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Matt6461
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Bregier: No A380NEO Decision Before End Of The Year

Mon Sep 21, 2015 11:20 pm

The story is a week old and in French - missed it until just now.

Trusting Google Translate, the headline is: "No decision before the end of the year on the A380 neo"

Quote:
We will not take a decision on the A380 neo before the end of the year , "said Fabrice Brégier Monday , Airbus CEO , at a press conference on the Mobile site . " We began to study the subject , but we are still far from a " business case " solid. Especially as the oil price drop makes it extremely competitive a densified version of the current A380 , " he said. The decision to launch a modernized version of very large European carrier , with new, more economical engines , so do not coincide with any large order from Emirates , the next Dubai Airshow in November , as some had hoped .
http://www.lesechos.fr/journal201509...e-lannee-sur-la380-neo-1155556.php

French speakers can parse these words a bit better perhaps, but unless Google is waaaaayyyyy off it seems like Airbus just confirmed - no A380neo launch at Dubai this year.

I've previously estimated that, with cheap gas and a 10% acquisition cost premium, the A380neo is only 3-4% better than the CEO per seat, even with an "-850" stretch. A380NEO: Revisions And BizCase Unclear,2020-25EIS (by Matt6461 Jul 23 2015 in Tech Ops)

Seems like exactly the point Bregier is making here...
 
holzmann
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Bregier: No A380NEO Decision Before End Of The Year

Mon Sep 21, 2015 11:43 pm

So where are we...

1. Business case study has been in progress for a while.
2. CFO in late 2014 said the A380 is done. Sort of. Maybe not.
3. No new ceo orders since 2013.
4. White tails unsold.
5. EK looking at more 777x investment.
6. RR still silent on a new engine that meets NEO spec.

The big question is, does it hurt or help A to keep postponing the decision? Meanwhile, TC is making decisions...

At what point does A find itself in a situation like B was in with Y1? All the sudden, AA needed to make an order and the timeline changed somewhat, whether B wanted it or not. Y1 went out, MAX came in.

[Edited 2015-09-21 16:45:30]
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tortugamon
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Bregier: No A380NEO Decision Before End Of The Year

Mon Sep 21, 2015 11:48 pm

To some, including Matt6461 of course, this has been rather apparent as the language the executives have been using has been quite restrained and hesitant for quite some time, at least in terms of timing.

Clearly a hole in production and/or a dramatic decline in production rates is in this aircraft's future.

Quoting holzmann (Reply 1):
Meanwhile, TC is making decisions...

I do believe EK will not hesitate to buy more A380s if they see a need even if they are just the slightly better pip'd ceo version that I think RR is putting together regardless of the neo. However, I don't think the model is sustainable even in this improved form. Adoption of 11-abreast also seems necessary.

Clearly a complex question that requires significant analysis and aligning of orders and customer interest.

tortugamon
 
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Matt6461
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Bregier: No A380NEO Decision Before End Of The Year

Mon Sep 21, 2015 11:59 pm

Quoting holzmann (Reply 1):
At what point does A find itself in a situation like B was in with Y1? All the sudden, AA needed to make an order and the timeline changed somewhat, whether B wanted it or not. Y1 went out, MAX came in.

Not sure of the analogy you're making here.

In the narrowbody space, Boeing was forced to make a move that left it slightly worse-off than Airbus, but still enormously profitable. I don't think Airbus has that option in the 350+ space [except perhaps with an A350-1100, but that's a different topic].

Unlike with the 737, a broadly popular plane easily able to sell enough to recover investment, the A380 is not popular and a NEO is far from certain to recover its investment.

The one sense in which your analogy would make sense if you mean this: Airbus will be forced to NEO to preserve market share at EK, just as Boeing was forced to MAX to keep AA's business.

But Airbus has been adamant - and credible - that it will not NEO for EK only.
 
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MrHMSH
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Bregier: No A380NEO Decision Before End Of The Year

Tue Sep 22, 2015 12:09 am

Quoting Matt6461 (Thread starter):
Trusting Google Translate, the headline is: "No decision before the end of the year on the A380 neo"

My French isn't brilliant, but that's fairly clear from what I read.

Quoting tortugamon (Reply 2):

Clearly a hole in production and/or a dramatic decline in production rates is in this aircraft's future.

Unfortunate for a wonderful aircraft, but true.

Quoting holzmann (Reply 1):
5. EK looking at more 777x investment.

We don't know that for certain, EK has not signalled any public interest in replacing A380s, they are looking at A380 investments, preferably with new engines. If they order more 777Xs in the short term it won't be as an A380 replacement, it will be as expansion, the 150 777Xs will replace their roughly equivalent size 777 fleet. They have a use for the A380 and they want them in large numbers, we can be certain of that.

Basically, if EK guarantee 200 orders, QR get on board (Al Baker has generally been favourable), QF take the 8 deferred orders as NEOs, SQ order a few as replacements and they get 1-2 more on the bandwagon, we will get a NEO. But those are all optimistic bets.
 
Gemuser
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Bregier: No A380NEO Decision Before End Of The Year

Tue Sep 22, 2015 1:18 am

Quoting holzmann (Reply 1):
4. White tails unsold.

What white tails? AFAIK there are only the test aircraft and the two Skymark NTU air frames not sold, There are no "white tails"

Gemuser
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tortugamon
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Bregier: No A380NEO Decision Before End Of The Year

Tue Sep 22, 2015 2:01 am

Quoting MrHMSH (Reply 4):
My French isn't brilliant, but that's fairly clear from what I read.

Agreed. Technically I think it does mean that it could happen AT the end of the year just not avant or before. But then again I would think they would want to use an airshow for the publicity so I would think that Farnborough is now the soonest.

Quoting MrHMSH (Reply 4):
5. EK looking at more 777x investment.
We don't know that for certain

Agreed. I don't think the article that is being referenced there is really credible in suggesting that they would replace A380s with 779s. The 779s would be needed to replace 777s during that time period and I don't see excess supply to replace A380s in any meaningful amount. Yet another reason why I don't think Airbus is really motivated to launch the neo too soon especially as a severe rate cut / stoppage is already inevitable.

Airbus waiting to see what Boeing's next move be it the NMA/MOM or something else is advisable too as long as we are beginning to talk about post 2020 where their isn't exactly clarity from both sides.

tortugamon
 
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Matt6461
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Bregier: No A380NEO Decision Before End Of The Year

Tue Sep 22, 2015 2:49 am

Quoting MrHMSH (Reply 4):
(If...) we will get a NEO. But those are all optimistic bets.

Very optimistic.

