whywhyzee
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OPINIONS - A380 at KLM

Mon Sep 05, 2016 5:23 pm

Before I get roasted over the coals as per usual Anet fashion, I want to preface this post by noting that I am simply curious.

Of course we can't actually answer the question: Would the A380 make sense at KLM? however, I think it is an interesting topic of discussion. With their current fleet of 747's, KLM has seemingly the right aircraft for many of it's trunk routes. As the 747's retire, 77W's will come up and fill the slots, however, they only have so many. My thinking is that they shouldn't have any trouble with say a 600 seat A380 running on some of their extremely popular routes. I don't see them as a frequency driven airline, so combining multiple flights into one could significantly reduce their operating costs, without losing any real significant quantity of passengers. I know frequency is great for business pax, but lets not forget that a lot of their large aircraft have less then 10% of their total seat counts as J. I understand the 77W does have its benefits, its a cargo monster, which is great for KLM. Having the 777's running the more cargo rich destinations, putting A380's on higher pax volume routes and 789's on longer, maybe thinner routes could represent a really efficient and cost effective fleet plan. Thoughts?
 
OldAeroGuy
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Re: OPINIONS - A380 at KLM

Mon Sep 05, 2016 5:56 pm

I think KLM is going in the opposite direction, replacing 744 & 74M with 77W and 789.
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Re: OPINIONS - A380 at KLM

Mon Sep 05, 2016 6:00 pm

whywhyzee wrote:
Would the A380 make sense at KLM?

No, none at all.


whywhyzee wrote:
With their current fleet of 747's, KLM has seemingly the right aircraft for many of it's trunk routes.

Quite a few of those aircraft have less than 270 seats.....


whywhyzee wrote:
Thoughts?

That it'd probably be more efficient to take a pile of cash, dump it on the floor, toss a match, and call it a day.
I myself, suspect a more prosaic motive... ~Thranduil
 
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Dutchy
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Re: OPINIONS - A380 at KLM

Mon Sep 05, 2016 6:17 pm

KLM themself said the A380 only makes sense if they could fill them yearround and have a fleet of at least 10, and they can't so unfortunately no go for the A380.
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787fan8
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Re: OPINIONS - A380 at KLM

Mon Sep 05, 2016 6:25 pm

Very unlikely. The A380 is pretty much done in terms of new customers, as some airlines have shifted to 2 engine aircraft such as the 777X.
Last edited by 787fan8 on Mon Sep 05, 2016 6:54 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: OPINIONS - A380 at KLM

Mon Sep 05, 2016 6:47 pm

787fan8 wrote:
Very unlikely. The A380 is pretty much done in terms of new customers, as many airlines have shifted to 2 engine aircraft such as the 777X.

Interesting. Would you please name all those many airlines shifting from the A380 to the 77X?
Quite sure your hand won't get tired, since I do not believe the list is that long at the moment.
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Re: OPINIONS - A380 at KLM

Mon Sep 05, 2016 7:09 pm

It's a nice train of though, but the easy answer is no.

Let's give some arguments:

- KLM needs a certain amount of aircraft from a certain type to work. I can't remember the number (and this number is probably dependant on the type itself) but it was around 10 or so.
- KLM is not premium-heavy. They would stuff more seats in an A380 than any other carrier. Emirates puts 615 seats in their 2-class variant; KLM would probably reach 650+. That's about 50% then their biggest planes now (the 747 full pax and the new configuration on the 777-300ER). That's a enormous amount of seats to fill and they need to fill them year round.
- AMS does not have the capability to so many A380's; it only has 2 A380-capable gates which are also used at the same time when both Emirates and China Southern are at Schiphol (during Summer when CZ comes to AMS).
- The A380 hasn't that much cargo space to begin with and when you fill the plane with ~650 passengers; the suitcase take a lot of room. KLM does like to carry some cargo with their passenger flights (They have to since their Cargo planes are mostly gone with only 2 777F at Air France and 4 747F's at KLM).
- When they do have lots of passengers on a certain route; they might as well fly 2 planes instead of one. When the need isn't there; they can easily get rid of the extra flight.

Let's just say; the 747-8i in a combi-configuration probably has more chance at KLM than the A380.

KLM will probably order the 777-9 in a decade or so. (KLM is not the carrier to get the newest aircraft early on anymore :( )
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Re: OPINIONS - A380 at KLM

Mon Sep 05, 2016 7:21 pm

whywhyzee wrote:
Would the A380 make sense at KLM?

No

whywhyzee wrote:
With their current fleet of 747's, KLM has seemingly the right aircraft for many of it's trunk routes.


