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enzo011
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Re: A380 was success for Airbus, says new CEO

Thu May 23, 2019 8:15 pm

flyingclrs727 wrote:
Two 787-9 aircraft can fly the same route as am A380 with more passengers and more freight at lower operating cost and more frequency.



How do you figure this? For EY this is not always possible, their A380 has 9F, 70J and 415Y seats. Their three class 789's has 8F, 28J and 195Y seats so you gain 7F seats but you lose 12J and 25Y seats if you send two 789s. So on capacity this isn't always true. You could send a three class and then a two class 789 instead and you would then have one less F seat, 12 less J seats and gain 51 Y seats.
 
Vladex
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Re: A380 was success for Airbus, says new CEO

Thu May 23, 2019 8:22 pm

9Patch wrote:
Vladex wrote:
You are talking about made up financials , not any flaws. The flaws would be passengers and crews revolting and planes crashing from time to time.

So the fact that the A380 will end production after selling only 251 is made up?

Are you saying the financial implications of that are made up?


Why do you care about Airbus financials at all? If it's so bad , at least they quit on time . If it was really bad, you would be praising them for ending it. So it's really hard to believe that it was so bad if you seem so angry that they even started it. On the other hand , Boeing has a big turd of 737 MAX piling up on their parking lots and you and others are fine with it or are you just projecting your poison onto others?
 
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kitplane01
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Re: A380 was success for Airbus, says new CEO

Thu May 23, 2019 8:37 pm

mxaxai wrote:
kitplane01 wrote:
Yes, they managed it. One can also manage divorce, broken bones, and tornadoes. And I don't know if you think Airbus loss $15B or $25B, but emotional support and wiring issues ...

Think what Airbus could have done instead. Answer this question directly: Which would be better, the A380 program they had or the proposal below

flyingclrs727 wrote:
Airbus should have done the A350 instead of the A380 vanity priogram. Without an A380 to protect, the A350 could have been a 10-abreast composite wide body able to kill off the 747, prevent the 777X, and replace the A340 at the top end of Airbus' product line. ... By this time Airbus was so heavily invested in the A380 that they tried to compete against the 787 with a reengined A330. Without the burden of defending the A380's niche, Airbus could have developed a better positioned products to compete against the 777 and 787.

Airbus was driven by numbers and national pride before the A380. If a numbers-run Airbus program had encountered problems like the A380 or 787 eventually did, it probably would've been caused the "divorce" of the partners once they saw that it would never be able to return a profit. The emotional investment of all parties has kept the program alive for 15 years.
Also, Airbus has long been at the avantgarde of new concepts - first twin engine widebody, first FBW, first medium-sized long haul. At the same time, airlines and Airbus were still cautious of very large twins. A carbon copy of the 777 probably didn't fit the spirit of Airbus' leadership at the time, nor would it have gained political support or airlines' interest. Look how little interest there was in the 77W before its first deliveries.
Finally, I think that the proposal above would likely encounter similar engineering issues to the A380. And then you'd have a duck right in the center of your product line. It would still be half a generation behind the 787. Current A380 operators would have bought the 747-8 for trunk routes instead. I think that the A380's size was overly optimistic but a 10-abreast jet would have been a comparable failure, if not more.


I was hoping you'd answer the question directly. To be clear, you think losing all that many billion $$$ into the A380 was a more wise move than the better/earlier A350 proposal above?
 
Vladex
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Re: A380 was success for Airbus, says new CEO

Thu May 23, 2019 8:39 pm

enzo011 wrote:
flyingclrs727 wrote:
Two 787-9 aircraft can fly the same route as am A380 with more passengers and more freight at lower operating cost and more frequency.



And A380 has higher yields and fills more seats if there is a choice.
 
Vladex
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Re: A380 was success for Airbus, says new CEO

Thu May 23, 2019 8:44 pm

kitplane01 wrote:
mxaxai wrote:
kitplane01 wrote:
Yes, they managed it. One can also manage divorce, broken bones, and tornadoes. And I don't know if you think Airbus loss $15B or $25B, but emotional support and wiring issues ...

Think what Airbus could have done instead. Answer this question directly: Which would be better, the A380 program they had or the proposal below


Airbus was driven by numbers and national pride before the A380. If a numbers-run Airbus program had encountered problems like the A380 or 787 eventually did, it probably would've been caused the "divorce" of the partners once they saw that it would never be able to return a profit. The emotional investment of all parties has kept the program alive for 15 years.
Also, Airbus has long been at the avantgarde of new concepts - first twin engine widebody, first FBW, first medium-sized long haul. At the same time, airlines and Airbus were still cautious of very large twins. A carbon copy of the 777 probably didn't fit the spirit of Airbus' leadership at the time, nor would it have gained political support or airlines' interest. Look how little interest there was in the 77W before its first deliveries.
Finally, I think that the proposal above would likely encounter similar engineering issues to the A380. And then you'd have a duck right in the center of your product line. It would still be half a generation behind the 787. Current A380 operators would have bought the 747-8 for trunk routes instead. I think that the A380's size was overly optimistic but a 10-abreast jet would have been a comparable failure, if not more.


I was hoping you'd answer the question directly. To be clear, you think losing all that many billion $$$ into the A380 was a more wise move than the better/earlier A350 proposal above?


I'll ask what I ask someone else. If they lost that money which I don't know and don't believe, why aren't you praising them for ending it? Why are you so bitter that they started this other than being just bitter and angry.
 
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IslandRob
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Re: A380 was success for Airbus, says new CEO

Thu May 23, 2019 8:52 pm

Sigh. I'd say the new CEO is a 'glass one-tenth full' kind of guy. -ir
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planecane
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Re: A380 was success for Airbus, says new CEO

Thu May 23, 2019 8:56 pm

9Patch wrote:
planecane wrote:
Especially since, thanks to the -8F, the warmed over 747-8 series will end up with over 150 in service (maybe 200) so the market for total VLA turned out less than half of their prediction for just the A380.

Yes, but the 747 program as a whole has 1,572 orders, with possibly more to come.

I'm sure if the A380-900 had ever been built and the A380F, you would include those in determining whether the program was a success or not.

I was just talking about total sales of VLA vs Airbus' projected market size just for the A380 to show how far off they were.
 
Antarius
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Re: A380 was success for Airbus, says new CEO

Thu May 23, 2019 9:02 pm

Vladex wrote:
enzo011 wrote:
flyingclrs727 wrote:
Two 787-9 aircraft can fly the same route as am A380 with more passengers and more freight at lower operating cost and more frequency.



And A380 has higher yields and fills more seats if there is a choice.


Except it can't fill those seats.

If I could lay golden eggs, I'd be rich. Except I can't either. So discussing it is pointless.
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Bricktop
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Re: A380 was success for Airbus, says new CEO

Thu May 23, 2019 9:14 pm

Vladex wrote:
9Patch wrote:
Vladex wrote:
You are talking about made up financials , not any flaws. The flaws would be passengers and crews revolting and planes crashing from time to time.

So the fact that the A380 will end production after selling only 251 is made up?

Are you saying the financial implications of that are made up?


Why do you care about Airbus financials at all? If it's so bad , at least they quit on time . If it was really bad, you would be praising them for ending it. So it's really hard to believe that it was so bad if you seem so angry that they even started it. On the other hand , Boeing has a big turd of 737 MAX piling up on their parking lots and you and others are fine with it or are you just projecting your poison onto others?

