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O530CarrisPT
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Re: 777-10 to be Boeing's 747 replacement?

Mon May 14, 2018 4:22 pm

lightsaber wrote:
The market for VLAs wasn't nearly as large as expected. With smaller planes flying further, fragmentation happened.

Also, everyone does realize the 779 is an awesome 744 replacement, right? So if an airline needs growth from the A35K or 77W, it is low risk.


Yes. Even the A35K itself is a good B744 replacement (DL is replacing their B744s with A359s(!)).
The VLA market nowadays is limited because airlines are turning away from them. Why? They know that smaller airplanes gives to them better economics (not only thanks to the fact that they've only 2 engines, but also allow them to operate with more flexibility than the VLAs themselves. Plus, as you said, smaller airplanes are indeed a lower risk for the airlines.

BREECH wrote:
jubguy3 wrote:
VLA are dying.

VLA is DYING!? You cannot be serious. VLA are just being born! 748 failed because nobody is foolish enough to buy a heated over relic built by 1960s reliability and safety standards. A380 isn't selling as much as we hoped because it arrived too soon and nobody knew how to use it. However, Emirates have proven time and again that it's an extremely profitable machine if you know how to fly it.


Don't make me laugh. The current state of the VLA market is very bad, as you may know. The A380 nowadays is too dependent on a single airline (EK) to survive. Plus, an A380 is too big for be considered as a valid replacement for the 747-400 for most of the airlines, in my opinion (CX for example, is replacing B744s with both A35Ks, B77Ws and B779s; VS is replacing their B744s with A35Ks, cancelling their long-deferred A380 order).
I've no doubts that the A380 works for EK. But for most airlines, it doesn't work. The B748, despite not selling in the high levels as the B744 sold before, still has a valid market as a freighter airplane (as UPS has demonstrated).

BREECH wrote:
Airlines keep yapping about frequency vs. capacity, but if the past decade has taught us anything, it's that major corporations don't look or think beyond the current quarter's results. How long can you maintain frequency, for example, at Heathrow with its $75 mil per slot? And many airports are not too far behind. One day, and very soon, they will run out of "frequency", and the airlines which are now looking down at A380 will regret they didn't buy it. THEN they'll scramble and demand from Airbus and Boeing to develop a VLA. And they'll be just as confidently yapping about the economics of capacity over frequency.


And the reason why airlines are investing in frequency over capacity is because it offers flexibility to the airline passengers and to the airlines themselves. Plus, as seabosdca said, you can't add frequencies, you only can maintain them. And the London area have already other airports (LGW and STN come to my mind) which can virtually reduce the slot constraint at LHR. And talking about upgauges, they may occur, but will be generally from A330neo/B787/A350 to A35K/B779, not right to an A380.
Nothing in all the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity. - Martin Luther King Jr. (1929-1968)
 
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william
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Re: Theoretical 777-based replacement for 747?

Mon May 14, 2018 4:48 pm

bigjku wrote:
texl1649 wrote:
Again I think much of this discussion misses the point; the 747 was queen for ages not due to her size, but her unrivaled range. Sure, Boeing will unveil a 777-10X version at some point in the next 3-5 years, but the twin ranges don't really leave a big space for some huge 600 seater or whatever.

It's Airbus, after all, who admitted finally that their VLA projection numbers had included/baked in, of all things, their own A330. Crown space/major floor shifts could be done on a 777 frame, but the cost would be well north of what the additional orders would justify, imho. I don't think Boeing will spend another dime on a major engineering project related to an aluminum frame. The three 77x variants are the proverbial end of the road.


This 1,000 times over. They 777x was done with the exiting fuselage to be reasonably cheap and to minimize project specific infrastructure cost in terms of mandrels. Much of what is being paid for with the wing center can be used to cook whatever else Boeing wants to make. A composite fuselage would have made it better and you could have more directly competed with the A350 but it wasn’t worth it. In reality most airlines will consider a 787-9 against an A359 anyway. The 77X has done well with those airlines that demand top end range/payload.

I have been told by people at Boeing that they will never build another airplane that isn’t increasingly composite simply because the level of automation possible is much higher.


The 77X will have a long career because what will be needed to beat it is a clean sheet composite 10 wise airplane so long as the tube and wings model predominates. And the market for planes that big is rather limited as the 77X and A350-1000 have shown us.

I think your point on why the 747 was what it was is spot on and also applies to the 77W and other original models. Simply put if you wanted to go a long way there wasn’t anything smaller than the 777 that would do it with a good payload. The A340 was not as efficient. The A330 only grew it’s range later in life. The 767 wouldn’t do it.

Now you can basically buy a plane as small as the 788 that can cover a lot of range. You don’t have to have something as big as a 777 doing it.

In the same way that Airbus overestimated the 747 replacement market for the A380 I believe they overestimated and didn’t properly locate the market for the A350-1000. Most 77W outside the ME3 and can make due with an A359 or 787-9 or 10. That’s what the market is telling us. They ended up with the A350-1000 being not quite enough plane for the biggest 77W users in the world. That’s a big miss.


Thanks for the post, the use of composites going forward makes sense now. Keeping the 777x R&D relatively low looking at its market was a smart move too.
 
JayinKitsap
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Re: Theoretical 777-based replacement for 747?

Mon May 14, 2018 5:42 pm

I think Boeing would rather let AB to sell 380's than invest in a major upgrade of the 777. The stretch to the 10 with the same MTOW and engines could happen. But there are far better investments for Boeing to do as the VLA market has had disappointing sales.

Fragmentation is really making a difference on the size of plane needed. Say for Delta, flying ATL-LHR and MSP-LHR with a pair of 787 or 350's has more capacity and flexibility that just a A380 from ATL.
 
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JackMeahoff
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Re: Theoretical 777-based replacement for 747?

Mon May 14, 2018 6:39 pm

Well there may be some truth to the belief that Boeing will have to do something drastic to spur more 747-8 sales.

What if Boeing went rogue and offered 25% discounts on the 747-8 for orders of 5 or more, and 30% off for orders of 10 or more? That would equate to over $100 million off each plane.

That would put the cost of a 450-seat 747-8 in the price range of a 250-seat A350.

If Boeing started selling 747-8s at cost or slightly in the red, it may be too much of an incentive for shareholders of major airlines to ignore. "Get a 450-seater for the price of a 250-seater!"

This strategy would bring orders and allow Boeing to weather the current anti-VLA emvironment until the mid-2020s or longer, when the conditions for VLA may well have improved.
 
bigjku
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Re: Theoretical 777-based replacement for 747?

Mon May 14, 2018 7:47 pm

JackMeahoff wrote:
Well there may be some truth to the belief that Boeing will have to do something drastic to spur more 747-8 sales.

