Why the Airbus A380 Will Be a Flop

Okay, let me just set the record straight… I’m not any sort of aviation expert. Not by a long shot. I build websites, tinker with my old car, enjoy my kids, love my wife. I am totally unqualified to make prognostications about the airline industry. I am just a guy that likes to look at airplanes, particularly airliners. To me, there is no machine more impressive that an airliner. I love them, have since I was a kid. I consider myself lucky to live under the flight path of a fairly large and busy airport.

That disclaimer out of the way, the one thing that seems just as plain as the nose on my face is this: The Airbus A380 will go down in history as one of the biggest industrial flops of all time. It is the right airplane, but at the wrong time.

Okay, before all you airliners geeks (and I use that word with respect, as I count myself as one) jump all over me screaming “You’re just a jealous Boeing backer, arrogant American, etc etc” let me just point out I don’t have a dog in this fight. I dig airliners. I don’t care who builds them, or where. What blows me away is seeing all that metal, all that weight, and hearing that huge rumble. It doesn’t matter to me what flag is on the label.

The A380 is an impressive machine. Just the sheer size of it, and those four HUGE engines, pumping out the power. How can you not be in awe of that. And yes, it is bigger than the icon of the jet age, the Boeing 747. So Airbus can lay claim to being the king of the skies.

But is the A380 the result of corporate hubris? Was this Airbus’s way of challenging Boeing to whip it out and compare? Yeah, maybe. They win that contest, but why? And at what price?

All of this started back in the dark ages of the 90’s. Boeing and Airbus were battling it out to see who would sit atop the pile in the world of airline manufacturing. Both companies were looking at the future of the Very Large Aircraft (VLA) segment of the market. Boeing was already well established with the 747, but Airbus felt there was room for growth. With McDonnell-Douglas and Lockheed getting out of the jumbo jet market, Airbus wasn’t going to let Boeing have the VLA segment without a fight. And while they were at it, why not make something even bigger?

Boeing looked at stretching the existing 747-400 into a proposed 500 and 600 series. But, Boeing had trouble generating enough interest to support the additional investment needed. Even after scaling back their plans to develop the more modest 747X, airlines still weren’t nibbling. Boeing analysts decided that the VLA market was shrinking and that even modest revisions of the existing 747 platform would be hard to justify. In 2000, Boeing announced they were shelving further VLA ventures beyond the 747, and instead would shift their focus to the ill-fated Sonic Cruiser and further twin jet development.

However the folks at EADS, the parent of Airbus, seemed to read the tea leaves in the exact opposite way. Airbus formally approved the A380 project in late 2000, based on a perceived market need for anywhere from 1200 to 1700 aircraft in the VLA segment. Initially Airbus said they expected to break even at around 270 units. Despite the fact that Boeing couldn’t generate interest with it’s well established plane, Airbus chose to look the other way.

In fairly short order, it began to appear that Boeing may have been right. Sales of the 747 were slowly but surely trailing off. In fact, in 2000, 747 deliveries had dropped to nearly half of what they were just the year before. Of those, only a handful were passenger models. In fact, the last passenger carrying 747s were ordered in 2002. The remainder of the 747 order book was for freighters. Airlines, ceding to passenger demands and economics, were discovering it was better to fly smaller “twin jet” aircraft several times a day on high density routes, rather than a big jumbo just once or twice a day.

Some of the trail off in 747 sales may have been a direct result of Boeing’s announcement to not further develop the aircraft.

It hadn’t always been this way. When the 747 hit the market in early 1970, it opened up affordable air travel to legions of people. Despite the huge plane’s thirst for fuel, the seat-mile costs were extremely favorable. Boeing delivered nearly 100 747s that first year. Through the 70’s and into the 80’s, 747s also criss-crossed the skies of the domestic US, connecting major city pairs.

In the 1980s came airline deregulation, and the economic environment began to change. Fuel prices rose, and as airlines were increasingly free to set their own schedules, many airlines suddenly found themselves operating huge, but half full, airplanes. Mirroring the 747 order book, was the 737… A small, but very economical twin jet. As 747 orders slowed into the 80’s, the 737 order book exploded, as did the new and larger 757. Airlines realized that it made more economical sense to fly three or four 757s on the same routes that might have once been serviced by one or two 747s.

As the 1990s rolled around, the 747 was quickly disappearing from US domestic service. By the time Airbus gave the green light for the A380, only two US airlines were still operating the 747, United and Northwest, and only on long haul international routes. But maybe Airbus didn’t really care about the domestic US market. Maybe they were looking at the global picture.

The thing is, the same economic realities were also at work overseas as well. Airbus had introduced the fuel-efficient A330, a high tech and long range wide body aircraft. Boeing was selling the 777, another fuel frugal twin jet which could still hold roughly three quarters as many passengers as the 747, but with half the number of engines. Now airlines could easily cross the Atlantic or even the Pacific, with smaller but more efficient aircraft.

So why build a big four engine airliner at all? Well, it turns out the one market that could still use a big sized jet, were the cargo carriers. While passenger 747 sales dropped to virtually nothing, sales of 747 freighters continued to be strong. Unlike the fickle passenger business, the cargo haulers have the benefit of being able to fly on more of an as-needed basis, and of being able to charge rates that are realistic. The economics of freight defy the economics of moving people. So maybe, just maybe Airbus could make this big monster work as a freighter. And in fact that was part of the plan.

Airbus cited the the same low seat-mile costs that originally made the 747 such a hit back in the 70s. Sure, it would use a lot of fuel, but it can hold so many people that it will easily make sense, right?

So now, seven years since the go ahead for the A380 was given, what does the future hold? Boeing has since announced the newest version of the 747, called the 747-8. Boeing still believes the future of the 747 is as a cargo hauler, although a few passenger models of the 747-8 have been ordered. More significantly is the explosion in the twin jet market. Demand for the Airbus A330 remains as strong as ever, and the new A350 will build on the inherent efficiency of the twin jet. Likewise, the world awaits the much delayed delivery of the first Boeing 787 Dreamliner, as new versions of the 777 continue to set new records in range and efficiency.

Also in the intervening years, fuel prices have climbed and climbed some more. Airlines around the world have struggled. Belt tightening is a matter of survival.

In 2007, Airbus put a hold on the A380 Freighter after delivery delays caused FedEx to cancel its order. Airbus chose instead to focus on the passenger version of the plane. As of this writing, there are 192 firm orders for the A380. Airbus has since moved the break-even point to 420 units, and then recently to another higher but undisclosed number. In order to meet its projected sales target of 1200 planes in 20 years, Airbus needs to sell an average of 60 planes per year. In the eight years the plane has been available for sale, Airbus has averaged 24 per year. Thus far in 2008, it has sold only three. Add to that the fact that Airbus is compensating airlines for late deliveries (nearly two years behind schedule) and the effective “real” numbers are even lower.

Dubai-based Emirates has ordered 58, but it is rumored that Airbus is essentially giving them five of the planes for free in an effort to keep the order on the books. Interestingly enough, the cash rich Emirates, and other middle-eastern airlines like it, don’t have the same economic concerns. Their oil rich clientèle tend to not shop for price, so an inefficient airplane isn’t as big a problem. Excess fuel costs can be easily passed on.

All told, at the current pace, Airbus will build fewer than 500 A380s in the plane’s 20 year life cycle, a very bleak prospect. But, that’s only if things stay as they are. If anything, the outlook is only going to get worse.

Here’s where my “I’m no expert” analysis kicks in. Sure, the seat-mile costs of the A380 might be terrific, but only if it’s full. You can put as many as 823 passengers on this colossus, although the more practical number is 525 in a three class configuration. So if you fill the plane, terrific! You have no worries. But what if you DON’T? With a barrel of oil at around $120, a gallon of Jet-A now costs somewhere around $5.40 per gallon. That means filling up an A380 can cost over $400,000. Granted, these planes will always carry only the amount of fuel needed, but it demonstrates a point: This plane is VERY EXPENSIVE to fly, and likely only to get more expensive. So can you really get 525 butts in the seats each and every time?

Maybe you can, but your exposure to loss is high. If your A380 is only 90% full, that hurts you a lot more than if you are flying the route with an A330 that’s only 90% full. Or even better, fly TWO 95% full A330s giving your customers the choice of two different departure times. Seems pretty simple. It’s about the same number of people, but in more economical aircraft and with more scheduling freedom. Even in initial costs, an A330 costs less than half the cost of a single A380. But everyone knows the real cost of an airliner isn’t the initial price, but in the fuel it will use over its lifetime. And the A380 is going to use A LOT.

If we were comparing airliners to cars, the A380 is an SUV. It holds a lot of people, and if you are splitting gas money seven ways when you go to the beach, an SUV makes sense. But around town, that SUV will bleed you dry. You and your spouse could commute together in your SUV, or you could drive two Toyota Corollas more economically and you could both come and go to and from work as you please. A simplistic example perhaps, but it illustrates a point. In today’s energy thirsty world, smaller is better.

A number of years ago I made a posting on a popular aviation website message board that I thought when the dust had settled, Airbus would end up only producing 100 or fewer A380s. Needless to say, I was resoundingly badgered by folks claiming the number would likely be at least 1000 and more likely 2000 plus. I readily admit my posting was more for sensationalist purposes, but as of the middle 2008 my prediction doesn’t look to be all that far off.

Now news is coming out that Airbus may delay the delivery all but five of the Emirates A380 order, as well as four to be delivered for Etihad. Emirates has made rumblings about cutting back or canceling their order before, but most likely just to get Airbus to dance a bit. But this time might be different. Emirates is now saying it is taking a serious look at the only A380 competitor, the Boeing 747-8 Intercontinental. If Emirates cancels, or even trims their order, the impact for Airbus could be catastrophic. With these additional delays, many airlines will be taking delivery of an airplane that is no longer on the cutting age of technology and fuel efficiency. Will other airlines start to reconsider their orders? I suspect they will.

Meanwhile, development of the A350 lags as Airbus continues to pour resources into its behemoth. The A350 is the direct competitor to the high tech 787, and promises to be a very popular plane. Popular that is if Airbus can actually deliver it.

So Airbus may be on the brink. Do you continue to pour resources into a plane with a very dubious future, or cut your losses and focus on high efficiency twin jets? Boeing seems to have made the correct call on the subject, while Airbus may have very well mortgaged its future. Either way, the magnificent A380 seems destined for the dustbin of aviation history.


107 Responses to “Why the Airbus A380 Will Be a Flop”

  1. on the other hand, they have to built new, better airlines for the industry to improve.
    i’ve taken the SQ Airbus and it was really good though I think they are earning more money by having more business class seats

  2. webzealot Says:

    Sure, there are a handful of high density routes in Asia and the Pacific rim that can support the plane. It will certainly find a niche. But not enough for 500 planes, much less 1000+. SQ might be able to make money for awhile until the novelty wears off… Then what?

  3. bluewaveted Says:

    I agree with all this. Efficiency is the most important thing now, so focusing on small twin-jet planes should be an obvious choice. Only time will tell if Airbus will become successful.

  4. There are issues with the A380 being over engineered (for the stretch version) and with launch airlines being allowed to customise the early production planes too much slowing production, but there is a need for mass air transport, reducing the number of flights between hubs and to give economies of scale not just in the air but on the ground as well.

  5. Farzand Says:

    While we sit here in North America crying grapes are sour singapore airlines takes the fourth 380 and starting may 20 th the tokyo flight. If we guys out here are so smart then how come our airlines american airlines delta north west ( all bankrupt) and that the profitablle airlines are singapore airline and emirates who have quaterly profit of over a billion US dooar even with the gas price up. We are the fools and not airbus or the asian airlines who bought the airbus well in advance while we are still flying the old crap MD 9

    • https://airwaysmag.com/airlines/singapore-retires-first-a380-ever-delivered/

      August 25, 2017

      MIAMI — Singapore Airlines has withdrawn the first Airbus A380 ever delivered from their fleet. The aircraft, 9V-SKA, was delivered in October of 2007 and is just over 11 years old.

      First reported by FlightGlobal.com, Singapore Airlines has since confirmed the aircraft’s fate with Reuters.

      Singapore will return the aircraft to German leasing firm Dr. Peters Group in the coming months. At this time, it is unclear what the future holds for 9V-SKA. While Dr. Peters Group will undoubtedly attempt to find an airline willing to take the aircraft, the scrap yard may be the more likely destination for this frame.

      As Airbus continues to struggle to find future A380 operators, the manufacturer has gone back to the drawing board in hopes of securing more orders. In today’s day and age where two-engine widebodies rule long-haul travel, the four-engine A380 simply can’t keep up. While fuel prices have been on the decline in recent years, the cost to operate the four-engine aircraft still remains significantly higher than its two-engine counterparts.

  6. It’s actually even worse for the A380. Per available seat mile, it’s less fuel efficient than the 787. That is, even if you could get the same load factors with the much larger plane, you would still have higher fuel costs per passenger. I have the analysis on my blog. The delays are costly for both Boeing, Airbus and Boeing’s customers. The A380 customers might be happy with the delay right now.

  7. Farzand Says:

    Emirates takes it’s first 380 and will start direct flight to newyork effective 01 Aug ( All seats are booked for the month of August.) Singapore Airlines is doing so good with London flight that they have decided to use the fifth 380 on the london route having daily as well as another 4 flight a week.

  8. FYI

    The first aircraft for Qantas (third airline to take delivery of the A380), MSN014, had its maiden flight on 25 January 2008. Qantas has announced it will use the A380, in a 450-seat configuration,[53] on its Melbourne to Los Angeles route from 20 October 2008. Subsequent routes include Sydney to Los Angeles and London.[54]

  9. Aviation history was made today as Qantas became the first airline to operate a commercial passenger flight on the Airbus A380 between Australia and the US West Coast. The new A380 ‘superjumbo’ aircraft, operating as Qantas Flight QF 93 landed on Runway 25L at Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) early this morning, October 20, 2008, after a scheduled flight from Melbourne, Australia. The flight was met at LAX by celebrities and government officials, including actor John Travolta, Australian singer Olivia Newton-John and Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, among others.

  10. Dubai: Emirates took delivery of its second Airbus A380 superjumbo on Friday, bringing its all wide-bodied aircraft fleet to 122, inclusive of freighters.

  11. The A380 has set new standards for passenger comfort during its initial year of revenue airline service, providing reliable long-range flights to destinations in Singapore, Australia, Japan, the United Arab Emirates, England and the US.

    On the first anniversary of the A380’s entry in service, a total of nine A380s are now in the fleets of Singapore Airlines, Emirates and Qantas. Singapore Airlines introduced A380 operations on last October 25, and currently has a total of six aircraft. This was followed by Emirates of the United Arab Emirates, which started flights in August and has two A380s in its inventory. Qantas inaugurated service earlier this month with the Australian-based carrier’s first-delivered A380.

    All three airlines have chosen cabin layouts that benefit from the A380’s spacious two main decks and its new technology, and which allow operators to offer high levels of service for all passengers. Singapore Airlines’ A380 layout has a total of 471 seats in three classes of service.

    The Singapore Airlines Suites – offered exclusively on the A380 – provide a private space with its largest seat ever: An armchair with adjustable headrest and armrests. Included in the suite is a stand-alone bed, topped off with a turn-down service, fine linen and full-sized pillows. In Singapore Airlines’ new business class, the A380 seats are the widest in their category, with each leather seat unfolding to the largest full-flat bed of its type. Its new economy class has roomier seats and the widest choice of on-demand entertainment options, presented on a 10.6-inch-wide LCD screen.

    The A380 also has an Emirates Onboard Lounge in the Business Class cabin for use by both first and business class passengers, which is designed to make travellers feel like they are in their own executive club.

    Another first class social area and bar is located at the front of the upper deck. In Emirates’ A380 economy class cabin, straight walls give the impression of increased spaciousness, and this feature – combined with an advanced mood lighting system and the Airbus 21st century jetliner’s noticeably quieter cabin – works to combat the effects of jetlag.

    The next generation of Qantas’ award-winning business class skybed sleeper seat offers an extra-long, fully lie-flat bed with ergonomically-enhanced cushioning, a larger in-arm entertainment screen, additional storage options and more privacy. Qantas’ Premium Economy seats have fully adjustable, in-arm digital widescreen television monitors.

    A self-service bar is dedicated to the upper-deck Premium Economy cabin. For Economy Class, the A380’s seats feature a sliding base that moves with the seatback to create a more comfortable, ergonomically-tested position to aid sleep and eliminate pressure points, along with a foot net to stop sliding during sleep.

  12. EVERETT, Wash. (AP) — Boeing Co. said Friday it is delaying the production and delivery of 747-8 freighter and intercontinental airplanes.
    The first freighter deliveries will be completed in the third quarter of 2010 instead of late 2009 as previously forecast. The first intercontinental passenger deliveries will be completed in the second quarter of 2011 instead of late 2010.

    The postponement was caused by supply chain delays because of design changes, limited availability of engineering resources at Boeing and a recent machinists strike.

    Boeing consulted with suppliers in revising the production and delivery schedule.

    Shares of the company fell $1.65, or 3.8 percent, to $41.51 in premarket activity

  13. From FleetBuzz Editorial regarding troubles at Kingfisher Airlines and it’s impact on Airbus:

    “Kingfisher has altered its specifications for the A380 order [five on order, options for five more]. Consequently, it is likely that the superjumbos are delivered later than originally planned,” said a company spokesperson.

    It’s likely that it has just as much to do with Airbus now being non-committal about how many A380’s it’ll produce in 2009/10.

    “We had planned to deliver 12 A380s in 2008 and 21 in 2009. Some of the 21 for 2009 may be delivered in 2010,” says EADS CEO Louis Gallois.

    “It is no coincidence whatsoever that only a couple of days after Airbus admitted it is unlikely to be able to make all its reduced number of A380 deliveries in 2009 India’s struggling beer-company-turned-airline announced it effectively is unable to pay for the five A380’s it has on order so will “defer deliveries.”

    Kingfisher has already delayed future A320’s and, like Airbus, is struggling operationally. Airbus can try to pin the blame on whomever it likes (supply chain, money markets, Boeing & co) but the simple reality is on that on the one hand it just cannot build the A380 and on the other the majority of airlines are in no hurry to take delivery of this mismatched aircraft,” says Arran Aerospace’s Doug McVitie.

  14. Qantas has taken delivery of its second Airbus A380 aircraft – the largest airliner in the world.

    The new A380 was handed over in Toulouse last night and will arrive in Sydney tomorrow morning. The superjumbo will begin flying from Australia to Los Angeles on December 22, with its first flight taking off from Melbourne.

    Qantas executive general manager John Borghetti said the addition of the second A380 would allow up to six superjumbo flights to Los Angeles per week. The airline’s first A380 currently flies to Los Angeles three times a week.

