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VV
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Re: The Airbus A380 Turns 15 Today (April 27)

Fri Sep 18, 2020 6:11 am

Everything was predictable since day one because there has not been enough market for quad VLA.

It is intriguing people still try to justify the early end of A380 production.

How long will the kind of "debate" like this thread continue?

The aircraft production will end in 2021.
 
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Re: The Airbus A380 Turns 15 Today (April 27)

Fri Sep 18, 2020 6:23 am

jimatkins wrote:
Read Richard Aboulafia the other day. His statement about being able to fly point to point between a lot of previously unexpected city pairs as opposed to changing planes in Narita or Heathrow is pretty much on the money for why the A380 failed. It's convenience, not so much in time, but in the hassle of a hub airport. People voted with their credit cards. Covid was just the final nails in the coffin.


Aboulafia ended up being right on the A380 but his analysis was superficial. He would likely have said the same thing had the A380 achieved real double-decker efficiency instead of squandering efficiency for a strategically-misguided focus on being mega as opposed to merely largest.

Look at any of the new "point-to-point" routes enabled by 787/A350 and you'll see they all (1) connect to a hub and (2) have typical long haul O&D portions of around 20%. So the time/convenience marginal benefit applies only to the O&D folks plus the typically-small number of folks for whom a new one-stop option replaces bridge-hubbing.

When the efficiency gap between smaller and larger planes is negligible, the revenue premium extracted from 1/3 of your pax load is sufficient to justify the negligibly higher unit costs of a smaller plane. But note the many failures of new long haul 787-8 routes over the last decade: it is by no means easy to cover higher unit costs by targeting a small O&D base.

A competently conceived A380 would have been game-changingly more efficient, stripping spoke-proliferation strategy of the bread and butter connectors on which all long haul relies.
 
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Re: The Airbus A380 Turns 15 Today (April 27)

Fri Sep 18, 2020 6:40 am

ScottB wrote:
clearly we had different takeaways from our respective educations.


Initially, no. I drank the Kool-aid like a good boy in my early 20's but I've kept on learning.

Government doesn't have to make poor decisions about the allocation of resources but often it does.


This is a route back towards the topic...

Airbus made the poor substantive decision here; European governments made the poor meta-decision not to scrutinize adequately the Airbus business case.

The poor substantive decision - the original sin of the A380 program - was to focus on 650 seats instead of 450-500. All the aero/structual baggage plaguing today's A388 stems from that idiocy. Unless we think European governments wouldn't have supported a 500-seater then it was the free market players who caused the mis-allocation of both private and public resources (Airbus supported A's 300-350 so there's little doubt the cash would have been available for a slightly-smaller A380 that was still the world's biggest).
 
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Re: The Airbus A380 Turns 15 Today (April 27)

Fri Sep 18, 2020 7:11 am

ScottB wrote:
"Comfort" is a difficult thing to value. And I'd actually argue that while customers tend to be quite vocal about comfort, they seem to place little actual monetary value on it.


I meant to respond to this earlier. Two avenues: one aviation-related and one meta (and mostly for intellectual fun).

Aviation-related:

I completely agree with your pushback against "comfort" as an A380 rationale. Airliner space is basically a commodity, what matters is the seat. To the extent there's non-seat comfort factors, these all militate against the A380: it lacks the plastics' higher cabin pressure, its main deck sidewalls curve away suboptimally for window pax, its UD ceiling height compares unfavorably to the spacious (and wasteful) crowns of big twins.

Configured at approximately-equal seating density to the twins, I'd wager the A380 would be a very uncomfortable plane. With 11ab MD it's more cramped than 10ab 777 and 9ab 787. Folks here will disagree with that but it's basic arithmetic: you have 17 more inches than 777 and 30 more than 787. Physics doesn't allow the addition of even a bog-standard seat or two.

What A380 "comfort" rationalizers miss is the reason for the A380's typically-capacious layout. In airliners that aren't colossal failures of business analysis, it's almost always more profitable to fit another seat than to give people more space - thus the cattle-class squeeze dynamics you mention. The whale, however, typically sits in a portion of airliner yield curve where the marginal revenue/cost of another pax doesn't match the marginal revenue and cost savings of more space per pax. The relative spaciousness of actual A380 configurations is only a belated attempt to ameliorate its poor economics.

Meta

Comfort is an easy thing to price given adequate data, which the airlines all have. Their lower-price, discomfort strategy is almost certainly the efficient, economically rational move.

Economics teaches you the price of everything and the value of nothing, however. Discerning the value of comfort would require, inter alia, knowing something about the systemic effects on passenger psychology and social dynamics of accepting a half-day of torture to see your loved ones, to experience the world, or to have a better life somewhere else.
 
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Re: The Airbus A380 Turns 15 Today (April 27)

Fri Sep 18, 2020 2:09 pm

Matt6461 wrote:
Discerning the value of comfort would require, inter alia, knowing something about the systemic effects on passenger psychology and social dynamics of accepting a half-day of torture to see your loved ones, to experience the world, or to have a better life somewhere else.