And it's been a couple years now of struggling to make an A380neo business case.

At what point do Airbus, industry observers, investors, etc. say:

"Enough already. You've been shopping for NEO customers for years now. Time to face facts: they're not out there. Either cut bait with the program, or do something more substantial. What's your move in the VLA space you monopolize, Airbus?"

So that's my next prediction... "what next?" will start to enter this conversation - i.e. new wing, clean-sheet "super twin," or something else.

A380X, A380NWO, Ecoliner... Let's hurry up this A380ceo death spiral so we can get something better.

Quoting tortugamon (Reply 6):
Airbus waiting to see what Boeing's next move be it the NMA/MOM or something else is advisable too as long as we are beginning to talk about post 2020 where their isn't exactly clarity from both sides.

Yep... Airbus maybe to respond to a NMA/NSA/MOM later next decade. Meanwhile, between A35J in 2017 and ~2025 they have nothing EIS'ing. That's a lot of idle engineering resources and Airbus can't lay people off so easily, doesn't want to stop developing talent in house. Which is another reason to start developing a serious A380 redo for ~2021.
 
UA444
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Bregier: No A380NEO Decision Before End Of The Year

Tue Sep 22, 2015 2:59 am

Quoting gemuser (Reply 5):

Quoting holzmann (Reply 1):
4. White tails unsold.

What white tails? AFAIK there are only the test aircraft and the two Skymark NTU air frames not sold, There are no "white

Yeah, that's the definition of a white tail....


And I thought they launched the 380neo? Did they not? What were all those threads about?
 
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rotating14
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Bregier: No A380NEO Decision Before End Of The Year

Tue Sep 22, 2015 3:43 am

We can almost be sure that STC is not pleased with this development. December makes one year to the date when he told Airbus to make a decision. From that Airbus gave EK until the end of March.
 
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N14AZ
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Bregier: No A380NEO Decision Before End Of The Year

Tue Sep 22, 2015 3:50 am

Quoting UA444 (Reply 8):
Yeah, that's the definition of a white tail....

This discussion starts everytime the words "white tail" are used. IIRC the missunderstanding is that some people define "white tail" as an airframe that was produced without having a dedicated customer... Although I cannot remember that this happened in modern times...

Quoting UA444 (Reply 8):
And I thought they launched the 380neo? Did they not? What were all those threads about?

Brilliant question. I would love to answer but my post would be deleted immediately...  
 
tortugamon
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Bregier: No A380NEO Decision Before End Of The Year

Tue Sep 22, 2015 4:05 am

Quoting Matt6461 (Reply 7):
At what point do Airbus, industry observers, investors, etc. say:

I could see that but I could also see them thinking internally that EK will continue to purchase A380s at least for the first quarter of the 2020s and if no other customer is lining up then no use rushing into spending the money to improve it until they know they have enough of an improvement that multiple airlines can get behind. I think they are entertaining a significant improvement and I think they are going to get what Boeing got every time they offered a significant improvement to the 747 since 1988; crickets. Hope I am wrong.

However, eventually I do see a significantly improved A380 happening in some form.

Quoting Matt6461 (Reply 7):
Yep... Airbus maybe [needs/plans] to respond to a NMA/NSA/MOM later next decade. Meanwhile, between A35J in 2017 and ~2025 they have nothing EIS'ing. That's a lot of idle engineering resources and Airbus can't lay people off so easily, doesn't want to stop developing talent in house. Which is another reason to start developing a serious A380 redo for ~2021.

I hear you but they do have the A351 EIS plus the ramp up of the A350 plus the A330neo EIS on their plate right now so its not like resources are completely idle at the moment.

I agree 2017 starts to get interesting in a not good way but that still gives them time to launch and a basic neo is probably about less than 5 years (A330 was only 3.5) which is a 2021 EIS which I don't think is a deal breaker to EK. What will they have like 7 A380s timing out of their leases by then? EK isn't going to get terribly upset about 7 A380s going past 12 years old and every additional year is additional potential gain against the 779 which it needs.

A more substantial change and we are probably talking ~2023 if launched next year. I don't see it as out of the question.

Quoting UA444 (Reply 8):
What were all those threads about?

Good question.

Quoting rotating14 (Reply 9):
From that Airbus gave EK until the end of March.

And then STC mentioned extending his leases on his A380s. I think he saw the writing on the wall last Spring. He has been relatively quiet if you ask me.

I could see this delay hurting Airbus in two ways : (1) going idle on the A380 line, and (2) More 779s for delivery mid next decade to spur growth that A380 production ramp can't handle.

Of course the speculated 78X/A359 is there in the wings to assist as well!

Quoting N14AZ (Reply 10):
Although I cannot remember that this happened in modern times...

Not to commercial aircraft. A300s are my most recent memory. 748s but those aren't unlike the A380s except for their quantity. C-17s are true white tails.

tortugamon
 
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Matt6461
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Bregier: No A380NEO Decision Before End Of The Year

Tue Sep 22, 2015 4:41 am

Quoting tortugamon (Reply 11):
I think they are entertaining a significant improvement and I think they are going to get what Boeing got every time they offered a significant improvement to the 747 since 1988; crickets.

True. But the 747's fuselage is really an inefficient design. It isn't circular even behind the hump. Thus it takes extra wetted area and pressurization anomalies with very slight double-decker benefit.

Boeing lacked what Airbus has: the best fuselage, constrained by bad wings.

Quoting tortugamon (Reply 11):
A more substantial change and we are probably talking ~2023 if launched next year. I don't see it as out of the question.

Yeah time keeps passing... 2023 would give time for a GTF next-gen. If Airbus got on the ball, 2022 could be possible.

Quoting tortugamon (Reply 11):
C-17s are true white tails.

I believe Boeing has some white-tail 748's sitting in Everett.

[Edited 2015-09-21 21:42:56]
 
Planesmart
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Bregier: No A380NEO Decision Before End Of The Year

Tue Sep 22, 2015 4:56 am

Perhaps Airbus has made an A380 NEO go ahead decision conditional on another EK purchase decision which is still playing out.
 
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Matt6461
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Bregier: No A380NEO Decision Before End Of The Year

Tue Sep 22, 2015 5:02 am

Quoting Planesmart (Reply 13):
Perhaps Airbus has made an A380 NEO go ahead decision conditional on another EK purchase decision which is still playing out.

And maybe Boeing is waiting for AA's signature to MAX the 767 and revive the 727.