    The third Qantas A380 is due for delivery on December 27. Its entry into service will see the start of the Qantas A380 flights on the `kangaroo route’ – flying to London’s Heathrow Airport via Singapore.

    Mr Borghetti said the airline would fly three return A380 services to Heathrow per week, starting from January 16.

    The airline’s second superjumbo has been named after Qantas’ first managing director, Hudson Fysh. The first A380 was named after Nancy-Bird Walton, Australia’s first female commercial pilot.

  15. Emirates has launched double-decker Airbus A380 flights between London Heathrow and Dubai.

    The A380 deployed on the Dubai – London Heathrow route is the third of 58 that Emirates ordered. Despite its colossal size, the Emirates A380 makes less than half the noise of a Boeing 747 jumbo jet and uses 20% less fuel.

    Tim Clark, President, Emirates Airline, said, “Our major onboard innovations, the Onboard Shower Spas and Onboard Lounge, have already proved a big hit with customers. Around 75% of our First Class passengers are using the showers in-flight, while the Onboard Lounge has proved a popular gathering spot for passengers who are able to tear themselves away from our revolutionary in-flight entertainment system. Due to its environmentally-friendly performance, the Emirates A380s will make a huge contribution to Heathrow’s efforts to reduce its overall emissions.”

    Emirates will operate an A380 configured with 489 seats on its Heathrow to Dubai service, a capacity increase of 40% over its Boeing 777 currently being used.

    Spread over two levels, the whole of the upper deck is dedicated to Premium Class passengers. Towards the front, First Class passengers can relax in one of 14 flat-bed, massage-equipped Private Suites. These incorporate remote-controlled doors, a work desk, an electrically controlled mini-bar and an advanced in-flight entertainment system – ice, which is available to all onboard.

    The aircraft boasts two Onboard Shower Spas – in the First Class cabin, which include heated flooring, leather seating and shower kits from Emirates’ premium spa brand, Timeless Spa.

    Business Class passengers can enjoy a new generation of intelligent seating, designed to ensure all 76 seats have aisle access. There’s a cleverly designed table that never gets in the way, and a seat that slickly becomes a fully-flat bed.

    First and Business Class passengers can also take advantage of the Onboard Lounge, located at the rear of the upper deck. The lounge is designed to make passengers feel like they are in their own executive club, and offers seating, and a bar with a wide range of beverages and canapés. Another First Class social area with drinks facilities is located at the front of the upper deck.

    Passengers in the 399 Economy Class seats will notice the straight, rather than conventionally concave walls, throughout the cabin, giving the impression of increased spaciousness, enhanced by the more generous seats and wider aisles.

    A different Emirates A380 will serve Sydney and Auckland in February 2009.

    See also: Showers, Bars, Lounge – The Emirates Airbus A380 has them All and other recent news regarding: Airlines, Aviation, Flights, Hotels, Promotions, New Hotels, Emirates, First Class, Airbus, A380, Dubai, London, Heathrow

  16. Airbus today reached its target of delivering 12 A380 aircraft in 2008, bringing the total number of A380s delivered to date to 13.

    The first A380 was delivered to Singapore Airlines on 15th October 2007, with five more delivered to the airline in 2008. Qantas received three A380s in 2008, and Emirates four – the most recent of which was delivered on the 30th December 2008 from the Airbus delivery centre in Hamburg, Germany.

    “We have met our 2008 delivery schedule”, said Tom Enders, Airbus President and Chief Executive Officer. “That was only possible thanks to a tremendous team effort. This gives us a good basis to further ramp up our production in 2009. With the in-service fleet steadily growing, our airline customers are benefiting from lower operating costs while their passengers are benefiting from unequalled cabin comfort and quietness. The environment is benefiting too. With lower emissions and noise, the A380 is the most eco-efficient aircraft in service today.”

    The in-service A380 fleet has flown more than 21,000 revenue flight hours in more than 2200 commercial flights carrying more than 890,000 passengers. The world’s first full double-deck aircraft is now connecting four continents and flying on seven major international routes. A380s in service link Singapore with Sydney, London and Tokyo, Dubai with New York and London, and Sydney and Melbourne with Los Angeles.

    Being greener, cleaner, quieter and smarter, the A380 is setting new standards for air transport and the environment. In addition to the quiet and spacious double-deck cabin, the A380 is also setting new industry-standards for the environment. The in-service experience has shown that the A380 consumes 20 percent less fuel per seat than the previous largest aircraft, representing the lowest fuel burn of any large aircraft ever.

    The A380 not only complies with today’s noise limits, it is also significantly quieter than any other large aircraft flying today. With a range of 8 200 nm / 15 200 km, and seating 525 passengers in a standard three-class layout while being much more eco-efficient, the A380 is the ideal aircraft to alleviate traffic congestion at busy airports, while coping with growth.

    Orders for the aircraft stand at 198 from 16 customers.

  17. Qantas launches A380 flights to London
    16 January 2009
    Australian airline Qantas will expand its range of Airbus A380 services today (16 January) when it launches the airliner’s inaugural service between Sydney and London.

    The A380 will initially be used for three weekly flights from Sydney to London Heathrow via Singapore, with departures from the Australian city on Tuesdays, Fridays and Saturdays and return services on the following days.

    Qantas launched the A380 on flights to Los Angeles from Melbourne last year and the plane has generated ‘extremely positive feedback’ from customers, according to the airline’s executive general manager John Borghetti.

    Mr Borghetti added: ‘It has delivered on our vision, realised by Qantas creative director Marc Newson, of offering customers a new, stylish long-haul travel experience, more space and more comfort.

    ‘It has also met our expectations in terms of aircraft performance.’

    The new A380 services will be among the 28 weekly return flights that Qantas operates between Australia and the UK.

    Earlier this week, Qantas became the first airline to use the A380 on a commercial flight to San Francisco.

  18. Air Austral selects A380 in single-class configuration for future growth
    15 January 2009

    Air Austral, the airline based in Saint Denis, La Reunion, has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Airbus for the purchase of two A380s in a single-class configuration. In such a configuration, the A380 will offer unprecedented level of fuel economy, further emphasising the eco-efficient nature of the aircraft.

    In a single-class configuration the aircraft will seat around 840 passengers in the widest economy class seats and the service proven quietest cabin in the sky. Air Austral plans to operate the A380 through one of its subsidiaries on its high-density route from La Reunion to Paris, France. No engine choice has been made at this stage.

    “Our vision is to provide a low cost-high quality service on the heavy traffic route between La Reunion and Paris and the A380 allows us to make this vision a reality,” said Gerard Etheve, President of Air Austral. “The A380 has the lowest cost per seat and is the most environment-friendly aircraft flying today while at the same time providing a high level of passenger comfort. This will enable Air Austral to better connect La Reunion to France at a lower fare”, he added.

    John Leahy, Airbus Chief Operating Officer Customers, added: “Air Austral ‘s selection shows the potential of the A380 in the market of today and tomorrow. The real benefits of “doing more with less” now is a reality offered to the market and we congratulate Air Austral on making their vision into a real strategy for this important market segment”.

    Being greener, cleaner, quieter and smarter, the A380 is already setting new standards for air transport and the environment. In addition to offering unequalled levels of passenger comfort, space and quietness in the cabin, the A380 has unmatched levels of operating cost and fuel efficiency, consuming with 840 passengers less than two liters per passenger per 100 kilometers.
    The A380 not only complies with today’s noise limits, it is also significantly quieter than any other large aircraft flying today. With a range of 8 200 nm / 15 200 km, the A380 is the ideal equipment to alleviate traffic congestion at busy airports, while coping with growth. Firm orders for the aircraft stand at 198 from 16 customers.

  19. Trio of A380s land at Heathrow

    Three Airbus A380 super jumbos touched down at Heathrow for the first time on the same day over the weekend.

    Qantas joined Singapore Airlines and Emirates in making its’ maiden A380 flight to the UK.

    Qantas is initially to run three A380 flights a week to Sydney via Singapore – Wednesdays, Saturdays and Sundays – with each aricraft offering 450 seats in a four-class configuration.

    The Australian carrier expects to take delivery of a further four A380s this year, with the next aircraft due in May. This will bring the fleet up to seven.

    Colin Matthews, chief executive of Heathrow owner BAA, said: “Qantas’ A380 arrival is a momentous occasion for Heathrow Airport. It is a highly visible indication that airlines are committed to introducing cleaner, quieter aircraft to their fleets.

    “Heathrow Airport has a challenging set of environmental targets to meet in order for the third runway to go ahead.

    “Technological advancements in engine design are central in enabling us to ensure that air quality and noise will meet the limits set by the government.

    “In the short term, aircraft such as the A380 provide some capacity relief as more passengers will be able to use the airport without increasing aircraft numbers.”

    SIA became the first airline to use the double decker aircraft from the London airport last March.

  20. Paris CDG will be the second European destination for SIA’s (Singapore Airlines) A380 super jumbo.

    SIA will be the first carrier to operate the A380 into Paris as national carrier Air France is not set to take delivery of its first A380 until late this year.

    A daily flight with the A380 will replace the existing 10 times a week service by 278-seat B777-300ERs. Configured with 471 seats, the introduction of a daily A380 on the Paris route will enable SIA to meet the growing demand for seats from both corporate and leisure travellers.

    On June 1, flight SQ334 will depart Singapore at 2340 arriving into Paris CDG at 0655 on June 2. Flight SQ222 will return from Paris CDG at 1225 to arrive back in Singapore the next morning at 0655.

    “Paris’ CDG airport is one of the busiest airports in Europe in terms of passenger traffic. The A380, with its large seating capacity, is well placed to fly there,” says Huang Cheng Eng, SIA’s executive VP marketing for the regions.

    SIA can offer dozens of onward connections at its Singapore hub for destinations throughout Asia and Australasia. In particular, it must be noted that there are no direct flights between Paris, Australia and New Zealand so French travellers heading for that part of the world must opt for indirect carriers such as SIA.

    Like with the B777-300ER, passengers will find the latest premium products on board the A380, such as the suites in first class and the wide seats in business class which are disposed 1-2-1 on the upper deck.

    Economy class passengers also benefit from the latest facilities and, unlike other A380 operators, they can choose from a limited number of seats in the rear zone of the A380’s upper deck. The remainder of the economy class cabin is located along the A380’s lower deck, immediately behind first class.

    SIA already operates the A380 to London Heathrow, Tokyo and Sydney.

  21. It stands 24m tall, has showers with LCD television screens, lounge areas with bars, and starlit ceilings to help its nearly 500 passengers fight jetlag.

    Emirates Airlines’ version of the world’s biggest passenger plane, the Airbus A380, touches down in Auckland today to begin a three-times-a-week service to Sydney.

    Emirates manager New Zealand and Pacific Islands Chris Lethbridge said New Zealanders would be able to experience the latest in aviation technology with the introduction of the A380.

    “The A380 is quieter, more spacious and more environmentally friendly,” he said.

    Mr Lethbridge said there was tremendous interest in the superjumbo and believed the new era of mass transit would be embraced by New Zealand travellers.

    “We have no doubt it will be a great success operating out of Auckland,” he said.

    While those travelling in either first class or business can enjoy a decent night’s sleep on seats that convert into fully flat beds or a beverage from one of the bars, economy-class travellers benefit from 14 per cent more leg room and digital widescreen entertainment with hundreds of channels to choose from.

    Each cabin also features an advanced mood lighting system, complete with a starlit sky that adjusts throughout a flight to reflect the time at the destination, and to combat the effects of jetlag.

    Despite its vast proportions, Emirates says that the A380 burns up to 20 per cent less fuel than a Boeing 747 and is more fuel efficient than a small family car at 3.1 litres per 100 passenger kilometres.

    It generates half the noise of a 747-400 on takeoff and produces 75g of carbon dioxide per passenger km – almost half of the European emissions target for cars manufactured in 2008.

    Emirates plans to make the A380 transtasman service daily out of Auckland when it has enough aircraft.

    * The inaugural flight is due to touch down in Auckland at 1.30pm today.


  22. SEOUL, Feb 3 (Reuters) – Korean Air Co (003490.KS), South Korea’s top air carrier, said on Tuesday it would buy two additional A380 superjumbo jets from European aircraft maker Airbus, bringing its total A380 order to ten.

    Korean Air said in a filing with the Korea Exchange the additional order for two planes would cost $514 million in list price terms. The planes would be delivered in May and June, 2014.

    Airbus, a unit of EADS (EAD.PA), is set to deliver the eight A380s Korean Air ordered earlier between 2010 and 2013. (Reporting by Rhee So-eui; Editing by Jonathan Hopfner)

  23. Emirates unhappy with giant Airbus: report

    BERLIN (AFP) — Dubai-based airline Emirates is unhappy with its first four giant Airbus A380 aircraft, which showed manufacturing faults that forced flights to be canceled, a report said Saturday.

    The German weekly Der Spiegel, in its issue to be published Monday, said Emirates in February gave Airbus officials a 46-page report listing its complaints, including burned electric cables, missing cabin fittings and engine defects.

    A source close to Airbus told AFP on Thursday that Emirates was seeking a delay in the delivery of several of the long-haul A380 superjumbo jets because of financing difficulties.

    The airline is Airbus’s biggest customer for the double-decker A380, having ordered 58 of them.

    “Emirates could delay deliveries on several planes … They are in talks” with Airbus, the source said on condition of anonymity.

    Emirates “is beginning to have problems for the first time. We always relied on this type of company as a major stable client,” the source said.

    A spokeswoman for Airbus said discussions with clients were confidential.

    And in Dubai an Emirates spokesperson said: “We had a routine meeting with Airbus to discuss aircraft delivery positions down the line. Like all airlines, Emirates continues to assess all options for its fleet and route operations.”

    Launching of the A380, which entered service with Singapore Airlines in October 2007, was delayed for months because of cabling problems and Airbus has failed to meet delivery schedules since.

    Copyright © 2009 AFP.

  24. Farzand Says:

    SINGAPORE (AFP) – Singapore Airlines (SIA) said Friday it will take delivery of five Airbus A380 super jumbos as planned this year despite a 92 percent fall in fourth quarter net profit blamed on the global downturn.

    Company chief executive Chew Choon Seng said the carrier will receive two of the world’s biggest airliners this month and three more later this year.

    “We want the planes to come in and to continue with our policy of fleet renewal,” Chew said at a media and analyst briefing.

    “We are a long-term player here. Our strategies are long-term so the policy of operating a young, modern fleet is an ongoing one. It isn’t one that you turn on or off according to the whims and fancies of the business cycle.”

    SIA currently has six A380s in operation.

    The airline will also go ahead with plans to take delivery of seven A330-300s in the current fiscal year to March 2010, Chew said.

    At the same time, SIA will retire nine Boeing planes during the current financial year and sell them to interested parties, he said.

  25. Farzand Says:

    Emirates airline has announced it will fly its next A380 instalment to Bangkok starting 1st June. In connection with the launch, it is offering a one-time price special, available only on Emirates’ A380 daily service to/from Bangkok on EK 372/373, tying up accommodation deals with 12 Marriott Thailand properties.

  26. Farzand Says:

    Emirates and Tourism Australia marked the successful start of the airline’s daily A380 service between Dubai and Sydney at the ongoing 2009 Arabian Travel Market (ATM).

    Richard Vaughan, the airline’s divisional senior vice president, commercial operations worldwide presented Tourism Australia’s GCC development manager, Andrew Oldfield with his very own super-sized A380 model to celebrate the occasion.

    Emirates introduced its revolutionary A380 product on the Dubai-Sydney-Auckland route on February 1 with a thrice-weekly service, and subsequently strengthened it on May 1 with a daily operation.

    The capacity expansion of 18 per cent demonstrates yet another initiative in Emirates’ partnership with Australia.

    “Emirates made a commitment to increase services to Australia some years ago and has delivered on its promise, even in the present economic times when others choose to reduce capacity,” said Richard Vaughan.

    “We are delighted to be able to proceed with this scheduled increase by making the state-of-the-art A380 service a daily operation.”

    Andrew Oldfield added: “The recent easing of visa procedures in the region has contributed to an increase of 21 per cent in visitor arrivals from the six-member GCC states. Emirates’ increased capacity will encourage further growth as well as support Tourism Australia as we step up our marketing initiatives in this part of the world.”

    Emirates’ big plans for the A380 this year also include start of services to Bangkok and Toronto on June 1, and to Seoul on December 1. Emirates will be the aviation world’s first A380 operator to Bangkok.

    The Arabian Travel Market expo, which opened on May at the Dubai International Exhibition and Convention Centre, will close tomorrow (May 8). – TradeArabia News Service

  27. Farzand Says:

    British Airways and Emirates will be first for new longer-range A380
    By Max Kingsley-Jones

    British Airways and Emirates will take delivery of an improved version of the Airbus A380 from 2012 offering a slightly better payload/range performance through a modest increase in maximum take-off weight.

    Although the airframer has confirmed the weight increase, which will be offered as an option from 2012, it will not disclose the actual figure until the modification passes a critical design review next month. “We’ll begin offering it to customers from September, it will be a nice [increase],” says A380 product marketing chief Richard Carcaillet.

    The A380-800 is currently offered with a baseline maximum take-off weight of 560t, with an increase to 569t available as an option. Airbus quotes a typical range for the 560t version of 15,200km (8,200nm).

  28. LGB Forever! Says:

    The Airbus shill, Farzand, must have run out of good news for the A380 (gawd, that is the ugliest plane ever built!). Just a hint, Farzand: Cutting-and-pasting Airbus PR news releases doesn’t make your case stronger, just more pathetic.

    It doesn’t help that he’s ignoring some bad news regarding this white elephant of a jumbo jet. The Wall Street Journal recently ran this little tidbit:

    March 19, 2009

    Emirates Pulls Airbus A380 from New York Route


    The decision by Dubai’s Emirates Airline to yank its new Airbus A380 jetliners from service to New York is the latest blow to the reputation of the world’s largest passenger plane just as it was starting to recover from a troubled development.

    Emirates officials said that falling passenger demand — and not any problems with the A380 — had prompted the airline to redeploy its two superjumbos currently flying to New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport onto its Toronto and Bangkok routes beginning June 1. Emirates plans to serve JFK with a smaller Boeing 777 model.

    Airlines world-wide, including in the oil-producing Persian Gulf region, have been grounding planes and cutting routes amid the economic crisis. Dubai is particularly feeling the pinch as real-estate development, which had fueled local growth, has plummeted. Both Emirates and Abu Dhabi-based Etihad Airways have reported a fall in passenger numbers.

    The decision to cut capacity on the route also highlights a little-known reality of the airline business: Few carriers actually make big profits on popular routes served by many competitors, where capacity often exceeds passenger demand.

