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keesje
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Airbus A380 MidLife Upgrade, 2021?

Thu Feb 16, 2017 1:52 pm

The time for Airbus to present an A380 continuation plan seems to come closer.

The A380 first flew in 2005 and it would take several years to implement enhancements. Meanwhile the backlog has been shrinking. No more then 4-5 years / 100 aircraft left. An A380NEO initiative by EK was postponed last year.

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orders, deliveries

By 2021 significantly better engines should be available form RR and/or GE. A stretch of 6 rows and 11 abreast maindeck could add 100 seats plus required lavatories and galleyspace.

Weight reduction could be realized based on 15 years of flight data and MRO history and aerodynamics enhancement could be implemented. Reducing CASM would probably around 15-20% for 600-650 seat 4 class cabins.

Traffic is increasingly concentrated around 80 20Million+ pass /yr hubs. Mainly EMEA-Asia (EK does 40 destinations) but also flights to/from NorthAmerica are significant:

Image
A380 Flights from North America.

Airtraffic keeps growing at ~4-5% per year, oil prices will rise and congestions around airports grows. This will lead to demand for larger aircraft as visible from 777X and 787-10 launches and MoM / A350-2000/ 737-10 / A322 / 777-10 ideas.

Customers could be replacement/ additions for the current 15 opertors or new hub oriented airlines
like e,g, Turkish, Delta, China Airlines, Garuda, IranAir or Hawaiian ;)

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aviationaware
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Re: Airbus A380 MidLife Upgrade, 2021?

Thu Feb 16, 2017 2:05 pm

Oil prices won't rise significantly over the next decade. Market mechanics will prevent that due to alternative oil sources becoming profitable as prices rise, resulting in prices going back down by excess supply.

Meanwhile, your calculation has a wrong assumption of 20-25 a/c per year. Real production is around 12 per year. The more significant problem is that around 40% of the current backlog is dead because the customers in question have either already said they won't be taking them or have zero chance of doing so (AMEDEO).

Also, the question of the secondary market remains unsolved. Lessors are pricing A380s in a way that assumes no secondary market at all to mitigate risk, resulting in bad economics for the lessee. A sizeable secondary market is very unlikely to develop. In that scenario, an MLU is off the table and the program is dead.

Your potential new customer list is no different from those floated regularly for years now, and nothing has materialized and nothing will materialize. The A380 does not fit their business model. Likewise, the "traffic concentrating around hubs" is an argument that had been fielded even when the original A380 was conceived. It just doesn't work. As traffic flows grow, more direct routings become viable and take traffic off the traditional hub to hub routes. As the Shenzhen market grows for example, more direct flights will terminate in Shenzhen directly and the passengers on those will not fly via Shanghai or Beijing to connect.
 
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ikolkyo
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Re: Airbus A380 MidLife Upgrade, 2021?

Thu Feb 16, 2017 2:08 pm

I think the A380 is done, the 779 will be eating a lot of its cake in these next free years. Comes up short a little bit in passenger capacity but has a much larger cargo hold. Plus the 779 will use 2 less engines. The future IMO will be large twin engine aircraft.
 
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Re: Airbus A380 MidLife Upgrade, 2021?

Thu Feb 16, 2017 2:13 pm

A stretch and re-engine are required to keep the A380 in production. However, engines have huge lead times. Since the A380NEO was differed, 2023 is the earliest EIS with a new engine. Without a new engine the sales will not happen.

I really like the A380, but I believe it is already too late to save the program. Not doing EK's NEO was a mistake. Oh well... Airframes have 15 year sales lives without major upgrades and the A380 is proving the rule of thumb.

With new runways at PVG, new Beijing, DWC, new IST, new Sydney, and the Indian aviation growth, we'll be OK. I'd prefer the A380 stay in production as well as the 747, but at some point the industry moves on.

Note:. Guardia needs an A380 runway at there hub (MTOW limit) before being considered.

The 779 beats A380 CASM as does the A350-10. This means a halt to sales without the NEO and it is just too late to keep production going.

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Re: Airbus A380 MidLife Upgrade, 2021?

Thu Feb 16, 2017 2:20 pm

The A380 market has topped out. More and more point to point services are on offer each year and there are only a select few airlines with the route structure to support the beast.

The A380 is done. As sure as the 747 has seen better days.
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Re: Airbus A380 MidLife Upgrade, 2021?

Thu Feb 16, 2017 2:59 pm

keesje wrote:
The time for Airbus to present an A380 continuation plan seems to come closer.

Hmm, I think that's your personal assessment.

But there are official statements out there, made by nonetheless than Airbus' CEO in November 2015:

Airbus believes introducing a sales-boosting upgrade to its A380 aircraft in 2022 may be too early, Chief Executive Fabrice Bregier said at an industry gathering in New York on Thursday.

The planemaking unit of Airbus Group SE is looking at whether to upgrade the A380, the world's largest passenger jet, as requested by its largest customer Emirates [EMIRA.UL].

While buy-in from Emirates is crucial, Airbus still must justify to other airlines that the jumbojet has a market, Bregier said before the aviation group known as the Wings Club.

"People love the A380 as passengers. But airlines don't," he said.

Airbus had been expected to introduce the A380 upgrade in 2022 or 2023.

Source: http://www.businessinsider.com/r-airbus ... 15-11?IR=T

Corresponding discussion here on a.net: viewtopic.php?t=598331
 
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Re: Airbus A380 MidLife Upgrade, 2021?

Thu Feb 16, 2017 3:21 pm

keesje wrote:
By 2021 significantly better engines should be available form RR and/or GE.

Should? RR walked away from a NEO effort last year and now the reason is obvious: they are in the red financially. T1000-TEN, TXWB and T7000 are all huge money sinks right now. They're having to do big layoffs just as they could use staff to get these programs up and running smoothly. Seems dubious at best that they would decide to put a huge wad of money into a struggling program like the A380 in time to save the program.

