't recall who from right now)
 
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RE: Questions Regarding The A380-900

Thu Sep 15, 2011 5:00 pm

Quoting A520 (Reply 23):
Quoting Chrisba777er (Reply 10):
A beefed-up Trent XWB would certainly fit the bill, and one suspects the GENX can be scaled up that high pretty easily as well. Happy to hear anyone's ideas on this?

What about Prat's GTF? It's supposed to be able to reach 100k? (recent quote, I can't recall who from right now)

I wondered that too.

Would be ironic that they planned to stick a Pratt GTF on the first large 4 holer Airbus produced, and ended up waiting 20 years to put it on the next one.

Should be some compelling fuel burn figures on them.
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RE: Questions Regarding The A380-900

Thu Sep 15, 2011 5:30 pm

Quoting Chrisba777er (Reply 20):
The A389 will happen around 2020. I fully expect Boeing to allow Airbus to develop and build the business case, and then step in with its own VLA monster in the next decade. Who is to say we wont see a Chinese competitor in due course as well?

Unless the airline market changes considerably, I doubt it. When Airbus first talked about developing the A380, Boeing came to the conclusion that the market for VLA's wasn't even big enough to justify one all-new aircraft, let alone two. So far the sales have come a lot closer to Boeing's estimates than Airbus's, and the picture hasn't changed. But since the A380 is in production, it will continue, and will receive upgrades along the way (such as improved engines, and system upgrades as technology improves.) But I think the priority for a new variant will be superseded by other more pressing (and profitable) programs for some time to come. And it will also keep Boeing from developing a true competitor. What the Chinese do, however, may not be decided on totally economic justifications. But they have a long way to go before they will be able to design and build a VLA, much less one that will compete with the A380. However, I have no doubt that they can and eventually they will.
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RE: Questions Regarding The A380-900

Thu Sep 15, 2011 5:38 pm

Quoting SEPilot (Reply 25):
But I think the priority for a new variant will be superseded by other more pressing (and profitable) programs for some time to come.

The only way this is not true is if customers are buying Boeing frames instead of 388s because of some problem with the 388 that the 389 would solve. In other words, if Airbus is losing orders altogether that it could keep with the 389.

The only such problem I can think of is cargo capacity. That could explain a few 388 non-orders, but not (IMO) enough to justify the 389. So I think, in the end, you're probably right. But I also think, for the same reason, that ideas of Boeing "swooping in" with its own VLA are delusional.
 
lhcvg
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RE: Questions Regarding The A380-900

Thu Sep 15, 2011 6:30 pm

Does anyone think the 380, in some form/variant, will still be in production in 40 years like the 747, or will it be eclipsed by revolutionary designs like a BWB by then?
 
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RE: Questions Regarding The A380-900

Thu Sep 15, 2011 6:49 pm

Quoting SEPilot (Reply 3):
Therefore the amount of sales that the A389 will add to the A380 program is zero

Only the 389 was priced the same. And that will most certainly no be the case.

An A389 will probably have 10-20 percent more seats, and even better improvement in cargo capability. The associated reduction in CASM will allow Airbus to command a premium over an A388 of 15-25 percent. So even if they would lose out A388 sales, switching over to A389, it could still be quite positive for total sales over the program [say 50 - 80 million $ per frame at list]. So 100 A389 sales [which would otherwise have been A388 sales] would result in 5 to 8 Billion additional income, without selling one single extra frame. Off course this needs to be balanced against development cost, and increased produuction cost. Such a balance applies to every plane, new or derivitave, the A389 would not be specially hurt in this respect.

PW100
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RE: Questions Regarding The A380-900

Thu Sep 15, 2011 6:51 pm

Quoting Chrisba777er (Reply 10):
Ive always said we'll see it, but Airbus are unlikely to launch before 2016 or so, once the A350 programme is up and running the majority of the R&D work has been done

positive. The A380 will see lots of variations in the coming decades. Airport congestion and market growth is a fact that will only become worse. The A380s time will come. Too much money was spent to leave it at one variation of the airframe. Besides CX and even more so EK want it the sooner the better.

Quoting 474218 (Reply 13):
When the A380's are ready for replacement the logical choice would be the A350-1000 or another yet to be announced large twin.

no way no how.

Quoting Stitch (Reply 21):
I'm not sure about the chances of an A380 longer than 80m.

yup, simply for the 80x80 box which AC have to fit into. Unless this is ever changed we will not see an A380-1000  
 
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RE: Questions Regarding The A380-900

Thu Sep 15, 2011 7:13 pm

The A389 could as much as triple total A380 sales over 40 years IMO.
 
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RE: Questions Regarding The A380-900

Thu Sep 15, 2011 10:27 pm

Quoting Chrisba777er (Reply 20):
Just as the 772A was the smallest, least capable and shortest-lived of the 777s variants, it was a vital stepping stone to the more luminary 77W etc which is generally regarded as the ultimate 777 as we know it today.

Well said...