filipinoavgeek
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How many more years of A380 service do we expect to see?

Mon May 06, 2019 9:33 pm

It's been a few months now since the A380 was officially discontinued, although back then Airbus and Emirates promised that we'd be seeing the type in the skies for years to come. The question: how long? Asking this because we already have Singapore Airlines A380s that are just over 10 years old already being retired (and scrapped!), and there are always those rumors that various operators could be trying to get rid of their planes as soon as possible, as early as the early 2020s (I've variously read these as including Lufthansa, Air France, Thai, among others). Could this mean that as soon as 2029, the A380 might end up being a rare sight outside of Dubai and other Emirates destinations? Or is that too pessimistic and the plane still has a bright future?
 
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flyingphil
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Re: How many more years of A380 service do we expect to see?

Mon May 06, 2019 9:46 pm

The two being scrapped were early heavier non standard A380’s.. worth more as parts.
Singapore replaced them with new A380’s at the end of the lease.

I would guess the A380 will be around for another 15 to 20 years.. but nobody knows.. things change.
 
EddieDude
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Re: How many more years of A380 service do we expect to see?

Mon May 06, 2019 11:05 pm

filipinoavgeek wrote:
there are always those rumors that various operators could be trying to get rid of their planes as soon as possible, as early as the early 2020s (I've variously read these as including Lufthansa, Air France, Thai, among others). Could this mean that as soon as 2029, the A380 might end up being a rare sight outside of Dubai and other Emirates destinations? Or is that too pessimistic and the plane still has a bright future?


In the case of AF, it seems they will retire some of their frames (i.e., the leased ones), but will keep some (i.e., the owned ones). During 2020-2021, AF will refit new Y, W, J and P cabins in the A380s that will remain in the fleet, in order to make them competitive.

With respect to EK, there is a thread about EK making plans on how to serve its current routemap without the A380s down the road. I don't know how long they plan to keep the A380s.
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Channex757
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Re: How many more years of A380 service do we expect to see?

Mon May 06, 2019 11:21 pm

The BA ones could easily see another 20 years in service if they are operated to the same standards as the 744. My take is, airlines that operate from dawn to dusk and sell to dismantlers will do the same with at least some of their A380 fleet so BA and maybe LH will be the last players in town unless Emirates changes their fleet age policy.
 
77H
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Re: How many more years of A380 service do we expect to see?

Mon May 06, 2019 11:35 pm

Assuming no major global economic depressions or major pandemics (think SARS scare) I’d imagine easily 15 years. NH just put it’s first in service with the second close behind. I think the 3rd is still in production.

I wonder if any of the Chinese carriers would be interested picking up used 380s for domestic service ? Most of the tier 1 cities are heavily slot and airspace restricted. A HD 380 would be a great way to increase capacity on those trunk routes and would likely be cheap seeing as the second hand market is very small.

77H
 
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SEPilot
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Re: How many more years of A380 service do we expect to see?

Mon May 06, 2019 11:40 pm

My expectation is that after 2030 they will become increasingly rare. While airlines that own their airframes will want to get as much return as they can from them, they have to wheigh how much they cost to fly compared to what a new plane would cost. I would be very, very surprised to see any leases extended, or any airline picking up any of them coming off lease. If fuel prices stay stable then the owned ones will fly for a while yet. But if they go up again then the 779 is going to start to look awfully attractive to those airlines still flying their own A380s.
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jfk777
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Re: How many more years of A380 service do we expect to see?

Tue May 07, 2019 12:06 am

The key factor is how many will be kept by their original operators past their lease expiration date. Second tier airlines like Thai will probably ditch them as soon as they can while Singapore will probably keep them as long as economically possible. IF lease costs fall airlines will probably keep them and owners would want to keep them flying even at heavily discounted lease rates. Fuel is probably the biggest factor, if it becomes too expensive for too long then its death watch time for the A380. Around 2030 many will be retired and if the fleet becomes too small then its days are numbered. By 2040 of the 250 A380 flying less then 50 will probably be flying and in Europe BA will be the last operator.

In Korea Asiana's days as an operator are numbered and Korean Air will keep them. Singapore will probably keep the 5 new ones they have for their London flights as long as they can and ditch them on oher routes as their fleet ages. Etihad and Qatar will probably keep them 5 more years but not more then 10 years of flying with them. The 64K question is Emirates, as they have new and old. EK will probably steady for a while and slowly reduce their fleet as the 777-9 comes on line in larger numbers. The 5 China Southern A380 are now over 10 years old and in need of refurbishment, they will fly past their 15th birthday. Lets see how it all pans out.
 
