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EK to Decommission 50%+ of Airbus A380, Axe 1/2 of Pilots & Cabin Crew

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EK to Decommission 50%+ of Airbus A380, Axe 1/2 of Pilots & Cabin Crew

Old 24th Nov 2020, 18:09
  #1161 (permalink)  
 
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How is the 747 related to all this ?

Anyway, no need to argue. Let's let the facts speak for themselves.
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Old 24th Nov 2020, 18:18
  #1162 (permalink)  
 
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bvcu

Aside from the 40 year time difference, the 747 predates ETOPS (or whatever they're calling it this week). Once there was 180 minute ETOPS, along with the technology to make highly reliable 70k - 100k lb. thrust engines, the advent of big, long range twins greatly diminished the need for big quads.
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Old 25th Nov 2020, 04:34
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.... additionally digging into the history of the 747 reveals some fundamentals as to why the 380 is the prime victim of a slowdown like the one Covid19 now presents. (This is taken from Wikipedia with slight redactions for coherence)

The original design of the 747 included a full-length double-deck fuselage with eight-across seating and two aisles on the lower deck and seven-across seating and two aisles on the upper deck. However, concern over evacuation routes and limited cargo-carrying capability caused this idea to be scrapped in early 1966 in favor of a wider single deck design.

This shows, that the Boeing engineers realized already in 1966, that two decks of passengers for one deck of freight would hamper the commercial viability of an airliner

At the time, it was widely thought that the 747 would eventually be superseded by supersonic transport aircraft.

This shows, that Boeing did not fall for the hubris of thinking that their design would be the cherry on the pie for eternity and therefore:

Boeing responded by designing the 747 so that it could be adapted easily to carry freight and remain in production even if sales of the passenger version declined. Additionally they wanted to conform to the USAF requirements for the studies of a CX-Heavy Logistics System (CX-HLS) aircraft. Such an aircraft needed to be able to be loaded from the front, thus a door had to be included where the cockpit usually was.

The 380 made this unviable with their cockpit design, therefore making a future rebuilt cargo version not competitive enough, especially considering the need for strengthening the middle floor and thus adding too much weight.

The desire to keep the number of engines to four required new engine designs with greatly increased power and better fuel economy

So even in 1966 Boeing knew of the economical disadvantage of more engines (although they then set the limit at 4). Airbus might have set it at a more modern 2 and would have realized the thin economical range of their 380 if having to stay at 4.
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Old 25th Nov 2020, 10:06
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Glo - A few misconceptions here, I believe, As far as I recall, Boeing were putting all their eggs in the supersonic basket. The supersonic programme nearly bankrupted Boeing, and after they scrapped it they scrambled for anything that might save the company, Joe Sutter was working on a dedicated very large freighter (the 747) and the execs at Boeing quickly got him to change focus and switch the 747 to a pax aircraft. I may have this all wrong, but I thought that was the background when I read Joe Sutter's book many moons ago,
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Old 25th Nov 2020, 10:22
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glofish

380 can carry it's full ZFW DXB to LAX (well anywhere out to 15.5hrs really) in DXB summer. The 773er is payload restricted to just 300 seats on that same flight (and starts reducing potential ZFW for fuel after 11hrs due to MTOW. So all that extra cargo space stays empty ULR, oops). Each aeroplane can do some good stuff. The 777 has been a very valuable workhorse since march. The 380 proved valuable when the runway shutdown last year.

But thanks for the history lesson. Interesting stuff.

Anyhow, let's hope your cry for its demise is as wrong as its previous 16yrs has proven, as I would like to see some of those very experienced and professional workmates return as quick as possible. I don't really care which aeroplane is shinier, larger, faster etc, but I do care that lots of workmates and their families have been placed under a lot of pressure this year. Whatever way forward helps them out the fastest gets my vote.
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Old 25th Nov 2020, 10:36
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Amen to that, don.
My take is simply that for our colleagues it might be better not to wait and hope that the 380 will fly in big numbers again, but to look out and opt for (in my view!!) more realistic alternatives.
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Old 25th Nov 2020, 14:41
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Usually the term "willing suspension of disbelief" applies to aesthetics but the genius TC is the first to apply it to business practice.

Nothing other than an intersection of Gallic hubris, impotence and ineptitude could have caused the excrescence to be built. Fanfare and FOMO brought it into service but nothing but the most willful ignorance of economics or a change of the laws of physics wil enable it to be operated at a profit.

