Moderators: jsumali2, richierich, ua900, PanAm_DC10, hOMSaR

 
chrisp390
Posts: 723
Joined: Fri May 16, 2014 6:37 pm

Re: Why didn't BA order the B748?

Fri Sep 07, 2018 10:32 am

CA ordered the 748 for political reasons, they were very close to ordering the A380 until politics got involved.
 
Tedd
Posts: 474
Joined: Thu Jul 28, 2016 11:22 am

Re: Why didn't BA order the B748?

Fri Sep 07, 2018 10:51 am

Matt6461 wrote:
Per Leeham's numbers, an A380 provides ~40% more capacity than 748i for ~18% higher trip cost.
So less than half of your additional seats (A380 vs. 748i) need to sell and you're still ahead of the game.

In short, the A380 is just a far, far better passenger plane than the 748i.
Given that the A380 is itself a pretty bad product, the 748i must be terrible - like double-digit total sales terrible.

A more interesting question is why did anybody buy this plane at all?


Could have been a decision with regard to relibility. The -400 was highly regarded by the airlines operating them
& rather than risk a new design A380, go with the improved version Boeing product. Price would have been a major
driver too perhaps, particularly if they didn`t need the extra capacity. There`s no doubt the A380 was the better plane,
your figures are proof, but I can understand for some at the time of introduction the B748 was a safer bet.


What are your thoughts on BA ordering B748i`s before they close the line? If the price was worthwhile to both,
couldn`t these cheap birds fill the void in their fleet that a failed deal for more A380 has left? I`d love to see the
B747 series continue for the airline for a few more decades. Coupled with their A35K order they wouldn`t need
the B777-9 for a while, & give them the time to assess that new aircrafts reliability as it matures.
 
pdt2f
Posts: 271
Joined: Mon Feb 19, 2018 12:18 am

Re: Why didn't BA order the B748?

Fri Sep 07, 2018 11:46 am

Tedd wrote:
Matt6461 wrote:
Per Leeham's numbers, an A380 provides ~40% more capacity than 748i for ~18% higher trip cost.
So less than half of your additional seats (A380 vs. 748i) need to sell and you're still ahead of the game.

In short, the A380 is just a far, far better passenger plane than the 748i.
Given that the A380 is itself a pretty bad product, the 748i must be terrible - like double-digit total sales terrible.

A more interesting question is why did anybody buy this plane at all?


Could have been a decision with regard to relibility. The -400 was highly regarded by the airlines operating them
& rather than risk a new design A380, go with the improved version Boeing product. Price would have been a major
driver too perhaps, particularly if they didn`t need the extra capacity. There`s no doubt the A380 was the better plane,
your figures are proof, but I can understand for some at the time of introduction the B748 was a safer bet.


What are your thoughts on BA ordering B748i`s before they close the line? If the price was worthwhile to both,
couldn`t these cheap birds fill the void in their fleet that a failed deal for more A380 has left? I`d love to see the
B747 series continue for the airline for a few more decades. Coupled with their A35K order they wouldn`t need
the B777-9 for a while, & give them the time to assess that new aircrafts reliability as it matures.


I don’t think Boeing would even want to make any more 748i’s, unless someone ordered like 25 of them. All they really make is the 748f anymore, most of their contractors who make the parts for the i probably don’t need/want to make parts that haven’t been made in years for just a few frames.
“The sky peoclaims God’s glory - the vault of heaven, the Hand of Him who made it.”

BNA based.
 
TR
Posts: 982
Joined: Thu May 03, 2001 1:28 am

Re: Why didn't BA order the B748?

Fri Sep 07, 2018 12:28 pm

Ordering the A388 over the 748i at that time had at least to main reasons. One was the idea of being able to substitute two daily schedules into one on certain destinations while keeping seat availability, hense the high number of J and W, in order to free up aircraft to expand to new destinations.

The second reason was something as simple as marketing - AF, LH, SQ, QF ordering challenged the “imperial mindset” of BA. They simply needed to have the A388.

Since then markets and competitive landscape has changed and would the decision be the same today, noone knows. You make decisions based on current circumstanses. Sometimes you hit bulls eye, sometimes you don’t. However I am sure BA is happy with A388 at the moment but changes happens all the time.

Cheers
 
BA777FO
Posts: 581
Joined: Sun Apr 22, 2018 2:58 pm

Re: Why didn't BA order the B748?

Fri Sep 07, 2018 12:38 pm

TR wrote:
Ordering the A388 over the 748i at that time had at least to main reasons. One was the idea of being able to substitute two daily schedules into one on certain destinations while keeping seat availability, hense the high number of J and W, in order to free up aircraft to expand to new destinations.

The second reason was something as simple as marketing - AF, LH, SQ, QF ordering challenged the “imperial mindset” of BA. They simply needed to have the A388.

Since then markets and competitive landscape has changed and would the decision be the same today, noone knows. You make decisions based on current circumstanses. Sometimes you hit bulls eye, sometimes you don’t. However I am sure BA is happy with A388 at the moment but changes happens all the time.

Cheers


It's interesting that the A380 hasn't really resulted in a reduction in frequencies on any of the routes it operates on. SIN, HKG, ORD, SFO, MIA, JNB have been regularly 2xdaily for years. JNB and LAX has seen or is seeing small frequency upgrades. To YVR it's just seasonal increases in capacity, same with Boston. And at IAD it didn't really work, A380 is being removed with the 787 adding frequencies. It shows how frequency dependent BA is. The A380 only works in very few markets for BA; it is really just consigned to the handful of routes that require capacity and not frequency: SIN, HKG and JNB. The rest is frankly just filler for the other airframes.