    Emirates’ decision to downsize comes days after Airbus said it was addressing a list of complaints from Emirates about the A380’s performance. Australia’s Qantas Airways Ltd., another A380 operator, earlier this month said it was forced to ground temporarily some of its two-deck planes for technical reasons.

    The glitches mark a setback for Airbus, which slowly had been restoring the image of its superjumbo after costly and embarrassing delays. Airbus, a unit of European Aeronautic Defence & Space Co., is still billions of dollars over-budget on the program and more than two years behind schedule.

    EADS Chief Executive Louis Gallois recently said that building the plane “is still a challenge.” Manufacturing one A380 requires the same manpower as nine of its single-aisle A320 jetliners, he said.

    The A380’s first flights got off to a good start. Singapore Airlines Ltd said its first A380, which entered service in October 2007, has been flying reliably. But Emirates, which got the first of its four current A380s last July, had to ground them briefly in September due to problems that it later said were tied to the plane’s electrical systems.

    Other problems have since arisen that were relatively minor but still significant enough to take the planes out of service temporarily. An Airbus spokeswoman said the company was “doing everything we can to eliminate the reported issues as quickly as we can.”

    Tim Clark, president of Emirates — which is the biggest customer for the A380, with 54 more still on order — said earlier this week that such problems are common with new planes. Officials specified on Wednesday that their decision to take the A380 off the New York service was unrelated to the technical issues.

    “When economic conditions improve, we anticipate demand will be restored on the Dubai-New York JFK service, at which time Emirates will certainly evaluate redeploying the A380 on this route,” an Emirates spokeswoman said.

    The International Air Transport Association expects the combined profit for Middle Eastern airlines will drop by roughly one-third this year to $200 million. It said the long-haul services are likely to be affected the most.


    I also note that currently only one carrier flies the A380 to the US: Qantas. Maybe. I haven’t seen one land at LAX (the only US airport currently receiving this eyesore) in a couple of months.

  29. Farzand Says:

    The double-decker Airbus A380 made its commercial debut yesterday in Canada, landing at Pearson International Airport as Emirates Airline introduced the world’s largest passenger plane to its Toronto-Dubai route. Captain David Heino of Burlington, Ont., piloted the historic flight that touched down in Toronto from Dubai. Emirates, owned by the Dubai government, offers departures from Toronto three times a week, but it has been lobbying Ottawa to approve daily flights.

    Emirates president Tim Clark said he’s pleased to celebrate the 489-seat aircraft’s arrival in Canada. Mr. Clark is slated to deliver a speech in Ottawa tomorrow to press his airline’s case for increased flights

  30. US firm may cancel Airbus orders

    BERLIN, June 8 – The US aircraft leasing company ILFC may cancel its orders for 10 Airbus A380 superjumbo jets because clients’ interest in the huge plane has waned, its boss said in comments published on Monday.

    “We are asking ourselves if we are really going to take delivery of the 10 planes” on order, Steven Udvar-Hazy told the the business weekly Wirtschaftswoche in comments published in its online edition.

    A cancellation would be the first for the A380, the world’s largest passenger jet.

    “We can cancel our order without penalty between January and June 2009, but we might also postpone deliveries or replace the A380 with another plane,” Udvar-Hazy added.

    At catalogue prices, ILFC’s order was worth around three billion euros (4.2 billion dollars), the magazine noted.

    Large airplane orders almost inevitably result in discounts, however.

    The leasing giant has noticed “an important change in attitude by airlines regarding the A380” and found that “interest is weaker than expected in particular among the Chinese,” Udvar-Hazy was quoted as saying.

    Such a huge plane, which can carry up to 853 passengers, cannot operate on as many lines as expected, and is expensive for leasing companies owing to costs involved in making modifications for different clients.

    “If I were Airbus I would be very worried,” said the boss of ILFC, a unit of US insurance group AIG, which was recently nationalised to prevent its bankruptcy.

    “At current production rhythms, it will be very hard to make money with this plane,” he said.

    The first carrier to operate the A380, Singapore Airlines, said in late March that it would receive four of the planes this year as planned, but could not rule out deferring future deliveries as passenger and cargo volumes fell.

  31. First 747-400 heads for wrecker
    By ROELAND van den BERGH
    Last updated 05:00 29/05/2009

    Air New Zealand’s first Boeing 747-400 will soon make one final flight to a wrecker’s yard as further capacity cuts loom in the face of a continued fall in demand for global air travel.

    The 19-year-old jumbo, named The Bay of Islands, was grounded and put up for sale after completing Air New Zealand’s historic biofuel test flight in December.

    Air New Zealand head of long-haul airline Ed Sims said negotiations were under way with two potential buyers who would probably dismantle the aircraft overseas.

    A sale was expected to be concluded within the next few weeks.

    Air New Zealand has slashed capacity to match the dramatic slowdown in global air traffic and further cuts are expected.

    “The pending sale of the aircraft is a reflection of the current situation where we are seeing long-haul demand down 10 to 15 per cent,” Mr Sims said.

    Overall, capacity would be down about 9 per cent for the year.

    Airlines around the world were grounding aircraft to minimise losses, Mr Sims said.

    “We cannot rule out further aircraft being grounded with the global economy in its current state,” he said.

    Global passenger numbers fell another 3.1 per cent in April on a year earlier, the latest figures from the International Air Transport Association show.

    While this was an improvement from the 11 per cent dive in March, the April figures were skewed by the timing of Easter and early indications were for another double digit decline for May in some markets, IATA said.

    The grounded 747 was delivered to Air New Zealand from the Boeing factory near Seattle on December 16, 1989 and was immediately leased to Cathay Pacific for about a year.

    It was the first of an eventual fleet of eight that replaced the earlier model 747-200.

    Chief financial officer Rob McDonald said in February that the prospects of selling the plane were not huge in a market where more than 1000 aircraft had been parked due to the global economic crisis. That number is expected to double by the end of this year.

    The aircraft had a book value of about $5 million, just a fraction of the US$250m (NZ$410m) list price for a new 747-400.

    The Air New Zealand livery, including the Koru on the tail has been painted over and the 379 seats would be removed.

    A dismantling company will recover and refurbish most of the aircraft’s electronic and mechanical components for resale, including cockpit instruments, weather radar and hydraulic actuators that move the control surfaces on the wings and tail. Most of the body, made of various metals and plastics, would be recycled.

    Air New Zealand will replace the 747 fleet with five Boeing 777-300ER long-haul jets from late next year.

    PLANE FACTS: During its 19-year career Air New Zealand’s first Boeing 747-400 registration ZK-NBS:Carried 3.6 million passengers on 11,490 flights. Has flown 88,300 hours, spending more than half its life airborne. Travelled 80 million kilometres, the equivalent of about 2000 return trips from Auckland to London.

  32. United Airlines won’t be a big-plane buyer
    Carrier likely to pass on Boeing’s 747 and other jumbos to concentrate on smaller, two-engine jets that consume less fuel

    By Julie Johnsson | Tribune reporter
    June 6, 2009

    Although it is one of the largest jumbo-jet operators in the world, United Airlines isn’t looking to replace its Boeing 747s with new supersize aircraft that Boeing Co. and Airbus SAS are desperate to sell.

    Chicago-based United is mapping out its aircraft needs for the next 25 years, hoping to take advantage of a swift and sudden downturn in global air travel that has left the planemakers scrambling to find takers for wide-body jets slated to roll out of factories over the next two years.

    However, analysts question how United will finance the new planes at a time when oil prices are rising, ticket sales are sluggish because of a global recession, and airlines are striving to raise capital and preserve their precious cash reserves.

    As it mulls an order for as many as 150 jets, United is looking to smaller, twin-engine planes to handle the long-range flying done by its fleet of 26 Boeing 747-400 planes, say people familiar with its plans. The jumbos seat about 350 people and are powered by four engines.

    Airbus Chief Operating Officer John Leahy told the Tribune on Friday that United is not looking to buy Airbus’ double-decker A380 planes, which seat more than 450 passengers.

    “We have been talking with them for quite some time. But the [request for proposal] is very recent. Unfortunately (for both companies) the A380 is not (currently) included,” Leahy said via e-mail, implying that Airbus may attempt to sway United.

    Airbus has yet to land a North American customer for the A380 and recently said it would slow production of the planes during 2009 and 2010 as such customers as Australia’s Qantas Airways Ltd. defer deliveries.

    Chicago-based Boeing has only one airline customer for the passenger version of the 747-8, a stretched model of the jumbo that seats about 460 and borrows some of the design innovations of its 787 Dreamliner. Boeing has absorbed nearly $1 billion in charges as a result of design problems and delays with the stretched 747, which is running months behind schedule.

    While both planemakers likely would offer deep discounts to nab a United order for their jumbo jets, the carrier instead is eyeing smaller aircraft like the Boeing 777-300ER. It seats about 365 people but flies on two engines, offering greater fuel efficiency than the larger planes.

    But as United plans an aircraft order that could top $10 billion, analysts and financiers worry about how the airline will handle the additional debt. United held $2.5 billion in unrestricted cash at the end of the first quarter, which would cover less than two months of its operating expenses.

    Investment bank JPMorgan downgraded United on Friday, warning that the airline’s balance sheet was fragile and that it could violate debt covenants later this year if oil continues to rise.

    “While we’re all for buying assets at the bottom of a cycle, we are concerned about United’s apparent about-face as it relates to capital discipline,” wrote analyst Jamie Baker.

    United Chief Executive Glenn Tilton told employees in an e-mail message Thursday that the carrier won’t place an order that jeopardizes its finances.

    “In addition to earning a return, any aircraft order must be financed in a way that strengthens our balance sheet over the long term and does not impact our cash position,” Tilton said.

  33. Farzand Says:

    Singapore Airlines has launched a new service between Singapore and Hong Kong using Airbus A380 superjumbos.

    From July 9, 2009 Singapore Airlines will operate a daily service between the two major Asian hubs, using A380 aircraft with a capacity of over 450 passengers in a three-class configuration.

    Flight SQ 856 departs from Singapore’s Changi Airport Terminal 3 at 09:50 and arrives at Hong Kong International Airport at 13:30. The return flight, SQ 861, leaves Hong Kong at 16:00 and lands in Singapore at 19:40.

    Singapore Airlines reports that the A380 has proven exceptionally popular with its customers, with high load factors on all the routes it serves. System-wide, Singapore Airlines has flown more than 1.4 million customers on its A380s, which also serve Sydney, London, Tokyo, and Paris.

  34. On Tuesday, Boeing said it had identified problems with the aircraft body near where the wings are attached — a discovery that would delay test flights and delivery dates to dozens of customers for an unspecified amount of time.

    Boeing’s Dreamliner program was already running nearly two years behind schedule. With the plane’s latest delay, it is unclear when Boeing will finally fly the 787 or deliver the airplane to its first scheduled customer, Japan’s All Nippon Airways Co. In a statement, ANA chastised Chicago-based Boeing for not providing guidance on an updated delivery schedule.

    The setback will likely cost the company millions of dollars in penalties and concession to customers that have ordered the plane.

    “It’s going to take some years of high-volume production of solidly performing aircraft to get past this loss of face,” said Richard Aboulafia, an aviation analyst with the Teal Group.

    View Full Image

    Boeing’s 787 Dreamliner, pictured above, has been delayed again. Its original delivery date was scheduled for May 2008.
    Boeing’s stock, which had spiked upwards of 61% since mid-March, slumped on Tuesday’s news, losing 6.5%, or $3.03, to close at $43.87 in trading on the New York Stock Exchange.

    Until Tuesday, Boeing officials had been saying for weeks — including at last week’s Paris Air Show — that they were on track to get the plane airborne by the end of June, and make the first delivery to ANA by next March.

    “I think the airplane will fly in June…there is always a risk in flight test that you discover something that you didn’t anticipate that forces you to go back and rework part of the airplane,” James McNerney, Boeing’s chairman, president and chief executive, said at an investor conference in late May.

    During a Tuesday conference call, Scott Carson, chief executive of Boeing’s commercial airplane division, said, “While difficult, this was the prudent step to take.” The company acknowledged it would be “several weeks before a new schedule is available.” Boeing said it expects to continue various ground tests on the Dreamliner, even as officials attempt to resolve the problems.

    Up in the Air
    See how changes in the 787’s delivery forecasts have affected Boeing’s stock price.

    View Interactive

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    Delay Points to Difficulties With Composites Heard on the Street: A Dreamliner Deferred From the Archives
    Losing Ground to Airbus, Boeing Faces a Key Choice: Company Must Ponder Whether to Spend On Innovation or to Diversify Defensively (April 21, 2003)Boeing’s New Baby: Its 7E7 ‘Dreamliner’ Jet Would Offer ‘Mood’ (Nov. 13, 2003)Boeing Plans a Grand Unveiling For Dreamliner — but Can It Fly? (July 7, 2007)Boeing, in Embarrassing Setback, Says 787 Dreamliner Will Be Delayed (Oct. 11, 2007)Boeing Shakes Up Management as Delays Plague Dreamliner (Dec. 12, 2008)Boeing has been banking on the success of the Dreamliner to help in its battle with archrival Airbus, a division of European Aeronautic Defence & Space Co. Airbus, which had its own problems launching the double-decker superjumbo A380 over the past few years, is developing the A350 model to compete with the Dreamliner. Even before completion, the 787 Dreamliner, which Boeing says is about 20% cheaper to operate and a third of the cost to maintain than previous planes of its size, has been Boeing’s hottest-selling commercial airplane ever. The average list price: about $178 million per plane.

    Boeing’s 787 program has been beset with issues. Problems with the company’s global supply chain, including a shortage of certain parts, forced the company to postpone key test-flight and delivery dates at least four times since the plane made its public debut in 2007. Then a two-month strike by Boeing machinists last fall shut down the production line and stalled work at various suppliers, which pushed the date of the first flight into 2009.

    Last November, during routine inspections, engineers discovered that thousands of fasteners had been incorrectly installed on the first batch of 787s, which also required time to correct.

    The newer problems, says Boeing, emerged last month as engineers were conducting planned tests to assess the flexibility of the plane’s wings. During checks, the team discovered signs of stress in spots that the computer model used to design the jetliner had not predicted, said Pat Shanahan, Boeing’s vice president of airplane programs.

    As Boeing’s structural engineers and computer modelers analyzed the problem, Boeing officials continued saying the plane would fly by June 30. At the Paris Air Show, Mr. Carson said that the first delivery was scheduled for the first quarter of 2010. “But we have to get through flight tests,” he added.

    The company said that it would reveal the date of the first flight at least a week beforehand. That amounted to a commitment to make the announcement by Tuesday, June 23 — the day Boeing instead ended up revealing the new delay.

    At the time, Mr. Carson knew the plane faced problems, but engineers believed they could be managed, he now says. “We thought we had a solution,” Mr. Carson said on Tuesday’s conference call. “We were of a mind that the plane could enter flight tests” and still maneuver enough in the air to make the tests productive.

    But late last week, Mr. Carson said, engineers concluded the problem was more serious than previously thought and would severely limit the plane’s flight test abilities.

    The Dreamliner’s latest delay comes at a particularly difficult time for Boeing because its defense division, which executives had hoped would balance out the cyclical jetliner business with about $32 billion in annual revenue, is battling Pentagon cutbacks.

    The holdup could, however, carry benefits for airlines. Some will be happy to delay paying for a new plane, and even happier to receive millions of dollars in compensation payments for the lateness. But others are anxious to reap Dreamliner’s widely touted benefits, including greater comfort and appeal to passengers.

    “They can’t keep picking a date and missing it — the industry is depending on them,” said Virgin Atlantic Airways Ltd. spokesman Paul Charles. Virgin has 15 Dreamliners on order that were due in 2013, and was already in compensation talks with Boeing over previous delays, Mr. Charles said. Virgin on Monday announced an order for 10 new A330-model jetliners from Boeing competitor Airbus and said it is in talks to buy Airbus’s planned A350 model.

    Air Canada has already vowed to pursue restitution for the earlier delays, saying in its latest annual report that it “will be seeking compensation from Boeing.” A spokesman

  35. The A380’s in-service experience is being described as “amazing,” “outstanding” and “overwhelmingly positive” by the three airlines currently operating this 21st century Airbus flagship jetliner.

    The A380 continues to demonstrate its passenger-pleasing capabilities, and is being given high marks for operational performance by its airlines after more than 18 months in commercial service.

    To date, over 2 million passengers have flown aboard the 17 A380s in the colours of Singapore Airlines, Emirates and Qantas – with the fleet being utilised on a growing global route network, and clocking up over 50,000 revenue flight hours in 5,500 flights since first delivery.

    Singapore Airlines, which inaugurated the first-ever service with Airbus’ 21st century flagship in October 2007, said the A380 experienced the smoothest introduction of any of the carrier’s all-new aircraft types, while the jetliner’s entry-into-service was characterised as an “amazing outcome” by Qantas and “outstanding” by Emirates.

    Julien Manhes, Airbus’ A380 Product Marketing Manager, said this is a result of the unprecedented service introduction preparations that were made by Airbus in cooperation with the airlines and airports. The activity began during the jetliner’s development phase, and continued through the A380’s route proving, certification and service debut.

    “Airline confidence in the A380 is underscored by Qantas, which flew the Melbourne-Los Angeles route on its first day of revenue service,” Manhes explained. “Qantas is operating this 6,000 naut. mi.-plus route with the full 450-passenger capacity and cargo without any range problems.”

    Customer feedback has been excellent, with passengers commending the A380’s seating comfort in all classes of service, as well as the jetliner’s significantly lower cabin noise levels. Singapore Airlines reported an “overwhelmingly positive” response, while Emirates said the jetliner is “hugely popular…passengers are getting off the A380 feeling good.” Qantas feedback included the following comment: “There never has been anything like the A380, and customer reaction has been outstanding.”

    According to Manhes, airlines are finding an “A380 effect” as passengers ask to purchase tickets specifically on service operated by the aircraft – resulting in higher load factors (occupancy rates) for A380 flights.

    The operating experience of A380 airlines also has been positive, with the aircraft demonstrating its low operating costs, fuel efficiency, and reduced noise levels at airport arrivals and departures.

    Singapore Airlines CEO Chew Choon Seng was quoted as saying his carrier’s A380s are performing better than promised by Airbus in terms of technical performance – specifically fuel consumption, with the aircraft achieving a 20 per cent better fuel burn than its 747-400s in seat/mile terms.

    Some 85 airports around the world have been visited by A380s, and the 17 aircraft currently in airline service are serving 12 destinations: Auckland, Bangkok, Dubai, Hong Kong, London, Los Angeles, Melbourne, Paris, Singapore, Sydney, Tokyo and Toronto. “Airport compatibility is not an issue with the A380,” Manhes adde

  36. Qantas Takes Delivery of Fourth A380
    24/08/2009 10:34 (10:31 minutes ago)
    The FINANCIAL — Qantas has taken delivery of its fourth Airbus A380, with the aircraft touching down in Sydney earlier on August 24 after a ferry flight from Toulouse, France.