Sounds like someone told mama Vladex her baby is ugly. Talk about lashing out. :duck:
 
mxaxai
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Re: A380 was success for Airbus, says new CEO

Thu May 23, 2019 10:05 pm

kitplane01 wrote:
I was hoping you'd answer the question directly. To be clear, you think losing all that many billion $$$ into the A380 was a more wise move than the better/earlier A350 proposal above?

Yes. An A350 Mk. 0 in place of the A380 would have been even more outmatched by the 787-9 & 77W than the A380 was. The A350 Mk. 1 didn't turn out the way it did because Airbus lacked resources, but because their technology didn't permit something like today's A350 at the time. And Airbus would not have had the guts to replace a failed program this soon with a new one for a similar market. The A380 can be dropped without a huge impact on Airbus' portfolio.

The A380 pioneered lots of CFRP manufacturing technologies, yet only uses them for ~20 % of its mass. GLARE, which is used extensively on the A380 and was proposed for the A350 Mk. 1, is expensive. There is no way Airbus could have brought a 10 abreast jet to the market between 2005 and 2009 that contained >50 % CFRP without prohibitively high manufacturing costs. (First flights of A380 and 787, respectively)

Counter question: Do you think Airbus would be better off today if they had skipped the A380 entirely, and delivered today's A350 perhaps a year or two earlier?
 
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Re: A380 was success for Airbus, says new CEO

Thu May 23, 2019 10:53 pm

9Patch wrote:
Guillaume Faury, who took over as CEO in April from retiring Tom Enders, said at the Airbus Innovation Days pre-Paris Air Show briefing yesterday, that the A380 led the path to the successful development and production of the successful A350 and the transformation of Airbus into it is today.


The A380 was an industrial if not a sales success because in 2006, problems in final assembly exposed the cultural and industrial mismatch between the French and German plants where the A380 is produced and assembled.

https://leehamnews.com/2019/05/22/a380- ... s-new-ceo/

Thant was an expensive transformation!

Did Airbus really need to do the A380 program first in order to identify this 'cultural mismatch' and make a successful A350?

The A380 taught Airbus that World airliners would NOT just buy whatever Airbus dreamed up. The A380 wasn't much more than a ME TOO Status symbol. And it will go down as a White Elephant. The B747 was built as a Freighter to compete for the USAF large freighter against the C-5A.. and Lost!! The A380 hasn't competed against ANYTHING and LOST!! Why? Because it wasn't Needed! The time for VLA's is pretty much OVER!! It was a day late and a couple of Dollars Overpriced! For what you'd spend Maintaining ONE of those "Behemoths"? You could Maintain 4 B777's or A350's .. because the GSE gear will fit either or Both airplanes including Hangars and hangar scaffolding, 90% of the repair procedures are interchangeable between the Boeing and Airbus including Hardware and supplies. So it'll make the A350 a winner as nearly every Boeing repair procedure used on a B787,or B777 can be used to repair an A350. And? Airbus has an will approve them as long as you present it to them without Boeing's Name being referenced. And That? I know for a FACT!! Airbus could have done more Engineering on the A380 to make it a Much Better Airplane than it was for commercial success had they bothered to ASK anybody. But? Alas?? they Didn't..
 
jimatkins
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Re: A380 was success for Airbus, says new CEO

Thu May 23, 2019 11:23 pm

If the A380 was a success, I'd really hate to see what a failure would do to Airbus's books. That's a lot to pay for technology transfer to another program.
 
Jet-lagged
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Re: A380 was success for Airbus, says new CEO

Fri May 24, 2019 12:59 am

For purposes of igniting raucous threads at A.net, the A380 is the gift that keeps on giving.
 
WBM
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Re: A380 was success for Airbus, says new CEO

Fri May 24, 2019 2:23 am

Vladex wrote:
9Patch wrote:
Vladex wrote:
You are talking about made up financials , not any flaws. The flaws would be passengers and crews revolting and planes crashing from time to time.

So the fact that the A380 will end production after selling only 251 is made up?

Are you saying the financial implications of that are made up?


Why do you care about Airbus financials at all? If it's so bad , at least they quit on time . If it was really bad, you would be praising them for ending it. So it's really hard to believe that it was so bad if you seem so angry that they even started it. On the other hand , Boeing has a big turd of 737 MAX piling up on their parking lots and you and others are fine with it or are you just projecting your poison onto others?


I don't think I follow the logic here. I can't speak for everyone else who believes that the A380 was, to put it politely, not a success. I think the decision to launch was a terrible one for Airbus. After that I cannot really fault them for any of their strategic decisions. After launching there is really no turning back. The wiring issues were very painful, but I think the company learned the lessons it could from the fiasco, and leveraged those lessons to improve the company.

After EIS, it made sense to do everything they could do within reason to try and turn the program around. They made a valiant effort to do so. In the end those efforts did not pan out. The decision to kill the program was the right one. Even though I wish the program would have succeeded, I will happily praise Airbus for looking at the realities and ending the program.
 
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enzo011
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Re: A380 was success for Airbus, says new CEO

Fri May 24, 2019 3:59 am

Like most things in life there is nuance required to read this statement. However, like most things in life it will be taken out of context and used for your own devices. So when he says that from industrial sense it was a success as it led to a successful A350 program then I fail to see how anyone can disagree with this statement. But it is easier to bring up the sales record to score a few points and I am fine with that.

As for those that ask about the RLI to Germany, I think Airbus would gladly probably pay that back against the terms of the agreement, if it allows them to stop paying back on the RLI on the A320 and A330. Those have surely been paid back by now and if one side of the contract can be broken, surely the other side can as well. Be careful what you wish for should be the watchword. There are only about 5000 or so A320 in the order book, I am sure Germany will be happy to stop receiving money from those orders in the future.
 
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kitplane01
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Re: A380 was success for Airbus, says new CEO

Fri May 24, 2019 5:50 am

Vladex wrote:
kitplane01 wrote:
mxaxai wrote:
Airbus was driven by numbers and national pride before the A380. If a numbers-run Airbus program had encountered problems like the A380 or 787 eventually did, it probably would've been caused the "divorce" of the partners once they saw that it would never be able to return a profit. The emotional investment of all parties has kept the program alive for 15 years.
Also, Airbus has long been at the avantgarde of new concepts - first twin engine widebody, first FBW, first medium-sized long haul. At the same time, airlines and Airbus were still cautious of very large twins. A carbon copy of the 777 probably didn't fit the spirit of Airbus' leadership at the time, nor would it have gained political support or airlines' interest. Look how little interest there was in the 77W before its first deliveries.
Finally, I think that the proposal above would likely encounter similar engineering issues to the A380. And then you'd have a duck right in the center of your product line. It would still be half a generation behind the 787. Current A380 operators would have bought the 747-8 for trunk routes instead. I think that the A380's size was overly optimistic but a 10-abreast jet would have been a comparable failure, if not more.


I was hoping you'd answer the question directly. To be clear, you think losing all that many billion $$$ into the A380 was a more wise move than the better/earlier A350 proposal above?


