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Air France issues MOU for A220, dumps A380 in 2022

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Air France issues MOU for A220, dumps A380 in 2022

Old 1st Aug 2019, 18:33
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Air France issues MOU for A220, dumps A380 in 2022

Air France has signed a memorandum of understanding with Airbus for the purchase of 60 A220s.

This plane is Airbus in name only. It is none other than the former Bombardier C-Series, renamed A220 in July 2018, after the takeover of the program by Airbus (51%), announced in October 2017.

Link in French below:

Air France MOU for A220, etc

IG
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Old 1st Aug 2019, 19:34
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Rough translation
Air France: Ben Smith releases all the Airbus A380s from the fleet and orders the Canadian A220

(Credits: Reuters)

The French company has signed a memorandum of understanding with Airbus to order 60 A220-300 (former Bombardier C-Series) and has announced the exit from the fleet of all A380s by 2022.

It's a strong decision by Ben Smith. After having confirmed at the end of 2018 the decision of the previous management to maintain an A380 fleet by reducing the number of aircraft, but by investing in the renovation of the cabins of the remaining aircraft, the Air France-KLM CEO has reversed course. Given the cost of investing in the renovation of cabins, he prefers to release the [A380] fleet and replace them with new aircraft on which he can develop the cabin from a blank sheet. This confirms his preference for smaller aircraft generating higher yields. The multiple failures of the Air France A380s have not played in favor of this aircraft which entered the fleet just 10 years ago.

As the Tribune revealed on July 13, Air France has decided to release all A380s from its fleet. In a statement issued Tuesday, Air France-KLM, its parent company, announced the release of its 10 super-jumbo Airbus by 2022. Since last November, three leased aircraft were already to go from 2020 onwards. The contracts of the two other leased aircraft will not be renewed and Air France will have to find a solution to dispose of the five aircraft that it owns, most of which are not yet depreciated. Of course, the takeover by Airbus of these aircraft is part of the negotiations for the purchase of wide-bodies, intended to replace the A380. According to our information, Air France has put the B787 and the A330 Neo in competition. The A350 is currently considered too expensive. This competition comes as the remaining firm Boeing 787 and Airbus A350 orders placed several years ago were split at the end of June between Air France (for the A350s) and KLM (for the B787s), in order to harmonize the fleets of the two sister companies.

Air France has also signed a memorandum of understanding with Airbus for the purchase of 60 A220s. This plane is Airbus only by name. It is none other than the former Bombardier C-Series, renamed A220 in July 2018, after the takeover of the program by Airbus (51%), announced in October 2017.

The choice of the A220 is most relevant for the Air France network. This plane is much cheaper to buy than an A320 Neo, with equivalent seat costs. Above all, on short stages such as those of the short and medium-haul network of Air France, the A320 NEO is not optimal according to some experts. For them the A320 NEO is more suitable for carriers with a medium-haul network with sectors of about 3,500 kilometers. However, at Air France, the average stages are much shorter (three to four times less).
In other words, lots of little aircraft are more profitable than a few big ones; that is, if you have plenty of slots available. Note also that AF has only ten A380s anyway, half of them leased, out of a worldwide fleet of some 230. KLM has none.
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Old 1st Aug 2019, 19:50
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More profitable, I guess, But certainly requiring many more crew - at the front, at least.
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Old 1st Aug 2019, 19:52
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Originally Posted by Imagegear View Post
This plane is Airbus in name only. It is none other than the former Bombardier C-Series, renamed A220 in July 2018, after the takeover of the program by Airbus (51%), announced in October 2017.
Gosh, they kept that quiet ...


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Old 1st Aug 2019, 23:55
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Originally Posted by LookingForAJob View Post
More profitable, I guess, But certainly requiring many more crew - at the front, at least.
Which goes to show what a small part crew costs are in the overall picture. (But operationally VERY important)
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Old 2nd Aug 2019, 05:32
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Originally Posted by DaveReidUK View Post
Gosh, they kept that quiet ...
Did you miss this then Dave?

Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, Ltd (MHI) (TOKYO:7011) and Bombardier Inc (TSX: BBD.B) announced today they have entered into a definitive agreement, whereby MHI will acquire Bombardier’s regional jet program for a cash consideration of $550 million USD, payable to Bombardier upon closing, and the assumption by MHI of liabilities amounting to approximately $200 million USD. Under the agreement, Bombardier’s net beneficial interest in the Regional Aircraft Securitization Program (RASPRO), which is valued at approximately $180 million USD, will be transferred to MHI.

