Go Back  PPRuNe Forums > Flight Deck Forums > Rumours & News
Reload this Page >

Ultra Long Range A350

Rumours & News Reporting Points that may affect our jobs or lives as professional pilots. Also, items that may be of interest to professional pilots.

Ultra Long Range A350

Old 2nd Jul 2018, 16:22
  #81 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Feb 2002
Location: Northants
Posts: 692
It is economic because it will only take 4-8 of the top premium passengers to pay the fuel bill.
swh, If it’s configured with only J not F can you explain how only 4 J passengers will pay the fuel bill on a 20hr sector?
Flap62 is offline  
Old 2nd Jul 2018, 16:37
  #82 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Reading, UK
Posts: 10,791
Originally Posted by SeenItAll View Post
Other than for some very, very high premium-demand niche markets, it seems hard to imagine that it will have many takers.
It will likely have very few takers apart from SIA. But it probably still make sense from Airbus's point of view. If you read the article that you linked to, you will see that from the end of this year all A350-900s will be built to a common production standard (the -900ULR spec) and it will be up to customers if they want to pay to activate the ULR capability (clearly most won't).

Looks just like the A340-500 all over again.
Except that there will probably be fewer A350-900ULRs than the 34 A340-500s built.
DaveReidUK is online now  
Old 2nd Jul 2018, 17:24
  #83 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Nov 2005
Location: Potomac Heights
Posts: 463
Originally Posted by swh View Post
It is economic because it will only take 4-8 of the top premium passengers to pay the fuel bill.

The aircraft can still carry cargo in the rear hold. The forward hold is deactivated as it reduces weight and fuel burn, it can be reactivated again.

They have a system in place also fast cabin changes so the seating configuration in the rear can be changed relatively quickly for seasonal demand.
Fuel bill will be on the order of $100,000 per fill up (i.e., one-way sector).
Yes, can carry some cargo in rear hold -- but you aren't going to tell a pax paying $10,000 for a ticket that they can't carry any (or many) checked bags.
Maybe you can shuffle the PE seats in the rear to regular economy -- but you ain't moving around the 80J seats very quickly. And is demand seasonal on NYC-SIN?
SeenItAll is offline  
Old 2nd Jul 2018, 18:39
  #84 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jul 2018
Location: thailand
Posts: 1
Originally Posted by jwrobbo View Post
That's a big jump. I'm trying to get my head around such an increase without more tankage.
Less fuel burn from the new engines, I think that they said 25% less burn
ThaiTastic is offline  
Old 2nd Jul 2018, 21:10
  #85 (permalink)  
swh

Eidolon
 
Join Date: May 2001
Location: Some hole
Posts: 1,928
The top ticket prices will be well above 10k, no issue with checked baggage, it isn’t a 787.
swh is offline  
Old 3rd Jul 2018, 07:53
  #86 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Dec 2001
Location: what U.S. calls ´old Europe´
Posts: 934
It's not rocket science. The airlines (and the manufacturers) know how many passengers currently fly between the ULR city pairs in question via hubs in Europe, ME3, Asia, etc.
By taking a view about the proportion of that traffic willing to pay a premium for direct, non-stop service on those routes, it's possible to derive the potential market for a ULR aircraft of a given size

The top ticket prices will be well above 10k.
The big question is: If you really have enough pax demanding an ULR city pair, is it really more expensive to do it with an ULR aircraft model, compared to do it with a slightly cheaper conventional aircraft type, but do the stopover (requiring two cycles on the airframe, additional airport fees, two crews etc. potentially more time so that you need twice the number of aircraft to serve the route parking them for quite some hours)? Do you really have to charge a premium / 10K?

The number of routes is surely limited, but I can imagine that there are some where you could even offer the direct flight cheaper than your competitors doing a stopover. It all depends on the actual demand for that city pair, whether you need to fill the aircraft with transit passenger, or whether you can fill it with point-to-point passengers.
Having one model of an aircraft type for this relatively small market probably makes sense.

So when you compare you should probably compare the different trip options and not per se the long trip in isolation.
Exactly. The alternative to a 20 hour flight might be a 30 hour trip...
Which of course would be acceptable, if the 20 hour flight is 10K, and the 30 hour trip is 4K...

For sure the direct flight would be significantly less than twice as expensive to operate (maybe even cheaper), so you should not try to sell it at twice the price.
Maybe by doing so, you would just kill it.
Volume is offline  
Old 3rd Jul 2018, 10:27
  #87 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jul 2018
Location: Toulouse
Posts: 14
Originally Posted by ImageGear View Post
//rant on...