What if Boeing went rogue and offered 25% discounts on the 747-8 for orders of 5 or more, and 30% off for orders of 10 or more? That would equate to over $100 million off each plane.

That would put the cost of a 450-seat 747-8 in the price range of a 250-seat A350.

If Boeing started selling 747-8s at cost or slightly in the red, it may be too much of an incentive for shareholders of major airlines to ignore. "Get a 450-seater for the price of a 250-seater!"

This strategy would bring orders and allow Boeing to weather the current anti-VLA emvironment until the mid-2020s or longer, when the conditions for VLA may well have improved.


There is no VLA market really. It’s not going to improve. It will always be a niche. The 748 will survive as long as the freighter survives and no longer.

There is good money to be made on the freighter which is unchallenged.

An A380neo for Airbus would be borderline insanity so it won’t do much but limp along either.
 
beechnut
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Re: Theoretical 777-based replacement for 747?

Mon May 14, 2018 10:44 pm

The 747 replacement is the 777-300ER. Compare Air Canada's 77W with its former Canadian Airlines 747-400s

777

400 seats, low density config, 458 seats high density config, range 9068 miles (according to AC website).

747-400

421 seats, range 6670 miles.

The 77W is a very capable aircraft that quickly made the 747-400 redundant, and cannibalized sales of Boeing's own 747-8.

Beech
 
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Channex757
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Re: Theoretical 777-based replacement for 747?

Mon May 14, 2018 10:50 pm

JackMeahoff wrote:
Well there may be some truth to the belief that Boeing will have to do something drastic to spur more 747-8 sales.

What if Boeing went rogue and offered 25% discounts on the 747-8 for orders of 5 or more, and 30% off for orders of 10 or more? That would equate to over $100 million off each plane.

That would put the cost of a 450-seat 747-8 in the price range of a 250-seat A350.

If Boeing started selling 747-8s at cost or slightly in the red, it may be too much of an incentive for shareholders of major airlines to ignore. "Get a 450-seater for the price of a 250-seater!"

This strategy would bring orders and allow Boeing to weather the current anti-VLA emvironment until the mid-2020s or longer, when the conditions for VLA may well have improved.

Discounts of 50% or more are already common in the airliner business.

Offering a discount on the 748i does not also discount the ongoing costs of supporting an airframe that is heavy compared to a newer Big Twin, nor does it offer a discount on supporting four engines instead of two.

That was the biggest issue with the 748i. It didn't offer anything compelling enough to overcome the two-versus-four engine issue and also a big heavy airframe. A 773ER was and is a better buy for not many less seats.
 
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Matt6461
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Re: Theoretical 777-based replacement for 747?

Mon May 14, 2018 11:34 pm

Just jumping in to add my consistent point, one which should be obvious but rarely comes up on a.net:

VLA's aren't selling because our current offerings are BAD VLA's, not simply because they're VLA's.

A380 is an overbuilt shrink of a suboptimal 650-seater; 747-8i uses a 1960's wing with extensions.
To judge any theoretical VLA by these planes' success is analogous to judging the 300-seat market dead in 2004 because 77L and A345 weren't selling. I.e. it's stupid.

It's possible that Airbus could build a -900NEO with a new empennage and massive winglets that would achieve economics sufficient to make a VLA attractive. viewtopic.php?t=1384423

It's also technically possible for Airbus or Boeing (or COMAC/CRAIC?) to build a 500-seat 2-decker with about the same trip costs as a 777-9. That plane would sell gangbusters but would cannibalize at least half of the current demand for A350/787.
 
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flyingclrs727
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Re: Theoretical 777-based replacement for 747?

Mon May 14, 2018 11:52 pm

Matt6461 wrote:
Just jumping in to add my consistent point, one which should be obvious but rarely comes up on a.net:

VLA's aren't selling because our current offerings are BAD VLA's, not simply because they're VLA's.

A380 is an overbuilt shrink of a suboptimal 650-seater; 747-8i uses a 1960's wing with extensions.
To judge any theoretical VLA by these planes' success is analogous to judging the 300-seat market dead in 2004 because 77L and A345 weren't selling. I.e. it's stupid.

It's possible that Airbus could build a -900NEO with a new empennage and massive winglets that would achieve economics sufficient to make a VLA attractive. viewtopic.php?t=1384423

It's also technically possible for Airbus or Boeing (or COMAC/CRAIC?) to build a 500-seat 2-decker with about the same trip costs as a 777-9. That plane would sell gangbusters but would cannibalize at least half of the current demand for A350/787.


The VLA market is disappearing. Its not the point to point capability of smaller long range twins that is the most important. Its the spoke to hub capability that bypasses closer hubs that is taking away business for VLA's. BA's flights to AUS and MSY are examples. Instead of passengers from AUS and MSY connecting to IAH, DFW, ORD, or ATL to then fly to a European hub, people can fly nonstop from Austin or New Orleans to London and skip long layovers in the US.
 
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flyingclrs727
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Re: Theoretical 777-based replacement for 747?

Mon May 14, 2018 11:55 pm

flyingclrs727 wrote:
Matt6461 wrote:
Just jumping in to add my consistent point, one which should be obvious but rarely comes up on a.net:

VLA's aren't selling because our current offerings are BAD VLA's, not simply because they're VLA's.

A380 is an overbuilt shrink of a suboptimal 650-seater; 747-8i uses a 1960's wing with extensions.
To judge any theoretical VLA by these planes' success is analogous to judging the 300-seat market dead in 2004 because 77L and A345 weren't selling. I.e. it's stupid.

It's possible that Airbus could build a -900NEO with a new empennage and massive winglets that would achieve economics sufficient to make a VLA attractive. viewtopic.php?t=1384423

It's also technically possible for Airbus or Boeing (or COMAC/CRAIC?) to build a 500-seat 2-decker with about the same trip costs as a 777-9. That plane would sell gangbusters but would cannibalize at least half of the current demand for A350/787.


The VLA market is disappearing. Its not the point to point capability of smaller long range twins that is the most important. Its the spoke to hub capability that bypasses closer hubs that is taking away business for VLA's. BA's flights to AUS and MSY are examples. Instead of passengers from AUS and MSY connecting to IAH, DFW, ORD, or ATL to then fly to a European hub, people can fly nonstop from Austin or New Orleans to London and skip long layovers in the US.
This cuts demand for A380's between IAH, DFW, ORD, and ATL and European hubs.
 
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PolarRoute
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Re: Theoretical 777-based replacement for 747?

Tue May 15, 2018 1:03 am

flyingclrs727 wrote:
Matt6461 wrote:
Just jumping in to add my consistent point, one which should be obvious but rarely comes up on a.net:

VLA's aren't selling because our current offerings are BAD VLA's, not simply because they're VLA's.