Spot on with the observation of having the A380 to keep up with Lufthansa, Air France etc. That's ultimately why BA hasn't ordered more, despite what has been said in/to the media about it. There simply aren't too many more markets where it works. Hence the backtrack on IAD, some weekly frequencies to BOS etc. The Hi-J 747s are used on relatively short sectors (ORD, JFK, BOS, PHL, LOS, IAD etc) and the 787-10 is being ordered without cabin crew rest facilities - that's ultimately what the aircraft is being primed to replace.
 
AirbusA6
Posts: 1657
Joined: Tue Apr 26, 2005 5:53 am

Re: Why didn't BA order the B748?

Fri Sep 07, 2018 2:06 pm

They chose the A380 over the 748i because it was the better plane for them, and presumably a good deal. Neither the A380 and 748i have sold well, but of the two the A380 has clearly been the most popular choice, so BA's decision was the expected one.

Anyway the number of A380s they've ordered is pretty small, the majority of their 744s will be replaced by 787/A350/777s
it's the bus to stansted (now renamed National Express a6 to ruin my username)
 
User avatar
JannEejit
Posts: 1710
Joined: Sat Jun 18, 2016 4:04 pm

Re: Why didn't BA order the B748?

Fri Sep 07, 2018 2:30 pm

A BA training manager I was working with at Heathrow back in July 2013, the week the A380 arrived told me they evaluated the 747-8 but it failed to come up to expectations.
 
workhorse
Posts: 849
Joined: Sun Jul 10, 2005 11:35 pm

Re: Why didn't BA order the B748?

Fri Sep 07, 2018 2:47 pm

chrisp390 wrote:
CA ordered the 748 for political reasons, they were very close to ordering the A380 until politics got involved.


What kind of politics? Like the operational limitations that would make it impossible for the Head of State to land at a lot of airports?

Don't forget that at CA the 744 was a dual use airplane. It was used both for passenger transport and as aircraft of the Head of State for official visits. As such, its replacement needed to be, yes, big and prestigious, but also flexible. Hence the 748.

I, for one, would rather prefer it to be an A340 or an A350 (until the C929 is ready) because I don't think using an aircraft produced by an openly hostile nation as Head of State vehicle is a good idea, but that's none of my business. CA/PRC government have chosen the 747-8 so 747-8 it is.
 
Andy33
Posts: 2570
Joined: Tue Sep 15, 2009 9:30 am

Re: Why didn't BA order the B748?

Fri Sep 07, 2018 6:04 pm

Tedd wrote:

What are your thoughts on BA ordering B748i`s before they close the line? If the price was worthwhile to both,
couldn`t these cheap birds fill the void in their fleet that a failed deal for more A380 has left? I`d love to see the
B747 series continue for the airline for a few more decades. Coupled with their A35K order they wouldn`t need
the B777-9 for a while, & give them the time to assess that new aircrafts reliability as it matures.


As has been implied, the last normal passenger 748i was delivered to Korean in July 2017 and production of components specific to the passenger version ceased some time before that. Unless someone places a really substantial order any components that aren't also used in other current production passenger planes won't be made again (not just Boeing of course but all their subcontractors). Substituting alternative components is possible but there would then be the cost and time to certify them for the 748i, so Boeing wouldn't be able to offer them cheap.
And as far as BA is concerned, they have replacements already ordered for all but the last few 744s. These orders are for delivery between 2019 and early 2022. It is those last few 744s that don't yet have replacements on order - around 12 of them - and the replacements are needed in 2023. That's too late for 77Ws, probably far too late for 748is (the time for that would have been around 2016). Too early for 779s unless other airlines defer or cancel their orders. But entirely possible for A350s and 787s given that BA/IAG hold ample options on these.
 
User avatar
seabosdca
Posts: 6607
Joined: Sat Sep 01, 2007 8:33 am

Re: Why didn't BA order the B748?

Fri Sep 07, 2018 7:02 pm

Matt6461 wrote:
Per Leeham's numbers, an A380 provides ~40% more capacity than 748i for ~18% higher trip cost.


It's bad (as evidenced by sales) but not quite that bad. The 748 uses its floor area more efficiently than the A380, which is constrained on the lower deck by an awkward fuselage width and on the upper deck by the curving sidewalls. (The 748 isn't perfect, though - that nose section is awkward too.) In real world configurations you can expect 25%-30% more seats in an A380 than a 748 at similar density.

You can also do similar math in the opposite direction with the 77W.

Previous replies in this thread have already shown that two of the 748's three operators had special reasons to order it despite operational finances. The only one that ordered it strictly on its merits was LH, and that order was based on assumptions of better performance than was ultimately realized. They thought they could use the extra capacity over the 77W profitably. If they knew the real situation at order time, I bet they'd have 15-20 77Ws and a few more A380s in the mainline fleet instead.

And, coming back to the thread question, this math is also why Airbus had the headroom to swoop in and eat Boeing's lunch at BA. Again, the rumor is that a 748 deal was all but final and Airbus nixed it with very attractive pricing.
 
rbavfan
Posts: 3646
Joined: Fri Apr 17, 2015 5:53 am

Re: Why didn't BA order the B748?

Fri Sep 07, 2018 7:56 pm

dampfnudel wrote:
BA174 wrote:
dampfnudel wrote:
So when BA starts retiring their 744 fleet in the next decade, the replacement for their JFK flights will probably be the 779? It must be frustrating for BA to see AF, LH, SQ and other airlines use the 380 at JFK while they can’t.


Why would they care, they operate more services to JFK than the three of those almost put together. JFK is a frequency driven route for BA and I don’t think it was ever a real contender for A380 service to be honest.

Maybe you’re right, but I’m sure BA would’ve deployed the 380 to JFK if they could long ago. Let’s just be honest there.


JFK for BA is about frequency choice. The A380 would reduce frequency & reduce the yields they get from smaller capacity & frequency on the route.
 
User avatar
Matt6461
Posts: 2991
Joined: Wed Oct 16, 2013 9:36 pm

Re: Why didn't BA order the B748?