Is there any other plane for which we engage in speculation contrary to every public indication, though? I.e. that Airbus wants to close a NEO business case but can't, that it won't do a NEO for just EK...
 
parapente
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Bregier: No A380NEO Decision Before End Of The Year

Tue Sep 22, 2015 10:42 am

"No decision before the end of the year on the A380 neo"

No question about it - it says just that.But this is a major piece of A380 news and not one other flight journal has picked it up or even mentioned it - why? They will have seen it,its their job and livelihood. Bit odd I feel.
 
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HALtheAI
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Bregier: No A380NEO Decision Before End Of The Year

Tue Sep 22, 2015 10:56 am

1) "No decision before the end of the year"
Really long time horizon there. It's mid-September already. Why not say they won't be launching the A380neo for a couple years or something? Then again, he's not a fortune-teller, just the CEO. 2016 is a complete blank slate to him.

Also, what does "end of the year" mean in corporate-speak? Mid-November could be considered awfully close.

2) "Not for one customer"
EK + QR and maybe SQ. 2+ > 1. Woohoo!

3) Business case
Hey, any business case for the A380neo will still be a huge improvement over the original A380's. What more can you ask for?

What about this scenario to fit what Fabrice said: Airbus 'provisionally' accepts an A380neo order for 150 from Emirates and 10-20 from Qatar at the Dubai Air Show. In January, Airbus board decides to go ahead with the project. Assuming their investor meetings are in December, they've got a while before they face tough questions, hopefully by then shareholders will have been distracted by some other piece of news.
 
NAV30
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Bregier: No A380NEO Decision Before End Of The Year

Tue Sep 22, 2015 11:02 am

I guess Emirates is the key to the whole puzzle. They still have 75 outstanding orders for the A380. On the other hand, they ALSO have orders for no less than 150 B777Xs............

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Emirates_fleet#Boeing_777
 
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IslandRob
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Bregier: No A380NEO Decision Before End Of The Year

Tue Sep 22, 2015 11:02 am

Quoting HALtheAI (Reply 16):
No question about it - it says just that.But this is a major piece of A380 news and not one other flight journal has picked it up or even mentioned it - why? They will have seen it,its their job and livelihood. Bit odd I feel.

I was thinking the same thing. I'm very surprised that this story (assuming it's true) hasn't received major press coverage. I've googled it every way I can think of but get no corroborating hits. Regards. -ir
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r2rho
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RE: Bregier: No A380NEO Decision Before End Of The Year

Tue Sep 22, 2015 12:01 pm

Quoting tortugamon (Reply 11):
I hear you but they do have the A351 EIS plus the ramp up of the A350 plus the A330neo EIS on their plate right now so its not like resources are completely idle at the moment.

Not really, keep in mind that the reources you mention are split between production and engineering. Production is indeed very busy. But the design ngineering workload is low compared to when the A350 was going on (with A400M troubles and A320NEO development in parallel). There is definitely slack to study another NEO - and would be a good use of engineering resources that have gone idle after A350 certification.

Quoting parapente (Reply 15):
No question about it - it says just that.But this is a major piece of A380 news and not one other flight journal has picked it up or even mentioned it - why? They will have seen it,its their job and livelihood. Bit odd I feel.

Indeed odd but Les Echos is a trustworthy source, we can consider it valid.
 
B8887
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RE: Bregier: No A380NEO Decision Before End Of The Year

Tue Sep 22, 2015 12:06 pm

Quoting Matt6461 (Thread starter):
French speakers can parse these words a bit better perhaps, but unless Google is waaaaayyyyy off it seems like Airbus just confirmed - no A380neo launch at Dubai this year.

The way he says it, not only he's ruling out the NEO launch before the end of the year, but he's also making a strong case for today''s version. He seems is no rush at all.

Regards.

B8887
 
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Stitch
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RE: Bregier: No A380NEO Decision Before End Of The Year

Tue Sep 22, 2015 1:02 pm

Quoting tortugamon (Reply 11):
C-17s are true white tails.

And even all of those quickly found customers so it is very likely Boeing built them knowing they would be purchased rather than on speculation hoping they would.



Quoting Matt6461 (Reply 12):
I believe Boeing has some white-tail 748's sitting in Everett.

Those are NTUs (and they are starting to find homes) as well as deferred frames. Boeing has not built a 747-8 on speculation.



And now on to the topic at hand:

Emirates needs the A380 in any form as it and the 777 are the foundation for their operations. I am far more inclined to believe that Airbus will do with the A380 what Boeing did with the 747 until the -8: no changes to the basic dimensions, just increases to the operating weights and PiPs to the engines to improve economics, payload and performance. As noted, they own the market space (just as Boeing did with the 747) so they are not pressed to significantly improve the airframe because there is no direct competition (and no, the 777-9 is not direct competition any more than the 777-300ER or 747-400 were).

They'll start to announce production rate slow-downs, IMO stabilizing around 18-24 per year by decade's end.

[Edited 2015-09-22 06:04:06]
 
parapente
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RE: Bregier: No A380NEO Decision Before End Of The Year

Tue Sep 22, 2015 1:20 pm

Stitch.
They'll start to announce production rate slow-downs, IMO stabilizing around 18-24 per year by decade's end.

I agree.Hopefully 2 PCM. Should be able to work to that.

As for NEO?
'You know who' threw the 'half stretch' into the ring earlier this year.I can't see why he did that if it was not going to happen (or be very actively planned).
Then there is the RR XWB engine (the smaller one) - that would match perfectly with such an aircraft. Indeed it was Clark who mentioned it first! ( they also tested the XWB on a 380) - and of course the Emirates RR 900 order.
Are these - plus perhaps an A359 order (engine commonality?) all part of the same gig-saw puzzle ?

Perhaps not as it appears no agreement has been reached according to the article.
 
PhoenixVIP
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RE: Bregier: No A380NEO Decision Before End Of The Year

Tue Sep 22, 2015 1:27 pm

Quoting NAV30 (Reply 17):
I guess Emirates is the key to the whole puzzle. They still have 75 outstanding orders for the A380. On the other hand, they ALSO have orders for no less than 150 B777Xs............

I guess Emirates is the key to the whole puzzle. They still have 75 outstanding orders for the A380. On the other hand, they ALSO have stated they want new orders for no less than 200 A380s............

..............????????????????

NAV30/20/0 also claims that orders for non-existent aircraft don't exist so Emirates actually only have A380s and 777-300ERs on order right now. 777X has already failed.

Quoting HALtheAI (Reply 16):
Hey, any business case for the A380neo will still be a huge improvement over the original A380's. What more can you ask for?