This is always interesting in fleet renewal discussions: the assumption that the current fleet of an airline, is the preferred fleet. Of course, airlines optimize their network for their fleet, but that doesn't make the fleet perfect.

For KLM, when they ordered their 747-400s in the mid 1980s, it was simply the only available aircraft for 13h routes, like SIN or GRU. They built their business around that frame.

whywhyzee wrote:
As the 747's retire, 77W's will come up and fill the slots, however, they only have so many.


They still have a few on order.

whywhyzee wrote:
My thinking is that they shouldn't have any trouble with say a 600 seat A380 running on some of their extremely popular routes.


Like?
AFAIK, JFK is the sole route that sees 2x daily KLM, year-round. And this is exactly a route that, because of the DL hub and the business-oriented market, needs frequencies.

whywhyzee wrote:
I don't see them as a frequency driven airline, so combining multiple flights into one could significantly reduce their operating costs, without losing any real significant quantity of passengers.


They're not BA with their 6x/day, High-J LHR-JFK/BOS/IAD routes. But many routes are flown daily. And additional frequencies (like AMS-KUL or AMS-SFO, with the 787-9) see different times to offer alternative connections.

whywhyzee wrote:
I know frequency is great for business pax,

And for connecting pax! For example, the additional AMS-KUL flight sees a very different schedule from the 'original' AMS-KUL-CGK, offering new opportunities for connections in S/E Asia. Additionally, it's easier to follow seasonal patterns.

Also, KLM more often opens new destinations (overflying hubs) rather than upgauge stations beyond 14x weekly (except for North American hubs). For example in Canada, they have been flying 14x weekly to YYZ during summer for years, but their expansion in the Canadian market was by flying to YYC and YEG

whywhyzee wrote:
but lets not forget that a lot of their large aircraft have less then 10% of their total seat counts as J

But it's way more than 10% of the revenue. Additionally, there is also significant revenue from last-minute, flexible full-Y fares.

whywhyzee wrote:
I understand the 77W does have its benefits, its a cargo monster

And a passenger hauler. KE has even fewer seats in their A380 than KL in their 77Ws.

whywhyzee wrote:
Having the 777's running the more cargo rich destinations, putting A380's on higher pax volume routes and 789's on longer, maybe thinner routes could represent a really efficient and cost effective fleet plan. Thoughts?


I see great benefit for the 787-9, 787-10, A359 (although there is quite some overlap here), and possibly a future big twin like the 350-1000 or 777-9X.
 
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Re: OPINIONS - A380 at KLM

Mon Sep 05, 2016 7:31 pm

whywhyzee wrote:
My thinking is that they shouldn't have any trouble with say a 600 seat A380 running on some of their extremely popular routes.


There is no route which can sustain a 600+ seat aircraft yearround (or even seasonal). The hub-to-hub city pairs (e.g. AMS-DTW/ATL/MSP) need at least 3 daily flights. Some others need cargo space and thus canot be replaced by an A380.

Iemand91 wrote:
- AMS does not have the capability to so many A380's; it only has 2 A380-capable gates which are also used at the same time when both Emirates and China Southern are at Schiphol (during Summer when CZ comes to AMS).


AFAIK this "problem" will be solved once the new pier is going to be built.

Iemand91 wrote:
- KLM needs a certain amount of aircraft from a certain type to work. I can't remember the number (and this number is probably dependant on the type itself) but it was around 10 or so.


Basically not an argument as long as AF still has A380s (heck they could also station one AF A380 at AMS).
 
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Re: OPINIONS - A380 at KLM

Mon Sep 05, 2016 7:45 pm

LJ wrote:
whywhyzee wrote:
AFAIK this "problem" will be solved once the new pier is going to be built.

The new A-pier will only have 3 wide-body gates. Nothing is known if they'll be able to handle A380's. Since that pier is going to be used by Skyteam i doubt it...
(Correct me if I'm wrong though)
Basically not an argument as long as AF still has A380s.

They could share maintenance etc. but AF has A380 problems of their own.
(heck they could also station one AF A380 at AMS)

You known AF unions basically want(ed) the reverse to happen right? ;)
But answer remains the same; no A380 for KLM.
Last edited by Iemand91 on Mon Sep 05, 2016 7:46 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: OPINIONS - A380 at KLM

Mon Sep 05, 2016 7:46 pm

Joost wrote:
JFK is the sole route that sees 2x daily KLM, year-round.

Wow, never realized that before... but sure enough, can't find a single other longhaul route where they do that.