Fri Sep 07, 2018 8:17 pm

seabosdca wrote:
The 748 uses its floor area more efficiently than the A380, which is constrained on the lower deck by an awkward fuselage width and on the upper deck by the curving sidewalls. (The 748 isn't perfect, though - that nose section is awkward too.) In real world configurations you can expect 25%-30% more seats in an A380 than a 748 at similar density.


Any competent comparison of A380 to other planes - and Bjorn is competent - incorporates the slanting UD side walls, which restrict cabin width to 208in effective instead of ~230in at the floor.
Were the A380 effectively only 25% bigger than 748i, we'd have seen a much more favorable sales ratio.
A significantly worse A380 wouldn't have meant more 748i sales, IMO, except maybe to EK. Instead it would have meant more 77W sales.
In any event, Airbus did about everything possible to make the A380 a bad product, so there's not even much hypothetical interest in examining this scenario.
Last edited by Matt6461 on Fri Sep 07, 2018 8:24 pm, edited 1 time in total.
 
rbavfan
Posts: 3646
Joined: Fri Apr 17, 2015 5:53 am

Re: Why didn't BA order the B748?

Fri Sep 07, 2018 8:20 pm

george77300 wrote:
BoeingGuy wrote:
george77300 wrote:
One of the key reasons too for the 380 over the 748 was the lack of RR engines. BA had no option for RR on the 747 to have some more commonality with other fleets and they did with the A350/B787/A380 that they ordered instead.


You mean like those GE powered 777-300ERs they ordered with no option for RR engines and the fact they operate 777-200s with both RR and GE engines?

Do you know for a fact that BA decided against the 747-8 because of lack of RR engines, or did you just make that up?


It was catergorically a factor. Certainly not the only but a major one. They didn’t want the GE on 787 (GE slightly better on longer routes and RR on shorter, they are obviously more concerned about the latter) and wanted the RR equivalent on the 748 but couldn’t. It was one of a number of reasons and they eventually settled with the A380.

They by all means don’t always choose RR. In fact half of their 777-200ER are GE when they could have had all RR. Also as you mentioned there is no choice on the 77W but I guess the engines are very similar to the -200ERs they had so it was worthwhile. It’s just what they deem better at the time.


The 777-200 GE order had to do with a GE engine servicing center in Cardiff. It turned out not to be a good Idea. If that offer had not been there they would have done all Rollers. Thats why the top of 777-200 orders were for the rollers.
 
george77300
Posts: 1131
Joined: Sat May 06, 2017 8:33 pm

Re: Why didn't BA order the B748?

Fri Sep 07, 2018 8:29 pm

rbavfan wrote:
george77300 wrote:
BoeingGuy wrote:

You mean like those GE powered 777-300ERs they ordered with no option for RR engines and the fact they operate 777-200s with both RR and GE engines?

Do you know for a fact that BA decided against the 747-8 because of lack of RR engines, or did you just make that up?


It was catergorically a factor. Certainly not the only but a major one. They didn’t want the GE on 787 (GE slightly better on longer routes and RR on shorter, they are obviously more concerned about the latter) and wanted the RR equivalent on the 748 but couldn’t. It was one of a number of reasons and they eventually settled with the A380.

They by all means don’t always choose RR. In fact half of their 777-200ER are GE when they could have had all RR. Also as you mentioned there is no choice on the 77W but I guess the engines are very similar to the -200ERs they had so it was worthwhile. It’s just what they deem better at the time.


The 777-200 GE order had to do with a GE engine servicing center in Cardiff. It turned out not to be a good Idea. If that offer had not been there they would have done all Rollers. Thats why the top of 777-200 orders were for the rollers.


The top was Rollers because of many issues with the GEs on the early frames BA got and so they swapped. It was much to be expected on a new aircraft and on the early builds BA got but the reliability wasn't there for BA at the time so they swapped and that turned out alright.
 
rbavfan
Posts: 3646
Joined: Fri Apr 17, 2015 5:53 am

Re: Why didn't BA order the B748?

Fri Sep 07, 2018 8:29 pm

workhorse wrote:
They did:



? reference as to what your proving please. Who what comment were you referencing?
 
rbavfan
Posts: 3646
Joined: Fri Apr 17, 2015 5:53 am

Re: Why didn't BA order the B748?

Fri Sep 07, 2018 8:31 pm

B777LRF wrote:
BA ran a competition between the two, with the loser certain they'd never see an order from the airline. The A380 won, based on whichever criteria BA had established. Nobody here is privy to what those criteria were, nor how either manufacturer responded to them. All we know is that BA found the A380 the better proposal, which is why the didn't - and won't ever - order the 747-8I.


As the 748i is no longer available I would assume that helps the decision not to purchase.
 
gunnerman
Posts: 1166
Joined: Fri May 19, 2017 7:55 pm

Re: Why didn't BA order the B748?

Fri Sep 07, 2018 9:00 pm

BA777FO wrote:
TR wrote:
Ordering the A388 over the 748i at that time had at least to main reasons. One was the idea of being able to substitute two daily schedules into one on certain destinations while keeping seat availability, hense the high number of J and W, in order to free up aircraft to expand to new destinations.

The second reason was something as simple as marketing - AF, LH, SQ, QF ordering challenged the “imperial mindset” of BA. They simply needed to have the A388.

Since then markets and competitive landscape has changed and would the decision be the same today, noone knows. You make decisions based on current circumstanses. Sometimes you hit bulls eye, sometimes you don’t. However I am sure BA is happy with A388 at the moment but changes happens all the time.

Cheers


It's interesting that the A380 hasn't really resulted in a reduction in frequencies on any of the routes it operates on. SIN, HKG, ORD, SFO, MIA, JNB have been regularly 2xdaily for years. JNB and LAX has seen or is seeing small frequency upgrades. To YVR it's just seasonal increases in capacity, same with Boston. And at IAD it didn't really work, A380 is being removed with the 787 adding frequencies. It shows how frequency dependent BA is. The A380 only works in very few markets for BA; it is really just consigned to the handful of routes that require capacity and not frequency: SIN, HKG and JNB. The rest is frankly just filler for the other airframes.