I think the bigger issue with comfort with respect to air travel is that the marginal cost of a meaningful amount of additional comfort is very high -- i.e. the usually huge price gap between business class and steerage. For businesses, part of that gap in cost is covered by governments through tax subsidy (deductibility of business expenses); but for most consumers, it's much harder to justify the difference as one might between the Hilton and Hampton Inn.

Yeah, long-haul coach isn't a fantastic experience but it's tolerable. I've done an overnight transatlantic flight on a 10-across 777 (AF) and it was fine. Food was decent, IFE kept me entertained (which helps the time pass), and I was able to get a few Zs. I also knew I had a comfortable bed awaiting me the following night. Torture? Far from it. Granted, I haven't flown NK. To some degree, soft product (food, customer service, etc.) can go a very long way to improve customer perception of the product without adding quite as much cost as additional cabin space.
 
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Re: The Airbus A380 Turns 15 Today (April 27)

Fri Sep 18, 2020 3:15 pm

ScottB wrote:
I think the bigger issue with comfort with respect to air travel is that the marginal cost of a meaningful amount of additional comfort is very high


I don't deeply disagree but you're talking about price again whereas I was talking about value. Value is a human concept not subsumed by price.
 
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Re: The Airbus A380 Turns 15 Today (April 27)

Fri Sep 18, 2020 3:23 pm

VV wrote:
Everything was predictable since day one because there has not been enough market for quad VLA.

It is intriguing people still try to justify the early end of A380 production.

How long will the kind of "debate" like this thread continue?

The aircraft production will end in 2021.


I do find this interesting as well.

a.net supporters take a harder line on the manufacturers successes and failures than the manufacturers themselves.
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Re: The Airbus A380 Turns 15 Today (April 27)

Fri Sep 18, 2020 3:44 pm

When I book a motel room I know that a 3 star rating will normally leave me happy. 2 stars generally won't. I don't need all the comforts of a 4 or 5 star room, I only intend to be there for the night. And hopefully buffet breakfast in the morning. 6 abreast, 35 inch pitch from the 1960s and services would likely rate a scant 4 star. There are no such signals on Orbitz and others as to which Y tickets will be a 3 star sort of experience. I do know that Southwest will at least have a minimum or no hassle, I value that highly. Far too many flights for me and others have had a 1 star rating on the hassle factor. Southwest and likely Delta, JetBlue, and Alaska Y seating rates a scant 3 stars. It would be a step forward is there were some reliable ratings for the various seating options of all the airlines.
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Re: The Airbus A380 Turns 15 Today (April 27)

Fri Sep 18, 2020 4:39 pm

Matt6461 wrote:
Aboulafia ended up being right on the A380 but his analysis was superficial. He would likely have said the same thing had the A380 achieved real double-decker efficiency instead of squandering efficiency for a strategically-misguided focus on being mega as opposed to merely largest.

Look at any of the new "point-to-point" routes enabled by 787/A350 and you'll see they all (1) connect to a hub and (2) have typical long haul O&D portions of around 20%. So the time/convenience marginal benefit applies only to the O&D folks plus the typically-small number of folks for whom a new one-stop option replaces bridge-hubbing.

When the efficiency gap between smaller and larger planes is negligible, the revenue premium extracted from 1/3 of your pax load is sufficient to justify the negligibly higher unit costs of a smaller plane. But note the many failures of new long haul 787-8 routes over the last decade: it is by no means easy to cover higher unit costs by targeting a small O&D base.

A competently conceived A380 would have been game-changingly more efficient, stripping spoke-proliferation strategy of the bread and butter connectors on which all long haul relies.

Yes, I think RA's analysis was based on Boeing's failures to gain traction with the various 747-500/600 proposals and it suggesting a partnership with Airbus on a VLA that was quickly dropped. A new VLA was always going to be a challenge with what was expected of the market at the time. A380-800 as a shrink of the never-built A380-900 only compounded the challenges.

viewtopic.php?f=3&t=1450371&p=22423493#p22379085 has some interesting info on how IE is using A321neo on hub-spoke routes formerly flown by A330ceo. A321neo is said to cost 15% more in unit cost than does A330ceo but A321neo is preferred, not just due to drop in demand due to covid, but also presumably better ability to match capacity with demand and avoid yield dilution.

Ideas floated earlier in this thread that A380 could be used to consolidate the limited demand are not panning out. If anything it's the opposite where A321 will undermine the wide bodies with its lower trip costs and better ability to match capacity with demand.
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Re: The Airbus A380 Turns 15 Today (April 27)

Fri Sep 18, 2020 7:38 pm

Matt6461 wrote:
ScottB wrote:
I think the bigger issue with comfort with respect to air travel is that the marginal cost of a meaningful amount of additional comfort is very high


I don't deeply disagree but you're talking about price again whereas I was talking about value. Value is a human concept not subsumed by price.


When it comes to go from point A to point B, commuter trains filled to the brim with standing passengers tell us that travelers don't value comfort. It's really a remote concern compared to having the opportunity to go from A to B. I have no doubt that the airlines would find many customers ready to travel standing if regulation would allow it.
 
