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art
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RE: Air France: Airbus A380 Not A Good Fit For Network

Wed Oct 02, 2013 9:34 am

Quoting PlaneInsomniac (Reply 98):
So either these airlines are all bad at math, or the VLA concept is beginning to become obsolete.

Were traffic levels stable with negligible future market growth envisaged, I would see VLA's having a very small niche. That is not the case. Traffic doubles roughly every 15 years. I expect there to be a greater demand for A380's in the next 15 years, providing they maintain a CASM advantage over smaller WB's.
 
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RE: Air France: Airbus A380 Not A Good Fit For Network

Wed Oct 02, 2013 9:53 am

Quoting art (Reply 100):
Traffic doubles roughly every 15 years. I expect there to be a greater demand for A380's in the next 15 years

Well, the A380 has been for sale for 13 years already, through massive oscillations in the global economy, oil prices and air travel. It has never sold excessively well and virtually stopped selling 1-2 years go. I find it hard to construct a scenario of such a massively altered environment that it would not only reverse the trend but essentially lead to more sales than it ever had.

Quoting art (Reply 100):
providing they maintain a CASM advantage over smaller WB's.

Well, according to all we know, they haven't. I would say Party's Over, but there never really was a party to begin with.
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art
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RE: Air France: Airbus A380 Not A Good Fit For Network

Wed Oct 02, 2013 10:03 am

Quoting PlaneInsomniac (Reply 101):

This is off topic for AF. With your leave, I will reply in this thread

Is The 4 Engine Widebody Days Numbered? (by mia305 Oct 1 2013 in Civil Aviation)
 
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par13del
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RE: Air France: Airbus A380 Not A Good Fit For Network

Wed Oct 02, 2013 10:33 am

Quoting fcogafa (Reply 56):
But if a third runway is approved that problem will disappear (and values of the current slots dive!) ....

A runway far far far away  
Quoting sankaps (Reply 69):
and except for the A380, Boeing has consistently had larger widebodies,

If my memory is accurate this is not correct.
Airbus produced the A300, Boeing had nothing in that class, Boeing then went to the 767, Airbus countered with the A330, Airbus countered the 747 with the A330 and the ultimate -600, Airbus has now produced the A380.
Boeing may have consistently had greater sales of its widebody a/c but I'm not sure it is accurate to say that they have consistently had larger widebody a/c in their product line, and this is even when you compare the A330 and the 777 base versions
 
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RE: Air France: Airbus A380 Not A Good Fit For Network

Wed Oct 02, 2013 10:42 am

Quoting PlaneInsomniac (Reply 98):
That is true.

However, if the yield of the average VLA seat were so much higher that it could easily compensate for the drawbacks of the VLA (e.g., reduced flexibility), airlines would be ordering them in droves.

They are not. In fact, we see more and more airlines starting to turn their backs on the VLA.

So either these airlines are all bad at math, or the VLA concept is beginning to become obsolete.

You need to sell those seats, that is the problem. The having a higher percentage of F and J seats for the same number of seats overall, means you need to fill those seats. If you keep the higher percentage of Y, J and F in the VLA you need to sell those extra Y seats. Now if you have a hub which is not slot limited, passenger will prefer frequency over flying a VLA. In end the A380 is too big for AF.
 
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RE: Air France: Airbus A380 Not A Good Fit For Network

Wed Oct 02, 2013 10:57 am

Quoting Unflug (Reply 89):
We are reaching post #100 and sill nobody has provided any further details. I got a bit annoyed and purchased a subscription to read the article quoted in the opening post.

Thanks for taking away the annoyance that many of us undoubtedly shared  
Quoting Unflug (Reply 89):
1) Some Airports cannot easily handle the aircraft. For example it took them 3 years to get traffic rights into Shanghai Pudong. They will switch Operation from Shanghai to Singapore.

2) The A350s and 787s are able to reach the same operating costs per seat as the A380, but Air France can offer more frequencies.

3) He expects that, if Air France plans to add more A380s, “it will be not tens of more.”

1) This is a constraint that should get relaxed with time. I fully expect that, at some point, even India will allow A380 operations. As we discussed in the "Almost One Year Since Last A380-Order" thread, the number of airports that see regular A380 service is steadily increasing. There are currently 30 airports that see daily A380 operations, and by the end of next year that number is likely to approach 40.

Almost One Year Since Last A 380-order (by N14AZ Sep 10 2013 in Civil Aviation)#144

2) Airbus is fully aware that, sometime around 2020, it will need to do something to restore the A380's CASM leadership. There is a wide range of technological and cabin arrangement options available to do this. We have discussed this before:

Airbus Considering A380 Refresh, No Stretch (yet) (by Scipio Jun 20 2013 in Civil Aviation)
http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2013-0...resher-to-help-rekindle-sales.html

3) So, the bottom line is that, as it sees things at the current juncture, Air France might or might not incrementally add more units to its existing A380 orders. Big deal. And this is meant to herald the end of the VLA era?


When it comes to whether or not the VLA era is ending, a much more relevant interview is the one that Tim Clark gave to Flightglobal less than two weeks ago:

http://www.flightglobal.com/news/art...ng-engine-technology-clark-390796/

Highlights, as posted before in the "Almost One Year Since Last A380-Order" thread:

- Emirates plans to start replacing its fleet of A380s by new A380s starting from 2020, so there is an "automatic replacement" requirement for another 90 A380s (on top of the 90 currently ordered)
- In addition, if Dubai's airport constraints could be resolved, Emirates could take "many more", possibly doubling its fleet size
- Mr. Clark firmly believes that "the A380 is the future for long-haul mass transit"
- the A380's slow sales in recent years are due to an "accident of timing", as the A380 entered into service just as the global financial crisis hit
- Clark is pushing GE / Engine Alliance to upgrade the GP7200 with the latest engine technologies

Somehow, this interview triggered far fewer reactions than the Air France one when I originally posted it...
Almost One Year Since Last A 380-order (by N14AZ Sep 10 2013 in Civil Aviation)#265

[Edited 2013-10-02 04:03:49]
 
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RE: Air France: Airbus A380 Not A Good Fit For Network

Wed Oct 02, 2013 12:00 pm

Quoting seahawk (Reply 104):
If you keep the higher percentage of Y, J and F in the VLA you need to sell those extra Y seats. Now if you have a hub which is not slot limited, passenger will prefer frequency over flying a VLA.

