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speedbird52
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Why does everyone assume that the A380 ending production means the fleet will stop flying?

Thu Feb 06, 2020 10:04 pm

MD11s, MD80s,MD90s, 717s and 757s have been out of production for around 20 years, and they are only just starting to be retired. Why do people think that the A380 is going to be different? True, many airlines have not made the A380 work, but the A380 makes perfect sense for other airlines. Emirates business model revolves around the A380. British Airways hub of Heathrow is likely not going to be expanded for around another decade, and slots are going for the price of a brand new aircraft nowadays. I can see the A380 easily sticking around up to the 2030s, at which point we may see the need for VLAs re-surge. Like I always say, just because you can fly non stop from Dublin to Providence, doesn't mean people are magically going to need to stop flying from London to New York. And those two cities aren't getting any smaller.
 
B777LRF
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Re: Why does everyone assume that the A380 ending production means the fleet will stop flying?

Thu Feb 06, 2020 10:11 pm

By "everyone" I assume you meant to say "anyone who doesn't know the first thing about how aviation works".
Signature. You just read one.
 
PSAatSAN4Ever
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Re: Why does everyone assume that the A380 ending production means the fleet will stop flying?

Thu Feb 06, 2020 10:14 pm

The A380 is a niche aircraft. Like Lufthansa's 747-8 fleet, it is appropriate for certain airlines and certain routes (as you pointed out), but it most certainly isn't for everyone.

Armchair predicting the demise of (fill in the blank here) is a favorite pasttime of people, and airliners.net is no different. In 2008, when ExpressJet folded its branded operations, the dancing for joy that occurred among many members here was grotesque. Yes, there were many debates that went back and forth about the viability of the airline's branded operations, and yes, most of them were quite respectful. But when the end came, many people here jumped for joy in the misery of a bankruptcy. Why? Not a clue other than some humans are only happy when they see others unhappy.

And the glee from speculation over the "death" of the A380 is no different. Most of us here don't care, but there will always be very angry people whose only joy is seeing misery in others. Human nature coupled with relative anonymity will always equal unrestrained schadenfreude on the internet.
 
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Re: Why does everyone assume that the A380 ending production means the fleet will stop flying?

Thu Feb 06, 2020 10:16 pm

As far as I can see it, there are only very few people thinking that the fleet will stop flying after the end of production. The problem with the A380 however is the fact that there is practically no second hand market. From the mentioned aircraft types, the least popular on the second hand market was probably the MD-90 and even that one had a certain popularity with Delta. For the A380, we are still counting only the single aircraft from HiFly. Therefore, we should expect the aircraft not suddenly stop flying but its numbers declining once production has finished.
 
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Re: Why does everyone assume that the A380 ending production means the fleet will stop flying?

Thu Feb 06, 2020 10:24 pm

The reason the A380 is going out of production is that it’s economics cannot compete with the new, smaller airliners; to whit, the 787, A350 and 779. Just about all operators with the exception of EK are looking to dump them as soon as they can. It is highly likely that only EK will be flying them in the 2030s. The others you mention have their niches where they are still viable, and have continued to fly until maintenance costs become too high. But the A380 is only profitable when close to full, and the costs of flying it with too small a load are just too high.
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Re: Why does everyone assume that the A380 ending production means the fleet will stop flying?

Thu Feb 06, 2020 10:27 pm

I've not read a single post stating that they would all be retired immediately as production is over

However, lack of demand is why production ended. And the fact that the aircraft is being surpassed by twins in terms of efficiency is why some airlines are retiring them already. It goes hand in hand.
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Re: Why does everyone assume that the A380 ending production means the fleet will stop flying?

Thu Feb 06, 2020 10:32 pm

A magnificent machine, and with over 200 produced I hope we won't see it's inevitable demise too soon. It really is fun to look at and admire, especially the head on view. Gives me goosebumps every time I see it in real life.
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Re: Why does everyone assume that the A380 ending production means the fleet will stop flying?