It's 2018 and everything flying commercial is well sub-sonic. 12 hours in any ally tube is at least 8 hours too long for anybody. Is this a Big Bubba/Airslush strategy to keep more tubes in the air for longer, justifying higher prices and forcing people to upscale in comfort levels in order to avoid DVT or worse. (Think how many ambulances will be required to attend after pax have been incarcerated for 20 hours) Current aircraft are just all so last century. (Concorde excepted). I predict than the first manufacturer to get an economical SST to market will kill off the rest of the competition.

"Just stating the bleeding obvious but I feel better now"

//Rant off

IG
I'll state the obvious : SST is way too expensive for it be economical and kill off the competition.
Originally Posted by groundbum View Post
rather than SST maybe these ULH planes need air-to-air refuelling, save dragging all that gas round the globe

just saying....

G
I'm not sure it would be economical as well.
You would need to save 40k$ (which is the cost of the flight hour of the cargo airplane) worth of fuel for it to be worth the trouble. Not taking into account the development of a civil air to air system from design to crew training.
JayMatlock is offline  
Old 4th Jul 2018, 06:05
  #88 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Apr 2004
Location: Planet Earth
Posts: 1,818
Unheard of to ‘de activate the front cargo hold’


That certainly limits flexibility, is the weight savings from not installing cargo handling
equipment that critical?


Seems like a show stopper for some airlines
stilton is offline  
Old 4th Jul 2018, 06:49
  #89 (permalink)  
swh

Eidolon
 
Join Date: May 2001
Location: Some hole
Posts: 1,928
Originally Posted by stilton View Post
Unheard of to ‘de activate the front cargo hold’


That certainly limits flexibility, is the weight savings from not installing cargo handling
equipment that critical?


Seems like a show stopper for some airlines
Since no other aircraft can fly that sort of time and distance with a comparable payload that efficiently, it is not a show stopper.

Many 777s fly around with next to nothing in their cargo holds when flying a ULH, and it is costing fuel to have that sitting there empty.

Most airlines do not have city pairs they want to serve that far apart, that is the limiting factor. Probably only a dozen airlines in the world that would have the need for it.
swh is offline  
Old 4th Jul 2018, 07:09
  #90 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Netherlands
Age: 42
Posts: 131
Originally Posted by JayMatlock View Post
You would need to save 40k$ (which is the cost of the flight hour of the cargo airplane) worth of fuel for it to be worth the trouble. Not taking into account the development of a civil air to air system from design to crew training.
A quick fuel and crew change stop, keeping the passengers onboard, would be a much more economical option. This would probably add 1 - 1.5 hours to the trip.
procede is offline  
Old 4th Jul 2018, 07:31
  #91 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: Dublin
Posts: 366
Originally Posted by procede View Post
A quick fuel and crew change stop, keeping the passengers onboard, would be a much more economical option. This would probably add 1 - 1.5 hours to the trip.
Done today by Ethiopian on several North American routes.
Noxegon is offline  
Old 4th Jul 2018, 16:15
  #92 (permalink)  
ImageGear
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Also happened at Sal Island for many years during the embargo on South Africa, JNB to JFK in those days 18.5 hours, with a wife and two babies, not funny.

I'll state the obvious : SST is way too expensive for it be economical and kill off the competition.
Understood in regard to current technology, but within a relatively short space of time, the capability should arrive unless the vested interests step heavily on any future development cycle....and yes, under every rock is a critter with your name on it.

IG
 
Old 4th Jul 2018, 20:08
  #93 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Netherlands
Age: 42
Posts: 131
Originally Posted by ImageGear View Post
Understood in regard to current technology, but within a relatively short space of time, the capability should arrive unless the vested interests step heavily on any future development cycle....and yes, under every rock is a critter with your name on it.
Even new technology cannot go against the laws of physics. Parasitic drag rises a lot after Mach 0.8 and decreases again slowly after Mach 1, but still stays higher than below Mach 0.8. The only solution to this is to go (sub) orbital, but then a lot of energy is needed to get there, which must be dissipated getting back. Plus you need to bring oxygen for the passengers to breathe and air breathing engines will not work.
procede is offline  
Old 5th Jul 2018, 01:57
  #94 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Oct 2017
Location: Tent
Posts: 366
Originally Posted by procede View Post
A quick fuel and crew change stop, keeping the passengers onboard, would be a much more economical option. This would probably add 1 - 1.5 hours to the trip.
I'm right Jack - but you pax stay in your seat and suffer.
Bend alot is offline  
Old 5th Jul 2018, 05:47
  #95 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Apr 2004
Location: Planet Earth
Posts: 1,818
Originally Posted by swh View Post


Since no other aircraft can fly that sort of time and distance with a comparable payload that efficiently, it is not a show stopper.