We already know the answer for GE. They've already said they see no business case for the A380neo, and all their money is now in the GE9X for the 77X. Why would they support the A380neo when the 77X will benefit the most from the A380's demise?

keesje wrote:
A stretch of 6 rows and 11 abreast maindeck could add 100 seats plus required lavatories and galleyspace.

Thing is, no one is asking for an even bigger A380, certainly not in large enough quantities to justify the A380neo.

The market reality is most of the operators have filled or trimmed their orders, and even EK is deferring orders. The market is softening, and the first thing that gets parked is the largest airframes, especially if smaller airframes have equal or better CASM. The A380neo could have very good CASM, but with large trip costs so you have to fill lots of seats at a good yield to recover the trip costs. People bombers like 78J and A359 are where the market is moving to.

lightsaber wrote:
However, engines have huge lead times. Since the A380NEO was differed, 2023 is the earliest EIS with a new engine. Without a new engine the sales will not happen.

I really like the A380, but I believe it is already too late to save the program. Not doing EK's NEO was a mistake. Oh well... Airframes have 15 year sales lives without major upgrades and the A380 is proving the rule of thumb.

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keesje
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Re: Airbus A380 MidLife Upgrade, 2021?

Thu Feb 16, 2017 3:50 pm

On the engines, the A330NEO was launched July 2014 and the engines should have been bolted on late 2016. Because it builds on existing design. We are talking 80-90k lbs, the same engines as the big twins. No need for 7yrs if its a derivative.

Will EK just park 50 A380's ? BA will go after used ones for the first time in their history? Etihad & Qatar will stop right here? China will buy C919 only? A380 operators will just increase frequency's from daily to 10 flights a week? It seems every is repeating each other on the A380. Traffic growth, long term trends & airport congestion are simply ignored.

Yes, there an order draught. Until EK orders 50 and a few dozen elsewhere, then there's no order draught.

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Re: Airbus A380 MidLife Upgrade, 2021?

Thu Feb 16, 2017 3:53 pm

keesje wrote:
Meanwhile the backlog has been shrinking. No more then 4-5 years / 100 aircraft left.


The realistic backlog for the A380 as of year-end 2016 stood at 63 units. The remaining orders which are likely to be taken by their customers are 50 for EK, 5 for SQ, 3 for QR, 3 for ANA Group, and 2 for EY. That's it. Airbus plans 20 deliveries in 2017 which would leave the backlog at 43 at year-end. At 12 per year starting in 2018, the order book would be exhausted by mid-2021 without additional orders.

lightsaber wrote:
I really like the A380, but I believe it is already too late to save the program. Not doing EK's NEO was a mistake. Oh well... Airframes have 15 year sales lives without major upgrades and the A380 is proving the rule of thumb.


I'm not sure there was any prudent course which could have been pursued to save the program. Launching a costly project like the A380neo for a single customer poses an enormous risk for Airbus and I think the decision to not go forward has been validated in hindsight by the recent tumble in EK's profits. It would be worse for Airbus if they had committed billions to development of the A380neo and market conditions were to force EK to cancel or postpone its deliveries.

aviationaware wrote:
As traffic flows grow, more direct routings become viable and take traffic off the traditional hub to hub routes. As the Shenzhen market grows for example, more direct flights will terminate in Shenzhen directly and the passengers on those will not fly via Shanghai or Beijing to connect.


And this also improves efficiency in an environment of higher oil prices given that there's an impact from indirect routing through hubs as well as an additional take-off and landing for each connecting passenger.

keesje wrote:
Customers could be replacement/ additions for the current 15 opertors or new hub oriented airlines
like e,g, Turkish, Delta, China Airlines, Garuda, IranAir or Hawaiian


Delta will not order the A380, period. Turkish won't be able to support the A380 unless and until the political/terrorism situation in Turkey improves. CI & GA are unlikely to need the A380 in no small part due to the impact of the ME3 A380s on travel between Europe & Asia. HA has been ordering the smallest members of Airbus's widebody families (A332, A358, A338) even though they really don't need these aircraft for the range offered for most routes; clearly the A380 would be an unacceptable capacity risk for HA, particularly given that an A380 configured comparably to HA's A332s would likely have upwards of 700 seats. And at this point, I think the idea of the A380 for IR has been debunked.
 
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Re: Airbus A380 MidLife Upgrade, 2021?

Thu Feb 16, 2017 3:56 pm

Not only does the airframe have almost no future, some current operators (QF) are wishing they'd never ordered it.

But the real death knell comes in the form of a giant widebody twin with 747-400 size on two engines. That airplane is called the 777-9 and it's the A380 killer. Buh-bye!
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Re: Airbus A380 MidLife Upgrade, 2021?

Thu Feb 16, 2017 3:57 pm

keesje wrote:
On the engines, the A330NEO was launched July 2014 and the engines should have been bolted on late 2016. Because it builds on existing design. We are talking 80-90k lbs, the same engines as the big twins. No need for 7yrs if its a derivative.

Are those existing engines good enough? Remember the A380 does not have 30 year old engines hanging off of its wings. It has the latest and greatest technology from right before the 787/A350 engines. Airbus needs to justify a premium over the current A380, which is already not selling (aka too expensive to be worth it).
 
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Re: Airbus A380 MidLife Upgrade, 2021?