What about this scenario to fit what Fabrice said: Airbus 'provisionally' accepts an A380neo order for 150 from Emirates and 10-20 from Qatar at the Dubai Air Show. In January, Airbus board decides to go ahead with the project. Assuming their investor meetings are in December, they've got a while before they face tough questions, hopefully by then shareholders will have been distracted by some other piece of news.

The technology that makes the NEO attractive will be good in the end of the decade when the NEO does occur but a NEO in the mid to late 2020s with PIP upgrades in the interim would be a far better investment I would think because the aircraft is way ahead of its time right now..
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seahawk
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RE: Bregier: No A380NEO Decision Before End Of The Year

Tue Sep 22, 2015 1:54 pm

Without a new wing and a serious investment, it is not worth the effort. Imho the CFO got it right, the A380 program is dead.
 
tortugamon
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RE: Bregier: No A380NEO Decision Before End Of The Year

Tue Sep 22, 2015 2:20 pm

Quoting Matt6461 (Reply 12):
True. But the 747's fuselage is really an inefficient design. It isn't circular even behind the hump. Thus it takes extra wetted area and pressurization anomalies with very slight double-decker benefit.
Boeing lacked what Airbus has: the best fuselage, constrained by bad wings.

Sure but that design allowed for the freighter which didn't help the passenger aircraft as much as it could have but from a total production cost perspective, it helped keep the line running and the costs low. Boeing has only produced 30 passenger model 747s in three of the last 20 years. It wasn't a giant passenger market then, still isn't. Maybe a heavily revised A380 can change that.

Quoting Matt6461 (Reply 12):
I believe Boeing has some white-tail 748's sitting in Everett.

Those weren't made on speculation though, customers changed their mind.

Quoting parapente (Reply 15):
But this is a major piece of A380 news and not one other flight journal has picked it up or even mentioned it - why?

Solid point.

Quoting HALtheAI (Reply 16):
2) "Not for one customer"
EK + QR and maybe SQ. 2+ > 1. Woohoo!

Can someone point to the language where QR and SQ said they were interested in the neo? I remember reading things like QR: Airbus needs to improve the aircraft's performance if we were to order more, and SQ: Airbus is looking at 10% improvement with the neo and we have looked at it...I really have not heard firm interest in buying the aircraft outside of EK. I could have missed it.

Quoting r2rho (Reply 19):
But the design ngineering workload is low compared to when the A350 was going on (with A400M troubles and A320NEO development in parallel).

I hear you. Is the A330neo in 'firm configuration' yet? I am sure some of the design team is working on what an A380neo would look like.

Quoting Stitch (Reply 21):
And even all of those quickly found customers so it is very likely Boeing built them knowing they would be purchased rather than on speculation hoping they would.

Isn't there still 1 to sell? I agree with you but I think those were white tails by definition which is much different than the 747s and the A380s mentioned above.

Quoting parapente (Reply 22):
Are these - plus perhaps an A359 order (engine commonality?)

When I brought this up previously people said (was it you?) that because it would be pay by the mile (kilometer) with RR handling care that the commonality wouldn't matter much.

Quoting PhoenixVIP (Reply 23):
Emirates actually only have A380s and 777-300ERs on order right now. 777X has already failed.

Huh?

Your proclivity with responding to Nav's comments are getting a little obsessive. Creepy even.

tortugamon
 
ScottB
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RE: Bregier: No A380NEO Decision Before End Of The Year

Tue Sep 22, 2015 3:32 pm

Quoting Stitch (Reply 21):
They'll start to announce production rate slow-downs, IMO stabilizing around 18-24 per year by decade's end.

I don't think there's really any other option at this point, given that the number of non-impaired (i.e. likely to be taken by the customer) orders right now seems to be roughly 94. (My assumptions: Amedeo/UN/UU/VS do not take their orders; AF & QF do not take their remaining orders.) I think it would be difficult or impossible to reach EIS for the A380neo without idling the supply chain unless there's a slowdown in production.

Quoting HALtheAI (Reply 16):
What about this scenario to fit what Fabrice said: Airbus 'provisionally' accepts an A380neo order for 150 from Emirates and 10-20 from Qatar at the Dubai Air Show. In January, Airbus board decides to go ahead with the project. Assuming their investor meetings are in December, they've got a while before they face tough questions, hopefully by then shareholders will have been distracted by some other piece of news.

It just doesn't seem to fit with Occam's Razor, and IMO Bregier has made this statement to signal that Airbus won't announce the A380neo at the Dubai Air Show. The markets just aren't fans of surprises, and when he's talking about business cases his audience is investors. With the Dubai Air Show just about 7 weeks away, he shouldn't be saying that they are far from a solid business case if they're going to be accepting "provisional" orders for A380neos.

I suppose there's always the possibility that EK & others could announce A380ceo orders with some sort of option to convert to the neo when it becomes available, but there would be a lot of risk for the carriers if Airbus were to ultimately not go forward with the neo.

Quoting holzmann (Reply 1):
The big question is, does it hurt or help A to keep postponing the decision?

As measured by long term effect on Airbus's bottom line, I think there's little impact from postponing. They've already taken their medicine on the program and the program is near break-even or perhaps slightly cash-positive. But I think the likelihood of a neo decreases significantly as the decision keeps being pushed out, mainly because it gets more difficult to make the numbers work with a lengthy hiatus in production and the backlog is declining. Perhaps there are some orders yet to come but I think the business case becomes even more difficult if the supply chain ends up being interrupted.
 
parapente
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RE: Bregier: No A380NEO Decision Before End Of The Year

Tue Sep 22, 2015 4:16 pm

Quoting parapente (Reply 22):
Are these - plus perhaps an A359 order (engine commonality?)

When I brought this up previously people said (was it you?) that because it would be pay by the mile (kilometer) with RR handling care that the commonality wouldn't matter much.

I raised it (here) because Clarke has raised it more than once.He did not like the fact that the XWB engine (for the 1000) had lost commonality with the -9.
He later pointed out (discussing 380NEO) that they had a good new engine in the XWB.....
I am simply adding 2 plus 2 and probably making 5 !

I did not say that it's 'power by the hour' or whatever someone else did. I just wonder whether having a 'half stretched' 380 using XWB's plus an order of 359 XWB powered aircraft might not be attractive to a man that clearly likes commonality - and why not.

I was personally more than a little surprised (but pleased) that he switched to RR for his last batch of Mk1 380's.It just doesn't ring true somehow though (commonality again).Just feel it may be part of something bigger.
 
