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FrenchPotatoEye
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Re: John Leahy blames the engines for the A380 failure

Wed Nov 25, 2020 7:51 am

Just enquiry - what final total bill for 380 production?

10 billions euros?
 
pasen
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Re: John Leahy blames the engines for the A380 failure

Wed Nov 25, 2020 8:08 am

PhilMcCrackin wrote:
Airlines can't fill a 450+ seat A380-800 so what makes you think a larger -900 would do any better?

Efficiency is a red herring, here. The damn thing is just too big.


That's an oversimplified statement that doesn't seem to be sound.

Before SQ introduced the A380, they operated up to 39 747-400 with 375 seats (total capacity 14,625) and no one here ever said they can't fill them. But according to A.net, it's totally impossible to fill 19 A380 with between 379 and 475 seats (total capacity around 8,500).

Size alone is clearly not the only factor. This statement from JL from the article seems a lot more plausible:
As it was, the A380, even with the disadvantage of the engine technology, if you could fill it up to 85 or 95 percent load factor, the big twins couldn’t compete with you. But that’s a pretty tight margin in a big airplane that’s getting harder to fill up. Had we had that better fuel burn, on a 65 or 70 percent load factor you could have done very well with the A380.


Filling an airplane consistently at least 85% is extremely difficult because demand is not constant. That doesn't just apply to the A380. 787, 777, 747, and A350 have the same challenge. But the difference is that other models can still be profitable and competitive when load factors are lower. That's what killed the A380 and Leahy is certainly not entirely wrong when he says better engines had reduced or removed that handicap.

Don't get me wrong, I don't believe better engines would have made the A380 a huge success. I'm just pointing out that the statement that an A380 is impossible to fill is just another A.net oversimplification.
 
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par13del
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Re: John Leahy blames the engines for the A380 failure

Wed Nov 25, 2020 12:11 pm

So better engines came out 3 years or so after the A380 went "live", did Airbus approach the engines makers to get variations of those engines modified for the A380?
A number of years passed before RR got involved, and even there, they did not even meet the performance metrics they promised to get carriers to switch for later orders.

We agree that the 787 got a better engine, what no one seems willing to delve into is why Airbus did not make attempts to get those engines, was it because they thought the engines were not a liability and they only became a talking point later in life when orders dried up?
 
SteelChair
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Re: John Leahy blames the engines for the A380 failure

Wed Nov 25, 2020 12:29 pm

Mt. Leahy appears to be a classic case of confirmation bias: "seeking out information to support one's own views."

At this point, it appears he will never get it. It was the wrong plane (4 engines and too big) at the wrong time (production really ramping up just as the 2008 economic slowdown occurred) for the wrong reason (built for ego to compete with Boeing). Its primary customer was a washed up former BA executive whose definition of success in the airline business was formed in the 70s and consisted of who had the most 747s, the largest airplane of that time. Freed of European rules that actually provide a modicum of protection for employees and emboldened by oil money, he was the perfect stooge for Leahy. And STC is still in denial.
 
Noshow
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Re: John Leahy blames the engines for the A380 failure

Wed Nov 25, 2020 12:37 pm

Truly surprising what dirty laundry and foul speech comes up here. Did he hurt you so much? Now it's moving over to Tim Clark?
I am not related to anybody but It is no pleasure to read discussions like this that just turn into insults and personal attacks.
 
Boeing74741R
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Re: John Leahy blames the engines for the A380 failure

Wed Nov 25, 2020 12:53 pm

I found it an interesting interview. It gave us an insight into what John Leahy himself really thinks now he's in retirement and not needing to be "on message" so to speak. I also enjoyed the various interviews he gave just before he retired and can imagine he has a lot of stories to tell. I look forward to reading the second part of this interview.

pasen wrote:
PhilMcCrackin wrote:
Airlines can't fill a 450+ seat A380-800 so what makes you think a larger -900 would do any better?

Efficiency is a red herring, here. The damn thing is just too big.


That's an oversimplified statement that doesn't seem to be sound.

Before SQ introduced the A380, they operated up to 39 747-400 with 375 seats (total capacity 14,625) and no one here ever said they can't fill them. But according to A.net, it's totally impossible to fill 19 A380 with between 379 and 475 seats (total capacity around 8,500).

Size alone is clearly not the only factor. This statement from JL from the article seems a lot more plausible:
As it was, the A380, even with the disadvantage of the engine technology, if you could fill it up to 85 or 95 percent load factor, the big twins couldn’t compete with you. But that’s a pretty tight margin in a big airplane that’s getting harder to fill up. Had we had that better fuel burn, on a 65 or 70 percent load factor you could have done very well with the A380.


Filling an airplane consistently at least 85% is extremely difficult because demand is not constant. That doesn't just apply to the A380. 787, 777, 747, and A350 have the same challenge. But the difference is that other models can still be profitable and competitive when load factors are lower. That's what killed the A380 and Leahy is certainly not entirely wrong when he says better engines had reduced or removed that handicap.

Don't get me wrong, I don't believe better engines would have made the A380 a huge success. I'm just pointing out that the statement that an A380 is impossible to fill is just another A.net oversimplification.


Some former 747 operators had more seats and could fill them. Why would they configure them that way, let alone operate the 747, if they couldn't fill them? It's not like the 1970's anymore when the 747 was the only option for a lot of airlines that flew routes that couldn't done on a DC-8, DC-10 or 707. For me, it's not a question if airlines can fill an A380 to its theoretical capacity, but more if airlines can fill their A380's to the capacity it is configured in. The airlines themselves know how many bums on seats they need to make it work, most of us on here do not.

I also think John Leahy had a point about engines and how it could have been made to work if airlines could still make money on an A380 flying with lower load factors.

par13del wrote:
So better engines came out 3 years or so after the A380 went "live", did Airbus approach the engines makers to get variations of those engines modified for the A380?
A number of years passed before RR got involved, and even there, they did not even meet the performance metrics they promised to get carriers to switch for later orders.