Interesting.
Right up there with realizing that neither of the Japanese carriers serve any longhaul route 3x daily except HNL.
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Danfearn77
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Re: OPINIONS - A380 at KLM

Mon Sep 05, 2016 8:11 pm

But, can we all just take a second to imagine an A380 in the KL livery!
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Re: OPINIONS - A380 at KLM

Mon Sep 05, 2016 8:52 pm

Honestly the A380 is a dying aircraft. While it got a lot of orders, there are very few new orders (other than Emirates). The high density 777-300ER that KLM has is much better off for bigger routes (such as AMS-BKK)
 
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Re: OPINIONS - A380 at KLM

Mon Sep 05, 2016 9:16 pm

Iemand91 wrote:
KLM needs a certain amount of aircraft from a certain type to work. I can't remember the number (and this number is probably dependant on the type itself) but it was around 10 or so.


LJ wrote:
Basically not an argument as long as AF still has A380s (heck they could also station one AF A380 at AMS).


It is an argument because it's about fleet & crew scheduling. If it were only for economies of scale from a maintenance point of view, indeed, they could easily spread the fleet. But there's more.

Even if we would bypass all the legal and labor arguments about flying an AF plane on KL routes:

For starters, AF config with 9F and 80C seats, is way too premium heavy for KLM. If anything, KLs config would be like the EK 2-class config (58C, 557Y), and even then, 58C would be a lot.

And then, what can you do with 1 frame? For an airline living on connections from partners, a schedule with the same times every day of the week is crucial. So if you have one plane, you can only fly routes that require one frame for daily service. That would limit the choice to the area in the circle of YYZ, JFK, ATL, CUR, NBO, DEL, PEK.

(This is different for holiday/charter airlines, not relying on connections: TUI's triangle routes to AUA/BON/CUR have varying departure times for every day of the week, to optimize aircraft utilization).

But the routes you want a long-haul, high-capacity beast on, are the 13h+ routes. These routes require more than one frame for daily, same-schedule service. And this is where the fleet magnitude kicks in. For example, in KLMs network:

> AMS-SIN-DPS leaves 22:55 from AMS and returns at 09:35+2To operate this flight daily, you need 2 frames;
> AMS-GRU leaves 14:40, returns 15:10+1. This also requires 2 frames;
> AMS-KIX leaves 14:35, returns 15:25+1. This also requires 2 frames;

So you'd need 6 frames to fly 3 daily flights. However, when you connect these schedules, you only need 4 frames, when the airframes fly:
AMS-SIN-DPS-SIN-AMS-GRU-AMS-KIX-AMS

This is a simplified example; you'll need maintenance slots, etc, but overall this is how schedules are made. That's why you'll need bigger fleets, in order to make such schedules.

The simple reason why 5x A333 is working? These frames are usually all back within 24 hours.
 
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Re: OPINIONS - A380 at KLM

Mon Sep 05, 2016 9:34 pm

Danfearn77 wrote:
But, can we all just take a second to imagine an A380 in the KL livery!



The livery makes the A380 'almost' look good :lol:
(You have to imagine the new ugly, hidious eyesore that is the new livery on it though...)

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Re: OPINIONS - A380 at KLM

Mon Sep 05, 2016 9:40 pm

Would a standalone KLM make the A380 work?
No. The O/D market of AMS is not sufficiently large for a significant fleet of 6-10 aircraft. They would probably even lack connecting passengers, which make up a large proportion of todays traffic.

Would the current KLM make the A380 work?
Perhaps. KLM is one of the economy-heavy, low-yield legacy airlines in Europe, so having an aircraft with a low CASM could improve their earnings. Especially important is their cooperation with Af, though. If - and a lot of people oppose this for political/personal reasons - they could further integrate their ops with AF, handing high frequency, high yield pax to AF and in turn leaving KLM the left-behind economy pax, they should be able to fill even these 650+ high-density birds. Sharing them with AF, maybe 4 or 5 A380 could be transferredd to KLM in an eco-heavy configuration, with maintenance being done by AF. Routes that could work are likely the US west coast (seeing regular 747 traffic and in summer more than daily service), South-East Asia - in direct competition with EK - and perhaps the hub routes to ATL & DTW. In conjunction with AF, most biz pax to the USA would then transfer in CDG, while the VFR/tourist traffic could transfer in AMS and ATL/DTW on spoke-hub-hub-spoke flights. This way, the O/D traffic in Paris and the time-sensitive customers (via CDG) and the price-conscious passengers (via AMS) would be catered to. It would certainly increase pressure on both new longhaul LCC and the ME4.

Alas, with AF being such a mess and the constant meddling of politics, pride and unions, I don't see that happening.
Additionally, even if they used the A380 from AF, it would still be a huge liability and a big unknown. For the beancounters, it is a much safer approach to avoid new ideas and simply milk proven methods.
 
