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zkojq
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Re: Air France to retire A380 fleet effective immediately

Thu May 21, 2020 6:22 pm

UA444 wrote:
Jefford717 wrote:
Who would have predicted that more 747 will be flying into 2020s?

Unlike many here on A.net, the 747-8 program is very successful one financially. Infrastructure was already paid for from prior 747 program and newer technology was inherited from the 787. I.e. engines. This is how I see it, 50% less orders but with less than 10% of development cost to that of the A380.

747-8 isn’t even dead, either. Boeing still accepts new orders and has a backlog for another 2 years.


Well a key supplier has begun selling off production equipment, so that seems unlikely, but even if that wasn't the case building a quarter of an aircraft every month is hardly sustainable long term.

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles ... ed-factory
First to fly the 787-9
 
marcogr12
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Re: Air France to retire A380 fleet effective immediately

Thu May 21, 2020 6:23 pm

Won't there be any last scheduled A380 flights??
Flying is breathing..no planes no life..
 
Antarius
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Re: Air France to retire A380 fleet effective immediately

Thu May 21, 2020 6:23 pm

leghorn wrote:
Revelation wrote:
Antarius wrote:
I think the number is higher than you'd think. Many of us have felt that the a380 was a financial disaster and once egos cooled and EK hit some maturity, it was dead in the water. Launching the a380 in the mid-2000s is akin to Ford bringing a Steam powered car. Obsolete as the 77W had sapped up the market.

Marvelous piece of engineering, but what a waste. Heck, HP buying and writing off Autonomy for 9.5 billion was a better decision.

If there wasn't enough information to understand all of that, the fact that they could not get enough customer buy ins to do a NEO or even wingtip optimizations in the mid 2010s should have been enough to understand it was not long for this world.

leghorn wrote:
It is broadly accepted that the A380 is a great plane if you could only fill the f***ing thing.
You'd think that if resale prices drop enough that it would find a market servicing morning/evening slots on routes between Metropolises around the world.
Not necessarily very distant ones on separate Continents.
The mindset would have to change from if it isn't flying it isn't making money to if it isn't flying when full it isn't losing money.

If you think that, you're somehow seeing the world differently than the major airlines are, many of whom already have A380s with very little cost of ownership left to pay on them.

There are very few city pairs where the demand for seats pushes the A380 from the red to the black ink. It's hard to get 500+ people who all want to go to the same place at the same time and are willing to spend $$$ to do so.

It's not going to get better as competitors are now flying aircraft that are more structurally efficient and have generation newer engines. A380 will not be getting any more efficient and as it ages its maintenance costs are going to go up.

https://leehamnews.com/2016/01/18/iag-i ... used-a380/

I didn't just make it up, you know. It has been said by an owner of the planes so I am not seeing things differently to the rest of the world. Think before you type.
It is a Great Plane if you can fill it.


That's a meaningless statement. It's akin to saying the a318 or 736 are economical if you can sell every seat for 10 grand.

The point is you can't fill it consistently with high yields. And that's why the market voted against it and the aircraft sold poorly.

When the manufacturer has ended production and conceded that there is no future, I don't understand why a.net thinks they know more.
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aemoreira1981
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Re: Air France to retire A380 fleet effective immediately

Thu May 21, 2020 6:30 pm

The 747 at least has the advantage of being a good cargo plane, especially if you can get a nose-loading example or even a BCF. But the A380 can't carry sufficient cargo and is too heavy. (The 747-8F is only increased to another stage by its wingspan.)
 
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atcsundevil
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Re: Air France to retire A380 fleet effective immediately

Thu May 21, 2020 6:39 pm

marcogr12 wrote:
Won't there be any last scheduled A380 flights??

It's "effective immediately", so it would seem that there will not be any last scheduled revenue flights.
 
Waterbomber2
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Re: Air France to retire A380 fleet effective immediately

Thu May 21, 2020 6:41 pm

Not unexpected from Ben Smith.
But then again he ordered the MAX for AC and the new managers are trying to get rid of that order at all cost.
The fleet rollover to a new type was unnecessary for AC.

If anything, airlines should settle down and think about what is going on right now.
Too many CEO's are gambling that this crisis will be over by Christmas.
Shops, businesses are reopening as if this thing is over. It's not, this is only the beginning.
The vaccine by Christmas time? Ain't gonna happen. It's going to take years before a working vaccine will come to market.

ECDC already published some rather vague guidelines for air travel.
In a few months, things will become more clear when airlines realise that passengers aren't coming back. If passengers do come back, expect infections to rise and air travel to be grounded. It's a two-edged sword.
Then, government bodies and airline associations are going to sit together and realise that the only solution is to space people apart on aircraft.
AZ is already doing it, as discussed in the MOL middle seat thread.

A 850-seat A380 then becomes a 300 seater or less down from a typical config. of 450-550 seats.
A 400 seat B789 becomes a 130 seater down from a typical 250-300 seats.
A 500-seat B77W becomes a 170-seater down from a typical 300-400 seats.

Revenue management models will be skewed.

Traffic models will also change.
The hussle hussle frequency over capacity models could be affected.

It won't be forever, but at least until the pandemic is over, it could be a few years.


Now is not the right time to make hasty or premature fleet decisions.


The A380 was on the way out from AF already.
But then again, is it the wrong aircraft or the wrong management?
If we were talking about an airline based in a desert city, you could peg it on the aircraft.
But this is Paris. A massive city and practically the only city with global air service in France.
If you can't fill 20 A380's with those parameters but an airline in a desert in the middle of nowhere can fill hundreds of them, you have a problem at the management level. And when you have a problem at the management level, fleet decisions are meaningless in a general analysis of an aircraft's utility.