We agree that the 787 got a better engine, what no one seems willing to delve into is why Airbus did not make attempts to get those engines, was it because they thought the engines were not a liability and they only became a talking point later in life when orders dried up?


The only plausible explanation I can think of is that it would have further delayed the program. I'm not an engineer, but it's probably not as simple as slinging a new engine underneath the wing either. I suppose one advantage of using the generation of engines that were slung underneath the A380 is that they would have been lower risk compared to using new generation engines that some planes built since then have suffered from (e.g. 787 with RR Trent 1000, A320neo with P&W GTF).

As the 787 was mentioned, at least Airbus benefitted from its issues towards the end of the 2000's when prospective 787 airlines ordered A330's to fill the gap, a number of whom are/will be operating fleets where the A330 and 787 coexist with one another.

Noshow wrote:
Truly surprising what dirty laundry and foul speech comes up here. Did he hurt you so much? Now it's moving over to Tim Clark?
I am not related to anybody but It is no pleasure to read discussions like this that just turn into insults and personal attacks.


Agreed. It's almost predictable what people are going to come out with as soon as the A380 is brought up or if certain individuals speak out. :roll:
 
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Revelation
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Re: John Leahy blames the engines for the A380 failure

Wed Nov 25, 2020 1:43 pm

pasen wrote:
PhilMcCrackin wrote:
Airlines can't fill a 450+ seat A380-800 so what makes you think a larger -900 would do any better?

Efficiency is a red herring, here. The damn thing is just too big.


That's an oversimplified statement that doesn't seem to be sound.
...
Don't get me wrong, I don't believe better engines would have made the A380 a huge success. I'm just pointing out that the statement that an A380 is impossible to fill is just another A.net oversimplification.

"Just too big" != "impossible to fill"...

par13del wrote:
So better engines came out 3 years or so after the A380 went "live", did Airbus approach the engines makers to get variations of those engines modified for the A380?
A number of years passed before RR got involved, and even there, they did not even meet the performance metrics they promised to get carriers to switch for later orders.

We agree that the 787 got a better engine, what no one seems willing to delve into is why Airbus did not make attempts to get those engines, was it because they thought the engines were not a liability and they only became a talking point later in life when orders dried up?

Good points.

I agree Airbus did not seem to go all out to protect its HUGE investment in the A380. If Leahy was right and they realized that they had been "blindsided" by the engine makers, why didn't they use all their commercial leverage with the engine vendors to get those better engines onto the A380 ASAP? Also why did they wait till 2016 or so before considering A380neo? And why not use some of their own money to close the fiscal gap between EK and RR to get what became T7000 onto the airframe?

I also think the Leahy's suggestion that a better engine would have been available in 3 years is false. It was 3 years from A380 announcement to 787 announcement. The engine makers were always going to focus on 787 above A380 so at least another 3 years till they would consider what to do next. When they did, Airbus asked them for an engine for the A350 rather than asking them for an engine for A380. Airbus could have used their leverage to get something that would work for A380 at the same time but did not. A380 had its wiring issues and other things that delayed its EIS and it seems they just wanted to focus on A350. Also A400M was soaking up a lot more resources than planned. Yet it was till 2016 that EK's pleas for an A380neo were emerging. Airbus could have gotten that better engine by bridging the financial gap, but they didn't. By 2019 even EK threw in the towel and cancelled 36 outstanding A380 orders even before COVID hit.

SteelChair wrote:
Mt. Leahy appears to be a classic case of confirmation bias: "seeking out information to support one's own views."

At this point, it appears he will never get it. It was the wrong plane (4 engines and too big) at the wrong time (production really ramping up just as the 2008 economic slowdown occurred) for the wrong reason (built for ego to compete with Boeing). Its primary customer was a washed up former BA executive whose definition of success in the airline business was formed in the 70s and consisted of who had the most 747s, the largest airplane of that time. Freed of European rules that actually provide a modicum of protection for employees and emboldened by oil money, he was the perfect stooge for Leahy. And STC is still in denial.

Someone should ask STC if he thinks the A380 is such a great airplane why did he cancel so many and order A350 and 787 instead?
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peterinlisbon
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Re: John Leahy blames the engines for the A380 failure

Wed Nov 25, 2020 1:52 pm

xwb777 wrote:
Airbus ex-salesman, John Leahy, has blamed the A380 engines for the early failure of the aircraft.
https://www.airlineratings.com/news/air ... 0-failure/


I agree it probably would have made more money for them if they didn't put engines on it.
 
brindabella
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Re: John Leahy blames the engines for the A380 failure

Wed Nov 25, 2020 1:54 pm

SteelChair wrote:
Mt. Leahy appears to be a classic case of confirmation bias: "seeking out information to support one's own views."

At this point, it appears he will never get it. It was the wrong plane (4 engines and too big) at the wrong time (production really ramping up just as the 2008 economic slowdown occurred) for the wrong reason (built for ego to compete with Boeing). Its primary customer was a washed up former BA executive whose definition of success in the airline business was formed in the 70s and consisted of who had the most 747s, the largest airplane of that time. Freed of European rules that actually provide a modicum of protection for employees and emboldened by oil money, he was the perfect stooge for Leahy. And STC is still in denial.


Agree with most of that.

However - sorry to bang on again, but:

"The REAL culprit for the extremely early demise of the A380 is ... the 777W.

Killed-off the A380 and A340/500-600.

And showed the 747-8 to be the rather expensive "non-decision" that it proved to be."

IMO the evidence is clear - EK is now operating almost all of the gigantic 777W fleet-
and a pitiful remnant of the A380 fleet.

CASE CLOSED.
:ouch:
cheers
Billy
 
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Revelation
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Re: John Leahy blames the engines for the A380 failure

Wed Nov 25, 2020 2:05 pm

brindabella wrote:
"The REAL culprit for the extremely early demise of the A380 is ... the 777W.

