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A380 Production Sadness

Flying Fox

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https://www.ausbt.com.au/airbus-slashes-a380-superjumbo-production

The worst bits are -

The A380 build rate will be reduced to eight jets a year in 2019, down from 15 this year and 28 in 2016, Airbus said Wednesday.

The A380 was already due to see production cut to one aircraft a month from next May, and the reductions mean that it is no longer breaking even on a per-plane basis. The company has long since given up on recouping the program’s €25 billion in development costs.


Even if you don't like the aircraft, this isn't good news for anyone.
 

samh004

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Even if you don't like the aircraft, this isn't good news for anyone.
It has so many problems, it isn't surprising they can't get new orders.

It's probably good news for the rest of their products and of Boeing's, just based on the list price for one A380, as now that money can go to two or three other planes...
 

harvyk

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Why?

More jets of other types (mids to smalls) are being built instead. I see it as a plus at is means more routes are being flown on.
Because loads of small planes = crowded sky's for the same number of pax. Whilst heavies do require more space around them than the lights, there is also an economies of scale thing that happens with the heavies. Having 1 plane which carries nearly 500 people is far more efficient in terms of airspace and slots than 5 planes of 100 people.

Of course given pax want services leaving every 30 minutes, rather than having the morning service and the afternoon service means that we're unlikely going to see a turn around in this, and whilst they are getting better technology which allows planes to fly closer together there is still an ultimate limit with how close planes can get. Whilst perhaps not such a concern for our part of the world, some of the really congested sky's in parts of Europe and the USA a whole lot of small planes rather than a few larger planes is already causing real problems.
 

juddles

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The lack of enthusiasm for A380-class aircraft is IMHO a short-sighted problem. Give it ten years and the fundamental problems of "slots" will truly come to bite.
 

dajop

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Because loads of small planes = crowded sky's for the same number of pax. Whilst heavies do require more space around them than the lights, there is also an economies of scale thing that happens with the heavies. Having 1 plane which carries nearly 500 people is far more efficient in terms of airspace and slots than 5 planes of 100 people.
The trend is no definitely away from bigger planes, in fact there seems to more and more narrow bodies flying longer and longer (long time presence of 757 not withstanding), for example TATL routes, eg A321 flying CDG-EWR, which about the same distance as SIN-MEL. As an economy passenger, perish the thought!
 

travelislife

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The lack of enthusiasm for A380-class aircraft is IMHO a short-sighted problem. Give it ten years and the fundamental problems of "slots" will truly come to bite.
100% agree. Airbus just need to hold on for that period of time. Population is ever increasing. Number of people is ever increasing. You can only land so many planes per minute at an airport. So you can't increase frequencies of small jets endlessly to cater for increased patronage. Something has to give.
 

jb747

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It has so many problems, it isn't surprising they can't get new orders.
It doesn't really. There are very few issues with the fleet as a whole these days.

But, it was designed for a model that hasn't proven to be the way the world wanted to work. It is the ultimate hub and spoke aircraft, but the world has decided that it wants direct flights (using small(er) aircraft).

I'd still much prefer four engines to two, but they don't please the accountants.
 

jb747

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100% agree. Airbus just need to hold on for that period of time. Population is ever increasing. Number of people is ever increasing. You can only land so many planes per minute at an airport. So you can't increase frequencies of small jets endlessly to cater for increased patronage. Something has to give.
It's not quite as simple as you might think. The advent of the 380 REDUCED the passenger capacity of Heathrow. The reason is that the wake turbulence separation is so great that the overall effect was a slower flow.

In Dubai where it can be almost all 380s, they are closer...but even they don't like wake encounters near the ground.
 

harvyk

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It's not quite as simple as you might think. The advent of the 380 REDUCED the passenger capacity of Heathrow. The reason is that the wake turbulence separation is so great that the overall effect was a slower flow.

In Dubai where it can be almost all 380s, they are closer...but even they don't like wake encounters near the ground.
Would that reduction at LHR have been offset enough had A380's been as tightly packed as airbus originally designed them for?

I remember 15 years ago when the A380 was still been designed, it was been talked about in terms of been ultra high capacity, ie around the 800 pax mark, and yet when the airlines brought them into service I believe they have brought them holding a similar number of pax as some of their 747's, albeit at much higher levels of comfort (for those up top / in the pointy end). For example when QF brought in their A380's, they held the same number of pax as their 747-300's.
 

Melburnian1

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It doesn't really. There are very few issues with the fleet as a whole these days...
That may well be so as a percentage of rotations, but if it was suggested to passengers travelling on QF2D within the last week (which eventually had to be substituted by an EK A380 for the DXB - SYD sector, and yes, one of the multiplicity of issues - a passenger allegedly collapsing upon departure from DXB - that contributed to but was apparently not the only cause of the crew running out of hours, according to AFFer Flyerqf's post in the QF delays/ cancellations thread), one doubts the 'few issues' view would be believed.
 

jb747

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And I expect those on QF30 who were only occasional flyers are now convinced that 747s always blow up....
 

jb747

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Would that reduction at LHR have been offset enough had A380's been as tightly packed as airbus originally designed them for?
The real cure would have been to get rid of the small jets...but that's not going to work.

I remember 15 years ago when the A380 was still been designed, it was been talked about in terms of been ultra high capacity, ie around the 800 pax mark, and yet when the airlines brought them into service I believe they have brought them holding a similar number of pax as some of their 747's, albeit at much higher levels of comfort (for those up top / in the pointy end). For example when QF brought in their A380's, they held the same number of pax as their 747-300's.
Airbus (and Boeing) generally talk a lot of rubbish when trying to sell new types. No different to car marketing really. Yes, you could fit them for 800 people. It would be quite horrible...but it wouldn't be a very long flight as you've just offloaded about 40 tonnes of fuel, as well as increasing the fuel burn dramatically. So, say 60 tonnes less available fuel range...which would make Oz - UK 2 stop.
 

moa999

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The real cure would have been to get rid of the small jets...but that's not going to work..
Presumably if you have enough heavies at an airport you'd run a heavy runway and a light runway

Or ATC at LHR will try and schedule in waves
Eg
380, 380, 747, 777, 777, 787, 787, 320, 737, 320, 380, ....
 

Daver6

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It's not quite as simple as you might think. The advent of the 380 REDUCED the passenger capacity of Heathrow. The reason is that the wake turbulence separation is so great that the overall effect was a slower flow.

In Dubai where it can be almost all 380s, they are closer...but even they don't like wake encounters near the ground.
Would the new winglets they're proposing for greater efficiency reduce wake turbulence and hence reduce separation requirements?
 

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