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Superjumbos return to skies

Nice to see the A380 coming out of their mothball state. ( More...

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Geoff Rowe 21
I’m no expert but I said that the plane was either too late or too early. As pressure grows on landing slots at big airports airlines will be forced to rue the day they killed this plane. It was also a shining example of how little say and power passengers have over airlines as anyone who flew this plane loved it.
SkyAware123 2
Right now it's not landing slots, it's personnel. Flights are getting cut across Europe because they can't handle the people anymore. LArger planes will make this worse.
srobak 18
This entire article can be summed up in one word:


Almost every single statement made in it was glaringly obvious:

- The pandemic damn near killed international air travel - ergo, the need for high volume, intercontinental aircraft plummeted. Obviously the 380 would be affected - but so were the 777, 747, 787, A350, A340 and others. Hundreds of all these airframes were parked, all around the world. This is not at all unique to the 380.

- The end of the pandemic has caused a massive resurgence in international air travel. However - according to the article, this was "unexpected". That I simply just do not understand. Did the travel industry and the airlines all expect for people to just stay home after being couped for 2 years? Only an idiot would think that. So all the demand for the 380 loads that existed before the pandemic of course would exist after it, too. Not rocket science.

I was glad to see that Asiana is actually putting them back in service, according to the article. This is in sharp contrast to the article and thread here on FA a few weeks ago about them crying that nobody wants to buy their 380s. I suggested then to put them back into service because there is a massive demand for capacity between all of Asia & the US or Europe.

For airlines like Qatar who claim the 380 was the biggest mistake their airline ever made - maybe the mistake was in thinking that enough people wanted to travel intercontinentally, frequently enough to Qatar that it would warrant so many of such a large aircraft. Destinations like this in the middle east are not exactly in high demand except to people in the middle east, due to rampant instability in the region. Again - rocket science.

The only one I don't understand is KLM..... they are complaining about the costs involved in re-engining and remodeling their 380 fleet, and somehow think that replacing them with more & smaller aircraft instead is going to be cheaper - simply because they are more efficient than their current 380s? They are ignoring the fact that the new 380 engines are just as efficient.

As for any other airlines who are complaining about 380s with a significant amount of empty seats - maybe slow down your scheduling a little bit, including from the other equipment types. You don't HAvE to fly the route every single day. Lufthansa learned this on their Miami route... during certain times of the year they ran daily 380s there from Frankfurt and were bursting at the seams. Other times of the year they backed off that schedule to every other day to keep the aircraft at or near capacity.

This also loosely relates to my other point in another thread a couple weeks ago about why even on domestic major hub routes an airline will run 3 to 5 flights between same points on smaller aircraft like 737, 320 or even CRJs within an hour or two - instead of 1 or 2 larger airframes like a 777, 787 or 350 over a 3 to 5 hour period. It would help passenger congestion at the gate, gate congestion for aircraft, taxiway congestion and air congestion, not to mention cut way down on the number of aircraft requiring maintenance.

In the end - I see a huge benefit for an aircraft like the A380. It makes sense on multiple levels - if you use a little common sense and ingenuity in employing it to your services. If I was an intercontinental operator - I would have a fleet comprised almost exclusively of them... and I'd be smart with my scheduling of them. :)

But what do I know? I'm just a lowly pleeb with a private company consisting of 4 tiny planes.
SkyAware123 1
The more airtraffic grows the more larger planes make sense. A full A380 is still cheaper to fly than 2 full smaller planes w the same amount of people. Schedule it right and you will make more money. Let's hope airbus doesn't delete their schematics. They might have to start building them again in the future (well an updated version by then). Same for the 747
jgoedker 12
I would guess the current pilot shortages has a lot to do with this. Haul more people with fewer pilots.
Roger Green 3
Due to travel YVR-LHR in July, and much as I love the A380, it’s a disaster on this route at present. Not sure why, tech issues? Turnaround issues? BA incompetence? June record: on time NIL. Late 30 min to 6 hours median 2 hours. Likely I will miss both the 3 and 9 pm flight on to Dublin.
Response from BA the computer says it’s still operating to schedule.
SkyAware123 7
That's airports, not planes. Cluster fuck in scheduling personnel. Who would have thought after 2 years of people not flying as much, summer approaching and no more covid restrictions that we would have an increase in demand? Right ? Even a 5 year old could have predicted it. idiots.
Andre Duijnmayer 3
The current 'not on time; flights in Europe have everything to do with the miserable failing of the Airports' management not preparing for the expected increase in demand of air travel, i.e. not having enough security and baggage handling staff available, resulting in hundreds of daily flight cancellations at every large airport.
Alain Mellan 2
In the UK, not enough staff is partly because of .... Brexit. Can't hire EU individuals, they have to turn down 30-40% of applicants.
SkyAware123 2
That's the excuse. Same in Amsterdam. They claim they can't hire enough people. In reality it's bad planning. Anyone could have seen this coming.
Michael Yentzer 3
Assembly lines are done and even the 787 and other Wide Body 2 engine airliners and not have robust sales. The A320/737 size airliners are out saleing the larger airlines by nearly 10 to 1 and as the transition from Business passangers to vacationing passangers I can see even larger airliner assembly lines changing over to the A320/737 size.
this will likely continue until the Mach 1+ airliners break into the market for very long flights, NY to Tokyo, London to Sidney and others current 4hr+ routes. Keep an eye on SpaceX and it's Starship passanger Rocket program as possible really big game changer.
Geoff Rowe 5
I keep a very close eye on SpaceX. You know that Elon has plans for using Starship as a passenger transport. He would like that revenue to help fund the Mars mission. Imagine being able to get a half way around the world in an hour rather than a day.
SkyAware123 5
Only affordable by the 1%, at least in our lifetimes.
srobak 3
I disagree with you on the 737/320 for vacationing passengers. For inter-continental flights they just do not have the capacity or range to accommodate that. Even the biggest 737 cannot stay aloft for 15+ hours without a refuel - and there are plenty of those types of routes out there, and they were sharply on the rise before the pandemic as the demand is extremely high for nonstop routes... so they will return and continue to grow.

You cannot compare the sales of regional/continental aircraft to intercontinental ones. That's not even apples and oranges. Might as well compare Honda Accords to Mercedes Maybach sales.

While it was several years ago that I was last at the Everett 787 assembly line (2015) - at that time they were pumping out 1 aircraft every 2.5 days, and they were backordered through the end of 2021. They have since doubled their output with the plant opened in the southeast US, and it is a much better and nicer aircraft in every aspect and from every perspective (pilot, crew, passenger and maintainer) than the tired, old 737 design. No matter how much lipstick you put on it - it is still a 737.
Ian Foster 5
The way Qantas configured Pres/Economy was a delight. Singapore and Emirates not so good.
Jamar Jackson 2
I saw two A340 land at LAX yesterday. Haven’t seen them in years.
Brian Robinson 0
Danny Masson? The Danny I knew from Hiroshima in the 90s? If so, please message me at Facebook’s Robina Custom Liveries? It would be great to reconnect!


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