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Does the Bell toll for the A380?

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posted on Feb, 13 2019 @ 03:20 PM
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We have been here before, but it seems that the A380's time in mainline fleets may be ending. Airbus is considering closing the line and the news may come as soon as the 14th.

Emirates which is the biggest owner of the A380 is currently re-evaluating the life line order they placed and may not take many more deliveries.
www.reuters.com...


and now CEO of Qatar Airways, Akbar Al Baker, has stated that once the A380's in their fleet reach 10 years and are paid for they will get rid of them in favor of the 777-X. He also point to the total lack of a secondary market for the aircraft.
simpleflying.com...
aviationanalyst.co.uk...

Its not all bad news for Airbus however, as many see the A350-1000 as a possible alternative in addition to the 777X on some routes. But since the A380 was really designed to take on the 747 and parts of the 777 market, they may not have a solution at the higher capacity end.

While a decade ago this forum rolled with subsidies issues etc, it seems that Airbus bet on a particular forecast fo the market and lost. In addition it was a prestige project and there may not have been a willingness of the governments involved to kill it either. The cancellation of the freighter version kind of domed the secondary market as well with 12 year old airframes being scrapped rather than someone trying to convert them to freighter use.

Perhaps as more retire this may become a viable option but the development costs may be too high and it may be cheaper to pick up a 747-400 and convert it as there is already a proven program.




posted on Feb, 13 2019 @ 03:49 PM
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What happens when you build a plane nobody wants?

Ask airbus....



posted on Feb, 13 2019 @ 04:02 PM
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originally posted by: Bluntone22
What happens when you build a plane nobody wants?


Kept alive by subsidies. Good for Airbus. Bad for taxpayers in France and Germany.



posted on Feb, 13 2019 @ 04:16 PM
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a reply to: paraphi

Was this the jet that was built with a taxpayer "loan" that Airbus didn't have to start paying back until it turned a profit?



posted on Feb, 13 2019 @ 04:44 PM
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a reply to: FredT

When Qantas cancelled their remaining aircraft I figured it was over for the program.



posted on Feb, 13 2019 @ 07:30 PM
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paraphi and Bluntone22, careful pointing fingers over subsidies lest you forget all the hidden subsidies Boeing has received via the US taxpayer. Its like the car industry, everyone cry's that everyone else's industry is unfairly subsidized, when in reality they are all playing that game. Aviation is no different.



posted on Feb, 13 2019 @ 07:35 PM
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a reply to: Zaphod58
I'm actually surprised it took us this long to formally cancel them, they haven't been factored into future network planning for some time. Shame really, in about 10-15 years they are going to be needed at a number of increasingly slot constrained hubs we fly into.

My bet is that the price for cancelling was taking up A350-1000ULR's when its ready and provided it meets the spec request for Project Sunrise.777-8/9 or improved variants of will be the replacement for the 380 in about 10-12 years.



posted on Feb, 13 2019 @ 08:45 PM
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originally posted by: thebozeian
a reply to: Zaphod58
I'm actually surprised it took us this long to formally cancel them, they haven't been factored into future network planning for some time. Shame really, in about 10-15 years they are going to be needed at a number of increasingly slot constrained hubs we fly into.


Here is my take on that. You may very well be right. However, increasingly rather than build out airports in already crowded areas like De Gaulle in Paris etc. You may see a re routing of small craft into peripheral airports. Lets face it the foot prints of most major cities are spreading at a rapid rate. Take the smaller traffic out of the super hubs and you can help congestion.

Or you purpose build (easier said than done) a airport near a major center. The Denver airport DIA is a prime example. They built it our in the middle of BF nowhere but within reasonable distance of Denver (28 miles) . Sure enough with westward sprawl contained by the mountains its moving east and will be close to the airport soon enough. I would much rather flyinto an area close to a suburb of a major city I am visiting than be close to the city center. Everything tends to be cheaper and it not that hard to travel a bit to where you want to go. Im not alone in this.

Many people are willing to pay more for point to point than hub and spoke where all kinds of crap goes wrong when trying to make connecting flights.



posted on Feb, 13 2019 @ 11:38 PM
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Emirates has officially reduced its orderbook to 123, and will take 14 aircraft over the next two years. That places the official end of the A380 production line in 2021.

www.airbus.com...



posted on Feb, 14 2019 @ 01:07 AM
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I'm just waiting for the usual suspects to turn up and squeal about it being the fault of Brexit.



posted on Feb, 14 2019 @ 01:19 AM
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thats a shame, I really loved flying on an A380



posted on Feb, 14 2019 @ 01:54 AM
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One of the major issues with the A-380 was not so much the demographics of the airplane itself, but rather the infrastructure costs it pushed on airports to accommodate it. Sometimes people forget that the A-380 was an "NLA" (New Large Aircraft) and was not able to fit into many conventional aircraft gates due to wingtip clearances. And, while gates are an issue, the even larger problem at many facilities is taxiway clearances.