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Re: The Airbus A380 Turns 15 Today (April 27)

Fri Sep 18, 2020 9:43 pm

Revelation wrote:
Matt6461 wrote:
Aboulafia ended up being right on the A380 but his analysis was superficial. He would likely have said the same thing had the A380 achieved real double-decker efficiency instead of squandering efficiency for a strategically-misguided focus on being mega as opposed to merely largest.

Look at any of the new "point-to-point" routes enabled by 787/A350 and you'll see they all (1) connect to a hub and (2) have typical long haul O&D portions of around 20%. So the time/convenience marginal benefit applies only to the O&D folks plus the typically-small number of folks for whom a new one-stop option replaces bridge-hubbing.

When the efficiency gap between smaller and larger planes is negligible, the revenue premium extracted from 1/3 of your pax load is sufficient to justify the negligibly higher unit costs of a smaller plane. But note the many failures of new long haul 787-8 routes over the last decade: it is by no means easy to cover higher unit costs by targeting a small O&D base.

A competently conceived A380 would have been game-changingly more efficient, stripping spoke-proliferation strategy of the bread and butter connectors on which all long haul relies.

Yes, I think RA's analysis was based on Boeing's failures to gain traction with the various 747-500/600 proposals and it suggesting a partnership with Airbus on a VLA that was quickly dropped. A new VLA was always going to be a challenge with what was expected of the market at the time. A380-800 as a shrink of the never-built A380-900 only compounded the challenges.

viewtopic.php?f=3&t=1450371&p=22423493#p22379085 has some interesting info on how IE is using A321neo on hub-spoke routes formerly flown by A330ceo. A321neo is said to cost 15% more in unit cost than does A330ceo but A321neo is preferred, not just due to drop in demand due to covid, but also presumably better ability to match capacity with demand and avoid yield dilution.

Ideas floated earlier in this thread that A380 could be used to consolidate the limited demand are not panning out. If anything it's the opposite where A321 will undermine the wide bodies with its lower trip costs and better ability to match capacity with demand.


Thanks for the link. I wholeheartedly agree that A321 will undermine widebodies. The lower-trip-cost plane winning despite slightly higher operating costs has been demonstrated repeatedly yet many observers are thinking for some reason that single-aisles won't see as much market adoption for long haul (because too cramped). That fear, btw, partially explains AB's aversion to 10/8-6 for the A380 (slogan was "wide body comfort on two decks" or something daft like that).

While the A330ceo may have 15% higher unit costs than the A321LR used in this comparison (184 seats: https://seatguru.com/airlines/Aer_Lingu ... mation.php), we should be careful not to directly extrapolate the switch out to the behavior of an airline making fleet purchase decisions.

Re COVID consolidation on A380, did somebody who should know better say that or maybe one of the die-hards here?
 
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Re: The Airbus A380 Turns 15 Today (April 27)

Fri Sep 18, 2020 9:48 pm

tomcat wrote:
I have no doubt that the airlines would find many customers ready to travel standing if regulation would allow it.


I don't doubt it either. But you're using a superficial definition of value (basically price or revealed consumer preference). That we don't allow such carriage - the society has values beyond price and revealed consumer preference - hints up the things not dreamed of in naive market philosophy.
 
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Re: The Airbus A380 Turns 15 Today (April 27)

Fri Sep 18, 2020 11:18 pm

Douglas7Seas wrote:
The A380 lasted less than 20 years. Not what you'd call a successful run.


A380 was anything but successful. People lived it. I'm sure when it was proposed, it made sense. Unfortunately the economics changed for it as more point to.point flying became popular. It was built for a hub and spoke business and ended up losing to the point to point philosophy. I stated that years ago that would be the case. As I saw the 747 was too big for alot of routes. A350 and 787 are right for the routes of most airlines international demand.
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Re: The Airbus A380 Turns 15 Today (April 27)

Sat Sep 19, 2020 1:03 am

tomcat wrote:
Matt6461 wrote:
ScottB wrote:
I think the bigger issue with comfort with respect to air travel is that the marginal cost of a meaningful amount of additional comfort is very high


I don't deeply disagree but you're talking about price again whereas I was talking about value. Value is a human concept not subsumed by price.


When it comes to go from point A to point B, commuter trains filled to the brim with standing passengers tell us that travelers don't value comfort. It's really a remote concern compared to having the opportunity to go from A to B. I have no doubt that the airlines would find many customers ready to travel standing if regulation would allow it.


I personally don’t mind Spirit coach on short haul. I would even accept standing only flights for ultra short haul.

The problem with airlines is that they cram 10 across into a 777 and then fly these contraptions over the Pacific for 15 hours. No thank you.

Non 3rd world long distance trains aren’t commuter density packed either. Ever checked a TGV or a Shinkansen or even long distance Amtrak? None of them are as uncomfortable as a flight from DFW to HKG on an AA 777 in 10 across coach.
 