I'll ask what I ask someone else. If they lost that money which I don't know and don't believe, why aren't you praising them for ending it? Why are you so bitter that they started this other than being just bitter and angry.


Ending the program was good. But if you don’t believe airbus lost money on the A380, even though airbus says they did, we said just stop talking.
 
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kitplane01
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Re: A380 was success for Airbus, says new CEO

Fri May 24, 2019 5:56 am

WBM wrote:
Vladex wrote:
9Patch wrote:
So the fact that the A380 will end production after selling only 251 is made up?

Are you saying the financial implications of that are made up?


Why do you care about Airbus financials at all? If it's so bad , at least they quit on time . If it was really bad, you would be praising them for ending it. So it's really hard to believe that it was so bad if you seem so angry that they even started it. On the other hand , Boeing has a big turd of 737 MAX piling up on their parking lots and you and others are fine with it or are you just projecting your poison onto others?


I don't think I follow the logic here. I can't speak for everyone else who believes that the A380 was, to put it politely, not a success. I think the decision to launch was a terrible one for Airbus. After that I cannot really fault them for any of their strategic decisions. After launching there is really no turning back. The wiring issues were very painful, but I think the company learned the lessons it could from the fiasco, and leveraged those lessons to improve the company.

After EIS, it made sense to do everything they could do within reason to try and turn the program around. They made a valiant effort to do so. In the end those efforts did not pan out. The decision to kill the program was the right one. Even though I wish the program would have succeeded, I will happily praise Airbus for looking at the realities and ending the program.


I think everything you wrote is true.

The contrast between how Boeing and Airbus saw the VLA Market back then was huge. We now know airbus was wrong. It’s got to be one of the largest public mistakes the company is ever made. But I don’t know but at the time airbus was obviously wrong.
 
ikramerica
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Re: A380 was success for Airbus, says new CEO

Fri May 24, 2019 6:04 am

He’s just snowflaking an old adage.

“You learn more from your failures than your successes” is being bastardized into “It’s a success because of how much we learned.”
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c933103
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Re: A380 was success for Airbus, says new CEO

Fri May 24, 2019 7:58 am

I wonder what the numbers will be like if someone try to numericalize A380's PR effect on the Airbus brand, counting both the positive and negative effects
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VV
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Re: A380 was success for Airbus, says new CEO

Fri May 24, 2019 8:32 am

I was in Toulouse back then and I can say without any hesitation that the economic impact in the region has been tremendous.

The A380 program helped me to bring my children up and to buy my house.

Whether it was successful as an aircraft program is something that is debatable.

Obviously, today we are sure the past VLA forecast issued by Airbus was not right. Unless you include 777-9 in the VLA league. Even then, 1200 777-9 deliveries in the next 20 years sounds way too optimistic.
 
Armadillo1
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Re: A380 was success for Airbus, says new CEO

Fri May 24, 2019 8:39 am

1) can 380 program be cheaper with same technology gains?

2) 779 for my point of view very much overweighted from beginning.

3) VLA era ended if we say VLA is overweighted plane. if we dont say 779 is VLA.

4) VLA era can return if VLA will be effective frame. something 2*6row in 350 hull
 
IWMBH
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Re: A380 was success for Airbus, says new CEO

Fri May 24, 2019 9:52 am

airbazar wrote:
IWMBH wrote:
The A380 was an engineering success but definitely not a commercial success. I doubt if they even played even on the model. The Boeing wide body strategy is beating that of Airbus and their is no way around that.

Not a commercial success, according to whom? Does EK think the A380 was a commercial failure?
And as for the Boeing strategy, it is exactly the same as Airbus or they wouldn't have launched the 748 and the 779. Boeing has the financial advantage because those are derivatives rather than clean sheet projects but the commercial strategy is exactly the same: to cover all market segments with a competitive product.


For Airbus the A380 wasn't a commercial succes, they expected to sell many more then they did. For EK the A380 was a succes, but for many airlines it is more of a burden.
Boeing did good to gamble on the smaller 787, the 748i was a low-cost answer to the A380 and didn't cost them nearly as much to develop. The 77X is a twin-engined single-deck airplane that is much more efficient than the A380 and has already sold better.
 
cpd
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Re: A380 was success for Airbus, says new CEO

Fri May 24, 2019 11:02 am

IWMBH wrote:
airbazar wrote:
IWMBH wrote:
The A380 was an engineering success but definitely not a commercial success. I doubt if they even played even on the model. The Boeing wide body strategy is beating that of Airbus and their is no way around that.

Not a commercial success, according to whom? Does EK think the A380 was a commercial failure?
And as for the Boeing strategy, it is exactly the same as Airbus or they wouldn't have launched the 748 and the 779. Boeing has the financial advantage because those are derivatives rather than clean sheet projects but the commercial strategy is exactly the same: to cover all market segments with a competitive product.


For Airbus the A380 wasn't a commercial succes, they expected to sell many more then they did. For EK the A380 was a succes, but for many airlines it is more of a burden.
Boeing did good to gamble on the smaller 787, the 748i was a low-cost answer to the A380 and didn't cost them nearly as much to develop. The 77X is a twin-engined single-deck airplane that is much more efficient than the A380 and has already sold better.


Hold on a moment! 777X hasn’t been even flown yet as far as I know. Of course it is more efficient- it doesn’t fly at all just yet. Let’s wait for it to not just fly, but enter service as well. Then we can see what it really does.

It may be a game changer, but it could also turn into a disaster and none of us can predict that one way or the other. Only testing and real flying can really prove it.
 
Armadillo1
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Re: A380 was success for Airbus, says new CEO

Fri May 24, 2019 11:22 am

so what can be better way for airbus instead of 380 program?

1) made a350 mk0 aka 340-800?

2) made 330-500 with small wing and 380 design issue
than 350 mk1?

3) something else?
 
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Revelation
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Re: A380 was success for Airbus, says new CEO

Fri May 24, 2019 1:03 pm

Armadillo1 wrote:
so what can be better way for airbus instead of 380 program?

1) made a350 mk0 aka 340-800?

2) made 330-500 with small wing and 380 design issue
than 350 mk1?

3) something else?

Airbus's widebody plan before the A380 snafu:
    o A330 Mk1 to hold the small end of the market with minimal spend
    o A340-500/600 replaced by A360 CFRP clean sheet to kill 777
    o A380-800 followed by A380-800R, A380-800F, A380-900

Airbus's current widebody lineup after the A380 snafu:
    o A330neo to hold the small end of the market but much later than intended
    o A350 positioned at 787 + 777 market rather than targeting 777 with growth for future VLA market
    o A380 ends production 2021 after many years of meager orders

What they should have done with 100% hindsight is debatable, but one theory goes:
    o A330 Mk1 to hold the small end of the market, accept some losses to 787
    o A360 CFRP clean sheet to kill 777 and hold VLA market
    o A350 positioned directly at 787 once A330neo fades
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Armadillo1
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Re: A380 was success for Airbus, says new CEO

Fri May 24, 2019 1:16 pm

where i can read official papers about 360?
 