Even Denver, which is a massive airfield (one of the largest in the World), has clearance issues on taxiways and gates with the A-380. As it stands right now, the A-380 can only taxi between Concourse A and Concourse B, and can only park at selected gates which require an adjacent gate to be left open to dock.

LAX just built a new International Terminal to accommodate the A-380 at gates, but even they have to modify taxi routes on the airfield to allow for A-380 movement.

In some cases NLA movement at airfields can be a billion dollar problem, so it's not just the demographics of the aircraft itself which has been a challenge, but also the constraints it places on the airports it utilizes.



posted on Feb, 14 2019 @ 02:21 AM
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Its officially gone now.
*shrugs*
That was a plane built on ideas from the nineties, anyway. The employees will find new openings with Airbus, I am sure.



posted on Feb, 14 2019 @ 02:25 AM
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originally posted by: Bluntone22
What happens when you build a plane nobody wants?

Ask airbus....


The demand was there, but much lower than estimated. The original planning was based on the hub-and-spoke transport model. Especially the Emirates wanted to establish themselves as a major transport hub, are the primary buyer of the 380s. Instead point to point transport became more popular with the airlines.



posted on Feb, 14 2019 @ 02:29 AM
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originally posted by: thebozeian
paraphi and Bluntone22, careful pointing fingers over subsidies lest you forget all the hidden subsidies Boeing has received via the US taxpayer. Its like the car industry, everyone cry's that everyone else's industry is unfairly subsidized, when in reality they are all playing that game. Aviation is no different.


The OP is about an Airbus product and not Boeing. The fact is that A380 was a massive commercial risk and the taxpayers have lost out. Without subsidies A380 would not have been built because of the chance of failure.



posted on Feb, 14 2019 @ 03:51 AM
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originally posted by: moebius

originally posted by: Bluntone22
What happens when you build a plane nobody wants?

Ask airbus....


The demand was there, but much lower than estimated. The original planning was based on the hub-and-spoke transport model. Especially the Emirates wanted to establish themselves as a major transport hub, are the primary buyer of the 380s. Instead point to point transport became more popular with the airlines.


I love the A380 and fly Emirates, from Australia to Abu Dhabi (the 14 hour leg to Europe) it is always full and seemed to be the hub and spoke choice, when Europe is a spoke from the UAE. Having had the opportunity to fly business class to LA a couple of times its also opulent!

I dont think its dead yet, if they can get a more efficient engine on it the size of this craft and its aerodynamics will make it able to circle the world daily with only national hubs.

Right now smaller jets are more economic but I wouldn't write off the A380 yet, travel is only increasing.



posted on Feb, 14 2019 @ 05:25 AM
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a reply to: paraphi
No the OP was about whether the A380's time in production is up.

You brought subsidies into it, not me. I merely pointed out that subsidies were universal and in case you cant read between the lines I was saying subsidies have nothing to do with it, therefore arguing about it or bringing it up only starts a tit for tat debate . Loss making subsidies happen every single day in Europe where failure is self evident, so what? Same thing in the US where several programs would not have been built without subsidies either, or certainly not on home soil. Every single major new aviation venture has come with an element of risk as well as someone bankrolling it, do you not know the history of the 747 and how much of a massive financial risk it was and how it almost broke the bank at Boeing? Being risk averse means not taking chances. The model that Airbus based the A380 business case was sound but the market changed, much in the same way that Concorde was a success at the same time as its contemporary the 747, and yet it was also a failure despite all the early orders and upbeat projections.

No one will notice any monies lost in Airbus's A380 program its long been written off. Certainly not when the EU have much larger money pits like Greece, Spain, Portugal and Ireland devouring cash over the last 10 years.



posted on Feb, 14 2019 @ 06:01 AM
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a reply to: Forensick

Travel is increasing, but with the Max and other long range narrowbodies, there's less hub and spoke and more point to point. Even if they put a new engine on it, production is dead, and several customers are talking about early retirement of their aircraft.



posted on Feb, 14 2019 @ 09:53 AM
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a reply to: Zaphod58

I'm sure there WILL be a time when the A380 model is viable, but the aircraft was probably 20 years too early for it, and unlike the 737, it's just too big and specialized for there even to be the slow trickle of sales that kept the 737 alive between the -100 and the mid/late 80s.



posted on Feb, 14 2019 @ 10:34 AM
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a reply to: Barnalby

The Superjumbo would have been a better fit 10-15 years ago. There's too much competition now and too many other options available.




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