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Re: The Airbus A380 Turns 15 Today (April 27)

Sat Sep 19, 2020 4:35 am

brilondon wrote:
I'm sure when it was proposed, it made sense.


no
 
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Re: The Airbus A380 Turns 15 Today (April 27)

Sat Sep 19, 2020 4:46 am

brilondon wrote:
I'm sure when it was proposed, it made sense.


NO
 
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Re: The Airbus A380 Turns 15 Today (April 27)

Sat Sep 19, 2020 8:26 am

I remember reading AW&ST, I believe in the late '90s or so, when the A380 and 7J7 (to become the 787) were being discussed and early shopped to airlines.
Airbus felt the future was slot-constrained airports, growing passenger counts, which needed a larger AC than the 747.
Boeing felt the VLA market was smaller than Airbus did, and felt the future was long haul smaller WBs that offered point-to-point efficiency.
We know the history. Boeing was basically correct and Airbus was mostly wrong. If Boeing had not screwed the pooch on the 787 project, they'd have been even earlier and more profitable.
I flew my first A380 only right at the start of the pandemic. That AC (QANTAS) is now in storage and may not fly again. Sorry for the A380 but the pandemic is just accelerating the inevitable.
 
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Re: The Airbus A380 Turns 15 Today (April 27)

Sat Sep 19, 2020 10:42 am

Matt6461 wrote:
The poor substantive decision - the original sin of the A380 program - was to focus on 650 seats instead of 450-500.


The A380 focus was correct. What was not correct was the GFC of 2008 and Corona2020 :-)

As they say: Hindsight is 2020 :-)

You have a similar abyss between WB and DoubleDeckWB as the one that exists between the NB and WB regions.
The smaller A380 would have been a JumboMOM. Inefficient.
Guess why Boeings MOM does not materialize.

P2P routes need much more traffic per "point2point relation" to be worthwhile than the "2 Megahubs joined by Addidas Network" that Emirates set up.
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Re: The Airbus A380 Turns 15 Today (April 27)

Sat Sep 19, 2020 11:04 am

WIederling wrote:
Matt6461 wrote:
The poor substantive decision - the original sin of the A380 program - was to focus on 650 seats instead of 450-500.


The A380 focus was correct. What was not correct was the GFC of 2008 and Corona2020 :-)


Speaking as someone who's a big fan of the A380, it was already on the way out even before the pandemic. If anything, the pandemic merely hastened the inevitable and brought forward a decision that airlines not called Emirates had been planning all along. After all, AF's A380 retirement announcement happened in 2019 and Lufthansa (which is rumored to be getting rid of its A380s) had been rumored to have soured on the plane and been planning to phase it out for years now, plus QR already said they would leave their fleet once the planes reached 10 years of service. Even if the pandemic didn't happen, it's likely that by 2029, the only operators remaining would be EK and perhaps BA and/or SQ.
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Re: The Airbus A380 Turns 15 Today (April 27)

Sat Sep 19, 2020 11:44 am

Which Operators are left that will eventually Fly it again? EK and ?
 
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Re: The Airbus A380 Turns 15 Today (April 27)

Sat Sep 19, 2020 11:49 am

morrisond wrote:
Which Operators are left that will eventually Fly it again? EK and ?

BA. HiFly too if it counts.
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Re: The Airbus A380 Turns 15 Today (April 27)

Sat Sep 19, 2020 12:50 pm

ScottB wrote:
The U.S. had a regulated airline industry nearly a half century ago, and while the service and comfort were generally much better than today, air travel was far more expensive in real terms. Most Americans couldn't afford to fly. Many people seem to be perfectly willing to pay more for better hotels, rental cars, cruises, etc. -- so I think it's a reasonable conclusion that the market has spoken with respect to comfort. People will pay a bit more -- see the success of Delta or JetBlue -- but not a lot more, typically.

The difference between the airline and hotel industry during the period of airline regulation was that customers still HAD the ability to choose their hotels based on price, comfort even loyalty..
The regulations either through intent or abuse were used to ensure that client choice was severely limited, hence the actual pax numbers were much much lower.
The present state of affairs shows that people are still willing to pay higher prices, however, based on volume, they are the folks using private planes versus paying more dollars for a seat in the front of a plane. In these type conversations no one talks much about the rise of FBO's or in general the rise of the General Aviation industry, the ability to leave when you want is valued and paid for, just not to the commercial airlines who have their own schedules.
 
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Re: The Airbus A380 Turns 15 Today (April 27)

Sat Sep 19, 2020 2:33 pm

WIederling wrote:
Matt6461 wrote:
The poor substantive decision - the original sin of the A380 program - was to focus on 650 seats instead of 450-500.

The A380 focus was correct. What was not correct was the GFC of 2008 and Corona2020 :-)

That's simply wrong.

The decision to end A380 production was made before CV19 struck, and the retirements had already begun. There was already no after market for A380 before CV19 other than that one A380 Airbus made available to HiFly on generous terms which sits more than it flies. All that did was prove there was no after market for the type.

A330 survived CV19, 2008 GFC, 2001 9/11, 2nd Iraq War, SARS and all the related recessions. It even got a NEO. No excuse needed for it, it's a highly efficient twin engine wide body.