    Qantas Chief Executive Officer, Mr Alan Joyce, said the addition of the aircraft to the fleet would see Qantas A380 services to Los Angeles and London increase from 7 September.

    “Our A380 services, which commenced in October 2008, have been incredibly popular with customers and the aircraft has generated extremely positive customer feedback,” Mr Joyce said.

    “This fourth aircraft will allow us to increase Sydney-Singapore-London A380 services from three to five per week, and Sydney-Los Angeles services from three to four per week.

    “Our fifth and sixth A380s are also due for delivery by the end of the year, after which we will offer customers daily A380 services to London and Los Angeles from Sydney and increase Melbourne-Los Angeles services from two to three per week.

    “Qantas will then operate 17 return A380 services per week between Australia and the UK and US.”

    The new aircraft is named Fergus McMaster in honour of one of the airline’s founders and its first Chairman.

    “The first three Qantas A380s are named: Nancy-Bird Walton, after the first woman to fly a commercial aviation service in Australia; and Hudson Fysh and Paul McGinness, the two other founders of Qantas. Hudson Fysh was also Qantas’ first Managing Director,” Qantas informed.

    Since October 2008, Qantas has carried more than 300,000 passengers on its 450-seat, four class A380 services.

    In addition to the fifth and sixth aircraft due by the end of 2009, a further three are scheduled for delivery in 2010.

    Fergus McMaster: In 1919, Western Queensland grazier Fergus McMaster was helped by former Australian Flying Corps officer Paul McGinness when his car broke down as he tried to cross the sandy bed of the Cloncurry River. Impressed by this act of kindness, McMaster was receptive to an ambitious idea – to found an airline that would abolish the tyranny of Australia’s great rural distances. With McGinness and Hudson Fysh, McMaster became a co-founder of Qantas and the first Chairman of the Company. He registered the name Queensland and Northern Territory Aerial Service on 16 November 1920 and helped find the investors and capital needed for the airline to succeed.

  37. Come 29 September 2009, customers travelling between Singapore and Melbourne will get to enjoy an unrivalled inflight experience as Singapore Airlines operates the Airbus A380, the largest passenger aircraft in the world, to the city.
    Melbourne will be the second city in Australia and sixth city in the Airline’s network to receive the A380. Sydney was the first to receive the superjumbo when Singapore Airlines began operating the A380 in October 2007. The Airline subsequently added London, Tokyo, Paris and Hong Kong to its list of A380 destinations.
    “We are excited to fly the A380 to Melbourne, the second most populous city in Australia and a vibrant centre for commerce, arts, industry, sports and tourism. As the greenest widebody aircraft in the sky, the 471-seat A380 will increase the seat capacity to Melbourne by 10%, without the need for additional frequencies,” said Mr. Huang Cheng Eng, Executive Vice President, Marketing and the Regions.
    The daily A380 flights will replace an existing daily Boeing 747-400 service to Melbourne. SQ227 will depart Singapore Changi Airport at 2100hrs and arrive in Melbourne at 0610hrs (0710hrs from 4 October 2009 due to daylight savings) the next day. On the return leg, SQ228 will depart Melbourne at 1550hrs (1650hrs from 4 October 2009) and touch down in Singapore at 2140hrs

  38. Boeing loses $3 billion Qantas order for 787
    Australian carrier Qantas said today that it has an agreement with Boeing to cancel orders for 15 Boeing 787 Dreamliners and to defer the delivery of 15 more.

    Qantas is canceling its orders for the 787-9 variant and deferring delivery of the 787-8 variant. The canceled orders had been for planes scheduled for delivery in 2014/2015.

    Qantas Chief Executive Officer Alan Joyce said that the company had been in talks with Boeing for months and the decision was not influenced by Boeing’s announcement on Tuesday that it would delay first flight of the 787.

    “Qantas announced its original B787 order in December 2005, and the operating environment for the world’s airlines has clearly changed dramatically since then,” Joyce said in a statement. “The agreement we have reached with Boeing will provide greater certainty going forward in terms of our fleet renewal and growth strategies as well as broader resource planning and matching capacity with demand.”

    “It will also allow Qantas to manage capital investment more effectively while still delivering an aircraft that offers sound prospects for our flying businesses and our customers,” he added.

    He said that the canceled order is worth $3 billion at aircraft listed prices.

    Joyce called Boeing’s latest 787 delay “disappointing,” but said that his companies does not “expect it to impact the Qantas Group given these changes to our delivery program. We remain committed to the aircraft as the right choice — for Jetstar’s future international expansion, Qantas’ growth and as a replacement for Qantas’ B767-300 fleet.”

    Despite the cancellation, Qantas Group remains the biggest airline customer for 787 family of aircraft with firm orders for 50 aircraft. The group has ordered 35 787-9s and 15 B787-8s.

    The 787-9s will go to subsidiary Jetstar for its international operations.

  39. The A380’s first two European operators – French flag carrier Air France, and Germany’s national airline Lufthansa – are building the excitement as they prepare for upcoming service introductions of the 21st century Airbus flagship jetliner.

    Air France will be the first operator to offer A380 transatlantic travel between Europe and the U.S., flying from its hub at Paris’ Charles de Gaulle Airport to New York beginning this November. The aircraft subsequently will be used on routes between Paris and Dubai, Johannesburg and Tokyo.

    The French carrier’s A380s are being outfitted to carry 538 passengers in its three cabin classes – with the main deck accommodating nine seats in Première (First) and 343 in Voyageur (Economy), while the upper deck will seat 80 in Business and 106 in Voyageur (Economy).

    To mark the A380’s service entry, Air France will conduct a worldwide Internet auction of 380 seats on each of its two inaugural flights, operating from Paris to New York on 20 November, and New York to Paris on the following day. In addition to experiencing the A380’s first scheduled transatlantic voyages in Air France service, auction winners will tour New York and Paris. Profits from the auction – to be held in October – will be used to fund three humanitarian projects supported by the Air France Foundation for children in distress.

    From 23 November, Air France’s revenue service with the A380 will feature two daily flights between Paris and New York, except on Wednesdays.

    Lufthansa plans to use its A380s primarily on heavily-travelled routes to Asia and North America. The carrier is focusing on approximately 20 airports across the globe as destinations for the A380, which will enter revenue service during the summer 2010 flight schedule.

    To promote its new service, Lufthansa has developed an interactive A380 mini-website that covers subjects ranging from the aircraft’s build-up process on Airbus’ final assembly line to airport operations once it enters revenue service with the airline.

    This specially-designed site offers puzzles, contests, games and images, as well as video-on-demand functions themed around the 21st century flagship. One Flash-based game enables players to use their cursor keys to successfully navigate a digital A380 to its airport gate. Visitors also can also access an online shop that sells Lufthansa-branded A380 merchandise, from beach towels to crystal replicas of the aircraft.

  40. Singapore Airlines has launched Airbus A380 flights between Singapore Changi Airport and Melbourne, the capital city of the Australian state of Victoria.

    Flight SQ227, operated with a 471-seat double-decker A380 aircraft, departs Singapore at 21:00 to arrive in Melbourne at around 05:45. The return journey departs Melbourne at 15:50 and touches down in Singapore at 21:40.

    Melbourne is the second Australian city and sixth city in Singapore Airlines’ network to receive the A380. Singapore Airlines currently operates 21 weekly flights between Singapore and Melbourne, including the daily A380 service.

    “The A380 continues to be extremely popular with our customers, as we see very positive booking response for our scheduled A380 services between Singapore and Melbourne. Since the start of its operation in October 2007, the A380 has carried more than 1.8 million customers on more than 4,600 commercial flights. Our A380 customers tremendously enjoy the quiet cabin ambience, our innovative inflight products and gracious service delivered by our cabin crew. On routes with multiple daily frequencies operated with different aircraft, many of our customers will specifically choose the service that is operated by this clean and green superjumbo,” said Mr. Huang Cheng Eng, Singapore Airlines’ Executive Vice President, Marketing and the Regions.

    The A380 features the exclusive Singapore Airlines Suites. Each suite comes with sliding doors and adjustable roller-blinds, and a luxurious leather seat upholstered by Italy’s Poltrona Frau. Come bedtime, a full-sized bed with plush pillows and duvet is deployed for the customer by the cabin crew.

    At 86 centimetres (34 inches), the Singapore Airlines Business Class seat is one of the widest in its class. Fully adjustable by an intuitive control panel, the seat can be adjusted to suit any seating or lounging positions. The seatback folds down easily to form a comfortable, full-flat bed. The intelligent design allows customers to lounge in bed to watch movies or TV programmes, read or dine as they would in the comfort of their own homes.

    Utilising advanced materials, the ergonomically-designed Economy Class seat provides customers with comfortable legroom and personal space. With smart innovations like the non-intrusive reading lights and height-adjustable leather headrest, the Singapore Airlines Economy Class promises more comfort and privacy than ever.

    Singapore Airlines first started A380 operations to Sydney in October 2007, and subsequently added superjumbo services to London, Tokyo, Paris, Hong Kong and now, Melbourne. The airline currently has 10 A380s in the fleet, with a further nine on firm order and options on six more.

    SQ227 departs from Singapore Changi Airport Terminal 3. Customers should proceed to Terminal 3 to check in for this flight.

    See other recent news regarding: Airlines, Airports, Flights, Codeshare, Lounges, First Class, Business Class, MICE, GDS, Rewards, Miles, Hotels, Apartments, Promotions, Spas, New Hotels, Traffic, Visitor Arrivals, Cruises, Free Deals, Singapore Airlines, Airbus, A380, Australia, Melbourne, Singapore

  41. The latest results reflect charges incurred to modify Boeing’s 787 Dreamliner and the new updated version of its 747 jumbo jet.

    The steeper-than-anticipated loss has led the company to cut its profit forecast for 2009.

    Shares in the firm fell 2.4% to $50.64 after the figures were announced.

    The loss compares with a profit of $695m made in the same period a year earlier.

  42. I think that in around 5-10years when these European airlines have there A380’s the middle east will turn from being a HUB to the world to just short haul flights. EY and EK will suffer alot as who is going to want to transit through the middle east with hours to wait between flights and the possibility of further delays with technical problems when they will soon be able to fly direct say from Heathrow to Sydney with out stopping. When this happens then the European or US airlines are going to see a huge profit in the sales in seats while the middle easy airlines like Emirates and Etihad will see a huge reduction in passenger loads.

  43. Air France will become the first European airline to receive the A380 when its no. 1 aircraft is accepted during a ceremony at Airbus’ Hamburg, Germany delivery centre. The French flag carrier currently has a total of 12 A380s on order. Live video streaming of this milestone event is scheduled to begin at 11:00 a.m. French time (10:00 a.m. GMT) on the Airbus website.

  44. Happy Second Birthday to the Airbus A380 by Laura Jackson
    October 28, 2009

    October 25, 2009, marked the second anniversary of the first commercial flight by the Airbus A380, the world’s largest passenger aircraft. Singapore Airlines inaugurated this airplane with a flight from Singapore (SIN) to Sydney, Australia (SYD).
    Over the past two years, the A380 has logged nearly 9,000 flight operations. Three airlines are currently operating scheduled passenger flights on the Airbus A380 – Emirates, Qantas and Singapore. Air France will become the first European airline to join this elite group. In fact, Air France will take delivery of its first A380 on October 30, 2009, at a ceremony in Hamburg, Germany. Service between Paris (CDG) and New York (JFK) will be inaugurated on November 20, 2009.
    By the end of 2009, a total of 14 airports around the world will handle service on the A380 on a regular basis. Singapore Changi Airport has the distinction as the busiest Airbus A380 airport in the world – nearly one in three Airbus A380 flights touchdown in Singapore. London Heathrow (LHR), Sydney (SYD), Dubai (DXB), and Tokyo/Narita (NRT) round out the busiest A380 airports.
    There are currently 19 A380s that have been delivered to customers, and all are in operation. The seating configuration for the A380 varies by airline. All Qantas A380s have 450 seats; all Singapore A380s and Air France A380s have 471 seats; and all Emirates A380s have 489 seats.
    An additional 180 Airbus A380s are on order by 14 airlines and one leasing company. Emirates is the largest customer of A380s and will have a total of 58 in its fleet when deliveries are complete. Qantas (20), Singapore (19), Lufthansa (15), Air France (12) and British Airways (12) round out the top five Airbus A380 customers.
    Qantas has the distinction of operating both the longest and the shortest A380 routes. The longest A380 route measures 7,920 statute miles, the distance between Melbourne, Australia (MEL) and Los Angeles, USA (LAX). The shortest A380 route measures 1340 statute miles, the distance between Sydney and Auckland, New Zealand (AKL).
    After two short years, the Airbus A380 story is only at the beginning; many more exciting milestones lie ahead.

  45. webzealot Says:

    Airbus A380’s Bar, Flatbeds, Showers Irk Engineers
    By Andrea Rothman

    Oct. 30 (Bloomberg) — Air France-KLM Group takes delivery today of its first Airbus A380 double-decker jet fitted with a lounge bar and on-demand video, luxuries that have complicated assembly of the plane already plagued by production delays.

    Letting airlines take travel comfort to the next level with showers, enclosed suites or bar lounges has made the A380 a hit on routes in Asia where the super-jumbo operates. For Airbus, the gizmos have spawned engineering woes that haunt a program reeling from cost overruns, sluggish demand and order deferrals.

    “They customized the plane to death, and that’s preventing them from reaching the production levels they’d talked about,” said Rupinder Vig, an analyst at Morgan Stanley in London. “The other issue is that customers clearly don’t want the plane now as much as they wanted it a year or two ago.”

    Air France is the first European airline to receive the world’s largest passenger aircraft, which will link Paris and New York after its Nov. 20 maiden voyage. Airbus, the world’s largest maker of commercial aircraft, hands over the jet, which seats more than 500 passengers, at a ceremony in Hamburg today.

    When the A380 entered service in October 2007, it was two years late and $6 billion over its original $12 billion budget. The delays were partly the result of French and German engineers using different software tools. As a consequence, cabins were improperly wired, and the work had to be redone by hand.

    ‘A Challenge’

    Customizing the A380 for carriers is “a big challenge,” Airbus Chief Executive Officer Thomas Enders said in a Bloomberg Television interview today. Giving customers wide latitude with design and cabin outfit has helped them generate higher revenue per passenger, making it worth the effort, said Stefan Schaffrath, a spokesman. And while many airlines have postponed deliveries, not one has canceled the passenger jet, Schaffrath said.

    Airbus introduced a single design platform so the planes could be assembled by automation starting from the 26th model. That move, started this year, proved slower than foreseen, partly from challenges to get workers up to speed on the unified software. With Air France today, Airbus will have delivered just seven A380s this year, compared with its target of 13.

    Nick Cunningham of Evolution Securities in London says Airbus was under pressure to grant a previously unheard-of customization level. The aircraft itself didn’t bring major efficiency benefits over smaller jets such as Airbus’s 250-seat A330-200 widebody model, he said. The additional space also prompted airlines to consider cabins impossible on other jets.


    “They needed to sell the plane on other things,” said Cunningham. “They had to offer a lot of customization, such as showers, and all sorts of gizmos.”

    By contrast, Boeing Co. kept customization to a minimum when it began offering the 787, letting clients visit a showroom in Seattle where they could pick from pre-selected options. That plane, too, is more than two years behind schedule, though for reasons relating to materials, design and supplier bottlenecks.

    The additional space on the Airbus has allowed Singapore Airlines, the A380s first customer, for example, to add private cabins that feature Italian leather seats and full-sized flat beds. There is no plan to add showers or bars to the cabins for now, said Nicholas Ionides, a spokesman for the airline.

    When Airbus first disclosed the magnitude of the design flaws more than three years ago, the company slashed initial targets. By October 2006, a new schedule called for one plane being delivered in 2007, 13 in 2008, 25 in 2009 and 45 in 2010.

    Behind Target

    Airbus only came through on the first year. In 2008, it handed over 12 jets, and dropped the target for 2009 to 18 at the start of this year, before lowering it further to 14, and subsequently 13. For 2010, Airbus is officially targeting “more than 20”, or less than half the number planned earlier. Vig, the Morgan Stanley analyst, predicts deliveries closer to 13.

    Airbus began offering the plane in December 2000 and estimates it’ll get at least 700 orders within 20 years. So far, it has 200 firm orders from 16 customers. They include 14 airlines, as well as airplane leasing company International Lease Finance Corp. One private customer, Saudi billionaire Prince Alwaleed bin Talal, also ordered a jet.

    The last new order came from British Airways Plc in September 2007, for 12 aircraft. No new customer has signed up since. European Aeronautic Defence & Space Co., Airbus’s parent, estimated in 2006 it would break even on its A380 investment after selling 420 planes. The company had previously set that mark at 300 units. Since 2007, EADS has refrained from public targets, saying Boeing doesn’t disclose such figures either.

    Profitable Project?

    “The critical question is: Are they ever going to make any money on this plane?” said Hans Weber, the chief executive officer of consulting company Tecop International that advises companies including Boeing and EADS.

    Weber estimates Airbus is selling the first 100 jets at a discount of 40 percent on average off the initial list price of $240 million. The price for an A380 has since risen to $327 million. He also puts development costs at about $20 billion.

    The slow production pace is creating additional cost overruns. Inventory has built up before Airbus needs the parts. The A380 is pieced together in a cross-border effort, with the wings coming from Wales, the tail from Germany and Spain, and the cockpit from France. The pieces are sent by ship, barge and truck to Toulouse in southwestern France, where the plane is assembled before flying to Hamburg for cabin outfitting.

    Slumping Travel

    To be sure, the A380 has to contend with turbulences beyond the company’s control. The global airline industry may lose $11 billion this year, the International Air Transport Association predicted in September, widening its June forecast by $2 billion. Asia-Pacific carriers, a key customer group for the A380, will account for a third of that, the group predicted.

    Of the 14 airline customers for the plane, 10 have asked to push back at least some A380 deliveries. Yesterday, Deutsche Lufthansa, which has 15 on order, announced that it would defer some A380s. Other postponing carriers include Singapore Airlines, Kingfisher Airlines in India, Qatar Airways, Air France, and Virgin Atlantic. The biggest single customer for the jet is Emirates, which eventually aims to operate 58 A380s.

    Still, wherever the A380 does fly, passengers are flocking to board the plane. Singapore Air flew more than 1.6 million passengers on the A380 since flights with the 471-seat plane began in October 2007, filling more than 80 percent of seats on average, said Ionides, the airline spokesman.