BA operated 3xdaily to both HKG and LAX, HKG was 744s all within a short timeframe. Now both are 2xdaily with a 388 plus a 773 (HKG) and a 744 (LAX).
 
User avatar
XAM2175
Posts: 1156
Joined: Thu Oct 30, 2014 2:25 pm

Re: Why didn't BA order the B748?

Fri Sep 07, 2018 9:04 pm

rbavfan wrote:
workhorse wrote:
They did:

? reference as to what your proving please. Who what comment were you referencing?


The aircraft shown is a 747-8F, suggesting that BA did in fact order the 748.

Alas it's not actually the case - BA World Cargo wet-leased them from Global Supply Solutions (hence the G-GSSx registrations) and never directly ordered, owned, or even operated them.
 
BA777FO
Posts: 581
Joined: Sun Apr 22, 2018 2:58 pm

Re: Why didn't BA order the B748?

Fri Sep 07, 2018 9:12 pm

gunnerman wrote:
BA777FO wrote:
TR wrote:
Ordering the A388 over the 748i at that time had at least to main reasons. One was the idea of being able to substitute two daily schedules into one on certain destinations while keeping seat availability, hense the high number of J and W, in order to free up aircraft to expand to new destinations.

The second reason was something as simple as marketing - AF, LH, SQ, QF ordering challenged the “imperial mindset” of BA. They simply needed to have the A388.

Since then markets and competitive landscape has changed and would the decision be the same today, noone knows. You make decisions based on current circumstanses. Sometimes you hit bulls eye, sometimes you don’t. However I am sure BA is happy with A388 at the moment but changes happens all the time.

Cheers


It's interesting that the A380 hasn't really resulted in a reduction in frequencies on any of the routes it operates on. SIN, HKG, ORD, SFO, MIA, JNB have been regularly 2xdaily for years. JNB and LAX has seen or is seeing small frequency upgrades. To YVR it's just seasonal increases in capacity, same with Boston. And at IAD it didn't really work, A380 is being removed with the 787 adding frequencies. It shows how frequency dependent BA is. The A380 only works in very few markets for BA; it is really just consigned to the handful of routes that require capacity and not frequency: SIN, HKG and JNB. The rest is frankly just filler for the other airframes.

BA operated 3xdaily to both HKG and LAX, HKG was 744s all within a short timeframe. Now both are 2xdaily with a 388 plus a 773 (HKG) and a 744 (LAX).


HKG hasn't been 3x daily for years, as I said, possibly since 2008? LAX has been on and off 3x daily in the past but even now it's 3x daily the A380 hasn't resulted in a reduction of frequencies.
 
User avatar
aemoreira1981
Topic Author
Posts: 3690
Joined: Mon Jan 09, 2017 12:17 am

Re: Why didn't BA order the B748?

Fri Sep 07, 2018 9:32 pm

airbazar wrote:
The A380 will beat out the 748 on just about every metric so the real question is why did LH, KE, and CA ordered the 748?


The best business case is likely for LH and CA. LH's configuration is F8J80W32Y244, while CA is F12J54W66Y233. (By comparison, CA's 3-class 777-300ERs are F8J42Y261.)

For CA, they have three 747-8 destinations only from PEK: FRA, JFK, and SFO. All have a high premium seat requirement, and one can also note that CA has a huge W cabin (and J in front of F) while LH has a huge J cabin. CA's business case is clear: Beijing to major banking centers. If the count was 9, I suspect that EWR would have been a destination too. Even without politics to consider, I suspect the 748 would have been the choice (these are also the only 4-class planes in CA's fleet).

I can't figure out why KE ordered the 747-8 unless they have airports requiring passenger counts of the A380 but don't have the infrastructure or gates to handle an A380 at the times of their slots. (There is a less than 40-seat difference between them.)

As for the BA-painted cargo planes, those were actually Atlas Air frames on the UK registry. After that JV was terminated, they reverted to their prior N registrations.
 
BoeingGuy
Posts: 6359
Joined: Fri Dec 10, 2010 6:01 pm

Re: Why didn't BA order the B748?

Fri Sep 07, 2018 10:13 pm

rbavfan wrote:
B777LRF wrote:
BA ran a competition between the two, with the loser certain they'd never see an order from the airline. The A380 won, based on whichever criteria BA had established. Nobody here is privy to what those criteria were, nor how either manufacturer responded to them. All we know is that BA found the A380 the better proposal, which is why the didn't - and won't ever - order the 747-8I.


As the 748i is no longer available I would assume that helps the decision not to purchase.


I’m not aware of this. Are you sure?
 
gadFly
Posts: 38
Joined: Mon Oct 02, 2017 5:56 am

Re: Why didn't BA order the B748?

Fri Sep 07, 2018 10:33 pm

Unless I missed a post (I tried to read all of them) everyone focuses on JFK and the equipment. BOS can handle the A380, and for a variety of reasons from business to cultural links, BA flights LHR-BOS and return often full. I was surprised to fly one A380 last year completely filled up. BA made more money than with 744. The 748 is in fact an old formula, no matter how modernized it may be.
 
gadFly
Posts: 38
Joined: Mon Oct 02, 2017 5:56 am

Re: Why didn't BA order the B748?

Fri Sep 07, 2018 10:38 pm

From post 60: "The only one that ordered it strictly on its merits was LH, and that order was based on assumptions of better performance than was ultimately realized. "

Fair enough, but partly, not fully: The also got a great deal after they let Boeing have it for cancelling the MD-11 (their backbone for the cargo fleet) following the merger with MCD. Boeing reportedly gave them a very good discount which meant that with a rigorous study of the routes, LH would actually make money flying both the A380 and the 748. Of ourse, just then, the ME3 started making trouble....
 
