779X is not a better A380 at all. vice versa neither.
The 779X will be a POS compared to the A380 as far as pax comfort is concerned especially in Y.
Y has become sell at the lowest cost. Passengers who demand more comfort will pay for it (Y+ or J). Y is such a low cost product today that it must be done on economics. I do not see how the A380CEO can compete without going 11-across.
I know EK has been public about not going there, but there is a point where economics trumps other concerns until regulatory limits are hit.
The larger the plane, the lower the CASM it must have.
IIRC, the A380 was 14% cheaper per passenger than the 77W (in similar comfort).
Boeing claims the 779 will be 20% cheaper than the 77W or 12% less than the A350-1000 (I would love to know the mission/configuration of this assumption), see link below.
The A380 of 2025 won't be competing against the 77W really. In fact, we have another thread that many of us agree that is when 77W retirements will take off.
The A380 will thus be carrying passengers at a higher cost than the 779. We saw how poorly the 744 did versus the 77W when that situation happened. Larger aircraft must pay for the risk of empty seats with a lower CASM.
The airlines are in a bind. Business jets, thanks to their superior privacy, are too competitive for F passengers except on a few routes (e.g., the Kangaroo routes). Business jets also put a cap on J (which has become good enough to displace F for many. So now they are offering Y+ which seams to be evolving into the old business class (seat upright, wider seat, and a little more legroom). It will be those passengers that make most of the profit with Y profit being further squeezed. While we here on a.net will make big noise about Y class comfort and how we'll only fly our favorite, obviously there is a market for discount Y (e.g., look at how many people Norwegian now moves TATL).
Look at the TATL market changes:
BA (largest TATL): 1.87 Million seats for this winter
DL: 1.63 Million seats this winter
UA: 1.60 M
LH: 1.41 M
AA: 1.39 M
AC: 0.94 M
<B> Norwegian 0.86 M </B>
AF: 0.84 M
KLM: .57 M
TK: 0.49 M
(there is a table going to even smaller TATL market share in the link below):
The market is voting for lower cost Y, even at a lesser product level.
So those of us who like comfort, but won't pay for the lie flat, will have to debate on Y+ pricing. For people want cheaper fares and that means cutting costs which the 779 will do. For the A380 to compete, it needs to burn less fuel (wing tip treatments and a NEO), 11-across Y, and probably a stretch. As long as it is feeding a growing hub, it will be filled (but there must be a growing hub, e.g., a new runway at a European hub, new airport such as the new Beijing, Istanbul, and say Mumbai). The 744 proved added seats aren't enough.
Fragmentation is happening. Even the 787s and A350s must fly with a hub on one side of a route (if nothing else, to help fill off season seats which means offering in season options to condition customers to flying the routes).
CASM claims by Boeing:https://www.flightglobal.com/news/artic ... es-443865/
777 thread on retirements:viewtopic.php?f=3&t=1381177
Link on Norwegian/TATL market share:http://www.telegraph.co.uk/travel/news/ ... tatistics/
Even though I was working a competing project to the A380 (with Airbus, internal competition) at the time of A380 launch, I believe it is an excellent technical product that just didn't live up to its potential. Much is due to the delays imposed by the Catia 4/5 debacle. Without those delays, I am personally convinced FedEx and UPS would have taken their A380Fs and probably purchased more new builds. This would have improved economies of scale (in particular, for GP7200 PIPs as both selected that engine). With the A380F wingbox and gear strengthening, a stretch would have been almost certain.
So we are left with a situation. EK needs guarantees or they should (must?) go to a 779 (A35K too?) fragmentation strategy at DWC. Airbus needs a ROI on new investments. Perhaps the needs of the customer and vendor will be met, perhaps not. EK has been adamant on a NEO and probably other improvements (of which I do not know the specifics) to improve the business case for them. It is for Airbus to sell to other airlines too. Alas, the other A380 operators do not seem to have hubs expanding fast enough to need the seats.
Hub bypass is here. Accept it. Embrace it. Hope that your favorite airline plans for it. This doesn't mean hubs won't grow (quite the opposite), it just means fewer bridge hubbing flights. (e.g., why fly Florida to ATL to AMS to the final European destination if Florida to a European hub to the final destination is an option). Or... Single isle service from Northeast USA airports direct to European secondary airports.
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