Thu Feb 16, 2017 4:01 pm

What new engine?RR have never said (to my knowledge that the 'advance/ultra concepts were for an engine of the size required for the 380 (stretch or no stretch).They happen to be testing the cold parts on a T1000 and the hot parts on a TXWB engine.Why? Because they can - they already exist.
The generally held view (I believe) was that this work is being done in preparation for a possible MOM or eventual 737 replacement.There is no requirement for a third engine of this thrust class in their range and they certainly aren't going to build a brand new engine just for a failing 380.
I said somewhere else that perhaps the T7000 (even with the carbon fan and casings perhaps) could be adapted.However others have doubted that the thrust would be sufficient.
In 2 years time the only orders will be for EK so even if this 'simple NEO' was possible it would require a huge order (80?) from them to make it worthwhile to proceed with such a project.
 
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Re: Airbus A380 MidLife Upgrade, 2021?

Thu Feb 16, 2017 4:39 pm

ikolkyo wrote:
I think the A380 is done, the 779 will be eating a lot of its cake in these next free years. Comes up short a little bit in passenger capacity but has a much larger cargo hold. Plus the 779 will use 2 less engines. The future IMO will be large twin engine aircraft.


But the A380 has less capacity than 2 779's or a 779 and a 789. If a route needs more frequency but doesn't have the volume for 2 A380's, the 779 is a good option. Also, the A380 has limited cargo capacity due to the need to have space for passengers' luggage from 2 full decks. Some airlines are flying an A380 plus a 77W for frequency and cargo.
 
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Re: Airbus A380 MidLife Upgrade, 2021?

Thu Feb 16, 2017 4:49 pm

Why should Airbus develop an A380NEO that would cost billions, for a plane that can be wiped out by a simple stretch of the 777-9 (into the 777-10). There is one airline on earth that would like a stretched A380-EK. And EKś boom is halting-they look like they are going to pivot to the A350 or 787. And by 2023, who knows where the price of oil will be? Sure, you have a CASM king, but you need to fill the seats. There are maybe 10-15 routes on earth where you can get 600 pax consistently on each plane. 10-15 orders does not justify a 10 billion dollar investment, when Airbus has amazing planes like the A321 which they can develop into a MOM aircraft. Airbus shouldn´t throw more money into a sinking ship. I love the A380 for it´s engineering accomplishments but its useless for most airlines. Then you have the aforementioned engine issues with RR losing money and GE committed to the 777x. Airbus cannot do this or they will lose more money. EK isn´t going to throw A380NEOs ontop of the existing orders of 40 A380CEOs , 150 777x, and X amount of A350/787 (possibly) or A320/737.



Point to Point>Hub and Spoke, and airlines get that, which is why the 787 is popular. Unless Airbus somehow shaves off two engines and has a 2 engined A380 (which needs a new wing, ultra-powerful engines etc) and does it without a massive amount of money (also impossible-in short this is not possible) the 777-9x will be the largest aircraft in production come 2025. Quad engined VLAs are done.
 
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Re: Airbus A380 MidLife Upgrade, 2021?

Thu Feb 16, 2017 4:59 pm

DocLightning wrote:
Not only does the airframe have almost no future, some current operators (QF) are wishing they'd never ordered it.

But the real death knell comes in the form of a giant widebody twin with 747-400 size on two engines. That airplane is called the 777-9 and it's the A380 killer. Buh-bye!


And there are also rumors of a 777-10 that would be the capacity of a 747-8 might also be built. That would have even better CASM and put more pressure on the A380.
 
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Re: Airbus A380 MidLife Upgrade, 2021?

Thu Feb 16, 2017 5:07 pm

keesje wrote:
On the engines, the A330NEO was launched July 2014 and the engines should have been bolted on late 2016. Because it builds on existing design. We are talking 80-90k lbs, the same engines as the big twins. No need for 7yrs if its a derivative.

http://aviationweek.com/singapore-2014/ ... nvolvement tells us:

(Airbus executive vice president of programs Tom) Williams does not see a common new engine for the A330 and A380 as the optimal solution. Concerns include the sizing of the core and overall architecture, as well as weight. “It really does not make much sense,” he believes.

No offense, but I think TW is much more in the loop than any of us are. We should not count on seeing a T7000 hanging off a A380neo.

keesje wrote:
Will EK just park 50 A380's ?

That's a good question. EK is just now passing 92 A380s and is slowing its intake and talking more actively about twin widebodies and even narrowbodies. It should be clear with retirements that EK isn't going to end up with 143 A380s. I could see them aiming for a long term A380 fleet in the range of 143 - 50 A380s or less by letting older A380s go without replacement and extending current A380s longer than planned and back-filling with 779 and keeping 77W longer than planned.

The bottom line is that the A380 program will end sooner than EK and perhaps a few others would like and they will have to transition to a different airframe once the existing A380s age out. The end date is beyond their control. They will have to cope.
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Re: Airbus A380 MidLife Upgrade, 2021?

Thu Feb 16, 2017 5:10 pm

Not again, please.

The market outlook for new airliners does not look too good at the moment, RR is not posting good results and is unable to risk a new engine for a project with limited chances of success. EK is facing over capacity problems and falling yields. They talk about 737s and A320 not more and even larger A380s.

Airbus could look at much more promising projects like an A322 or an additional stretch of the A350-1000, both over much much much more potential.
 
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Re: Airbus A380 MidLife Upgrade, 2021?

Thu Feb 16, 2017 5:17 pm

seahawk wrote:
Not again, please.

The market outlook for new airliners does not look too good at the moment, RR is not posting good results and is unable to risk a new engine for a project with limited chances of success. EK is facing over capacity problems and falling yields. They talk about 737s and A320 not more and even larger A380s.

Airbus could look at much more promising projects like an A322 or an additional stretch of the A350-1000, both over much much much more potential.


An 350-1000 or -1000X would be another coffin nail for the A380. It would be a competitor to the 779 or 7710.
 
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Re: Airbus A380 MidLife Upgrade, 2021?