Thu Feb 06, 2020 10:38 pm

speedbird52 wrote:
MD11s, MD80s,MD90s, 717s and 757s have been out of production for around 20 years, and they are only just starting to be retired. Why do people think that the A380 is going to be different? True, many airlines have not made the A380 work, but the A380 makes perfect sense for other airlines. Emirates business model revolves around the A380. British Airways hub of Heathrow is likely not going to be expanded for around another decade, and slots are going for the price of a brand new aircraft nowadays. I can see the A380 easily sticking around up to the 2030s, at which point we may see the need for VLAs re-surge. Like I always say, just because you can fly non stop from Dublin to Providence, doesn't mean people are magically going to need to stop flying from London to New York. And those two cities aren't getting any smaller.

Exaggerate much?

Not everyone thinks A380 will stop flying, go look for waterbomber's posts.

MD11s, MD80s, MD90s, 717s and 757s have been out of production for around 20 years, and their retirement has started long ago.

MD11s and 757s in particular have second lives as freighters, no one has figured out how to make money on an A380 freighter conversion so far.

I agree *some* A380s will still be flying in 2030.

The problem will be that the fleet wasn't made in large numbers to begin with, and each year that goes by the fleet will be more expensive to operate as consumables get harder and harder to find and need one-off production runs to replenish, which may not even be possible if the vendors decide to close down their production entirely.
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speedbird52
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Re: Why does everyone assume that the A380 ending production means the fleet will stop flying?

Thu Feb 06, 2020 11:02 pm

Revelation wrote:
speedbird52 wrote:
MD11s, MD80s,MD90s, 717s and 757s have been out of production for around 20 years, and they are only just starting to be retired. Why do people think that the A380 is going to be different? True, many airlines have not made the A380 work, but the A380 makes perfect sense for other airlines. Emirates business model revolves around the A380. British Airways hub of Heathrow is likely not going to be expanded for around another decade, and slots are going for the price of a brand new aircraft nowadays. I can see the A380 easily sticking around up to the 2030s, at which point we may see the need for VLAs re-surge. Like I always say, just because you can fly non stop from Dublin to Providence, doesn't mean people are magically going to need to stop flying from London to New York. And those two cities aren't getting any smaller.

Exaggerate much?

Not everyone thinks A380 will stop flying, go look for waterbomber's posts.

MD11s, MD80s, MD90s, 717s and 757s have been out of production for around 20 years, and their retirement has started long ago.

MD11s and 757s in particular have second lives as freighters, no one has figured out how to make money on an A380 freighter conversion so far.

I agree *some* A380s will still be flying in 2030.

The problem will be that the fleet wasn't made in large numbers to begin with, and each year that goes by the fleet will be more expensive to operate as consumables get harder and harder to find and need one-off production runs to replenish, which may not even be possible if the vendors decide to close down their production entirely.

The 717 fleet was quite minuscule, yet the few operators it had found a way to keep it running.
 
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Re: Why does everyone assume that the A380 ending production means the fleet will stop flying?

Thu Feb 06, 2020 11:12 pm

Because airlines like Air France, Qatar, and Singapore are foolishly rushing to park all their A380's.
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SEU
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Re: Why does everyone assume that the A380 ending production means the fleet will stop flying?

Thu Feb 06, 2020 11:17 pm

The A380 will last for a few years yet but it wont be long. When spares get sparse, maintenance gets more expensive and D checks come around after leases are up, they'll get replaced. I see EK and BA being the only operators in 10 years
 
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Re: Why does everyone assume that the A380 ending production means the fleet will stop flying?

Thu Feb 06, 2020 11:23 pm

Additionally, the A380 (as opposed to other out of production models listed), has a not-too-long list of airports where they can be accommodated. That would certainly restrict the usefulness in the post-production market.
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PepeTheFrog
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Re: Why does everyone assume that the A380 ending production means the fleet will stop flying?

Thu Feb 06, 2020 11:28 pm

At least Emirates, Lufthansa, British Airways and Qantas will continue operating the A380 through the 2030s.
Good moaning!
 
crjflyboy
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Re: Why does everyone assume that the A380 ending production means the fleet will stop flying?