It is not that simple. Passengers have preferences when they want to fly and they are not even throughout the day. With flying you find most want to fly at mornings and evenings. If you take away half the morning capacity and reinstate it with a new frequency at noon you have most likely made it worse for most passengers. The extremes of this is when you see airplanes landing in the morning and then sitting all day waiting for an evening departure before flying home again, e.g. South Africa.

It is always about balancing capacity to demand. This is why there are airplanes in many different sizes. I don't know how anyone can look at the ever increasing number of passengers and think that there is never a need higher than what a twin can carry. Since twins have a maximum capacity I find idea they are always enough a strange conclusion.
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RE: Air France: Airbus A380 Not A Good Fit For Network

Wed Oct 02, 2013 12:38 pm

Quoting Scipio (Reply 105):
- Emirates plans to start replacing its fleet of A380s by new A380s starting from 2020, so there is an "automatic replacement" requirement for another 90 A380s (on top of the 90 currently ordered)

Of course that is a double edge sword, as that means the market will begin to be flooded with used A380s which other carriers may pick up versus ordering new from Airbus.
 
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RE: Air France: Airbus A380 Not A Good Fit For Network

Wed Oct 02, 2013 1:01 pm

Quoting Polot (Reply 107):
Of course that is a double edge sword, as that means the market will begin to be flooded with used A380s which other carriers may pick up versus ordering new from Airbus.

Drifting slightly off topic here, but what you describe seems to be the case for each and every type of plane once it reaches an age where the first few used examples become available on the 2nd hand market. So that factor is usually taken into account when planning the lifecycle for a plane type.

If Airbus still gets the A380 1:1 replacement business for new frames from EK, I'm sure they're ok with it - and for that matter, Airbus are probably still happier about an airline operating a 2nd hand A380 than a 1st or 2nd hand 777 or 747-8i, as they'll still get revenue from support contracts and the likes for 2nd hand Airbus frames.
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tortugamon
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RE: Air France: Airbus A380 Not A Good Fit For Network

Wed Oct 02, 2013 1:05 pm

Quoting par13del (Reply 103):
Airbus produced the A300, Boeing had nothing in that class

Right but they had an aircraft that was larger.

Quoting par13del (Reply 103):
you compare the A330 and the 777 base versions

Where the 777 is both longer and wider.

Quoting Unflug (Reply 89):
2) The A350s and 787s are able to reach the same operating costs per seat as the A380, but Air France can offer more frequencies.

It is interesting that he says operating cost and not just fuel cost/seat. Typically I give a per seat advantage on flight crew/pilots/admin/gate agents etc to the A380.

Thank you for getting the article Unflug

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RE: Air France: Airbus A380 Not A Good Fit For Network

Wed Oct 02, 2013 1:07 pm

Quoting MIflyer12 (Reply 87):
Can you create the derivation for that, or outline your logic and evidence? It seems awfully specific!

HB-IWC has done a number of analysis of longhaul aircraft fleets here on a.net that are well worth the read.

AA:
https://www.airliners.net/aviation-fo...ral_aviation/print.main?id=3127593

DL:
Delta Airlines Widebody Operational Analysis (by vin2basketball Jul 21 2011 in Civil Aviation)

KLM:
KLM B77W Schedule And Network Development (by HB-IWC Sep 10 2008 in Civil Aviation)

EK A380:
Emirates A380 Deployment - Operational Analysis (by HB-IWC Jan 9 2012 in Civil Aviation)

latest on overall EK:
Emirates At DXB - Ultimate Operational Analysis (by HB-IWC Sep 27 2010 in Civil Aviation)

UA-CO:
UA-CO Widebody Operational Analysis (by HB-IWC Oct 4 2010 in Civil Aviation)

After reading through those analysis, I've noted that 17 seems to be the minimum number of aircraft for efficient replacement of aircraft when one airframe is out for maintenance (which is quite often). Airlines with fewer aircraft must have lower utilization in order to recover from an incident.

Yes its specific. Obviously efficiency grows with numbers. I also believe a suitable pilot pool is required. While I couldn't put an exact number on that, I doubt the number is less than a hundred captains and a hundred copilots in order to pay for the training of the check ride pilots. That puts the minimum fleet north of 13.

An airline needs a spare engine at their main hub to operate efficiently. That actually implies a larger number of aircraft as 1% spare engines is where the industry is going. But that isn't that onerous of an expense past 8 or 9 aircraft.

The ideal is to have an aircraft in maintenance at all times except the 3 or 4 busiest months of the year. Assuming 7 days of maintenance/transit per aircraft, then that implies a fleet of 34. I arbitrarily divided that by two.

Any way one slices it, AF's fleet is too small for efficiency. But my opinion is mostly on the costs of providing a standby aircraft as nothing else can substitute for an A380 but another A380 (downfall of being the largest airframe).

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babybus
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RE: Air France: Airbus A380 Not A Good Fit For Network

Wed Oct 02, 2013 1:08 pm

Maybe Air France need to look at their fares?

You can fill any plane if the price is right. There are many places that AF fly to that other airlines do cheaper.
and with that..cabin crew, seats for landing please.
 
