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Last A380 Leaves Assembly Hall

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Last A380 Leaves Assembly Hall

Old 29th Sep 2020, 13:24
  #61 (permalink)  
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As I see it, there are two points where the A380 wins:

(1) Passenger experience. Unfortunatey few airlines still give a damn about passenger experience, and it seems the bean-counters are satsisfied that that enough passengers don't give a damn either. (Not in the ads though.)

(2) Slot-constrained airports. This is where I don't understand the logic - but then, I'm not a bean-counter. If you've got a slot at somewhere like Heathrow, and enough people who want to fly, isn't it better to use that slot for A380 loads of passengers rather than only 777 loads?

(By the way, Air New Zealand recently sold its one Heathrow slot for ... US$27 million.)
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Old 29th Sep 2020, 14:35
  #62 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by fdr
The industry is a shambles for the near future, so it will be a boon for Haj..
You mean something like this?


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Old 29th Sep 2020, 14:37
  #63 (permalink)  
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A real shame, from a passenger perspective pretty much the nicest ride out there. So quiet and smooth

BA - in F to/from HKG - proper modern compartments and in the early days, a better menu - far more comfortable than the cramped confines of the 747 A zone (where BA cram in 14 seats vs LH's 8). 777 makes a racket inside even up the front
BA - in J again to/from HKG a few times - same seat as the rest of the fleet and no real standout options like the 744 UD - I'd say this was the most underwhelming vs other aircraft of BA
SQ - in J for a short regional hop HKG-SIN - superb
QR - in Y - flew down to SYD with a 18 month old and it was great - flew back on a 787 DOH-LGW which was horrible, even in the bulkhead. Remember 787s are supposed to be 2-4-2 in Y, 3-3-3 is the charter config which everyone has had to adopt as it can't meet its fuel burn promises.
BA - in Y - not as good service as QR (!) but still a very pleasant ride in the little mini Y cabin at the back of the upper deck, again with same 18 month old LHR-SFO-LHR

If flying Y I will always hunt out the 380 services. Then A350.
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Old 29th Sep 2020, 18:18
  #64 (permalink)  
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More SLF here and yes by far my favourite aircraft, I am in the fortunate position of choosing myself whom I fly with and when and I opt for an A380 when available.
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Old 29th Sep 2020, 18:39
  #65 (permalink)  
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Agreed , but progress , first trip in 777 in 1996 and it was far superior to anything then for a good few years , 380 next generation and very quiet !
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Old 29th Sep 2020, 19:52
  #66 (permalink)  
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The case for converting the A-380 to a freighter has been investigated for years. Unfortunately the added weight of the heavier cargo floors make it financially unfeasable. Also the specialized equipment and containers required to load and offload a double decker aircraft are cost prohibitive as well.
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Old 29th Sep 2020, 20:56
  #67 (permalink)  
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There are upper deck catering trucks available that can be converted to lift cargo containers. If you look at like 100 plus emirates airframes ready for conversion the idea starts to look more interesting. Think prime air and such. Three wide body decks full of containers and transpacific range. And cargo is doing fine these days. Not sure if somebody will finally do it but those airplanes are available for cheap now. And corona will end one day.
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Old 29th Sep 2020, 21:27
  #68 (permalink)  
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The problem with the A380 as a freighter is the Max Zero Fuel Weight is simply way too low. The 777-300 as a P2F conversion can carry as much as an A380 and the operating costs are far lower (and the 777F can carry even more). If you're willing to pay the operating costs for a quad, a 747 can carry much more than an A380.
Yes, the A380 can carry it a long way without refueling, but the world cargo market isn't set up that way - max sector length is around 4,000 miles. The A380 has a lot of volume, but there is little demand for high volume/low weight cargo aircraft.
Short story, the 747 was designed from day one to make a viable freighter - the A380 wasn't...
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Old 29th Sep 2020, 23:33
  #69 (permalink)  
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Ugly but comfy

Ugly? Hell, yes! But from a pax POV the most comfortable LH ride ever. I say this as someone who as flown LH for over 40 years on pretty much any imaginable LH aircraft. While I LOVE the 747, the ride in the 380 was vastly superior. I guess these trips will now never be repeated as all my LH flying these days is on EU / US mainline (flag) carriers.
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Old 30th Sep 2020, 01:24
  #70 (permalink)  
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Long term lurking on here but i'll throw this in...

From a passenger point of view for me, absolutely nothing comes close to the comfort of a 380. Combination of the smooth flight, the quiet cabin (to the point you hardly know you're in there air). Large windows, huge fuselage and space. Generally newer aircraft so often have far better IFE and connectivity and so on. Its just comfortable, even in economy.
A 350 isnt bad for experience but not close to the 380. Dreamliner a distant third.

747 i genuinely cant remember because its a very long time since i used them. I wasn't aware they were still in general passenger use.

Right at the other end of the scale for me is the 777 where i'll change my schedule, airline or airport if practical to avoid flying on one because its everything the 380 isnt - its noisy, its cramped, its not as smooth, the IFE and so on is usually much older, seats arent as comfortable and so on.

Ultimately if plans allow, ill try to get on a 380 whereas i'll do all i can to avoid a 777 (and specific airlines to avoid).

I can see why *airlines* dont like the 380 but everyone i know on one as pax tends to agree its the best aircraft available for a smooth, comfortable long haul flight.