Thu Feb 06, 2020 11:30 pm

I could see a company like Laker snapping up a slightly used 380 and packing 850 low fare travelers to GATWICK for 150 bucks each way from NYC
 
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Re: Why does everyone assume that the A380 ending production means the fleet will stop flying?

Thu Feb 06, 2020 11:33 pm

SEU wrote:
The A380 will last for a few years yet but it wont be long. When spares get sparse, maintenance gets more expensive and D checks come around after leases are up, they'll get replaced. I see EK and BA being the only operators in 10 years


Well Qantas just finished an expensive cabin upgrade and acknowledged to operate the A380 beyond 2030.

Lufthansa too is that kind of airline that operates its fleet until the end.

That makes at least 4 airlines that will continue to fly the A380 for the foreseeable future.

Others like Qatar Airways and Air France will phase out in the coming years.
Good moaning!
 
oldJoe
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Re: Why does everyone assume that the A380 ending production means the fleet will stop flying?

Thu Feb 06, 2020 11:44 pm

PepeTheFrog wrote:
SEU wrote:
The A380 will last for a few years yet but it wont be long. When spares get sparse, maintenance gets more expensive and D checks come around after leases are up, they'll get replaced. I see EK and BA being the only operators in 10 years


Well Qantas just finished an expensive cabin upgrade and acknowledged to operate the A380 beyond 2030.

Lufthansa too is that kind of airline that operates its fleet until the end.

That makes at least 4 airlines that will continue to fly the A380 for the foreseeable future.

Others like Qatar Airways and Air France will phase out in the coming years.


I had my best experience as a pax on multiple a A380 flights and I defently will book flights on the whalejet, definatly
 
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Re: Why does everyone assume that the A380 ending production means the fleet will stop flying?

Thu Feb 06, 2020 11:48 pm

Not everyone, but those who are not avgeeks & read about things in the media. It's the media that's putting out the notion that the A380 will be gone once production ends.

Personally I've no love for the A380. I mean, my flights on the A380 has been comparable to that on the A340 in terms of comfort-wise, and only slightly better than the dreaded 10-abreast 77W. I honestly don't see what the hype is all about, other than the fact that it's a double decker.
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delimit
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Re: Why does everyone assume that the A380 ending production means the fleet will stop flying?

Fri Feb 07, 2020 12:01 am

crjflyboy wrote:
I could see a company like Laker snapping up a slightly used 380 and packing 850 low fare travelers to GATWICK for 150 bucks each way from NYC

Laker went out of business 5 years later.
 
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Polot
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Re: Why does everyone assume that the A380 ending production means the fleet will stop flying?

Fri Feb 07, 2020 12:06 am

PepeTheFrog wrote:

Lufthansa too is that kind of airline that operates its fleet until the end.

That depends on how many of their A380s have buyback guarantees from Airbus. They are already getting rid of 6 of them in 2022/2023.
 
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Re: Why does everyone assume that the A380 ending production means the fleet will stop flying?

Fri Feb 07, 2020 12:08 am

Revelation wrote:
I agree *some* A380s will still be flying in 2030.


I think some will be flying in 2030. I wouldn't bet my money that there will be five major North American/European/Japanese/Korean/Middle Eastern operators still flying them in scheduled passenger configs 2040.

Yes, the OP's question is hyperbolic.
 
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Re: Why does everyone assume that the A380 ending production means the fleet will stop flying?

Fri Feb 07, 2020 12:09 am

speedbird52 wrote:
The 717 fleet was quite minuscule, yet the few operators it had found a way to keep it running.



The 717 is a dc-9. The md-80/90 is also more or less, a dc-9.

Not that I think the 380 is going away any time soon, but there's a difference between retiring a single type vs a single type from a family of similar types. Especially when there are hundreds from that family. The issue with the 380 is that it's alone in its class and has less in common with any other aircraft. So eventually parts will get expensive, maintenance will be more specialized than it already is, and when added to the already high operating costs, it will simply be a very expensive airplane to fly
 
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Re: Why does everyone assume that the A380 ending production means the fleet will stop flying?