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BN727227Ultra
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Re: How many more years of A380 service do we expect to see?

Tue May 07, 2019 12:57 am

What about as Hajj aircraft?
 
tootallsd
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Re: How many more years of A380 service do we expect to see?

Tue May 07, 2019 1:02 am

It seems like the biggest issues are leased aircraft and the habit / intent of the lessors -- how quickly do they turn them in or retain them in some way. A glut of lease returns could be a major issue in trying to establish a secondary market. The next biggest issue will be availability and cost of spares.
 
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Re: How many more years of A380 service do we expect to see?

Tue May 07, 2019 1:56 am

77H wrote:
I wonder if any of the Chinese carriers would be interested picking up used 380s for domestic service ? Most of the tier 1 cities are heavily slot and airspace restricted. A HD 380 would be a great way to increase capacity on those trunk routes and would likely be cheap seeing as the second hand market is very small.

77H

I'm not sure how well that world stack up against a heavily subsidized high speed rail network that needs filling as a matter of national policy.
 
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ikolkyo
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Re: How many more years of A380 service do we expect to see?

Tue May 07, 2019 2:19 am

jfk777 wrote:
The key factor is how many will be kept by their original operators past their lease expiration date. Second tier airlines like Thai will probably ditch them as soon as they can while Singapore will probably keep them as long as economically possible. IF lease costs fall airlines will probably keep them and owners would want to keep them flying even at heavily discounted lease rates. Fuel is probably the biggest factor, if it becomes too expensive for too long then its death watch time for the A380. Around 2030 many will be retired and if the fleet becomes too small then its days are numbered. By 2040 of the 250 A380 flying less then 50 will probably be flying and in Europe BA will be the last operator.

In Korea Asiana's days as an operator are numbered and Korean Air will keep them. Singapore will probably keep the 5 new ones they have for their London flights as long as they can and ditch them on oher routes as their fleet ages. Etihad and Qatar will probably keep them 5 more years but not more then 10 years of flying with them. The 64K question is Emirates, as they have new and old. EK will probably steady for a while and slowly reduce their fleet as the 777-9 comes on line in larger numbers. The 5 China Southern A380 are now over 10 years old and in need of refurbishment, they will fly past their 15th birthday. Lets see how it all pans out.


The oldest CZ A380 is 8.5 years old and the youngest 6.5. Not even close to 10.
 
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Revelation
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Re: How many more years of A380 service do we expect to see?

Tue May 07, 2019 2:27 am

tootallsd wrote:
It seems like the biggest issues are leased aircraft and the habit / intent of the lessors -- how quickly do they turn them in or retain them in some way. A glut of lease returns could be a major issue in trying to establish a secondary market. The next biggest issue will be availability and cost of spares.

I think the biggest issue is still the same one: it's hard to find 525 or so people all wanting to go from one place to another at the same time consistently enough to make a profit. Cheap A380s coming off lease will have to deal with cheap 77Ws coming off lease with similar per-seat costs yet lower trip costs and access to a much bigger pool of spares, trained pilots, and airports you can operate to, and even cheaper A330s, etc.
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VictorKilo
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Re: How many more years of A380 service do we expect to see?

Tue May 07, 2019 2:37 am

I would also imagine that over time, as the worldwide fleet of operating A380's shrinks with a sub-300 total production run and no aircraft in its family to share common components, the A380 will see the same sort of squeeze on service part availability and engine overall economics that Delta's MD90 fleet is currently seeing. Like the MD90, this may hasten the retirement of the type.
 
avek00
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Re: How many more years of A380 service do we expect to see?

Tue May 07, 2019 2:45 am

With the possible exceptions of EK/QF/BA, don't expect to see A380s flying around much past 2025-2026, irrespective of any current refurbishment plans. In short order, A380 maintenance costs will skyrocket, residual values will plummet, and airlines will conclude its best to take the one-time early retirement financial hits than continue to struggle with the financial and network challenges imposed by the plane.
Last edited by avek00 on Tue May 07, 2019 2:48 am, edited 1 time in total.
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atomicstar
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Re: How many more years of A380 service do we expect to see?

Tue May 07, 2019 2:48 am

I am predicting that by 2029, the A380 will be near extinct with only a couple airlines such as Emirates still operating it.