For reasons obvious to most people, it's the largest plane that is the most vulnerable to economic recessions. If Airbus didn't factor that into their business plans and assumed only fair weather sailing, that's on them.

Something I wrote on Page 1 of this thread four months ago:

Revelation wrote:
Yes, but that's all a part of the risk equation: the risk is more for a big airplane. We're seeing the same thing now with 779: Boeing has CX's deposits for 779 and CX now sees the 787-10 as a better use of that money than 779. The 779 business case had to have some realization that if another SARS or GFC came along it would be more vulnerable than 787. A380 needed even more efficiency to keep selling in the face of a market contraction, but it was overbuilt due to an incredibly optimistic projection for future growth. 779 may find itself shelved because it does not offer enough efficiency gain above A350/787 and we can't say the problem was COVID-19, the problem was Boeing not building an efficient enough airplane to remain attractive once the inevitable setback happened.

----

Matt6461 wrote:
Re COVID consolidation on A380, did somebody who should know better say that or maybe one of the die-hards here?

I don't remember, and I can't find the quote right now. I didn't pay too much attention to it.
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Re: The Airbus A380 Turns 15 Today (April 27)

Sat Sep 19, 2020 4:39 pm

filipinoavgeek wrote:
[

Speaking as someone who's a big fan of the A380, it was already on the way out even before the pandemic..


GFC killed the product market.
CoVid19 killed the use case of the existing fleet, mostly.
double whammy.
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Re: The Airbus A380 Turns 15 Today (April 27)

Sat Sep 19, 2020 5:54 pm

WIederling wrote:
filipinoavgeek wrote:
Speaking as someone who's a big fan of the A380, it was already on the way out even before the pandemic..

GFC killed the product market.
CoVid19 killed the use case of the existing fleet, mostly.
double whammy.

Ok, it looks like we really are going with the "A380 needed two decades without a recession to succeed" theory.

Meanwhile LH has four engined A340-600 aircraft from the same manufacturer with similar ages and similar engine tech that will end up surviving both GFC and COVID while their A380s will not.
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Re: The Airbus A380 Turns 15 Today (April 27)

Sun Sep 20, 2020 1:35 pm

Revelation wrote:
WIederling wrote:
filipinoavgeek wrote:
Speaking as someone who's a big fan of the A380, it was already on the way out even before the pandemic..

GFC killed the product market.
CoVid19 killed the use case of the existing fleet, mostly.
double whammy.

Ok, it looks like we really are going with the "A380 needed two decades without a recession to succeed" theory.

Meanwhile LH has four engined A340-600 aircraft from the same manufacturer with similar ages and similar engine tech that will end up surviving both GFC and COVID while their A380s will not.


Wiederling as the Hiro Onoda of the old A380 defender's league. Respect for the doggedness. We may have to drop John Leahy into the jungles of a.net to tell him that he fought honorably but the war is lost, the emperor surrendered.
 
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Re: The Airbus A380 Turns 15 Today (April 27)

Sun Sep 20, 2020 3:57 pm

Matt6461 wrote:
Wiederling as the Hiro Onoda of the old A380 defender's league.


ROFL, nice.

Obviously I see myself more centered in the "Ceterum censeo .." crowd :-)
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Re: The Airbus A380 Turns 15 Today (April 27)

Mon Sep 21, 2020 1:44 pm

In more sad news for A380 fans, Lufthansa just announced that their eight remaining A380s will be stored indefinitely and will be "taken out of planning". Them returning to service would be dependent on an "unexpectedly fast recovery". While it appears that they haven't been retired just yet, the signs don't look bright.
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Re: The Airbus A380 Turns 15 Today (April 27)

Mon Sep 21, 2020 1:56 pm

I think Sir Tim was correct, other airline executives are just to gun shy when it comes to using the A380 properly. Let's look at the life of the A380 in Covid.
1. We know that the A380 is the pax favorite, a niche of them will pay extra to fly on the big bird.
2. Covid has shut down the travel industry, airlines however are still free to fly.
3. In Asia they have come up with the idea of "Flights to Nowhere", so...

All those wealthy Europeans who can afford to enjoy the comfort of the A380 would be willing to spend a few dollars for a 4, 5 or 6 hour flight cruising over Europe or out over the Atlantic to avoid overflight fees to support the a/c and keep the pilots and crew flight ready, at the very least, based on what they charge this niche group of pax, they may be able to recoup the cost of the flight, at least the a/c and crew will be doing what they are meant to do, which is fly.
Ask the question, if they had done flights to nowhere on the Concorde, how many of us would have ponied up? Is the A380 in the same vein, at this point I would say no, but if the need to be on the big bird is as strong as the supporters here on A.Net claim, it should be a very big niche. At the very least I hope those airlines in Asia and Qantas (using 787) would at least try to see if they can give the big bird a new lease on life.
 
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Re: The Airbus A380 Turns 15 Today (April 27)

Mon Sep 21, 2020 2:14 pm

WIederling wrote:
Matt6461 wrote:
Wiederling as the Hiro Onoda of the old A380 defender's league.


ROFL, nice.