Thu Feb 16, 2017 6:09 pm

keesje wrote:
By 2021 significantly better engines should be available form RR and/or GE. A stretch of 6 rows and 11 abreast maindeck


Couldn't agree more! These points are IMO the main points to keep the A380 afloat- use the latest engines, e.g. RR Advance, to be at least on par with the 777X's GE90X engines in terms of SFC, the stretch to better use the airframe's potential, and the 11-abreast seting to better use the floor space. Don't forget that the A380 is a kind of shrink since she is at the short end of the possible fuselage lengths - a mild stretch would increase the trip costs only very moderately. A fast done A380 neo w/o stretch and Trent 7000 engines would have been the wrong way IMO, the engines would have been inferieor to the GE90X, the potential of the stretch would have remained on the shelf and the airframe would have been to be adapted to the heavier engine.
 
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Re: Airbus A380 MidLife Upgrade, 2021?

Thu Feb 16, 2017 6:18 pm

People here are talking about Emirates are slowing its intake of A380. One can call it 6 frames deferred by two years or 12 frames by one year. But I think there is a misunderstanding about from what delivery speed Emirates is cutting down.
If somebody is thinking about the information that followed the 50 frames order and the time frames talked about than, that was old news. The deliveries had been accelerated since than. Emirates has already taken about 15 to 20 frames more at this point in time, than originally planned. We will see about 12 frames delivered this year, down from a little less than 20. 2018 should stay the same, about 17, and the number for 2019 should increase by 6. It is still very likely that we will see all 142 frames delivered before year end of 2020.

It is very nice to wax about how the 777-9 will replace all A380. The smaller more efficient frame replacing the bigger frame. Why does everybody stop there, why does anybody needs the 777-9? Should not the smaller more efficient frames, the A350 and 787 be bought instead of the 777-9? And there the arguments comes to that size matters. And size matters regarding operating a 777-9 or an A380. You need 3 slots for every 2 slots. 3 crews for every 2 crews. 3 gates for every 2 gates, 3 parking stands for every 2 parking stands and so on.
It can well be that no A380 will ever be sold again, but I bet against it.
 
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Re: Airbus A380 MidLife Upgrade, 2021?

Thu Feb 16, 2017 6:30 pm

DocLightning wrote:
Not only does the airframe have almost no future, some current operators (QF) are wishing they'd never ordered it.


That's a lie or alternative fact as they say in Amerika.

“We believe there’s a network for 12 that’s very good and works very well,” Joyce said
 
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Re: Airbus A380 MidLife Upgrade, 2021?

Thu Feb 16, 2017 6:51 pm

mjoelnir wrote:
People here are talking about Emirates are slowing its intake of A380. One can call it 6 frames deferred by two years or 12 frames by one year. But I think there is a misunderstanding about from what delivery speed Emirates is cutting down.
If somebody is thinking about the information that followed the 50 frames order and the time frames talked about than, that was old news. The deliveries had been accelerated since than. Emirates has already taken about 15 to 20 frames more at this point in time, than originally planned. We will see about 12 frames delivered this year, down from a little less than 20. 2018 should stay the same, about 17, and the number for 2019 should increase by 6. It is still very likely that we will see all 142 frames delivered before year end of 2020.

You are pointing out the problem: production backlog runs out by end of 2020, reply 6 above says Airbus admits 2022 is probably too early for startup of A380neo. Things just are not lining up.

mjoelnir wrote:
It is very nice to wax about how the 777-9 will replace all A380. The smaller more efficient frame replacing the bigger frame. Why does everybody stop there, why does anybody needs the 777-9? Should not the smaller more efficient frames, the A350 and 787 be bought instead of the 777-9? And there the arguments comes to that size matters. And size matters regarding operating a 777-9 or an A380. You need 3 slots for every 2 slots. 3 crews for every 2 crews. 3 gates for every 2 gates, 3 parking stands for every 2 parking stands and so on.
It can well be that no A380 will ever be sold again, but I bet against it.

My waxing was a lot more measured than you suggest. Clearly EK would love to settle in with a large A380 fleet, my guess is somewhere between 90 and 110 frames. Also a few other carriers would like to keep relatively modest fleets probably 8-12 frames or so each. So in round terms we could see something like a market for 150 A380neo frames over 15 years. That means trying to fund an A380neo with a rate of 10 per year or so. It doesn't seem to be worth it for either Airbus or RR, otherwise we'd already have an announcement two years ago or more.
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Re: Airbus A380 MidLife Upgrade, 2021?

Thu Feb 16, 2017 6:59 pm

mjoelnir wrote:
People here are talking about Emirates are slowing its intake of A380. One can call it 6 frames deferred by two years or 12 frames by one year. But I think there is a misunderstanding about from what delivery speed Emirates is cutting down.
If somebody is thinking about the information that followed the 50 frames order and the time frames talked about than, that was old news. The deliveries had been accelerated since than. Emirates has already taken about 15 to 20 frames more at this point in time, than originally planned. We will see about 12 frames delivered this year, down from a little less than 20. 2018 should stay the same, about 17, and the number for 2019 should increase by 6. It is still very likely that we will see all 142 frames delivered before year end of 2020.

I thought from a previous thread that Emirates weren't going to take the last 25 until after 2020 (or was it 2021?). Which poses a problem when taking the following into account - either there's a gap in production, or some of that final 25 will need to be put into storage until Emirates is ready to take them.

ScottB wrote:
keesje wrote:
Meanwhile the backlog has been shrinking. No more then 4-5 years / 100 aircraft left.


The realistic backlog for the A380 as of year-end 2016 stood at 63 units. The remaining orders which are likely to be taken by their customers are 50 for EK, 5 for SQ, 3 for QR, 3 for ANA Group, and 2 for EY. That's it. Airbus plans 20 deliveries in 2017 which would leave the backlog at 43 at year-end. At 12 per year starting in 2018, the order book would be exhausted by mid-2021 without additional orders.