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RE: Bregier: No A380NEO Decision Before End Of The Year

Tue Sep 22, 2015 4:24 pm

Quoting parapente (Reply 27):
I was personally more than a little surprised (but pleased) that he switched to RR for his last batch of Mk1 380's.It just doesn't ring true somehow though (commonality again).Just feel it may be part of something bigger.

Yeah, I had speculated the same thing. Combined with the RR commitment on the regional plane it just seemed like their was a broader negotiation going on. STC said it was because RR agreed to do a more substantial PIP then EA.

tortugamon
 
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RE: Bregier: No A380NEO Decision Before End Of The Year

Tue Sep 22, 2015 5:04 pm

RR agreed to do a more substantial PIP then EA.

Yup I read this - but you really make such a huge switch because one PIP was a little better than another (we are talking fractions of fractions here on fuel at $50 a barrel).I personally don't think this is a credible reason for such a huge decision (RR's biggest order ever). Nope there must be more to it - Clark is such a clever fellow.

Having said this - I like many do believe he will continue to order the plane anyway.Its the bedrock of what he is doing achieving.
Yes1. he is slowly putting small unprofitable legacy airlines out of business on 'his' routes - but this was coming anyway.But 2. what he has done (that so many do not recognize) is he has opened up the mid/long haul market up to a whole vast new market.An A380 going out of (say) Newcastle every day??!!.And that's a story being repeated wherever he goes to secondary cities.For the first time they can go one stop to anywhere in the world in comfort, with no hassle and most importantly a reasonable price. The A380 is the key to this (well both elements really).And this is what scares the US3.

I don't necessarily see RR spending billions on a full 'advance' version (there isn't the time left anyway).Just look at their profits - the T/O is fine it's their margins that are crap.They will do 'some' but not all - likewise Airbus.

But again perhaps not if the lead article is right?
 
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RE: Bregier: No A380NEO Decision Before End Of The Year

Tue Sep 22, 2015 5:06 pm

I can see Airbus launching a neo-version of the A380 in 2016, with EIS in 2020-21.
My arguments: There is not much interest in the current A380 anymore, apart from possible Emirates. Bet even then, when the 777X enters service, I cannot see anyone (even Emirates) taking delivery of the current A380 anymore. Remember, Emirates is moving to DWC by 2025.
I think Airbus can minimise investment by keeping the same wing, but change engines and optimise pylon and wing-tip design. As the wings remains unchanged, maximum weights remain the same as well, Airbus could extend fuselage by a small amount so that range @ full pax occupancy remains roughly the same. This small increase in length has already been suggested by Airbus as well. These few modifications should not cost as much as designing a whole new wing.

I think a new wing is too risky at the moment, and far too resource intensive (mainly capital). I am afraid a new wing will not lead to a higher ROI, hence it is not worth the effort. A new wing is probably the most extensive upgrade you could do, so it would really need a very sound business case, which is just not there in the current market conditions.

Key for the A380 upgrade is the engine, but with Emirates ready to sign for 200 aircraft, I cannot see it being a major hurdle. I think Airbus & RR are just awaiting the right time.

If interest in the VLA market picks up in the next decade, a new wing could be a possibility for a 2030+ A380.
 
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RE: Bregier: No A380NEO Decision Before End Of The Year

Tue Sep 22, 2015 5:31 pm

A NEO sounds nice, but the engine is the problem. The 900 is not old and the 7000 or 1000 are not that much better than the 900 to justify the effort to certify a NEO. It is nothing like CFM56 / IAE2500 vs. LEAP and PW GTF.
 
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RE: Bregier: No A380NEO Decision Before End Of The Year

Tue Sep 22, 2015 5:31 pm

Quoting B8887 (Reply 20):
The way he says it, not only he's ruling out the NEO launch before the end of the year, but he's also making a strong case for today''s version. He seems is no rush at all.

Which is, if true, approaching delusional. No non-EK airline orders since, what, 2012? Since 2009, I count 20 real non-EK orders (Asiana, Qatar, Transaero, Singapore+5). About 3 per year with a negative trend line. As newer and newer tech emerges, to expect the trend to reverse is really irresponsible to the shareholders of Airbus imo.

Quoting Stitch (Reply 21):
and no, the 777-9 is not direct competition any more than the 777-300ER or 747-400 were

Depends what you mean by "direct competition." If you mean "plane that is the exact same size" then I'd agree but seems kind of a truism, no?

If competition means "planes that airlines will buy instead of buying A380's," then the A380 absolutely has competition. It sold at a decent clip early in the program, until more efficient emerged. First the 77W exceeding performance expectations and gas becoming a bigger part of cost than planned, now the plastics. At each phase of its career, its sales have been affected by the degree to which smaller twins approach/match its efficiency.

Quoting seahawk (Reply 24):
Without a new wing and a serious investment, it is not worth the effort. Imho the CFO got it right, the A380 program is dead.

Hallelujah. Grant us the wings to fly (profitably), Lord.

Quoting sf260 (Reply 30):
A new wing is probably the most extensive upgrade you could do, so it would really need a very sound business case, which is just not there in the current market conditions.

And how do you know that the market is "just not there?" How does anybody? Even Airbus hasn't shopped a vastly improved A380 to customers yet. They won't until they face reality about the CEO/NEO.
 
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RE: Bregier: No A380NEO Decision Before End Of The Year

Tue Sep 22, 2015 5:47 pm

Quoting parapente (Reply 29):
Yup I read this - but you really make such a huge switch because one PIP was a little better than another (we are talking fractions of fractions here on fuel at $50 a barrel).I personally don't think this is a credible reason for such a huge decision (RR's biggest order ever). Nope there must be more to it - Clark is such a clever fellow.

His next RFP is going to be for a plane (787 or A350) that is available with Rolls-Royce powerplants, but not Engine Alliance. So I expect that played a role in his decision to go with RR for the next tranches of A380s.

Quoting sf260 (Reply 30):
I can see Airbus launching a neo-version of the A380 in 2016, with EIS in 2020-21.
My arguments: There is not much interest in the current A380 anymore, apart from possible Emirates. Bet even then, when the 777X enters service, I cannot see anyone (even Emirates) taking delivery of the current A380 anymore. Remember, Emirates is moving to DWC by 2025.

And DWC will allow EK to operate even more A380s that they do now at DXB.



Quoting Matt6461 (Reply 32):
Depends what you mean by "direct competition." If you mean "plane that is the exact same size" then I'd agree but seems kind of a truism, no?

If competition means "planes that airlines will buy instead of buying A380's," then the A380 absolutely has competition. It sold at a decent clip early in the program, until more efficient emerged. First the 77W exceeding performance expectations and gas becoming a bigger part of cost than planned, now the plastics. At each phase of its career, its sales have been affected by the degree to which smaller twins approach/match its efficiency.

