Lufthansa flying Airbus A380 to U.S.

Mar 18th, 2007, 09:00 AM
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Lufthansa flying Airbus A380 to U.S.

(AP) FRANKFURT, Germany - For plane builder Airbus and German airline Lufthansa AG, the A380's first flight to North America on Monday is a chance to show off the superjumbo to potential U.S. buyers and to the airports they hope will be flight bases for the double-decker jet.

The air show Monday begins at Frankfurt International Airport when the 73-meter-long (more than 239 foot-long) plane takes off as Lufthansa Flight 8940 at 9 a.m. for the eight-hour flight to New York's JFK Airport, scheduled to land at 12:30 p.m. Onboard will be 550 people, mostly Airbus and Lufthansa employees along with some reporters.
J62 is offline  
Mar 18th, 2007, 11:58 AM
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If it isn't Boeing, I'm not going.
mrwunrfl is offline  
Mar 18th, 2007, 12:04 PM
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Interesting article in the Euro Newsweek March 19 edition:

Buckle your seat belts: Airbus, the French-German Champion of European industry, is headed for a breakup.

"Airbus is having to face its demons" says Chris Partridge, aviation analyst of Deutsche Bank

A380 - any larger and the wings would drag on the ground at low speeds. The timing of the SUV couldn't have been worse, as 9/11 made massive jets a freightening prospect and sent oil prices skyward. By 2005, fuel prices had doubled.

787 "Dreamliner" - The Dreamliner's fuel costs are $3 million less per year than those of similar aluminum planes - let alone the massive A380.

As one former high-level engineer, who does not wish to be named because he's afraid of angering colleagues, puts it: "The Airbus A380 is the last dinosaur of the aluminum age".

Inside Airbus, everyone knew the A380 was a time bomb....

Anyone who expressed doubts about the A380 was shot down.

Says one former engineer: "It was a very aggresive environment. There was a saying you'd hear all the time: "If you don't do it, I'm going to smack you"

and finally,

Airbus pays most of it's bills in the rising euro, but aviation sales are in the falling dollar: Airbus says every 10 percent decline in the dollar costs it about $1 billion.
AAFrequentFlyer is offline  
Mar 18th, 2007, 04:50 PM
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The A380 has already been to Canada a couple of times. It was tested in Iqaluit, Nunavut and has also been to Vancouver, BC.
Gavin is offline  
Mar 19th, 2007, 03:23 AM
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Time will tell if the strategy of Airbus is better than that of Boeing or vice versa. Both companies have made mistakes, but I am beginning to weary of the knocking copy coming out of the U.S. about Airbus, and I suspect that it is really a sign of anxiety that America may have lost its technical and commercial superiority.

The A380 is a fine aircraft, very quiet for its size (it has flown over our home at low altitude) and will bring lower costs to flights between congested airports. It will probably be most successful on intercontinental flights, especially between Europe and Asia and across the Pacific. It will have a long product life, since Boeing are unlikely to design a rival.

The Dreamliner has not yet flown, so may be subject to problems and delays. It involves new technologies that hold great promise, but may have risks. The Airbus A350WB will be a rival, later to be delivered but possibly more advanced by the time it comes on stream.

Meanwhile, both companies have very full order books. The airlines want there to be more than one supplier, since that brings a better product and keener prices.
chartley is online now  
Mar 19th, 2007, 04:04 AM
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If the seating on the Boeing 787 is 2 5 2 or 3 3 3 and the seating on the Airbus is 2 4 2, I'll vote for the Airbus.
wally34949 is offline  
Mar 19th, 2007, 06:11 AM
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A380 is old tech. Boeing's 747-8i will match the A380's cost per seat mile, and comes out just a year or two after it, will fit all existing gates already fit for 747s. And it didn't cost Boeing billions and billions to develop over the 747-400.

The A350XWB isn't even as advanced technologically as the 787, and won't come out sooner than 2012, 4 years after the 787. Meanwhile the A340 product is basically dead, leaving the 300-400 seat market entirely to Boeing for 5-6 years.

Airbus is also behind Boeing in designing the next generation 737/A320 replacement.

And it is having trouble with its labor, it is getting unsolicited advices from German and French politicians. It's being "blackmailed" by the Russians and Qataris - with all kind of reports about them trying to buy into shares of EADS while discussing large order of the A350XWB.