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RE: Air France: Airbus A380 Not A Good Fit For Network

Wed Oct 02, 2013 1:11 pm

Quoting anfromme (Reply 108):
If Airbus still gets the A380 1:1 replacement business for new frames from EK, I'm sure they're ok with it - and for that matter, Airbus are probably still happier about an airline operating a 2nd hand A380 than a 1st or 2nd hand 777 or 747-8i, as they'll still get revenue from support contracts and the likes for 2nd hand Airbus frames.

True, although I will be careful with statements such as Airbus already has 90 automatic A380 orders from EK etc- that is counting your chickens before your eggs hatch. Who knows what might happen to EK or what decisions they end up making. They may find the A350-1000 to be an absolutely phenomenal aircraft that is completely perfect for the airline, and decide to grow that fleet at the expense of some of the A380 fleet for example.
 
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RE: Air France: Airbus A380 Not A Good Fit For Network

Wed Oct 02, 2013 1:49 pm

Quoting cmf (Reply 106):
It is not that simple. Passengers have preferences when they want to fly and they are not even throughout the day. With flying you find most want to fly at mornings and evenings. If you take away half the morning capacity and reinstate it with a new frequency at noon you have most likely made it worse for most passengers. The extremes of this is when you see airplanes landing in the morning and then sitting all day waiting for an evening departure before flying home again, e.g. South Africa.

To back this up with statistics: page 55 of this document has a nice graph showing how departures from North America to Europe are spread through the day:

http://www.airbus.com/company/market...?eID=dam_frontend_push&docID=33603

90% of all departures take place in a window of 8 hours, 50% in a window of only 3 hours!

Quoting cmf (Reply 106):
It is always about balancing capacity to demand. This is why there are airplanes in many different sizes. I don't know how anyone can look at the ever increasing number of passengers and think that there is never a need higher than what a twin can carry. Since twins have a maximum capacity I find idea they are always enough a strange conclusion.

Couldn't agree more!
 
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RE: Air France: Airbus A380 Not A Good Fit For Network

Wed Oct 02, 2013 1:57 pm

Quoting PlaneInsomniac (Reply 93):

IMHO nothing astonishing here. If I remember correctly, it has been said for a while that the 787 and A350 will reach about the same per-seat economics as the A380 at comparable load factors. (Some even say they're actually better.) That's the unstoppable march of technological progress.

This is exactly the reason why the business case for VLAs is rapidly imploding.
Quoting art (Reply 95):
If you compare an A380 fitted with 400 seats to an A351 fitted with 400 seats, the A351 will have better per-seat economics. I think you need to compare different aircraft based on equivalent seating breakdowns in terms of space per passenger to get a realistic comparison of economics.

So do we know if AF was comparing on a normalized basis, or on their current configuration which is medium density seating for the A380?
 
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RE: Air France: Airbus A380 Not A Good Fit For Network

Wed Oct 02, 2013 2:30 pm

Quoting Scipio (Reply 105):

Using Tim Clark as an example for a reason the VLA market is not imploding isn't honest. EK is so heavily invested in the A380 that he needs it to be a success so engine manufactures and Airbus will keep improving it. If it doesn't sell well , Resources will be moved else where. Thus Tim Clark is probably one of the A380s best sales people. Btw, I do agree however with many of the reasons on why he says it's not selling well now.
 
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RE: Air France: Airbus A380 Not A Good Fit For Network

Wed Oct 02, 2013 2:55 pm

Quoting art (Reply 88):
Your point? Where LHR slots are concerned I don't see that it matters what proportion of aircraft movements are long haul or short haul. A slot is a slot and they have all or nearly all been taken at LHR so the question is, how do you increase long haul pax numbers without increasing the number of pax per flight?

By up-gauging narrowbody flights onto larger narrowbodies (or consolidating two or more onto a widebody), you free up slots which can then be allocated to additional long-haul frequencies.
 
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RE: Air France: Airbus A380 Not A Good Fit For Network

Wed Oct 02, 2013 3:28 pm

Quoting Polot (Reply 112):
They may find the A350-1000 to be an absolutely phenomenal aircraft that is completely perfect for the airline, and decide to grow that fleet at the expense of some of the A380 fleet for example.

EK has stated that 340 seats is really their minimum size aircraft. In many cases and in the not so distant future the A351 may even be considered to be too small for them  Wow!. They are growing at a solid rate and they do not have enough space at DXB or DWC to fit 'small' aircraft. A380 may be more expensive to operate but it is the only way to make their model and their growth rates work unless the airport(s) catch up.

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RE: Air France: Airbus A380 Not A Good Fit For Network

Wed Oct 02, 2013 3:52 pm

Quoting cmf (Reply 106):
It is not that simple. Passengers have preferences when they want to fly and they are not even throughout the day. With flying you find most want to fly at mornings and evenings. If you take away half the morning capacity and reinstate it with a new frequency at noon you have most likely made it worse for most passengers. The extremes of this is when you see airplanes landing in the morning and then sitting all day waiting for an evening departure before flying home again, e.g. South Africa.

It is always about balancing capacity to demand. This is why there are airplanes in many different sizes. I don't know how anyone can look at the ever increasing number of passengers and think that there is never a need higher than what a twin can carry. Since twins have a maximum capacity I find idea they are always enough a strange conclusion.

It is that simple, at least when the airplane is too large. It seems AF has few routes that can fill an A380 without reducing the frequency on the route and so reducing the overall number of pax using your service.
 