Obviously I see myself more centered in the "Ceterum censeo .." crowd :-)


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ScottB
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Re: The Airbus A380 Turns 15 Today (April 27)

Mon Sep 21, 2020 2:37 pm

par13del wrote:
Ask the question, if they had done flights to nowhere on the Concorde, how many of us would have ponied up? Is the A380 in the same vein, at this point I would say no, but if the need to be on the big bird is as strong as the supporters here on A.Net claim, it should be a very big niche.


The situation with Concorde was very different. Concorde was withdrawn from service because Airbus, as the successor to the Anglo-French partnership, ended support for the aircraft. Further, Concorde was unique in that it flew at Mach 2. You didn't fly it for comfort -- the cabin was 7 cm wider than a CRJ and about 12 cm narrower than an E175. With A380, you get a seat that's a bit bigger in a larger cabin, overall, and... that's about it.

A380 flights to nowhere might draw enough customers for a fraction of HiFly's capacity. I like getting on planes to go places, but to go nowhere is a hard pass for me.
 
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Re: The Airbus A380 Turns 15 Today (April 27)

Mon Sep 21, 2020 2:52 pm

ScottB wrote:
The situation with Concorde was very different. Concorde was withdrawn from service because Airbus, as the successor to the Anglo-French partnership, ended support for the aircraft.

BA operations returned strong after the crash, AF not so much, personally, I still believe AF lack of a strong operation led to the withdrawal of support, if we can't, no one can.

On the flights to nowhere, just as you may not like those flights, a number of persons have no issue going on a 10 abreast 777 versus a A380.
The suggestion is about seeing if there are enough customers who would not otherwise be able to ride on an A380 who would jump on the chance to fly the a/c before it goes away, especially since at present pre-covid it is usually only deployed on long haul flights which includes the cost of accommodations. If reasonably priced, I would pay even if in economy, at least I would not have to wait to collect bags.
 
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Re: The Airbus A380 Turns 15 Today (April 27)

Tue Sep 22, 2020 1:43 pm

I thought I read somewhere that there were "flights to no where" on the concords at one point (maybe early in service). They would go out over water hit mach 2 then return. I could be wrong!
 
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Re: The Airbus A380 Turns 15 Today (April 27)

Wed Sep 23, 2020 1:53 pm

Aviation Toulouse reports:

The last one! (Loudly crying faceI) Initial assembly of msn 272, the last #Airbus #A380 is completed, it was transferred from station 40 to station 35 this morning. (Flag of United Arab Emirates) #AvGeek #Toulouse


Image

Ref: https://twitter.com/Frenchpainter/statu ... 7462672384

Given the recent production cuts and money shortages, I wonder if Airbus is still considering reusing the A380 halls for A320 production.
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Re: The Airbus A380 Turns 15 Today (April 27)

Wed Sep 23, 2020 2:09 pm

While this specific end-of-line may not be something to celebrate, will Airbus have a small event or something planned?

Based on the human portraits on the windows, they at least have some commemorative celebrations internally.

Revelation wrote:
Aviation Toulouse reports:

Image
 
Antarius
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Re: The Airbus A380 Turns 15 Today (April 27)

Wed Sep 23, 2020 3:14 pm

par13del wrote:
1. We know that the A380 is the pax favorite, a niche of them will pay extra to fly on the big bird.


Its the same tiny group of pax who complain that the 737 is so narrow that no one would fly it; hasn't stopped 10000 of them being delivered.

We have a very loud, very vocal and completely disconnected from reality group here that make it seem like there is a business case and critical mass for the a380 to survive. Its a fantasy.
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Re: The Airbus A380 Turns 15 Today (April 27)

Wed Sep 23, 2020 5:09 pm

carlokiii wrote:
While this specific end-of-line may not be something to celebrate, will Airbus have a small event or something planned?

Based on the human portraits on the windows, they at least have some commemorative celebrations internally.

Apparently there was a "past and present" gathering with CEO Faury giving a speech:

Julie Kitcher @julie_kitcher

Moment to remember: the rollout of the last #Airbus #A380 from Station 40 with the A380 Team past and present, @GuillaumeFaury and Philippe Mhun at the Lagardère FAL today in Toulouse. What an aircraft! #iflyA380 #avgeek #Teamwork #Innovation


Image

Ref: https://twitter.com/julie_kitcher/statu ... 1534428160
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Re: The Airbus A380 Turns 15 Today (April 27)

Thu Sep 24, 2020 9:14 am

Chemist wrote:
I remember reading AW&ST, I believe in the late '90s or so, when the A380 and 7J7 (to become the 787) were being discussed and early shopped to airlines.
Airbus felt the future was slot-constrained airports, growing passenger counts, which needed a larger AC than the 747.
Boeing felt the VLA market was smaller than Airbus did, and felt the future was long haul smaller WBs that offered point-to-point efficiency.
We know the history. Boeing was basically correct and Airbus was mostly wrong. If Boeing had not screwed the pooch on the 787 project, they'd have been even earlier and more profitable.
I flew my first A380 only right at the start of the pandemic. That AC (QANTAS) is now in storage and may not fly again. Sorry for the A380 but the pandemic is just accelerating the inevitable.