And yet Emirates has orders for three-figures worth of A380s, 777s, and 777Xs each.

And 10 of the 13 current A380 operators also operate the 777-300ER and of the three that do not, one operates the 777-200ER (OZ) and one has the 777-9 on order (LH).

So clearly, the benefit of the 777-300ER's (and, so far, the 777-9's) efficiency is not so great as to negate all of the benefits the A380 offers.
 
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RE: Bregier: No A380NEO Decision Before End Of The Year

Tue Sep 22, 2015 6:06 pm

I too could have sworn the A380neo was launched already. Apparently that is not the case.

Is EK the only carrier seriously interested in the neo?
 
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RE: Bregier: No A380NEO Decision Before End Of The Year

Tue Sep 22, 2015 6:14 pm

Quoting Stitch (Reply 33):
So clearly, the benefit of the 777-300ER's (and, so far, the 777-9's) efficiency is not so great as to negate all of the benefits the A380 offers.

Of course. The A380 has about a 10% advantage in CASM/Cost per Floor Area over the 77W. It works very well on a few routes right now.

My point is that it competes against these smaller twins based on the capacity/efficiency tradeoff, which equates to a RASM/CASM tradeoff.

A380 orders have come to a dead halt, outside of EK, with the 777-9's launch. IMO that's because 777-9 is about as efficient as A380 per pax or cabin m2, but has better cargo revenue. So there's basically no efficiency rationale for accepting A380's higher capacity and RASM hit any more. EK's insistence on a NEO reflects this fact, imo.

EK needed to order more A380's, even after 777X launch, to maintain their anticipated growth arc. But later next decade, once the 777X has sufficient availability and DWC sufficient slots, even they will probably not order many more CEO's.

I'm just uncomfortable with thinking of size categories as independent markets. If using smaller planes makes more money than larger, nobody will buy the larger planes even in they "own the market." And that's the dynamic we're seeing today.
 
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RE: Bregier: No A380NEO Decision Before End Of The Year

Tue Sep 22, 2015 6:38 pm

Quoting parapente (Reply 29):
Yup I read this - but you really make such a huge switch because one PIP was a little better than another (we are talking fractions of fractions here on fuel at $50 a barrel).

100+ engines burn a lot of fuel  
Quoting parapente (Reply 29):
And this is what scares the US3.

I guess it could but I don't see it. The traffic that the ME3 are taking was European transatlantic hub traffic and even then it isn't that big of a market to the middle east and south Asia and North/Eastern Africa. I agree with your sentiment about European travel just not American originating travel.

Quoting parapente (Reply 29):
I don't necessarily see RR spending billions on a full 'advance' version

Me neither.

Quoting seahawk (Reply 31):
The 900 is not old

Agreed. And so a neo at this stage shouldn't gain even 10% from engine SFC alone while the 779 is gaining ~14% meaning the A380neo will become worse relative to the 777X then it was vs the 77W. Not a good prospect.

Quoting Matt6461 (Reply 35):
EK needed to order more A380's, even after 777X launch, to maintain their anticipated growth arc. But later next decade, once the 777X has sufficient availability and DWC sufficient slots, even they will probably not order many more CEO's.

Sure but we are years away from that. Like we said above they are probably now going to have to imagine 2022 / 2023 for an EIS for an improved A380. Even if it is 2025 I don't think the 779 can really change EK's fleet by that much in such a short period of time.

I do think that further delay does mean more 779s orders from EK that Boeing wouldn't otherwise have gotten but the delay to allow the A380MAX to improve that much more is probably worth it. EIS as obsolete is the worse idea.

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RE: Bregier: No A380NEO Decision Before End Of The Year

Tue Sep 22, 2015 6:55 pm

Quoting Matt6461 (Reply 35):
I'm just uncomfortable with thinking of size categories as independent markets.

   They are not. Each airline is a "system." Those systems are what serve the travel market. Something like a 777 is really just a B2B input that goes into creating a final product. The markets for seats going A to B can be served by any jet that is safe and can make the leg nonstop.
 
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RE: Bregier: No A380NEO Decision Before End Of The Year

Tue Sep 22, 2015 7:13 pm

Quoting Matt6461 (Reply 35):
A380 orders have come to a dead halt, outside of EK, with the 777-9's launch. IMO that's because 777-9 is about as efficient as A380 per pax or cabin m2, but has better cargo revenue. So there's basically no efficiency rationale for accepting A380's higher capacity and RASM hit any more.

Assuming the A380 has such hits. Which at least for EK, it does not according to numerous statements by their senior management team and their ordering history: let us not forget the day they ordered 150 777Xs, they also ordered 50 A380s. If the 777-9 was able to do all their missions as efficiently or more efficiently, one would have expected an order for 250 777Xs and 0 A380s.

And even if DWC has more than enough slots for hundreds of 777-9 movements a day, that does not mean the rest of the network EK operates to has enough slots to handle the same. Even "secondary" airports are now seeing A380 services because the traffic growth is so strong. And as that traffic grows even more over the decades, restrictions may require that traffic to be carried on an element of A380s rather than a squadron of 777-9s.
 
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RE: Bregier: No A380NEO Decision Before End Of The Year

Tue Sep 22, 2015 7:23 pm

Quoting tortugamon (Reply 36):
Like we said above they are probably now going to have to imagine 2022 / 2023 for an EIS for an improved A380. Even if it is 2025 I don't think the 779 can really change EK's fleet by that much in such a short period of time.
I do think that further delay does mean more 779s orders from EK that Boeing wouldn't otherwise have gotten but the delay to allow the A380MAX to improve that much more is probably worth it. EIS as obsolete is the worse idea.

I agree mostly...

But it's frustrating that stubbornness/inertia tends to delay EIS for new/improved planes. OEM's tend to believe their products are good until they're forced into seeing otherwise. See, e.g., Boeing delays on 737MAX and 777X, which cost them orders. Airbus delay launching the A350XWB instead of A350 mk 1.
 
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RE: Bregier: No A380NEO Decision Before End Of The Year

Tue Sep 22, 2015 7:30 pm

Quoting Stitch (Reply 38):
If the 777-9 was able to do all their missions as efficiently or more efficiently, one would have expected an order for 250 777Xs and 0 A380s.

I don't believe this would be the case. I think for EK the average A380 in their fleet gives them more profit in $'s than other aircraft but I do think the average 77W and certainly the 779 will give them a higher profit % than other aircraft.