ZK-NBT
Posts: 7612
Joined: Mon Oct 16, 2000 5:42 pm

Re: Why didn't BA order the B748?

Sat Sep 08, 2018 2:33 am

I was under the impression it was a close fought battle for BA between the 748I and A380, with the A380 narrowly winning out partly based on price, I’m guessing BA are Kind if glad they went A380 given it’s a more popular type than the 748I and they can fill it in their busiest routes, they use it and a 77W to the like of HKG/SIN with the 77W uplifting a lot of freight the A380 can’t take.

As for others there was always talk of CX choosing one or the other748 or A380, they went with neither and got the 779, CI was another but they barely need the 77W bar LAX. Surprised TG didn’t order 6 given they order a few of most things. TK were rumoured but not to surprised they didn’t order.

LH do make sense with their big premium cabins and the 748 holds more freight than an A380, the A380 works with a nice large Y Cabin as well for the densest routes.

CA I thought would have been better with the A380? They have quite a premium 748. Maybe they didn’t need the additional Y seats?

KE have a very premium A380 while the 748 has effectively half the number of premium seats but a few more Y seats than the A380. They seem to operate quite a few types but do have F on all long haul types while it would seem I’d have thought they would only need F on a few routes to LHR/FRA/CDG/JFK/LAX maybe 1-2 others that could be covered by the A380 fleet and 10-12 77W’s? With some 2 class 77W’s on routes like YVR/YYZ/AKL/SYD some of these would be seasonal with 789/772 in the respective winters.
 
User avatar
seabosdca
Posts: 6607
Joined: Sat Sep 01, 2007 8:33 am

Re: Why didn't BA order the B748?

Sat Sep 08, 2018 3:43 am

BoeingGuy wrote:
rbavfan wrote:
As the 748i is no longer available I would assume that helps the decision not to purchase.


I’m not aware of this. Are you sure?


Probably over-interpretation. Boeing management said at one point that sales of passenger 747-8s were probably finished. But the model is still on the price list and will probably stay there for a while longer.
 
questions
Posts: 2337
Joined: Thu Sep 15, 2011 4:51 am

Re: Why didn't BA order the B748?

Sat Sep 08, 2018 5:39 am

LH and BA have a really high number J seats on their aircraft. Why is it that DL has a relative low number? Regardless of aircraft size, is DL just unable to sell as many J seats? If so, why?
 
User avatar
FlyCaledonian
Posts: 1990
Joined: Mon Dec 29, 2003 6:18 am

Re: Why didn't BA order the B748?

Sat Sep 08, 2018 8:24 pm

The BA and GE engines on the 777 is a well-known story if people do the research.

The original order for the GE90 engines on BA's 777s was linked to the sale of their engine overhaul facility in Wales to GE. A good deal was supposedly cut and BA were less concerned about moving away from RR knowing GE would be supporting and doing the overhauls. However, there were a number of issues withe reliability when they were introduced. So much so that it is one of the reasons BA has supposedly adopted a policy of not being launch customer for an all new type like they were on the 777 - seen since with taking the 787 and A380 (and soon the A350) after all the bugs have been worked through. As an aside, when GE took on the overhauls of BA's engines reliability of the RR engines they were also overhauling supposedly took a drop.

Switching from GE to RR engines on the 777s was in part a way of getting away from the GE90s but it also avoided BA losing deposits with RR on RB211 engines ordered for 747-436 aircraft, which in the late 1990s BA started cancelling orders for and switching to 777s. It is also on record in the 2000s that BA was one of several airlines that were very vocal in RR engines not being available on the 77W (CX and AA were two others). BA eventually got the 77Ws as part of the 787 compensation from Boeing, and has since placed top up orders on the back of operating them and finding they fill a good niche (for example the LHR-SIN-SYD has probably been saved because of the operating economics of the 77W).

The fact is that BA has a preference for Rollers where it has a choice. Some frame/engine combinations don't allow for it, but sometimes the frame fills a niche that an airline just has to accept it, or else the economics of it mean it would be a case of cutting off your nose to spite your face to not order it. CX went with the A346, but got overweight early frames from Airbus and once it got it hands on the 77W the economics of it meant it suited CX to the ground as a 747 replacement. AA similarly waited a long time before ordering but it was a good frame for them to add to add capacity and range and good CASM.

In terms of a VLA order BA had the 747-8i with GEnx engines or A380 where it could order RR of Engine Alliance powerplants. My understanding is that Boeing offered BA a very good price on the 747-8i because they were so keen to sell the frames but at the last minute Airbus made their offer more competitive, which tipped it. Willie Walsh has been very vocal that BA wants more A380s but not at the price Airbus wants to sell them at. That either suggests the 7 options BA took out have lapsed, or they are at a higher price than the twelve ordered frames.
Let's Go British Caledonian!
 
User avatar
Stitch
Posts: 27367
Joined: Wed Jul 06, 2005 4:26 am

Re: Why didn't BA order the B748?

Sat Sep 08, 2018 8:53 pm

airbazar wrote:
The A380 will beat out the 748 on just about every metric so the real question is why did LH, KE, and CA ordered the 748?


LH wanted a larger 747 to allow growth on routes that the 747-400 could not adequately cover, but the A380 was too large. They pushed Boeing to put the 747-X into production in 2001 even though nobody else showed much interest in it (which is why Boeing cancelled it).


george77300 wrote:
Also I guess KE have a relatively large fleet of 748F as well so commonality was probably high.


If you listen to some, KE ordered the 747-8 (in both models) because one of their subsidiaries makes some parts for it. So essentially for every $100 they spent, they got $1 back. :silly:


george77300 wrote:
I wonder whether KE would have been better without the A380 and just the 748 but I guess the prestige of the flagship A380 was there and they didn’t want to miss it.