The current market parameters are these:
-People are worried about tightly packed aircraft. Call them crazy but terrorists smashing into the towers kept people scared and avoiding flying for a while.
-Oil is cheap. Rising fast, but still dirt cheap
-Seasonalities have become even more pronounced. The latest shiny metal is great to look at but they only make you money when can fly them 24/7 packed with people. When you park them, things become very eerie and overwhelming very fast.
Last edited by Waterbomber2 on Thu May 21, 2020 6:54 pm, edited 1 time in total.
 
9Patch
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Re: Air France to retire A380 fleet effective immediately

Thu May 21, 2020 6:41 pm

Arion640 wrote:
CX747 wrote:
moa999 wrote:
Just wait on the numbers flying.
Neither program has been successfull.

If anything given Covid, i suspect the 748 has saved Airbus. Just imagine if there was on order book for 50 A380s at present.


Far more 747s flying right now than A380s. No way it "saved" the A380. Those 50 frames not ordered is less revenue generated by a program and higher costs overall that Airbus has had to cover.

Time will tell but I believe the death knell of the A380 has begun in earnest. The Queen will have been in production before, during and more than likely, after an attempt to steal the crown.


The queen you’re thinking of never had the crown, that always went to a supersonic airliner!


I think the crown should go to a successful air frame.
The 'supersonic' was another spectacular failure.
 
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Revelation
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Re: Air France to retire A380 fleet effective immediately

Thu May 21, 2020 6:47 pm

leghorn wrote:
Revelation wrote:
leghorn wrote:
It is broadly accepted that the A380 is a great plane if you could only fill the f***ing thing.
You'd think that if resale prices drop enough that it would find a market servicing morning/evening slots on routes between Metropolises around the world.
Not necessarily very distant ones on separate Continents.
The mindset would have to change from if it isn't flying it isn't making money to if it isn't flying when full it isn't losing money.

If you think that, you're somehow seeing the world differently than the major airlines are, many of whom already have A380s with very little cost of ownership left to pay on them.

There are very few city pairs where the demand for seats pushes the A380 from the red to the black ink. It's hard to get 500+ people who all want to go to the same place at the same time and are willing to spend $$$ to do so.

It's not going to get better as competitors are now flying aircraft that are more structurally efficient and have generation newer engines. A380 will not be getting any more efficient and as it ages its maintenance costs are going to go up.

https://leehamnews.com/2016/01/18/iag-i ... used-a380/

I didn't just make it up, you know. It has been said by an owner of the planes so I am not seeing things differently to the rest of the world. Think before you type.
It is a Great Plane if you can fill it.

I was addressing your point "if resale prices drop enough that it would find a market servicing morning/evening slots on routes between Metropolises around the world". Sorry if I didn't make that clear. IMO purchase price isn't very important in the long term. Other issues such as trip cost, yield and rising maintenance costs are.

The point about filling the plane is moot. You can fill the plane if you drop prices low enough, but then you don't make money. If you raise the prices, then you don't fill the plane and you get beat by other more efficient airplanes. Purchase price doesn't change the math enough to matter. There are a few city pairs where you can fill the plane and could make money but there never were enough of them and now A350, 787 and 779 are more efficient than A380 was. Its day has passed.
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leghorn
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Re: Air France to retire A380 fleet effective immediately

Thu May 21, 2020 6:48 pm

Antarius wrote:
leghorn wrote:
Revelation wrote:
If there wasn't enough information to understand all of that, the fact that they could not get enough customer buy ins to do a NEO or even wingtip optimizations in the mid 2010s should have been enough to understand it was not long for this world.


If you think that, you're somehow seeing the world differently than the major airlines are, many of whom already have A380s with very little cost of ownership left to pay on them.

There are very few city pairs where the demand for seats pushes the A380 from the red to the black ink. It's hard to get 500+ people who all want to go to the same place at the same time and are willing to spend $$$ to do so.

It's not going to get better as competitors are now flying aircraft that are more structurally efficient and have generation newer engines. A380 will not be getting any more efficient and as it ages its maintenance costs are going to go up.

https://leehamnews.com/2016/01/18/iag-i ... used-a380/

I didn't just make it up, you know. It has been said by an owner of the planes so I am not seeing things differently to the rest of the world. Think before you type.
It is a Great Plane if you can fill it.


That's a meaningless statement. It's akin to saying the a318 or 736 are economical if you can sell every seat for 10 grand.

The point is you can't fill it consistently with high yields. And that's why the market voted against it and the aircraft sold poorly.

When the manufacturer has ended production and conceded that there is no future, I don't understand why a.net thinks they know more.

Actually, an a319 from lcy made sense transatlantic at fares not far removed from those.
 
Antarius
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Re: Air France to retire A380 fleet effective immediately

Thu May 21, 2020 6:54 pm

leghorn wrote:
Antarius wrote:
leghorn wrote:
https://leehamnews.com/2016/01/18/iag-i ... used-a380/

I didn't just make it up, you know. It has been said by an owner of the planes so I am not seeing things differently to the rest of the world. Think before you type.
It is a Great Plane if you can fill it.


That's a meaningless statement. It's akin to saying the a318 or 736 are economical if you can sell every seat for 10 grand.

The point is you can't fill it consistently with high yields. And that's why the market voted against it and the aircraft sold poorly.

When the manufacturer has ended production and conceded that there is no future, I don't understand why a.net thinks they know more.

Actually, an a319 from lcy made sense transatlantic at fares not far removed from those.


