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  • 33

At 652 seats, Transaero's A380s could top all others

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When Transaero Airlines takes delivery of its first Airbus A380 in 2015, the Russian carrier's superjumbo jet may end up having the highest seating capacity of any commercial passenger jet in the world. (www.usatoday.com) 更多...

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pdixonj
pdixonj 9
Not really a surprise, it "is" an A380 afterall...and at least the aircraft still has a first and business class. Besides, it's the usual nature of airlines to pack as many seats into an airplane as they can get away with. The A380 was billed as an aircraft of comfort and luxury, but why should THAT stop an airline from using it as a flying cattle carrier.
preacher1
preacher1 2
The original billing and intended use, back in the day, was to have the plane on high density routes, packing in 800+ passengers and using it cattle car style, then all this luxury business started coming around.
CaptainFreedom
That's coming, Preacher. 10 years from now these initial 380s will be used as cattle carriers. Airlines could hire security guards with prods to cram in as many people as possible. Michael O'Leary is likely salivating at the notion of ripping the seats out and attempting to jam 3,000 people into 1 airplane.
PhotoFinish
PhotoFinish 1
They'll try the cattle car approach, as there aren't enough buyers for the gigantic but costly to operate luxury flagship approach.

We'll see if they do any better with that, though the massive numbers limit the routes where it'll work.

I'd rather be running a bunch of 787s instead that can operate more efficiently. You can serve more destinations with more frequencies, and get more passengers to their preferred destinations at their preferred times, and fly fewer empty seats.

But we'll see how it works out.
honzanl
honza nl 2
you not noticed Asia these days is become the centre of the world ? Where are more airliners sold than in the US for example. And if more than 1 billion Chinese or Indian people want to fly they need bigger planes. For the US it is not the ideal plane, but then again: how many 747's were used inside USA ?
PhotoFinish
PhotoFinish 1
They can have billions if people, but that doesn't mean they can afford an airfare. When a majority can barely afford rice to eat, you can't count them as airline passengers.

In a few decades, there may be a market for a monstrosity of an airplane with the capacities of the A380. By then, the A380 will be very long in the tooth, and whatever plane successfully sells into that market, whether made by Boeing or Airbus or someone else, will be sn entirely new design. It will incorporate the new technologies that develop over the coming decades including much of the efficiency improvements we're seeing in the new models that are now being designed and delivered, since the 787 introduction.
PhotoFinish
PhotoFinish 2
Other planes like the 787, A350, and 777 will all sell in the thousands, before any substantial market develops for the A380. In the meantime, at best the A380 will only sell hundreds. Airbus will only reach their 250 plane break-even in the second decade of production.

The A380 was a mistake of airplane development strategy. It was a major distraction for Airbus that took valuable design and production resources away from other more important and more profitable planes like 787, A350, 777X and whatever Airbus makes to compete with it eventually.
honzanl
honza nl 2
I agree it took a lot of resources. But they wanted to cover the whole range of planes, and then this was the consequence. And remember Boeing also experienced a long period of slow sales of the 747. And when the 747 is retired they have that (not too big) market for themselves. And the A350 maybe now lagged behind, but it showed the Boeing mistakes which Airbus now could avoid.
honzanl
honza nl 1
well, the numbers of airplanes at present being sold in Asia show you are wrong: the number of passengers there is already enough. Also because the shortage of pilots and runways. And why call the A380 monstrosity? It is by capacity about 10% bigger than a 747-8 so not that big. Also, but that is my personal opinion: I don't think Boeing can take the gamble to develop such a plane anymore. The market is not big enough, and with new systems, new engines etc an A380 can be just as efficient as a new design, with all development costs already covered. And with the US wanting a new Air Force One (mandated: in production, 4 engines) and the 747 shoing signs of retirement you might be able to see it in the USA also :))
preacher1
preacher1 2
A new AF 1 will about have to be a 747. The 380 cannot use all existing airports because of the width of it's outboard engines, among other things.
preacher1
preacher1 2
The 747-8 is well in production so they brand is not going away for awhile
PhotoFinish
PhotoFinish 1
The capacity may only be 10% more than a 747-8, but the weight and fuel burn is much more than 10% more.

That is why there are reports coming out that the per seat cost of the 747-8 is coming in lower than that of the A380. That's with full planes. In actual everyday use, the A380 is rarely full.

Korean Airlines, already operating A380s, just decided to order a bunch of 747-8.

You're right that the market for 4-engine passenger aircraft is very small. The market for very high capacity aircraft is also very small. The overlap is even smaller.

If the 747-8 starts taking away more potential sales, it may push the break even point for the A380 past 2 decades.