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enzo011
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Re: A380 was success for Airbus, says new CEO

Fri May 24, 2019 1:39 pm

Revelation wrote:
Airbus's widebody plan before the A380 snafu:
    o A330 Mk1 to hold the small end of the market with minimal spend
    o A340-500/600 replaced by A360 CFRP clean sheet to kill 777
    o A380-800 followed by A380-800R, A380-800F, A380-900

Airbus's current widebody lineup after the A380 snafu:
    o A330neo to hold the small end of the market but much later than intended
    o A350 positioned at 787 + 777 market rather than targeting 777 with growth for future VLA market
    o A380 ends production 2021 after many years of meager orders

What they should have done with 100% hindsight is debatable, but one theory goes:
    o A330 Mk1 to hold the small end of the market, accept some losses to 787
    o A360 CFRP clean sheet to kill 777 and hold VLA market
    o A350 positioned directly at 787 once A330neo fades



I thought the A350 is aimed at the 777. The fact that some of the 787 overlaps doesn't have anything to do with where Airbus positioned the A350. The cabin area of the A359 is almost exactly the same as the 772 and the A35K is almost the same the cabin area as the 77W.

I find it hard to see how different their current line-up is to the one you post as the plan before the A380 problems. The A330neo is a A350MK1, a few years later but helped by the 787 problems. The A350 is a clean sheet design aimed at the 777 with CFRP. The A380 ending production is the only one on the list that has not panned out for Airbus.

As for a 777 killer A360, if the 787 couldn't kill the A330 I fail to see how a clean sheet A360 would have done the same to the 777. Most of the efficiency gains are from new engines and there are many areas that OEMs are able to obtain leverage to win orders, even with products that isn't the most efficient.
 
MIflyer12
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Re: A380 was success for Airbus, says new CEO

Fri May 24, 2019 1:52 pm

IslandRob wrote:
Sigh. I'd say the new CEO is a 'glass one-tenth full' kind of guy. -ir


Yes, I'm sure the entities that aren't going to be repaid their launch aid are delighted that the A380 program caused Airbus to look at the dysfunctional Franco-German relationship. They needed to blow billions and billions of Euros to be reflective.
 
Armadillo1
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Re: A380 was success for Airbus, says new CEO

Fri May 24, 2019 1:55 pm

enzo011 wrote:
As for a 777 killer A360, if the 787 couldn't kill the A330 I fail to see how a clean sheet A360 would have done the same to the 777. Most of the efficiency gains are from new engines and there are many areas that OEMs are able to obtain leverage to win orders, even with products that isn't the most efficient.

for 380 program starts - it is 350 itself.
for now - 352, not 360 waiting for ultrafan.

i can see how 77x can be killed in fair market area - with 777x being 20+t heavier and competing with non-geared turbines against geared or asking for new unique engines in few years after launch

77W kill 345/6 or not?
 
RawSushi
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Re: A380 was success for Airbus, says new CEO

Fri May 24, 2019 2:21 pm

The A380 in and of itself was not a commercial success, but so what?

Hindsight is 20/20. With an unpredictable future, it's normal for companies to make multiple bets. Some work out better than expected, others fail. The A380 was part of Airbus's strategy to cover the full range of the market. Some bets paid off better than expected (e.g. the A320), the A380 didn't, but still it was part of an overall successful strategy that brought it from being a new upstart to being an anchor member of a duopoly. If market conditions had turned out differently from what it is today, it could have still become a commercial success. It's a great plane. Passengers love it. No it wasn't profitable, but there's no need to bash it.

Faury explained it well here:
https://www.flightglobal.com/news/articles/faury-defends-airbus-forecasting-after-a380-disappoi-458423/
 
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Re: A380 was success for Airbus, says new CEO

Fri May 24, 2019 3:05 pm

9Patch wrote:
Did Airbus really need to do the A380 program first in order to identify this 'cultural mismatch' and make a successful A350?

Yes. It wasn't about the mismatch per se. But it really synergized Airbus and gave it an amazing experience in selling a very specialized airplane that required special airport equipment and facilities. It also showed the world and the customers that Airbus can run large scale programs. Combined with their ability and readiness to satisfy "orphaned" customer demands like the A350-900ULR, it gave them very serious respect in the industry.

No matter the A380 success, it was a fantastic engineering feat and demonstrated Airbus' technical capabilities. It was and still remains the most ambitious aviation project that came to fruition of the century so far.
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Re: A380 was success for Airbus, says new CEO

Fri May 24, 2019 3:13 pm

Armadillo1 wrote:
so what can be better way for airbus instead of 380 program?

1) made a350 mk0 aka 340-800?

2) made 330-500 with small wing and 380 design issue
than 350 mk1?

3) something else?

Something else. The idea was to make a hub-to-hub plane. While I'm a HUGE A380 fan, I believe Airbus could've done a 10-abreast 6.0-6.2m-wide fuselage twin-engined airplane with length variants between and above the 777-300. Basically a wider 777X with comfortable seats and wider aisles. With their enormous composites expertise, they could've made it lighter than the 777-300ER. It wouldn't be as ambitious and beautiful as the double-decker A380, but it would be hugely profitable.
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Re: A380 was success for Airbus, says new CEO

Fri May 24, 2019 3:37 pm

ikramerica wrote:
He’s just snowflaking an old adage.

“You learn more from your failures than your successes” is being bastardized into “It’s a success because of how much we learned.”


This. No one who has so much as attempted to go to business school would accept the A380 as a success. The better Airbus spin meisters would certainly have done a better job than this rehash/fake news.

A single decker twin much wider than the 777/A350 is always going to be a challenge though. That is a curious option for Airbus (or Boeing) to have alternatively pursued/do next.
 
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Re: A380 was success for Airbus, says new CEO

Fri May 24, 2019 4:01 pm

RawSushi wrote:
The A380 in and of itself was not a commercial success, but so what?

Hindsight is 20/20. With an unpredictable future, it's normal for companies to make multiple bets. Some work out better than expected, others fail. The A380 was part of Airbus's strategy to cover the full range of the market. Some bets paid off better than expected (e.g. the A320), the A380 didn't, but still it was part of an overall successful strategy that brought it from being a new upstart to being an anchor member of a duopoly. If market conditions had turned out differently from what it is today, it could have still become a commercial success. It's a great plane. Passengers love it. No it wasn't profitable, but there's no need to bash it.

Faury explained it well here:
https://www.flightglobal.com/news/articles/faury-defends-airbus-forecasting-after-a380-disappoi-458423/


The issue is, Airbus was chasing a ghost market, one that was pointed out repeatedly by others. It isn't like something unpredictable and black swan like 9/11 happened and changed the market forever. 747 orders were already drying up when the a380 was launched (and even more so a few years in). Airbus was stuck in the 4 engines longhaul mode for too long (the a345 and a346 were also terrible decisions), which is ironic given that their market entry was a game changing widebody twin.

Is it an impressive piece of engineering? Yes. So was the TU-144. Was it a stupid commercial decision, also yes. And hindsight wasn't needed entirely for that.

The issue with the argument "If market conditions had turned out differently from what it is today, it could have still become a commercial success", is that that applies to everything. If humans were born with no taste and Steve Jobs had died earlier, the Microsoft Zune may have been a success. The issue is, the market was never going to line up for the Zune or a380, so launching those products was, objectively, a bad decision. It isn't "bashing" to point out facts.
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Re: A380 was success for Airbus, says new CEO

Fri May 24, 2019 4:48 pm

enzo011 wrote:
I thought the A350 is aimed at the 777. The fact that some of the 787 overlaps doesn't have anything to do with where Airbus positioned the A350. The cabin area of the A359 is almost exactly the same as the 772 and the A35K is almost the same the cabin area as the 77W.

