lightsaber wrote:The market for VLAs wasn't nearly as large as expected. With smaller planes flying further, fragmentation happened.
Also, everyone does realize the 779 is an awesome 744 replacement, right? So if an airline needs growth from the A35K or 77W, it is low risk.
Yes. Even the A35K itself is a good B744 replacement (DL is replacing their B744s with A359s(!)).
The VLA market nowadays is limited because airlines are turning away from them. Why? They know that smaller airplanes gives to them better economics (not only thanks to the fact that they've only 2 engines, but also allow them to operate with more flexibility than the VLAs themselves. Plus, as you said, smaller airplanes are indeed a lower risk for the airlines.
BREECH wrote:jubguy3 wrote:VLA are dying.
VLA is DYING!? You cannot be serious. VLA are just being born! 748 failed because nobody is foolish enough to buy a heated over relic built by 1960s reliability and safety standards. A380 isn't selling as much as we hoped because it arrived too soon and nobody knew how to use it. However, Emirates have proven time and again that it's an extremely profitable machine if you know how to fly it.
Don't make me laugh. The current state of the VLA market is very bad, as you may know. The A380 nowadays is too dependent on a single airline (EK) to survive. Plus, an A380 is too big for be considered as a valid replacement for the 747-400 for most of the airlines, in my opinion (CX for example, is replacing B744s with both A35Ks, B77Ws and B779s; VS is replacing their B744s with A35Ks, cancelling their long-deferred A380 order).
I've no doubts that the A380 works for EK. But for most airlines, it doesn't work. The B748, despite not selling in the high levels as the B744 sold before, still has a valid market as a freighter airplane (as UPS has demonstrated).
BREECH wrote:Airlines keep yapping about frequency vs. capacity, but if the past decade has taught us anything, it's that major corporations don't look or think beyond the current quarter's results. How long can you maintain frequency, for example, at Heathrow with its $75 mil per slot? And many airports are not too far behind. One day, and very soon, they will run out of "frequency", and the airlines which are now looking down at A380 will regret they didn't buy it. THEN they'll scramble and demand from Airbus and Boeing to develop a VLA. And they'll be just as confidently yapping about the economics of capacity over frequency.
And the reason why airlines are investing in frequency over capacity is because it offers flexibility to the airline passengers and to the airlines themselves. Plus, as seabosdca said, you can't add frequencies, you only can maintain them. And the London area have already other airports (LGW and STN come to my mind) which can virtually reduce the slot constraint at LHR. And talking about upgauges, they may occur, but will be generally from A330neo/B787/A350 to A35K/B779, not right to an A380.