I would be intrigued to know what combination of "premium passengers", bars, and showers could accomodate a 20% difference in fuel efficiency. Perhaps a petting zoo or menagerie? Swimming pool? Casino?


https://theicct.org/sites/default/fi...g_20180912.pdf


Last edited by Dropp the Pilot; 26th Nov 2020 at 00:40. Reason: spelling
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Old 25th Nov 2020, 15:05
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Are you looking at a different chart than the one you posted Dropp, as that does not support your rant.
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Old 25th Nov 2020, 16:01
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I am with Don, if all this "optimistic scenarios" allow for some or most of the hard-working and professional colleagues to return, then let's hope they materialize.

I believe it's now trendy to say that "the A380 is over" - and it probably is for most airlines - but most people seem to conveniently forget two or three things:

1. Emirates' main purpose is not to make money but to serve as a catalyzer of Dubai economy. At the end of the day, making a profit (in the financial statements at the end of the year) is a plus.
And no, EK dividend won't pay Dubai's financial debt as many like to believe... as the group profit is totally insignificant in comparison.

2. EK owns or has active leasing agreements for about 120 A380s. They cannot just write them off and make them disappear from their books. It is in Emirates' best interest that they get those A380s flying so they can offset some of the fixed costs they have until they can get rid of some of them. Also, A380s represent a huge percentage of the fleet and possibly about half of the capacity the airline has, when recovery is underway airlines will fight to gain or retain market share - they won't care about yield, at least at the beginning.

3. OMDB, as it is nowadays, is built for the A380 there has been massive investment to make the airport and its amenities suit that particular airplane and that specific pax density.
EK, Dubai Airports and Dubai can't just change that structural business model in a few months or a couple of years, it is a long term change and that won't happen before the pandemic ends.

So yes, makes sense, TC wants all 380s to fly in 2022 because is what EK and Dubai need and are built for. They will probably be half empty, but that was already happening before!

Regarding how to crew the airplanes I believe the plan is quite obvious: fire and rehire. Rehire under new T&Cs according to what the market demands and the changes that have already been implemented until now, and they get to choose who gets called and who doesn't based on your past history. Perfect scenario for them. Sure, a small percentage might have found another way to make 10,000USD+ a month but I think they're not that many!
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Old 25th Nov 2020, 16:57
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Originally Posted by aussiefarmer
Regarding how to crew the airplanes I believe the plan is quite obvious: fire and rehire. Rehire under new T&Cs according to what the market demands and the changes that have already been implemented until now, and they get to choose who gets called and who doesn't based on your past history. Perfect scenario for them. Sure, a small percentage might have found another way to make 10,000USD+ a month but I think they're not that many!
You are implying that people will be always willing to sacrifice their personal and professional dignity, job security and life stability by going back to EK because they "weren't able to find another way to make 10k USD a month".

Bless whoever after all still doesn't realise the actual price of those 10k a month. How sad.
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Old 25th Nov 2020, 18:03
  #1171 (permalink)  

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Question Loyalty

There will be plenty of takers for EK jobs even at much lower T & C's. Much as I loathe Dubai and the surrounding emirates, I too would have taken a job there if it was the only job in town. As for my loyalty though, I would not feel any..

Luckily, I never needed to work permanently in that part of the world. Contract work in Libya, Algeria and Tunisia was handsomely paid, but boy what a pain the local management and pilots often were. I just concentrated on my safety and felt good about the accruing money. Same considerations will apply to EK rejoiners, I suspect.
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Old 25th Nov 2020, 23:38
  #1172 (permalink)  
 
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If the A380 wasn't already flying, there wouldn't be any need to design and build it in the current market. The B777 does almost as much at a lower cost and the B787 opens up point to point routes which don't need a hub. It's now a niche product, similar to the Concorde with BA, where it works out for a small number of airlines on certain routes only.

EK will probably retain the A380 but in reduced numbers and on premium routes which will give the airline an edge over its rivals. Hubs will still be needed but they will be smaller and more regionally focused, the days of a single mega hub for the entire world are probably over. Point to point will increase and point to regional hub will increase, the line between origin and destination will straighten out a lot as more hub choices become available. People will still transit through Dubai as it's a convenient location but there will be less need for a major dog leg in their journey. ET could become the hub airline for Africa and TK for Europe for example.