A modified a318, you mean. The a319 is not certified for LCY.

Regardless, 1 single aircraft on 1 single city pair. That doesn't prove the viability of an entire type.
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JFKalumni
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Re: Air France to retire A380 fleet effective immediately

Thu May 21, 2020 6:58 pm

aemoreira1981 wrote:
The 747 at least has the advantage of being a good cargo plane, especially if you can get a nose-loading example or even a BCF. But the A380 can't carry sufficient cargo and is too heavy. (The 747-8F is only increased to another stage by its wingspan.)


Absolutely!!!

At some point the 747-8i will get the same treatment as the A380. Only difference being airlines like LH and KE can quickly remove the passenger seats, add ULD drive system, add main cabin cargo door and quickly incorporate it into there cargo operations. Probably with very little capital expenditure.
 
Opus99
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Re: Air France to retire A380 fleet effective immediately

Thu May 21, 2020 9:06 pm

Waterbomber2 wrote:
Not unexpected from Ben Smith.
But then again he ordered the MAX for AC and the new managers are trying to get rid of that order at all cost.
The fleet rollover to a new type was unnecessary for AC.

If anything, airlines should settle down and think about what is going on right now.
Too many CEO's are gambling that this crisis will be over by Christmas.
Shops, businesses are reopening as if this thing is over. It's not, this is only the beginning.
The vaccine by Christmas time? Ain't gonna happen. It's going to take years before a working vaccine will come to market.

ECDC already published some rather vague guidelines for air travel.
In a few months, things will become more clear when airlines realise that passengers aren't coming back. If passengers do come back, expect infections to rise and air travel to be grounded. It's a two-edged sword.
Then, government bodies and airline associations are going to sit together and realise that the only solution is to space people apart on aircraft.
AZ is already doing it, as discussed in the MOL middle seat thread.

A 850-seat A380 then becomes a 300 seater or less down from a typical config. of 450-550 seats.
A 400 seat B789 becomes a 130 seater down from a typical 250-300 seats.
A 500-seat B77W becomes a 170-seater down from a typical 300-400 seats.

Revenue management models will be skewed.

Traffic models will also change.
The hussle hussle frequency over capacity models could be affected.

It won't be forever, but at least until the pandemic is over, it could be a few years.


Now is not the right time to make hasty or premature fleet decisions.


The A380 was on the way out from AF already.
But then again, is it the wrong aircraft or the wrong management?
If we were talking about an airline based in a desert city, you could peg it on the aircraft.
But this is Paris. A massive city and practically the only city with global air service in France.
If you can't fill 20 A380's with those parameters but an airline in a desert in the middle of nowhere can fill hundreds of them, you have a problem at the management level. And when you have a problem at the management level, fleet decisions are meaningless in a general analysis of an aircraft's utility.


The current market parameters are these:
-People are worried about tightly packed aircraft. Call them crazy but terrorists smashing into the towers kept people scared and avoiding flying for a while.
-Oil is cheap. Rising fast, but still dirt cheap
-Seasonalities have become even more pronounced. The latest shiny metal is great to look at but they only make you money when can fly them 24/7 packed with people. When you park them, things become very eerie and overwhelming very fast.

So your point is? They should keep it or..?
 
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hOMSaR
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Re: Air France to retire A380 fleet effective immediately

Thu May 21, 2020 9:37 pm

This thread is about Air France retiring the A380. Please take unrelated discussion to more appropriate threads.
I was raised by a cup of coffee.
 
skystar767
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Re: Air France to retire A380 fleet effective immediately

Thu May 21, 2020 9:42 pm

The 380 works very well in the summer time but not in the winter the slow season in Europe. Filling her in the winter is very hard on most airplanes including EK,EY,QR. the airplane was made for huge hubs but passengers want flexibility in traveling and want none stops.
 
Antarius
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Re: Air France to retire A380 fleet effective immediately

Thu May 21, 2020 9:50 pm

Waterbomber2 wrote:
The A380 was on the way out from AF already.
But then again, is it the wrong aircraft or the wrong management?
If we were talking about an airline based in a desert city, you could peg it on the aircraft.
But this is Paris. A massive city and practically the only city with global air service in France.
If you can't fill 20 A380's with those parameters but an airline in a desert in the middle of nowhere can fill hundreds of them, you have a problem at the management level. And when you have a problem at the management level, fleet decisions are meaningless in a general analysis of an aircraft's utility.


Unfortunately, the "airline based in a desert city" can't fill them either. Sub 80% LF.

AF, along with every other carrier are having to reckon with the sunk cost fallacy. They made a mistake and instead of throwing good money after bad, they are walking away. Heck, the manufacturer threw in the towel after 13 short years.

AF has made a lot of bad decisions in the past ignoring economics (hello a318 order). This is a good one.
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amax1977
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Re: Air France to retire A380 fleet effective immediately

Thu May 21, 2020 10:12 pm

LH is next
 
MartijnNL
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Re: Air France to retire A380 fleet effective immediately

Thu May 21, 2020 10:23 pm

VV wrote:
Noshow wrote:
(...) With all those 747, 777 and the A380.
Now they shrink down to smaller twins in size. Shocking to see this in some way.

The sign has been clear since the fall of Berlin Wall.

The slow but deep structural change in air transport is on going.
This crisis only accelerates some required changes.

What do you mean precisely?

Since the fall of the Berlin Wall over 1,200 four engine widebodies have been delivered. Much more than in all the years before the fall of the Berlin Wall.

Total airline traffic went from 1,025 million passengers in 1990 to 4,540 million passengers in 2019.