KE went very premium on their A380s - more than any other carrier - and therefore they were very low-density (~400 seats). Great for routes where the bulk of demand was First and Business Class, but horrible for routes that appealed to tourists. The 747-8 was configured with a much larger Economy Class and much smaller First and Business Class cabins so the A380s went on the "prestige" routes and the 747-8 went on the "tourist" routes, allowing KE to tailor the seating capacity to the fare demand.


seabosdca wrote:
Supposedly BA was very close to a deal for the 748 but Airbus pulled out all the stops and made their A380 offer more attractive.


From what I have heard, it was RR and the suppliers who swung the deal to the A380. That being said, please see immediately below.


JannEejit wrote:
A BA training manager I was working with at Heathrow back in July 2013, the week the A380 arrived told me they evaluated the 747-8 but it failed to come up to expectations.


Per a poster who worked in the department, BA Engineering strongly favored the A380 over the 747-8.


Matt6461 wrote:
A more interesting question is why did anybody buy this plane at all?


LH wanted it. KE either wanted it or were willing to make a 1% return on their investment. And CA was evidently politics per chrisp390.


chrisp390 wrote:
CA ordered the 748 for political reasons, they were very close to ordering the A380 until politics got involved.


With China, everything is politics. So if they had ordered the A380 instead, it would have been politics, as well. Airframe purchases are one of the largest ways China (tries to) address their (Im)Balance of Trade with the US and the EU, which is why they generally split orders between them unless they are annoyed with one of them, in which case they place an order for the other as "punishment". Of course, six months to a year later they will order from the "aggrieved" country anyway, so it's not very effective as a long term influencer on conduct.


pdt2f wrote:
I don’t think Boeing would even want to make any more 748i’s, unless someone ordered like 25 of them. All they really make is the 748f anymore, most of their contractors who make the parts for the i probably don’t need/want to make parts that haven’t been made in years for just a few frames.


Pretty much. The cost to produce anything less than a score of frames to the same build configuration would not be worth Boeing's or the supplier's effort and no customer would pay the price necessary to make it worth the effort. I don't believe we'll see any more 747-8 VIPs, either, for much the same reason.
 
Carmitage
Posts: 43
Joined: Tue Jan 17, 2017 1:24 pm

Re: Why didn't BA order the B748?

Tue Oct 09, 2018 5:16 pm

They were going to order the 747-8i, but the final offer they got on the GEnx engines was so appalling they switched to the A380 instead. It wasn't commonality or adoration of RR engines. The offer was, apparently, so bad that they believed GE was trying kill the entire programme (remember, the original plan was to use that variant of the GEnx on the A350 v1, where GE was exclusive for the first 100 aircraft (IIRC) and so GE would get to supply 2 aircraft types (or more likely 1 1/2, as the 747-8 was never going to be a big seller) with 1 engine type. When the A350 evolved into the XWB, the GEnx couldn't power it and so RR got exclusivity by default. Therefore, the thought went, maybe GE was trying to kill the 747-8 programme so it wouldn't have to develop the second GEnx engine for only 1/2 a programme.
 
Carmitage
Posts: 43
Joined: Tue Jan 17, 2017 1:24 pm

Re: Why didn't BA order the B748?

Tue Oct 09, 2018 5:16 pm

They were going to order the 747-8i, but the final offer they got on the GEnx engines was so appalling they switched to the A380 instead. It wasn't commonality or adoration of RR engines. The offer was, apparently, so bad that they believed GE was trying kill the entire programme (remember, the original plan was to use that variant of the GEnx on the A350 v1, where GE was exclusive for the first 100 aircraft (IIRC) and so GE would get to supply 2 aircraft types (or more likely 1 1/2, as the 747-8 was never going to be a big seller) with 1 engine type. When the A350 evolved into the XWB, the GEnx couldn't power it and so RR got exclusivity by default. Therefore, the thought went, maybe GE was trying to kill the 747-8 programme so it wouldn't have to develop the second GEnx engine for only 1/2 a programme.
 
evanb
Posts: 925
Joined: Thu Jan 07, 2016 3:26 pm

Re: Why didn't BA order the B748?

Tue Oct 09, 2018 6:15 pm

The A380 was acquired for routes where capacity was necessary but frequency wasn't. Just look at the routes they fly it on:

LHR-JNB: two daily A380 during the winter, one daily A380 plus one daily B744 during the summer, departures two hours apart both directions
LHR-SFO: one daily A380 plus one daily B744 during, departures two hours apart both directions, departures three hours apart both directions
LHR-HKG: one daily A380, one daily B77W, departures three hours apart outbound, 30 minutes apart on return
LHR-SIN: one daily A380, one daily B77W which continues to SYD, departures 90 minutes apart outbound, 40 minutes apart on return

The exceptions to this are:

LHR-LAX: two daily A380, plus one daily B789, departures six hours apart both directions (so this is the only one where frequency might be more important)
LHR-ORD: one daily A380, one daily B744
LHR-BOS: 3x weekly A380, 4x weekly B744, 18x weekly B772, 3x weekly B77W (I suspect this A380 use is more for fleet utilization balancing)
 
evanb
Posts: 925
Joined: Thu Jan 07, 2016 3:26 pm

Re: Why didn't BA order the B748?

Tue Oct 09, 2018 6:18 pm

Additionally, LH acquired 33 VLAs while BA acquired 12. LH had the luxury to pick both and give them flexibility. BA didn't, they had to pick only one and they picked the bigger one.
 
Bald1983
Posts: 623
Joined: Wed Jun 15, 2016 8:04 pm

Re: Why didn't BA order the B748?

Tue Oct 09, 2018 6:29 pm

I am not sure. However, it was a mistake to order the A-380 and it would be a mistake to order the 747-8. Twins are a better fit. (Imagine, offending both Airbus and Boeing supporters in one posting.) To be clear, the day of the VLA quads are done.
 
speedbird52
Posts: 1034
Joined: Sat Nov 26, 2016 5:30 am

Re: Why didn't BA order the B748?