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RE: Air France: Airbus A380 Not A Good Fit For Network

Wed Oct 02, 2013 4:06 pm

Quoting phxa340 (Reply 115):
Using Tim Clark as an example for a reason the VLA market is not imploding isn't honest. EK is so heavily invested in the A380 that he needs it to be a success so engine manufactures and Airbus will keep improving it.
EK obviously has a stake in the continued development of the A380. Whether Mr. Clark's comments are driven by ulterior motives can be debated, but the ways EK's network and Dubai's airport infrastructure are developing are consistent with a continued heavy reliance on VLAs.

And I honestly do think that, for the A380's future, the possibility that its largest customer may order another 90-180 frames is more relevant than the possibility that a struggling airline like Air France might not order many more...

180 frames is 6 years of production at 30 units per year...

[Edited 2013-10-02 09:23:35]
 
Azure
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RE: Air France: Airbus A380 Not A Good Fit For Network

Wed Oct 02, 2013 4:11 pm

Quoting seahawk (Reply 118):
AF has few routes that can fill an A380 without reducing the frequency on the route and so reducing the overall number of pax using your service.


The introduction of the A380 on AF routes has resulted in a decrease of frequency and sometimes but not always in a slight increase of capacity to allow growth. On all the markets where the A380 is deployed (America and Asia), load factors are above 90% per their latest financial release, above the average LF where it is not deployed.

I fail to see how the A380 is hurting AF long-haul ops...

Source : http://www.airfranceklm-finance.com/en

[Edited 2013-10-02 10:01:34]
 
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RE: Air France: Airbus A380 Not A Good Fit For Network

Wed Oct 02, 2013 4:21 pm

Quoting Azure (Reply 120):
The introduction of the A380 on AF routes has resulted in a decrease of frequency and sometimes but not always in a slight increase of capacity to allow growth. On all the markets where the A380 is deployed (America and Asia), load factors are above 90% per their latest financial release, above the average LF where it is not deployed (Africa for instance)

I fail to see how the A380 is hurting AF long-haul ops...

It's not just LF, it can also be frequency.
Are they missing passengers by only flying one or two times a day (the flight schedule doesn't mesh as well with the prospective passenger's)? If they could fly two or three+ flights (frequencies) a day would more people want to fly on them because those times fit their schedules better?

So the flights might be full for the ones they fly but they might be better off overall with "more".

Tugg
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RE: Air France: Airbus A380 Not A Good Fit For Network

Wed Oct 02, 2013 4:29 pm

Quoting seahawk (Reply 118):
It is that simple, at least when the airplane is too large. It seems AF has few routes that can fill an A380 without reducing the frequency on the route and so reducing the overall number of pax using your service.

Few routes is a different argument, one that I agree with. However your statement was rather different:

Quoting seahawk (Reply 104):
Now if you have a hub which is not slot limited, passenger will prefer frequency over flying a VLA.

If what you said was true then we would only have small planes flying with high frequency. There wouldn't be different sized planes, just very small planes flying very frequently.

We wouldn't see any 777s as you could fly smaller A330s with higher frequency. But we wouldn't see any #330s as 757s can fly with higher frequency. And so on.

Reality is that we have different sized planes because demand varies and it varies enough to justify optimizing equipment. That the smaller models represent more of the market is natural distribution. Why we see many more A320s and 737s than A330/A350s and 787/777. That the A380/747 market is natural but that doesn't mean it isn't significant enough to justify its existence. That they have sold above expected positive ROI is evidence enough. That they failed to perform is a different issue.
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Azure
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RE: Air France: Airbus A380 Not A Good Fit For Network

Wed Oct 02, 2013 5:01 pm

Quoting tugger (Reply 121):
It's not just LF, it can also be frequency.

You are right, but AF has deployed the A380 on routes it has decades of experience. The schedules chosen for the A380s are the "preferred" ones as it states on its corporate website. Furthermore frequency is less an issue when the flight is over 8 hours.
At the end, for an airline, what matters is not the total number of passengers it carries on one route, but the profitability of this route. And I still have to read how the A380 is an handicap for this matter.
 
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RE: Air France: Airbus A380 Not A Good Fit For Network

Wed Oct 02, 2013 5:27 pm

Quoting PlaneInsomniac (Reply 93):
If I remember correctly, it has been said for a while that the 787 and A350 will reach about the same per-seat economics as the A380 at comparable load factors. (Some even say they're actually better.) That's the unstoppable march of technological progress.This is exactly the reason why the business case for VLAs is rapidly imploding.

Or alternatively why the case for an upgrade becomes more pressing

Quoting Azure (Reply 99):
Basically he is not ruling out to order more A380s in the future which clearly indicates there is a business case for the A380 in the AF network

No he did not.
And yet the airline is characterised as "turning its back on the A380".   

Quoting Scipio (Reply 105):
Clark is pushing GE / Engine Alliance to upgrade the GP7200 with the latest engine technologiesSomehow, this interview triggered far fewer reactions than the Air France one when I originally posted it...

True enough. Can't think why though   

Quoting anfromme (Reply 108):
Drifting slightly off topic here, but what you describe seems to be the case for each and every type of plane once it reaches an age where the first few used examples become available on the 2nd hand market

   It's only the case for the A380.   

Rgds
 
goldorak
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RE: Air France: Airbus A380 Not A Good Fit For Network

Wed Oct 02, 2013 8:02 pm

Quoting babybus (Reply 111):
Maybe Air France need to look at their fares?

You can fill any plane if the price is right. There are many places that AF fly to that other airlines do cheaper.

Hmmm...are you aware of AF load factors on long-haul flights (often >90%) ?
 
JHwk
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RE: Air France: Airbus A380 Not A Good Fit For Network

Wed Oct 02, 2013 11:37 pm

Quoting art (Reply 100):
Traffic doubles roughly every 15 years.

Beware the man with the hockey stick. Assuming exponential growth continues indefinitely is the source of many a bubble.

The economics of alternatives change as the passenger miles increase.

