Europe's Airbus 380 to be mothballed from lack of sales?!

Discussion in 'Politics, Religion, Social Issues' started by DUCKofD3ATH, Dec 12, 2014.

  1. DUCKofD3ATH Suspended

    DUCKofD3ATH

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    #1
    "Airbus plunged deeper into crisis yesterday as customers reacted with fury to its suggestion that it may stop producing the fabled A380 super-jumbo in 2018 because of poor sales" (only 318 orders since 2001).
    ...
    "Sir Tim – one of the aviation industry’s most influential leaders – urged the company to invest with Britain’s Rolls-Royce in building better engines to improve fuel consumption, rather than scrapping the whole A380 project."

    Meanwhile, the American counterpart to the Airbus, the Boeing 787 Dreamliner, is enjoying higher sales than the A380 (1,055 orders since 2004) but it's costing more than the sales price to build each plane. Boeing expects to start making money after they've sold 1,100 planes (likely sometime in 2015).

    So will the current drastic drop in fuel costs (currently below $60/barrel) save the A380 super-jumbo? If so, Europeans will have to thank American fracking for that reduction.
     
  2. Happybunny macrumors 68000

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    #2
    I for one don't care, I always thought that it was a fantastic piece of engineering, but I always had my doubts about viability in service.

    Much like Concorde.
     
  3. Technarchy macrumors 603

    Technarchy

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    #3
    I don't know enough about the airline industry to have an opinion on what can cause a plane to sell or not sell.

    However, in the last 72 hours there has been lots of talk about fracking, and cheap fuel.

    This won't last unless we continue on the path of pushing alternative fuel, renewable energy, more fuel efficient cars, electric cars and yes, fracking.

    I already see some pundits talking about the return of big SUV's, the death of hybrids and Tesla because gas is cheap for a minute.

    Don't fall into that trap. As GWB would say, stay the course, break the backs of OPEC and big oil, and continue to think about being sustainably energy efficient.
     
  4. vrDrew macrumors 65816

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    #4
    The relationship between the price of oil and sales of any individual model of commercial aircraft is somewhat complicated. Larger aircraft generally get better passenger/mile fuel economy, and certainly newer aircraft do much, much better than older ones. But there are many other variables that go into the mix.

    The A380 program has one huge problem: There are only a limited number of routes that make sense for such as massive aircraft, one that requires special non-standard gates. That essentially severely limits the airline customers' flexibility to respond to changes in demand.

    The current chatter is being driven by the fact that Rolls Royce wants a €2 billion investment to make a new engine that would further increase the plane's fuel economy and performance, thereby drawing in new orders from cost-conscious customers. It might - but since Airbus' production schedule is booked through 2018, its almost impossible to say what world fuel markets would look like that far in the future.
     
  5. Huntn macrumors G5

    Huntn

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    #5
    The 380 development was a boondoggle costing them hundreds (a thousand?) of orders. It's too big to operate in many international airports, and with everything that's big, every part of their operation takes longer to accomplish.
     
  6. takao macrumors 68040

    takao

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    #6
    the dreamliner isn't a rival of the 380.. the direct modell for comparison would be the Airbus 350

    They still have around 780 orders of the 350 to fullfill.

    Also financially the 3 quarters where up in revenue 4% comapred to last year and their EBIT up 12%

    also keep in mind that Airbus and Boeing have rather different account principles. Airbus puts their development costs directly to the bottom line while Boeing spaces them out through the deleopment/production run up.


    their real problem are still the defense part where the A400 turned out to be money pit (for them, not to the defense departments who negotiated a flat price..)
    and the eurofighter isn't really selling as much as they hoped
     
  7. iBlazed macrumors 68000

    iBlazed

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    #7
    Amen to all of that. Yay for agreements!:D
     
  8. Happybunny macrumors 68000

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    #8
    You are exactly right, Schiphol had to rebuild complete areas of the airport just to handle the beast.
     
  9. Huntn macrumors G5

    Huntn

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    #9
    My impression is that the max practical number of paying passengers to haul in an airplane tops off around 400 to maybe 500 people. The 380 is certified to haul 850 people. You can imagine the issue when the economy prevents the operator from coming close to filling the plane. Then it operates at a distinct financial disadvantage. I'm not trying to sound negative about Airbus. I flew the Airbus A320 for a decade and its a wonderful airplane, so wonderful, it knocked Boeing off its pedestal for me at least. :)
     
  10. Happybunny macrumors 68000

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    #10
    Flying lost it's glamour around 1964.:p

    It's now just cattle boxes.:(
     
  11. giantfan1224 macrumors 6502a

    giantfan1224

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    #11
    Yes but with the development of the 380, Boeing responded with the Dreamliner. And they got it right by assessing the industry would want something more flexible in the 787, not big in the 380.
     