Thu Jan 24, 2019 3:22 am

Bald1983 wrote:
I am not sure. However, it was a mistake to order the A-380 and it would be a mistake to order the 747-8. Twins are a better fit. (Imagine, offending both Airbus and Boeing supporters in one posting.) To be clear, the day of the VLA quads are done.

I have a hard time believing it was a mistake when they regularly fly full and BA have seriously considered buying more.
 
RichardWelling
Posts: 160
Joined: Mon Jun 26, 2017 2:45 am

Re: Why didn't BA order the B748?

Thu Jan 24, 2019 5:42 am

workhorse wrote:
They did:



Technically they didnt as it was a wetlease from Global Supply Systems.
 
LH658
Posts: 1250
Joined: Thu Oct 13, 2016 7:35 am

Re: Why didn't BA order the B748?

Thu Jan 24, 2019 8:01 am

Surprised AF, LH, and BA didn't do anything special with the A380 like EK, EY, QF, KE, and QR did.
 
parapente
Posts: 3061
Joined: Tue Mar 28, 2006 10:42 pm

Re: Why didn't BA order the B748?

Thu Jan 24, 2019 8:26 am

Phew strong stuff Matt.
Well at the time ( and this is true) Boeing were 'offering' the 748 in two sizes with different pax/range ( but only one would be put into production) They had got zero orders at that time.They literally said ( and it was in the press) the first airline to order could choose which length the aircaft was to be! Now that is desperate!
Of course it was LH who bit.They already had a fleet of 747's .We will of course never know what that deal price was.It had to build in an assumed zero resale.But God couldn't Airbus have done with those sales with hindsight! Anyway they didn't,I'm sure they couldn't get anywhere near the price.
Oh and they sold a few to 'South' Korea and 'The people's republic ' of China.
But Boeing always had a get out of jail card.the cargo version.
 
aviationaware
Posts: 2858
Joined: Mon May 19, 2014 12:02 pm

Re: Why didn't BA order the B748?

Thu Jan 24, 2019 8:28 am

workhorse wrote:

I, for one, would rather prefer it to be an A340 or an A350 (until the C929 is ready) because I don't think using an aircraft produced by an openly hostile nation as Head of State vehicle is a good idea, but that's none of my business. CA/PRC government have chosen the 747-8 so 747-8 it is.


Stopping to overly courtesy someone is being hostile by you?

olle wrote:

ROI has higher GDP per capita compared to UK. I suppose that NI would be better of to make an union with ROI.


LH fleet choices are a black box though that nobody else understands. And I am not entirely convinced that black box is making the most economically sound decisions. LH fleet procurement has far too much pilot involvement for my taste, you don't let the turkey decide how it's going to be prepared for Thanksgiving dinner.
 
seb76
Posts: 80
Joined: Tue May 20, 2008 5:02 pm

Re: Why didn't BA order the B748?

Thu Jan 24, 2019 9:11 am

XAM2175 wrote:
dampfnudel wrote:
So when BA starts retiring their 744 fleet in the next decade, the replacement for their JFK flights will probably be the 779? It must be frustrating for BA to see AF, LH, SQ and other airlines use the 380 at JFK while they can’t.


And once again... BA's money-maker on LON-NYC is premium seats, whereas up-gauging to the A380 would result primarily in a vast increase in economy capacity. Compare the numbers:

A388        F14 J97 W55 Y303
B744 (++J)  F14 J86 W30 Y145
B77W (4 Cl) F14 J56 W44 Y185
B789        F08 J42 W39 Y127


If you figure on the 779 being configured similarly to the current 77W, but quite possibly with a smaller F cabin, then it or any other comparable airframe ticks the boxes quite nicely.


Every time I read this story of "the A380 has too much Y seats". Those figures are only a snapshot of how those models are used right now by a certain company. The A380 has more floor space, period ! if that space will be used to install F, J or Y seats, or for an appartment, is the airline's choice. As long as it doesn't cause any weight & balance issues, they will install what works best for them, based on their yields projections for the route they will use the plane for.
 
SeoulIncheon
Posts: 101
Joined: Mon Jul 16, 2018 4:52 am

Re: Why didn't BA order the B748?

Thu Jan 24, 2019 11:25 am

speedbird52 wrote:
Bald1983 wrote:
I am not sure. However, it was a mistake to order the A-380 and it would be a mistake to order the 747-8. Twins are a better fit. (Imagine, offending both Airbus and Boeing supporters in one posting.) To be clear, the day of the VLA quads are done.

I have a hard time believing it was a mistake when they regularly fly full and BA have seriously considered buying more.

Also worth mentioning that LHR is one of the most slot-restricted airports in the world and BA wants to expand long-haul flying.
 
SeoulIncheon
Posts: 101
Joined: Mon Jul 16, 2018 4:52 am

Re: Why didn't BA order the B748?

Thu Jan 24, 2019 11:32 am

I think the three 748 operaters had some special reasons...and 748 was not that attractive to others.
1. LH - got a good deal, and they didn't own 777. Then their 346 is a gas guzzler so probably thought that 748(with commonality with 744 and 74F) would be better than more 346 or operating a new type in 77W.
2. KE - a subsidiary manufactures wing-tip of 748 and wanted to expand business with Boeing. They were also late to 77W party and expanding quite rapidly when they ordered 748. They also have large fleet of 77W. KE also had some hard time filling A380s (especially 90+ J seats) so went low-J for 748 and flies to leasure destinations - HNL PRG FCO...most of which cannot handel A380.
3. CA - politocal reasons. IIRC they had negoatiated a trade dispute with US when they ordered a large number of 748.

BA apparently didn't have much special reasons to fly 748 instead of A380...
 