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parapente
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Re: Airbus A380 MidLife Upgrade, 2021?

Thu Feb 16, 2017 7:29 pm

Another way of looking at this is what would happen if (as most people seem to think)Airbus says 'no' to NEO.Would Emirates have to roll over and order another 80-100 CEO's?I personally have no idea.But their whole business model at present is based around this aircraft.

One thing IMHO would be certain is that Airbus could kiss any mid sized order goodbye it would go to Boeing.(plus an order for 777-10's?)

And that's the rub.This gonna get more complicated than 'will they won't they'.If EK dangle both an 80-100 380neo order AND an order for (say) 50-60 330 neos's.Who would then bet on Airbus saying no?
Note with the recent move announced of the local airline moving to DWC the slots for these additional aircraft would be available.
 
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keesje
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Re: Airbus A380 MidLife Upgrade, 2021?

Thu Feb 16, 2017 7:30 pm

I agree that a Boeing 777-10 could be a great replacement, approaching "A380NEO" seat capacity,
maindeck.

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Re: Airbus A380 MidLife Upgrade, 2021?

Thu Feb 16, 2017 8:33 pm

The age of the four engine aircraft is pretty much a thing of the past for passenger aircraft.. Aircraft like the 777 are almost as large as the 747, except for the 747-8I and have power plants that stay on the wing for up to 30,000 hour, except for the hot section, The reliability of jet engines, power plants has gone up almost five fold from about the 6,000 hour max that was the norm when I started working for Northwest Airlines in 1968. In fact the Pratt & Whitney JT9D-3 engines that originally were installed on the 747-100 were terrible. If the 747 did not have a flat belly, which is considered part of the lifting surface, the aircraft may not have gotten of the ground. The 777 will do almost anything that a four engine aircraft will do for a whole lot less money. The future of the four engine aircraft is basically with the military and cargo operators that need an aircraft with a nose door. The only other exception is Air Force One used by the President of the United States that can't fly in a twin engine aircraft due to the possibility of an engine failure, even though slim, that would require a diversion with the president onboard, which could place him in harms way, and also allow undesirables to inspect the top secret aircraft.
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Re: Airbus A380 MidLife Upgrade, 2021?

Thu Feb 16, 2017 9:01 pm

I don't think the A380 woes are its 4 engines, I believe it to be its wing. The wing was sized for growth but in my opinion and with 20/20 hindsight it seems that the growth of airliners seems to come over time through better engines allowing less fuel to allow for the airframe growth. Another problem with the wing is because its already too big and constrained to a lower than optimal AR a "simple" rewing (like the 77X) is not possible without huge changes to the fuselage.

In essence the problem with the A380 isn't that it has too large of a capacity or it has 4 engines it is that the constraints it encountered (80m span) meant that even though it had the lowest casm in the sky, it wasn't low enough to justify the risk in capital.

NEO doesn't change the issues for me, if the 80m constraint stays then Airbus have to make a much changed fuselage to make it work. I'd call it a new plane and isn't an A380 anymore.

I'm sad when I write this because I so want the whale to be a success but feel the 400+ segment is to be looked at it needs to be with something different.

Fred
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Planesmart
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Re: Airbus A380 MidLife Upgrade, 2021?

Thu Feb 16, 2017 9:03 pm

The A380 is fantastic for passengers, but passengers no longer figure in the decision making of airlines or manufacturers.

The A380 future now hangs on six threads.

The first is 777X discounting. If only Boeing hadn't gifted every current customer with launch price discounts, perhaps we would have seen some A380 top up orders from existing operators. Those discounts will never be repeated.

Second, the 777X list price (the starting price for discounts) has been raised, allowing Airbus to tweak A380 margins.

Third. The 777X has to deliver, on service entry and performance.

Fourth. The new Boeing financial focus, means model hopping and order deferrals at no penalty, have gone. Given some 777X customers are already negotiating order deferrals, with Boeing keen to claw back launch discounts, could the A380 benefit on the re-bound?

Fifth. Are there any contingent liabilities on the A380 project, which will encourage Airbus to keep it in production, like buybacks for EK?

Sixth. What will be the outcome of negotiations with A380 customers still with firm orders? How generous was Airbus when the project was delayed versus them now following Boeing's firm stance with delivery deferrals and model hopping penalties? Was the SQ agreement to take their remaining five A380's a result of this approach, and the subsequent 777X family order payback by SQ?
 
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RL777
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Re: Airbus A380 MidLife Upgrade, 2021?

Thu Feb 16, 2017 9:12 pm

The A380s fate will be determined over the next 5-7 years, If the 777X can deliver on its performance specs and the A350-1000 delivers on its then it will out the A380 in a very difficult spot to garner new orders. I just don't see Airbus committing the capital on an A380NEO project when another A350 variant whether it be a larger A350-2000 or an enhanced -1000, would likely be a much better fit for the demand of the marketplace.
 
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Re: Airbus A380 MidLife Upgrade, 2021?

Thu Feb 16, 2017 9:33 pm

Airbus is in a quandry.

They have a no/low cost growth/feature path for the A330NEO which will steal sales from the A350.

They have a more costly A350 growth/feature path for the A350 which will finish off the A380.

If the A330NEO growth/feature path is adopted, but not for the A350, the A350 family will likely never achieve critical mass (financially), and may create 777X sales (fleets of A330NEO and 777X).

A330NEO margins are projected significantly higher than A350 margins. Developing other versions of the A350 may even erode margins (fragmentation and development costs).

If Airbus launch A350 growth versions, it confirms they see the 777X market as more than a niche, and are prepared to terminate the A380.