  12. Huntn macrumors G5

    Huntn

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    #12
    Agreed. An analogy was that flying used to be like taking a limo, now it's the bus, although business class is pretty darn sweet. A completely different experience than sitting in steerage. ;)
     
  13. Happybunny macrumors 68000

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    #13
    I only use coach for the budget airlines in Europe €49 Schiphol to London, it's just to good to turn down, one hour flight.:cool:
     
  14. bradl macrumors 68040

    bradl

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    #14
    I'm not too sure.

    I say that, because there are now conflicting reports, with Airbus CEO Fabrice Bregier confirming plans for an A380neo and 'stretch' variants of the A380.

    I'm rather inclined to believe the CEO over what analysts at Bloomberg and Fortune are stating.

    BL.
     
  15. aaronvan Suspended

    aaronvan

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    #15
    Airbus would financially collapse if not for all the government subsidies it receives. It's basically a European government jobs program.
     
  16. Happybunny macrumors 68000

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    #16
    So what, are we asking you to pay?
     
  17. bradl macrumors 68040

    bradl

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    #17
    Boeing has done the same; to the point where the WTO ruled both for and against both EADS and Boeing because of subsidies, and some illegal ones on Boeing's side, to the tune of $6 billion.

    http://money.cnn.com/2012/03/12/markets/boeing-airbus-wto/
    http://www.nytimes.com/2012/03/13/b...-upholds-ruling-on-boeing-subsidies.html?_r=0

    BL.
     
  18. aaronvan Suspended

    aaronvan

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    #18
    You're paying, not me.

    ----------

    The WTO said that? We need another Battle in Seattle. Down with the WTO.
     
  19. bradl macrumors 68040

    bradl

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    #19
    Yet you're paying Boeing, and illegally at that. See the problem?

    BL.
     
  20. aaronvan Suspended

    aaronvan

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    #20
    Naw, the WTO is a debating body. Boeing planes are cool and far more technologically advanced than Airbus.
     
  21. bradl macrumors 68040

    bradl

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    #21
    And the counter to that, is it took Boeing how long to go to carbon fiber? After how many years of sledging it?

    And when Boeing finally goes to it (let's call it 20 years after Airbus had it on the A320 variants), they still get it wrong? The B787 and B7E7 when they started it was an absolute mess. Combining that with how they also smegged up the building process when they outsourced everything made it look even worse.

    Airbus was more advanced than Boeing when it came to technology at that time. Speaking of.. who had FBW first? (this is a trick question. ;) )

    Seriously, they are both fairly equal when it comes to technology. Personally, I'd rather take Embraer's E170 family over both of them.

    BL.
     
  22. sjinsjca macrumors 68000

    sjinsjca

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    #22
    In my own experience, for most travelers on most airlines, the A380 is a remarkably cramped experience despite its gargantuan size. I won't miss it. It is just an economy-size sardine can.
     
  23. aaronvan Suspended

    aaronvan

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    #23
    Not me. I want a 747-400 all tricked out like a Saudi prince's. Wet bar, wide-screeen cinema, rotating heart-shaped water bed, and a retinue of female bodyguards.
     
  24. sjinsjca macrumors 68000

    sjinsjca

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    #24
    For airliners, sure, they were comparatively late to the party. But Boeing has been doing carbon-fiber in military aircraft for decades. And significant elements of some of their older designs were carbon fiber, such as the tail of their glorious 777.

    As a frequent flyer, I appreciate Boeing's caution. Airliner safety is one area where risks should not be taken. There are subtleties to carbon fiber structural design that had to be learned the hard way. For example, Airbus' insistence on using no metal internal load-spreading spars helped them lose a vertical stabilizer structure in-flight and killed a lot of people. (Boeing, to my understanding, has used metallic spars in the 777's composite vertical stabilizer. So far their tails have stayed on.) Compatibility with things like hydraulic fluid is not yet a settled science either; that contributed to another in-flight breakup of an Airbus vertical stabilizer; fortunately that plane landed safely. And the material is very difficult and costly to inspect for degradation over time.

    I pray that enough lessons have been learned that the "teething pains" are past.
     
  25. bradl macrumors 68040

    bradl

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    #25
    744? Not a B748? I'll admit that the cowlings on the -800, 788, and 737MAX are sexy, but the lack of winglets are a downer, compared to having raked wingtips, but it is more of a stretched version, almost like the -200.

    I'd say the same for the bodyguards, but I don't think the wife would allow it. However, if they babysat the kids, I'm game! :p

    BL.
     

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