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A380 future

Old 8th May 2020, 17:39
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A380 future

With all the talk of social isolation continuing in a post Covid-19 world and the suggestion that middle seats should be left vacant, does this mean that the A380 may have a better future?

The aircraft is large enough to allow for a little more spacing, whilst still allowing a significant load and therefore a lot more financially viable.

Do you think that those airlines who operate it may have an advantage?
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Old 8th May 2020, 18:55
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It obviously all depends on how much people will pay - I’m not sure how well the 380 would fare economically with only 60% of the seats occupied verses a similarly loaded big twin.

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Old 8th May 2020, 19:26
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No airplane type will work economically with blocked seats. And empty seats won't stop Corona.
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Old 8th May 2020, 19:35
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What a load of crap. I remember results of doing swabs of security check trays, seat buckes and tray tables. All contained humongous amount of various, including fecal bacteria. We are all pigs and like Less Hair wrote, leaving empty seats will not stop bloody Corona.
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Old 8th May 2020, 20:12
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Originally Posted by Dufo View Post
What a load of crap. I remember results of doing swabs of security check trays, seat buckes and tray tables. All contained humongous amount of various, including fecal bacteria. We are all pigs and like Less Hair wrote, leaving empty seats will not stop bloody Corona.
True. But if you contract the virus on board a flight, you won't be catching it from the seatbelt or tray tables, but from the passengers you are sharing the cabin with.
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Old 8th May 2020, 21:13
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I'd like to think personal hygiene had improved somewhat but airline travel and reducing the R number are mutually incompatible. Aer Lingus flight BFS-LHR recently made the news, virtually full, essential travel?
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Old 8th May 2020, 23:10
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Originally Posted by Less Hair View Post
No airplane type will work economically with blocked seats. And empty seats won't stop Corona.

All true, but I suspect if the tales of the 380s operating costs vs. most big twin are true the 380 might cope less economically with blocked seats than other types, so to answer the OPs question, no I don't think the 380 will get a reprieve because of CV-19.
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Old 9th May 2020, 05:20
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There might be a niche for a few freighter conversions. With them being gradually dropped from pax flights, their second hand value is negligible which may make the cost of modifications worth doing as the airframes are still relatively young. A low purchase price, expensive modifications but a long service life afterwards might swing the balance for a few operators.

The airports that can accommodate A380s are limited but fuel is likely to remain cheap for a few years so a handful may soldier on in the freight role.
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Old 9th May 2020, 08:13
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Originally Posted by krismiler View Post
There might be a niche for a few freighter conversions. With them being gradually dropped from pax flights, their second hand value is negligible which may make the cost of modifications worth doing as the airframes are still relatively young. A low purchase price, expensive modifications but a long service life afterwards might swing the balance for a few operators.

The airports that can accommodate A380s are limited but fuel is likely to remain cheap for a few years so a handful may soldier on in the freight role.
I understood that the row between the ME oil states and Russia was settled a few weeks back and already prices have been rising.

A380 freighters? ... The B747 gets away with it having a nose opening, other freighters need a side cargo door, an A380 with a door on each level and is that upper floor strong enough to take heavy pallets rolling up and down it?

At least with reduced loads on such routes as DXB/SYD they'll be able to carry the baggage and not just the passengers!
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Old 9th May 2020, 14:50
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It is very sad that the 380 came along too late to be a success. From the Pax perspective - it's a great machine. I have chosen it over numerous other long haul machines.
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Old 9th May 2020, 17:14
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Originally Posted by Harry Wayfarers View Post
A380 freighters? ... The B747 gets away with it having a nose opening, other freighters need a side cargo door, an A380 with a door on each level and is that upper floor strong enough to take heavy pallets rolling up and down it?
A double-decker freighter ?

Well it wouldn't be the first.



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Old 9th May 2020, 22:58
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Originally Posted by DaveReidUK View Post
True. But if you contract the virus on board a flight, you won't be catching it from the seatbelt or tray tables, but from the passengers you are sharing the cabin with.
Doesn't the fact that we're all breathing in the same recycled air through the aircon mean that spreading people out won't make much difference anyway?

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Old 10th May 2020, 08:03
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Originally Posted by InSeat19c View Post
Doesn't the fact that we're all breathing in the same recycled air through the aircon mean that spreading people out won't make much difference anyway?
You might think that; I couldn't possibly comment.
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Old 10th May 2020, 08:54
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I gather it has long been lamented that A380 freighter conversions are a non-starter due to the design of the passenger aircraft. Plenty on this topic online to tell you why.

Airbus cancelled the A380F project when the orders from Fedex and UPS iirc were canned.

As for future passenger use by the Legacy airlines that bought them?
It will either be a very handy people mover, or they may go to the scrapyard.

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Old 10th May 2020, 17:13
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Would it be possible to have freight on the lower (passenger) deck and passengers on the upper?
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Old 10th May 2020, 17:47
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Originally Posted by Hartington View Post
Would it be possible to have freight on the lower (passenger) deck and passengers on the upper?

Great Idea - we could also have gyms, shops and restaurants...







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Old 10th May 2020, 19:42
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Originally Posted by Hartington View Post
Would it be possible to have freight on the lower (passenger) deck and passengers on the upper?
As I've posted numerous times, the A380 as it currently exists does not pencil out to be a good freighter - MZFW is too low, limiting the max payload to ~85 tons, where as the 777F is over 100 tons with much lower operating costs, and if you need to haul something big, 747-8F can carry over 130 tons.
Some sort of combi setup might be an option, but the regulations covering a combi have become far more restrictive (see Helderberg as to why), so certifying a new combi aircraft would very difficult - especially for a retrofit.
All the existing combi aircraft were certified over 20 years ago, before the regulations were tightened.
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Old 10th May 2020, 20:17
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South African Airways Fl 295 Helderberg

November 1987. The 742 Combi had freight at the rear of the main deck as well as below. This accident was pretty much the end of large scale combis for long haul. I think that, now, there only short haul combies to remote areas like Alaska in 737s.
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Old 10th May 2020, 20:38
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Originally Posted by PAXboy View Post
South African Airways Fl 295 Helderberg

November 1987. The 742 Combi had freight at the rear of the main deck as well as below. This accident was pretty much the end of large scale combis for long haul. I think that, now, there only short haul combies to remote areas like Alaska in 737s.
Didn’t KLM have a pair of 747-400 Combis operating until a couple of months ago, one of which had it’s retirement delayed and is flying pure freight right now?

The current situation especially with PPE being shipped means the aircraft max out on volume rather than weight. I know Aer Lingus are filling the holds and cabins of their 230T and 242T A333s with between 15T and 18T of PPE on PEK-DUB flights, the extra 12T of lift doesn’t make the cabin or hold any bigger! As such the A380 might actually be very useful for that role. Mriya can haul 250T internally or 200T on the roof, I wonder what she is actually hauling when full of PPE.
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Old 10th May 2020, 20:53
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The An-225 is not carrying any outside cargo Buran-style. Internal cargo only.
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