The problem with the 777X market, is it's virtually all been sold at a loss. And probably, it's fully subscribed until approaching 2030, depending on the fate of in-service A380's.

If Boeing had sold those 777X at sensible prices, the market would be worth fighting over.

Now it's just the scraps for the A380 and A350 (bigger), unless Boeing upsets some 777X customers, refusing to defer orders at no charge, or it's late, and/or down on performance.
 
Vladex
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Re: Airbus A380 MidLife Upgrade, 2021?

Thu Feb 16, 2017 9:49 pm

I thought that EK changed to RR engines as an investment into the Ultrafan which should be the only engine choice for a future NEO version. On the one hand , RR becomes the sole engine maker but only by 2025. Ultrafan seems to be made for A380
http://aviationweek.com/technology/roll ... -test-gear

The UltraFan is aimed at future airliners for the 2025 time period and beyond, and will be the first Rolls-Royce large commercial turbofan to incorporate a fan driven by a power gearbox. The U.K.-based engine maker revealed plans in 2014 to adopt a geared turbofan design as part of a two-step evolution of its current three-shaft turbofan architecture to meet future demands for higher propulsive and thermal efficiency.

Similar in baseline concept to the architecture of the PW1000G geared turbofan family in development by Pratt & Whitney for the lower- and mid-thrust market, the UltraFan will be aimed at medium- and higher-thrust applications up to the 100,000-lb. power range. The core of the engine will be based on the same high- and intermediate-pressure spools to be developed for the preceding three-shaft Advance family. Rolls believes that combining elements of an advanced three-shaft core with a fan drive gear system will provide the best means of achieving efficient designs with a very large 15:1 bypass ratio and overall pressure ratio of 70:1.


Ultrafan is almost going to double the bypass ratio and pressure ratio which will result in significantly better efficiency,.
 
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jaybird
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Re: Airbus A380 MidLife Upgrade, 2021?

Thu Feb 16, 2017 10:03 pm

I believe the only way a US carrier will take an A380 is if Airbus gives it to them for free. Not likely to happen any time soon .. :-)
 
Vladex
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Re: Airbus A380 MidLife Upgrade, 2021?

Thu Feb 16, 2017 10:20 pm

jaybird wrote:
I believe the only way a US carrier will take an A380 is if Airbus gives it to them for free. Not likely to happen any time soon .. :-)


And US carriers are an ever diminishing factor outside of the US so it's not a loss.
 
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Revelation
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Re: Airbus A380 MidLife Upgrade, 2021?

Thu Feb 16, 2017 11:06 pm

Vladex wrote:
I thought that EK changed to RR engines as an investment into the Ultrafan which should be the only engine choice for a future NEO version. On the one hand , RR becomes the sole engine maker but only by 2025. Ultrafan seems to be made for A380
http://aviationweek.com/technology/roll ... -test-gear

The UltraFan is aimed at future airliners for the 2025 time period and beyond, and will be the first Rolls-Royce large commercial turbofan to incorporate a fan driven by a power gearbox. The U.K.-based engine maker revealed plans in 2014 to adopt a geared turbofan design as part of a two-step evolution of its current three-shaft turbofan architecture to meet future demands for higher propulsive and thermal efficiency.

Similar in baseline concept to the architecture of the PW1000G geared turbofan family in development by Pratt & Whitney for the lower- and mid-thrust market, the UltraFan will be aimed at medium- and higher-thrust applications up to the 100,000-lb. power range. The core of the engine will be based on the same high- and intermediate-pressure spools to be developed for the preceding three-shaft Advance family. Rolls believes that combining elements of an advanced three-shaft core with a fan drive gear system will provide the best means of achieving efficient designs with a very large 15:1 bypass ratio and overall pressure ratio of 70:1.


Ultrafan is almost going to double the bypass ratio and pressure ratio which will result in significantly better efficiency,.

Your quote shows us that RR needs to have built Advance to get its core into UltraFan, so a lot of things have to happen for a 2025 era A380 to have an UltraFan.

As above, many of us see a problem with sustaining production past 2020-2021 so there's a big gap to fill before 2025. Advance's time frame fit better to that's what many presumed would happen.

There was a pretty concerted effort by EK to get Airbus and RR on board for the A380neo a few years ago and it did not come to fruition. I would think current circumstances (next to no new orders, AF and QF not taking all their frames, market softening, etc) would make it less rather than more likely that we'll see a NEO happen in time.
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Chemist
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Re: Airbus A380 MidLife Upgrade, 2021?

Fri Feb 17, 2017 12:17 am

I remember reading Aviation Week in the late '90s or early 00's about the proposed A380 versus 787.
Airbus had rosy projections for VLAs. Boeing's were smaller.
Airbus felt the market would grow and need larger aircraft. Boeing argued that there would be more point to point travel.
Even with the screwups of the 787 program, we can see which way that went.
It just doesn't seem that the A380 has a prayer. It's sad because it's a magnificent aircraft. But from a business point of view, it looks like a loser.
I think Airbus was too early with the A380, which IMHO was as much a vanity project ("bigger than the 747") as a practical business decision.
If (and that's a big if) the world economy and population keep growing, then in 20-40 years I can seen the need for an A380 or larger sized aircraft. But it's too early to have the volume of these planes to ever justify their development cost. IMHO.
 
texl1649
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Re: Airbus A380 MidLife Upgrade, 2021?

Fri Feb 17, 2017 12:39 am

The engine and wing are the real issues. Airbus has produced one composite wing that has worked, from a sales perspective, on one aircraft model, the A359. Boeing did outsource (foolishly, perhaps) on the earlier 787 models but the experience working through designing/producing carbon wings and folding wing tips, plus the substantial investment/planning for the CWC is what makes their perspective different than Airbus I believe in looking to re-wing/engine future models/derivatives.