With efficiency standards today, one of the most key factors is the cost per seat for operating costs, the profitability, and being able to fill the airplane as much as possible to maximize profits. It’s very difficult to find 400+ people traveling on the same route at the same day, which is a problem with the A380 being too big. And at some point, it will become more costly to hire certified workers for maintenance, and purchase parts.

I heard rumors about Lufthansa possibly replacing a couple A380s with B748s (which is kind of ironic). But I doubt this is going the happen.
Last edited by atomicstar on Tue May 07, 2019 3:09 am, edited 1 time in total.
 
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Re: How many more years of A380 service do we expect to see?

Tue May 07, 2019 3:03 am

atomicstar wrote:
I heard rumors about Lufthansa possibly replacing a couple A380s with B748s (which is kind of ironic).

That's called wishful thinking. It's laughably improbable.
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atomicstar
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Re: How many more years of A380 service do we expect to see?

Tue May 07, 2019 3:09 am

LAX772LR wrote:
atomicstar wrote:
I heard rumors about Lufthansa possibly replacing a couple A380s with B748s (which is kind of ironic).

That's called wishful thinking. It's laughably improbable.

Yeah, I really doubt it, as the 747 (and A380) is considered not efficient enough for most airlines. Well, a good wish though. But it’s likely going to be more A330s to replace the A380s in the future.
 
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Re: How many more years of A380 service do we expect to see?

Tue May 07, 2019 3:09 am

I still need to fly on one. Im not a fan of the A380, but it is a engineering marvel being able to get that big ass plane in the air!
 
BAorAB
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Re: How many more years of A380 service do we expect to see?

Tue May 07, 2019 3:09 am

Given history of using aircraft to end of life efficiently i'd say BA would be last in service (only because they received last frames after Qantas) followed by Qantas and Lufthansa. I believe all these 3 also own their frames rather than lease. Given EK's massive 779x order, I think we'll see them bail on the Big Bird sooner than people may believe.

I also think it fits some of BA's routes better than most airlines. I fly BA 286/287 bout 8-10 times a year on the A380, usually in J or F, but seems like flight is mostly full,, so they have routes like SFO, LAX, JNB and HKG that support 469 seats well. Not many airlines can do that with just the perfect mix of routes, distance and frequency.

Now if United was flying the type then i'd say BA had some competition. :lol:
 
atomicstar
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Re: How many more years of A380 service do we expect to see?

Tue May 07, 2019 3:20 am

xxcr wrote:
I still need to fly on one. Im not a fan of the A380, but it is a engineering marvel being able to get that big ass plane in the air!


I haven’t been in one either, but want to someday be inside the superjumbo “king of the skies”
 
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Re: How many more years of A380 service do we expect to see?

Tue May 07, 2019 3:28 am

xxcr wrote:
I still need to fly on one. Im not a fan of the A380, but it is a engineering marvel being able to get that big ass plane in the air!

Im not an Airbus guy but it really is a treat to ride in an A380!
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filipinoavgeek
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Re: How many more years of A380 service do we expect to see?

Tue May 07, 2019 3:36 am

Considering a new MNL airport probably won't be up and running until the late 2020s at the earliest (and that's being optimistic), I wonder if this means that even if the new airport is built, the dream of A380s having regular service to Manila (as opposed to one-off specials, or maintenance checks) is dead?
 
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Floridaguy74656
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Re: How many more years of A380 service do we expect to see?

Tue May 07, 2019 3:54 am

Sadly it seems 4 engines are a thing of the past for passenger airlines. The A380 line is closing the 747 line is only building freighters the last pax model likely went to Korean in 2017. Didn't seem like all that long ago that Virgin Atlantic had "4 Engines 4 Long Haul" painted on their aircraft. Now the days of the quad jet are coming to a close. Its sad but such is progress.
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vahancrazy
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Re: How many more years of A380 service do we expect to see?

Tue May 07, 2019 4:34 am

I expect result similar to MD-11and A340-600.
In this case: A380 retired by 2030 with a couple of possible longer users (mainly EK)
 
JayinKitsap
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Re: How many more years of A380 service do we expect to see?