    “It’s definitely an attractive flagship for airlines,” said Richard Aboulafia, vice president of the Teal Group, a Fairfax, Virginia-based forecaster. “But it will never be the mainstay of anyone’s fleet.”

  46. Air France has taken delivery of its first Airbus A380. The French carrier is the first European airline to fly the all-new double-deck aircraft on scheduled services. The aircraft is the twentieth A380 delivered by Airbus. The aircraft was handed over in a delivery ceremony today in Hamburg, Germany, to Pierre-Henri Gourgeon, Chief Executive Officer of Air France KLM and to Jean-Cyril Spinetta, Chairman of the Board of Directors of Air France KLM, by Tom Enders, Airbus President and CEO, and in the presence of James Moravecek, Engine Alliance President.

    At the ceremony Air France unveiled its spacious and comfortable cabin, featuring 538 seats in a three class configuration (nine First, 80 Business and 449 Voyageur Economy). The cabin features innovative mood lighting with several different lighting scenarios to create a calm atmosphere and environment for its passengers.

    “Each A380 will enable Air France to save 12 to 15 million euros a year, which, in today’s depressed economic climate, provides the Company with the means to withstand the crisis” said Pierre-Henri Gourgeon Chief Executive Officer of Air France KLM.” Air France will therefore be able to offer customers even greater comfort, while keeping costs under control. Furthermore, the performance of the A380 is in line with our environmental commitments”, he added.

    “This delivery marks another milestone in the longstanding history and partnership between Air France and Airbus,” said Tom Enders, Airbus President and CEO. “It fills us with great pride that our first ever aircraft customer is now also the first European airline to operate the A380.We are convinced the A380 will greatly contribute to Air France’ continued success.”

    The aircraft is powered by four Engine Alliance GP7200 engines delivering up to 72,000 lbs of thrust each. The A380 has an unmatched fuel efficiency, consuming less than three litres per 100 kilometres per passenger. Thanks to excellent aerodynamic performance, the A380complies with today’s strictest noise limits, and also makes it the quietest large aircraft flying today. The all new double deck aircraft generates only half as much noise on take-off and landing as the previous largest passenger aircraft. The A380 provides also vital extra passenger capacity without increasing the number of flights, and is therefore part of the solution for sustainable growth at congested airports

    The aircraft’s efficient performance and industry leading technology result in higher operational flexibility and outstanding operational economics. With a range of more than 15,000 km/8,000 nm and seat-mile costs 20 per cent lower than its closest competitor.

    Air France ordered 10 A380s in June 2001 and added another two in 2007.

    Air France’s first A380 will start its commercial service with inaugural flights on the 20th and 21st November on the Paris – New York – Paris route. As the largest Airbus operator in Europe with a fleet of 183 aircraft, the airline currently operates 34 A330 and A340 aircraft as well as 149 A320 family aircraft. Air France took delivery of the first Airbus aircraft in 1974 and was also the first carrier in the world to operate aircraft from the entire Airbus Single-Aisle A320 Family.

    The new Air France A380 is the 20th A380 delivered by Airbus – 10 are already flying with Singapore, five with Emirates and four with Qantas. These aircraft are connecting four continents on 13 major international routes. Today 12 major international hub-airports around the world regularly welcome the A380 including: Auckland, Bangkok, Dubai, Hong Kong, London, Los Angeles, Melbourne, Paris, Singapore, Sydney, Tokyo and Toronto.

    Up to now, the A380 fleet has accumulated over 75,000 revenue flight hours in over 7,900 commercial flights. Over 2,5 million passengers have already enjoyed flying the A380.

    Airbus has won 200 firm A380 orders from 16 customers worldwide, including Air France.

  47. Air Austral signs firm order for two single class A380s
    17 November 2009

    Bringing unprecedented levels of eco-efficiency on routes from La Réunion to Paris

    Air Austral, based in Saint Denis, La Réunion, has ordered two A380s, the most advanced, spacious and eco-efficient airliner in service today. Powered by Engine Alliance engines and seating around 840 passengers in a single-class configuration, the aircraft will be operated on the high-density route from La Réunion to Paris, France.

    “The A380 will offer the best comfort of any aircraft in a high density configuration. With its spacious and extremely quiet cabins, we’ll enter a new era in terms of economic air travel.” said Gérard Ethève, President of Air Austral.

    “Air Austral opens a new chapter for A380 operations. It will operate the A380 with the lowest fuel cost and emissions per passenger of any aircraft available today” said John Leahy, Airbus Chief Operating Officer Customers. “The in-service experience has shown just how efficient the A380 really is, and this order from Air Austral demonstrates new ways of benefiting from that efficiency”.

    Being greener, cleaner, quieter and smarter, the A380 is already setting new standards for air transport and the environment. In addition to offering unequalled levels of passenger comfort, space and quietness in the cabin, the A380 has unmatched levels of operating costs and fuel efficiency, consuming generally less than three litres per passenger per 100 kilometres. With the Air Austral configuration, fuel consumption levels below two litres per passenger per 100 kilometres can be expected.

    The A380 not only complies with today’s noise limits, it is also significantly quieter than any other large aircraft flying today. With a range of 8 200 nm / 15 200 km, and seating 525 passengers in a standard three-class layout while being much more eco-efficient, the A380 is the ideal equipment to alleviate traffic congestion at busy airports, while coping with growth.

    20 A380s are in service with four customers, connecting four continents on 13 major international routes. The in-service A380 fleet has accumulated over 82,000 revenue flight hours in over 8,700 commercial flights. Over 3 million passengers have already enjoyed flying the A380.

    Orders for the aircraft stand at 202 from 17 customers.

  48. Air France today became the first European airline to operate the double-decker Airbus A380 in commercial service, completing its inaugural flight from Charles De Gaulle Airport in Paris to John F. Kennedy Airport in New York.

    While Air France is actually the third carrier to operate the world’s largest commercial aircraft on U.S. routes—following Emirates and Qantas—this flight marks perhaps the most politically significant milestone the A380 program has achieved so far, connecting the country where Airbus assembles the aircraft to the home of the manufacturer’s archrival, Boeing.

    Most of the 538 seats aboard the inaugural flight were auctioned to travel enthusiasts curious to fly the new “Superjumbo,” with all proceeds to be donated to charity.

    Air France, which had already operated several daily flights between Paris and New York using various types of aircraft, will increase capacity by flying one daily round-trip with the A380 beginning Monday, November 23rd. The carrier has 11 additional copies of the aircraft on order, which will be used for other long haul routes such as Paris-Johannesburg.

    Coincidentally, today’s flight comes a day after a report that Boeing has set a new target date for the first flight of their new 787 Dreamliner, a program plagued by delays and design problems comparable to those suffered by Airbus and the A380. The new A380’s arrival also comes just days after Boeing’s own new “very large aircraft,” the 747-8, emerged from its assembly hangar for the first time.

  49. Boeing Co. (NYSE: BA) has announced yet another delay to the 787 Dreamliner. The aerospace giant has announced that first flight of the 787 Dreamliner will be postponed due to a need to reinforce an area within the side-of-body section of the aircraft. This does appear to be an event that will cause rescheduling for deliveries as well. First flight and first delivery will be rescheduled following the final determination of the required modification and testing plan.

    The company noted that the need was identified during the recent regularly scheduled tests on the full-scale static test airplane. Boeing’s preliminary analysis indicated that the flight test could proceed this month as planned. After further testing and consideration of possible modified flight test plans, Boeing said that the decision was made late last week that first flight should instead be postponed until productive flight testing could occur.

    It will be several weeks before the new schedule is available. The 787 team will continue with other aspects of testing, including final gauntlet testing and low-speed taxiing. Work will also continue on the other five flight test aircraft and the subsequent aircraft in the production system.

    It looks like this will have an impact on guidance as well. Boeing said that its financial guidance will be updated to reflect any impact of these changes when it reports second quarter 2009 earnings report in July.

    Boeing shares are down close to 5% at $44.56 in active early pre-market trading.

    How many delays can one plane have? And how large do these planes really need to get?

    Jon C. Ogg
    June 23, 2009

  50. With all the delays with 787 dreamliner – a real dream.. The A380 are making commercial flight with over 3 million passengers next year more A 380 will join while 787 will still wait to begin a text flight

  51. Ah Farzand my friend… I do enjoy your posts! But I think you are missing the point of the original article. I never intended this to be an Airbus vs. Boeing argument. My point was that the big A380 is being created and produced in a time when this type of aircraft is becoming increasingly irrelevant. The big quad-jet jumbos (and I include the 747) are relics of a bygone era, to be quickly replaced by the far more efficient twin jets.

    The A380 has now been on sale for almost nine full years… Yet in all that time the plane is less than halfway to its alleged break-even point of 425 airframes… And in fact orders have slowed to a mere trickle with single digit orders over the last two years. It is now so bad that the announcement of an order for just TWO from a week or so ago now constitutes big news.

    Yes, Boeing should be absolutely ashamed of its 787 schedule… Of that there is no doubt. However, at 840 firm orders, the decision to produce the 787 seems to have been the correct one.

    Orders for all the twin jets (and that includes A330s, and A350s) will continue to grow in all likelihood… But A380 and 747 orders? Who knows… Probably just more trickles.

  52. In a departure from previous practice, Ethiopian Airlines has confirmed 12 orders for the A350-900, presently under development by Airbus and thought to rival, if not outshine, the B787 in terms of operating cost and performance.

    Until now, it was considered almost impossible for Airbus to break the Boeing monopoly that they have enjoyed with Ethiopian Airlines, but the ongoing and further delays for the delivery of the B787 Dreamliner – now often dubbed “Boeing’s nightmare” – seems to have tipped the scales for ET to take steps to remedy the situation.

    However, Boeing still got an order for 5 B777-200LR, presently the manufacturer’s largest twin-engine jet and a proven performer vis-a-vis the ageing B767s, which Ethiopian is keen to phase out to save on operating costs.

    No information has been received yet from Kenya Airways, also wanting to replace their B767 fleet, on which way they intend to go over their delayed B787 order, but it is worth noticing that both airlines also operate approved maintenance organizations dedicated to Boeing aircraft, which would make a complete switch to Airbus models rather more challenging.

    However, as Qatar’s CEO said last week, it is time for Boeing to get serious now or else “heads have to roll.”

    No information could be obtained, however, about the fate of the Ethiopian Airlines order for the B787 – whether a formal cancellation notice had been issued, if the order had been deferred, or if the B777 order was a trade off between ET and Boeing.

    Airbus has now sold just below 500 of their latest addition to their aircraft family, although the A350 has also been dogged with delays, although not as substantial as the one’s encountered by Boeing with their B787.

  53. Only time will tell if a 380 is a sucess story,the orders have gone due to the world economy not because it does not make economic sense. SQ is making money on a 380 flights and as they receive more a 380 those destination will generate more revenue. example SIN/PAR/SIN now with only daily flight from SIN to CDG SQ make more $$$ then earlier 10 flight a week with b 777

  54. What we consider a luxury now becomes a standard within 5 years. Example in cars power windows GPS air-condition and heated seats. These were unimaginable 20 years ago in a car, now most cars have them. Customer demands are unlimited. The VLA (very large aircraft) can offer showers, twin flat bed, bar etc…. B 787 can never provide them, as the aircraft is not large enough. North American may be short of funds but the Asian are getting richer and their demand are more…. There are already talk of having flying casino from Macao to Las Vagas with a 380. Earlier in the 80s a customer flying would demand a good meal and a good night rest while flying overnight on a non-stop flight. As we came to the 90s the flight needed to have in-flight movie plus many channel music. Now each seats needs to have its own monitor with more then 6 channel in movies plus a verity of music channel plus internet and excess to telephone. As the demand grows for more gismos so does the wiring for each passenger seat. Therefore a 380 is meeting the demand of its passengers and more passengers are flying on a 380. We at North America might cut our cost and take less and be willing to pay even for a pillow on a flight, but Asia and Middle East is another market… a very growing market and Airbus with a380 is meeting that niche….

  55. Emirates Takes Delivery Of Sixth A380 (13 December 2009)

    Forging ahead with the airline’s immense fleet expansion Emirates has taken delivery of its sixth Airbus A380 aircraft.

    The colossal aircraft landed in Dubai late last night after travelling from the Jürgen Thomas Delivery Centre in Hamburg, Germany. The aircraft is currently being fitted with the airline’s service hallmarks at Emirates’ world class engineering facility, in preparation for entry into service.

    Taking delivery of this mammoth plane Adel Al Redha, Emirates’ Executive Vice President Engineering and Operations said: “The delivery of our sixth A380 aircraft is testament to Emirates’ steadfast resilience amidst the global economic crisis. The A380 offers us the ability to support our operational needs and meet passenger demand, an important factor with international load levels looking positive over the next few months.”

    Serving six far reaching destinations including; Sydney, Auckland, Bangkok, Toronto, Heathrow and from tomorrow Seoul, Emirates’ A380 aircraft provide a greener option for long haul travel through substantial reductions in noise, emissions and fuel burn. From 29th December Emirates will also commence an A380 service to Paris, with the carrier’s seventh A380 aircraft due for delivery later this month.

    Designed to provide customers with the greatest travel comforts on long-range journeys, the Emirates’ A380 – with 14 First Class Private Suites, 76 Business Class and 399 Economy seats – represents the latest innovation and technology from a company recognized internationally for its in-flight amenities and services.

    Unique to the Emirates aircraft are its Shower Spas – two fully-equipped bathrooms in the First Class cabins with shower facilities. Emirates A380’s ground-breaking in-flight product also features an Onboard Lounge for First and Business Class passengers which includes a bar with a wide range of beverages and canapés as well as an exclusive space to socialise or simply relax.

    Spread over two levels, the whole of the A380 upper deck is dedicated to premium passengers. Towards the front, First Class passengers can relax in one of 14 flat-bed, massage-equipped Private Suites. These incorporate remote-controlled doors, a work desk, an electrically controlled mini-bar and the most advanced in-flight entertainment system available to travellers.

    The main deck is dedicated to Economy class passengers and is fitted with comfortable seating as well as seat back individual 12 inch LCD screens, offering passengers a wide range of in-flight entertainment.

    The arrival of sixth Airbus A380 brings Emirates’ all-wide bodied passenger fleet to 142 aircraft. Emirates operates services to 101 cities spanning 62 countries on six continents

  56. Airbus’ 21st century flagship has made its name as the world’s largest, greenest passenger aircraft, and has captured the imagination of air passengers everywhere.

    The big news for operators is that the A380 is earning hard dollars at the same time. Introducing this next-generation jetliner is saving customers millions in operating costs annually while creating thousands of extra seats on long-haul routes. With the lowest cost per seat and the lowest emissions per passenger of any large aircraft, the A380 provides a competitive edge.

    The A380 is generating excitement as well as profits. With the best cabin in the sky offering unparalleled comfort for all, the A380 has become a must-have ticket on every route it flies – resulting in higher load factors, a higher market share, and higher profit margins for operators.

    A new role for the A380 is as a high-density airliner for certain applications, including the opening of low-cost travel to more markets. Air Austral is the first customer acquiring Airbus’ 21st century flagship in a single-class configuration – to be operated between La Reunion in the Indian Ocean and Paris, France with an 840-passenger capacity, offering the largest and most comfortable economy-class seat in this market.

    Airbus’ A380 is one long-term investment that everyone can get excited about. More than 2.5 million passengers have already relaxed in the comfort of its double-deck, wide-bodied cabin, which offers 50 per cent more floor space than any other high-capacity aircraft.

    Taking a clean-sheet design for airlines’ operational needs of tomorrow, Airbus developed the A380 as the most spacious and efficient airliner ever conceived. This 525-seat aircraft – which flies to approximately a dozen major hub airports around the world as of October 2009, connecting four continents on major international routes – delivers an unparalleled level of comfort while retaining all the benefits of commonality with Airbus’ other fly-by-wire aircraft Families.

    Airbus has gone to great lengths to make long-haul flying aboard the A380 feel more natural, with broader seats, more personal storage, better head room and wider stairs. The cabin air is recycled every three minutes to keep the atmosphere fresh. Natural light is provided by 220 cabin windows. Four high-level air outlets instead of the traditional two helps passengers to feel fresher, both during and after the flight.

    The wide open spaces outside the A380 benefit from its design, too. By producing only about 75g of CO2 per passenger kilometre – well below current international limits – the A380 is helping the aviation industry’s commitment to minimise greenhouse gas emissions. In addition, the stringent ISO 14001 corporate certification awarded to Airbus recognises the company’s use of a robust Environmental Management System to minimise the environmental impact of the A380 throughout its life cycle.

    Airbus’ A380 offers a flying experience no other aircraft in the sky can match. And it’s making more than just headlines – the A380 also has proven its revenue-generating success, and promises even greater potential with both current and future operators.

  57. The aviation world’s first A380 operation to Seoul, and Emirates’ first A380 flight to North East Asia touched down to a vibrant and colourful welcome at Incheon International Airport this afternoon.

    The first commercial A380 jet to land on Korean soil brought with it passengers from 27 countries including the U.A.E., Bahrain, Qatar, Iran, Jordan, Kuwait, South Africa, Nigeria, Ethiopia and the UK, and over 10 tonnes of cargo.

    The new service demonstrates Emirates’ investment in the Korean economy, perfectly timed to support ‘Visit Korea Year’ in 2010. It will operate initially on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, advancing to a daily operation from 27th December.

    A high-level Emirates delegation led by Tim Clark, President, Emirates airline travelled on the first A380 flight. It included Richard Vaughan, Divisional Senior Vice President, Commercial Operations Worldwide and Richard Jewsbury, Senior Vice President, Commercial Operations Far East and Australasia. On arrival the delegation was welcomed by CW Lee, President and CEO of Incheon International Airport Corporation; YJ Woo, Chief Administrator of Seoul Regional Aviation Administration; Sonia Hong, Secretary General of Visit Korea Committee and over 120 government dignitaries and media personnel.

    Mr. Clark noted: “Emirates is delighted to launch Korea’s first A380 service. Our partners at Incheon International Airport have invested heavily to make the airport a world-class A380 facility and for this we thank them.

    “Air transportation is a key facilitator of economic growth. Since the launch of Emirates services to Seoul in 2005 using an Airbus 340-300, we have stimulated the flow of business and leisure traffic to and from Korea. Our flights have connected Korea to potential and emerging Middle East and African markets thus creating new business opportunities. Our services have also served the needs of over 70,000 Korean corporate travellers and holiday-makers visiting the UAE annually.

    “While I am confident the enhanced capacity of the A380 will add further momentum to the growth of the Korean economy, I believe it is just not enough. The strong demand for passenger and cargo services on the Dubai-Seoul-Dubai route outstrips the available capacity which is restricted by the present bilateral agreement to eight flights a week. ”

    The U.A.E. and Korea share close relations, strengthened further with the high profile visits of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the U.A.E. and Ruler of Dubai to Korea in May 2007, and of Noh Moo-Hyun, the (late) President of Korea to the U.A.E. in 2007.