Fri Feb 07, 2020 12:09 am

crjflyboy wrote:
I could see a company like Laker snapping up a slightly used 380 and packing 850 low fare travelers to GATWICK for 150 bucks each way from NYC


Why would an LCC want a large-config, high trip-cost plane? Get used 333s and be able to sleep at night.
 
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Re: Why does everyone assume that the A380 ending production means the fleet will stop flying?

Fri Feb 07, 2020 12:09 am

A380 will enter a punishing competitive environment. There will be stalwarts of the type (as there still are with the 744!). But the end result will be the same. Twinjets in 2020 are compelling, they are large enough, and they go far enough. Which means the A380 will become less competitive and it will be retired, probably close to gone by end of this decade.
 
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Re: Why does everyone assume that the A380 ending production means the fleet will stop flying?

Fri Feb 07, 2020 12:11 am

delimit wrote:
crjflyboy wrote:
I could see a company like Laker snapping up a slightly used 380 and packing 850 low fare travelers to GATWICK for 150 bucks each way from NYC

Laker went out of business 5 years later.


Next time tell me something I don't know.

Do you have a problem reading words strung together and then comprehending what those words mean ?
 
crjflyboy
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Re: Why does everyone assume that the A380 ending production means the fleet will stop flying?

Fri Feb 07, 2020 12:12 am

MIflyer12 wrote:
crjflyboy wrote:
I could see a company like Laker snapping up a slightly used 380 and packing 850 low fare travelers to GATWICK for 150 bucks each way from NYC


Why would an LCC want a large-config, high trip-cost plane? Get used 333s and be able to sleep at night.


Can't fly 850 pax on the flight on your 333 can you ?
 
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Re: Why does everyone assume that the A380 ending production means the fleet will stop flying?

Fri Feb 07, 2020 12:13 am

speedbird52 wrote:
The 717 fleet was quite minuscule, yet the few operators it had found a way to keep it running.

Sure, but that's because the economics work. The 717 is the tail end of the DC9/MDxx family and it's used on relatively short hops where its previous generation engines don't hold it back too much, and DL is a large MRO willing to do work for others as it keeps its own fleet in service at a low cost and purchases consumables in big enough lots to keep the ecosystem alive.

A380 economics don't work in many cases. EK just canceled taking more A380s in favor of taking A359s and B789s instead. AF just decided it was more cost effective to scrap A380s and buy A350s instead of spending the money needed to do a cabin refresh. The better engine economics and generation newer CFRP wings of A350 and 789 matter on long haul routes.

As I wrote there's a role for some A380s but the global fleet size will shrink a lot by 2030. EK tends to lease aircraft for 12 years then let them go so they should be past the peak of A380 replacements by 2030. Maybe they'll extend a few leases, but then again they've already shown their hand by dropping A380 orders while having new 789, A349 and 77x on order.
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Re: Why does everyone assume that the A380 ending production means the fleet will stop flying?

Fri Feb 07, 2020 12:23 am

crjflyboy wrote:
MIflyer12 wrote:
crjflyboy wrote:
I could see a company like Laker snapping up a slightly used 380 and packing 850 low fare travelers to GATWICK for 150 bucks each way from NYC


Why would an LCC want a large-config, high trip-cost plane? Get used 333s and be able to sleep at night.


Can't fly 850 pax on the flight on your 333 can you ?

A A339 with 440 or whatever pax would probably have better per seat costs than the A380.
 
crjflyboy
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Re: Why does everyone assume that the A380 ending production means the fleet will stop flying?

Fri Feb 07, 2020 12:37 am

Polot wrote:
crjflyboy wrote:
MIflyer12 wrote:

Why would an LCC want a large-config, high trip-cost plane? Get used 333s and be able to sleep at night.


Can't fly 850 pax on the flight on your 333 can you ?

A A339 with 440 or whatever pax would probably have better per seat costs than the A380.


doubtful

https://leehamnews.com/wp-content/uploa ... 0v7478.jpg
 
hz747300
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Re: Why does everyone assume that the A380 ending production means the fleet will stop flying?