It's not easy to be an Airbus cheerleader these days.
rkkwan is offline  
Mar 19th, 2007, 07:58 AM
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I saw that they took out the showers, gym, duty free shopping areas and saunas from the Airbus A380.

I think the people at Airbus were the last one's to know that that wasn't going to fly.
wally34949 is offline  
Mar 19th, 2007, 07:52 PM
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Yes, and here in LA, our mayor was very busy entertaining the pilots when they landed!

Very cool indeed!
lynnejoel1015 is offline  
Mar 19th, 2007, 08:10 PM
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I was directly under the belly of this bad boy as it landed at LAX today and must admit it was AMAZING! Can't wait to fly in it one day.
CarlaM is offline  
Mar 20th, 2007, 02:48 AM
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I heard they have a bar in First Class. I can see why the U.S. airlines didn't order any. With the "Fasten Seatbelt Sign" on all the time, how could one use the bar?
wally34949 is offline  
Mar 20th, 2007, 03:39 AM
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Interior configuration of the plane is pretty much up to the airline that buys the plane, so we can anticipate that some versions will be predominantly tourist (over 500 passengers per flight), while some will have a first class section (probably varying in size as they figure out how many of us are willing to pay the big fare. One version is even rumored to have a separate jet way from the first class lounge to the first class section; the elite needn't rub shoulders with the rest of us.

My reading is that no US airline is buying the A380 (and a couple of freight companies have cancelled orders). Because of its size and configuration, substantial revisions of airports will be required to accomodate this plane, and I think few US airports will be willing to bear that cost, especially when so few airlines have flights carrying 500 people. Were I an airline executive, I would look hard at the cost of running two flights, on equipment I already have, with no reconstruction costs, before I would commit to a single flight, with substantial new costs, at any but the very busiest airports.

clevelandbrown is offline  
Mar 20th, 2007, 04:17 AM
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"the rest of us"....meaning , of course, we, the unwashed....
BeachBoi is offline  
Mar 20th, 2007, 11:16 AM
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I'd love to have seen that A380 at LAX.

At this point, few airlines have flights with 500 people is probably because few airlines have A380s.
mrwunrfl is offline  
Mar 20th, 2007, 02:03 PM
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I was looking forward to watching it take off tonight over the Pacific ocean but it just started to rain, so I am not sure viewing would be very good.
CarlaM is offline  
Mar 20th, 2007, 06:46 PM
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I thought about heading down to watch it take off tonight, but the conditions have been really cloudy and ugly today.
lynnejoel1015 is offline  
Mar 20th, 2007, 07:40 PM
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Japanese airlines do run domestic versions of 747 and 777-300 with 500+ seats.

But anyways, if you look at the world's most frequent routes, most are short distance:


On these routes, frequency is very important, as business on these routes want flights all the time, and they are not going to wait 2 hours for a 45-minute flight. Airlines compete by offering the most frequencies, not the biggest plane.

And Boeing has pretty much have the Japanese market locked up. They have been producing special short-range versions of the 747 for them, and the new 787-3 is also targeted for them. Airbus has little chance getting into that market and they know it. Therefore, no special short range version of the 380.

Now, the A380 can only really appeal to the longhaul international market. Some routes do make sense, like New York to London. British Airways has 8 daily JFK-LHR 747-400s with 6 of them departing within 4 hours in the evening. Similar situation with AA, using 777-200s. These flights can consolidate for better utilization of LHR's slots.

But how many of such routes are there in the world? Not that many, really. That's why if you don't count the order by Middle Eastern airlines (which have different economies), the total number of plane ordered is under 80, with more airlines considering cancellation.

That's very very scary for a company that invested close to 20 billion dollars on this project, and diverting its attention to the other projects.
rkkwan is offline  
Mar 21st, 2007, 06:39 AM
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Trouble is, there are a few airlines that want the Boeing 777 or 767 to seat 400 people so they try to squeeze them in.
wally34949 is offline  
Mar 21st, 2007, 07:11 AM
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I am already looking foward to a first class flight on Emirates: they will have the usual two (upper and lower) deck jetways plus a third from the FC lounge in the a/p to the FC lounge on the A380 - wretched excess, lol.
The 800 version is expected to seat 555, but the aircraft is certified for as many as 853.
mikemo is offline  
Mar 23rd, 2007, 05:31 PM
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Based on the pictures in the Chgo Trib, the seat configuration was 3-5-3. I assume it was in steerage.
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