If the rumor is correct, last A380 frames will be produced ca 2021-2022. Last 747-8i was delivered in 2017. Given that last A380 frames will be around 5 years newer than last 747-8i frames, A380 could actually outlive 747-8i in revenue service?
It just depends on how long Lufthansa and Korean Air wish to operate their respective A380-800 and 747-8I fleets and how long Air China operates their non-VIP frames.
For passenger frames, I cannot predict which will opperate longer:
1. Large MRO network built up by prior versions.
2. Commonality with historically long life 748F freighters.
3. Engine commonality with 787 has brought over PIPs and should have one more IMHO, partially to help 748F sales.
4. Prior passenger 747s have proven to have surprisingly long economic lives.
1. Potential for P2F conversion.
2. Other than freighters, no secondary market.
3. Highest value engine parts could be spares for 787. Recall over half the scrap value is the engines.
1. 5 years newer
2. Better economics than 748I at high payload.
3. Flight deck commonality helps small sub-fleet economics.
1. Engines are rare birds. No future PIPs. Parts will be expensive unless exactly from prior engines.
2. MRO network is still learning the frame and there just isn't enough potential work to create a low bid.
3. Secondary market has one example.
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