So Leahy was so upset with the engine OEM's that when the A380 was heading for life support, he decided to allow one of those original OEM's to build an A380 engine?
Really cannot make this thing up...
Boulevard of bad decisions.
Once you decide to push ahead with a shitty business case, you start mental gymnastics to justify it.
The leeham article above shows he doesn't even want to engage in mental gymnastics:
Leahy dismissed the development of the Boeing 777-300ER (EIS, 2004), the 787 (program launch, December 2003), the A350 (program launch 2005) and the long-range A330 (evolving, but after 2006) as factors inhibiting A380 sales.
He also dismissed the more recent development of the long-range Boeing 737 MAX and Airbus’ own A320neo, which now can serve routes up to 4,000nm.
It all comes back to the demand doubling every 15 years and congestion at airports like London Heathrow, Paris Charles de Gaulle, New York JFK and Tokyo Narita. These are origin-and-destination markets in addition to be connecting hubs, he says, which remain unaffected by the market fragmentation offered by the big twin-aisle, twin-engine and re-engined single-aisle airplanes.
LHR and CDG are controlled by IAG and AFKL. There's so much slot squatting going on they can make capacity appear if/when they need it. JFK is so valuable that UA left and AA T8 is half full at best. Narita? LOL! Everyone always wanted to be at HND and that's how it's playing out, and one can't fly A380 there! If it was all about airport capacity everyone would be fighting over NRT instead of HND! It's amazing he's clinging to the "only solution is bigger airplanes" rhetoric!
“The market is more than twice as big,” Leahy counters when asked about the increasing market fragmentation brought about by all these new aircraft. “More people are flying, RPKs (revenue passenger kilometers) are increasing and I don’t see any new airports being built….
“Pushing more people through these airports isn’t going to work. You have to use bigger aircraft,” he says.
Well, John, they built NRT and now what? Almost all the pax prefer HND and it's not accepting A380s!
QF was ready to do Project Sunrise pre-CV19 using A350 and guess why? People will pay a premium to NOT go through the big hub airports. QF operated PER-LHR using 789 and got a premium to do so, and found slots at LHR to make it happen. Guess they didn't need a bigger airplane.
The part values are of concern. Most commercial widebodies see freight conversions (747, 767, 777, A300, A330, DC-10, and MD-11). The reality is, too late for an A388P2F a la L1011 or A340. That is needed to suck up frames.
The A380 wss a political fight within Airbus. One group wanted a proposed A305 and early A320NEO instead of the A380, the other wanted the A380.
No one was willing to do anything more than a derivative engine for the A380. Boeing had such competition for the 787 engine that every engine vendor offered new generation technology. No one offered that for the limited expectations on the A380.
Air France doesn't have a setup to connect enough passengers to fill an A380. Everyone expected limited availability at European hubs and Japanese hubs would drive A380 demand. Instead we have the ME3 and new Chinese hubs with old impacted hubs now feeding the new hubs.
Thanks for the perspective. It'd be a very different world if we had a A305 and A320neo in 2000-ish rather than A380. I think we'd have seen an A350 aimed right at 777 much earlier, instead of going through that A350 MkI/II/III stuff, the A358 that didn't sell, the first A3510 that didn't sell with the original configuration and isn't selling much better with the beefed up wings and TXWB95, etc. We might have a line up of A320neo, A305mom, A330neoXLR, and a bigger A350 right now and not have lost all that time and money on A380.
Re: "No one was willing to do anything more than a derivative engine for the A380": JL explains it differently:
“We brought out and launched the 380 in 2000. We’re out there with the 380 and GE and Pratt & Whitney and Rolls-Royce are assuring us there is nothing on the horizon. This is best level of engine technology you can get.”
The engine OEMs assured Airbus, Leahy said, that the A380 engines would be state of the art for the next 10 years.
“Then, within three years, these guys are there with Boeing with the 787 with game-changing engine technology and 10% lower fuel burn than the last generation engines,” Leahy says.
“You stand around and say, these guys knew what they had. They were working on it. They knew it was a big step. They kept their mouths shut and even intentionally misled us with the 380 technology, because why wouldn’t you have just wait two or three years with the 380 to get the new generation engines if you thought there was a new generation engine on the horizon?
“They wanted to sell their own generation engines. None of our engineers knew it. None of our product development people were aware of it. That was a real strategic mistake. I’d love to have an A380 now with 10% lower fuel burn.
“Put this on the record: I’m still upset that the engine guys in the year 2000 said there was nothing on the horizon.”
This one is on JL and Airbus. Of course the "engine guys" are gonna want to sell you what they've already developed i.e. a derivative engine. Of course engine tech moves forward in generations, and A380's intro was right in between generations. It's up to you to figure out what is possible and what your business case can support. If the business case closes with mid-generation engines and then it's a flop, the issue is that your business case sucked, not that the "engine guys" let you down. The real issue was political clout within Airbus. Chances are he knew if A380 needed to wait 3-4 years for new engines the other proposals would have one and his faction would lose, and now the "engine guys" are his scapegoat.