What point-to-point flying? Most B787 are just flying from hubs, doing things the B767, A330 and B772 were doing.
 
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Re: The Airbus A380 Turns 15 Today (April 27)

Thu Sep 24, 2020 9:58 am

In some way the A321neoXLR is the true big airplane killer. This makes connecting small markets possible at a profit so hubs are not needed for certain long range city pairs anymore.
 
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Re: The Airbus A380 Turns 15 Today (April 27)

Thu Sep 24, 2020 12:17 pm

Revelation wrote:
Aviation Toulouse reports:

The last one! (Loudly crying faceI) Initial assembly of msn 272, the last #Airbus #A380 is completed, it was transferred from station 40 to station 35 this morning. (Flag of United Arab Emirates) #AvGeek #Toulouse


Ref: https://twitter.com/Frenchpainter/statu ... 7462672384

Given the recent production cuts and money shortages, I wonder if Airbus is still considering reusing the A380 halls for A320 production.

One of the responses to that tweet says that the project to reuse the A380 halls for A320 production has been shelved, for the obvious reason that right now they don't need more production capacity.
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Re: The Airbus A380 Turns 15 Today (April 27)

Thu Sep 24, 2020 12:46 pm

marcelh wrote:
Chemist wrote:
I remember reading AW&ST, I believe in the late '90s or so, when the A380 and 7J7 (to become the 787) were being discussed and early shopped to airlines.
Airbus felt the future was slot-constrained airports, growing passenger counts, which needed a larger AC than the 747.
Boeing felt the VLA market was smaller than Airbus did, and felt the future was long haul smaller WBs that offered point-to-point efficiency.
We know the history. Boeing was basically correct and Airbus was mostly wrong. If Boeing had not screwed the pooch on the 787 project, they'd have been even earlier and more profitable.
I flew my first A380 only right at the start of the pandemic. That AC (QANTAS) is now in storage and may not fly again. Sorry for the A380 but the pandemic is just accelerating the inevitable.


What point-to-point flying? Most B787 are just flying from hubs, doing things the B767, A330 and B772 were doing.


I mean, the 787/350 was always going to do hub-spoke flying. What the 787 has done was allow for more longer thin routes to open that weren’t economical feasible with with a larger aircraft due having to take weight restrictions. Good examples are IAH-SYD/AKL which we’re going to happen before the 787/350.
 
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Re: The Airbus A380 Turns 15 Today (April 27)

Thu Sep 24, 2020 1:30 pm

bigb wrote:
marcelh wrote:
Chemist wrote:
I remember reading AW&ST, I believe in the late '90s or so, when the A380 and 7J7 (to become the 787) were being discussed and early shopped to airlines.
Airbus felt the future was slot-constrained airports, growing passenger counts, which needed a larger AC than the 747.
Boeing felt the VLA market was smaller than Airbus did, and felt the future was long haul smaller WBs that offered point-to-point efficiency.
We know the history. Boeing was basically correct and Airbus was mostly wrong. If Boeing had not screwed the pooch on the 787 project, they'd have been even earlier and more profitable.
I flew my first A380 only right at the start of the pandemic. That AC (QANTAS) is now in storage and may not fly again. Sorry for the A380 but the pandemic is just accelerating the inevitable.

What point-to-point flying? Most B787 are just flying from hubs, doing things the B767, A330 and B772 were doing.

I mean, the 787/350 was always going to do hub-spoke flying. What the 787 has done was allow for more longer thin routes to open that weren’t economical feasible with with a larger aircraft due having to take weight restrictions. Good examples are IAH-SYD/AKL which we’re going to happen before the 787/350.

The opposite of hub-to-hub includes both hub-to-point and point-to-point.

The trend Boeing correctly identified is eliminating stops. The pre-2000 era still included a lot of point-hub-hub-point flights. That was gradually starting to diminish due to planes such as 767 and A330. Boeing saw that as the dominant trend going forward rather than p-h-h-p flying so built a clean sheet 767 replacement rather than a clean sheet 747 replacement. Clearly 747-8i was a mistake they'd like to have not done, but at least it was a smaller mistake than A380.

The ironic thing is A380 is also doing a lot of hub-to-point flying (EK flying A380 to places no one expected A380 to ever fly to) and is still a market failure. It's a square peg that was being pounded into a round hole, much like US operators who tried to make 747s work on domestic routes.
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Re: The Airbus A380 Turns 15 Today (April 27)

Thu Sep 24, 2020 3:18 pm

It is sad about the final frame assembly of the A380, but harsh reality has to be faced sometime and an end reached.
I wonder how EK will be able to really use all their A380 much in the future. Unless it prices seats so cheap vs. other airlines, how many will want to continue to go through a hub at Dubai vs a non-stop for many destinations.
 