The first iteration of the A350-XWB line was supposed to cover A358, A359 and a "simple stretch" A35J. That's the lineup I was referring to. Now we have no A358, A359 pretty much unchanged, and A35J needing extra spend on the wing and the engines to get it into the 9 across 77W space. Given the market has shifted to 10 across it's not exactly a 777 killer IMHO, and the sales still show A359 is by far the most popular family member, with lots of airlines going A359/779 to get the kind of wide body capacity they feel they need.

I find it hard to see how different their current line-up is to the one you post as the plan before the A380 problems. The A330neo is a A350MK1, a few years later but helped by the 787 problems. The A350 is a clean sheet design aimed at the 777 with CFRP. The A380 ending production is the only one on the list that has not panned out for Airbus.

Other than that, Mrs. Lincoln, how was the play?

A380 was Airbus's big money play, and it came up craps.

A330neo is not a few years later than A350MkI, it's around a decade later.

As for a 777 killer A360, if the 787 couldn't kill the A330 I fail to see how a clean sheet A360 would have done the same to the 777. Most of the efficiency gains are from new engines and there are many areas that OEMs are able to obtain leverage to win orders, even with products that isn't the most efficient.

I don't think A330neo is out of the woods, but of course others disagree.

I think the original plan (A380, A350MkI, A360, A350) would be a much better place to be, but it never works out to plan.

Keep in mind Boeing thought 787 (Y2) would be followed by NSA (Y1) then a clean sheet Y3 to replace 777. Now we have 787, MAX, 777X instead.
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Re: A380 was success for Airbus, says new CEO

Fri May 24, 2019 5:37 pm

enzo011 wrote:
As for those that ask about the RLI to Germany, I think Airbus would gladly probably pay that back against the terms of the agreement, if it allows them to stop paying back on the RLI on the A320 and A330. Those have surely been paid back by now and if one side of the contract can be broken, surely the other side can as well. Be careful what you wish for should be the watchword. There are only about 5000 or so A320 in the order book, I am sure Germany will be happy to stop receiving money from those orders in the future.

Problem is we don't really know what they are paying back for the RLI on the A320 and A330. I've never seen anything that explains ther terms of the agreement or the amount of the royalty that Airbus allegedly pays to the funding governments, particularly France and Germany.

I recall reading threads many years ago where people insisted Airbus has to payback the RLI whether a program was a success or not. Now we are learning that's not true.
 
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Re: A380 was success for Airbus, says new CEO

Fri May 24, 2019 6:57 pm

The question was raised if Airbus did not fabricated the A380, and fabricated the A350 instead, then what would they have achieved?

An A350 with GLARE and not CFRP.

Note that the current 787 and A350 are only possible with the development of fiber placement machines. At the time, these machines were only in the development stages as the industry start gearing up for the Sonic Cruiser or 7J7 which latter became the 787. Much of the fiber placement development technology was being developed by Boeing and machines were few. I believe that the A350 was created in section instead of a barrel not only because they did not have the infrastructure (big enough autoclave - which can be solved) but because Boeing own many of the patents (which can not be resolved).

So to say that the current configuration of the A350 would have been feasible at the time of the A380 would be not true. Heck, if Airbus were to built the A350 using the A380 technology, it would not be able to compete with the 787.

The original counter to the A380 was for the Sonic Cruiser, true, the airlines did not go for it. This is because of fear of higher gas prices. The economic down turn during that time also put the end of Boeing's pursuit to such a market. Much of the composite structure development of the 787 probably had it's beginning with the Sonic Cruiser.

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Re: A380 was success for Airbus, says new CEO

Fri May 24, 2019 8:54 pm

bikerthai wrote:
The question was raised if Airbus did not fabricated the A380, and fabricated the A350 instead, then what would they have achieved?

An A350 with GLARE and not CFRP.

Note that the current 787 and A350 are only possible with the development of fiber placement machines. At the time, these machines were only in the development stages as the industry start gearing up for the Sonic Cruiser or 7J7 which latter became the 787. Much of the fiber placement development technology was being developed by Boeing and machines were few. I believe that the A350 was created in section instead of a barrel not only because they did not have the infrastructure (big enough autoclave - which can be solved) but because Boeing own many of the patents (which can not be resolved).

So to say that the current configuration of the A350 would have been feasible at the time of the A380 would be not true. Heck, if Airbus were to built the A350 using the A380 technology, it would not be able to compete with the 787.

The original counter to the A380 was for the Sonic Cruiser, true, the airlines did not go for it. This is because of fear of higher gas prices. The economic down turn during that time also put the end of Boeing's pursuit to such a market. Much of the composite structure development of the 787 probably had it's beginning with the Sonic Cruiser.

bt

My take:. It takes excitement to find out what is possible. For the Sonic cruiser, engine companies proposed far more technology and Boeing told them to develop it for the 787.

For the A380, the changes were more organizational. Bummer in the Catia error that cost time and A388F orders.

But success? There were cheaper ways to find out. I personally wish Airbus had developed the A305. Not a typo, but the project I was working prior to A380 go ahead when it was cancelled. Think a very modern GLARE & high lithium aluminum A300 with TPAC range. Everyone was willing to bid agresive a la so IC cruiser engines for that. A split source A388 forced very conservative engine offers. Much more conservative than Airbus anticipated.

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Re: A380 was success for Airbus, says new CEO

Fri May 24, 2019 10:10 pm

9Patch wrote:
I recall reading threads many years ago where people insisted Airbus has to payback the RLI whether a program was a success or not. Now we are learning that's not true.

The jury is literally still out on this one. The german government has made quite clear that they expect full repayment. Others will join. Guess we'll see them at court soon.
 
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Re: A380 was success for Airbus, says new CEO

Sat May 25, 2019 10:41 am

Revelation wrote:
The first iteration of the A350-XWB line was supposed to cover A358, A359 and a "simple stretch" A35J. That's the lineup I was referring to. Now we have no A358, A359 pretty much unchanged, and A35J needing extra spend on the wing and the engines to get it into the 9 across 77W space. Given the market has shifted to 10 across it's not exactly a 777 killer IMHO, and the sales still show A359 is by far the most popular family member, with lots of airlines going A359/779 to get the kind of wide body capacity they feel they need.

Other than that, Mrs. Lincoln, how was the play?

A380 was Airbus's big money play, and it came up craps.

A330neo is not a few years later than A350MkI, it's around a decade later.

I don't think A330neo is out of the woods, but of course others disagree.

I think the original plan (A380, A350MkI, A360, A350) would be a much better place to be, but it never works out to plan.

Keep in mind Boeing thought 787 (Y2) would be followed by NSA (Y1) then a clean sheet Y3 to replace 777. Now we have 787, MAX, 777X instead.


For the A350 lineup it seems to me that the A339 has taken the space of the A358. It is more likely that the market is bigger for the lighter and shorter range aircraft than the A358. If I am not mistaken the A358 would only have had an EIS right about the same time as the A339 as well. The 'simple' stretch A35K was still the same size as it is currently but it had less capability and airlines were asking for more. That is why it moved squarely into 77W range on payload as airlines were looking for a little more. Seems this is Airbus listening to their customers needs more than just doing what they want, possibly another post A380 lesson learned.