At the end of the day they are making profit and as long as they see that they can make a profit then they will always put the A380 on the flight because it allows for max passenger growth and increased market share which I think they are especially concerned with as QR/EY/TK are on their heals and eventually SQ/LH/BA/AF can develop solutions to limit their growth.

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RE: Bregier: No A380NEO Decision Before End Of The Year

Tue Sep 22, 2015 7:34 pm

Quoting Stitch (Reply 38):
Assuming the A380 has such hits. Which at least for EK, it does not according to numerous statements by their senior management team

Are you referring to the yield premium that EK gets on the A380? I've never seen hard figures for this, but have heard posted here that it's 3% yield premium for the "A380 effect."

But we can't look at that yield premium without considering the hard product offered. Any airline can see a yield premium in any plane by configuring more generously.

EK's A380's are about 12-15% less dense than their 77W's. So EK is trading 12-15% of seats for maybe 3% yield premium. I highly doubt that EK's A380 yield premium is 12-15%. So RAMM (Revenue per average cabin m2-mile) would still be lower than for the 77W.

So while it's not technically a RASM hit nominal terms, it's a unti-revenue hit nonetheless. RAMM is more meaningful than RASM, as it mostly controls for seat configuration.

But as I said, the A380's ~10% efficiency edge per floor area ("CAMM") makes this tradeoff worthwhile for EK. Other airlines have a steeper yield curve because they're less connection-heavy, in which case we'd expect the RAMM/CAMM tradeoff not to be favorable as often. We'd expect these airlines to use fewer A380's.

We'd expect EK to be less enthusiastic about the A380 as its RAMM/CAMM profile versus 777 becomes less favorable. And of course TC's NEO demands mean exactly that, if they have credibility or relevance at all.
 
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RE: Bregier: No A380NEO Decision Before End Of The Year

Tue Sep 22, 2015 7:43 pm

Quoting Matt6461 (Reply 39):
See, e.g., Boeing delays on 737MAX and 777X

Which order do you feel like they lost on the delay of the 77X? BA? We have heard that they do not like GE and I do think the A351 is a solid aircraft choice for them. I am not positive it would have made a difference.

The thing is that as soon as they launch a new aircraft the ceo loses demand/value and prices/margin drops. The 77W still had 250+ orders at that time and it was getting a decent amount every year. Launching too early amounts to cutting the legs out from your most profitable aircraft and is hard to do when your aircraft is less than 10 years old. Too late and you leave yourselves with a long period of low profitability. The latter, I believe is what Airbus has done with the A380 but I don't know if they had another option.

Furthermore the GE9X is really the pacing item. Have that EIS too early and it won't be enough of an improvement and I don't think GE could have gotten it done any sooner they started the design in 2011 as is.

The A380 isn't really receiving orders so I understand the frustration. But the 777X situation was different in my opinion. Its a happy balance and a lot of hoping.

tortugamon
 
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RE: Bregier: No A380NEO Decision Before End Of The Year

Tue Sep 22, 2015 7:53 pm

Quoting tortugamon (Reply 42):
Which order do you feel like they lost on the delay of the 77X?

Possibly BA. Certainly part of CX's order - they would have taken fewer A35J's most likely. Also JAL.

Quoting tortugamon (Reply 42):
The 77W still had 250+ orders at that time and it was getting a decent amount every year.

The A35J was killing off the 77W imo. The closer we got to 2017, the fewer orders it would see. It's possible that 777X helps the 77W, as operators can foresee commonality between 77W and its eventual replacement.


Quoting tortugamon (Reply 42):
Launching too early amounts to cutting the legs out from your most profitable aircraft and is hard to do when your aircraft is less than 10 years old. Too late and you leave yourselves with a long period of low profitability. The latter, I believe is what Airbus has done with the A380 but I don't know if they had another option.

The 777X and A35J are more likely what has turned off the few non-EK A380 orders that happened 2007-2012. Again, I think a NEO's availability would help the CEO in a competition against A35J/777X, as eventual replacement and fleet commonality would be shown.

I tend to think mainstream thought has it wrong re NEO's and the sales of CEO's. There is correlation between NEO launch and CEO sales dips, but the causation direction is that OEM's decide to NEO when the CEO is no longer selling - not that the NEO ends sales of the CEO. Availability is too strong a consideration to wait 4 years for a ~5% CASM improvement.
 
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RE: Bregier: No A380NEO Decision Before End Of The Year

Tue Sep 22, 2015 8:19 pm

Quoting tortugamon (Reply 36):
The traffic that the ME3 are taking was European transatlantic hub traffic and even then it isn't that big of a market to the middle east and south Asia and North/Eastern Africa. I agree with your sentiment about European travel just not American originating travel.

I think we're just in the early days of seeing EK's impact on US-originating travel. BOS is on the 77L -> 77W -> A380 path and as the EK fleet grows all those new a/c will be seeking profitable routes to fly and I think a bunch will be US originating.

Without taking us off-topic, I'll just mention there's a good reason why DL et al is making such a fuss about EK.
Wake up to find out that you are the eyes of the world
The heart has its beaches, its homeland and thoughts of its own
Wake now, discover that you are the song that the morning brings
The heart has its seasons, its evenings and songs of its own
 
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RE: Bregier: No A380NEO Decision Before End Of The Year

Tue Sep 22, 2015 8:40 pm

Quoting Matt6461 (Reply 41):
EK's A380's are about 12-15% less dense than their 77W's. So EK is trading 12-15% of seats for maybe 3% yield premium. I highly doubt that EK's A380 yield premium is 12-15%. So RAMM (Revenue per average cabin m2-mile) would still be lower than for the 77W.

Well EK's current Business Class product on the A380 takes up a fair bit more floor space than the older product on the 777-300ER so putting that product on the 77W would either require a significant shrinkage of the Economy class cabin to allow the same number of seats or a significant reduction in the number of Business class seats.

Emirate's states the average load factor for their A380s is 80%, which would be 61 seats - 19 more than a 100% load factor on the 77W (and it's unlikely the 77Ws go out at such a load factor). So on a per-trip basis, the A380 will be generating a fair bit more than a 3% yield premium per seat in Business Class, at least.

And even a 3% yield premium per seat in Economy is not something to sneeze at when one considers the A380 has some 100 more seats.
 
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RE: Bregier: No A380NEO Decision Before End Of The Year

Tue Sep 22, 2015 8:42 pm

Quoting Revelation (Reply 44):
I think we're just in the early days of seeing EK's impact on US-originating travel. BOS is on the 77L -> 77W -> A380 path and as the EK fleet grows all those new a/c will be seeking profitable routes to fly and I think a bunch will be US originating.