Killed-off the A380 and A340/500-600.

And showed the 747-8 to be the rather expensive "non-decision" that it proved to be."

IMO the evidence is clear - EK is now operating almost all of the gigantic 777W fleet-
and a pitiful remnant of the A380 fleet.

CASE CLOSED.
:ouch:
cheers

77W did get the new engine, lol.

So did 748, but the result was not good enough to bear the extra cost of 4 engines vs 2.

At least the freight guys are happy with them, along with LH who seems to have a four engine fetish.
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Waterbomber2
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Re: John Leahy blames the engines for the A380 failure

Wed Nov 25, 2020 2:44 pm

What really hurt the A380 is believe it or not, oil below 100 USD/barrel.
Cheap oil enabled airlines to put a 220-seater on 12-14 hour sectors. The non-fuel cost advantage of the A380 is what makes it sustainable on major routes at high fuel prices.
At low fuel prices, smaller aircraft start becoming sustainable because of fuel being so cheap.
So while the A380 can match or do better on fuel efficiency than newer twins in similar seating configurations, that no longer matters when fuel is so cheap that you can start making money with smaller twins.

The other thing that hurt the A380 is that legacy airlines except EK did not think bigger, ie going for market share.

At the end none of that would have mattered because of the reset that we're going through.
If anything, having lots of expensive twins parked around is crippling airlines nowadays, so there go all the extra potential profits.
 
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Re: John Leahy blames the engines for the A380 failure

Wed Nov 25, 2020 3:00 pm

Waterbomber2 wrote:
The other thing that hurt the A380 is that legacy airlines except EK did not think bigger, ie going for market share.

At the end none of that would have mattered because of the reset that we're going through.
If anything, having lots of expensive twins parked around is crippling airlines nowadays, so there go all the extra potential profits.

Interesting comments, given that EK's big twin 777s are mostly all flying while their big quad A380s are mostly all parked.

“What we have to face and continue to face is the carrying cost of the A380 fleet, which is very expensive for us,” Clark said.

Ref: https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles ... r-777x-jet

I bet he's glad he decided "going big" was the wrong strategy in 2019 before COVID struck and then he dropped orders for 38 A380s.
Wake up to find out that you are the eyes of the world
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Wake now, discover that you are the song that the morning brings
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Antarius
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Re: John Leahy blames the engines for the A380 failure

Wed Nov 25, 2020 3:03 pm

strfyr51 wrote:
Noshow wrote:
Leahy is right about the engines. With A330neo generation engines some A380neo (at high load factor) would again have cost advantages because of its size. Without them latest generation twins can match or even top the A380's seat costs. And twins are both cheaper to buy/lease and easier to fill.

I agree that many market predictions have been way off the marks. On both sides. Boeing invested quite a bit in the 747-8 believing the same. Why did everybody come to those wrong conclusions?

the A380 might have been a winner had the 747 not been there but the 747-400 already was worldwide. Did they expect airlines to replace them 1:1?


Yes, they did some really shoddy napkin math and came to that conclusion expecting a 1:1 replacement.

They missed the fact that the 747 was in part popular for its range and not just it's capacity.
Militant Centrist
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ILNFlyer
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Re: John Leahy blames the engines for the A380 failure

Wed Nov 25, 2020 3:10 pm

I believe there are many many contributing factors here, most of which have been correctly pointed out. I think the passenger market in general had something to contribute to the A380 demise as well. Passengers do prefer a choice of departure frequency, so if there are 600 people per day going from one place to another, they would certainly enjoy the choice of two 787 or 777 flights per day vs a single A380 flight. I'm not saying that is what really killed it, just that it did contribute to the final outcome just like many other factors that have been pointed out.
 
VV
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Re: John Leahy blames the engines for the A380 failure

Wed Nov 25, 2020 3:42 pm

I thought VLA were needed because there were fewer and fewer landing slots available (slot constrained airports).

Where have those airports gone?
 
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FrenchPotatoEye
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Re: John Leahy blames the engines for the A380 failure

Wed Nov 25, 2020 4:11 pm

VV wrote:
I thought VLA were needed because there were fewer and fewer landing slots available (slot constrained airports).

Where have those airports gone?


Even in 380 early hayday, there was limited interest because slot strained airports were smalls in numbers.
 
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SEPilot
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Re: John Leahy blames the engines for the A380 failure

Wed Nov 25, 2020 4:18 pm

One thing on the A380 surprised me, having had my first (and probably only) flight on one (KE) last year. And that is how incredibly thick the sidewalls are. They are easily twice as thick as any other plane I have ever been on, including the 747. Why was it necessary to make them so thick? I cannot believe that it was just because of the upper deck; the 747 has an upper deck as well (half of one, anyway) and its sidewalls are much thinner. Was this part of designing in the -F variant? How much weight did it add?
The problem with making things foolproof is that fools are so doggone ingenious...Dan Keebler
 
PhilMcCrackin
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Re: John Leahy blames the engines for the A380 failure

Wed Nov 25, 2020 4:43 pm

pasen wrote:
PhilMcCrackin wrote:
Airlines can't fill a 450+ seat A380-800 so what makes you think a larger -900 would do any better?

Efficiency is a red herring, here. The damn thing is just too big.


That's an oversimplified statement that doesn't seem to be sound.

Before SQ introduced the A380, they operated up to 39 747-400 with 375 seats (total capacity 14,625) and no one here ever said they can't fill them. But according to A.net, it's totally impossible to fill 19 A380 with between 379 and 475 seats (total capacity around 8,500).

Size alone is clearly not the only factor. This statement from JL from the article seems a lot more plausible:
As it was, the A380, even with the disadvantage of the engine technology, if you could fill it up to 85 or 95 percent load factor, the big twins couldn’t compete with you. But that’s a pretty tight margin in a big airplane that’s getting harder to fill up. Had we had that better fuel burn, on a 65 or 70 percent load factor you could have done very well with the A380.