The A350 is still very well positioned against the 777 and while the market may have moved to adding one more seat per Y row in the 777, there has also been some capacity restraint and yield management as well. Going bigger isn't always the answer and we will see how the 779 performs in this regard. I mean it is easier to add a extra seat into an aircraft you already operate to try and increase revenue, but you cannot take them out if you have overstretched yourself. I think EY is finding this out the hard way right now.

I am still unclear as to exactly you are advising what should have been done by Airbus that would have absolutely made the company better off than now. We can all play the perfect game, if Boeing didn't screw up the 787 then they would have had the NSA and Y3 ready to go by now, so it is not as easy as just saying Airbus should have just designed the A360 to kill the 777 and expect it would have happened.

It is easy to just make a statement and then ignore the reality. Most programs have delays in them and those that don't have huge cost overruns that try and compensate for this. As we have seen as well that problems also arise with new models where they are either grounded or there are issues found within the aircraft that call for attention and cost to be spent (A380 wings). So not just speculating what could have happened if everything went perfectly, because there is almost no chance that that would happen, how much different could it realistically have been if there was no A380 screw-ups or if they didn't go ahead with the A380?

I suspect that if Airbus didn't learn the lessons on the A380 they would have repeated them on the next design. What in human history, the repeating of our mistakes over and over and over and over, makes anyone think that a company that still has some identity issues would have sorted out the problems that were present when there was no lessons to be learned? You have yourself posted many a thread to show and highlight when a new CEO or upper management is needed that there are factions within the company itself that plays out on a lot of decisions they make. So if Airbus either executed the A380 perfectly, still not a market for the aircraft, or didn't go ahead with it, what difference would there have been for Airbus today?

As for the model killer statement, you could argue that forcing the 777X into basically a one model line-up is as much of a killer as the 787 has done to the A330. I think that is about as far as you can go unless the company decides to stop production of a model, iIf you are able to limit the choice to one model when the company has spent money on a new engine and other enhancements. I still think it is silly to talk about a design like that as we know if you are able to have new engines on even old designs they will still have a market to sell to.

That is the nuance I was talking about. I mean it is fun to rile up others just like they do to you, for banter. But deep down we know you need to add nuance to an argument or when you look at why decisions were made if you want to discuss it seriously. Hence whenever someone brings up that Airbus was wrong with their predictions on VLA aircraft and Boeing was right, the easy reply is the 748. But we both know either company had their reasons for both decisions and while mistakes were made by both, there is justification for their choices.
 
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Re: A380 was success for Airbus, says new CEO

Sat May 25, 2019 12:47 pm

Antarius wrote:
Vladex wrote:
enzo011 wrote:



And A380 has higher yields and fills more seats if there is a choice.


Except it can't fill those seats.

If I could lay golden eggs, I'd be rich. Except I can't either. So discussing it is pointless.

Plenty of A380s do fill seats. Emirates do it all the time. BA would have bought more if they could have got them cheap.
 
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Re: A380 was success for Airbus, says new CEO

Sat May 25, 2019 12:57 pm

enzo011 wrote:
For the A350 lineup it seems to me that the A339 has taken the space of the A358. It is more likely that the market is bigger for the lighter and shorter range aircraft than the A358. If I am not mistaken the A358 would only have had an EIS right about the same time as the A339 as well. The 'simple' stretch A35K was still the same size as it is currently but it had less capability and airlines were asking for more. That is why it moved squarely into 77W range on payload as airlines were looking for a little more. Seems this is Airbus listening to their customers needs more than just doing what they want, possibly another post A380 lesson learned.

Thing is, in listening to some customers who wanted the heavier -1000 Airbus did lose their biggest A350 order, the 70 frame one from EK, with EK complaining about increasing weight and decreasing commonality with the A359. In the end they got the customer back because they were holding them by the short and curlies (they had their deposits for A380) which I would not call that a win-win because it included a death sentence for the A380 (why do A380 partisans keep looking for a "mulligan" for the huge financial hole that the A380 created?).

A product lineup that had a lighter A350 and a heavier A360 could have kept both sets of customers happy, but unfortunately that never happened.

The A350 is still very well positioned against the 777 and while the market may have moved to adding one more seat per Y row in the 777, there has also been some capacity restraint and yield management as well. Going bigger isn't always the answer and we will see how the 779 performs in this regard. I mean it is easier to add a extra seat into an aircraft you already operate to try and increase revenue, but you cannot take them out if you have overstretched yourself. I think EY is finding this out the hard way right now.

Right, but the thing is an A360 in the time frame originally being mooted, without the loss of time and money the A380 snafu caused, would have killed the business case for the 777x and it never would have launched, or if it did, it would have suffered the same fate as 747-8i.

Instead we end up in a place where blue chip A350 customers like SQ, CX, BA, LH, etc find themselves ordering 779 instead of Airbus extending their hold on these customers and extinguishing the 777x.

I am still unclear as to exactly you are advising what should have been done by Airbus that would have absolutely made the company better off than now. We can all play the perfect game, if Boeing didn't screw up the 787 then they would have had the NSA and Y3 ready to go by now, so it is not as easy as just saying Airbus should have just designed the A360 to kill the 777 and expect it would have happened.

I am still unclear why you feel the need to exaggerate my point.

It's an annoying discussion tactic mostly used when one's own point is weak.

I never used a word such as "absolutely", instead I used words such as "one theory" and "a much better place to be", go check.

And yes, I introduced the idea that Boeing screwed up the 787, even though this is a thread about Airbus's snowflake claim that the A380 was a success.

It is easy to just make a statement and then ignore the reality. Most programs have delays in them and those that don't have huge cost overruns that try and compensate for this. As we have seen as well that problems also arise with new models where they are either grounded or there are issues found within the aircraft that call for attention and cost to be spent (A380 wings). So not just speculating what could have happened if everything went perfectly, because there is almost no chance that that would happen, how much different could it realistically have been if there was no A380 screw-ups or if they didn't go ahead with the A380?

I suspect that if Airbus didn't learn the lessons on the A380 they would have repeated them on the next design. What in human history, the repeating of our mistakes over and over and over and over, makes anyone think that a company that still has some identity issues would have sorted out the problems that were present when there was no lessons to be learned? You have yourself posted many a thread to show and highlight when a new CEO or upper management is needed that there are factions within the company itself that plays out on a lot of decisions they make. So if Airbus either executed the A380 perfectly, still not a market for the aircraft, or didn't go ahead with it, what difference would there have been for Airbus today?

Yes, the biggest weakness to my argument is that it counted on flawless execution by Airbus, and that's a big ask. We can say A350 was about as flawless as you could hope for, but of course it learned so much from A380 which took the big hit.

Another weakness would be the one raised above: depending on the timing, an A360 may have been less CFRP and more GLARE, although that can be debated. The A380 from the rear bulkhead back is CFRP panel construction and I think that would have been used for an A360 in the same way it did get used for an A350.

As you should tell from me giving you ways to undermine my arguments, I'm not hard over into the "I'm right, you're wrong" dynamic.

Yet some of our Airbus partisans have no problem embracing the notion that Airbus is flawless except for that one-off snafu which was the boffins deciding to use different versions of the design software, and other than that, everything would have come up roses.