A380 is an overbuilt shrink of a suboptimal 650-seater; 747-8i uses a 1960's wing with extensions.
To judge any theoretical VLA by these planes' success is analogous to judging the 300-seat market dead in 2004 because 77L and A345 weren't selling. I.e. it's stupid.

It's possible that Airbus could build a -900NEO with a new empennage and massive winglets that would achieve economics sufficient to make a VLA attractive. viewtopic.php?t=1384423

It's also technically possible for Airbus or Boeing (or COMAC/CRAIC?) to build a 500-seat 2-decker with about the same trip costs as a 777-9. That plane would sell gangbusters but would cannibalize at least half of the current demand for A350/787.


The VLA market is disappearing. Its not the point to point capability of smaller long range twins that is the most important. Its the spoke to hub capability that bypasses closer hubs that is taking away business for VLA's. BA's flights to AUS and MSY are examples. Instead of passengers from AUS and MSY connecting to IAH, DFW, ORD, or ATL to then fly to a European hub, people can fly nonstop from Austin or New Orleans to London and skip long layovers in the US.


As Matt has just said in the post that you quoted, the VLA market ''seems'' to be disappearing because the options are not all that great. For instance, should the A380 be able to be operated within the cost range of 787-9, then no airline would buy 787-9s, except those that can't afford the VLA.
Point being, that if a VLA which offers efficiency large enough to cover the risk of added capacity comes along, all the spoke to hub routes you mention can be operated by the VLA; you either 1) don't have to fill the plane due to its low cost base or 2) can opt to maximize market share by lowering the ticket prices, stimulating new demand that would fill the seats.

Fragmentation happened because of the efficiency, not because of the twin themselves.
 
Tn55337
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Re: Theoretical 777-based replacement for 747?

Tue May 15, 2018 2:05 am

I wonder if there is any value in doing a re-wing of the 747. Given the wing is from the 60's there should be lots of room for improvement.
 
zululima
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Re: Theoretical 777-based replacement for 747?

Tue May 15, 2018 3:31 am

Matt6461 wrote:
747-8i uses a 1960's wing with extensions.


Tn55337 wrote:
I wonder if there is any value in doing a re-wing of the 747. Given the wing is from the 60's there should be lots of room for improvement.


They already did that for the 748. It's half a century newer than your dates!
I didn't get a 'Harumph' outta that guy!
 
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JackMeahoff
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Re: Theoretical 777-based replacement for 747?

Tue May 15, 2018 4:34 am

flyingclrs727 wrote:

The VLA market is disappearing.


Hmmm then why did EK just buy like 50 more A380s?

Channex757 wrote:
Discounts of 50% or more are already common in the airliner business.


Sure, Airbus and Boeing heavily discount when trying to sell batches of narrowbodies. But no discount has ever been offered on the 747-8i as far as I know. Why not give it a shot?

Channex757 wrote:
Offering a discount on the 748i does not also discount the ongoing costs of supporting an airframe that is heavy compared to a newer Big Twin, nor does it offer a discount on supporting four engines instead of two.


Yadda yadda, Boeing could easily throw some first class A+++ maintenance in with the deal along with the discount. Four engines instead of two, no big deal.

Channex757 wrote:
That was the biggest issue with the 748i. It didn't offer anything compelling enough to overcome the two-versus-four engine issue and also a big heavy airframe. A 773ER was and is a better buy for not many less seats.



What about cargo? The 748 MTOW is 250,000lbs heavier than the 773. That means the 748 can carry a whole lot more cargo, plus 20% more passengers.
Last edited by JackMeahoff on Tue May 15, 2018 4:40 am, edited 3 times in total.
 
JayinKitsap
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Re: Theoretical 777-based replacement for 747?

Tue May 15, 2018 4:37 am

I really like the 777, but the 777-X has not been a sales gang buster. The A350-10 has not either. Both are excellent for efficiency and are the latest of models. It really comes down to the dwindling of the O-Hub-Hub-D flights. Now, it is quite easy to avoid a Hub, Seattle is not a large city but it now has: Dublin, Toronto, Paris, Tokyo, Seoul, LHR, Frankfurt, Amsterdam, Beijing, Hong Kong, Shanghai, Dubai, Cologne, Taipei, Iceland, LGA, Manchester, and Shenzhen. Note: 3 of the London airports have service, perfect cases of smaller planes to more destinations.
 
SNN707
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Re: Theoretical 777-based replacement for 747?

Tue May 15, 2018 4:41 am

Sorry if this has been said, but as much as I like the 747, its done as a pax jet. Additional reasons for VLAs going away are their inflexibility - not every airport can handle a 380. You need a lot of ppl on board to support a VLA - on ultra long haul that is doubled for crew rest. You also need a lot of specialized equipment to support a VLA. Connecting complicates matters, and can be a miserable experience. Many ppl who have taken BA (LHR) and DE (FRA) to MSY have said how pleasant it was going through customs and being home, rather than JFK/ORD/ATL, then another connection. This is the attraction of the twins and part of what is dooming the VLAs.
 
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PolarRoute
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Re: Theoretical 777-based replacement for 747?

Tue May 15, 2018 5:16 am

JackMeahoff wrote:
Yadda yadda, Boeing could easily throw some first class A+++ maintenance in with the deal along with the discount. Four engines instead of two, no big deal.


But still Boeing can't hand out barrels of fuels to the buyers, can they..?

What about cargo? The 748 MTOW is 250,000lbs heavier than the 773. That means the 748 can carry a whole lot more cargo, plus 20% more passengers.


77W carries 44 LD3 containers whereas 748 carries only 38. It's not only about weight, but volume and space available as well. Throw in the luggage of those 20% more passengers you're talking about, and the belly freight for 748 get even more restricted.
 
rheinwaldner
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Re: Theoretical 777-based replacement for 747?

Tue May 15, 2018 5:26 am

texl1649 wrote:
Again I think much of this discussion misses the point; the 747 was queen for ages not due to her size, but her unrivaled range. Sure, Boeing will unveil a 777-10X version at some point in the next 3-5 years, but the twin ranges don't really leave a big space for some huge 600 seater or whatever.

This is a myth: The most 747 traffic happened over the North Atlantic. On routes were competition from twins exists since 34 years. So even while twin ranges were there on TATL routes, a big space remained for the 747 on these routes.
Many things are difficult, all things are possible!
 
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O530CarrisPT
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Re: Theoretical 777-based replacement for 747?

Tue May 15, 2018 11:01 am

JackMeahoff wrote:
flyingclrs727 wrote:

The VLA market is disappearing.


Hmmm then why did EK just buy like 50 more A380s?