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Re: OPINIONS - A380 at KLM

Mon Sep 05, 2016 9:47 pm

KL has said many moons ago they will follow the strategy of CX or BR to let a large and efficient singledecker form the upper end of their pax fleets for the forseeable future.
 
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Re: OPINIONS - A380 at KLM

Mon Sep 05, 2016 9:48 pm

In terms of seat counts, having a 650 seat A380 for example would represent a 35% increase in seats over their new configuration 77W's. While this is a lot, there are stations that see multiple daily flights, with varying frequencies on a year round basis. Consolidation of these into one flight would save drastically on fuel and crew costs. Having 1 frame wouldn't make any sense, but a fleet of 8-10 aircraft can definitely work. I understand the benefits of frequencies, Of course the A380 wouldn't work on every route, but realistically, I think it could be done. Not saying it will, it won't, but hey, one can dream.
 
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Re: OPINIONS - A380 at KLM

Mon Sep 05, 2016 10:50 pm

What happened KLM , in the 1990's before the merger with Air France KLM 747-400 had a First Class cabin and a decent sized Business Class ? KLM now has a small J class cabins and First Class is a distant memory. Today KLM 747 have a configuration similar to Virgin 744 that go to Orlando, which are fine planes with much less J class then their LHR cousins that are heavy j class. AF needs to add some shine to KLM efreo ot becomes a flying bus.
 
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Re: OPINIONS - A380 at KLM

Mon Sep 05, 2016 11:02 pm

jfk777 wrote:
What happened KLM , in the 1990's before the merger with Air France KLM 747-400 had a First Class cabin and a decent sized Business Class


KL eliminated first class many years before the AF/KL merger. They were one of the first major European carriers to do it, along with SAS. It made much more sense to offer a business class product people were willing to pay for than a first class product that was often close to empty and using valuable real estate. Many other airlines copied that policy soon after.
 
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Re: OPINIONS - A380 at KLM

Mon Sep 05, 2016 11:03 pm

Aquila3 wrote:
787fan8 wrote:
Very unlikely. The A380 is pretty much done in terms of new customers, as many airlines have shifted to 2 engine aircraft such as the 777X.

Interesting. Would you please name all those many airlines shifting from the A380 to the 77X?
Quite sure your hand won't get tired, since I do not believe the list is that long at the moment.

While I am not '787fan8' I agree with his comment. He wrote 'such as the 777X'. While there aren't many airlines who ordered it yet, you must admit that except for Emirates, most other airlines have either cancelled, postponed or not ordered further A380s while ordering loads of 777s, 787s, A350s instead. With only 13 airlines now/so far flying A380s the list wouldn't be long to begin with.
Lufthansa, Qantas, Virgin, Air Austral, Vietnam Airlines and Air France have actually cancelled A380s or about to cancel them or not firmed up Intents to order while ordering big twins instead
Malaysian is actively trying to dump their fleet while ordering A350s.
All other operators, BA, Etihad, Qatar, Singapore, China Southern, Thai, Asiana, Korean haven't ordered more A380s but ordered big twins instead.
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Re: OPINIONS - A380 at KLM

Mon Sep 05, 2016 11:07 pm

jfk777 wrote:
AF needs to add some shine to KLM efreo ot becomes a flying bus.

So the one who's holding its own, needs to be more like the one who's losing its shirt?

...how does that make sense?
I myself, suspect a more prosaic motive... ~Thranduil
 
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Re: OPINIONS - A380 at KLM

Tue Sep 06, 2016 12:21 am

Joost wrote:
AFAIK, JFK is the sole route that sees 2x daily KLM, year-round. And this is exactly a route that, because of the DL hub and the business-oriented market, needs frequencies.

If you add JV-flights the list of multiple-daily year-round routes is quite a bit bigger: MSP, SEA, ATL, DTW, NBO. That doesn't make the A380 viable, but IF KL did have the A380 it would be easy to have KL instead of the JV-partner fly on those routes.
 
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Re: OPINIONS - A380 at KLM

Tue Sep 06, 2016 12:47 am

I expect the 777-9 to cover this role.
 
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Re: OPINIONS - A380 at KLM

Tue Sep 06, 2016 1:55 am

LAX772LR wrote:
Right up there with realizing that neither of the Japanese carriers serve any longhaul route 3x daily except HNL.
We shall see how long that continues when NH starts flying the 3xA380 that NH will be flying to HNL because Airbus gave them an "offer they couldn't refuse"...
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Re: OPINIONS - A380 at KLM

Tue Sep 06, 2016 2:13 am

SEA-AMS isn't double daily in the winter.
 