As for the model killer statement, you could argue that forcing the 777X into basically a one model line-up is as much of a killer as the 787 has done to the A330. I think that is about as far as you can go unless the company decides to stop production of a model, iIf you are able to limit the choice to one model when the company has spent money on a new engine and other enhancements. I still think it is silly to talk about a design like that as we know if you are able to have new engines on even old designs they will still have a market to sell to.

That is the nuance I was talking about. I mean it is fun to rile up others just like they do to you, for banter. But deep down we know you need to add nuance to an argument or when you look at why decisions were made if you want to discuss it seriously. Hence whenever someone brings up that Airbus was wrong with their predictions on VLA aircraft and Boeing was right, the easy reply is the 748. But we both know either company had their reasons for both decisions and while mistakes were made by both, there is justification for their choices.

Yes, we can agree these discussions are vastly over-simplified.

In part I used bullet lists to show that I was vastly over-simplifying things.

And getting this right is hard if not impossible.

Yet that's what keeps me so interested in this topic.

Human beings are making decisions to spend many billion dollars/euros/whatever many years in advance to bring together all kinds of very advanced technological elements with no guarantee of the market ever embracing the resulting product.

And we get to sit in our armchairs and throw spitballs at them when they get it wrong.

Yet that is what we should do (it is what MBA programs do as well), so we learn where they got it wrong.

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Re: A380 was success for Airbus, says new CEO

Sat May 25, 2019 1:34 pm

marcelh wrote:
With hindsight it’s easy to say that the A380 is a commercial failure. It’s just like a persons life: the older you become, more failures have been made. And you also become wiser.
It looks like some of the posters over here are young.....

Exactly. Also, studies have shown that the older you get the more you regret the chances you didn’t take than the failures you had.
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Re: A380 was success for Airbus, says new CEO

Sat May 25, 2019 5:29 pm

speedbird52 wrote:
Antarius wrote:
Vladex wrote:


And A380 has higher yields and fills more seats if there is a choice.


Except it can't fill those seats.

If I could lay golden eggs, I'd be rich. Except I can't either. So discussing it is pointless.

Plenty of A380s do fill seats. Emirates do it all the time. BA would have bought more if they could have got them cheap.


EK had a fleet wide LF of 78%.

So either their 777s are completely empty, or they are unable to fill their 380s as well.
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Re: A380 was success for Airbus, says new CEO

Sat May 25, 2019 5:42 pm

Revelation wrote:
Thing is, in listening to some customers who wanted the heavier -1000 Airbus did lose their biggest A350 order, the 70 frame one from EK, with EK complaining about increasing weight and decreasing commonality with the A359. In the end they got the customer back because they were holding them by the short and curlies (they had their deposits for A380) which I would not call that a win-win because it included a death sentence for the A380 (why do A380 partisans keep looking for a "mulligan" for the huge financial hole that the A380 created?).

A product lineup that had a lighter A350 and a heavier A360 could have kept both sets of customers happy, but unfortunately that never happened.


I think we can debate the reasons for EK cancelling the A350 order as I don't think the aircraft was the problem. It probably was more to do with trying to not spend too much capital at the time along with a shift in their expansion plans. But I think you will find many posters on here saying that they need a smaller aircraft to open routes because sending a 77W as your smallest aircraft is not smart. If you can guarantee you will keep growing you can get away with it, but that is not realistic. So I think EK used the changes as an excuse to cancel the order and I think this is played out by the fact that they have cancelled most of the outstanding A380s and ordered 70 A330 and A350 aircraft. This is less than what they had on order before so I can see EK consolidating their fleet and begin to exercise some capacity discipline as well.

It could have, had Airbus delivered on time and spec, I imagine if that was the case then Boeing would have had the NSA and Y3 in the pipeline as well. I guess we would then have had 2 new designs from Airbus competing with 3 from Boeing.


Revelation wrote:
Right, but the thing is an A360 in the time frame originally being mooted, without the loss of time and money the A380 snafu caused, would have killed the business case for the 777x and it never would have launched, or if it did, it would have suffered the same fate as 747-8i.

Instead we end up in a place where blue chip A350 customers like SQ, CX, BA, LH, etc find themselves ordering 779 instead of Airbus extending their hold on these customers and extinguishing the 777x.


As above, had Airbus delivered with the A360 then Boeing would have been forced to go for the Y3. This would be the same as the NEO and MAX launch, the success of the one precipitated the birth of the other. The same way the 787 precipitated the A350.


Revelation wrote:
I am still unclear why you feel the need to exaggerate my point.

It's an annoying discussion tactic mostly used when one's own point is weak.

I never used a word such as "absolutely", instead I used words such as "one theory" and "a much better place to be", go check.

And yes, I introduced the idea that Boeing screwed up the 787, even though this is a thread about Airbus's snowflake claim that the A380 was a success.


I didn't mean to exaggerate your point, I thought the discussion had moved onto what Airbus should have done instead of the A380 that would have made the company more successful. I was only trying to point out that without the A380 Airbus would probably have been in the same position, whichever way you cut it.


Revelation wrote:
Yes, the biggest weakness to my argument is that it counted on flawless execution by Airbus, and that's a big ask. We can say A350 was about as flawless as you could hope for, but of course it learned so much from A380 which took the big hit.

Another weakness would be the one raised above: depending on the timing, an A360 may have been less CFRP and more GLARE, although that can be debated. The A380 from the rear bulkhead back is CFRP panel construction and I think that would have been used for an A360 in the same way it did get used for an A350.

As you should tell from me giving you ways to undermine my arguments, I'm not hard over into the "I'm right, you're wrong" dynamic.

Yet some of our Airbus partisans have no problem embracing the notion that Airbus is flawless except for that one-off snafu which was the boffins deciding to use different versions of the design software, and other than that, everything would have come up roses.


It doesn't matter who is right in the grand scheme of life and I am almost certainly wrong in most of my points that I will raise. It should be about enjoyment, otherwise why would you be on a discussion site if you don't enjoy the back and forth, and to learn new things. I enjoy challenging a point I don't agree with, in the knowledge that I am no expert.

As for Airbus fans not admitting the mistakes, again we can get nuanced here. You will find posters that almost seem to be trolling in their defense of their favourite OEM from both sides, but I doubt you will find many Airbus fans that you have been interacting with over the years that would see it that way. I believe those nuance arguments will be made that while they see why the company made decisions at the time, the likes of the A340-500 and A340-600 were a mistake from the company as well.


Revelation wrote:
Yes, we can agree these discussions are vastly over-simplified.

In part I used bullet lists to show that I was vastly over-simplifying things.

And getting this right is hard if not impossible.

Yet that's what keeps me so interested in this topic.

Human beings are making decisions to spend many billion dollars/euros/whatever many years in advance to bring together all kinds of very advanced technological elements with no guarantee of the market ever embracing the resulting product.

And we get to sit in our armchairs and throw spitballs at them when they get it wrong.

Yet that is what we should do (it is what MBA programs do as well), so we learn where they got it wrong.

I love it! :bigthumbsup:



I still stand by my point though that without the A380 the same mistakes would have been made by the company. It would make sense that the next new product will be the most likely where it would have happened. I also don't think the company would have been much better off without those mistakes either unless they nailed each new project on time and money spent. But it would have been much more interesting had both OEMs not made the mistakes and been able to deliver the Y1 and Y3 and A360 and A350.
 