Because as I've said, the A380 works for EK's plans for market growth, but for no one else (because is hard to fill an A380 at full capacity). So, the VLA market is indeed disappearing because of that fact.

JackMeahoff wrote:
Channex757 wrote:
Discounts of 50% or more are already common in the airliner business.


Sure, Airbus and Boeing heavily discount when trying to sell batches of narrowbodies. But no discount has ever been offered on the 747-8i as far as I know. Why not give it a shot?


The Boeing 747-8i (and for some extent, the Airbus A380) had become unattractive for the airlines which seem to go more and more for smaller widebody twins from both Boeing and Airbus. So, the only demand which still exists for the Boeing 747-8 is likely to be concentrated on the freighter version (the 747-8F). Plus, the 747-8i is a quad-engined jumbo jet, and inherently, the airframe is actually heavier in comparison with a big twin like the Boeing 777-300ER or the 787-9, therefore more expensive to maintain and to operate, giving less reasons for providing such discounts for the 747-8i. Plus, the progresses on ETOPS made possible to operate twinjets more economically in most of the long flights in comparison to a quad.

JackMeahoff wrote:
Channex757 wrote:
That was the biggest issue with the 748i. It didn't offer anything compelling enough to overcome the two-versus-four engine issue and also a big heavy airframe. A 773ER was and is a better buy for not many less seats.


What about cargo? The 748 MTOW is 250,000lbs heavier than the 773. That means the 748 can carry a whole lot more cargo, plus 20% more passengers.


But the Boeing 777-300ER and the Airbus A350-1000XWB can carry 44 LD3 containers, the Boeing 777-9 will be able to carry 48 LD3 containers. The Boeing 747-8i, on the other hand, is only able to carry 38.
Nothing in all the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity. - Martin Luther King Jr. (1929-1968)
 
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Channex757
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Re: Theoretical 777-based replacement for 747?

Tue May 15, 2018 11:40 am

JackMeahoff wrote:
Channex757 wrote:
Offering a discount on the 748i does not also discount the ongoing costs of supporting an airframe that is heavy compared to a newer Big Twin, nor does it offer a discount on supporting four engines instead of two.


Yadda yadda, Boeing could easily throw some first class A+++ maintenance in with the deal along with the discount. Four engines instead of two, no big deal.


:-O

Firstly, you just gave the planes away for nothing. Do you know how much engineering support and overhauls costs? Secondly, Boeing don't do maintenance so it would be a third party who need paying to do it. Thirdly Boeing don't make engines so either a qualified engine shop or GE themselves would be required.

They could easily throw gold plated toilets in as well but it doesn't mean it's good business to do so.
 
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Polot
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Re: Theoretical 777-based replacement for 747?

Tue May 15, 2018 12:25 pm

Channex757 wrote:
JackMeahoff wrote:
Channex757 wrote:
Offering a discount on the 748i does not also discount the ongoing costs of supporting an airframe that is heavy compared to a newer Big Twin, nor does it offer a discount on supporting four engines instead of two.


Yadda yadda, Boeing could easily throw some first class A+++ maintenance in with the deal along with the discount. Four engines instead of two, no big deal.


:-O

Firstly, you just gave the planes away for nothing. Do you know how much engineering support and overhauls costs? Secondly, Boeing don't do maintenance so it would be a third party who need paying to do it. Thirdly Boeing don't make engines so either a qualified engine shop or GE themselves would be required.

They could easily throw gold plated toilets in as well but it doesn't mean it's good business to do so.

This page may be of interest to you:

http://www.boeing.com/commercial/services/

Boeing (and Airbus) make a lot of money in supporting their aircraft after delivery.

But there is no incentive to be competitive with the 748...might as well push the 777X.
 
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Matt6461
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Re: Theoretical 777-based replacement for 747?

Tue May 15, 2018 1:41 pm

zululima wrote:
Matt6461 wrote:
747-8i uses a 1960's wing with extensions.


Tn55337 wrote:
I wonder if there is any value in doing a re-wing of the 747. Given the wing is from the 60's there should be lots of room for improvement.


They already did that for the 748. It's half a century newer than your dates!


No. The wing has major revisions but at its core is still a '60's wing. Just look at its sweep angle and aspect ratio. If you don't understand why these figures place it decades behind contemporary wings then you know basically nothing about wing design.
 
Elementalism
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Re: Theoretical 777-based replacement for 747?

Tue May 15, 2018 4:36 pm

Have to admit that picture looks pretty nice.
 
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DarkSnowyNight
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Re: Theoretical 777-based replacement for 747?

Tue May 15, 2018 7:01 pm

Matt6461 wrote:
zululima wrote:
Matt6461 wrote:
747-8i uses a 1960's wing with extensions.


False.

Tn55337 wrote:
I wonder if there is any value in doing a re-wing of the 747. Given the wing is from the 60's there should be lots of room for improvement.


They already did that for the 748. It's half a century newer than your dates!


No. The wing has major revisions but at its core is still a '60's wing. Just look at its sweep angle and aspect ratio.


Just ignore the fact that it also has supercritical features throughout most of the span, fbw primary control surfaces, completely new flaps (to include setting placements), differing rib counts, new materials construction, new leading edge treatments, to include the Krueger flap design and construction, completely different wingtip devices, and a thicker cross section.

The sweep angle and aspect ratio (the latter not the same, but similar) was a decision made because the 747 is a very heavy airplane for it's size and those are the most cost effective ways to maintain the relatively high cruising speed the 747 has. While there were some construction and design synergies available with the previous design, it's not intellectually honest to posit that the two are "basically the same".

The is nothing interchangeable about the 748's wing WRT any previous 747. Saying it's a "60s wing at it's core" is like saying a 2018 ZR1 is a "60s car" because it's a front engine, rear drive and says "corvette" on it. If you can't understand why these things make your claims little different than an amature's vanity, then you basically know nothing about wing design.

Also, you need to do a much better job considering the relevance of your posting WRT the points actually being made.

The first post is asking if they should re wing the 747. To wit, is there any value we can wring out of this frame by modifying the wing.

The second post is pointing out that this has already been done. Which is true, without qualification. A reasonable implication being that there isn't much Boeing can do for the 748 (short of making it a twin or giving it some ridiculous pfenniger layout) that it hasn't already. Certainly nothing that would keep it a 747 on its TCDS.

Your post is saying that they look kind of like the old design, so they must be the old design. Which is not true. Nor does it do anything to address the point of the first post. If you'd like, I can draw a diagram if any of this is difficult to understand.
Much like a GE90, I'm a huge fan of Big Twins...
 
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NameOmitted
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Re: Theoretical 777-based replacement for 747?