This isn't a "slam" vs. the A380 wing, at all, just that perhaps the semantics as to engine readiness are only one of two critical details. A truly different wing on the A380, however, would change the discussion dramatically.
 
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lightsaber
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Re: Airbus A380 MidLife Upgrade, 2021?

Fri Feb 17, 2017 1:46 am

Polot wrote:
keesje wrote:
On the engines, the A330NEO was launched July 2014 and the engines should have been bolted on late 2016. Because it builds on existing design. We are talking 80-90k lbs, the same engines as the big twins. No need for 7yrs if its a derivative.

Are those existing engines good enough? Remember the A380 does not have 30 year old engines hanging off of its wings. It has the latest and greatest technology from right before the 787/A350 engines. Airbus needs to justify a premium over the current A380, which is already not selling (aka too expensive to be worth it).

Unfortunately a non-custom engine wouldn't be good enough.

EK really tried for a NEO and was declined. RR just doesn't have the financial backing for an A380NEO. GE has nothing to offer. Pratt isn't ready.


The A380 has the latest and greatest except Boeing insisted on a step change on the 786. Pratt offered which forced RR and GE to be aggressive.

Airbus must sell 150+ to consider an upgrade at launch.
About the same for a sole engine vendor.

Even a rushed A330NEO is taking longer than planned and more development money. The A380 had much better engines than the A330CEO too...

There just isn't anything ready in time.

Sadly, the 779 will take the top of the market. Sad as I have a fondness for quads. I just won't pay more...

Lightsaber
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Boof02671
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Re: Airbus A380 MidLife Upgrade, 2021?

Fri Feb 17, 2017 4:45 am

No US based airline will ever fly the A380, why do people keep think they would?

US carriers are getting rid of their four engine airplanes, which are only flying for UA and DL.
 
mffoda
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Re: Airbus A380 MidLife Upgrade, 2021?

Fri Feb 17, 2017 4:49 am

As our friend "lightsaber" has twice so patiently pointed out, there is NO new engine available for A380neo in the timeframe that has been stated upthread. There is no RR Advance engine in development for this aircraft. Simple fact...

As lightsaber and others have rightly stated, the development cycle for a new engine is approximately 6-8 years. There is no donor engine in the same thrust class available as in the case of the Trent 1000 for the A330neo.

Without the Advance there is No Ultrafan so to speak... btw, here is RR's web pages regarding the two:

https://www.rolls-royce.com/products-an ... vance.aspx
https://www.rolls-royce.com/products-an ... rafan.aspx

There's a graphic and couple of paragraphs for each concept. There will be no real development project without a firm go ahead form Airbus.


In the case of the 777-8/9 which is using an engine partially developed form the GEnX and GE90, It is following the recent development timelines (6-8 years)..

http://www.geaviation.com/commercial/engines/ge9x/

I really don't see how anyone could imagine a A380neo in time to make a difference...
harder than woodpecker lips...
 
sparkingwave
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Re: Airbus A380 MidLife Upgrade, 2021?

Fri Feb 17, 2017 5:33 am

Now it's 2017 and the simple fact is that Airbus has lost money on the A380 program. The A380s sold will NOT cover the overall investment costs. To invest more in an unprofitable program like a NEO is foolish and irresponsible. And Airbus knows it.
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grbauc
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Re: Airbus A380 MidLife Upgrade, 2021?

Fri Feb 17, 2017 5:45 am

keesje wrote:
On the engines, the A330NEO was launched July 2014 and the engines should have been bolted on late 2016. Because it builds on existing design. We are talking 80-90k lbs, the same engines as the big twins. No need for 7yrs if its a derivative.

Will EK just park 50 A380's ? BA will go after used ones for the first time in their history? Etihad & Qatar will stop right here? China will buy C919 only? A380 operators will just increase frequency's from daily to 10 flights a week? It seems every is repeating each other on the A380. Traffic growth, long term trends & airport congestion are simply ignored.

Yes, there an order draught. Until EK orders 50 and a few dozen elsewhere, then there's no order draught.

Image


I hope your right. The dying 748 is sad and the 380 is a great plane for J Class fares on hub routes. I really hope your right. Thanks for the posts.
 
Varsity1
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Re: Airbus A380 MidLife Upgrade, 2021?

Fri Feb 17, 2017 5:54 am

Vladex wrote:
jaybird wrote:
I believe the only way a US carrier will take an A380 is if Airbus gives it to them for free. Not likely to happen any time soon .. :-)


And US carriers are an ever diminishing factor outside of the US so it's not a loss.


It's not just the US.

There isn't a single A380 based in the western hemisphere of the world.
 
ScottB
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Re: Airbus A380 MidLife Upgrade, 2021?

Fri Feb 17, 2017 6:10 am

Planesmart wrote:
Was the SQ agreement to take their remaining five A380's a result of this approach, and the subsequent 777X family order payback by SQ?


I doubt that Airbus had to pressure SQ too hard to take the remaining A380s, simply because the frames these will replace were some of the first off the line. Those early A380s are heavy, had a bunch of rework done due to the CATIA screwup, and they don't incorporate the incremental improvements to the model made oveer the intervening decade. Moreover, because SQ was the first operator, it's very likely they have lease terms which make it quite painless to walk away from those early builds.

parapente wrote:
Another way of looking at this is what would happen if (as most people seem to think)Airbus says 'no' to NEO.Would Emirates have to roll over and order another 80-100 CEO's?I personally have no idea.But their whole business model at present is based around this aircraft.