VLAs may eventually dominate, but there are really only incremental benefits on flights less than 8 hours today outside of specific routes. The incremental benefit does not always outweigh the incremental risk.
 
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RE: Air France: Airbus A380 Not A Good Fit For Network

Thu Oct 03, 2013 2:18 am

Quoting anfromme (Reply 108):
Drifting slightly off topic here, but what you describe seems to be the case for each and every type of plane once it reaches an age where the first few used examples become available on the 2nd hand market. So that factor is usually taken into account when planning the lifecycle for a plane type.

Not necessarily.

1. EK and SQ get rid of aircraft earlier than most other carriers.

2. It's more likely a problem at the extremes of the market in size. RJs don't have much value, but they weren't costly to begin with. The A380 doesn't have a lot of customers to begin with, so finding a place for 50 12 year old A380s at a decent price will be a challenge. But maybe the business case for AF or DL becomes better if they take 12 year old A380s than if they paid for new ones?

3. Anyone who's tried to place a 20 year old 744 knows that it's hard to place old VLAs these days with efficient twins that have the same range available. That experience alone makes some carriers more wary of the A380, because they already are dumping the 744 for no value, and would be replacing those with A380s which would have an even worse problem at the end of their life due to poor prospects as an A380CF.
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LO231
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RE: Air France: Airbus A380 Not A Good Fit For Network

Thu Oct 03, 2013 3:58 am

Just hated their 343 take off from CDG to MIA... Took ages.... Then again, service with champagne in economy was superb... Kuddos
Got both LO 788 frames already, next LO E95 and 734 BRU-WAW-BRU
 
Scipio
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RE: Air France: Airbus A380 Not A Good Fit For Network

Thu Oct 03, 2013 7:27 am

Quoting ikramerica (Reply 127):
so finding a place for 50 12 year old A380s at a decent price will be a challenge

Given the A380's slow production ramp-up, the time that the 50th used A380 will hit the market is a long way off. End-2024 to be precise...

Assuming that both SQ and EK will take frames out of service exactly 12 years after delivery, while other early users will keep their frames for at least 18 years, this is what will become available on the used market:

2019: 1 frame (SQ)
2020: 9 frames (5 SQ, 4 EK)
2021: 7 frames (4 SQ, 3 EK)
2022: 9 frames (1 SQ, 8 EK)
2023: 8 frames (3 SQ, 5 EK)
2024: 16 frames (5 SQ, 11 EK)
2025: 13 frames (all EK)

In other words, used A380s will be a very scarce commodity until at least the mid-2020s...

I don't think it is hard to imagine those 50 first frames easily finding new homes. By the 2020s, many 2-nd tier carriers might be ready to take on VLAs if they can avoid the capex and risk that come with new frames, and package carriers might be keen to get a hold of some frames for conversion into freighters.

And once A380s will start hitting the used market in considerable numbers, we will already be in the second half of the 2020s and the global aviation market will be about twice as large as it is now...

In fact, if all other operators fly their A380s for 20 years, we would see a grand total of just 129 frames reach the used market by end-2030... This would be 90 from Emirates, 24 from Singapore, 7 from Qantas, and 4 each from Air France and Lufthansa.

So, there doesn't seem to be much basis to expect a glut in the used A380 market, as long as operators do not start dumping the type prematurely en masse.





[Edited 2013-10-03 00:44:35]

[Edited 2013-10-03 01:15:55]

[Edited 2013-10-03 01:18:08]
 
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anfromme
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RE: Air France: Airbus A380 Not A Good Fit For Network

Thu Oct 03, 2013 9:11 am

Quoting ikramerica (Reply 127):

2. It's more likely a problem at the extremes of the market in size. RJs don't have much value, but they weren't costly to begin with. The A380 doesn't have a lot of customers to begin with, so finding a place for 50 12 year old A380s at a decent price will be a challenge. But maybe the business case for AF or DL becomes better if they take 12 year old A380s than if they paid for new ones?

See Scipio's post - there won't be a flood of 2nd hand A380s becoming available any time soon. For those that will become available, I do think that your scenario is quite conceivable, i.e. that airlines that currently don't operate the A380 will find it easier to take the plunge with used frames (and possibly leased ones from Doric).

Quoting ikramerica (Reply 127):
3. Anyone who's tried to place a 20 year old 744 knows that it's hard to place old VLAs these days with efficient twins that have the same range available.

I think this comparison is invalid on many levels. You're comparing 20 year-old 744s to 12 year-old A380s. 20 year-old frames will always be much harder to place - especially as pax aircraft - than 12 year-old ones. Also, a 744 that was built 20 years ago is an example of a type that had an EIS 25 years ago and that was a refresh of a much older base model, with engines that were mostly only refreshes of 1960s/1970s designs. It's a quad that got replaced by a twin of only marginally smaller capacity.
None of these factors apply to 12 year-old A380s - beginning with the fact that the first customer-owned A380 won't turn 12 for another six years.
Mind you, I'm not saying that it will be simple to place used A380s in 2019 onwards - an A320 or A330 is always going to have many more potential customers. I just don't think that the situation is going to be comparable to the reasons it's difficult to place 20 year-old 744s today. For one, there is not going to be a twin by 2020 that offers even close to the same capacity as the A380.

Quoting ikramerica (Reply 127):
That experience alone makes some carriers more wary of the A380, because they already are dumping the 744 for no value, and would be replacing those with A380s which would have an even worse problem at the end of their life due to poor prospects as an A380CF.

It doesn't help old pax 744 that the cargo market isn't exactly buoyant at the moment. The A330 P2F conversion is still waiting for its first customer, a 777 conversion programme is yet to be launched after a decade of discussions...
I do think this is not going to last and we will see both types converted eventually - my point is that currently is an unusual point in time when even these popular types don't find freighter customers. I wouldn't assume that this situation is going to last forever, though.
Regarding an A380CF specifically - the A380 was designed with a freighter in mind, so a freighter conversion should be very doable. But I do agree with you that it's currently not worth spending much thought on, given that even easier sells like the 777BCF and A330P2F are not exactly selling like hot cakes.