As it stands now, break-even would only come over 2 decades after first flight, nearly 2 decades after first delivery, maybe longer, and a solid three decades of distraction/ development before breaking even. At that point, the A380 will be 3 decade old technology.

The 747-8F caused the A380 freighter variant to be cancelled. I don't expect Boeing to waste any time, effort or money to chase the A380 besides providing the updated 747-8 at a fraction of the development cost, on a platform that was profitable and paid or decades ago.

If that super capacity airliner market takes off in 2-3 decades, a new from scratch airliner will have to be designed. At that point, there will be ample opportunity for either competitor to design the best airplane for the time.

In the present, the 787, A350, and 777X are aimed at a more profitable segment for the airlines, so also more profitable for the aircraft manufacturers with solutions.

A380 will always be a small percentage of all widebodies, let alone all planes, also including narrowbodies and regional jets.

I also suggest that the 747-8 is a poor investment, and clearly only a hedge against the A380. But at least it wasn't an all consuming project that sucked lots of development effort and opportunity from its' manufacturer. Not in the way that the A380 was major distraction and a major dissappointment at Airbus.

Boeing guys don't like my comments on 747 threads either. The 747 may be a better looking airplane with a more iconic design. But it's also chasing the ever smaller 4-engine market of the A380.

However, we're decidedly in a twin engine commercial airliner era. I can't picture a single engine airliner era. So until we get a paradigm shift with a completely new propulsion system, we'll likely be flying twins.
PhotoFinish
PhotoFinish 1
"If that super capacity airliner market takes off in 2-3 decades, a new from scratch airliner will have to be designed."

The supercapacity plane of 2-3 decades from now will be a twin.

That plane will share more technology with the 787s and A350s of today, than the A380's of the 1990's design vintage.
preacher1
preacher1 1
That will be one heck of an engine. LOL
WALLACE24
WALLACE24 1
You bet. Max gross, v(r), engine out, giddy up!
PhotoFinish
PhotoFinish 1
Yup!

Unless there's a game changing change in propulsion, that seems the progression in engine design. Bigger, stronger, more reliable and fuel efficient engines.

My brother used to be in commercial aircraft engine design. I'll run it past him, and report back if he's got any insight to add.
JJ7
JJ Johnson 4
I wonder how much Vodka that will require for each trip??
Moviela
Per Russian tradition an 18 shot bottle of Vodka is meant to be consumed by 3 persons. Divide 3 into 652. Looks like 218 should be enough for flights under an hour.
javiercarom
Javier Caro 1
Transaero flight to Punta Cana MDPC several times per week in high season (winter in the north hemisphere) with its 747-400 and the 777. Would be great to see the A380 in the Caribbean.
mknaresh
it is then an airship with engines! sound interesting. ema-maersk in Sky!!
WALLACE24
WALLACE24 1
That would be another airline experience I can do without.
SootBox
SootBox 1
652? Should keep the commodes hummin' for sure.
RECOR10
RECOR10 1
Humming? You making a funny to parlay off of that sex on a plane the other day?
avihais
The A380 was originally designed and promoted as a mass people carrier. It still needs to sell 250 plus aeroplanes to break even. The initial plan was to seat more then 800 people but progress was hindered by offering too many options and layouts. Kind of scary to have even 652 people in one aeroplane, even more scary in the Russian weather and the history of Russian pilots, still many coming from military backgrounds.
WALLACE24
WALLACE24 1
Fly it like a Mig. Fun!!!
Moviela
I cannot imagine where I'd go with 651 Russians. Oh the agony.
WALLACE24
WALLACE24 1
Vodkaland. A dream come true.
plk304
at present what is the number of number of seat have been fitted into an A380"

[This poster has been suspended.]

WALLACE24
WALLACE24 1
Naw. They have a computer programmer come out and do the FMS. They pull the nose up. Then pull it up again on landing. Changes are made remotely. Lol
andytyler
Andy Tyler 1
nobody programs an FMS these days all the data is sent over the air so they don't even have to worry about that. just maybe type in how many pax and tada
CaptainFreedom
The technology is not the problem so much as ignoring the instructions it provides. When TCAS says "Traffic. Pull up 500 feet", I'd suggest that you listen, as opposed to swearing at TCAS about the alert.
THRUSTT
THRUSTT 1
Huh? I have to program it for every leg...
WALLACE24
WALLACE24 1
I know I'm behind the curve, but I read Les Abend in Flying and he is programming on 777.

[This poster has been suspended.]

WALLACE24
WALLACE24 1
Everyone gotta die. If your not in a hurry to do so don't fly on a Russian airline. Lol

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