The Boeing 747 has revolutionized air travel, the Airbus A380 not so much. Unless we're talking about passenger comfort. I am sad to hear about this retirement. I am happy to have travelled on the Air France A380.

When I walked outside this morning I saw a British Airways A380 flying overhead. Hopefully the A380 will continue to operate for some years to come.
 
d8s
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Re: Air France to retire A380 fleet effective immediately

Thu May 21, 2020 10:28 pm

CX747 wrote:
Jefford717 wrote:
Who would have predicted that more 747 will be flying into 2020s?
Not many would have predicted a greater number of 747s flying the globe in the 2020s over the A380. With its role as a freighter the 747 will continue to play a major role in aviation as the A380 fleet becomes a smaller and smaller entity.


The A380 should have never been built in the first place, and would have saved Airbus billions of Euro's that it could really use right now. It has always been a beached whale that was bought but rich airlines (EK) or those who want to seem rich (AF). Passengers might love it but the business is about economics.
 
filipinoavgeek
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Re: Air France to retire A380 fleet effective immediately

Fri May 22, 2020 1:40 am

To think that Air France out of all airlines would be the first to get rid of all of their A380s. Considering the association between France and the A380 (and Airbus in general) that's saying a lot. Probably a bigger deal than Delta retiring all of their 777s. (Yes I know that Air France retiring all of their A380s was decided last year, but to actually live in a world where Air France A380s are no more today would have been unthinkable 10, maybe even 5 years ago).
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Sokes
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Re: Air France to retire A380 fleet effective immediately

Fri May 22, 2020 5:00 am

zkojq wrote:
building a quarter of an aircraft every month is hardly sustainable long term.

I don't doubt the truth of your statement, but I'm curious what problems arise. I therefore ask "Why not?".
Why can't the world be a little bit more autistic?
 
9Patch
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Re: Air France to retire A380 fleet effective immediately

Fri May 22, 2020 5:07 am

Sokes wrote:
zkojq wrote:
building a quarter of an aircraft every month is hardly sustainable long term.

I don't doubt the truth of your statement, but I'm curious what problems arise. I therefore ask "Why not?".


I would think all the overhead of maintaining an assembly line for such a low production.
Are the workers sitting around idle or do they have something else to do?
 
Blerg
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Re: Air France to retire A380 fleet effective immediately

Fri May 22, 2020 5:11 am

amax1977 wrote:
LH is next


I think I read somewhere that Etihad is also about to retire them, so they might be next.

As for the A380 and AF, it's a shame as it's a wonderful plane to fly on, especially take offs.
 
filipinoavgeek
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Re: Air France to retire A380 fleet effective immediately

Fri May 22, 2020 5:25 am

What's going to be the fate of their A380s then? With the second-hand market already virtually non-existent even before the pandemic and one already being scrapped at Knock, is the scrapyard certain to be the final destination for every Air France frame?
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Noshow
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Re: Air France to retire A380 fleet effective immediately

Fri May 22, 2020 6:23 am

This must mean big trouble for the leasing companies owning many of these airplanes. And for a certain engine company that loses parts and maintenance business.
 
FluidFlow
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Re: Air France to retire A380 fleet effective immediately

Fri May 22, 2020 8:16 am

I think in the long run the only airline that might be able to make the A380 work would be BA, especially with Gatwick gone (?) and LHR never getting a third runway. The A380 might work at CDG if AF would not be AFKLM and AMS is just around the corner. Same problem will kill the A380 and 747 at LH, they have MUC and ZRH to add frequency and volume if needed.

Unfortunately the A380 only works when slots are rare and no other airport provides relief. Imagine JFK if there was no EWR? A380 and B747 everywhere. As long as you can add frequency over upgauging you will never need VLA again. It does not make any sense as it is way more flexible to add or remove a frequency. If you only fly one time a day with a A380 you are stuck to it.

The A321 XLR will be even better to add frequencies on sub 4500nm routes, especially because you can also use it on short hops with a really small penalty. A widebody is hard to bring onto an intra-european route if it is not needed on a TATL route. The XLR can fly from Paris to Athens and make money instead of Paris to Quebec City if there is no demand in winter. Putting a 787 on Paris to Athens in winter will burn cash and just parking it is also no option.
 
VV
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Re: Air France to retire A380 fleet effective immediately

Fri May 22, 2020 9:59 am

MartijnNL wrote:
VV wrote:
Noshow wrote:
(...) With all those 747, 777 and the A380.
Now they shrink down to smaller twins in size. Shocking to see this in some way.

The sign has been clear since the fall of Berlin Wall.

The slow but deep structural change in air transport is on going.
This crisis only accelerates some required changes.

What do you mean precisely?
....


I meant that the A380 was launched despite the obvious sign VLA quads was declining in demand.

The last 747-8 Intercontinental was delivered years ago. Now, we see the troubles faced by the A380.

The A380 should have never been launched.

The signs were clear since in the 1990 and the situation triggered by the current novel coronavirus outbreak just accelerates the demise of those dinosaurs.
I do not think it is wise to say other thing than this obvious reality.

There are still quads flying there is not any issue with that, but there will be no passenger quad in production starting end of next year. It must prove something.

Can you imagine that the biggest passenger aircraft in production starting in 2021 is the 777-9 that is much smaller than the 747-400, 747-8i and much-much smaller than the A380.
 