Stickpusher
Posts: 50
Joined: Fri Jul 29, 2016 6:54 pm

Re: A380 was success for Airbus, says new CEO

Sat May 25, 2019 10:54 pm

VV wrote:
Whether it was successful as an aircraft program is something that is debatable.

Obviously, today we are sure the past VLA forecast issued by Airbus was not right. Unless you include 777-9 in the VLA league. Even then, 1200 777-9 deliveries in the next 20 years sounds way too optimistic.


Its success was based on research made back in the 90s about the growth potential of the travel markets as seen at that time. Many commenters here are falling into the trap of 20/20 hindsight and projecting that in whatever way suits their own personal narrative. There is no doubt that it and the other programs in development would all have done a lot better if reality hadn't inconveniently shown up and affected the forecasts.

What's certain is that the upward arc of numbers travelling was severely hit closely after the A380 program launch, and also closely after EIS. Airbus would have had a hard time predicting 9/11 and the subsequent slowdown that killed carriers (and also killed the return of Concorde after a year or two). The A380 launched at the end of 2000 IIRC. EIS with Singapore was in 2007, and a year later along came the GFC. A lot of the growth momentum in travel was lost, the upward arc Airbus predicted in the 90s flattened out somewhat - generally upward but with all the predictions now well out of whack. While we can only guess at how much was actually lost, any increase at all would bring it closer to their predictions. Historical events dealt the entire aviation market a bad hand in the noughties, all programs suffered and niche ones fared the worst.

It's too easy to dismiss Airbus' predictions as delusional, but any history graduate should tell you that to accurately understand decisions made in the past you have to undo all the history that came after (which you have but they didn't at the time) and often their decisions make a whole lot more sense.

It's easy to trash Neville Chamberlain for his approach to Hitler given what we know about the outcomes, not so easy if you strip away all subsequent events. We have to accept that Airbus couldn't predict 9/11 or the GFC even if it makes it harder for us to criticise a company some of us are predisposed to dislike for whatever reason.

And as you say, the program benefitted individuals who've come away with skills and knowledge (and mortgages and kids...), people that can put the lessons learned to good use down the line. Nothing need ever truly be wasted if we have a healthy outlook on life.
 
SFOtoORD
Posts: 1092
Joined: Tue Jul 03, 2007 2:26 am

Re: A380 was success for Airbus, says new CEO

Sat May 25, 2019 11:10 pm

Stickpusher wrote:
VV wrote:
Whether it was successful as an aircraft program is something that is debatable.

Obviously, today we are sure the past VLA forecast issued by Airbus was not right. Unless you include 777-9 in the VLA league. Even then, 1200 777-9 deliveries in the next 20 years sounds way too optimistic.


Its success was based on research made back in the 90s about the growth potential of the travel markets as seen at that time. Many commenters here are falling into the trap of 20/20 hindsight and projecting that in whatever way suits their own personal narrative. There is no doubt that it and the other programs in development would all have done a lot better if reality hadn't inconveniently shown up and affected the forecasts.

What's certain is that the upward arc of numbers travelling was severely hit closely after the A380 program launch, and also closely after EIS. Airbus would have had a hard time predicting 9/11 and the subsequent slowdown that killed carriers (and also killed the return of Concorde after a year or two). The A380 launched at the end of 2000 IIRC. EIS with Singapore was in 2007, and a year later along came the GFC. A lot of the growth momentum in travel was lost, the upward arc Airbus predicted in the 90s flattened out somewhat - generally upward but with all the predictions now well out of whack. While we can only guess at how much was actually lost, any increase at all would bring it closer to their predictions. Historical events dealt the entire aviation market a bad hand in the noughties, all programs suffered and niche ones fared the worst.

It's too easy to dismiss Airbus' predictions as delusional, but any history graduate should tell you that to accurately understand decisions made in the past you have to undo all the history that came after (which you have but they didn't at the time) and often their decisions make a whole lot more sense.

It's easy to trash Neville Chamberlain for his approach to Hitler given what we know about the outcomes, not so easy if you strip away all subsequent events. We have to accept that Airbus couldn't predict 9/11 or the GFC even if it makes it harder for us to criticise a company some of us are predisposed to dislike for whatever reason.

And as you say, the program benefitted individuals who've come away with skills and knowledge (and mortgages and kids...), people that can put the lessons learned to good use down the line. Nothing need ever truly be wasted if we have a healthy outlook on life.


So they made forecasts based on the best data available at the time and they were wrong. That’s not the definition of success.
 
9Patch
Topic Author
Posts: 329
Joined: Wed Mar 13, 2019 10:38 pm

Re: A380 was success for Airbus, says new CEO

Sun May 26, 2019 12:29 am

Stickpusher wrote:

What's certain is that the upward arc of numbers travelling was severely hit closely after the A380 program launch, and also closely after EIS. Airbus would have had a hard time predicting 9/11 and the subsequent slowdown that killed carriers (and also killed the return of Concorde after a year or two). The A380 launched at the end of 2000 IIRC. EIS with Singapore was in 2007, and a year later along came the GFC.

I don't buy the 9/11 GFC excuse. The A350 and 787 recovered from these crises. The A380 did not.
New aircraft programs are multi-billion dollar/Euro bets on the next 50 years.
You have to get it right.
No excuses.
 
User avatar
kitplane01
Posts: 1340
Joined: Thu Jun 16, 2016 5:58 am

Re: A380 was success for Airbus, says new CEO

Sun May 26, 2019 4:12 am

VV wrote:
I was in Toulouse back then and I can say without any hesitation that the economic impact in the region has been tremendous.

The A380 program helped me to bring my children up and to buy my house.

Whether it was successful as an aircraft program is something that is debatable.

Obviously, today we are sure the past VLA forecast issued by Airbus was not right. Unless you include 777-9 in the VLA league. Even then, 1200 777-9 deliveries in the next 20 years sounds way too optimistic.


Suppose Airbus had made a better plane and made a profit. Then they would have even MORE money to spend in Toulouse.
 
User avatar
kitplane01
Posts: 1340
Joined: Thu Jun 16, 2016 5:58 am

Re: A380 was success for Airbus, says new CEO

Sun May 26, 2019 4:19 am

RawSushi wrote:
The A380 in and of itself was not a commercial success, but so what?

Hindsight is 20/20. With an unpredictable future, it's normal for companies to make multiple bets. Some work out better than expected, others fail. The A380 was part of Airbus's strategy to cover the full range of the market. Some bets paid off better than expected (e.g. the A320), the A380 didn't, but still it was part of an overall successful strategy that brought it from being a new upstart to being an anchor member of a duopoly. If market conditions had turned out differently from what it is today, it could have still become a commercial success. It's a great plane. Passengers love it. No it wasn't profitable, but there's no need to bash it.

Faury explained it well here:
https://www.flightglobal.com/news/articles/faury-defends-airbus-forecasting-after-a380-disappoi-458423/


Boeing was looking at the same data, and screaming the Airbus's view was crazy. And they were right. It's not like a "who knew, there was no way to tell". It's more like "Your major competitor got it right, and you didn't".

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