Tue May 15, 2018 7:22 pm

The argument could be made that the market for VLA aircraft has always been inflated. As mentioned before, the range of the 747 saw it on routes that simply did not need the capacity.
 
texl1649
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Re: Theoretical 777-based replacement for 747?

Tue May 15, 2018 8:16 pm

If you threw out EK and LH pax orders as aberrations/massively discounted launch clients, both the A380and 747 have sold a combined 300 or so since the A380was launched, about 20 years ago. As it is they both round to about 300. The majority by far of the 747 are for freighters.

There is no factual evidence of pent up demand for VLA, or surely Boeing wouldn’t be ramping down, steadily, to only 7 or so 777 per month (and ceasing efforts to sell pax 748), and airbus half an A380. I surely wouldn’t suggest anyone go walk around Wall Street asking for investors on a new $30b plus VLA program to target this underserved market, nor would any mythical engines (or engine investments) seem to be on the horizon for such a new conventional quad. The only rational hope I see is that perhaps airbus holds on for ten years until rolls decides to throw money at a rewinged NEO model.
 
Strato2
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Re: Theoretical 777-based replacement for 747?

Tue May 15, 2018 8:23 pm

bigjku wrote:
There is good money to be made on the freighter which is unchallenged.


If there ever was an airliner term for "pyrrhic victory" then it is to the 747F and it's gargantuan production rate of 6/year.
 
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Matt6461
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Re: Theoretical 777-based replacement for 747?

Tue May 15, 2018 8:28 pm

DarkSnowyNight wrote:
Just ignore the fact that it also has supercritical features throughout most of the span, fbw primary control surfaces, completely new flaps (to include setting placements), differing rib counts, new materials construction, new leading edge treatments, to include the Krueger flap design and construction, completely different wingtip devices, and a thicker cross section.


Yep, you can pretty much ignore all of that for a top-line performance evaluation. AR (encapsulating Swet and span) dominates everything you list.

If this is too difficult to understand, I can provide you a link to the basic drag equations.

You can also google "747X" - a true rewing of the 747 with a higher AR. You might notice that this proposal is not the 747-8.

DarkSnowyNight wrote:
"60s wing at it's [sic] core"


"it's" is a contraction of "it is."

DarkSnowyNight wrote:
amature's


It's spelled amateur. Its proper spelling is amateur.
 
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LAX772LR
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Re: Theoretical 777-based replacement for 747?

Tue May 15, 2018 8:36 pm

JackMeahoff wrote:
Well there may be some truth to the belief that Boeing will have to do something drastic to spur more 747-8 sales.

Why bother?

Boeing itself has PUBLICLY admitted that that aircraft has no future as a pax carrier.
It's been firmly rejected by the market, and a far superior replacement is already on the way.

Time to let go.


flyingclrs727 wrote:
Its not the point to point capability of smaller long range twins that is the most important. Its the spoke to hub capability that bypasses closer hubs that is taking away business for VLA's. BA's flights to AUS and MSY are examples. Instead of passengers from AUS and MSY connecting to IAH, DFW, ORD, or ATL to then fly to a European hub, people can fly nonstop from Austin or New Orleans to London and skip long layovers in the US.

:checkmark: :checkmark: :checkmark:



JayinKitsap wrote:
I really like the 777, but the 777-X has not been a sales gang buster. The A350-10 has not either.

Nor would anyone reasonably have thought them to at this point in time, considering that their primary target has not yet begun its replacement cycle in full swing.

The 747 and A346 have 9toes in the grave, with the most operators having long-since chosen their successor.... but the oldest 77W is still only 14.

So while some Asian and MidEast carriers may be divesting of them, the overwhelming majority of operators are going to hold on to them for another half decade or so. It's the leadup to that replacement which will spark an increase in A35K/779 sales.
I myself, suspect a more prosaic motive... ~Thranduil
 
DarthLobster
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Re: 777-10 to be Boeing's 747 replacement?

Tue May 15, 2018 8:47 pm

jubguy3 wrote:
Your idea sucks, I'm sorry. You can't just go around humping random planes...


Here’s a little tip for dealing with humans. You and your argument will seem far more credible if you don’t openly declare that the other person’s idea “sucks” and is “dumb dumb dumb”. You sound like an angry neckbeard. As sound as your arguments are, I’m inclined to side against you solely because you’re a prick about it.
 
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Matt6461
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Re: Theoretical 777-based replacement for 747?

Tue May 15, 2018 9:19 pm

flyingclrs727 wrote:
The VLA market is disappearing. Its not the point to point capability of smaller long range twins that is the most important. Its the spoke to hub capability that bypasses closer hubs that is taking away business for VLA's. BA's flights to AUS and MSY are examples. Instead of passengers from AUS and MSY connecting to IAH, DFW, ORD, or ATL to then fly to a European hub, people can fly nonstop from Austin or New Orleans to London and skip long layovers in the US.


Far be it from me to deny the utility of added spokes and/or point-point flying. The benefits are real and they largely explain the trend away from TODAY's larger airplanes.

But simply pointing to that benefit isn't sufficient when on the cost side is potentially large efficiency tradeoffs (again - not versus today's large planes). We'd need to quantify the benefit of skipping a stop versus the benefits of a hypothetical super-efficient VLA.

Furthermore, you need to interrogate the true magnitude of extra spokes a little more deeply.
BA's AUS service adds two things: (1) direct flights AUS-LHR and (2) one-stop flights between AUS and smaller cities without TATL service.

If we guesstimate that the route is 20% O&D and 20% AUS- [tertiary cities], then for 60% of the traffic there isn't "skip stop" utility.
An Austonian bound for CDG/FRA/AMS/MAD/FCO etc. still has to make one stop. BA has surely captured a lot of that market, but if UA were running a super-efficient A380-900NEO on EWR-CDG then it would be much cheaper to stop in EWR than LHR.
Plus a lot of pax would choose one-stop service over nonstop to save $hundreds or upgrade a class - something that would be possible on a super-efficient VLA. Somebody will surely want to say, "But those are low-yielding pax! Ick!" That doesn't matter when your economics change: low-yielding pax become profitable.

Even if new spokes steal 50% of traffic that might otherwise fly via hubs on VLA's that still leaves enormous amounts of traffic for VLA's to aggregate.

The future has room for both super-trunk routes and route fragmentation. The present just doesn't have room for crappy VLA's like A380 and 748.
 
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DarkSnowyNight
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Re: Theoretical 777-based replacement for 747?

Tue May 15, 2018 9:33 pm

Matt6461 wrote:

Yep, you can pretty much ignore all of that for a top-line performance evaluation. AR (encapsulating Swet and span) dominates everything you list.