Filling an airplane consistently at least 85% is extremely difficult because demand is not constant. That doesn't just apply to the A380. 787, 777, 747, and A350 have the same challenge. But the difference is that other models can still be profitable and competitive when load factors are lower. That's what killed the A380 and Leahy is certainly not entirely wrong when he says better engines had reduced or removed that handicap.

Don't get me wrong, I don't believe better engines would have made the A380 a huge success. I'm just pointing out that the statement that an A380 is impossible to fill is just another A.net oversimplification.


What's not sound here is your logic and cherry picking one example to prove your point.

Among the blue chip airlines that operated both the 744 and the 380, the only one that was even close in seat capacity between the two was Korean, who ran a dense 744 and a premium A380. The difference between the rest of them was 100+ seats.

LH
A380 509
744 393

QF
A380 484
744 364

BA
A380 469
744 345

Korean
A380 407
744 404

AF
A380 516
744 436

Asiana
A380 495
744 359

The notion that, "well they can fill a 744 so they should be able to fill A380" is nonsensical at best given the capacity difference between the two.
 
Waterbomber2
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Re: John Leahy blames the engines for the A380 failure

Wed Nov 25, 2020 6:27 pm

Revelation wrote:
Waterbomber2 wrote:
The other thing that hurt the A380 is that legacy airlines except EK did not think bigger, ie going for market share.

At the end none of that would have mattered because of the reset that we're going through.
If anything, having lots of expensive twins parked around is crippling airlines nowadays, so there go all the extra potential profits.

Interesting comments, given that EK's big twin 777s are mostly all flying while their big quad A380s are mostly all parked.

“What we have to face and continue to face is the carrying cost of the A380 fleet, which is very expensive for us,” Clark said.

Ref: https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles ... r-777x-jet

I bet he's glad he decided "going big" was the wrong strategy in 2019 before COVID struck and then he dropped orders for 38 A380s.


EK's big twins are mostly flying because they can't afford to ground them. They probably each cost more to keep parked compared to the A380's as A380 lessors have probably been much more accommodating.

The A380's will have their moment in a few years.
 
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Polot
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Re: John Leahy blames the engines for the A380 failure

Wed Nov 25, 2020 6:44 pm

Waterbomber2 wrote:
Revelation wrote:
Waterbomber2 wrote:
The other thing that hurt the A380 is that legacy airlines except EK did not think bigger, ie going for market share.

At the end none of that would have mattered because of the reset that we're going through.
If anything, having lots of expensive twins parked around is crippling airlines nowadays, so there go all the extra potential profits.

Interesting comments, given that EK's big twin 777s are mostly all flying while their big quad A380s are mostly all parked.

“What we have to face and continue to face is the carrying cost of the A380 fleet, which is very expensive for us,” Clark said.

Ref: https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles ... r-777x-jet

I bet he's glad he decided "going big" was the wrong strategy in 2019 before COVID struck and then he dropped orders for 38 A380s.


EK's big twins are mostly flying because they can't afford to ground them. They probably each cost more to keep parked compared to the A380's as A380 lessors have probably been much more accommodating.

The A380's will have their moment in a few years.


The breakdown of owned/financed vs lease is roughly the same between the two fleets at EK. As of May 2020 56 A380s were owned/financed and 59 leased, with 66 77Ws owned/financed and 68 77Ws leased (+ 6/4 owned/leased 77Ls). Pg 69 of their annual report: https://cdn.ek.aero/downloads/ek/pdfs/r ... t_2020.pdf

So it seems hard to believe it just all came down to lessors, and one would expect the A380s to be more expensive to lease/finance (see: viewtopic.php?t=1449067). I’m not sure why you think A380 lessors would be more accommodating than 77W lessors. They all have an interest in making sure EK still pays them what their contract says as much as possible no matter what the aircraft type is. If anything 77W lessors might be more accommodating because there is a greater chance they can eventually be placed somewhere else, or used for conversion, and have a second life after EK.
 
fabian9
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Re: John Leahy blames the engines for the A380 failure

Wed Nov 25, 2020 6:59 pm

 
smartplane
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Re: John Leahy blames the engines for the A380 failure

Wed Nov 25, 2020 7:22 pm

Polot wrote:
Waterbomber2 wrote:
Revelation wrote:
Interesting comments, given that EK's big twin 777s are mostly all flying while their big quad A380s are mostly all parked.


Ref: https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles ... r-777x-jet

I bet he's glad he decided "going big" was the wrong strategy in 2019 before COVID struck and then he dropped orders for 38 A380s.


EK's big twins are mostly flying because they can't afford to ground them. They probably each cost more to keep parked compared to the A380's as A380 lessors have probably been much more accommodating.

The A380's will have their moment in a few years.


The breakdown of owned/financed vs lease is roughly the same between the two fleets at EK. As of May 2020 56 A380s were owned/financed and 59 leased, with 66 77Ws owned/financed and 68 77Ws leased (+ 6/4 owned/leased 77Ls). Pg 69 of their annual report: https://cdn.ek.aero/downloads/ek/pdfs/r ... t_2020.pdf

So it seems hard to believe it just all came down to lessors, and one would expect the A380s to be more expensive to lease/finance (see: viewtopic.php?t=1449067). I’m not sure why you think A380 lessors would be more accommodating than 77W lessors. They all have an interest in making sure EK still pays them what their contract says as much as possible no matter what the aircraft type is. If anything 77W lessors might be more accommodating because there is a greater chance they can eventually be placed somewhere else, or used for conversion, and have a second life after EK.

The leases will be different - higher over utilisation penalties, smaller under utilisation benefits, % amounts financed and residual guarantees. Many traditional lease T&C's can be incorporated in finance deals, including put options with a buyback to return aircraft to financiers less a final balloon payment.
 
