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Now Virgin, Who's Next For The A3XX?

Mon Dec 18, 2000 1:53 pm

Virgin Atlantic have just signed for 6 firm & 6 options of the A3XX, Who's going to be next?

Already committed: SIA, Emirates, ILFC, Qantas.

Will United be the first US airline to take the plunge or will we see UPS or FedEx order the freighter version?

What do you think? It would not surprise me to see All Nippon or JAL order the A3XX. Cathay won't sit back too much longer either I wouldn't have thought!

Cheers - BZF
Ansett Australia - (was) One of the worlds great airlines!

RE: Now Virgin, Who's Next For The A3XX?

Mon Dec 18, 2000 2:26 pm

It doesn't seem too difficult to imagine an A3XX doing HKG-LHR, so I'd say CX.

The Japanese carriers will follow, I think. JAL, for example, has made official comments in favor of very large planes. They'll, for instance, allow them to have separate male/female lavs.  
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RE: Now Virgin, Who's Next For The A3XX?

Mon Dec 18, 2000 2:37 pm

I would guess CX must be really tempted. They won't like the idea of VS flying the A3XX to HKG.

Likewise UA must be sorely tempted, even though they are incredibly distracted at the moment by their labor problems. UA loves the high yield it earns on its routes between Australia and USA and will not want QF stealing high yielding pax on this route. Whilst it is possible they could opt for the 747X, the problem is that it is unlikely the 747 will capture the public's imagination like the A3XX. People will know the A3XX is new but probably won't recognise the 747X as being just as new.
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RE: Now Virgin, Who's Next For The A3XX?

Mon Dec 18, 2000 5:09 pm

Possible new buyers of the A3XX are indeed Cathay Pacific and maybe some cargo carriers, ATLAS or UPS or Cargolux. There has been a lot of speculation about the Japanese carriers going together with Boeing and the 747X because Japanese companies are highly involved in the production of the 747, which may force the carriers to buy Boeing products.
Lufthansa and United have made clear that they won't buy any A3XX's now. For Lufthansa, it is one of the first new Airbusses for which it isn't a launch customer.
Airbus said that it will stop adding customers to the list of launch customers which means the next buyers will have to buy 'full price'. It is likely that we will see a drop in orders the coming years, though Emirates is understood to discuss additional orders. We have to wait now, however, to see the carriers who signed letters on intent now, to firm up all their intentions in real orders. For the A340-500 for example, EVA AIr signed a letter of intent but never signed a real purchase contract. It is clear howver that the biggest airplane ever will fly, the launch is expected this week.