I'll certainly miss it and now means i need to pick operators that operate A350s or if not, dreamliners.
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Old 30th Sep 2020, 02:23
  #71 (permalink)  
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Well this is one use for them...

Singapore Airlines turns grounded A380 into a fine dining restaurant
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Old 30th Sep 2020, 15:35
  #72 (permalink)  
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I'm not anti-A380 in any way, as it gave me work in some of the airfield mods reqd for its operation.........and I've only flown on one twice, in fact my last long haul flight was a BA A380 on the LHR-SFO-LHR route a few years ago.....
However, I guess as others have mentioned, being a Bloody Awful flight I really didn't think it was any better than any other flight I've taken long haul.....I certainly don't remember thinking, wow this is so much quieter and BA's cabin config didn't make it any more spacious or comfortable than any other BA flight.
Sadly, I doubt I'll fly on one again to be able to have another go at comparison.
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Old 30th Sep 2020, 15:54
  #73 (permalink)  
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The pax comfort is no longer part of the equation in airline management since a long time unfortunately , looking at the last modern Recaro seats on the LH 320 neos, only a few cm think, to gain a row or two, but they are so hard it is painful to seat on them more than an hour .
Yes the A380 on ultra long haul is far superior to the 777 or the 330 for a pax. ..Proof of that is on segments where pax have the choice like FRA-SIN where there were both A380 and 777 services offered every day . the fares on the 380 were higher than on the 777 , and when you booked , whether LH or SQ you got a special advert besides the fare : A380 to justify the fare difference and the 380s were filling up faster than the 777s...
Another benefit that has not yet been mentioned ,and than one has also on the 787 and 350s, is that you are less tired on arrival .. and this is worth gold for the business traveler. .

On the technical side, someone here said earlier that there was no technical innovations on the A380 , well not really true ; I had the opportunity to make a few jump seat rides , items like prelanding brake to vacate the runway on the map, automatic following of TCAS RAs were at the time rather innovative. As to the beauty , just look at the wing from behind.. and remember it was the short version , the full long version would have been more graceful..
I hope I will be able to fly on them again for the next 2 or 3 decades..
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Old 30th Sep 2020, 16:17
  #74 (permalink)  
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By far the best A/C for SLF on LH in my extensive experience of LH flying in all types of metal since the late 60,s. I actively seek out travelling in them if possible followed by A350. Not a fan of the 787 and frankly I have lost faith in Boeing engineering. Due to qty about I do fly 777 a bit, but it is a poor experience in comparison. Aesthetically I agree she is not pretty, but neither was the Stratocruiser or the Flying boats of yesteryear, but many people rated the comfort and luxury of both as way to travel, and I think that is what we have here, a classic way of moving about the planet , especially if you are fortunate enough to travel in premium classes. I will miss it when it has gone, indeed as I do currently, as having to fly on other metal LH due to Covid reduction in passenger numbers.
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Old 30th Sep 2020, 16:46
  #75 (permalink)  
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The 380 as well as the 748 fell victim to the same kind of change in the market. Both were made with the Superhub concept in mind. They were built to connect Frankfurt to NY, Dubai to London, Singapore to Europe and so on. This also worked after a fashion. Looking at Zurich, one of the smaller hubs, EK still filled 2 A380ties daily with folks to feed the Dubai hub, Singapore filled their 380 as well. So did others between the hubs. The idea basically was, to get those huge planes to do the long range work and then distribute the pax off to the smaller airports via feeders.

However, people like direct flights. So the newer long haul smaller planes such as the A350 / B787 turned up, they could do that, transport a smaller number direct to smaller airports, without the need of feeders. Passengers also don't necessarily like megahubs, as they are stressful to change airplanes in, have long immigration queues e.t.c. Add to that the increasing pressure on inner-European flights just for example with environmental taxes e.t.c, the feeder concepts were no longer attractive.

IMHO, this is why the super cathegory failed, for the time being. I somehow think that in a couple of years, once Covid is ancient history and people will want to fly again, they might be sorry to throw them away so quickly.

Also I think the main reason the A380 is totally gone now is that they never made a freighter out of it. Cargo, as opposed to pax traffic, has increased recently and high volume cargo planes would be in demand. Airbus could have replaced the An124's with a proper Cargo 380, but they chose not to do it or rather the concept of the 380 relied on the 2 deck layout so they could not.

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Old 30th Sep 2020, 17:28
  #76 (permalink)  
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Probably a naieve question but.....
Would it be possible to remove the floor of the upper deck and use the saved weight to strengthen the main fllor to create a viable freighter?
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Old 30th Sep 2020, 17:31
  #77 (permalink)  
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That is not possible.
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Old 30th Sep 2020, 17:49
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Actually, the target for the A380 was mainly runway capacity constrained airports where an airline cannot get any additional slots (which ended up being mostly limited to LHR). A side market was high yield routes.

The hub and spoke system is still alive an kicking and with reduced traveller demand, it will only be more important as it is the only way we can still efficiently connect destinations throughout the world.
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Old 30th Sep 2020, 17:54
  #79 (permalink)  
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The fuselage has an oval shape and the upper deck floor basically keeps it that way...
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Old 30th Sep 2020, 18:28
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There's one thing I can't get my head round to: flying LAX-FRA at least twice a year on an 380 (Lufthansa) in a premium cabin, the airplane was always full with perhaps 2-3 available seats in C and a couple in F. Y and Premium Y usually sold out. Why does an airline not make money with that kind of load factor? Serious question to those who know.
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