JayinKitsap
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Re: John Leahy blames the engines for the A380 failure

Wed Nov 25, 2020 7:23 pm

strfyr51 wrote:
Noshow wrote:
Leahy is right about the engines. With A330neo generation engines some A380neo (at high load factor) would again have cost advantages because of its size. Without them latest generation twins can match or even top the A380's seat costs. And twins are both cheaper to buy/lease and easier to fill.

I agree that many market predictions have been way off the marks. On both sides. Boeing invested quite a bit in the 747-8 believing the same. Why did everybody come to those wrong conclusions?

the A380 might have been a winner had the 747 not been there but the 747-400 already was worldwide. Did they expect airlines to replace them 1:1?


If they did expect a 1:1 replacement for the existing 744's, they had blinders on. The A330, A340, B747 & B777 (pre 77W) all were there to observe the market trends. It was clear in 1997 era that the efficient twins were eroding the B747 sales. The A340 was showing that a smaller plane that had the range needed for the longest routes was taking some share from the B747, but they read the tea leaves with that and said it was payload at range that was needed. Instead it was efficient payload at range, which the 77W with the big GE 90-115's on it hit on the sweet spot, optimizing in the frame the full engine capability. That was on the horizon early enough that Airbus could have changed course in the A380.

They clearly didn't see where the 744 and the earlier 747's were being bought as much for range as capacity. They also didn't see point to point occurring which while increasing the average plane size, it reduces the demand for the largest size, as point to point reduces the demand thru P-H-H-P double hub flights which the A380 covers the H-H flights in that model.

IF they saw the engine generation issue apparent with the GE90's they chose to ignore it. As Boeing did long ago pairing up the engines on the 767 and 747, they had the opportunity to do that with the A330 and A380. That would have provided enough prospective engines to have the latest go into the engine market. Basically Trent 1000's on the A380.

In planes, as they get bigger the penalties for being off optimum become quite large, notice there was only one 747 model at a time, had the A388 been designed for the optimum with a 787-10 type stretch that yielded whatever range that was left in the payload-range swap, the 10% better performance. As RJMAZ postulated an optimized 388, if that had been done, the A380 would still be in production. Still not great numbers but 20 to 30 orders per year
 
Antarius
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Re: John Leahy blames the engines for the A380 failure

Wed Nov 25, 2020 7:24 pm

Waterbomber2 wrote:
Revelation wrote:
Waterbomber2 wrote:
The other thing that hurt the A380 is that legacy airlines except EK did not think bigger, ie going for market share.

At the end none of that would have mattered because of the reset that we're going through.
If anything, having lots of expensive twins parked around is crippling airlines nowadays, so there go all the extra potential profits.

Interesting comments, given that EK's big twin 777s are mostly all flying while their big quad A380s are mostly all parked.

“What we have to face and continue to face is the carrying cost of the A380 fleet, which is very expensive for us,” Clark said.

Ref: https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles ... r-777x-jet

I bet he's glad he decided "going big" was the wrong strategy in 2019 before COVID struck and then he dropped orders for 38 A380s.


EK's big twins are mostly flying because they can't afford to ground them. They probably each cost more to keep parked compared to the A380's as A380 lessors have probably been much more accommodating.

The A380's will have their moment in a few years.


Lol. There's always an excuse. In a few years, they'll be another one
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JayinKitsap
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Re: John Leahy blames the engines for the A380 failure

Wed Nov 25, 2020 7:30 pm

SEPilot wrote:
One thing on the A380 surprised me, having had my first (and probably only) flight on one (KE) last year. And that is how incredibly thick the sidewalls are. They are easily twice as thick as any other plane I have ever been on, including the 747. Why was it necessary to make them so thick? I cannot believe that it was just because of the upper deck; the 747 has an upper deck as well (half of one, anyway) and its sidewalls are much thinner. Was this part of designing in the -F variant? How much weight did it add?


I believe the A380 lower floor sidewalls are curved to a much larger radius or departed from a circular structure where internal pressure is carried by pure tension hoop stress, instead are working in flexure. That requires a much deeper section, and thus the thick sidewalls.
 
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Revelation
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Re: John Leahy blames the engines for the A380 failure

Wed Nov 25, 2020 7:36 pm

fabian9 wrote:

Thanks for the posting.

From the article:

Every airline knew we would be at least two years late, as we had to do this big redesign.

Is he referring to getting everyone on to CATIA v5?

When we finally did deliver the airplane from 2007, it became apparent that we had real quality issues. I can remember more than a few very unpleasant meetings with Tim Clark, President of Emirates, he would go through the roof.

Guess they managed to keep this out of the press, till now.

I walked away from a deal with Lufthansa that we should have won for another five or six airplanes, because we didn’t meet their pricing, which actually was higher than their launch customer pricing. Airbus’s finance department just overplayed their hand and thought: These airlines just have to pay. No, they don’t, they just have to find some other aircraft to fly.

Ouch, didn't hear about this one either.

The fact was that the US and Boeing were doing everything they could to make sure that A380s didn’t get into China.

Definitely didn't hear about this one. What leverage did US have to block China from buying A380s? Heck, Macron even gave China a really nice horse and they did not buy any. Maybe they just didn't have a need for a plane so big.

There was a window of five or six years where we might have gotten it right on re-engining and kept the program going. But you still had the problem with the weight of the airplane.

Wait, now the problem isn't the engine, it's the weight of the airplane?

Because we couldn’t show appreciably better economics than the twins, the market was migrating towards the point-to-point. Of course, everybody wants to go point-to-point if there is no economic advantage of going hub-to-hub. If the A380 would have done what it was designed for, there wouldn’t have been as much fragmentation.

Wow, Leahy is really throwing Airbus Engineering under the bus right here, and tacitly admitting 77W and 787 killed A380.