Tue May 07, 2019 4:56 am

The A340-5 and -6 is a good comparison point, similar fleet counts, some common parts but not many. Lots of unique parts that will get to be rare quick. The A380 has 2 types of engines - each with no more than 600 in the fleet, the regular replacing parts will still be produced, the big things like casings can be grabbed from the yard, but things like blades and bearings that get used in a major overhaul but not otherwise will be expensive. Certified shops will begin to disappear for the engines and other items like the landing gear. Half life is probably 8 to 10 years off. Less than 50 still in service in 20 years.
 
QF1607
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Re: How many more years of A380 service do we expect to see?

Tue May 07, 2019 5:02 am

Qatar Airways has already confirmed it will begin to retire it's fleet of 10 A380's in 2024, each aircraft retiring when it hits 10 years old. They will replace the A380's with the Boeing 777-9 and Airbus A350-1000.
 
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Re: How many more years of A380 service do we expect to see?

Tue May 07, 2019 5:15 am

Regarding PAX load, I used to wonder why someone doesn't configure an A380 or two in a single-class arrangement to seat 800, like for Hajj flights. But, if it is hard to find enough people to fly in the plane with it's current configuration, where are you going to find 800? One other thing, I was doing some seasonal temp work for UPS when they ordered ten A380Fs. Airbus could not deliver the aircraft in a timely manner, so the order was canceled. Is the A380 freighter ever going to be produced? (I doubt it, but I never read any official news about that.)
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dwightm
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Re: How many more years of A380 service do we expect to see?

Tue May 07, 2019 5:20 am

In the long term, I can't see A380s converted to package carriers, but I wonder if they can be retrofitted for oversized cargo? Maybe they could be retrofitted for an oversized cargo market that runs in between the An-124 and the An-225?
 
Yonderlust
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Re: How many more years of A380 service do we expect to see?

Tue May 07, 2019 5:33 am

TWA772LR wrote:
xxcr wrote:
I still need to fly on one. Im not a fan of the A380, but it is a engineering marvel being able to get that big ass plane in the air!

Im not an Airbus guy but it really is a treat to ride in an A380!

I've been on four A380 flights and that thing is a beast. The size skews your sense of speed at rotation...it seems like you are barely gaining much lift. And each landing was a hard loud event...like the beast was exhausted and fell down to take a nap! The window seats on bottom level near rear are actually spacious due to curve of exterior. And the forward lavs bottom level are interesting layout with extra steps (at least on EK).
 
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Re: How many more years of A380 service do we expect to see?

Tue May 07, 2019 5:36 am

Yonderlust wrote:
TWA772LR wrote:
xxcr wrote:
I still need to fly on one. Im not a fan of the A380, but it is a engineering marvel being able to get that big ass plane in the air!

Im not an Airbus guy but it really is a treat to ride in an A380!

I've been on four A380 flights and that thing is a beast. The size skews your sense of speed at rotation...it seems like you are barely gaining much lift. And each landing was a hard loud event...like the beast was exhausted and fell down to take a nap! The window seats on bottom level near rear are actually spacious due to curve of exterior. And the forward lavs bottom level are interesting layout with extra steps (at least on EK).


That's what I noticed about the lower deck economy window seats too on LH. The space between the seat and window makes A380 window seats like sitting in an aisle seat.
 
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DarkSnowyNight
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Re: How many more years of A380 service do we expect to see?

Tue May 07, 2019 6:10 am

Channex757 wrote:
The BA ones could easily see another 20 years in service if they are operated to the same standards as the 744.


It's easy to see it that way. But in BA's case, I sincerely doubt it will go on anywhere near as long as the 744s. It's tempting to look at BA and see what they do to keep their 744s going.

But we also need to realize that even though the 744 ended production almost 15 years ago, there are still a ton in service now. With enough of a parts pool (even if more are now Fs than PAX), it's not as much of a challenge as operating the 380 will be in, say, a dozen more years. What happens with BA will very likely be dependent on what EK do with theirs.

If we get to 2030 & EK are down to a few dozen and are hoarding supplies and parts, it's not likely that there will be any still left at BA.
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moa999
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Re: How many more years of A380 service do we expect to see?

Tue May 07, 2019 7:56 am

Both QF (all 12) and AF (5) have announced refurb programs and I believe own those aircraft.
So I'd say 8-10 years on these
 
Chemist
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Re: How many more years of A380 service do we expect to see?

Tue May 07, 2019 11:09 pm

I think we'll see a large fraction of the frames disappearing within about 10 years. There will probably be some laggards that hand around up to 20 years. She will be quite a site to spot one at all in 20 years.

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