Not if you're at all literate in these matters, you can't. Supercritical surfaces aren't incorporated for their looks.

matt6461 wrote:
If this is too difficult to understand, I can provide you a link to the basic drag equations.


Based on what I've seen of you in other threads, I very much doubt that.

I have no doubt however, that you can Google and repost things you don't actually understand and have no substantial relevance to what's being discussed. It would not astonish me if your replies here continued to be both inaccurate and off topic.


matt6461 wrote:
You can also google "747X" - a true rewing of the 747 with a higher AR. You might notice that this proposal is not the 747-8.


It could just be that you need to reread what I wrote, slower this time. You're not actually saying anything here.

There's no value (certainly no low hanging fruit at any rate) in going that way for the 748. Nor has anyone suggested that was necessary. Nor will any professional engineer agree that two different wings having the same AR alone makes them the same.

I sincerely don't mean this as an insult, but the fact you seem to have convinced yourself otherwise is what tells me this isn't your wheelhouse.


So unless you can really wow me (seriously, bud, just demonstrate some level of functional experience here...) I have to break you off here, since I have a rule about not engaging with people who don't want to know what they're talking about. Nothing personal, I just feel like we've reached your plateau here.



matt6461 wrote:
DarkSnowyNight wrote:
"60s wing at it's [sic] core"


"it's" is a contraction of "it is."

DarkSnowyNight wrote:
amature's


It's spelled amateur. Its proper spelling is amateur.



You are absolutely correct (nobody's wrong about everything, I suppose). I want you to go and give yourself a big ole pat on the back for me.

I'll even make you a deal. Going forward, if you can come up with something that's actually an accurate, quality post, devoid of the normal hot air I've come to expect; something that's actually worthy of a response from me, I'll promise to spell check it. Just for you.
Much like a GE90, I'm a huge fan of Big Twins...
 
texl1649
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Re: Theoretical 777-based replacement for 747?

Tue May 15, 2018 9:36 pm

I’ll just add one final point: a big part of any fleet decision involves details such as crew planning, and residual value.

Since used A380 are basically worthless for secondary operators, the plane is almost twice as expensive for any future prospective new buyer. Airbus’ gross neglect in planning for the freighter/secondary freighter market only made things worse here.
 
bigjku
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Re: Theoretical 777-based replacement for 747?

Tue May 15, 2018 9:39 pm

Strato2 wrote:
bigjku wrote:
There is good money to be made on the freighter which is unchallenged.


If there ever was an airliner term for "pyrrhic victory" then it is to the 747F and it's gargantuan production rate of 6/year.


Sure, the 748 was a dumb idea to challenge someone else’s dumb idea. Having paid for it you can sell freighters at a decent rate simply because there aren’t other good options for moving certain types of cargo so you have more pricing power than you do on the passenger side. Particularly since the next biggest freighter is also yours to sell.

The alternatives at this size all seem to suck for OEMs. Build 6 freighters a year ar what seems to be a small profit or build 6 passenger frames a year at a small loss.
 
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Matt6461
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Re: Theoretical 777-based replacement for 747?

Tue May 15, 2018 9:43 pm

DarkSnowyNight wrote:
I have to break you off here


:wave: :wave: :wave:
----------------------

For others - don't allow yourselves to be confused by a proliferation of details.
Everything about planes is immensely complicated but if you know certain topline figures of merit you can have sufficient information about the modernity/obsolescence of a design.
For example: An engine with a BPR of 4 is an old design. A transonic wing with <8 AR is an old design (or, in the case of A380, a compromised design). There are infinite variables around these core metrics; none of them will change that basic picture.
 
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DarkSnowyNight
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Re: 777-10 to be Boeing's 747 replacement?

Tue May 15, 2018 9:49 pm

DarthLobster wrote:
jubguy3 wrote:
Your idea sucks, I'm sorry. You can't just go around humping random planes...

...


I agree in principle. But I also have to admit that line is pretty epic.

LAX777LR wrote:

Nor would anyone reasonably have thought them to at this point in time, considering that their primary target has not yet begun its replacement cycle in full swing.

The 747 and A346 have 9toes in the grave, with the most operators having long-since chosen their successor.... but the oldest 77W is still only 14.


This. I'm actually a little surprised it's taken three pages for this point to be made.

We seem to have this notion that the 777 and 350 families will just somehow disappear on another decade and that sales need to be now or never. The truth is that we finally have an optimized VLA in these respective families. Given the nature of very small, incremental updates being the future of the Tube/Wings aircraft, there won't be a reason to clean sheet new types in the same size/capability fences in the future.

The 777 is very much here to stay, as is the 350. If it takes another decade for that replacement cycle to come up full swing, no biggie.
Much like a GE90, I'm a huge fan of Big Twins...
 
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Matt6461
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Re: Theoretical 777-based replacement for 747?

Tue May 15, 2018 10:07 pm

LAX772LR wrote:
Nor would anyone reasonably have thought them to at this point in time, considering that their primary target has not yet begun its replacement cycle in full swing.


I doubt the replacement cycle is really that important. First, growth is projected to be a bigger part of the market than replacement. Second, it's unlikely that 77W's will be replaced on a one-for-one basis. More likely we'll see 787-9's and A359's (and 78X's) take over 77W routes.

The big twins aren't as dominant in the order books as 77W because they don't dominate smaller planes economically as did the 77W.
Per Leeham, A350-1000's cash operating cost per seat is only 2% lower than A359's. So an operator takes on ~13% higher trip cost for ~15% more seats. That will make sense some of the time, especially when cargo loads are high and/or slots are limited, but the core of the market will stay with A359.

777-9 improves on A35K by more than A35K>A359, but we're still talking low-single-digits efficiency gain for ~15% capacity delta.

The big twins will be niche products for the heaviest trunk routes (and for EK).
 
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LAX772LR
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Re: Theoretical 777-based replacement for 747?

Tue May 15, 2018 10:40 pm

Matt6461 wrote:
BA has surely captured a lot of that market, but if UA were running a super-efficient A380-900NEO on EWR-CDG then it would be much cheaper to stop in EWR than LHR.

....the glaring fallacy there is assuming price of fares to be dictated by cost.
Price is dictated by what the market will bear.

If UA were consistently getting $x for operating that route, then UA is not going to start charging pax $x-$n just because their cost of operation decreased by $n.

They'll keep charging $x (so long as the market will bear it) and pocket the difference of $n.



Matt6461 wrote:
LAX772LR wrote:
Nor would anyone reasonably have thought them to at this point in time, considering that their primary target has not yet begun its replacement cycle in full swing.

I doubt the replacement cycle is really that important.

Then that's your first mistake. :razz:
I myself, suspect a more prosaic motive... ~Thranduil
 
AirbusA6
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Re: Theoretical 777-based replacement for 747?