Noshow
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Re: Air France to retire A380 fleet effective immediately

Fri May 22, 2020 10:11 am

It's easy to claim this looking back. I would not agree. Even today.
We see big city growth to continue. We see Asia developing. We see India just beginning.
There IS a need for big airplanes and there will be this need. The only problem the A380 had was that twins with some newer more efficient engines could match its seat mile cost. Mount to the A380 the same 787/A350-generation engines and the bigger size will pay off immediately again. It won't work with at least half a generation older engines versus the latest twins. And quite a few A380 cabin configurations had wasted too much space. This is expensive to fix now.
Did it enter the market too early? Yes.
 
JayinKitsap
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Re: Air France to retire A380 fleet effective immediately

Fri May 22, 2020 10:26 am

If only the A380 had been:
- Designed to be about 25% bigger than the 744, not the 30 some % bigger. 25% is a big step, normally 20% between models.
- Arriving a few years later such that the RR 700's could have been T7000's. A big improvement in efficiency.
- Designed for the -800 with no -900 increases built in.

If two of the 3 had come to pass, the A380 would still be in production. At the same time this pandemic has shattered aviation, with the worst damage in the largest planes.
 
VV
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Re: Air France to retire A380 fleet effective immediately

Fri May 22, 2020 10:31 am

Noshow wrote:
It's easy to claim this looking back. I would not agree. Even today.
...
Did it enter the market too early? Yes.


If you are an old reader of some blogs, you know that some of them have always expressed their opinion.

So it is not at all about looking back.

Some people like you indeed look back trying to understand what went wrong.
In reality nothing went wrong, the market has evolved and some boomers wanted to see the pre-cold-war situation to continue. They live in their bubble.

On the question, "Did it enter the market too early?" The answer is that it entered into service way too late.

It would have been an excellent aircraft in a heavily regulated environment like before the fall of the Berlin wall.
 
VV
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Re: Air France to retire A380 fleet effective immediately

Fri May 22, 2020 11:14 am

JayinKitsap wrote:
If only the A380 had been:
- Designed to be about 25% bigger than the 744, not the 30 some % bigger. 25% is a big step, normally 20% between models.
- Arriving a few years later such that the RR 700's could have been T7000's. A big improvement in efficiency.
- Designed for the -800 with no -900 increases built in.

If two of the 3 had come to pass, the A380 would still be in production. At the same time this pandemic has shattered aviation, with the worst damage in the largest planes.



It is not about the aircraft.

It is all about the market.
There has never been any need for it.

It is very simple.
 
Cointrin330
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Re: Air France to retire A380 fleet effective immediately

Fri May 22, 2020 11:42 am

The A380 was on its way out at AF long before COVID19. The costs to upgrade the cabin interiors were in the $30-$35 million range per aircraft. The aircraft itself is supremely quiet ride-wise, but within the AF network it served, not efficient. In the AF configuration, it was above all else, a cattle class plane with a very dated premium product and workable only on a very limited number of routes. The A380 has a very grim and limited future, serving only the airports that are truly slot constrained (LHR) and a small handful of very large markets, should air travel recover to pre-COVID19 levels. The market the A380 program anticipated or thought was already there, never quite materialized. It is a niche aircraft and a very costly one from an R&D, ROI, and operating metric perspective.
 
Noshow
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Re: Air France to retire A380 fleet effective immediately

Fri May 22, 2020 12:05 pm

On the bright side Airbus could use their newly integrated and now matured organization, many lessons learned and even some systems layout for their smooth A350.
 
brindabella
Posts: 620
Joined: Fri Apr 30, 2010 10:38 am

Re: Air France to retire A380 fleet effective immediately

Fri May 22, 2020 1:21 pm

Noshow wrote:
It's easy to claim this looking back. I would not agree. Even today.
We see big city growth to continue. We see Asia developing. We see India just beginning.
There IS a need for big airplanes and there will be this need. The only problem the A380 had was that twins with some newer more efficient engines could match its seat mile cost. Mount to the A380 the same 787/A350-generation engines and the bigger size will pay off immediately again. It won't work with at least half a generation older engines versus the latest twins. And quite a few A380 cabin configurations had wasted too much space. This is expensive to fix now.
Did it enter the market too early? Yes.


I think you misunderstand and undervalue the decisions made by the airlines which inroduced the A380.

Like everyone else I assume, I watched the A380 intro (finally).

Over time I noted many many operators using very modest configurations - less than 400 seats was not uncommon.
Why would an airline cripple the economics of a massive people-mover (600-850 seats) by running it below 400 seats?
Indeed, the airframe that was going to, single-handedly, fix the LHR traffic-jam?
How does running less than 400 seats into LHR fix anything?

Well, of course, it did not fix anything.

:shakehead:

Such stupid aiirlines, no?

I suspect that you should look no further than the jibe by the EK 777 crews:

"We follow the A380s to bring the bags".

We should not forget that the EK 777Ws were especially given the cattle-class "people-mover" configs - and so with unattractive business /first accomodation,
This has always been much derided here on A-net as absolute proof-positive that the 777W was horrible to travel-in.

:roll:

But despite all that the 777Ws still could move the bags - and lots more besides.

To cut away - reading the thread up and down I see some merit in VV's opinon:

EG - "The A380 was not introduced too early - it was in fact introduced too late".

I admire the technical achievement of the A380.
I am quite prepared to believe that it was nice to travel-in, if you were in Business/First (Economy seemed to be a much more mixed reaction)..

But I cannot support the thinking which led to the A380.

I have read all the threads for year-in and year-out.
LHR is always instanced as the proof that the gigantic people-mover must inevitably have it's day, and sweep all before it.

Well, we have seen it for 15 years - and it didn't work.

