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Too Soon For The A380?

Mon Oct 20, 2003 11:32 am

While considering the launch of the A380, I read many articles stating that a lot of airport and administrative re-engineering would be needed in order to for this bird to operate like any other aircraft. But setting aside technical issues, i personally feel that introducing such an aircraft will "steal" (excuse my choice of word) the beauty of aviation present today. For some reason, i feel the A380 is too big, and looks more like a spaceship than an airliner. Dont get me wrong, the plane is impressive, but my point is more nostalgic than anything. Anyone out there feel the same?

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RE: Too Soon For The A380?

Mon Oct 20, 2003 11:41 am

I agree, it seems like the A380 will be more of a novelty than anything else. It's hard to believe that many airlines will be able to operate them successfully.

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RE: Too Soon For The A380?

Mon Oct 20, 2003 11:45 am

I do not feel the same. I believe that AI timed this one perfectly. Forget anyting this old fool may have written before, the curve will be near the top by the time the A380 flys. I think the A380 is truly ugly but then, I've spent the past 35 years thinking the same of the 747.
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RE: Too Soon For The A380?

Mon Oct 20, 2003 11:53 am

T his is what I do not underatnd about the A 380. It supposedly holds 555 people.

But isn't a 747-400 capable of 525 or something whereabouts? So I ask, what is the big deal?

I am not being antiairbus by any means, i think its a cool idea, but I don't see how it is so much different.
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RE: Too Soon For The A380?

Mon Oct 20, 2003 11:56 am

Every one or two decades there has been a plane that was bigger than ever before. Tell somebody in 1920 about the DC3, they will say its much too big and ugly and aviation will never be the same again. And then came Comet, then came 747, then came 380... do you really think this is the biggest plane that will ever be built? In 100 years planes will be a mile long, and they will say the same thing when somebody comes up with a 1.2 mile long plane.
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RE: Too Soon For The A380?

Mon Oct 20, 2003 12:00 pm


You have brought up a very good point. However, i did not live in the 1920s, or 60s, therefore, this why im feeling how i feel about the A380. Planes a mile long? Thank god i ll be gone by then..  Smile
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RE: Too Soon For The A380?

Mon Oct 20, 2003 12:08 pm

Obviously there are a few markets out there for the A 380. I just do not think you will see that many markets for it in the European or North American arena. We want more flights not bigger planes.
Maybe eventually a few on the left coast serving the Pacific Rim.
Airlines these days are not as quick to jump on the band wagon with new types as they were in years past and have to have the latest and greatest.
Sure I would like to go out to my local airport and take a 380 on a 2hr flight but I just don't think she is going to happen.
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RE: Too Soon For The A380?

Mon Oct 20, 2003 12:51 pm

Airbus is taking advantage of a global economic downturn and the associated bargains in intellectual talent, man hours, and raw resources.

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RE: Too Soon For The A380?

Mon Oct 20, 2003 4:00 pm

I think it's pretty well timed, economy-wise. The world's economies should be on their way out of the doldrums by 2006. But it is true that the market for these planes is rather limited - only for really major airports like Singapore, Heathrow, Frankfurt etc. It will be a long time before you see A380s in smaller airports.

About the 555 capacity of the A380 - wasn't that limited by the evacuations requirements? Sliding down from the upper deck must be a hell of a ride, with probably a broken leg on the bottom.

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RE: Too Soon For The A380?

Mon Oct 20, 2003 5:05 pm


The 555 capacity of the 380-800 is in typical 3-class configuration. I don't think you can get anywhere near that number on a 747 in 3-class.

Didn't EK say at Paris when their latest A380 order was announced, that some of their A380s would be configured in a high-density configuration with about 625 seats (I can't remember the exact number, but that 'feels' about right)?
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RE: Too Soon For The A380?

Mon Oct 20, 2003 5:24 pm

How much heavier (empty weight) will the A380 be than the B744?

I'm not a big Airbus fan (I know I shouldn't be judgmental only riding on one once) but this plane can possibly make a lot of money for people.
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RE: Too Soon For The A380?

Mon Oct 20, 2003 5:31 pm

I think the market has already given it's nod of approval to the A380 and it's timing. Before the launch, industry pundits were estimating that if Airbus manages to move 50 of them before EIS, the launch would be considered a success. Now I think they're already at over 90.

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RE: Too Soon For The A380?

Mon Oct 20, 2003 8:26 pm

It's been said - or asked, to be precise - several times that today, airlines (or passengers) will prefer frequency over amount of seats on each aircraft - I think that this is, in principle, true.

But you also have to keep in mind that there are some very slot constrained airports around the planet, and that, because of curfews combined with flying times and time differences, there are simply some markets where the option of increasing frequencies simply does not exist.

One typical route would be the Europe-Japan route where, I think I read once, airlines have a two-hour-window of leaving Narita to not get into trouble with LHR's curfew.

Then there are other routes where you could only increas frequencies by adding flights at times that passengers don't like - departures between 1 and 5 o'clock in the morning, for example.

And then, there are those airlines who think that they can offer one flight profitably between a city pair per day, but offering two would be "pushing it"...

As for the looks of the A380 (and just so you know where my personal preferences are: I'm one of those persons who'll chose an A340 over a B777 anytime) I think - while certainly impressive - it looks boring: it's just another large aircraft... the B747 has so much more character...
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RE: Too Soon For The A380?

Mon Oct 20, 2003 8:42 pm

Airlines probably know a great deal more about capacity on their routes than most of us do. If they're buying A380s, they must feel that they can get reasonable load factors; whether it's due to slot constraints, curfews, or just sheer demand.

Passenger numbers have grown quite steadily over the last century or so. There might have been declines over the last couple of years, but I doubt that this is some permanent structural feature - that the market has reached a peak. It's just a blip, and growth will continue.
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RE: Too Soon For The A380?

Mon Oct 20, 2003 8:59 pm

I disagree.

That the A380 received more orders than for example the 773ER or the A340-600, and in less time, is just one argument. Of cause it seems unlikely that the big fat whale will be as successful as the 747, but the the needs at top end of the market weren´t obviuosly met with 744 sized aircraft anymore.
Also its the case that most airports that´ll see the A380 are already prepared for them.

And that are the airports where the "frequency before size" doesn´t apply, because the "more frequency" bullshit does only three things, and all are negative for big airports: More noise congestion, slot problems and therefore higher risk of delays and a higher accident chance.

I like airliners after the mottos "The bigger the better" and "4engines4longhaul".
The A380 won´t certainly be as elegant as the 747, but I still like a stubby giant more than overstretched, disproportioned swans like A346 or B773 that would be the perfect competition for the high frequency fans.

The A380 will be stunning in reality. Wait until its there, and many now complaining about it being ugly will be struck by awe.
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RE: Too Soon For The A380?

Mon Oct 20, 2003 11:47 pm

Actually, for some airlines they really need the A380-800 very soon.

Especially Singapore Airlines (SQ). Their route from SIN to LHR is always packed even with multiple 747-400 flights per day, and SQ definitely wants a bigger plane to fly from SIN to the USA (SIN-HKG-SFO, SIN-TPE-LAX). Indeed, the SQ 001/002 route from SIN to SFO via HKG is probably SQ's most lucrative route, and it may be a candidate for early A388 service by the late spring of 2006.  Big thumbs up

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