The commercial department has to have much more input upfront on the design and performance parameters of an airplane. If you let the engineers just go off, designing what they think is really cool, you end up like we did with the A380. In commercial we never really focused on the fact that we built an airplane not optimized as the -800, but really built a -900, and we just had to put up with the -800 for a few years until we came out with the -900. Had we all sat around the table and discussed that strategy upfront, I would have been inevitably against it, as would have been the airlines. Who wants to buy a suboptimal aircraft?

Confirmed, JL is throwing engineering under the bus.

Some pretty breath-taking stuff in this article...
Last edited by Revelation on Wed Nov 25, 2020 7:38 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: John Leahy blames the engines for the A380 failure

Wed Nov 25, 2020 7:38 pm

Waterbomber2 wrote:
...
The A380's will have their moment in a few years.


Which kind of moment?
 
2175301
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Re: John Leahy blames the engines for the A380 failure

Wed Nov 25, 2020 9:14 pm

VV wrote:
Waterbomber2 wrote:
...
The A380's will have their moment in a few years.


Which kind of moment?


Internment ceremony
 
Noshow
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Re: John Leahy blames the engines for the A380 failure

Wed Nov 25, 2020 9:38 pm

While it was Airbus's fault to miss the news early it was almost foul play by RR to suddenly come up with the Trent 1000 for the 787 behind their back. The A380 had engines at least half a generation "older".
When the theoretical efficiencies and advantages of a big airplane were not met anymore (and it is hard enough to fill it) the A380 was toast.
That is the whole tragedy in a nutshell.

Assume this aircraft program still existed, maybe with latest engines, today? It would still be closed in the Covid market environment. After some more billions getting burned.
The "only" good element is the A350. This really harvested a lot of lessons learned and even some A380 technologies.
 
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SEPilot
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Re: John Leahy blames the engines for the A380 failure

Wed Nov 25, 2020 9:49 pm

JayinKitsap wrote:
SEPilot wrote:
One thing on the A380 surprised me, having had my first (and probably only) flight on one (KE) last year. And that is how incredibly thick the sidewalls are. They are easily twice as thick as any other plane I have ever been on, including the 747. Why was it necessary to make them so thick? I cannot believe that it was just because of the upper deck; the 747 has an upper deck as well (half of one, anyway) and its sidewalls are much thinner. Was this part of designing in the -F variant? How much weight did it add?


I believe the A380 lower floor sidewalls are curved to a much larger radius or departed from a circular structure where internal pressure is carried by pure tension hoop stress, instead are working in flexure. That requires a much deeper section, and thus the thick sidewalls.

OK, that makes sense. Thanks.
The problem with making things foolproof is that fools are so doggone ingenious...Dan Keebler
 
steveinbc
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Re: John Leahy blames the engines for the A380 failure

Thu Nov 26, 2020 2:49 am

Noshow wrote:
BTW: What sort of strange anti JL-Campaign is going on here? Maybe this could move away from personal insults to more of a facts debate? Pretty unfair to read. Like late retaliation for all his billions of sales. He certainly has earned and deserved any professional respect.


Sadly the Airliners.net forum is not immune to the social media tendency to be irrational and offensive. Even a non controversial thread like this will generate this behaviour. In my view the moderators should take a greater stand against this type of behaviour. But seemingly not.
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2175301
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Re: John Leahy blames the engines for the A380 failure

Thu Nov 26, 2020 3:32 am

steveinbc wrote:
Noshow wrote:
BTW: What sort of strange anti JL-Campaign is going on here? Maybe this could move away from personal insults to more of a facts debate? Pretty unfair to read. Like late retaliation for all his billions of sales. He certainly has earned and deserved any professional respect.


Sadly the Airliners.net forum is not immune to the social media tendency to be irrational and offensive. Even a non controversial thread like this will generate this behaviour. In my view the moderators should take a greater stand against this type of behaviour. But seemingly not.



The biggest fact is that Airbus completely misjudged the market for the A380. I seriously doubt that better engines, just building the "800" up front, etc. would have saved it from that. Without the market projection that they had - it never would have met its business case, and would not have been built.

The concept that an aircraft that was so large that most airports in the world could not handle it without very expensive modifications and that carried so many passengers restricting its use to primarily hub to hub was ever going to be more than a niche player is the biggest goof.

Had Airbus realized what its actual market was... it would have died in the conception stage.

Have a great day,
 
OldAeroGuy
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Re: John Leahy blames the engines for the A380 failure

Thu Nov 26, 2020 3:34 am

strfyr51 wrote:
the A380 might have been a winner had the 747 not been there but the 747-400 already was worldwide. Did they expect airlines to replace them 1:1?


There were fewer 747-400's produced than most people realize.

If you look at all 747-400 models ( passenger, freighter and combi's), the total production run was only 694.

Looking at passenger models only, the 744 production run was only 467.

With 251 orders, the A380 production run was about 54% of passenger 744's.
Airplane design is easy, the difficulty is getting them to fly - Barnes Wallis
 
JayinKitsap
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Re: John Leahy blames the engines for the A380 failure

Thu Nov 26, 2020 4:30 am

Great point 217

OldAeroGuy wrote:
strfyr51 wrote:
the A380 might have been a winner had the 747 not been there but the 747-400 already was worldwide. Did they expect airlines to replace them 1:1?


There were fewer 747-400's produced than most people realize.

If you look at all 747-400 models ( passenger, freighter and combi's), the total production run was only 694.

Looking at passenger models only, the 744 production run was only 467.

With 251 orders, the A380 production run was about 54% of passenger 744's.


And how many of the 744 pax 467 were bought for range, a lot, that could easily shift over to the 77W when it came available.