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Re: OPINIONS - A380 at KLM

Tue Sep 06, 2016 2:55 am

MEA-707 wrote:
While I am not '787fan8' I agree with his comment. He wrote 'such as the 777X'. While there aren't many airlines who ordered it yet, you must admit that except for Emirates, most other airlines have either cancelled, postponed or not ordered further A380s while ordering loads of 777s, 787s, A350s instead. With only 13 airlines now/so far flying A380s the list wouldn't be long to begin with.
Lufthansa, Qantas, Virgin, Air Austral, Vietnam Airlines and Air France have actually cancelled A380s or about to cancel them or not firmed up Intents to order while ordering big twins instead
Malaysian is actively trying to dump their fleet while ordering A350s.
All other operators, BA, Etihad, Qatar, Singapore, China Southern, Thai, Asiana, Korean haven't ordered more A380s but ordered big twins instead.


SQ's original order was for 10, they ordered an additional 9 and then an additional 5 for 24 total. QR have also reordered, and so have EY. But I digress.

But I'm not sure what that's meant to mean, an airline that hasn't reordered just indicates that they have enough. The A380 wasn't ever going to be in huge numbers for most airlines, it has a niche role. That airlines order more big twins is a given, it's not rocket science that smaller aircraft sell in higher numbers.
 
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Re: OPINIONS - A380 at KLM

Tue Sep 06, 2016 3:16 am

There are two main reasons to prefer a larger aircraft over a smaller one.

1) You are slot limited
2) The larger aircraft gives you a lower cost per seat (CASM).

KLM is not really slot limited, and an A380 has no cost advantage over an A350 or a 777X.

Almost every airline looks at the same two factors, and reaches the same conclusion, and then does not order the A380.

KLM will not order the A380.
 
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Re: OPINIONS - A380 at KLM

Tue Sep 06, 2016 3:24 am

If Air France isn't flying an A380 to SXM from CDG, they must've done the math and concluded that it makes no financial sense to operate such a high density aircraft on that route. They have 6 flights per week while KLM has only 3 per week. I see that beginning 10/30/16, the KLM schedule lists the AMS-SXM run will switch from a 747 to an A330.
 
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Re: OPINIONS - A380 at KLM

Tue Sep 06, 2016 4:29 am

LJ wrote:

There is no route which can sustain a 600+ seat aircraft yearround (or even seasonal). The hub-to-hub city pairs (e.g. AMS-DTW/ATL/MSP) need at least 3 daily flights. Some others need cargo space and thus canot be replaced by an A380.


That may be 'true' for KLM in particular for their route network - but is, otherwise .. absolute rubbish. If this general statement were true, then there would be no need or possibility of EK ordering regional A380-800's with 620+ seats. Guess what, EK is happy to serve DXB-CPH-DXB in exactly the manner that you suggest is impossible.
 
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Re: OPINIONS - A380 at KLM

Tue Sep 06, 2016 8:03 am

Jetty wrote:
but IF KL did have the A380 it would be easy to have KL instead of the JV-partner fly on those routes.

Wouldn't work. The problem with that is that the j/v agreements dictate an overall balance of seats/frequencies between the reciprocal operators.

KL just can't slap an A380 an a route to cancel out two DL flights; unless DL is able to either 1) take over two extant KL flights, or 2) open two new TATL routes.

And right now, DL doesn't see that kind of demand. They're deferring widebodies, not opening all new routes over the Atlantic.
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Re: OPINIONS - A380 at KLM

Tue Sep 06, 2016 9:36 am

KLM's possible use of A380s continues to fascinate A.netters at least once a year, each time the answer is 'NO A380's for KLM".

Each year we agree, the most likely scenario is:

- AF/KLM management decides to allocate some AF A380 Summer capacity to KLM's route network on W patterns:

- CDG-JFK-AMS-JFK-CDG - being the most likely route scenario,as JV DL/KL operate 5x/daily frequencies NYC-AMS and slots at JFK and AMS are getting harder to come by.
- CDG-ATL-AMS-ATL-CDG - only if the JV DL/AF/KL decides to allocate more capacity to these two Hub-Hub routes. As neither route has A380 at present, the chances remain low.

- ATL-AMS being the busiest international route for both airports: ATL and AMS.

As KLM is unlikely to need A380 capacity in Winter, AF would need to find proper winter use on its own network.
If KL Winter use would be required a 'sun' destination would be most likely, but the AF A380s are not suited for these markets.

What is the weakness of this AF/KL scenario:
- AF/KL pilots do not yet accept cross-fleeting, where AF or KL pilots operate on the other carriers network.
- The cost of training a small sub-set of KL A380 pilots would render the whole project useless.
- We assume that AF cabin crew will accept KL cabin crews on AF aircraft on KL routes.
- The AF A380 F/J/Y cabin lay-out is less suitable for use on the KL network, too many high yield seats.