This gets me to thinking..I've always thought that the threat to US mailine carriers from EK would be minimal, excepting traffic to the ME and Africa (which I assume to be the bottom two destination regions for US-originating travelers). But does East Coast travel to Asia make sense via EK? That would certainly cause me some concern at UA, AA or DL.
 
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RE: Bregier: No A380NEO Decision Before End Of The Year

Tue Sep 22, 2015 8:45 pm

Quoting Matt6461 (Reply 39):
OEM's tend to believe their products are good until they're forced into seeing otherwise. See, e.g., Boeing delays on 737MAX and 777X, which cost them orders. Airbus delay launching the A350XWB instead of A350 mk 1.

I don't buy that the delays on the 737MAX were tied to Boeing being deluded into thinking the 737 was too good to be replaced. Rather, the improvements to be gained from an entirely new platform (Y1/NSA) weren't going to be enough to justify the cost of a new program on their own and the engine technology wasn't going to be there until Pratt finally got the GTF to be reliable enough and/or CFM cobbled together the pieces of LEAP-X.

And Airbus had an existing design in the A32X which allowed them to hang the larger GTF engines from the wings with relatively limited modifications to the airframe design -- so they had a clear, quick path to market with the A32Xneo. The low stance of the 737 makes the PW1000 a poor match without extensive changes so it's actually quite fortunate for Boeing that LEAP-X gets as close in performance as it does given the constraints of the airframe's design.

Ironically, if Airbus had gone forward with the A350 mk1 (which is more or less the A330neo project), it likely would have sold quite well in light of the 787's extensive delays -- but that's not how the sales numbers were looking at the time of the XWB launch. I have held from the beginning that the guys running Airbus should have been very thankful that the customers were giving them grief about the A350 originally being a warmed-over A330. I think that the A350 in its current incarnation is likely to be far more successful than it would have been if it were competing head-to-head in capacity with the 787; as it currently stands, it has its own lucrative niche.

Quoting Stitch (Reply 38):
let us not forget the day they ordered 150 777Xs, they also ordered 50 A380s. If the 777-9 was able to do all their missions as efficiently or more efficiently, one would have expected an order for 250 777Xs and 0 A380s.

And even if DWC has more than enough slots for hundreds of 777-9 movements a day, that does not mean the rest of the network EK operates to has enough slots to handle the same. Even "secondary" airports are now seeing A380 services because the traffic growth is so strong.

Well, I think you've hit it on the head why it made sense for EK to order more A380s along with the 777X. IMO DWC as built-out won't require the A380 to address capacity constraints, but certain slot-limited airports and/or frequency-restricted bilaterals will continue to ensure a place for the A380 in the EK fleet. Or there will be markets where the demand is right for a single A380 rather than two 779s. Or perhaps the more popular departure time/hub bank time for a route makes the A380 a better match.

But as a general rule, it still makes sense for the smaller aircraft to make up the lion's share of the fleet if it is as efficient (or nearly so) as the larger aircraft with comparable capability.
 
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RE: Bregier: No A380NEO Decision Before End Of The Year

Tue Sep 22, 2015 8:57 pm

Quoting Stitch (Reply 45):
And even a 3% yield premium per seat in Economy is not something to sneeze at when one considers the A380 has some 100 more seats.
Quoting Stitch (Reply 45):
putting that product on the 77W would either require a significant shrinkage of the Economy class cabin to allow the same number of seats or a significant reduction in the number of Business class seats.

This is all true - not something to sneeze at and fitting out 77W's like A380's would lower seat counts.

But my point still stands. If the A380 effect on yield is something less than 12-15%, then it still has lower RAMM than a 77W. And this RAMM/CAMM tradeoff mostly makes sense because of the A380's efficiency advantage over the 77W.

Fans of VLA's, myself included, have to recognize the drawbacks to capacity upgauge. Yield management software can quite successfully price-discriminate to rank potential passengers by willingness to pay, and rank potential use of floor space by revenue per m2/ft2.

Given that ability to rank, it follows that increasing capacity means boarding lower-yielding passengers - all else being equal. A 300-seater boards the top 300 bidders, a 500-seater the top 500. You can recover some revenue *per seat* by giving better seats. But it's probably extremely rare for a bigger plane to achieve revenue parity *per cabin m2/ft2* with a smaller plane.

The other option is for a bigger plane to decrease frequency at constant capacity. And that will have a RAMM effect as well.

When the A380 stops having a ~10% unit cost advantage over the 777 - as will happen with the 777X - its raison d'etre basically ends. The market's behavior is in line with this prediction, as post-777X-launch even EK insists that the A380 get more efficient while nobody else wants it.
 
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RE: Bregier: No A380NEO Decision Before End Of The Year

Tue Sep 22, 2015 9:02 pm

Quoting Stitch (Reply 38):
Assuming the A380 has such hits. Which at least for EK, it does not according to numerous statements by their senior management team and their ordering history: let us not forget the day they ordered 150 777Xs, they also ordered 50 A380s. If the 777-9 was able to do all their missions as efficiently or more efficiently, one would have expected an order for 250 777Xs and 0 A380s.

25 were for delivery around 2017, ie. well before the 777X's EIS, and the other 25 A380s for 2020-21. Some comments Sir Timmy made a year or more ago implied he was hoping that the latter tranche of A380s would be neo'd.

Quoting Revelation (Reply 44):
Without taking us off-topic, I'll just mention there's a good reason why DL et al is making such a fuss about EK.

The US3 went ballistic once EK started MXP-JFK. With the quick upgauge to the A380, I'm guessing EK has poached a good chunk of the premium traffic on that route. Imagine the reaction if EK got the rights to do LHR/FRA/CDG to JFK.
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Military Aircraft Every type from fighters to helicopters from air forces around the globe

Classic Airliners Props and jets from the good old days

Flight Decks Views from inside the cockpit

Aircraft Cabins Passenger cabin shots showing seat arrangements as well as cargo aircraft interior

Cargo Aircraft Pictures of great freighter aircraft

Government Aircraft Aircraft flying government officials

Helicopters Our large helicopter section. Both military and civil versions

Blimps / Airships Everything from the Goodyear blimp to the Zeppelin

Night Photos Beautiful shots taken while the sun is below the horizon

Accidents Accident, incident and crash related photos

Air to Air Photos taken by airborne photographers of airborne aircraft

Special Paint Schemes Aircraft painted in beautiful and original liveries

Airport Overviews Airport overviews from the air or ground

Tails and Winglets Tail and Winglet closeups with beautiful airline logos