When LHR has flights to 80 cities, it will have either less passengers on flights to the NYC market, or at least slower growth.
Why, other than it's cheaper, would I connect thru NYC to be on an A380 when I can fly direct on a 787.
 
mzlin
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Re: John Leahy blames the engines for the A380 failure

Thu Nov 26, 2020 6:13 am

Revelation wrote:
The commercial department has to have much more input upfront on the design and performance parameters of an airplane. If you let the engineers just go off, designing what they think is really cool, you end up like we did with the A380. In commercial we never really focused on the fact that we built an airplane not optimized as the -800, but really built a -900, and we just had to put up with the -800 for a few years until we came out with the -900. Had we all sat around the table and discussed that strategy upfront, I would have been inevitably against it, as would have been the airlines. Who wants to buy a suboptimal aircraft?

Confirmed, JL is throwing engineering under the bus.

Some pretty breath-taking stuff in this article...


Yeah this is like a game of whodunit trying to figure out who actually made the decision to center the family around ~700 passengers in a never-built A380-900. The previous interview of Jurgen Thomas didn't reveal who either, except he mentioned the decision was made when the management was different. Leahy was there at the beginning, but he seems to suggest he wasn't part of that decision-making process.

Actually if one reads between the lines of Thomas' interview (viewtopic.php?f=3&t=1445295), the way he talks about the need to build margin into the aircraft makes me think that it was indeed the engineers who suggested creating core structures for the A380-900 and upper management okayed it. Then management changed and Thomas suggested the new management didn't know there was margin built into the design (and apparently the engineers didn't feel the obligation to tell them either). So maybe Leahy was never really asked his opinion (and also didn't feel the obligation to tell management). Sounds like nobody wanted to be the one to throw cold water on the plans.
 
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FrenchPotatoEye
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Re: John Leahy blames the engines for the A380 failure

Thu Nov 26, 2020 6:21 am

I find interesting Leahy now blames engines.

It was same reason for the 380neo never being made. Or was he the blame engineers for that also?
 
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flee
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Re: John Leahy blames the engines for the A380 failure

Thu Nov 26, 2020 6:36 am

Revelation wrote:
I bet he's glad he decided "going big" was the wrong strategy in 2019 before COVID struck and then he dropped orders for 38 A380s.

IIRC, the last big order EK signed was to encourage RR to offer a NEO. They were hoping to convert the later deliveries to a NEO. When it became clear that there was not going to be a NEO, EK decided to cancel the incentive order.
 
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FrenchPotatoEye
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Re: John Leahy blames the engines for the A380 failure

Thu Nov 26, 2020 6:58 am

I thought canceled order was because backlog shrink and Airbus was cancel the entire 380 project?
 
9Patch
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Re: John Leahy blames the engines for the A380 failure

Thu Nov 26, 2020 7:22 am

Revelation wrote:
Some pretty breath-taking stuff in this article...


Indeed. How about this?

Did the A380 saga make Airbus a better company?
Yes, the A380 and all the fiasco around it made the A350 definitely the best airplane program we’ve ever had. The smoothest introduction we’ve ever had and the smoothest manufacturing, because we got rid of the little kingdoms in Hamburg, Toulouse, Nantes, and Munich that basically fragmented our approach, didn’t take to each other, and made it impossible to optimize an aircraft program. Spending 25 or 30 billion Euros on the A380 just to get that education seems like a very inefficient way to get that education.

So now we have it from JL himself, the A380 cost Airbus 25 or 30 billion Euro.
 
Waterbomber2
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Re: John Leahy blames the engines for the A380 failure

Thu Nov 26, 2020 8:04 am

Noshow wrote:
While it was Airbus's fault to miss the news early it was almost foul play by RR to suddenly come up with the Trent 1000 for the 787 behind their back. The A380 had engines at least half a generation "older".
When the theoretical efficiencies and advantages of a big airplane were not met anymore (and it is hard enough to fill it) the A380 was toast.
That is the whole tragedy in a nutshell.

Assume this aircraft program still existed, maybe with latest engines, today? It would still be closed in the Covid market environment. After some more billions getting burned.
The "only" good element is the A350. This really harvested a lot of lessons learned and even some A380 technologies.


I think that people and Leahy are overestimating the advantages of the Trent 1000 over the Trent 900 and rewriting history.

First of all, the Trent 1000 wouldn't have been as efficient without the Trent 900. The 900 was an intermediary step.
A lot of the technology and materials that were developed for the Trent 900 found their way into the Trent 1000 and were extended even further to achieve that additional advantage.

On the other hand, supposing that RR did somehow skip the Trent 900 and was able to go straight to the 1000's efficiency and offer them for the A380, the A380 buring 11 tons versus 12 tons per hour wouldn't have made a difference.
Fuel burn is clearly not what made the difference, considering sustainably low fuel prices.

Other mistakes in the A380 program were putting the freighter on the back seat. All the time they wasted rewiring the A380's should have gone into getting the freighter done.
This was also a mistake for UPS and Fedex, who didn't push enough for it. Their intercontinental network could have used a fixed schedule daily Eastbound A380 round-the-globe operation supplemented by other fixed routes that could have made their intercontinental operations much more stable and profitable.
The freighter would have added economies of scale and opened the door for a combi version and so on.

Airbus is still asleep at the wheel by the way.
There are still options for this program: firefighter conversion, freighter conversion, combi conversion.
Last edited by Waterbomber2 on Thu Nov 26, 2020 8:12 am, edited 1 time in total.
 
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seahawk
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Re: John Leahy blames the engines for the A380 failure

Thu Nov 26, 2020 8:11 am

Noshow wrote:
While it was Airbus's fault to miss the news early it was almost foul play by RR to suddenly come up with the Trent 1000 for the 787 behind their back. The A380 had engines at least half a generation "older".
When the theoretical efficiencies and advantages of a big airplane were not met anymore (and it is hard enough to fill it) the A380 was toast.
That is the whole tragedy in a nutshell.


No, that was a wise decision by RR. As they saw the 787 engines as more important for them than the A380 engine. The second part of the interview is really open about the mistakes made by Airbus and what a bad design the A380-800 actually was.