Quoting Scipio (Reply 129):
Assuming that both SQ and EK will take frames out of service exactly 12 years after delivery, while other early users will keep their frames for at least 18 years, this is what will become available on the used market:

Thanks for that post and doing the research for it - hadn't looked at it that way, so that was very interesting.
42
 
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seahawk
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RE: Air France: Airbus A380 Not A Good Fit For Network

Thu Oct 03, 2013 11:45 am

Quoting cmf (Reply 122):
If what you said was true then we would only have small planes flying with high frequency. There wouldn't be different sized planes, just very small planes flying very frequently.

We wouldn't see any 777s as you could fly smaller A330s with higher frequency. But we wouldn't see any #330s as 757s can fly with higher frequency. And so on.

Reality is that we have different sized planes because demand varies and it varies enough to justify optimizing equipment. That the smaller models represent more of the market is natural distribution. Why we see many more A320s and 737s than A330/A350s and 787/777. That the A380/747 market is natural but that doesn't mean it isn't significant enough to justify its existence. That they have sold above expected positive ROI is evidence enough. That they failed to perform is a different issue.

Well ok I meant an hub, which is not even slot limited during the peak hours. It is easier to add an evening frequency to a morning flight from Europe to North America, when you have slots in the evening peak time. It is likely that passenger will prefer this to flying a A380 in the morning. And if you have more slots at your hub and the destination, you might be thinking about a 3rd frequency (maybe using even smaller plane) or up-grading one of your existing frequencies to a larger plane. But in general, if you hub has slots (even in the peak times) VLAs might not be the best option for your network.
 
skipness1E
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RE: Air France: Airbus A380 Not A Good Fit For Network

Thu Oct 03, 2013 11:54 am

Quoting Scipio (Reply 129):
And once A380s will start hitting the used market in considerable numbers, we will already be in the second half of the 2020s and the global aviation market will be about twice as large as it is now...

Ever thought the A380 is only suitable for a top tier airline so second hand aicraft won't remain active. Majors tend to buy new long haul aircraft, the A380 is not suitable for anything less than a major legacy, so it's not clear to me how big the second hand market would be. It's not like the days of B707s and Dc8s where any old cowboy outfit could have a crack at making money with one.
 
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kanban
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RE: Air France: Airbus A380 Not A Good Fit For Network

Thu Oct 03, 2013 4:08 pm

Quoting Scipio (Reply 129):
I don't think it is hard to imagine those 50 first frames easily finding new homes. By the 2020s, many 2-nd tier carriers might be ready to take on VLAs if they can avoid the capex and risk that come with new frames, and package carriers might be keen to get a hold of some frames for conversion into freighters.

Because the first 50 were hand made, any 2nd tier make have higher refurbishment and reconfiguration costs than if they waited until the more "normalized" production articles appear on the market. Some might say tour operators are a possible customer for second hand planes.. here I think there will be several factors they will consider.. cost of conversion, cost of maintenance of older planes, smaller airport accessibility , and the resistance of increasing numbers of vacationers to arrive in volumes that swamp the destination and uniqueness. Darn if I want to vacation in a location where I spend an inordinate amount of time standing in line to shoulder to shoulder with other tourists.

The fantasy of a second life as a package freighter exists but I think there again, conversion will price the first batch out of range. Even package carriers are looking at frequency vs volume and their terminals can handle much more as staggered departure/arrivals than the current models concentrating on overnight operations.

I have also noticed, although I don't know how prevalent is is across the larger field, that sometimes greater available frequency with multiple carriers drives the ticket cost down, where limited frequency isn't as impacted. Yes, there are some that don't look at ticket price and only look at amenities.

Basically we can talk about all the airlines profit motives, but frequency and volume ultimately depend on the passengers decisions.
 
Cubsrule
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RE: Air France: Airbus A380 Not A Good Fit For Network

Thu Oct 03, 2013 4:25 pm

Quoting kanban (Reply 133):
The fantasy of a second life as a package freighter exists but I think there again, conversion will price the first batch out of range. Even package carriers are looking at frequency vs volume and their terminals can handle much more as staggered departure/arrivals than the current models concentrating on overnight operations.

  

I don't see much of a freighter market for the 388, either as a resurrected 380F or as a P2F. The logistical problems of second deck loading of passengers pale in comparison to those that would exist for freighters, and most cargo hubs do not have capacity issues.
I can't decide whether I miss the tulip or the bowling shoe more
 
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sassiciai
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RE: Air France: Airbus A380 Not A Good Fit For Network

Thu Oct 03, 2013 5:37 pm

Quoting kanban (Reply 133):
the resistance of increasing numbers of vacationers to arrive in volumes that swamp the destination and uniqueness. Darn if I want to vacation in a location where I spend an inordinate amount of time standing in line to shoulder to shoulder with other tourists.

You think this is something unique to the A380? There are some truly sardine canned B747s flying around on the holiday circuits
 
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kanban
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RE: Air France: Airbus A380 Not A Good Fit For Network

Thu Oct 03, 2013 5:45 pm

Quoting sassiciai (Reply 135):
You think this is something unique to the A380? There are some truly sardine canned B747s flying around on the holiday circuits

NO, it was a general statement relating to charter / vacation operators using VLA's to smaller -remote destinations. Yes it applies to 747's and 777's as well.
 