Pursuant to the agreement, MHI will acquire the maintenance, support, refurbishment, marketing, and sales activities for the CRJ Series aircraft, including the related services and support network located in Montréal, Québec, and Toronto, Ontario, and its service centres located in Bridgeport, West Virginia, and Tucson, Arizona, as well as the type certificates.
Note: Production remains with Bombardier

Link: Bombardier - Mitsubishi

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Old 2nd Aug 2019, 08:09
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Methinks Dave was in 'Irony Mode'?
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Old 2nd Aug 2019, 08:44
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Yep, Imagegear doesn't know Dave yet
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Old 2nd Aug 2019, 09:17
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It is an interesting study.
The A380 would seem to be a logical fit for slot constrained airports where airport capacity is close to peak. Places like EGLL etc.
That the manufacturer and industry scoped, developed and ultimately built it over a decade and committed over $10 billion to the program, it shows that even the industry and the manufacturers make mistakes.
Point to point smaller seat count aircraft are the preferred vehicle.
Posited elsewhere, perhaps this is a realisation that the relative reliance on reduced supply of hydrocarbon based fuel will mean that fuel consumes ever increasing percentages of hourly operating cost.
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Old 2nd Aug 2019, 09:38
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Originally Posted by Rated De View Post
The A380 would seem to be a logical fit for slot constrained airports where airport capacity is close to peak. Places like EGLL etc.
Quite so.

If, as seems likely, the 777X gets very close to the A380's SMCs then the only remaining raison d'être for the latter will be its use at slot-constrained airports.
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Old 2nd Aug 2019, 10:16
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Originally Posted by DaveReidUK View Post
Quite so.

If, as seems likely, the 777X gets very close to the A380's SMCs then the only remaining raison d'être for the latter will be its use at slot-constrained airports.
It is an interesting proposition, did the A380 "peak" a little too early?
It is not as though the congestion both on the tarmac and the in terminal area will dissipate in coming years, if anything the slot constraints will tighten..
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Old 2nd Aug 2019, 10:31
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Originally Posted by Rated De View Post
It is an interesting proposition, did the A380 "peak" a little too early?
It is not as though the congestion both on the tarmac and the in terminal area will dissipate in coming years, if anything the slot constraints will tighten..
I'd have to agree.
It is certainly not a "fit for all purposes" airframe but I'm really convinced there is still a business case for it.
I'm really curious to see how EK will fare in the coming years.
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Old 2nd Aug 2019, 11:43
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Oh yes,

Irony Mode, Dave does not have exclusivity on that one.

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Old 2nd Aug 2019, 21:53
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Originally Posted by atakacs View Post
.....I'm really convinced there is still a business case for it.
Unfortunately, the manufacturer disagrees.
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Old 2nd Aug 2019, 22:39
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... but maybe upgauging to A321, and other stretched narrow bodies, has a greater effect in increasing airport capacity.
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Old 3rd Aug 2019, 00:29
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Originally Posted by Rated De View Post
Posited elsewhere, perhaps this is a realisation that the relative reliance on reduced supply of hydrocarbon based fuel will mean that fuel consumes ever increasing percentages of hourly operating cost.
Except oil is cheaper now vs. when the A380 entered service in 2007.

In 2007, Brent crude averaged $72/barrel ($89/barrel inflation adjusted). These days Brent sells for around $66/barrel, and likely trending even lower since futures contracts for next year deliveries are below $60/barrel.
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Old 3rd Aug 2019, 08:16
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Originally Posted by glob99 View Post
... but maybe upgauging to A321, and other stretched narrow bodies, has a greater effect in increasing airport capacity.
Absolutely. And the advocates for the A380 always seem to overlook this.

There are many, many options for upsizing aircraft before you need to consider the A380.
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Old 3rd Aug 2019, 16:10
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Originally Posted by DaveReidUK View Post
Gosh, they kept that quiet ...
Indeed. I was positively shocked to find that out just now.
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Old 3rd Aug 2019, 16:39
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Originally Posted by Andy_S View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by glob99
... but maybe upgauging to A321, and other stretched narrow bodies, has a greater effect in increasing airport capacity.
Absolutely. And the advocates for the A380 always seem to overlook this.
There are many, many options for upsizing aircraft before you need to consider the A380.
There are. But the opponents of the A380 always seem to overlook the existence of slot-constrained airports. Heathrow has already been mentioned: yes, it's just one airport but, despite Brexit, it's still a very important one. If you're a long-haul operator into such an airport, it's surely attractive to bring in 500 pax with one slot rather than 200 or so. And which aircraft would a long-haul pax prefer to be in for six or eight hours: A380 or A321? I know which I'd prefer, given that choice. Given a wider choice for long-haul I like both B777 and B747 (at least in business class) but the sheer carrying capacity of the A380 has to be attractive, and it seems to work for Emirates.
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Old 3rd Aug 2019, 16:50
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Originally Posted by OldLurker View Post
And which aircraft would a long-haul pax prefer to be in for six or eight hours: A380 or A321?
I think the reference to "upgauging" (assuming the poster was using the term correctly) was in the context of A220 -> A321.

We should probably credit him/her with knowing that the A380 is bigger than either of those.
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