:shakehead:

cheers
Billy
 
JFKalumni
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Re: Air France to retire A380 fleet effective immediately

Fri May 22, 2020 1:38 pm

VV wrote:
JayinKitsap wrote:
If only the A380 had been:
- Designed to be about 25% bigger than the 744, not the 30 some % bigger. 25% is a big step, normally 20% between models.
- Arriving a few years later such that the RR 700's could have been T7000's. A big improvement in efficiency.
- Designed for the -800 with no -900 increases built in.

If two of the 3 had come to pass, the A380 would still be in production. At the same time this pandemic has shattered aviation, with the worst damage in the largest planes.



It is not about the aircraft.

It is all about the market.
There has never been any need for it.

It is very simple.


Here’s the problem with the A380.

Ramp vendor $$$$
Extra cabin cleaning staff $$$$
Extra Cabin crew staff $$$$
Extra customer service staff $$$$
A380 compatible ULD’s $$$$
High torque supertugs $$$$
Extended reach catering trucks $$$$
Extended reach deicing trucks $$$$
Extra deicing staff $$$$
3rd jet bridge $$$$
Gate envelope concrete reinforcements $$$$
Engineering survey for wingtip clearance $$$$
Jet bridge 400HZ power modifications $$$$
Runway reinforcements $$$$
Taxiway reinforcements $$$$
Landing fees $$$$
Customs fees $$$$
Remote parking fees based on aircraft weight $$$$
Fuel $$$$
Four engines $$$$
 
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william
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Re: Air France to retire A380 fleet effective immediately

Fri May 22, 2020 1:51 pm

JayinKitsap wrote:
If only the A380 had been:
- Designed to be about 25% bigger than the 744, not the 30 some % bigger. 25% is a big step, normally 20% between models.
- Arriving a few years later such that the RR 700's could have been T7000's. A big improvement in efficiency.
- Designed for the -800 with no -900 increases built in.

If two of the 3 had come to pass, the A380 would still be in production. At the same time this pandemic has shattered aviation, with the worst damage in the largest planes.


The A380 is a technical marvel, but instead of being a quad Airbus should have designed it as a 2 or 3 engine plane. With Airbus knowledge of fly by wire, it would have been possible and more efficient.

Cue Keejse's Ecoliner.
 
moa999
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Re: Air France to retire A380 fleet effective immediately

Fri May 22, 2020 1:53 pm

Most of those items are still an equivalent $/pax though.

If you can fill the A380 at decent yields (and it only works for a few routes at certain times of the year, it's still a great aircraft.

It has however been hampered by a few original engineering choices, and sold so poorly that any changes (eg. The A380 Plus proposal were too expensive to justify on marginal sales).

Just imagine how much more competitive a 2020 A380 would have been if:
The wing box had only been designed for an 800 and not a stretch.
The cabin width/sidewalls supported a 3-5-3 or 3-4-3 economy section
The RR7000 engines (from the 330neo) could have been easily fitted when launched without substantial additional $s

Whereas the current A380 is overweight, not spacially efficient (albeit great for passengers) and has engines a generation old.
 
Antarius
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Re: Air France to retire A380 fleet effective immediately

Fri May 22, 2020 2:04 pm

moa999 wrote:
Just imagine how much more competitive a 2020 A380 would have been if:
The wing box had only been designed for an 800 and not a stretch.
The cabin width/sidewalls supported a 3-5-3 or 3-4-3 economy section
The RR7000 engines (from the 330neo) could have been easily fitted when launched without substantial additional $s


Maybe more competitive, but still would get it's backside handed it it by the twin engined aircraft.

A better dinosaur is still a dinosaur.
2020: SFO DFW IAH HOU CLT MEX BIS MIA GUA ORD DTW LGA BOS LHR DUB BFS BHD STN OAK PHL ISP JFK SJC DEN SJU LAS TXL GDL
 
VV
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Re: Air France to retire A380 fleet effective immediately

Fri May 22, 2020 2:27 pm

I still am very puzzled by the VLA stuff.

How is it possible so many clever people made such a mistake in the past?

Whatever you say to "defend" the A380 case, the reality is what it is today. It is being abandoned.

This reality was predicted by some people since the very beginning many years ago.


The decision to stop A380 production was taken in February 2019 well before this crisis. The current crisis triggered by the novel coronavirus outbreak only exacerbates the consequence and accelerates the abandon of the aircraft.
 
workhorse
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Re: Air France to retire A380 fleet effective immediately

Fri May 22, 2020 3:11 pm

What were the expiration dates of the leases for the 5 AF 380s that were leased?

If it was 2022 then the penalties for early lease cancelation would surely make a good chunk of the 5 mil, wouldn't they?
 
workhorse
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Re: Air France to retire A380 fleet effective immediately

Fri May 22, 2020 3:27 pm

VV wrote:
How is it possible so many clever people made such a mistake in the past?


Easy: because they believed that as time goes by, there would be more and more connections (personal, cultural, economic...) between people on different continents. It didn't happen. Instead of that, we've got trade wars, visa restrictions, spy paranoia and general increasing hostility all over the world.

The biggest plane in the world makes the most sense on long intercontinental flights because this is where you get the most benefit of being big by spreading the noncompressible costs ("burning fuel to carry fuel", relief crews, lower utilisation rates) on more passengers. But for that to happen, you need to have these passengers. If they were there, there would have been an A380-900, an 380neo and some day an A380NG with new wing. Now, we will have to wait for the next 1990s to see anything comparable to it.
Last edited by workhorse on Fri May 22, 2020 3:43 pm, edited 1 time in total.
 