747megatop
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RE: Air France: Airbus A380 Not A Good Fit For Network

Thu Oct 03, 2013 5:59 pm

Quoting blueshamu330s (Reply 14):
I disagree. Look at the intransigence with regard to future south east UK airspace and airport capacity development and factor that into fleet and route planning for the 2020 decade; British Airways will be in exactly the same position as they were in prior to buying bmi.

The A380s have a sure and secure future at BA and I will bet my shirt they will end up with a significantly more substantial fleet than they currently have on order and option.

   With passenger number set to exponentially increase globally over the next few decades the only option for some airports to increase capacity will be to encourage VLAs and give more incentives. It is not that airports can have their way and dream up runways out of thin air, plan them in a couple of years and build them in 2 or 3 years. Airports like BOM, LAX, LHR, NRT are all constrained by finite amount of space and face very stiff resistance from local communities when these airports talk about expansion. At some point they are going to hit their saturation point when the only alternative is to switch to VLAs for high density trunk routes. Granted that VLAs like A380 and 747-8 will not sell like 787/777/A350 in large numbers, but A380 will have a small market and there will be a demand for these aircraft. And yes, the A380 in it's current 4 holer form may not remain in production 20 or 30 years from now....who knows...it may come in a twin engine BWB form!.
 
billreid
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RE: Air France: Airbus A380 Not A Good Fit For Network

Thu Oct 03, 2013 6:19 pm

I have posted multiple times that KLM stated while the A380 was in the design phase that it was a "Frequency Killer"

That said AF and several other airlines are finding out that managing the A380 and a network doesn't make sense to support the high yielding pax.
One flight per day on a A380 is a killer versus 3 on a A350 or B787. If you have a corporate executive who is costing $2500/hour it is impossible to spend an additional 8 - 24 hours en-route with lost frequency. Then the B787 takes the pax away through dropping in three flights per day or running other hours on a competitor. End result, lost $12,000 fare. And guess what? This is all about forward cabin sales.

The A380 is an excellent choice if there are only one daily flight in the first place, without competition, or if flow can be controlled regionally. Another choice is with high density leisure routes, for instance London-Orlando.
Even EK is under pressure from connection schedules on Qatar or Ethihad at there nearby hubs. In the end even EK knows the A350 is a A380 killer!

Isn't competition wonderful.
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pnwtraveler
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RE: Air France: Airbus A380 Not A Good Fit For Network

Thu Oct 03, 2013 8:01 pm

I think there will be a market for used A380 when they become available. I can see charters filling an aircraft on their heaviest routes for vacation travel. Because Charter passengers tend more to advance planning and can be a bit more flexible than business travel to get cheaper prices, this is the one instance where frequency can readily be replaced by less frequent larger aircraft. Certainly travel to Mecca and for Haj flights might also be a seasonal use. These charter aircraft will be all economy or with a possible premium economy section. But again, as I have been saying ad nauseum on these sorts of threads, the aircraft (or for that matter a B748i) has to be able to effectively used year round. So not only sun charters, but off season travel. Until of course someone offers the aircraft later on Power by the Hour, where the user is only charged for airtime.
 
jfk777
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RE: Air France: Airbus A380 Not A Good Fit For Network

Thu Oct 03, 2013 9:03 pm

Quoting AF185 (Reply 84):
Right.
I guess they also decided to make the B777 (with GE engines, Rockwell IFE) the flagship of their long haul ops to be part of the American dream

Actually Air France using GE partially because of politics. Snecma is the French airplane engine maker which makes the CFM engines for teh 737NG and A320 in joint venture with GE. It also makes GE90 engine components, so AF having GE engines 777 is not without "politics". One reason AF didn't get A340-600 could be those Rolls Engines on the -600. I know AF is getting A350 with Rolls engines( only ones on A350) but the 787 are GE as are the A380 with Allinace engines.
 
tortugamon
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RE: Air France: Airbus A380 Not A Good Fit For Network

Thu Oct 03, 2013 10:23 pm

Quoting 747megatop (Reply 137):
With passenger number set to exponentially increase globally over the next few decades

Doubling every 15 years or around 4% per year is more like cubic growth than exponential growth. JL likes to say that there are 42 aviation megacities today and there will be over 90 in 2031 but that benefits large twins as well as well as A380s in my opinion.

tortugamon
 
cmf
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RE: Air France: Airbus A380 Not A Good Fit For Network

Thu Oct 03, 2013 11:21 pm

Quoting seahawk (Reply 131):
It is easier to add an evening frequency to a morning flight from Europe to North America, when you have slots in the evening peak time.

Question is if your passengers want to fly in the evening. If they don't then you better provide seats at the times they want to fly.

Quoting seahawk (Reply 131):
And if you have more slots at your hub and the destination, you might be thinking about a 3rd frequency (maybe using even smaller plane) or up-grading one of your existing frequencies to a larger plane.

What do you upgrade to if you already fly 77W?

Quoting seahawk (Reply 131):
But in general, if you hub has slots (even in the peak times) VLAs might not be the best option for your network.

Or they may. It is all about the demand. Most city pairs do not have enough demand to support any flights at all.

Quoting billreid (Reply 138):
The A380 is an excellent choice if there are only one daily flight in the first place

Most of the time it isn't an excellent choice on doutes with a single flight. Sometime it is an excellent option also when there are multiple flights. Yet again, it is about balancing capacity to demand. It goes from not enough for a single flight to multiple rightly scheduled VLAs. Most are the former. Plenty enough of the later.
Don’t repeat earlier generations mistakes. Learn history for a better future.
 
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Stitch
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RE: Air France: Airbus A380 Not A Good Fit For Network

Fri Oct 04, 2013 12:47 am

Quoting kanban (Reply 133):
Because the first 50 were hand made, any 2nd tier make have higher refurbishment and reconfiguration costs than if they waited until the more "normalized" production articles appear on the market.