    Korea is a major stakeholder in Dubai’s expansion and Korean companies are involved in some of the most high-profile projects in the emirate. Korea is also one of the UAE’s leading trade partners with over 150% growth in total trade over the past five years. The U.A.E. and in particular Dubai is home to the Arab world’s largest Korean population. Close to a 1000 Koreans work for Emirates airline alone, primarily as cabin crew.

    Emirates A380 operation will support the Korean government’s drive to make Incheon International Airport a major Asian hub. Mr. Lee said:

    Emirates A380 operation will support the Korean government’s drive to make Incheon International Airport a major Asian hub. Mr. Lee said: “I am delighted Emirate airline has chosen Incheon International Airport as its first A380 destination in Northeast Asia. In January 2009 we committed to give the very best service to Emirates’ A380, and by September 2009 we had completed all our infrastructure upgrades. We now boast a world-class A380 facility, and are equally excited to welcome A380 services by other airlines.”

    Seoul is Emirates sixth A380 destination, and comes a few days ahead of the airline’s scheduled A380 operations to Paris on 29th December. Currently the Dubai-based airline has six A380s in its fleet which are operating to London, Sydney, Auckland, Bangkok and Toronto.

    The Emirates’ A380 represents the latest innovation and technology from a company recognised internationally for its in-flight amenities and services. Unique to the Emirates aircraft are its Shower Spas – two fully-equipped bathrooms in the First class cabin with shower facilities. Emirates’ A380 ground-breaking in-flight product also features an Onboard Lounge for First and Business class passengers, which includes a bar with a wide range of beverages and canapés and an exclusive space to socialise and relax.

    First class passengers relax in flat-bed, massage-equipped suites while Business class passengers enjoy a new generation of intelligent, flat-bed seating designed to ensure all seats have aisle access. Passengers in Economy will appreciate the straight walls throughout the cabin that lend to a more spacious ambience, enhanced further by generous seats and wider aisles.

    Emirates flight EK 322 departs Dubai at 03:00 hours arriving in Seoul at 16:00 hours. It turns around as EK 323 departing Seoul at 23:55 hours and arriving in Dubai at 05:05 hours. The service is code-shared with Korean Air and will be identified with ‘EK’ as well as ‘KE’ code.

  58. SYDNEY – Qantas has taken delivery of its fifth A380 aircraft, with a sixth to arrive in a few days, allowing the carrier to start A380 services between Melbourne and London via Singapore on January 18.

    The A380 will operate one to two flights per week on the route (QF9 on Mondays and Sundays and the return QF10 on Fridays and Saturdays), with regular twice-weekly flights to commence on March 29.

    The fifth Qantas A380 is named Lawrence Hargrave, after the inventor of the box kite.

    The airline’s sixth A380 is named Charles Kingsford-Smith, after Australia’s most famous aviator who made the first trans-Pacific flight from the US to Australia in 1928.

    “More than 500,000 people have now flown on Qantas A380 services, and it remains extremely popular with our customers,” said Qantas CEO, Alan Joyce.

  59. The A380 is a massive mistake. Im glad they cancelled the short body version (it was gay) and wish they had stretched the plane to 80 m from the start.

  60. Well the aitlines that I buying the a380 have nothing against gay people or plane all the airlines that are buying the aircarft have very happy passengers gay or not gay

  61. Dubai: Forging ahead with the airline’s fleet expansion, Emirates has taken delivery of its sixth Airbus A380 aircraft.

    The huge aircraft landed in Dubai late last night after travelling from the Jürgen Thomas Delivery Centre in Hamburg, Germany. The aircraft is currently being fitted with the airline’s service hallmarks at Emirates’ engineering facility in preparation for entry into service.

    Taking delivery of the aircraft, Adel Al Redha, Emirates Executive Vice-President of Engineering and Operations, said: “The delivery of our sixth A380 aircraft is testament to Emirates’ steadfast resilience amid the global economic crisis. The A380 offers us the ability to support our operational needs and meet passenger demand, an important factor with international load levels looking positive over the next few months.

    “We remain resolute in our expansion plans in terms of both fleet and destinations. In the last four weeks alone Emirates has announced plans to start services to Tokyo and Amsterdam in 2010
    Serving six distant destinations including Sydney, Auckland, Bangkok, Toronto, Heathrow and (from tomorrow) Seoul, Emirates A380 aircraft provide a greener option for long haul travel with their substantial reduction in noise, emissions and fuel burn.

    From December 29, Emirates will also operate an A380 service to Paris, with the carrier’s seventh A380 aircraft due for delivery later this month.

    Designed to provide customers with the greatest travel comforts on long-range journeys, the Emirates A380 — with 14 first class private suites, 76 business class and 399 economy seats — represents the latest innovation and technology from a company recognised internationally for its inflight amenities and services.

    Unique to the Emirates aircraft are its Shower Spas — two fully-equipped bathrooms in the first class cabins with shower facilities.

    Emirates A380s also feature an onboard lounge for first and business class passengers, which includes a bar with a wide range of beverages and canapés as well as space to socialise or relax.

  62. DUBAI, Dec 24 (Bernama) — Dubai-based Emirates Airline is set to fly its Airbus A380 to the Saudi Arabian city of Jeddah from Feb 1, 2010.

    The four times weekly service with the superjumbo will mark the first commercial A380 into the desert kingdom.

    “This service into Jeddah will mark Emirates’ first Middle Eastern A380 destination outside of Dubai, a significant milestone for both Emirates and Saudi Arabia,” Ahmed Khoory, Emirates’ senior vice-president for commercial operations for Gulf, Middle East and Iran said in a statement.

    Jeddah will be the eighth destination to be added to the growing list of gateways served by the carrier’s A380, namely Sydney, Auckland, Heathrow, Bangkok, Toronto, Seoul and from Dec 29, Paris.

  63. Hi I would like to wish everyone on the blog happy holidays and a happy new year. I wish everyone sucess and have a safe holiday. Warm greeting Farzand

  64. The first two airlines to buy 787 are going bankrupt.

    Japan Airlines shares touched a record low for the second day running, falling 24% from Tuesday’s price to 67 yen.

    The drop followed more reports that the carrier would file for bankruptcy as part of a revival plan.

    Last week, Finance Minister Hirohisa Fujii said the state would not give the airline any more loans.

    Japan Airlines has rival offers from American Airlines and Delta to buy a stake in the firm. A bankruptcy filing would make a deal more complicated.

    The Enterprise Turnaround Initiative Corp – a state-backed fund – was asked in October to help out the debt-laden Japan Airlines.

    A decision is due in January.

    Japan Airlines is less efficient than its rival All Nippon Airways and is struggling with 1.5 trillion yen of debt ($16bn; £10bn). It has been bailed out by the government four times since 2001.

    It has made a loss in four of the past five years

  65. Hey Farzand, I’m a little confused… That latest posting only mentions one airline going bankrupt (JAL) and they weren’t one of the first two airlines to buy the 787. ANA and Air New Zealand were.

    JAL has struggled for years and the Japanese government should probably just let them go under. It’s a shame and I hate to see any airline fail, especially one that’s been around as long as JAL… But there’s no room in the airline industry for strugglers any more…

  66. ANA is also very likely going bankrupt june 2010. and JAL is one of the first airlines to recieve 787

  67. webzealot Says:

    A380 grounded in Melbourne in latest glitch
    (AFP) – January 5, 2010
    SYDNEY — A brand new Airbus A380 super jumbo was grounded at Melbourne airport on Monday due to a mechanical fault, the latest in a series of glitches for the model, Australian news agency AAP reported.

    The Qantas-operated plane bound for Los Angeles and in service for just a few days had a problem with its fuel gauge, airline officials said.

    Passengers were stuck inside the double-decker plane on the tarmac for over four hours as stringent security checks for US flights meant it was deemed impractical for them to disembark and board later.

    Eventually the flight was rescheduled for Tuesday, a 23-hour delay, and the more than 400 passengers were allowed off the plane.

    “It’s over-nighting tonight due to a fuel indication defect,” Qantas spokesman Simon Rushton said.

    Among recent glitches for the model, Air France’s new A380 was grounded more than once last month due to technical problems. Another owned by Singapore Airlines had to return to Paris last month for attention due to an electrical fault.

    Copyright © 2010 AFP. All rights reserved.

  68. webzealot Says:

    A380: 104 Units Below Original Plan
    Posted by Robert Wall at 1/4/2010 4:46 AM CST
    When will A380 production start showing signs of meaningful improvement? That’s going to be a big question this year, after Airbus last year delivered only ten A380s.

    The ten aircraft is quite a bit below what the company hoped to deliver. Output targets, even once they were revised downward a few times, were still for 13 A380s to be handed to customers in 2009. Before the A380 production problems surfaced in 2006, Airbus hoped to build 45 units in 2009.

    Airbus official had indicated perviously they might fall short of the latest 2009 number, indicating that the situation is partly explained by airlines not wanting to take delivery of A380s at the very end of December; airline representatives, however, have signalled that sustained Airbus A380 production delays are to blame.

    For its 2010 target, Airbus, so far, has said only that it will build at least twenty A380s. Whether production rates will reach two aircraft a month, which would be a sign Airbus has started making progress on the production learning curve for the mega-transport, is not certain.

    To date, there are 23 A380s in service; production plans once called for 107 A380s to be in customer hands by now.

    If Airbus could double the in-service fleet this year, that would probably be viewed as a success given the realities of the program. However, it would still leave production at half of where the company should be.

  69. webzealot Says:

    Airbus A380 Faces Difficult Year

    The A380 hasn’t had an easy ride and this year will be no different. A financial and industrial review of the program currently underway won’t make its marketability any better either.

    EADS’ review into the loss-making A380 program will not reverse the fortunes of an airplane whose market continues to evaporate.

    With just 10 deliveries in 2009 and 23 in total since 2007, the A380 production rate this year is meaningless in terms of actual units handed over to customers. The cost increases on the program due to ongoing design changes is hitting suppliers with production a snafus that may not have spiralled out of control, but the damage is good enough to ensure that Airbus produces just a handful of jets so that the backlog isn’t exhausted within a half decade or so.

    For Airbus to deliver 50% more units this year will be nothing short of a miracle – and one that is unlikely to materialise given the wane in traffic for which Airbus had touted the giant airplane for (of course, yield attrition makes that all the more worse).

    Half the A380 customer base has deferred deliveries, and the latest operator, Air France, has suffered a string of highly embarrassing problems with its newest airplane. A quick Google search of A380 dispatch reliability shows that despite service entry, the airplane is riddled with anomalies that are usually ironed out before entry into service.

    During this month, ILFC, the beleaguered leasing arm of AIG, will have the option to terminate the firm orders for A380s that have languished on its books without a single customer for the past decade.

    ILFC may have tried to place these jets, but when Airbus was (and likely still is) offering generous pricing to secure A380 orders, why bother going to a leasing company?

    Whether ILFC drops or exchanges the A380s is not critically important given the lacklustre appeal of the A380.

    What is important is that the A380, for all intents and purposes, is still a conventionally built airplane whose production and cost issues will cause the death knell faster than the shrinking marketplace.

    The cost of the airplane has doubled since inception, while the market has contracted by a greater proportion.

    Engineering resources are continually being pulled away from the calamitous A400M (which requires another €7bn just to make it feasible) as well as from the A350XWB (again, another program short of several billion euros) – the omens for the Airbus widebody product line aside from the A330, do not look good at all.

    EADS will burn through its €8bn cash reserve to prop up the A380 before it considers abandoning its big baby.

    After four production adjustments in 2009 alone, the A380 is on borrowed time – not least because the A350XWB will soon be breathing down its neck, but because the VLA passenger market is fast emulating the demise that surrounded Concorde – it’s an answer to a question nobody asked.

    Analyses are solely the work of the authors and have not been edited or endorsed by GLG.
    Contributed by a Member of the GLG Energy & Industrials Councils


  70. Yes I agree that a380 is having problem with technical difficulties. Every aircraft goes through teething problem so is a380. Do you think 787 will not have that? Surely it will and so was it been with past aircraft and will happen in the future.

  71. Yes airbus is unable to deliver in time and is well behind target and is very upsetting for for the airlines but atleast they are flying while 787 is still just a dream. I am sure by the end of this year we will see more cancelation of 787 Qantas has done and JAL was no money to pay. The a380 may not have many aircraft flying but will still be there flying. We will see end of 2010 were each of these two aircarft stand..

  72. Boeing aircraft orders fall 61%

    The aircraft industry has suffered a collapse in demand
    Aircraft maker Boeing has reported a 61% drop in commercial aircraft orders for 2009.

    The US-based company said a total of 263 airplanes were ordered last year, down from 662 in 2008.

    But the number of commercial aircraft it actually delivered last year rose 28% to 481.

    Boeing said the global recession and the resulting fall in demand for air travel was to blame for the decline in orders.

    Net orders – which take into account cancellations – were down to 142 for the year.

    Boeing’s chief executive Jim Albaugh said that 2009 had been “not without its challenges”, but said that the future was brighter.

    “With signs of economic recovery emerging in 2010, we look forward to better days ahead,” he said.

    Unfulfilled orders stood at 3,375 by the end of the year, with 851 of those for the 787 Dreamliner.

    The Dreamliner, which saw its first flight in 2009, is now slated for first deliveries at the end of 2010 following numerous delays.

    Boeing’s European competitor Airbus is due to report its order figures on 12 January.

  73. What’s 239 feet long, flies at 647mph, and has three floors that include a grand staircase, four giant full suites, boardroom with hologram projector, a full spa, concert hall, car garage, and a space-age lift that drops onto the runway?

    Apparently, it may be Saudi Prince Alwaleed bin Talal bin Abdulaziz Al-Saud’s new specially retro-fitted A380. As you may remember, the arabian Prince shone his genie lamp and bought an Airbus A380—the biggest passenger plane in the world—for his personal use.

    British company Design Q is now making the plans for its interior, three floors with every luxurious detail you can imagine, including a lift that goes all the way down to the runway’s tarmac and extends a red carpet so guests can get into the flying palace. I can already imagine a stunning hostess saying “Welcome, Mr Bond.”

    In addition to all of the above, the full marble Turkish bath in the spa, and twenty first class seats/beds for the extra guests, the plane will be full of high tech gadgets. The boardroom, for example, will have a hologram projector and a giant touchscreen perspex table, while each suite will include a virtual prayer mat proyector, always pointing in Mecca’s direction.

    Now let me see a boeing 787 do that !!!!

  74. Airbus achieves record aircraft deliveries in 2009
    12 January 2010

    310 new orders prove eco-efficient aircraft to be high in demand

    Airbus delivered a total of 498 aircraft in 2009. The figure is a new company delivery record for a single year and is 15 more aircraft than in 2008. The figure includes 402 A320 Family aircraft, 86 A330/A340s which are both records for a single year, and 10 A380s. Airbus Military, the military aircraft division of Airbus, delivered 16 light and medium transport aircraft.

    Despite challenging market conditions, Airbus also reached its order intake target. Overall, Airbus won a total of 310 orders gross (271 net) valued US$34.9 billion gross (US$30.3 billion net) at list prices, or 54 per cent of the worldwide market share of aircraft beyond 100 seats.

    The new orders include 228 A320 Family aircraft and 78 A330/A340/A350 XWB Family aircraft, and four new orders for the A380. Just three years after launch Airbus also surpassed the 500th order milestone for the next generation A350 XWB. At 2009 year end, Airbus had a total order backlog of 3,488 aircraft, valued at US$437.1 billion, or equalling six years of full production.

    Further company streamlining saw the formation of Airbus Military, signalling the full integration of military aircraft programmes within Airbus. The maiden flight of the A400M (MSN 1) in December was a proof-point of the successful re-organisation and new programme set-up.

    Conversion work for the first A330-based Multi-Role Tanker Transport (MRTT) aircraft, for the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) was completed, and is on track for delivery in mid 2010. The MRTT received a further incremental order for three aircraft, raising the total to 28. On the smaller transport aircraft front, the year was successful, with 19 orders from seven customers. These include one order for the C-212, two for the CN-235 and 16 for the C-295.

    Airbus’ turn-around programme, Power 8 again exceeded targets, delivering new cost savings of around 2.0 billion Euros gross on a recurring basis. Power 8+ aims to add a further 650 million Euros in savings for Airbus by 2012.

    “Considering the economic and financial environment we have done rather well in 2009. Great teamwork and flexibility at Airbus and a close cooperation with customers, suppliers and finance institutions were key to success. We plan to keep production at 2008/2009 levels, but we need to remain prudent and flexible. We are not out of the woods yet,” said Tom Enders, Airbus President and CEO. “Our prime mission in the coming weeks is to secure a solid financial footing for the A400M. After nine months of intense deliberations with our government customers, it’s time for decisions.”

  75. MSN046 (Emirates #12) has made it’s first flight from Toulouse, France. MSN046 is scheduled for delivery with Emirates in August 2010.

    January marked the first time that three A380s made there firsts flights in the same month. So it looks like Airbus is picking up the pace.

    Emirates announced this week that by early April the airline will be using the A380 on one of it’s three daily services to Melbourne, Australia.

    Two airlines already fly the A380 to Melbourne (Singapore Airlines – Daily, Qantas – 5 weekly – Increasing to daily by the end of 2010) and now with Emirates starting up flights this puts Melbourne in the same place as Sydney (In terms of A380 flights).

    Image Courtesy of David Barrie

  76. The first Air France “super-jumbo” to carry passengers to Africa landed at OR Tambo International just before 11am today.

    The Airbus A380 can carry a staggering 538 passengers and is the largest passenger airliner ever built.

    If placed in the middle of a rugby field, the nose and tail of the A380 would be just 10m short of the try-line on either side and the wing-tips would stretch over both touch-lines.

    Pierre-Henri Gourgeon, CEO for Air France KLM, said the A380 “will be remembered as a ground-breaking means to travel from Africa to Europe and beyond”.

  77. Stick a fork in Airbus with the WTO ruling they’re looking at billions in fines or other costs related to subsidizing development costs on all their commercial liners….

  78. The third of the twelve A380s ordered by Air France arrived at Paris-Charles de Gaulle airport yesterday at 21:30 from Hamburg-Finkenwerder. Registration F-HPJC, it is now an integral part of the Air France fleet and will soon be operating its first flight to Johannesburg.

    Thanks to this new aircraft, flights to this destination which are currently operated partly by Boeing 777 and partly by Airbus 380 will all be operated by A380 as from the end of April 2010.