Many 777s fly around with next to nothing in their cargo holds when flying a ULH, and it is costing fuel to have that sitting there empty.

Most airlines do not have city pairs they want to serve that far apart, that is the limiting factor. Probably only a dozen airlines in the world that would have the need for it.

Between ULH routes those 777’s can use those cargo holds profitably on shorter flights


As many airlines do, it gives the operator the
flexibility to use an expensive asset productively in the manner they choose and not have it sitting around for hours between ULH sectors
stilton is offline  
Old 5th Jul 2018, 06:35
  #96 (permalink)  
swh

Eidolon
 
Join Date: May 2001
Location: Some hole
Posts: 1,928
There is no time between 19-20 hr ULR sectors for another 2 sectors and have time to complete routine maintenance. There is no 777 flying that sort of distance.

Deactivated does not mean removed, it can be re-activated.
swh is offline  
Old 5th Jul 2018, 07:38
  #97 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Sep 2011
Location: earth
Posts: 1,042
Originally Posted by swh View Post
It is economic because it will only take 4-8 of the top premium passengers to pay the fuel bill.

The aircraft can still carry cargo in the rear hold. The forward hold is deactivated as it reduces weight and fuel burn, it can be reactivated again.

They have a system in place also fast cabin changes so the seating configuration in the rear can be changed relatively quickly for seasonal demand.



Just a little bit of experience in that matter:
For the EK 380 F-class luxury we heard the same arguments over and over. As a frequent visitor to the F-class i can assure you that less than 1/3 of customers pay the desired premium fare. Passengers smartly exploit over-bookings, upgrades through miles and more or ff programs. Such luxury has not payed and this can surely be extrapolated to a superduper ULR offer.
Fast cabin / cargo configuration changes have been offered in many other aircraft before. EK had additional tanks on their 77L, deactivated, offloaded, but never used as flexible fast changer. I remember Swissair tried seats that could be changed in width by FAs with a hand-drill, to enable C / Y configuration change between flights. It was quickly abolished.
The quick turn around times, the restricted time for maintenance simply does not favour such configuration changes, too much time to lose and too many blunders while changing (never touch working mechanics!). Why is the 77W, and most probably the 359 such a success? Because they are so versatile without touching anything. Sure enough a 380 carries more into slot restricted LHR, sure enough that torture version of the 350 might fly from Mongolia to Fireland, but its all niche. Niche was never economical, only viable if there was really no alternative. There is however an alternative to 18 hour travel: Split it. Its cheaper and after first-hand experience more comfortable.
The very few hard pressed business gurus might use superduper ULR, but there are not that many and they rarely pay premium.

I predict a few spectacular routes for such aircraft, it has been tried before and they all silently disappeared after some time.

Last edited by glofish; 5th Jul 2018 at 08:23.
glofish is offline  
Old 5th Jul 2018, 08:48
  #98 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Reading, UK
Posts: 10,791
I don't think anyone is suggesting that conversion of an A350-900 between ULR and non-ULR configuration would be a turnround process. If done at all, it would be more likely something done on a seasonal basis. If at all.
DaveReidUK is online now  
Old 5th Jul 2018, 18:37
  #99 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Nov 2005
Location: Potomac Heights
Posts: 463
Originally Posted by DaveReidUK View Post
I don't think anyone is suggesting that conversion of an A350-900 between ULR and non-ULR configuration would be a turnround process. If done at all, it would be more likely something done on a seasonal basis. If at all.
But routes that are seasonal tend to be leisure-oriented. Business-heavy routes (the only ones that could possibly support ULR) tend not to be seasonal. Thus, I doubt that this A350-900 "flexibility" will be used -- except when converting ULR -900s back to regular once their previously flown ULR routes are discontinued due to impossible economics.
SeenItAll is offline  
Old 5th Jul 2018, 20:24
  #100 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Reading, UK
Posts: 10,791
Originally Posted by SeenItAll View Post
Thus, I doubt that this A350-900 "flexibility" will be used -- except when converting ULR -900s back to regular once their previously flown ULR routes are discontinued due to impossible economics.
Or they might make so much money on SIN/EWR that they keep it in ULR configuration for ever.
DaveReidUK is online now  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us Archive Advertising Cookie Policy Privacy Statement Terms of Service

Copyright © 2018 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.