Fri Feb 07, 2020 1:17 am

I don't know anyone that thinks this, who follows aviation. And the people who don't follow aviation that I know, wouldn't be able to point out an A380 in a spotter's guidebook. It seems only the operators who have the older models are parking them and my guess is that they don't want to pay for the heavy maintenance. But the newer ones will probably be flying for quite a while until the numbers dwindle to a spot where it's cheaper for Airbus to buy the remaining models than that keep a parts business going.
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Re: Why does everyone assume that the A380 ending production means the fleet will stop flying?

Fri Feb 07, 2020 1:22 am

Revelation wrote:
speedbird52 wrote:
The 717 fleet was quite minuscule, yet the few operators it had found a way to keep it running.

Sure, but that's because the economics work. The 717 is the tail end of the DC9/MDxx family and it's used on relatively short hops where its previous generation engines don't hold it back too much, and DL is a large MRO willing to do work for others as it keeps its own fleet in service at a low cost and purchases consumables in big enough lots to keep the ecosystem alive.

A380 economics don't work in many cases. EK just canceled taking more A380s in favor of taking A359s and B789s instead. AF just decided it was more cost effective to scrap A380s and buy A350s instead of spending the money needed to do a cabin refresh. The better engine economics and generation newer CFRP wings of A350 and 789 matter on long haul routes.

As I wrote there's a role for some A380s but the global fleet size will shrink a lot by 2030. EK tends to lease aircraft for 12 years then let them go so they should be past the peak of A380 replacements by 2030. Maybe they'll extend a few leases, but then again they've already shown their hand by dropping A380 orders while having new 789, A349 and 77x on order.


I don't think ek has any a340s on order :D
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9Patch
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Re: Why does everyone assume that the A380 ending production means the fleet will stop flying?

Fri Feb 07, 2020 1:30 am

hz747300 wrote:
I don't know anyone that thinks this, who follows aviation. And the people who don't follow aviation that I know, wouldn't be able to point out an A380 in a spotter's guidebook. It seems only the operators who have the older models are parking them and my guess is that they don't want to pay for the heavy maintenance. But the newer ones will probably be flying for quite a while until the numbers dwindle to a spot where it's cheaper for Airbus to buy the remaining models than that keep a parts business going.


Will anyone spend money on D checks?
 
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Re: Why does everyone assume that the A380 ending production means the fleet will stop flying?

Fri Feb 07, 2020 1:38 am

crjflyboy wrote:
Polot wrote:
crjflyboy wrote:

Can't fly 850 pax on the flight on your 333 can you ?

A A339 with 440 or whatever pax would probably have better per seat costs than the A380.


doubtful

https://leehamnews.com/wp-content/uploa ... 0v7478.jpg


Quoting a 2010 graphic about fuel burn does nothing for overall trip costs (particularly when the 333 isn't even on the graph).
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Re: Why does everyone assume that the A380 ending production means the fleet will stop flying?

Fri Feb 07, 2020 1:57 am

The issue with the A380 going forward is that it arguably hasn't worked for anyone but EK and maybe BA. The airplane doesn't have a long shelf life on the second hand market, particularly when the limited production run is ultimately going to make spares more difficult to find as time passes. You'll probably see them flying for EK, BA and some others going forward, but I'm not going to be surprised to see those fleet sizes reduced to adjust fleet-wide capacity. Not rooting for the end of the whale jet, I just don't see the case for many second-hand operators signing up or current operators adding to their fleets.
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smartplane
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Re: Why does everyone assume that the A380 ending production means the fleet will stop flying?

Fri Feb 07, 2020 2:34 am

PepeTheFrog wrote:
At least Emirates, Lufthansa, British Airways and Qantas will continue operating the A380 through the 2030s.

The depreciation periods and residual values applicable to each airline will be a useful indicator. EK depreciate passenger aircraft over 12-14 years, right through to LH, QF and BA up to 20 years. QF have historically depreciated refurbishments over 12 years, with no residual.

Early aircraft parted tend to generate more revenue, providing they are to the definitive production standard, so an attraction to be quick off the mark if you intend to withdraw part or all of your fleet before fully depreciated.