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Re: The Airbus A380 Turns 15 Today (April 27)

Thu Sep 24, 2020 3:46 pm

bigb wrote:
marcelh wrote:
Chemist wrote:
I remember reading AW&ST, I believe in the late '90s or so, when the A380 and 7J7 (to become the 787) were being discussed and early shopped to airlines.
Airbus felt the future was slot-constrained airports, growing passenger counts, which needed a larger AC than the 747.
Boeing felt the VLA market was smaller than Airbus did, and felt the future was long haul smaller WBs that offered point-to-point efficiency.
We know the history. Boeing was basically correct and Airbus was mostly wrong. If Boeing had not screwed the pooch on the 787 project, they'd have been even earlier and more profitable.
I flew my first A380 only right at the start of the pandemic. That AC (QANTAS) is now in storage and may not fly again. Sorry for the A380 but the pandemic is just accelerating the inevitable.


What point-to-point flying? Most B787 are just flying from hubs, doing things the B767, A330 and B772 were doing.


I mean, the 787/350 was always going to do hub-spoke flying. What the 787 has done was allow for more longer thin routes to open that weren’t economical feasible with with a larger aircraft due having to take weight restrictions. Good examples are IAH-SYD/AKL which we’re going to happen before the 787/350.


The interesting part about this is that Airbus actually was ahead of their time on this concept with the a332 and later HGW a333. Smaller aircraft than the 747, 777 etc. but good range and capable of flying Hub-spoke long haul routes. The 787 further expanded and improved on this.

Then, they turned around and built a very expensive soon-to-be museum piece for some reason.
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Re: The Airbus A380 Turns 15 Today (April 27)

Thu Sep 24, 2020 3:47 pm

ltbewr wrote:
It is sad about the final frame assembly of the A380, but harsh reality has to be faced sometime and an end reached.
I wonder how EK will be able to really use all their A380 much in the future. Unless it prices seats so cheap vs. other airlines, how many will want to continue to go through a hub at Dubai vs a non-stop for many destinations.


EK hasn't really been able to use the a380 well for a while. Their fleetwide load factor last year was 78%.
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Re: The Airbus A380 Turns 15 Today (April 27)

Thu Sep 24, 2020 4:00 pm

Antarius wrote:
The interesting part about this is that Airbus actually was ahead of their time on this concept with the a332 and later HGW a333. Smaller aircraft than the 747, 777 etc. but good range and capable of flying Hub-spoke long haul routes. The 787 further expanded and improved on this.

Then, they turned around and built a very expensive soon-to-be museum piece for some reason.

An early sign Airbus was on the right path was when NW bought A330s to fly TATL routes rather than buying cheap used DC10s like they had been doing and everyone expected them to keep doing. It was such a surprising decision that their chief pilot had to write a paper explaining the decision in detail. It made for fascinating reading at the time.
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Antarius
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Re: The Airbus A380 Turns 15 Today (April 27)

Thu Sep 24, 2020 4:17 pm

Revelation wrote:
Antarius wrote:
The interesting part about this is that Airbus actually was ahead of their time on this concept with the a332 and later HGW a333. Smaller aircraft than the 747, 777 etc. but good range and capable of flying Hub-spoke long haul routes. The 787 further expanded and improved on this.

Then, they turned around and built a very expensive soon-to-be museum piece for some reason.

An early sign Airbus was on the right path was when NW bought A330s to fly TATL routes rather than buying cheap used DC10s like they had been doing and everyone expected them to keep doing. It was such a surprising decision that their chief pilot had to write a paper explaining the decision in detail. It made for fascinating reading at the time.


Any chance you have a link handy?
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Re: The Airbus A380 Turns 15 Today (April 27)

Thu Sep 24, 2020 4:33 pm

Antarius wrote:
Revelation wrote:
Antarius wrote:
The interesting part about this is that Airbus actually was ahead of their time on this concept with the a332 and later HGW a333. Smaller aircraft than the 747, 777 etc. but good range and capable of flying Hub-spoke long haul routes. The 787 further expanded and improved on this.

Then, they turned around and built a very expensive soon-to-be museum piece for some reason.

An early sign Airbus was on the right path was when NW bought A330s to fly TATL routes rather than buying cheap used DC10s like they had been doing and everyone expected them to keep doing. It was such a surprising decision that their chief pilot had to write a paper explaining the decision in detail. It made for fascinating reading at the time.

Any chance you have a link handy?

Sorry, no. I'm pretty sure it's out there somewhere, but I can't find the right keywords to make Google produce a copy of it.

I'll keep searching.

Till then, a glimpse of how salty some people were on a.net 17 years ago; viewtopic.php?t=182789

Arguing over the name of a color: some things never change...
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KarlB737
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Re: The Airbus A380 Turns 15 Today (April 27)

Thu Sep 24, 2020 4:41 pm

Courtesy: Airways Magazine

Final Airbus A380 Rolls Out Of Assembly

https://airwaysmag.com/industry/airbus/final-a380-rolls-out-of-assembly/
 
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Re: The Airbus A380 Turns 15 Today (April 27)

Thu Sep 24, 2020 5:08 pm

*sad whalejet noises*

I was excited about this jet, but sadly it didn't turn out to be the game changer.

I seriously hope the 380 see service as a cheap tourist bomber.
Reading accident reports is what calms me down

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