I thought MSN025 was the switch-over point. Did it extend out to MSN050?
 
tjh8402
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RE: Air France: Airbus A380 Not A Good Fit For Network

Fri Oct 04, 2013 3:09 am

Quoting billreid (Reply 138):
Another choice is with high density leisure routes, for instance London-Orlando.

I had someone ask me my thoughts on our likelihood of seeing an A380 in Orlando. I can't really speak for the charter operators that go into SFB. I think the point you make is the best argument for why it be a good choice for flying here (along with the fact that we're not a freight heavy route). However, WRT MCO, my feeling was that while occasional or seasonal upgauging to MCO is certainly possible, unless we become a major hub, I don't think we'll see year round scheduled A380 service. MCO is not a gate or slot restricted airport, so adding frequency here is not a problem, and all our London traffic comes from LGW, which as far as I know, is not slot restricted like LHR. For a carrier like BA or VS (should they take delivery) to put an A380 on the Mouse run would require them to reposition the airplane to LGW (can LGW handle an A380?). I know MAN can handle the plane, but are there enough PDEW to support a plane that big?

Also, while I don't know about traffic from Europe specifically, I know that overall tourist traffic into the area is highly seasonal, meaning the A380 could be an expensive operation during the slow season. It would seem that as costly as that plane is, airlines aside from EK aren't likely to be ordering them en masse, and will I assume only want to spend that sort of $ where the plane is absolutely necessary (a higher yielding or heavily slot restricted route). It would seem that a high density 500+ seat 777-9 would be plenty of airplane, have a lower purchase price, and be able to absorb seasonal swings much easier. It's also worth pointing out that we don't see that many VLAs now - VS is the only one with year round 747 flights (LH being seasonal), and if I had to guess, I'd say our most commonly seen regular service widebody is the A330 (VS, TAM, EI, and LH)...excluding all the Douglas freighters, of course.
 
747megatop
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RE: Air France: Airbus A380 Not A Good Fit For Network

Fri Oct 04, 2013 3:21 am

Quoting tortugamon (Reply 141):
like cubic growth than exponential growth

Sure, technically speaking by the book definition you are right. But does it really matter? Passenger numbers are going to go up by leaps and bounds and at some point is going to far outstrip the available runway space, that is what matters. If growth is exponentional then it will happen far sooner than if the growth was cubic  
 
frmrCapCadet
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RE: Air France: Airbus A380 Not A Good Fit For Network

Fri Oct 04, 2013 4:07 am

Quoting 747megatop (Reply 145):
Passenger numbers are going to go up by leaps and bounds and at some point is going to far outstrip the available runway space

Trends which cannot continue in fact do not continue. Leaps and bounds, unending exponential growth will not continue. There are already signs of some slowdowns in some parts of the world. One can be a bit bullish about the airline business without believing in another bubble. Higher energy costs and world economies coming up against limits will have an effect.
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kanban
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RE: Air France: Airbus A380 Not A Good Fit For Network

Fri Oct 04, 2013 4:13 am

Quoting Stitch (Reply 143):
I thought MSN025 was the switch-over point. Did it extend out to MSN050?

I was relating more to the continued hand fitting than a program turn.. they may have improved at line 25.. however we still have wing issues and hand fitted interiors to get past when looking at the secondary market
 
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anfromme
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RE: Air France: Airbus A380 Not A Good Fit For Network

Fri Oct 04, 2013 1:52 pm

Quoting frmrcapcadet (Reply 146):
Trends which cannot continue in fact do not continue. Leaps and bounds, unending exponential growth will not continue

Ironically, that is actually a very strong counter-argument to the "frequency over capacity" argument that is often bandied about when it comes to the A380. You can't increase frequency indefinitely.

I actually do agree with you that exponential growth can't and won't continue endlessly. However, the current slow-down is more due to the results of the financial crisis than the fact that some sort of natural limit has been reached. Just look at the numbers of planes Airbus and Boeing have been selling of the 787, A350, MAX and NEO - the trend is towards more fuel-efficient planes, but certainly not towards fewer planes. Orders that would have been major news in the 1990s - like DL's order for 10 A330 and 30 A321 - hardly even register these days because we're so used to seeing orders for 30+ widebodies at a time.
At the same time, aircraft sizes are trending up as well - the 767-200 was by far eclipsed by the -300, the 787-9 is expected to outsell the -8, the A350-900 the -800, and possibly even the -1000 the -900, and the main focus of the 777X programme is the 777-9X, with even the -8X being only slightly smaller than the 777-300ER.

With that said, there should in the future be a solid-enough market for the A380. But I don't expect it to sell in the same numbers as the A330, 787, 777(X), A350, etc.

[Edited 2013-10-04 06:54:42]

Quoting kanban (Reply 147):
I was relating more to the continued hand fitting than a program turn.. they may have improved at line 25.. however we still have wing issues and hand fitted interiors to get past when looking at the secondary market

I believe the main difference for those frames wasn't technical specs, but simply the amount of additional manual work required to make the planes fit the specs. They shouldn't be any different from other MSNs, except regarding the amount of work that went into them because the process requiring less manual labour didn't work.


[Edited 2013-10-04 06:57:29]
42
 
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kanban
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RE: Air France: Airbus A380 Not A Good Fit For Network

Fri Oct 04, 2013 4:06 pm

Quoting anfromme (Reply 148):
I believe the main difference for those frames wasn't technical specs, but simply the amount of additional manual work required to make the planes fit the specs. They shouldn't be any different from other MSNs, except regarding the amount of work that went into them because the process requiring less manual labour didn't work.

That's what I refer to as "hand built".. too much variation for tooling and parts standardization.. that will be a problem both for spares/maintenance/resale configuration changes, and for reassembly following major checks. Not insurmountable - - - but costly.

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