Exiting engine maintenance contracts can be expensive, so another factor that might see aircraft fly a year or two longer than the owner would prefer.

Given EK is the bulk of the global fleet, doubt there will be many flying over 14 years of age, unless a brave third party offers a re-engine.
 
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Re: Why does everyone assume that the A380 ending production means the fleet will stop flying?

Fri Feb 07, 2020 1:56 pm

musman9853 wrote:
I don't think ek has any a340s on order :D

What, you didn't read about EK's A340-900 NEO order? :D

Oops, I shouldn't have said that, someone will start an A340NG-NEO thread shortly!

gunsontheroof wrote:
The issue with the A380 going forward is that it arguably hasn't worked for anyone but EK and maybe BA. The airplane doesn't have a long shelf life on the second hand market, particularly when the limited production run is ultimately going to make spares more difficult to find as time passes. You'll probably see them flying for EK, BA and some others going forward, but I'm not going to be surprised to see those fleet sizes reduced to adjust fleet-wide capacity. Not rooting for the end of the whale jet, I just don't see the case for many second-hand operators signing up or current operators adding to their fleets.

We know SQ and QF are renewing the interiors of their fleets so we can presume they are working out OK for them too.

The real problem for Airbus was that they predicted much bigger fleets, 1:1 replacement for 747 or better, and that never happened.

We hear complaints about Boeing dropping 787 production from 14/month to 10/month yet we know Airbus sized A380 production facilities for 4/month but really only peaked out at 2/month and not for very long.

smartplane wrote:
PepeTheFrog wrote:
At least Emirates, Lufthansa, British Airways and Qantas will continue operating the A380 through the 2030s.

The depreciation periods and residual values applicable to each airline will be a useful indicator. EK depreciate passenger aircraft over 12-14 years, right through to LH, QF and BA up to 20 years. QF have historically depreciated refurbishments over 12 years, with no residual.

Early aircraft parted tend to generate more revenue, providing they are to the definitive production standard, so an attraction to be quick off the mark if you intend to withdraw part or all of your fleet before fully depreciated.

Exiting engine maintenance contracts can be expensive, so another factor that might see aircraft fly a year or two longer than the owner would prefer.

Given EK is the bulk of the global fleet, doubt there will be many flying over 14 years of age, unless a brave third party offers a re-engine.

AF's A380s owned by Dr. Peters not only got to the front of the queue on converting flying A380s to piles of parts, but the engines are also still making money by being leased out to others.

Given EK's incoming rate of A380s started dropping around 2016 I think we will see a big drop off happening around 2030 for them, with liberal use of parked airframes as parts donors to keep the others running.
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delimit
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Re: Why does everyone assume that the A380 ending production means the fleet will stop flying?

Fri Feb 07, 2020 2:22 pm

crjflyboy wrote:
delimit wrote:
crjflyboy wrote:
I could see a company like Laker snapping up a slightly used 380 and packing 850 low fare travelers to GATWICK for 150 bucks each way from NYC

Laker went out of business 5 years later.


Next time tell me something I don't know.

Do you have a problem reading words strung together and then comprehending what those words mean ?

Why would you expect an airline to repeat a failed idea with a different plane? Expensive plane with high trip costs packed full of people has been done multiple times. None of those operators are still around, right?
 
Sokes
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Re: Why does everyone assume that the A380 ending production means the fleet will stop flying?

Sat Feb 08, 2020 4:58 pm

Polot wrote:
PepeTheFrog wrote:

Lufthansa too is that kind of airline that operates its fleet until the end.

That depends on how many of their A380s have buyback guarantees from Airbus. They are already getting rid of 6 of them in 2022/2023.


Suppose they want to operate them longer: would they say so?
But as Lufthansa has a lot of freight you are probably right.

Just because Emirates used to retire young aircraft doesn't mean they will always do it.

A interest rate close to zero makes new generation planes attractive from a capital cost point of view. I doubt A380s would be retired with normal interest rates.
Why can't the world be a little bit more autistic?

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