VV
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Re: Air France to retire A380 fleet effective immediately

Fri May 22, 2020 3:42 pm

workhorse wrote:
VV wrote:
How is it possible so many clever people made such a mistake in the past?


Easy: because they believed that as time goes by, there would be more and more connections (personal, cultural, economic...) between people on different continents. It didn't happen. Instead of that, we've got trade wars, visa restrictions, spy paranoia and general increasing hostility all over the world.
....


Wait! That's not true.

Air travel has been growing forever. So they made mistake on the way air travel would be addressed, but not on the growth of air travel.

The current crisis is just a special event.
 
workhorse
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Re: Air France to retire A380 fleet effective immediately

Fri May 22, 2020 4:00 pm

VV wrote:
Wait! That's not true.

Air travel has been growing forever. So they made mistake on the way air travel would be addressed, but not on the growth of air travel.


Intercontinental air travel has not been growing nearly as much as it was expected when the A380 was conceived.

So, yes, the air travel has been growing but not everywhere it was expected.

You want my prediction? The next A380-sized airplane will be medium-haul (2-6 hours), will be a twin and will be Chinese. See you in 20-30 years. :)

VV wrote:
The current crisis is just a special event.


I wasn't talking about current crisis.
 
VV
Posts: 1862
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Re: Air France to retire A380 fleet effective immediately

Fri May 22, 2020 4:20 pm

workhorse wrote:
VV wrote:
Wait! That's not true.

Air travel has been growing forever. So they made mistake on the way air travel would be addressed, but not on the growth of air travel.


Intercontinental air travel has not been growing nearly as much as it was expected when the A380 was conceived.

So, yes, the air travel has been growing but not everywhere it was expected.

You want my prediction? The next A380-sized airplane will be medium-haul (2-6 hours), will be a twin and will be Chinese. See you in 20-30 years. :)

....


"Intercontinental air travel has not been growing nearly as much as it was expected when the A380 was conceived."

I cannot believe I read this.
 
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Revelation
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Re: Air France to retire A380 fleet effective immediately

Fri May 22, 2020 4:32 pm

VV wrote:
It is not about the aircraft.

It is all about the market.
There has never been any need for it.

It is very simple.

There was "some" need for it, just not enough to justify a very expensive clean sheet project to develop it.

JFKalumni wrote:
Here’s the problem with the A380.

Ramp vendor $$$$
Extra cabin cleaning staff $$$$
Extra Cabin crew staff $$$$
Extra customer service staff $$$$
A380 compatible ULD’s $$$$
High torque supertugs $$$$
Extended reach catering trucks $$$$
Extended reach deicing trucks $$$$
Extra deicing staff $$$$
3rd jet bridge $$$$
Gate envelope concrete reinforcements $$$$
Engineering survey for wingtip clearance $$$$
Jet bridge 400HZ power modifications $$$$
Runway reinforcements $$$$
Taxiway reinforcements $$$$
Landing fees $$$$
Customs fees $$$$
Remote parking fees based on aircraft weight $$$$
Fuel $$$$
Four engines $$$$

Finding accommodations for 400-600 people all at once when it goes tech during peak travel season, especially at an outstation: $$$$
Wake up to find out that you are the eyes of the world
The heart has its beaches, its homeland and thoughts of its own
Wake now, discover that you are the song that the morning brings
The heart has its seasons, its evenings and songs of its own
 
JFKalumni
Posts: 185
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Re: Air France to retire A380 fleet effective immediately

Fri May 22, 2020 4:39 pm

Revelation wrote:
VV wrote:
It is not about the aircraft.

It is all about the market.
There has never been any need for it.

It is very simple.

There was "some" need for it, just not enough to justify a very expensive clean sheet project to develop it.

JFKalumni wrote:
Here’s the problem with the A380.

Ramp vendor $$$$
Extra cabin cleaning staff $$$$
Extra Cabin crew staff $$$$
Extra customer service staff $$$$
A380 compatible ULD’s $$$$
High torque supertugs $$$$
Extended reach catering trucks $$$$
Extended reach deicing trucks $$$$
Extra deicing staff $$$$
3rd jet bridge $$$$
Gate envelope concrete reinforcements $$$$
Engineering survey for wingtip clearance $$$$
Jet bridge 400HZ power modifications $$$$
Runway reinforcements $$$$
Taxiway reinforcements $$$$
Landing fees $$$$
Customs fees $$$$
Remote parking fees based on aircraft weight $$$$
Fuel $$$$
Four engines $$$$

Finding accommodations for 400-600 people all at once when it goes tech during peak travel season, especially at an outstation: $$$$


Exactly. Guys don’t understand the behind the scenes aspect of the airline business.

You can be the biggest fan of the A380 but at the end of the day who’s going to win?

Love of the A380 ???

Or

The corporate bean counters ???
 
Antarius
Posts: 2508
Joined: Thu Apr 13, 2017 1:27 pm

Re: Air France to retire A380 fleet effective immediately

Fri May 22, 2020 4:42 pm

workhorse wrote:
VV wrote:
How is it possible so many clever people made such a mistake in the past?


Easy: because they believed that as time goes by, there would be more and more connections (personal, cultural, economic...) between people on different continents. It didn't happen. Instead of that, we've got trade wars, visa restrictions, spy paranoia and general increasing hostility all over the world.


This is patently false. More people are traveling than ever before and airlines are launching routes that no one would have put money on. LHR-CHS.. you could probably get 10000:1 odds on that 15 years ago. The issue is that the a380 missed the market. More people will travel, just at their convenience due to more flights and sometimes bypassing a hub at one end.