So the conclusion, for the time being remains, 'NO KLM A380s for the near future'.
 
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Re: OPINIONS - A380 at KLM

Tue Sep 06, 2016 10:24 am

MSPSXMFLIER wrote:
If Air France isn't flying an A380 to SXM from CDG, they must've done the math and concluded that it makes no financial sense to operate such a high density aircraft on that route. They have 6 flights per week while KLM has only 3 per week. I see that beginning 10/30/16, the KLM schedule lists the AMS-SXM run will switch from a 747 to an A330.


Bear in mind that the current schedule is AMS-SXM-CUR-AMS and the A330s will operate AMS-SXM-AMS.

OT:
With current orders and configs taken into account, the 789 is a perfect replacement for the 74M, while the 77W offers the same for the 744.
Also A330s are already leaving the fleet.
KLM operates their 777/787 fleet with one pilot pool, so this is a great piece of commonality and flexibility, which I assume they don't want to ruin.
Which begs the question: why have 7 A350s on order :?:

As some have stated before I too expect a 779 order.

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Re: OPINIONS - A380 at KLM

Tue Sep 06, 2016 10:50 am

PHBVF wrote:
Which begs the question: why have 7 A350s on order :?:


As 77E replacement. And of course, they can be flown by the 330 pilot group, similar to the 77/78.
 
jfk777
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Re: OPINIONS - A380 at KLM

Tue Sep 06, 2016 12:45 pm

MSPSXMFLIER wrote:
If Air France isn't flying an A380 to SXM from CDG, they must've done the math and concluded that it makes no financial sense to operate such a high density aircraft on that route. They have 6 flights per week while KLM has only 3 per week. I see that beginning 10/30/16, the KLM schedule lists the AMS-SXM run will switch from a 747 to an A330.


While KLM has flown 744 to SXM there is no way that airport could handle an A380. IT has a short runway, water at both ends of the runway and a mountain on one side.
 
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frigatebird
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Re: OPINIONS - A380 at KLM

Tue Sep 06, 2016 12:59 pm

Well some very good reasons why we won't the A380 in KL's fleet. Too bad, I would love to see some more of these aircraft at AMS. With KL's 747s leaving in the next 4 years, and the MD11s (including MP's) already gone, it sure means AMS will be a good deal less exciting for spotting. Fortunately we still some cargo 747s around.

PHBVF wrote:
[
OT:
With current orders and configs taken into account, the 789 is a perfect replacement for the 74M, while the 77W offers the same for the 744.
Also A330s are already leaving the fleet.
KLM operates their 777/787 fleet with one pilot pool, so this is a great piece of commonality and flexibility, which I assume they don't want to ruin.
Which begs the question: why have 7 A350s on order :?:

As some have stated before I too expect a 779 order.

Cheers

Well, for starters the A350 makes a lot more sense for KL than the A380!
But it's not the fact that KL has A350 on order that makes me wonder, it's the number they have currently on order - just 7.
KL has 10 747s to replace in 2019 and 2020. All others will be gone by then. The 7 A350s could be used as replacement for the 6 remaining 744combis, enabling a bit of growth.
An A350 in KL config would probably seat about 330 pax, which would slot nicely between the 789 (284 pax) and 77W (408 pax). So the A350 could replace the 77E at longer (12-14 hour) routes, enabling some 77E's to operate on medium haul routes, where the fuel consumption penally is not so disadvantageous.
But then, KL has said they plan to operate the 777 until the end of next decade. And fuel prices are low. And with the replacement of the A332 pushed back, does KL really need the A350 now?

I think KL holds on to those A350 slots just in case fuel prices will rise again, and 77E's need to be replaced sooner than expected. Surely KL will then exercice a good deal of the 25 options AF/KL still has.

But it's also possible KL holds on to the A350 order, just as pocket money if French unions and/or AF management wants to grow at the expense of KL. KL growing faster than AF has been frowned upon by the French unions not so long ago, they demanded all widebody aircraft the group has on order should go to AF.

Let's wait and see.