Tue May 15, 2018 10:49 pm

texl1649 wrote:
If you threw out EK and LH pax orders as aberrations/massively discounted launch clients, both the A380and 747 have sold a combined 300 or so since the A380was launched, about 20 years ago. As it is they both round to about 300. The majority by far of the 747 are for freighters.

There is no factual evidence of pent up demand for VLA, or surely Boeing wouldn’t be ramping down, steadily, to only 7 or so 777 per month (and ceasing efforts to sell pax 748), and airbus half an A380. I surely wouldn’t suggest anyone go walk around Wall Street asking for investors on a new $30b plus VLA program to target this underserved market, nor would any mythical engines (or engine investments) seem to be on the horizon for such a new conventional quad. The only rational hope I see is that perhaps airbus holds on for ten years until rolls decides to throw money at a rewinged NEO model.


Though if the ME3 hadn't expanded to their incredible size, I'm sure the older European and Asian carriers would have purchased many more A380s and 747s instead

When you consider the number of A380s EK fly into the London area alone every day, that's a massive number of passengers taken from BA, CX, QF, SQ etc just on London flights
it's the bus to stansted (now renamed National Express a6 to ruin my username)
 
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Matt6461
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Re: Theoretical 777-based replacement for 747?

Wed May 16, 2018 2:05 am

LAX772LR wrote:
....the glaring fallacy there is assuming price of fares to be dictated by cost.
Price is dictated by what the market will bear.

If UA were consistently getting $x for operating that route, then UA is not going to start charging pax $x-$n just because their cost of operation decreased by $n.

They'll keep charging $x (so long as the market will bear it) and pocket the difference of $n.


A couple points.
First, your mental picture of "what the market bears" appears to be a point. But it's a curve - the demand curve - instead of a point.
In competitive markets (I'll get to that caveat), the point at which the market price commands a certain supply is determined by the intersection with another curve: the supply curve.
A super-efficient VLA would shift the supply curve, thereby shifting the point at which supply and demand ("what the market will bear") intersects.

Of course your response will be - should be - that airline tickets aren't a perfectly competitive market. Fair enough, it's more of monopolistic competition and/or oligopoly happening, especially in the U.S. domestic and TATL markets.
But even in monopolistic competition, shifts in the supply curve create new profit maximization points for the monopolists (or oligopolists).

What's more, we're seeing a trend towards a more competitive market - that's the real reason the US3 have so vehemently opposed Norwegian's entry into TATL. In response to this entry, we see BA starting its own longhaul LCC (Level) and we see many TATL legacies introducing or considering Basic Economy products to compete. In domestic markets, competition has radically restructured airline practices and forced widespread adoption of low-fares by legacy carriers in response to ULCC's. My hope and somewhat optimistic expectation is that this will occur in long haul markets as well.

Back to our AUS market discussion:
Let's take UA in the current market. Say it has 10% share of total AUS-Europe flow right now (seems ballpark). And assume that UA is not considering a hub at AUS or otherwise considering inaugurating direct TATL flights from AUS (seems safe assumption).
Let's further say that BA is seeing ~$800 average Y fares from AUS, both for AUS-LHR and for European connections beyond AUS.
Now suppose a plane emerges - A380-900NEO for example - that would allow UA to sell AUS - ORD/EWR - FRA/CDG/MAD/FCO for $600 while making a profit.

If you're UA, why not offer these fares? The downside is only cutting prices for your small slice of the AUS market. The upside is capturing up to 6x the AUS-Europe traffic that you previously boarded. So long as your profit margin per pax is 1/6th of previous traffic, you maximize profit by cutting prices and opening a new profitable market sector.

The example relies on compelling efficiencies on your trunk routes, which is terrain most discussions just never reach. Folks have grown so used to bad VLA's for the last two decades that they just can't imagine a good one.
 
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LAX772LR
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Re: Theoretical 777-based replacement for 747?

Wed May 16, 2018 3:17 am

Matt6461 wrote:
First, your mental picture of "what the market bears" appears to be a point.

Obviously not, as even published airfares routinely fluctuate within a given range... I only gave you such a simple equation, because you made such a basic error.


Matt6461 wrote:
If you're UA, why not offer these fares?

For a number of reasons: first and foremost being because you don't HAVE to, if a sufficient number of your patronage is willing to pay the previously higher request.

In fact, you're in dereliction of your most core/fundamental duty of maximizing your carrier's revenue/value, if you don't in such a scenario.
I myself, suspect a more prosaic motive... ~Thranduil
 
JustSomeDood
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Re: Theoretical 777-based replacement for 747?

Wed May 16, 2018 6:07 am

AirbusA6 wrote:
texl1649 wrote:
If you threw out EK and LH pax orders as aberrations/massively discounted launch clients, both the A380and 747 have sold a combined 300 or so since the A380was launched, about 20 years ago. As it is they both round to about 300. The majority by far of the 747 are for freighters.

There is no factual evidence of pent up demand for VLA, or surely Boeing wouldn’t be ramping down, steadily, to only 7 or so 777 per month (and ceasing efforts to sell pax 748), and airbus half an A380. I surely wouldn’t suggest anyone go walk around Wall Street asking for investors on a new $30b plus VLA program to target this underserved market, nor would any mythical engines (or engine investments) seem to be on the horizon for such a new conventional quad. The only rational hope I see is that perhaps airbus holds on for ten years until rolls decides to throw money at a rewinged NEO model.


Though if the ME3 hadn't expanded to their incredible size, I'm sure the older European and Asian carriers would have purchased many more A380s and 747s instead

When you consider the number of A380s EK fly into the London area alone every day, that's a massive number of passengers taken from BA, CX, QF, SQ etc just on London flights


Likely yes, but the argument that the world would have more A380s in total if EK as an entity didn't exist is one that runs contrary to the data we have.


LAX772LR wrote:
Matt6461 wrote:
First, your mental picture of "what the market bears" appears to be a point.

Obviously not, as even published airfares routinely fluctuate within a given range... I only gave you such a simple equation, because you made such a basic error.


Matt6461 wrote:
If you're UA, why not offer these fares?

For a number of reasons: first and foremost being because you don't HAVE to, if a sufficient number of your patronage is willing to pay the previously higher request.

In fact, you're in dereliction of your most core/fundamental duty of maximizing your carrier's revenue/value, if you don't in such a scenario.


The point Matt is making is that the profit maximizing range of prices and quantities for airline tickets changes if the supply curve/cost curve of the airline changes, which would happen if Matt's super-efficient VLA is a reality rather than a concept. That's literally high school economics.
 
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LAX772LR
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Re: Theoretical 777-based replacement for 747?