2175301 wrote:
steveinbc wrote:
Noshow wrote:
BTW: What sort of strange anti JL-Campaign is going on here? Maybe this could move away from personal insults to more of a facts debate? Pretty unfair to read. Like late retaliation for all his billions of sales. He certainly has earned and deserved any professional respect.


Sadly the Airliners.net forum is not immune to the social media tendency to be irrational and offensive. Even a non controversial thread like this will generate this behaviour. In my view the moderators should take a greater stand against this type of behaviour. But seemingly not.



The biggest fact is that Airbus completely misjudged the market for the A380. I seriously doubt that better engines, just building the "800" up front, etc. would have saved it from that. Without the market projection that they had - it never would have met its business case, and would not have been built.

The concept that an aircraft that was so large that most airports in the world could not handle it without very expensive modifications and that carried so many passengers restricting its use to primarily hub to hub was ever going to be more than a niche player is the biggest goof.

Had Airbus realized what its actual market was... it would have died in the conception stage.

Have a great day,


That is how it went, but that is not want airlines wanted when the A380 was designed. Then most airlines would agree that they very much loved their 747s and most airports would agree that adjusting the infrastructure of the airport to the A380 was easier than adding another runway to the airport, as the hubs would often need one if the expected traffic growth would go through the hubs, as everybody expected at the time. Then the 787, 777W and A330 (higher MTOWs) happened and the economical advantage of the A380 over those twins was not big enough, so the market went point-to-point.
 
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FrenchPotatoEye
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Re: John Leahy blames the engines for the A380 failure

Thu Nov 26, 2020 8:25 am

Waterbomber2 wrote:


There are still options for this program: firefighter conversion, freighter conversion, combi conversion.


And who the gonna pay for this?

Certainly not Airbus. They are done with 380 failure.

Only conversion 380 has now is into soup and beer cans.
 
Noshow
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Re: John Leahy blames the engines for the A380 failure

Thu Nov 26, 2020 9:07 am

You can take later builds like Emirates airframes and convert a dozen or two to package freighters. Three decks and all the range. Might come in handy as they get dirt cheap to buy and all those better 747 get used up and will become more expensive and rare. This could save some leasing companies budget plans. Otherwise putting spare parts inventories to junk is more expensive.
 
VV
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Re: John Leahy blames the engines for the A380 failure

Thu Nov 26, 2020 9:09 am

FrenchPotatoEye wrote:
Waterbomber2 wrote:


There are still options for this program: firefighter conversion, freighter conversion, combi conversion.


And who the gonna pay for this?

Certainly not Airbus. They are done with 380 failure.

Only conversion 380 has now is into soup and beer cans.


And luggage tags.
https://www.businesstraveller.com/busin ... t-on-sale/
 
Sokes
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Re: John Leahy blames the engines for the A380 failure

Thu Nov 26, 2020 9:22 am

"If you let the engineers just go off, designing what they think is really cool, you end up like we did with the A380. In commercial we never really focused on the fact that we built an airplane not optimized as the -800, but really built a -900, and we just had to put up with the -800 for a few years until we came out with the -900. Had we all sat around the table and discussed that strategy upfront, I would have been inevitably against it, as would have been the airlines. Who wants to buy a suboptimal aircraft? "

Yeah, sitting around the table sounds good.
Maybe they could book a table at the Munich beer festival.
Why can't the world be a little bit more autistic?
 
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flee
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Re: John Leahy blames the engines for the A380 failure

Thu Nov 26, 2020 9:36 am

Sokes wrote:
"If you let the engineers just go off, designing what they think is really cool, you end up like we did with the A380. In commercial we never really focused on the fact that we built an airplane not optimized as the -800, but really built a -900, and we just had to put up with the -800 for a few years until we came out with the -900. Had we all sat around the table and discussed that strategy upfront, I would have been inevitably against it, as would have been the airlines. Who wants to buy a suboptimal aircraft? "

Yeah, sitting around the table sounds good.
Maybe they could book a table at the Munich beer festival.

I think Boeing got it right - they got the bean counters meticulously scrutinizing projects!
 
Sokes
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Re: John Leahy blames the engines for the A380 failure

Thu Nov 26, 2020 9:43 am

fabian9 wrote:

Sounds like Airbus just has to stretch and neo it.
Why can't the world be a little bit more autistic?
 
olle
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Re: John Leahy blames the engines for the A380 failure

Thu Nov 26, 2020 11:22 am

With Covid and post Covid period what will be the market for big VLAs for the next 10 years.

I consider that Airbus was lucky to wind down A380 controlled just before covid and not a forced one after. Considering the A350 surviving on the smaller A359 with possible a A350-1100 in the future competing with B779...

If Boeing had known about Covid 5 years ago would we now have the 777X serials?
 
filipinoavgeek
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Re: John Leahy blames the engines for the A380 failure

Thu Nov 26, 2020 11:31 am

VV wrote:
FrenchPotatoEye wrote:
Waterbomber2 wrote:


There are still options for this program: firefighter conversion, freighter conversion, combi conversion.


And who the gonna pay for this?

Certainly not Airbus. They are done with 380 failure.

Only conversion 380 has now is into soup and beer cans.


And luggage tags.
https://www.businesstraveller.com/busin ... t-on-sale/


Still hard to believe that all that's left of 9V-SKA, the plane that operated the first ever commercial A380 flight (which was done to much fanfare and media attention), are limited edition luggage tags. And the plane was just over 10 years old when it was scrapped. Meanwhile, N777UA, the first commercially-operated 777, is still going strong almost 25 years later.
RIP 9V-SKA
2007 - 2019
 
Rbgso
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Re: John Leahy blames the engines for the A380 failure

Thu Nov 26, 2020 11:53 am

As large and intertwined as the engine and airframe makers are, I find it hard to believe that Airbus had no idea what new engine technology was in the pipeline. Seems grasping a bit.

But, the man was a phenominal salesman and certainly helped Airbus grow into what it is today. No denying that.
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