By the way, KL still has 4 full pax 744s to replace in 2019/2020. No 77W's on order for this timeframe, will they go for end of the line 77W's?
146,318/19/20/21, AB6,332,333,343,345,388, 722,732/3/4/5/G/8,9, 742,74E,744,752,762,763, 772,77E,773,77W,788 AT4/7,ATP,CRK,E75/90,F50/70
 
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Polot
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Re: OPINIONS - A380 at KLM

Tue Sep 06, 2016 1:14 pm

frigatebird wrote:
Well, for starters the A350 makes a lot more sense for KL than the A380!
But it's not the fact that KL has A350 on order that makes me wonder, it's the number they have currently on order - just 7.
KL has 10 747s to replace in 2019 and 2020. All others will be gone by then. The 7 A350s could be used as replacement for the 6 remaining 744combis, enabling a bit of growth.
An A350 in KL config would probably seat about 330 pax, which would slot nicely between the 789 (284 pax) and 77W (408 pax). So the A350 could replace the 77E at longer (12-14 hour) routes, enabling some 77E's to operate on medium haul routes, where the fuel consumption penally is not so disadvantageous.
But then, KL has said they plan to operate the 777 until the end of next decade. And fuel prices are low. And with the replacement of the A332 pushed back, does KL really need the A350 now?


Remember KL also has 6 787-10s on order. I'm guessing the A359 will replace the 77Es on Asia flights, 78X on North America (Note I do not know where exactly KL sends their 77Es). The 789s still left to be delivered can cover the last 2 77Es that the A350+78X can't replace (I'm sure they have some routes operated by the 77E more because that is all they had available vs best capacity match).

When they said they planned to operate the 777 until the end of next decade I'm assuming they meant the 77Ws more than the 77Es. That will give them ~15-20 years of service, about the same as the 77Es assuming those are replaced at the end of this decade/beginning of next.

Also it may be a typo on your part but the 789s seat 294 pax, not 284.
 
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frigatebird
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Re: OPINIONS - A380 at KLM

Tue Sep 06, 2016 1:39 pm

Polot wrote:
Remember KL also has 6 787-10s on order. I'm guessing the A359 will replace the 77Es on Asia flights, 78X on North America (Note I do not know where exactly KL sends their 77Es). The 789s still left to be delivered can cover the last 2 77Es that the A350+78X can't replace (I'm sure they have some routes operated by the 77E more because that is all they had available vs best capacity match).

When they said they planned to operate the 777 until the end of next decade I'm assuming they meant the 77Ws more than the 77Es. That will give them ~15-20 years of service, about the same as the 77Es assuming those are replaced at the end of this decade/beginning of next.

Also it may be a typo on your part but the 789s seat 294 pax, not 284.

I believe the 787-10 is actually the replacement for KL's A333s, which are on short term lease.
Thanks for the correction on the pax nr of the 787-9, indeed they seat 294 :oops:
146,318/19/20/21, AB6,332,333,343,345,388, 722,732/3/4/5/G/8,9, 742,74E,744,752,762,763, 772,77E,773,77W,788 AT4/7,ATP,CRK,E75/90,F50/70
 
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KLA389
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Re: OPINIONS - A380 at KLM

Tue Sep 06, 2016 2:34 pm

If there is a relevant topic to write a first post than it is this one. Since many years I have been reading and following Anet as an aviation enthiousiast. Guess my username explains it all. Or better said, dreaming should always be allowed.

Imagine how a combi A389 replacing the 74M's with cargo on the main deck and passengers on the upperdeck would look like in KL's color scheme. Imagine what the economics would be for such a large and highly efficient aircraft on their heavy routes to Asia with lots of cargo plus passengers going both ways. I'd be very interested if an A-netter could calculate CASM and RASM of this compared to separate passenger and cargo flights. I guess such a A389 would replace almost 1:1 a 77F with a 789 on top of it. But I know, even with Airbus desperate to sell more 380's, this A389 in combi-version will not be a very attractive business case to develop, compared to all the NEO-ing of the very good selling other models. But you never know how the market will develop....

KL389
 
metroline2006
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Re: OPINIONS - A380 at KLM

Tue Sep 06, 2016 3:41 pm

With KLM using the 747 Combi so well for so many years the 77W is an ideal platform offering more seats with huge under floor cargo. The A380 big as it is for PAX I feel it would cause KLM to still have to operate 2 flights as hold capacity is very restricted. But saying that the whale would look good in KLM's cls nearly as good as it looks in BA's cls
 
bmacleod
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Re: OPINIONS - A380 at KLM

Tue Sep 06, 2016 3:50 pm

Being part of AF - AF having 10 A380 certainly points to the NO side.

Along with KLM increasing focus on the 77W and 787 not to mention the A350 and 787-10 on order.

whywhyzee wrote:
My thinking is that they shouldn't have any trouble with say a 600 seat A380 running on some of their extremely popular routes.


Then how about AF's A380s?
"What good are wings without the courage to fly?" - Atticus
 
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Channex757
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Re: OPINIONS - A380 at KLM

Tue Sep 06, 2016 4:21 pm

KLM and the A380 would only really work if Airbus could build and/or certify a combi. The engineering isn't impossible, and it would change the economics drastically for them.
 