The issue with the pro-a380 crowd is that it is always something else that is the problem. trade wars, visa restrictions, spy paranoia and general increasing hostility, people not understanding the potential etc etc etc. Never the fact that the it was a bad business case and screamed measuring contest more than sensible economics.
2020: SFO DFW IAH HOU CLT MEX BIS MIA GUA ORD DTW LGA BOS LHR DUB BFS BHD STN OAK PHL ISP JFK SJC DEN SJU LAS TXL GDL
 
JayinKitsap
Posts: 2254
Joined: Sat Nov 26, 2005 9:55 am

Re: Air France to retire A380 fleet effective immediately

Fri May 22, 2020 9:01 pm

I can attest that VV was out on a windy corner back around the first A380 flight. He was constantly getting flak then, still does around the A380. His main point is how the A380 missed the market trends away from O-H-H-D routes where the A380 excels at moving lots of pax between the hubs. But if each hub becomes mostly O-H-D the A380 size doesn't fit the routes as well as smaller planes.

Revelation wrote:
VV wrote:
It is not about the aircraft.

It is all about the market.
There has never been any need for it.

It is very simple.

There was "some" need for it, just not enough to justify a very expensive clean sheet project to develop it.

JFKalumni wrote:
Here’s the problem with the A380.

Ramp vendor $$$$
Extra cabin cleaning staff $$$$
Extra Cabin crew staff $$$$
Extra customer service staff $$$$
A380 compatible ULD’s $$$$
High torque supertugs $$$$
Extended reach catering trucks $$$$
Extended reach deicing trucks $$$$
Extra deicing staff $$$$
3rd jet bridge $$$$
Gate envelope concrete reinforcements $$$$
Engineering survey for wingtip clearance $$$$
Jet bridge 400HZ power modifications $$$$
Runway reinforcements $$$$
Taxiway reinforcements $$$$
Landing fees $$$$
Customs fees $$$$
Remote parking fees based on aircraft weight $$$$
Fuel $$$$
Four engines $$$$

Finding accommodations for 400-600 people all at once when it goes tech during peak travel season, especially at an outstation: $$$$


The airlines found yield management difficult with the A380, when the earlier planes were configured with over 550 seats they could rarely sell out the plane, so empty seats flying everywhere. Dropping below 500 solved that problem but each seat then has more cabin area per seat than is typical with its competition.

Successful planes get a lot of orders after being in service for a couple of years and the production has settled down. Less than successful don't see that bump, the bump is due to airlines reviewing the actual in service performance including what yields are occurring and the true costs of operation (see JFKalumni's list above.) The 77W got two big sales bumps post EIS, the A380 did not. From 2010 on, other than EK very few major airlines ordered and very few added to their fleets. This confirms the weak Business Case for airlines to fly the plane, although an excellent Technical design.

I saw marketing viewed the 747 for its capacity at range, while the airlines were buying the 747 for its range but no smaller choice for capacity at that range. Airbus also did not properly see the effect of the big twins. Airlines like AF, LH, QR and EY found it was not optimum for all but the heaviest routes, they have lived with it until this pandemic. Now, airlines see flying A350's full to be much better than flying the A380 60% full. A week ago the thread viewtopic.php?f=3&t=1444531&p=22151119&hilit=A380#p22151119 found 5 A380's flying and 232 stored. That is the worst % being parked of any in service model.
 
leghorn
Posts: 1297
Joined: Sun Jan 22, 2017 9:13 am

Re: Air France to retire A380 fleet effective immediately

Fri May 22, 2020 9:37 pm

https://www.forbes.com/sites/michaelgol ... dc7d5c489c

I don't know if this was posted here or elsewhere previously.
Interesting estimated low part out prices.

https://leehamnews.com/2018/02/16/leahy ... 80-future/
Leahy said the engine manufacturers lied to him and if they had been honest he would have waited for next technology engine.
A by-product of a few years delay would have been better first class and business cabin arrangements.
 
NWADTWE16
Posts: 718
Joined: Fri Jun 29, 2012 5:12 am

Re: Air France to retire A380 fleet effective immediately

Sat May 23, 2020 12:44 am

i dont care to read all the "this was predicted's and this plane is a failures" so i will just add my experience. This aircraft has been for me, the most comfortable Long-haul i have ever experienced. I chased it wherever i could catch it, out of the way, just to fly in its comfort. The Upper Deck, whether DUO in the absolutely back, or Premium Econ, or Business or La Premiere, it was quiet, comfortable and SPACIOUS like no other. Being able to actually stroll down to the lower cabin and back up via the staircases, partake in the "wine tastings" in the galleys, or just generally stretch out (which is not possible in this way on any other), it set the bar high. Corporate travelers demand for INTL flights every hour to fit their schedule instead of being Climate conscious and operating less flights, more density. That is what killed this plane, and now with Covid, those cherished travelers, which airlines avoided the A380 to make happy, are nowhere to be found. So we meet its end. I was scheduled to fly in Business CDG-ATL in August, with my daughter, so she could enjoy the much hyped by me A380 the right way, that will never happen now. Lots of amazing memories, and a wake up call for humanity. All the emissions released to make planes that are going to the desert or worse the scrapper under 5 years old, and possible straight from production? Covid19 or not, we are not living a sustainable society. RIP A380, thank you.

Flame away
I haven't been everywhere, but it's on my list!
 
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par13del
Posts: 10350
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Re: Air France to retire A380 fleet effective immediately

Sat May 23, 2020 1:41 am

So Leahy was so upset with the engine OEM's that when the A380 was heading for life support, he decided to allow one of those original OEM's to build an A380 engine?
Really cannot make this thing up...

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