    Air France is due to take delivery of its fourth A380 in August 2010. Its arrival will enable Air France to offer Paris-Tokyo flights by A380 before the end of the summer season.

    Air France is the first European airline to offer flights by A380, the first airline in the world to offer transatlantic flights by A380 between Europe and the United States and the first airline to operate flights by A380 to Africa

  79. Webzealot Says:

    Airbus A380 Production Embroiled In Turmoil
    May 3, 2010
    Analysis by: GLG Expert Contributor
    Analysis of: Malaysian Air A380 Delivery Delayed for Second Time
    Published at: http://www.businessweek.com
    Another month, another delay. The A380 is proving to be a proverbial production disaster as time goes on.
    Airbus will miss the 2010 target for delivering A380s with the announcement last month that Korean Air’s first example will slip. Whatever target was in place at a preliminary level for 2011 has also been shot with the new setback for Malaysian Airlines’ first A380, which may appear closer to the end of the second half of 2012, rather than earlier.

    British Airways too, is studying a further deferral of its A380 orders with some at the airline calling for the majority of the order to be scrapped given the airlines precarious financial position. A decision on that could be made when the airline announces its Q4 and full year earnings in a few weeks time.

    Factor in the recent stoppages at Airbus, the 2010 target for A380 deliveries is under serious pressure.

    As the most heavily discounted airplane in aviation history, the A380 revenue stream is weak. Part of the strategy to inject longevity into the A380, notwithstanding the fact that over half the customer base has been tripping itself to defer it, employs maintaining production at low, single digit rates.

    By virtue, that has happened with suppliers continually changing components at Airbus’ request to trim weight, leaving them with inventory that is being costed back to Airbus – the financial status of the program is equally as abject as production.

    The sooner this one-trick, niche pony is killed off, the better.

    Airbus knows only too well that the A350XWB is the real money spinner – and until the A380 liability is liquidated, it will continue to suffer. A delay on the A350XWB is inevitable – it could have been avoided if like the business case behind it, the A380 never existed.


  80. Webzealot Says:

    Airbus ‘$25 Billion Write-Off’ A380 Jumbo Sits Out Order Boom

    May 05, 2010, 3:04 AM EDT

    By Andrea Rothman

    May 5 (Bloomberg) — The Airbus SAS A380 superjumbo risks becoming a double-decker dud.

    Five years after the first test flight, the 525-seat jet is more than 200 units short of making the program profitable. Only one new airline customer signed up for the plane since commercial operations began in 2007. Deliveries slowed to 10 A380s in 2009, from 12 a year earlier.
    The muted response for the Airbus flagship, with just 202 orders since the jet went on offer a decade ago, contrasts with a boom in global aircraft orders and sales that led airlines to sign up for more than 3,000 wide-body planes in the same period. Airbus says it is years from making money with the A380, which cost more than 18 billion euros ($24 billion) to challenge Boeing Co.’s decades-long grip on the market for long-haul jets.

    “There’s only a handful of routes you can use the A380 on, and if traffic drops on that route you’re stuck,” said Richard Aboulafia, vice president of Teal Group, an aerospace analysis company. “The A380 is best regarded as a $25 billion write-off and an act of industrial irresponsibility.”

    The superjumbo idea was championed in the 1990s by former Airbus Chief Executive Officer Jean Pierson. His successor, Noel Forgeard, pursued the plane with backing from Daimler AG and Lagardere SCA, the two largest shareholders of Airbus parent European Aeronautic, Defence and Space Co. Forgeard was fired in 2006 after a six-month delay on the A380 construction.


    Louis Gallois, who leads EADS today, said the A380 is a “winner,” and the more than 200 planes sold so far are a success, according to a May 4 interview with Bild-Zeitung.

    “Its size is the only right answer to the congestion at the overflowing airports around the world,” Gallois told the newspaper, according to comments confirmed by the company.

    Building the plane cost 50 percent more than Airbus had originally earmarked, as software glitches led to production breakdowns. The delays later stretched to 2 1/2 years. This year, Airbus aims to double deliveries to 20 planes, a goal the manufacturer itself has called “aggressive.”

    Deutsche Lufthansa AG gets its first A380 this month, the second European airline after Air France to operate the jet. Singapore Airlines has ordered 25 A380s, and Emirates Airline signed for 58. The list price for an A380 is $327 million, though early clients get discounts, and Airbus also owed penalties for late deliveries.

    First-Class Appeal

    The airplane manufacturer markets the A380 as more fuel- efficient per passenger mile than older and smaller jets, allowing airlines to alleviate congestion to major airports and on busy routes. Airlines operating the A380 say it’s a crowd pleaser, attracting flyers with its double-decker layout, and on-board perks such as first-class cabins and cocktail bars.
    “Our first-class suite optimizes beautifully on the main deck, and our business class suite optimizes perfectly for the upper deck and gives us both of these things that a single floor aircraft would have to compromise,” said Lyell Strambi, group executive of operations at Sydney-based Qantas Airways Ltd., which has six A380s in service, with orders to increase its superjumbo fleet to 20.

    The superjumbo’s perks may prove less attractive in a market reeling from a global recession that wiped out six years of premium travel growth, according to the International Air Transport Association. Qantas is removing first-class cabins from some A380 planes, and shrinking business class to add premium-economy and coach seats on other A380s.

    Lagging Indicator

    Airlines stand to lose a collective $2.8 billion this year, down from about $9.4 billion in 2009, according to a forecast IATA made before travel disruptions caused by a volcanic ash cloud last month cost airlines billions in lost revenue.

    The effects from rising or contracting air travel can take more than a year to feed through to manufacturers, as airlines take time to adapt their order patterns to demand. Manufacturers estimate that there’s typically a six-month lag between the time airlines’ profit rebounds and when they begin ordering new aircraft.

    Even as the economy picks up steam, airlines may be no more inclined to order the jet than during the recession. Several A380 customers have sought deferrals, while maintaining deliveries of smaller, wide-body planes. Those postponing include Air France KLM group, Etihad, Qatar Airways Ltd. and Virgin Atlantic Airways.

    Virgin Delays

    Virgin deferred the first of six planes on order to 2013 from 2009. The carrier has since pushed the date out to as late as 2015 and is indefinite about taking delivery at all.

    “We’ve left our options open to see where that plane is by 2015 and where the market is,” Chief Executive Steve Ridgway said in a telephone interview April 28.

    Virgin is now looking at Airbus’s A350, which seats 300 to 350, and plans to take delivery of 15 Boeing 787s as soon as they’re available, the CEO said. The 787, built in large parts from composite materials, seats 250 to 300 people.

    Before it even flew, Airbus predicted sales for the A380 of as many as 1,000. Today, Airbus’s official prediction for the next 20 years is 1,300 plane sales in the jumbo category, including the Boeing 747-8. Boeing sees potential for 740 units.

    Aviation analysts are less optimistic. Over the next 10 years, airlines worldwide will take deliveries of an estimated 100 very large planes and about 450 wide-body jets, according to a forecast released May 4 by Ascend Worldwide Ltd., a London- based aviation adviser and forecaster.

    Small in Japan

    One market where Airbus has so far failed to sell the A380 is Japan, a country it had targeted as one of the biggest recipients because of its dense population. Japanese airlines have been the largest operators of Boeing’s 747 jumbo plane, where the jet is used on domestic routes.
    Airbus’s market share has been less than 5 percent in Japan over the last decade, with no order backlog. That compares with Boeing’s order backlog of 173 aircraft in the country.

    Occupancy rates on routes where the A380 flies are as much as 10 percent higher than on models by competitors, said Richard Carcaillet, Airbus’s marketing director for the plane. That advantage means Japanese airlines will have no choice but to acquire the aircraft as carriers including Air France begin flying into Tokyo’s Narita, he said.
    “There is strong potential in Japan and the U.S.,” he said. “Maybe not in two years, maybe in five years, or eight years, but these carriers will in my view end up deciding on the A380.” Carcaillet predicts at least another 600 sales of A380s.

    Boeing’s Boom

    Even if Carcaillet were proven right, Airbus would sell less than half as many A380s than Boeing has delivered of its 747 jumbo jet since the model was launched in 1969. When the plane first flew, it was twice as large as anything else and offered more range than any other commercial transport, opening the door to inexpensive, mass transport.
    In the four decades that followed, wide-body models with long range and greater flexibility moved into the market for long-haul flights. Boeing’s 787, entering service late this year, already has 866 orders and Airbus’s A350, entering service in 2013, has 530 orders for the jet.

    As wide-body jets made from composite materials flock to the market, Airbus may find that its A380, with a maximum takeoff weight of 569 tons, lacks the flexibility that airlines demand to address travelers’ growing preference for direct flights instead of landing at major airports and then switching.

    “The market for the plane is too limited to ever make any real money, and I don’t think the end of the recession will change that,” said Hans Weber, president of aerospace advisory firm Tecop International in San Diego. “It’s been well-received by passengers and done pretty well as far as reliability but the market’s probably limited to no more than another 200 planes.”

    –With assistance from Robert Fenner in Sydney. Editors: Benedikt Kammel, Heather Harris.

    To contact the reporter on this story: Andrea Rothman in New York via aerothman@bloomberg.net

    To contact the editor responsible for this story: Benedikt Kammel at bkammel@bloomberg.net

  81. webzealot Says:

    So this pretty well sums up and confirms my original post… From http://www.fleetbuzzeditorial.com/2010/05/17/a380-bizcase/trackback/

    Airbus A380: 21st Century Financial Disaster?

    It’s not hard to see why Boeing or indeed, the United States was aggrieved by launch aid for the Airbus A380. Airbus’ CEO Tom Enders continues to acknowledge that the A380 remains a financial drain and just last week, EADS CFO Hans Peter Ring confirmed there is still a long way to go.

    From a pure business case, the ensuing business downturn, decimating of yield and drive for volume/frequency growth, the A380 has been shielded by Governments while the priority for Europe remains job protection, not verifiable return on investment – a prospect that the A380 arguably has no hope of attaining.

    The “furore” over breakeven on the A380 is interesting.
    Certainly, as each passing day elapses, it does nudge toward that goal – whether that goal remains static or in flux is anyone’s guess given that it’s moved more than once from the original figure of 250 units.

    Given the dearth of orders on the A380 to date, nearly two thirds have which have been crippled by persistent deferrals and production difficulties, to surmise breakeven could arrive in five years is probably more ambitious than Airbus’ marketing which assumes a quadruple-figure market that exists for the A380 when the reality is that the very large airplane market will continue to shrink – almost to insignificance in the next two decades.

    The large freighter market is different – a need exists for this, whereas like the 747-8 Intercontinental (in isolation), and the A380 business cases are far from solid.

    Ring warned that the five-year outlook “is not to be understood as guidance, just as an extrapolation of current trends.“ One U.S. based analyst I spoke with said the following in relation to Ring’s remarks:
    “I understand it as BS.“

    An alternative translation is that ”it [the A380] probably isn’t going to breakeven in five years, but if it does, great – if it doesn’t, we told you so.“

    Airbus will see that it has little option but to continue with the program and generate what little revenue it can from the backlog, given that the majority of the customers secured and continue to secure stunning, industry leading discounts on the jet to spur sales. Cancelling it wouldn’t recover the sunk costs but in hindsight, the money could have been better spent elsewhere and if the A350XWB hits a snag due to the resource drain, then it’ll be directly attributable to the A380 and the continued cost escalation on that program.

    In five years time, the A380 will be a 20 year old concept, have ageing engines and will prove even less flexible as airlines continue to snare A330’s, A350XWB’s, 777’s and 787’s.

    Make no mistake – those who have flown the A380 will know that its a fantastic airplane to fly on. Spacious, quiet and sports some of the newest technology available.

    “The A380 is best regarded as a $25 billion write-off and an act of industrial irresponsibility,” says Richard Aboulafia.

    At worst, the A380 will far and away remain the biggest financial disaster the commercial aerospace industry has ever witnessed or ever likely to.

  82. Farzand Says:

    Lufthansa today became the latest airline to receive the A380, adding this 21st century flagship jetliner to one of the largest Airbus aircraft fleets operated worldwide.

    The no. 1 A380 was provided to Lufthansa during a morning ceremony at Airbus’ Hamburg, Germany delivery centre.

    In presenting the A380, President and Chief Executive Officer Thomas Enders lauded Lufthansa’s role in launching many of Airbus’ aircraft – beginning with the pioneering A300 in the early 1970s.

    “Lufthansa has always been a very important and strong partner of Airbus in the development of our aircraft family,” Enders said. “With the same enthusiasm and technical professionalism, Lufthansa played a pivotal role in the A380 programme, especially in its certification – which included the participation of the airline’s crews in route proving flights and compatibility trials.”

    Lufthansa has 15 A380s on order, which will join the airline’s more than 180 Airbus jetliners currently in service – ranging from single-aisle A319s, A320s and A321s to widebody A300s, A330s and A340s. The airline’s A380s are powered by Rolls-Royce Trent 900s, which are one of the two engines choices offered by Airbus on the aircraft.

    During the coming weeks, Lufthansa’s initial A380 will make a number of stopovers at airports in Germany for pilot line training, followed by a 6 June trip to Johannesburg, South Africa with Germany’s team for the Football World Cup.

    Lufthansa’s scheduled A380 operations will start on 11 June with three weekly Frankfurt-Tokyo flights, replacing Boeing 747-400 service. Following the delivery of its second A380, this route will be served daily by the 21st century flagship beginning in August.

    Service subsequently will be expanded by Lufthansa to include Frankfurt-Beijing and Frankfurt-Johannesburg flights.

    The airline’s A380 seating configuration includes eight completely new first class seats on the upper deck, along with 98 business class seats. Its main deck’s economy cabin accommodates 420 passengers with unprecedented comfort and space.

    Wolfgang Mayrhuber, Deutsche Lufthansa’s Chairman and CEO, noted the excitement generated in advance of the airline’s A380’s introduction. “On behalf of the entire Lufthansa crew, I want thank Airbus and Rolls-Royce for your enormous achievements over the years – especially with the flagship A380. Great job…thank you, and keep going!”

    The A380 delivered today was the 28th provided by Airbus to the growing list of international airline customers. A380s currently operated by Singapore Airlines, Qantas, Emirates and Air France have flown over five million passengers on more than 14,000 commercial flights.

    To date, Airbus has received 202 firm orders for the A380 from 17 customers, which are to use the aircraft on a variety of services that include long-haul operations between major city destinations, inter-regional routes and low-cost/charter flights in high-density markets.

  83. Skymark Airlines, Japan’s third largest and growing airline, has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Airbus for the purchase of four A380s, the most advanced, spacious and eco-efficient airliner in service today.

    The aircraft will be operated on major international long-haul routes from Tokyo. Engine choice and cabin details will be revealed at a later stage.

    Its excellent take-off and landing performance enables the A380 to operate on the shorter 2,500m-runways at Japan’s Narita and Tokyo Haneda airports carrying a full passenger payload and cargo to destinations in Europe, North America and Australia.

    “By introducing the world’s most cost-efficient, modern and environmentally friendly aircraft in our fleet, we will offer the travelling public the best comfort in the sky and a new way of flying. With the A380’s spacious and extremely quiet cabin, we’ll enter a new era in terms of economic air travel,” said Shinichi Nishikubo, President of Skymark Airlines.

    “We are extremely happy and proud that Japan’s growing and ambitious airline Skymark Airlines has become the first Japanese airline to order the A380 and a new customer for us. This is a historic milestone for Airbus and a breakthrough in this important market. We are delighted to see Skymark Airlines sharing our vision of the A380 as the key aircraft for meeting Japan’s air transport needs,” said John Leahy, Airbus Chief Operating Officer Customers.

    More than 7.5 million passengers have already enjoyed the new experience of flying on-board one of the 39 A380s already delivered, taking them at present to one of 20 major international destinations worldwide in unprecedented levels of comfort. Today, Singapore Airlines, Lufthansa, and Air France operate the aircraft on daily services to Narita Airport.

    Orders for the aircraft stand at 234 from 17 customers.

    Notes to editors:

    Skymark Airlines, established in 1996 and headquartered at Tokyo International Airport (Haneda) in Japan, operates scheduled passenger services on Japan’s domestic routes and international charter flights to Seoul and Guam. It is the third largest airline in Japan.

  84. Dubai-based Emirates received its 15th A380 on 30 November, with the handover occurring at Airbus’ delivery centre in Hamburg, Germany. It is the 40th A380 provided to customers so far, and the 17th delivered this year. More than 7.5 million passengers have flown on A380s in revenue service to 20 international destinations

  85. Skymark Airlines, Japan’s third largest and fast growing airline, signed a contract for four A380s with Airbus, firming up a Memorandum of Understanding announced in November 2010.

    The contract was signed on Thursday, 17th February, during a ceremony held at Airbus’ headquarters in Toulouse, France, in the presence of Skymark Airlines President, Shinichi Nishikubo, Airbus President and CEO, Tom Enders, and Airbus Chief Operating Officer Customers, John Leahy, together with Airbus Japan CEO, Stephane Ginoux.

    At the signing ceremony Shinichi Nishikubo said, “We believe that the A380, the world’s most cost-efficient, modern and environmentally friendly aircraft with cutting-edge technologies, will provide us with a strong competitive advantage and safe operation. We will become the very first Japanese airline to offer our passengers a unique and new experience of flying – more space, more comfort and a quieter cabin. With the four-engined A380, we are free from ETOPS constraints and can provide flexible operations.”

    “We are pleased to welcome Skymark as our newest and first Japanese A380 customer,” said Tom Enders, Airbus President and CEO. “The A380 is the most eco-efficient solution to allow Japan’s air traffic to grow in a capacity constrained environment.”

    The A380 is the most advanced, spacious and eco-efficient airliner in service today. Over ten million passengers have already enjoyed the unique experience of flying on board the all-new aircraft. The in-service fleet has accumulated by now almost 250,000 revenue flight hours in nearly 28,000 commercial flights. 20 major airports are currently served by the flagship of the 21st century.

    Today, Singapore Airlines, Lufthansa, and Air France operate the aircraft on daily services to Narita Airport. Starting from March 27, 2011, Singapore Airlines will extend its A380 operation from Narita to Los Angeles, while Korean Air’s first A380 service to Narita is scheduled on June 1 this year.

    Following today’s announcement, total firm orders for the A380 stand at 244 from 19 customers worldwide and 43 aircraft have been delivered to five customers

  86. Airliners serving the Asia-Pacific region are expected to grow larger in the coming decades, responding to strong growth across this dynamic market – which is to carry one-third of the world’s passenger traffic by 2029.

    This is one of the key messages from Airbus’ Asia-Pacific market forecast, which was presented today in Hong Kong by Chris Emerson, Senior Vice President Product Strategy and Market Forecast.