Planesmart
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Re: OPINIONS - A380 at KLM

Tue Sep 06, 2016 6:58 pm

When industrial and political issues are resolved, if ever, AF/KL may look and operate more like IAG, in which case there will be more opportunity for fleet movements intra-group.
 
Beatyair
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Re: OPINIONS - A380 at KLM

Tue Sep 06, 2016 7:02 pm

Too big.
I am suprised with the departure of the A332's.
 
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SomebodyInTLS
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Re: OPINIONS - A380 at KLM

Wed Sep 07, 2016 12:16 pm

jfk777 wrote:
MSPSXMFLIER wrote:
If Air France isn't flying an A380 to SXM from CDG, they must've done the math and concluded that it makes no financial sense to operate such a high density aircraft on that route. They have 6 flights per week while KLM has only 3 per week. I see that beginning 10/30/16, the KLM schedule lists the AMS-SXM run will switch from a 747 to an A330.


While KLM has flown 744 to SXM there is no way that airport could handle an A380. IT has a short runway, water at both ends of the runway and a mountain on one side.


Sigh...

Again with this everlasting fable that the A380 requires more runway than the 747.

It uses *LESS* runway than the 747 and has *less* pavement load than the 747 or 777. It also doesn't need a wider runway since the outboard engines are deliberately reverse-thrust-less.

It also doesn't require special airbridges or parking bays at the terminal.

As long as the taxiways are not exceptionally narrow, which can be mitigated with some cautionary procedures, it can land, unload, reload and take off at pretty much any international airport.
"As with most things related to aircraft design, it's all about the trade-offs and much more nuanced than A.net likes to make out."
 
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keesje
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Re: OPINIONS - A380 at KLM

Wed Sep 07, 2016 1:21 pm

Yes, KLM A380 seems like a good idea at some stage. In reality with JV partner Delta and codeshare partners frequencies are often 2 or more per day. KLM has been flying VLA's for 45 years. It has build its success on hub operations. Heavy cargo has increasingly be outsourced to specialists (e.g. Atlas) and e.g. sea-air. Over the last 30 years (first 744) traffic has more than quadrupled. So 10-15 A380 seems a reasonable idea from 2020, probably with newer engines. Three class 600-650 seats seems realistic. Cheers!

Image
"Never mistake motion for action." Ernest Hemingway
 
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Polot
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Re: OPINIONS - A380 at KLM

Wed Sep 07, 2016 1:36 pm

keesje wrote:
Yes, KLM A380 seems like a good idea at some stage. In reality with JV partner Delta and codeshare partners frequencies are often 2 or more per day.


JVs weaken the case for the A380.

Yes, many destinations have 2+ more flights per a day, but few of those are solely operated by KLM. KLM just can't replace DL's flying and call it a day. DL has to maintain agreed upon capacity levels in the JV (required for pilots approval of the JV- they don't want to see their flying outsourced to whoever is cheapest JV airline) which means when you start replacing/combining flights DL has to add more somewhere else across the Atlantic...weakening the AMS and CDG hubs (or giving them too much capacity).

JVs also encourage frequency, to maximize connections across partners hubs.
 
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keesje
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Re: OPINIONS - A380 at KLM

Wed Sep 07, 2016 6:19 pm

Frequency is important. Via a hub I have 3 flights a day to a US city, directly 1.
"Never mistake motion for action." Ernest Hemingway
 
Kilopond
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Re: OPINIONS - A380 at KLM

Wed Sep 07, 2016 9:13 pm

whywhyzee wrote:
[...]Would the A380 make sense at KLM?[...]


Absolutely, but just if some core conditions would change.

On the positive side we got:

+ Amsterdam is excelently connected within Europe, both by air and over land

+ AF/KL own 50% of Spairliners (a joint venture with LH) so that the cost of additional A380 spare parts would be close to zero. http://www.spairliners.com/

+ there are some routes which absolutely don't require frequency, like AMS-GRU/GIG/JNB/CPT. Just have a red-eye flight outbound, A LONG LAYOVER and another red-eye flght back. Also the late morning departure to JFK with the early morning arrival back in AMS can work year-round. Again, with a long stand-still between the flights.

But on the negative side we got:

- MU/CZ aren't really great at the moment so that the pattern "points in Europe - AMS - MU/CZ hubs - points in Austral-Asia" would be difficult to sell right now. (Those potential customers fly the Near/Middle Eastern Big Four).

- the AF/KL management seems to be infected by the American bean counters and nay-sayers

- there are many, many more negative factors, but I'll just stop here... :D

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