This pandemic showed up which airlines were best placed to cope with the situation, basically those with small to medium sized aircraft could string something together while they grounded their larger airframes. Major performance analysis will be done in the aftermath, and strategies put in place in case another COVID situation occurs again.
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Old 26th Nov 2020, 02:01
  #1173 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by aussiefarmer
They will probably be half empty, but that was already happening before!
Not that I recall... At least not on my flights!

Originally Posted by krismiler
the days of a single mega hub for the entire world are probably over. Point to point will increase and point to regional hub will increase,
There will be some more point to point; but the mega-hubs in the ME are geographically in the 'centre of the world' and service a far huger potential network then I think you realise! I hardly see Entebbe getting a direct Chicago for example! Or LAX to the Seychelles... And Ethiopian simply does not have the fleet to support a hub that's big enough to offer enough choice!

Last edited by White Knight; 26th Nov 2020 at 02:03. Reason: Spelling: Too early in the morning!
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Old 26th Nov 2020, 09:06
  #1174 (permalink)  
 
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You can put lipstick on a pig, it will still be a pig. EK have failed with the A380.

It will be years until it generates any sort of profit again for them. And when it does, they will still have around 100 too many.
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Old 26th Nov 2020, 14:32
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Originally Posted by White Knight
Not that I recall... At least not on my flights!
A minor detail, really, but pre-covid LF has been hovering around 75%-77% in the last 5 years which means for each full A380 of yours there's at least one flying half empty.
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Old 26th Nov 2020, 15:51
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aussiefarmer

I don't think it's "trendy" to write off the 380, it's common sense economics.
If you pretend that EK's main purpose is not to make money, but to catalyse Dubai's economy, this effectively contradicts the "mega-hub" theory. A hub's only worth for its location is to make money. Transiting passengers will not catalyse any other business than the duty-free.
And last: Airliners flying half empty might be acceptable to satisfy leasing agreements and an airport structural business model, but even as you pretend that profit might not be the target, half empty planes cannot catalyse any economy either ....

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Old 26th Nov 2020, 15:52
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Iím pretty sure that with both F and J full and economy completely empty on high yield EU 380 routes, the sector will still break even, 20% LF.
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Old 26th Nov 2020, 15:55
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Nobody here knows if EK "failed" with the 380 or not. Nobody knows what the break-even load factor was, is or will be because it is a closely guarded commercial secret. Did (do) Emirates have too many? Almost certainly. While it is definitely the wrong aircraft for a global pandemic this mess won't last forever and coming out of it, who knows? A reduced 380 fleet could end up making good money on carefully chosen routes and there will be a lot less competition going forward. Emirates is sure to be the only 380 operator with more than a handful in service and the passengers do like it.
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Old 26th Nov 2020, 18:22
  #1179 (permalink)  
 
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glofish

Actually gloie, he is right and you are not. If you had listened during your EK indoctrination lecture all those years ago you would know this. The Dubai economy growth is based on the Hong Kong and Singapore models. Where growth of the economy is directly proportional to the growth of their airline
For Dubai, and EK, 75% of passengers transit only, so the seat count that the Dubai government has set for EK is based on making that 25% equal how many spenders they need staying in Dubai. It has been this way since the airline started.
Your hub vs direct model is a Boeing model. And is why the 787 was born. It will work in most of the world, but it is not the model that Dubai uses.
From folk in route planning, if you have 5 380s coming into dubai you need 4 leaving to take the onwards pax. This is obviously not going to work when the world is shut down, but it was working up until March.
And no, they don't don't fly around half empty when the world is working. And no they don't need to only serve major destinations. MRU for example had two 380s per day, 1 2 class with over 600 seats and the other a 3 class with over 500 seats. They were both full. As were the other destinations it served.
If we didn't have the 120 380s we would have needed 180 777s to replace them. How many would be redundant now if that was the case.
The sooner the world returns to normal the sooner we can get workmates re employed. You have argued the same thing for 16yrs. You are still wrong, but now it is tiresome, and at the same time insensitive to those that have been let go from their jobs, either by redundancy or LWOP.
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Old 27th Nov 2020, 01:18
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BigGeordie

Not quite true. When I worked for EK in IT, we had access to all sorts of info (this included). For the A380 is was based on 82% capacity to break even.

The average capacity during my time was only around 77% during peak periods, and as low as 60% during off-peak.
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