    Based on its Global Market Forecast for 2010-2029, Airbus believes the trend toward larger jetliners reflects the concentration of regional populations around main urban centres, as well as the need for more seats between fast-growing “mega” cities (destinations with more than 10,000 daily passengers) across the area.

    To meet the anticipated demand, Asia-Pacific operators will acquire some 3,360 new widebody aircraft over the next two decades – representing 40 per cent of all such deliveries worldwide during that time. In particular, Airbus foresees a need for 780 very large aircraft – the category of its 21st century flagship A380 – and 2,580 twin-aisle widebodies, such as the company’s A330 and new A350 XWB.

    While the deployment of larger aircraft is expected to help reduce flight delays and ease air traffic congestion, new-generation aircraft like the A380 also provide the best environmental performance for its operators.

    According to Airbus’ Asia-Pacific region market forecast, for every passenger that flies from Paris to Tokyo and back again in an A380, 105 kg. of fuel are conserved when compared to competing aircraft. In addition, this double-deck jetliner produces 333 kg. less CO2 per passenger, per flight.

    Regional A380 orders currently stand at 81 jetliners, with total bookings worldwide reaching 244. Airbus’ most recent contract came from Japan’s third-largest operator, Skymark Airlines, who signed for four A380s on 17 February.

    Other carriers in the Asia-Pacific region that have selected the world’s largest passenger aircraft are China Southern, Korean Air, Malaysia Airlines, Qantas Airways, Singapore Airlines, Thai Airways and Asiana Airlines – which also placed its A380 initial order this year.

  87. Farzand Says:

    Korean Air has celebrated the delivery of its first A380 at a special ceremony at Airbus in Toulouse today. The ceremony was attended by Korean Air Chairman Yang Ho Cho and hosted by Airbus President and CEO Tom Enders. EADS CEO Louis Gallois was also present at the event. Korean Air is the sixth airline to take delivery of the A380 and has ordered a total of 10 aircraft.

    Korean Air will initially operate the A380 from its Seoul hub to selected destinations in Asia, followed by non-stop services to North America and Europe. The airline has specified an extra-spacious layout for its A380 fleet, with accommodation for 407 passengers in three classes. Special features on board the aircraft include the world’s first ever duty free showcase area and a stylish onboard bar and lounge on the upper deck for premium passengers.

    “Korean Air was the first airline to purchase an Airbus aircraft outside Europe and they have now become an essential part of our fleet,” said Yang Ho Cho, Chairman and CEO of Korean Air. “The exceptional, fuel efficient and environmentally friendly A380 that is being delivered today is perfect to assist Korean Air in advancing our goal of becoming a respected leading global carrier.”

    “We are extremely proud to welcome Korean Air as the latest operator of the A380,” said Tom Enders, President and CEO of Airbus. “The A380 has proven to be a game changer, setting new standards for comfort, economic efficiency and respect for the environment. We are confident that the A380 will play a key role in enabling Korean Air to further strengthen its position as one of the world’s great airlines.”

    Since entering service in 2007 the eco-efficient A380 has exceeded all expectations, flying more people further at lower cost. The spacious, quieter cabin and smooth ride have made the aircraft a firm favourite with passengers. This has resulted in higher than average load factors and increased profitability on A380 flights, providing airlines with a key competitive advantage wherever they operate the type.

    Typically seating 525 passengers in a three class layout, the A380 is capable of flying 8,300 nautical miles or 15,300 kilometres. This enables non-stop service with a full payload from Seoul to any destination in Europe, and as far afield as the East Coast of the US.

  88. Farzand Says:

    Airbus’ A380 will soon be in service with Korean Air as its sixth international operator, further expanding a global route network that every day is underscoring this aircraft’s undisputed role as the world air transport industry’s new flagship airliner.

    During a ceremony today at Airbus’ Toulouse, France headquarters, the Seoul-based carrier celebrated its first A380 delivery, becoming one of two airlines – along with China Southern – that are to join the growing operator list during 2011.

    Already flying the A380 in commercial revenue service are Singapore Airlines, Emirates, Qantas, Air France and Lufthansa, which together have carried more than 12 million passengers while logging excellent passenger load factors and demonstrating high operational reliability.

    Destinations served – and also announced for A380 service – has reached 23 cities linked by 32 different routes, including the upcoming non-stop flights planned by Korean Air from Seoul to North America and Europe. Overall, this network covers 11 of the world’s top 15 international airports, and encompasses such major hubs as London-Heathrow, Paris-Charles de Gaulle, Hong Kong, Frankfurt, Dubai, Singapore and Tokyo; along with destinations such as Manchester, Zurich, Toronto and other cities.

    “The A380 continues to be a game-changer: it is recognised by passengers as something definitely better, while airlines are benefitting from its lowest fuel burn, cost per seat and noise of any large aircraft,” said Richard Carcaillet, Airbus’ director of A380 product marketing. “With the A380 now in its fourth year of revenue operations, this aircraft is all that it meant to be, and is now recognised as the worthy successor to the legendary – but now venerable – 747.”

    A total of 234 A380s have been ordered from 18 customers to date, including carriers from all three major global airline alliances: oneworld, SkyTeam and Star Alliance. This order book tally includes the 10 A380s being acquired by Korean Air, of which the first five are to be delivered by the end of 2011, with the additional five received by 2014. ·

  89. Farzand Says:

    Lufthansa’s A380 has landed at San Francisco International Airport, making the airline the first to offer regular service of the world’s-largest passenger plane to SFO. But Air France is said to be ready to begin its own A380 service here on June 8.

    It will begin operating its daily flight from Frankfurt tomorrow with the world’s largest commercial airplane. The A380, which will replace the Boeing 747-400 on the route, will transport up to 526 passengers in three service classes on two levels. The flight time will be about the same (a little more than 11 hours), but the sight of the huge plane landing over the San Francisco Bay will be a win for the entire region.

    SFO will be Lufthansa’s second A380 U.S. destination (after New York’s JFK) and only the third airport in the country to get daily A380 service. Qantas flies the plane every day to Los Angeles International Airport from Sydney, and Lufthansa, Air France, and Emirates regularly serve JFK, but San Francisco beat out heavy hitters like Chicago, Houston, and Miami (the latter will start A380 flights on June 10) for the bronze medal.

    Though Lufthansa and SFO will point to San Francisco’s popularity with business and leisure travelers, the airport was the first in the nation to be able to accommodate the airplane (LAX, for example, had to reposition taxiways and a runway to make room for the immense 261-foot wingspan). What’s more, SFO’s decade-old International Terminal was specifically designed to accommodate the double-decker aircraft with jetways that could board each deck simultaneously. SFO first hosted the A380 on a “working visit” back in 2007, but this will be your first chance to actually buy a ticket.

    The flight arrives at 12:05 p.m. PT. It then spends a few hours on the ground before heading back to Germany. I’ll be on hand with CNET’s Daniel Terdiman to witness the arrival and then crawl through all areas of the cabin, from the high-tech cockpit to the posh first class (check out SeatGuru.com for the complete seat map). Hopefully we’ll get to walk under the airplane as well to capture its immense size–that alone has caused problems at the world’s airports as this recent incident at JFK demonstrated

  90. Farzand Says:

    Skymark Airlines, Japan’s third largest and fast growing airline, placed firm orders with Airbus for two more A380 aircraft. This latest purchase agreement brings the total number of A380s ordered by Skymark to six aircraft. The Japanese carrier plans to start operations with the A380 on international routes linking Narita to destinations in Europe and the U.S.

    The contract was signed on Thursday, 23rd June, at the Paris Air Show, in the presence of Skymark Airlines President, Shinichi Nishikubo, Airbus President and CEO, Tom Enders, and Airbus Chief Operating Officer Customers, John Leahy, together with Airbus Japan CEO, Stephane Ginoux.

    At the signing ceremony Shinichi Nishikubo said, “The A380 is a remarkable aircraft, setting new standards in air travel, and giving us strong competitive advantages in the international market. Therefore, we have decided to increase the firm order to six aircraft. We are extremely happy to become the very first Japanese airline to offer our passengers a unique and new experience of flying with the A380.”

    “We appreciate the strong and renewed vote of confidence from our first Japanese A380 airline customer,” said Tom Enders. “Thanks to its fleet of six A380s, Skymark will benefit from significantly reduced operating costs and leading environmental performance while offering its passengers the highest levels of comfort. The airline will be extremely well positioned to grow as an international carrier.”

    The A380 is the most advanced, spacious and eco-efficient airliner in service today. Over 12 million passengers have already enjoyed the unique experience of flying on board the all-new aircraft. The in-service fleet has accumulated by now almost 300,000 revenue flight hours in nearly 33,000 commercial flights. Today, Singapore Airlines, Lufthansa, Air France, and Korean Air operate the aircraft on daily services to Narita Airport.

    Following today’s announcement, total firm orders for the A380 stand at 236 from 18 customers worldwide and 51 aircraft have been delivered to six customers.

  91. LOS ANGELES, CA – Singapore Airlines launched their daily Singapore-Tokyo-LAX Airbus A380 flight on July 1. All traffic at LAX was suspended for a short time as the double-decked jetliner made a smooth landing just after 1 p.m. and was greeted with a water canon salute.

    The airline was scheduled to introduce the A380 inaugural flight on March 20 but postponed it after the devastating earthquake and subsequent tsunami in Japan which preceded it by a few days.

    The A380 is the world’s largest passenger jetliner. The carrier has operated its Singapore-Tokyo-LAX with the Boeing 747 since 1980, but the decision to switch to the Airbus A380 was made as demand grew in recent years. Overall, the plane consumes less fuel and has 50 percent more floor space than the Boeing 747. Although the gigantic aircraft could potentially hold more than 850 economy-class passengers, Singapore Airlines has configured it to hold 471 people, including 399 in economy class, 60 in business class and a dozen first-class private suites.

    The aircraft becomes the eighth destination that the airline currently serves, and the first place in North America to receive the largest commercial aircraft. Singapore Airlines’ Executive Vice President Commercial, MakSweeWah said: “The introduction of the A380 to Los Angeles is another wonderful milestone in our history. We have had the privilege of serving customers on this route since 1980, and we are proud to be able to introduce our flagship aircraft to North America.’ On its first flight from LAX, the carrier had 444 passengers onboard, and were given champagne in order to celebrate the new service.

    First-class suites on the LAX-Tokyo-Singapore leg are around $14,000 each. Those passengers are treated to privacy behind sliding doors – their very own private cabin in the sky, a 23-inch flat-screen television, seats measuring a meter wide and an adjoining bed with fresh linens and fluffy pillows.

    Town and Country
    It is also configured with the new award-winning full-flat Business Class seat, the widest in its class at 34 inches, in a spacious 1-2-1 configuration. Passengers can watch shows on a 15-inch flat-screen TV while stretching out their seats that convert to a bed. Travelers in first and business classes can select items from menus created by celebrity chefs Gordon Ramsay, Sam Leong, Alfred Portale, Matt Moran and Georges Blanc. Economy class seats, might well be the widest for those traveling to India via Tokyo or Singapore, thanks to the use of innovative design features.

  92. Korean Air’s third A380 aircraft will soon be ready for long-haul flights. Korean Air’s third A380 left Toulouse, Paris for Korea today (August 19) and will arrive in Korea on August 20, local time. The new aircraft will then go through the required flight tests in Korea and will make its debut flight on August 23.

    With the introduction of the new aircraft, the airline will increase frequency of its A380 service to New York. Starting from September 1, Korean Air will operate 7 flights a week.

    Operating every day, the flight KE081 will depart Seoul/Incheon at 11:00 and arrive in New York at 11:30 the same day. The return flight KE082 will depart New York at 14:00 and return to Seoul/Incheon at 17:35 the following day.

    Designed with ultimate luxury and comfort in mind, and featuring a pioneering spacious interior, Korean Air’s third A380 is set to amaze passengers the same way it always has. Configuration and interior design is the same as the previous A380. Korean Air has ordered ten A380 aircraft; two of which will be delivered by the end of 2011 and the remaining five by 2014. The airline will gradually expand its A380 service to major destinations in Europe and North America, such as Paris and Los Angeles by the end of this year.

  93. Monarch Airlines, a British tour company that operates cheap vacation flights to European destinations, canceled its order for six Boeing 787 Dreamliners Tuesday.

    The order was worth $916 million at list prices when announced in 2006, but after standard discounts its estimated real value is $600 million, based on data from market valuation firm Avitas.

    The cancelation reduces the Dreamliner order book to 821 aircraft.

    Last year, Boeing selected Monarch as a partner in the U.K. to perform maintenance and repair of 787s at its London and Manchester bases as part of the GoldCare service to support carriers flying the Dreamliner.

    In a statement, Monarch said the order cancela

  94. On this the last day of 2012 I had frankly forgotten about this article for a while… Farzand hasn’t posted any press releases in over a year, so I decided to go back and look at some of the stats for this big monster of a plane…

    2012 was not exactly a bumper year of orders for the 380… In fact, only two… Singapore Airlines converted an option for five planes into a firm order and an order of four by Transaero… And that was it. So as of the end of 2012 that means 262 firm orders and 36 options… 298 planes in total. Keep in mind that while Airbus hasn’t announced a break-even in many years, the last one on record was claimed to be 420. At the current production rate of 30/year the line should still remain open at least another five years and more likely seven or eight, but even Airbus admits they will be selling the planes for a per-unit loss until at least 2015. Ouch.

    The airlines certainly seem to like the plane a lot, but at this point it seems increasingly unlikely the plane will ever be a winner for Airbus.

    On the other hand, the A350 could be a big home run if they can keep it on schedule and as promised. Personally I think it will be a big success if Airbus can learn from all the mistakes Boeing made with the 787…

  95. Hi All, A 380 seems to be pulling a lond Sigapore Airlines just ordered another 5 Aircraft and I am sure there will be new orders from TK and EK will order another huge amount of a380. I am suprise the the failure of 787 with 50 grounded and orders being cancel . I am sure boeing is not getting new orders. Is it the end for 787 dreamliner??

  96. Raymond Conner, head of the commercial aircraft division at Boeing (BA, Fortune 500), said the incidents that led to the grounding of the entire fleet of Dreamliner 787 planes were “deeply regretful”.

    “On behalf of the Boeing Company and the 170,000 people which I represent today, I want first to apologize for the fact that we’ve had two incidents with our two very precious customers, ANA and JAL,” he told reporters in Tokyo.

    Between them, All Nippon Airways and Japan Airlines operate nearly half the 50 Dreamliners delivered to customers so far.

    The Dreamliner has sold well in Asia and the Middle East, where airlines depend on long-range flights for much of their business and can benefit most from the improvements in fuel economy the lighter-weight plane promises.

    Related: Boeing’s latest problem: Strike threat

    The grounding last month due to fires linked to the use of lithium-ion batteries has forced Japan’s airlines to cancel hundreds of flights, costing millions in lost revenue. Boeing has warned customers of delays to deliveries, although it continues to make the plane.

    The new plane is at the heart of ANA’s strategy, and if it remains out of service for an extended period of time, the damage to the airline could be significant. ANA has already said it will seek compensation from Boeing.

    Conner said Boeing had hundreds of engineers working with external experts on the battery technology to come up with a solution that addresses all the possible causes of the incidents that led to the grounding.

    “What we did today was discuss the solutions that we are looking at that could be the final solution to get airplane back in air flying again,” he said.

    The problems with the new battery technology have already prompted Boeing’s European rival Airbus to revert to standard nickel-cadmium batteries in its A350 plane, designed to compete with the Dreamliner and due to make its first test flight in the middle of this year.

  97. 787 are park and collecting dust and both the airlines and boeing are losing huge amount of money while airbus with a 380 are flying all over the world and making money. So who is the loser?

  98. When are the 787 going to a scrap yard to sold as parts?

  99. webzealot Says:

    Welcome back Farzand! Well, no doubt the 787 has been a HUGE DEBACLE… Genuinely embarrassing for Boeing… And yes, the A380 is flying about and presumably making money for the airlines that fly it…

    BUT, that still was not the premise of my screed. My point was that the A380 (and the 747 too for that matter) are not the future of airliners… Rather it is the smaller twin jets… The A330, the 767, 777, A350… And even the misfit 787… That are the future. While the A380 might make money for its airlines, it will never make money for Airbus.

    My article was not an anti-Airbus rant as you may think… Rather that I think the A380 was built out of hubris more than anything else.

  100. If Airbus was not going to make money on A 380 then they would not be making A 380. They are smart bunch of peole and they beleive in A380 or no futre version of the A380 would be in the drawing board..

  101. At the Paris Air Show A380 Got another order 20 aircraft from a leasing company in the state. Goes to show Airbus 380 is still going strong.

  102. Farzand Says:

    Malaysian Airlines plans to add more Airbus A380s to its fleet, in a move which may see the airline resume plans to fly the superjumbo to Sydney and Melbourne.

    MAS now has filled its initial order of six A380s, which list at US$404m each, but is now considering adding “a few more” from Airbus, Bloomberg reports MAS CEO Ahmad Jauhari Yahya as saying.

    While MAS’ current superjumbos service London, Paris and Hong Kong, the new aircraft could allow the airline to introduce the A380 to Australia.

    MAS previously planned to bring its A380 onto the Sydney-KL route from November last year, with Melbourne slated for March 2013, to provide an ‘A380 all the way’ experience from Sydney and Melbourne through to London.

    However, that plan was axed in October last year, with MAS instead shifting its Sydney-Kuala Lumpur flights to Airbus A330s as the airline moves to retire older Boeing 747 and 777 planes from its fleet in an attempt to reign in fuel costs.

  103. https://www.flightglobal.com/news/articles/opinion-airbuss-endless-battle-to-make-the-a380-a-428501/

    Airbus’s A380 headaches turned into a migraine at the Farnborough air show last month when the manufacturer was forced to bow to the inevitable and reveal that production of the double-deck type will fall to one per month in 2018.

    Considering that the existing production infrastructure is geared to achieve four A380s a month – with expansion capability incorporated at the design stage to go to eight – this move is clearly a watershed moment in the giant jet’s development.

    But what’s really wrong with the A380? Airline passengers love it and there’s no serious competition in its size category. When Boeing was in that position during the 747’s heyday, it couldn’t build jumbos fast enough.

    But like many things in life, it’s complicated.

    Airbus has consistently projected a 20-year market for 1,500 of these giants. While obviously that projection contains a bit of marketing spin, many believed 600-700 units was a reasonable target – except perhaps Boeing.

    As we approach the halfway point in that forecast period – the A380 marks a decade in service next year – Airbus has delivered almost 200 aircraft. But with just 120 or so more on backlog (half of which are for A380 stalwart Emirates), it’s difficult to see where another 300-plus orders will materialise to enable sales to achieve even half of the long-term forecast.

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