RalXWB
Posts: 526
Joined: Sun Oct 25, 2015 9:36 am

Re: Why didn't BA order the B748?

Thu Jan 24, 2019 12:01 pm

Ah, there is the myth of the 346 being a gas guzzler again...
 
senatorflyer
Posts: 325
Joined: Tue Jul 24, 2012 10:57 am

Re: Why didn't BA order the B748?

Thu Jan 24, 2019 12:32 pm

workhorse wrote:
They did:



No they didn’t. It was Atlas Air which were running the BA cargo ops on BA’s behalf.
 
Galwayman
Posts: 933
Joined: Fri Mar 10, 2017 10:20 am

Re: Why didn't BA order the B748?

Thu Jan 24, 2019 1:00 pm

BA only has mediocre competition to jfk , tired old airlines with tired old fleets ... American , Virgin etc ... they can get away with tacky old aircraft on Lon > JFK ... there’s no EK , QR or SQ to compete with
 
Bhoy
Posts: 566
Joined: Tue Apr 18, 2006 1:50 pm

Re: Why didn't BA order the B748?

Thu Jan 24, 2019 1:20 pm

questions wrote:
LH and BA have a really high number J seats on their aircraft. Why is it that DL has a relative low number? Regardless of aircraft size, is DL just unable to sell as many J seats? If so, why?

Could this be that European Airlines actively sell J seats for big fares, whereas North American Carriers generally fill J seats with FFP upgrades, as that is what their frequent fliers have grown to expect? So increasing J capacity would encourage people to buy cheaper Y fares and bet on the complimentary upgrade as Y is oversold?
 
User avatar
seabosdca
Posts: 6607
Joined: Sat Sep 01, 2007 8:33 am

Re: Why didn't BA order the B748?

Thu Jan 24, 2019 5:46 pm

Galwayman wrote:
BA only has mediocre competition to jfk , tired old airlines with tired old fleets ... American , Virgin etc ... they can get away with tacky old aircraft on Lon > JFK ... there’s no EK , QR or SQ to compete with


American is mostly flying brand-new 787s or freshly refurbished 772s, and Virgin quite new 333s, but don't let facts get in the way of your rant.
 
User avatar
Stitch
Posts: 27367
Joined: Wed Jul 06, 2005 4:26 am

Re: Why didn't BA order the B748?

Thu Jan 24, 2019 7:28 pm

LHR-JFK is a frequency-driven route so that surely drives fleet sizing decisions. Another major factor is that BA uses Terminal 7 at JFK and that terminal cannot handle A380s.
 
jagraham
Posts: 1153
Joined: Sun Jul 17, 2016 11:10 pm

Re: Why didn't BA order the B748?

Thu Jan 24, 2019 7:38 pm

Matt6461 wrote:
seabosdca wrote:
The 748 uses its floor area more efficiently than the A380, which is constrained on the lower deck by an awkward fuselage width and on the upper deck by the curving sidewalls. (The 748 isn't perfect, though - that nose section is awkward too.) In real world configurations you can expect 25%-30% more seats in an A380 than a 748 at similar density.


Any competent comparison of A380 to other planes - and Bjorn is competent - incorporates the slanting UD side walls, which restrict cabin width to 208in effective instead of ~230in at the floor.
Were the A380 effectively only 25% bigger than 748i, we'd have seen a much more favorable sales ratio.
A significantly worse A380 wouldn't have meant more 748i sales, IMO, except maybe to EK. Instead it would have meant more 77W sales.
In any event, Airbus did about everything possible to make the A380 a bad product, so there's not even much hypothetical interest in examining this scenario.


Because the major user of VLAs is EK, however EK went would determine the sales contest.
Admittedly both A and B expected more VLA sales by this time, but the airlines seem to make more medium twins work. Despite the bilaterals and some constrained airports.
 
User avatar
FlyRow
Posts: 862
Joined: Mon Mar 21, 2016 10:05 pm

Re: Why didn't BA order the B748?

Thu Jan 24, 2019 7:43 pm

They didn't because unlike what people think in this forum airlines tend to think about this long and hard. Calculate the shit about options and take in more then "they have a so they could easilly use b".
They have the numbers to calculate it, they bargain with builders in orders and know about maintanance cost and now there fleet/passenger needs.

So if they didn't, they probably had some very good reason for it.
F70-F100-RJ85-RJ70-E190-319-320-321-733-734-735-737-738-752-753-763-764-772-744-380
 
Delta777Jet
Posts: 1465
Joined: Tue Jun 13, 2000 6:19 am

Re: Why didn't BA order the B748?

Thu Jan 24, 2019 11:08 pm

Ok , I think we got the message ! BA didn’t order the 748 and went for the 380 !

Neverless BA is going downhill anyway and the 380 is an ugly airplane !

Long live the Queen of the skies - B-747-8i
I still miss Trans World Airlines and the L-1011

Popular Searches On Airliners.net

Top Photos of Last:   24 Hours  •  48 Hours  •  7 Days  •  30 Days  •  180 Days  •  365 Days  •  All Time

Military Aircraft Every type from fighters to helicopters from air forces around the globe

Classic Airliners Props and jets from the good old days

Flight Decks Views from inside the cockpit

Aircraft Cabins Passenger cabin shots showing seat arrangements as well as cargo aircraft interior

Cargo Aircraft Pictures of great freighter aircraft

Government Aircraft Aircraft flying government officials

Helicopters Our large helicopter section. Both military and civil versions

Blimps / Airships Everything from the Goodyear blimp to the Zeppelin

Night Photos Beautiful shots taken while the sun is below the horizon

Accidents Accident, incident and crash related photos

Air to Air Photos taken by airborne photographers of airborne aircraft

Special Paint Schemes Aircraft painted in beautiful and original liveries

Airport Overviews Airport overviews from the air or ground

Tails and Winglets Tail and Winglet closeups with beautiful airline logos