Wed May 16, 2018 6:56 am

JustSomeDood wrote:
The point Matt is making is that the profit maximizing range of prices and quantities for airline tickets changes if the supply curve/cost curve of the airline changes, which would happen if Matt's super-efficient VLA is a reality rather than a concept. That's literally high school economics.

That's also fantasy, as far as the modern aviation market is concerned....

Were it not, we'd see airlines demanding it, and OEMs moving heaven/earth to produce it.
I myself, suspect a more prosaic motive... ~Thranduil
 
SNN707
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Re: Theoretical 777-based replacement for 747?

Wed May 16, 2018 12:39 pm

The financials in this thread about 2 legacy VLAs are making my head spin. What about the elephant in the room going forward - Chinese and/or Russian airlines and manufacturers.

Chinese economics don't really work exactly the same way. You would think they could easily fill VLAs with their exploding pax numbers. Yet how many VLAs are operating out of China?
 
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Matt6461
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Re: Theoretical 777-based replacement for 747?

Wed May 16, 2018 6:53 pm

JustSomeDood wrote:
The point Matt is making is that the profit maximizing range of prices and quantities for airline tickets changes if the supply curve/cost curve of the airline changes, which would happen if Matt's super-efficient VLA is a reality rather than a concept. That's literally high school economics.


Yes. Thank you. I had given up on the discussion because, despite me in this thread, pedantry is awful.

LAX772LR wrote:
That's also fantasy, as far as the modern aviation market is concerned....
Were it not, we'd see airlines demanding it, and OEMs moving heaven/earth to produce it.


To see why you have to move from high school to early undergrad economics. Rent seeking by airlines and OEM's means no individual firm wants a shift in the cost curve, as they know the resulting equilibrium will give about the same profit - after much stress and disruption.

The shift happens when competition forces rent-seekers to compete. Thus my extensive discussion of the LCC dynamic.
 
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JackMeahoff
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Re: Theoretical 777-based replacement for 747?

Thu May 17, 2018 2:26 am

texl1649 wrote:
The only rational hope I see is that perhaps airbus holds on for ten years until rolls decides to throw money at a rewinged NEO model.


Why couldn't Boeing wait around for 10 years and do a rewinged NEO model of the 747-8?
 
JustSomeDood
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Re: Theoretical 777-based replacement for 747?

Thu May 17, 2018 2:35 am

JackMeahoff wrote:
texl1649 wrote:
The only rational hope I see is that perhaps airbus holds on for ten years until rolls decides to throw money at a rewinged NEO model.


Why couldn't Boeing wait around for 10 years and do a rewinged NEO model of the 747-8?


Why would they spend 5-10B to do that when the 777-9 has similar levels of capacity and will still be cheaper operating costs than the 747-8 rewing?
 
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JackMeahoff
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Re: Theoretical 777-based replacement for 747?

Thu May 17, 2018 2:36 am

O530CarrisPT wrote:
JackMeahoff wrote:
flyingclrs727 wrote:

The VLA market is disappearing.


Hmmm then why did EK just buy like 50 more A380s?


Because as I've said, the A380 works for EK's plans for market growth, but for no one else (because is hard to fill an A380 at full capacity). So, the VLA market is indeed disappearing because of that fact.



EK has the same costs as any other airline. Yet they love the A380.

Something doesn't add up. You can't just say "well, EK is special, so there!".
 
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JackMeahoff
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Re: Theoretical 777-based replacement for 747?

Thu May 17, 2018 2:42 am

JustSomeDood wrote:
JackMeahoff wrote:
texl1649 wrote:
The only rational hope I see is that perhaps airbus holds on for ten years until rolls decides to throw money at a rewinged NEO model.


Why couldn't Boeing wait around for 10 years and do a rewinged NEO model of the 747-8?


Why would they spend 5-10B to do that when the 777-9 has similar levels of capacity and will still be cheaper operating costs than the 747-8 rewing?


The 747-8 has 20% more floor area. A lot harder to scrunch all those private suites in First/Business with a 777 cabin that is 1'6" narrower than the 747-8.

Who knows what the market forces will be in 10 years.
 
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flyingclrs727
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Re: Theoretical 777-based replacement for 747?

Thu May 17, 2018 3:39 am

Matt6461 wrote:
flyingclrs727 wrote:
The VLA market is disappearing. Its not the point to point capability of smaller long range twins that is the most important. Its the spoke to hub capability that bypasses closer hubs that is taking away business for VLA's. BA's flights to AUS and MSY are examples. Instead of passengers from AUS and MSY connecting to IAH, DFW, ORD, or ATL to then fly to a European hub, people can fly nonstop from Austin or New Orleans to London and skip long layovers in the US.


Far be it from me to deny the utility of added spokes and/or point-point flying. The benefits are real and they largely explain the trend away from TODAY's larger airplanes.

But simply pointing to that benefit isn't sufficient when on the cost side is potentially large efficiency tradeoffs (again - not versus today's large planes). We'd need to quantify the benefit of skipping a stop versus the benefits of a hypothetical super-efficient VLA.

Furthermore, you need to interrogate the true magnitude of extra spokes a little more deeply.
BA's AUS service adds two things: (1) direct flights AUS-LHR and (2) one-stop flights between AUS and smaller cities without TATL service.

If we guesstimate that the route is 20% O&D and 20% AUS- [tertiary cities], then for 60% of the traffic there isn't "skip stop" utility.
An Austonian bound for CDG/FRA/AMS/MAD/FCO etc. still has to make one stop. BA has surely captured a lot of that market, but if UA were running a super-efficient A380-900NEO on EWR-CDG then it would be much cheaper to stop in EWR than LHR.
Plus a lot of pax would choose one-stop service over nonstop to save $hundreds or upgrade a class - something that would be possible on a super-efficient VLA. Somebody will surely want to say, "But those are low-yielding pax! Ick!" That doesn't matter when your economics change: low-yielding pax become profitable.

Even if new spokes steal 50% of traffic that might otherwise fly via hubs on VLA's that still leaves enormous amounts of traffic for VLA's to aggregate.

The future has room for both super-trunk routes and route fragmentation. The present just doesn't have room for crappy VLA's like A380 and 748.


UA doesn't have to operate A380's. Their Star Alliance partner LH has an A380 on their IAH-FRA route in addition to frequencies on UA 77E's. The advantage for AA is that BA is a One World alliance partner. Having LHR flights from AUS on BA allows AA customers get AAdvantage miles. Its just as easy to fly a one stop from AUS to LHR via DFW, ORD, IAH, or EWR. It's a competitive advantage for One World to have a AUS-LHR nonstop.

Also, no one flies A380's to EWR, because they aren't compatible with the taxiways and gates.

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