No, EK's business model isn't specifically built around the A380; it is built around pumping very large traffic volumes through their hub using aircraft which offer low unit costs. The 777X will offer comparable unit costs versus the A380, and future large widebody twins will almost certainly improve incrementally on that -- so there's no need for increasingly obsolete A380CEOs from the standpoint of unit costs. Gradual liberalization of bilateral agreements, the eventual shift of the hub to DWC, and the likely construction of the third runway at LHR all eat away at the limitations they have faced on frequency which have favored the A380 in the EK fleet. TK's success before the coup attempt and terrorist attacks in Turkey (and more acutely at IST), IMO, points more to the value of the location of these hubs rather than a particular fleet make-up.

texl1649 wrote:
A truly different wing on the A380, however, would change the discussion dramatically.


I disagree. I simply don't subscribe to the theory that the A380's anemic sales are due to an inefficient design; on the contrary, it has offered some of the lowest unit costs out there (subject to customer decisions on interior configuration). The real problem is that there are relatively few markets in which carriers can fill 500+ seats per flight on a consistent basis. It is far more lucrative to spill some lower-yielding traffic in peak season than to fly around hundreds of empty seats in the low season -- this is a big part of why the U.S. carriers have eschewed ordering the A380. Pan Am made a bunch of money with its 747s flying to Europe in the summer -- and then they burned every penny and more lfying empty 747s to Europe in the winter.

RL777 wrote:
The A380s fate will be determined over the next 5-7 years


Actually, I think the A380s fate will be determined in the next two or three years at most unless some real firm orders (as opposed to deals like the Amedeo "order") materialize to keep production going. Production of long lead-time items begins about 24 months before delivery, and the current order book will be exhausted under planned production rates in mid-2021 -- meaning that a decision on producing those items needs to come by mid-2019. Given that consideration, I'm not sure Airbus could accomplish much more than a re-engine of the current design without some new orders to push the end of the backlog to the right
 
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seahawk
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Re: Airbus A380 MidLife Upgrade, 2021?

Fri Feb 17, 2017 6:35 am

Advance and Ultrafan are not real engines, they are technology levels that could be achieved with real engines. In that case you do not need to Advance to built an Ultrafan in 2025. However the prospect for a new A380 engine is slim, as we would be talking about 400-600 engines, which is a bit too little for a whole new program to start.

If you look at the position from Airbus and RR, they could do a A380MLU and invest in new engine, or they could decided to do a A350-1100 and a larger Trent XWB PiP using some Advance technology. I think it is obvious which solution is more efficient.
 
Max Q
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Re: Airbus A380 MidLife Upgrade, 2021?

Fri Feb 17, 2017 6:43 am

Once again, Boeing gets it right, they knew the sun was setting on four engine VLA's.

They covered themselves by making a far smaller investment in developing the 747-8, it may not have sold well as a passenger aircraft but it's
done reasonably well as a freighter that occupies a completely unique niche, I think that market will come back but if it doesn't no big deal, they've made
billions on the 747 program since 1969, unlike AB who are losing billions on the A380.


Kind of a shame that the future of commercial air transport is going to be twins only, boring.



But Boeing get's it right, as they did with the 777, while AB spent billions developing the A340 and A330 to cover medium and long haul the Triple took care of both markets killing the A340 way before its time.



I'd give A380 production 7 more years at the most, AB weren't too early, they were too late !
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Unflug
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Re: Airbus A380 MidLife Upgrade, 2021?

Fri Feb 17, 2017 6:47 am

Varsity1 wrote:
Vladex wrote:
jaybird wrote:
I believe the only way a US carrier will take an A380 is if Airbus gives it to them for free. Not likely to happen any time soon .. :-)


And US carriers are an ever diminishing factor outside of the US so it's not a loss.


It's not just the US.

There isn't a single A380 based in the western hemisphere of the world.


Both the UK and France are partially in the western hemisphere, Heathrow being located in the western hemisphere.
 
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Channex757
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Re: Airbus A380 MidLife Upgrade, 2021?

Fri Feb 17, 2017 7:06 am

Airbus would be better off using their massive development budgets working on a project for mid-2020s introduction using (and designed around) Ultrafan to strangle the 777 line once and for all. A big, wide twin made from carbon fibre and maybe even up to 12-abreast in 3 aisle format.

The tube and two format isn't set in stone either. If it fits in the 80m box then the airlines will study and order it if it delivers on efficiency.

Also will the doomsayers attacking Rolls Royce please give it a rest? The big loss this time was due to an accounting matter and the settlement money. Underlying profits are healthy at the Group and RR is proposing selling off part of the non-core business to help defray that. Next year or two should see a major reversal in numbers.
 
United Airline
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Re: Airbus A380 MidLife Upgrade, 2021?

Fri Feb 17, 2017 7:22 am

I believe when it comes to A380 replacement the current A380 operators will order the new A380NEO and thus Airbus will build it.
 
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VirginFlyer
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Re: Airbus A380 MidLife Upgrade, 2021?

Fri Feb 17, 2017 7:50 am

United Airline wrote:
I believe when it comes to A380 replacement the current A380 operators will order the new A380NEO and thus Airbus will build it.

Funny thing is, about 16 years ago you were regularly saying the same about the 747 (I think at the time it was the 747-400XQLR), and with the exception of LH, KE, and CA, it didn't happen. Unfortunately I think the same will be true of a next generation A380.

V/F
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Stitch
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Re: Airbus A380 MidLife Upgrade, 2021?

Fri Feb 17, 2017 7:50 am

Max Q wrote:
Once again, Boeing gets it right, they knew the sun was setting on four engine VLA's.

They covered themselves by making a far smaller investment in developing the 747-8, it may not have sold well as a passenger aircraft but it's
done reasonably well as a freighter that occupies a completely unique niche, I think that market will come back but if it doesn't no big deal, they've made
billions on the 747 program since 1969, unlike AB who are losing billions on the A380.


Well the 747-8 wiped out a fair few billions of that, but you pays your money and you takes your chances and this time, it didn't work for them.
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