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A380 "Too Big" Say Two Airline Execs

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A380 "Too Big" Say Two Airline Execs

Old 18th Aug 2003, 21:48
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Question A380 "Too Big" Say Two Airline Execs

http://www.avweb.com/newswire/9_34a/...5523-1.html#3c
A380 "Too Big" Say Two Airline Execs
It's too big for some runways and terminals but is Airbus's A380 also too big for some airlines? According to the CEOs of two major U.S. airlines, the 550-seat behemoth will be shunned in the U.S. as too costly and too crowded. "I don't think the A380 is going to sell other than to cargo carriers in the U.S.," Northwest Airlines CEO Richard Anderson told Bloomberg News. Northwest operates about a dozen B747 models to haul cargo. Continental CEO Gordon Bethune said he doesn't think passengers will want to be lost in the A380 crowd. "What's in it for me to sit on an airplane with 500 other people, wait for my bags with 500 other people, check in with 500 other people," he wondered. He did fail to mention the A380 has room for such amenities as full-service restaurants and lounges. Continental operates an all-Boeing fleet. The A380 is Airbus's weapon in a high-stakes battle that will likely determine whether it will continue its newly won dominance over Boeing in the commercial jet market. For the first time this year, Airbus will make more airliners than Boeing. Boeing is answering the challenge with the 7E7 Dreamliner, less than half the size of the A380 but with similar range, something Bethune is cheering. "Nonstop is the real answer, not bigger."
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Old 18th Aug 2003, 22:11
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Two airline execs say the A380 is too big!?!?! Time to pull the plug on the A380 project, Airbus!

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Old 18th Aug 2003, 22:38
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Ahh, but Airbus isn't American, is it?
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Old 18th Aug 2003, 22:44
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I remember the same argument about the B747 in the late sixties. Look what happened to their predictions.

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Old 18th Aug 2003, 23:01
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Bethune is full of crap. Go to LHR, LAX, JFK and you'll be checking in or waiting for bags with a hell of a lot more people than the '500' he talks about....these airports handle multiple 747 arrivals at the same time (LHR T4 at 6am anyone?) and the addition of 1-2 A380s is not going to have the kind of dramatic effect on operations that he's talking about.

But didn't he used to work for Boeing?

Last edited by BahrainLad; 19th Aug 2003 at 02:28.
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Old 18th Aug 2003, 23:03
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Further to the posting of RICH49, and if the A380 were a product of Boeing and not Airbus then the Americans would be trumpeting it as the next major step in Civil Aviation. Methinks this is simply a case of "Not made in the USA". More power to Airbus!.
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Old 19th Aug 2003, 00:07
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It's pretty questionable whether NW and CO would have the kind of long range heavy pax trunk routes that make A380 a runner. Just because they haven't shouldn't be carte blanche to slag it off because not many folks want to fly into DTW and EWR comparatively speaking.

NW and CO are good 777/7E7 candidates and good luck to them, but if they were able to fill enough seats to get 380s they would buy.
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Old 19th Aug 2003, 00:17
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I think maybe they are worrying that 250 people will not be able to make it off the upper deck in an emergency evac without maiming or killing most of them.
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Old 19th Aug 2003, 00:30
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747FOCAL from Seattle, Washington, where do you get your info from?
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Old 19th Aug 2003, 01:05
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Well, by the time several hundred A380s are operating, the main aviation market will be Asia. So what a couple of US CEOs think won't matter too much!
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Old 19th Aug 2003, 01:41
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Continental CEO Gordon Bethune said he doesn't think passengers will want to be lost in the A380 crowd. "What's in it for me to sit on an airplane with 500 other people, wait for my bags with 500 other people, check in with 500 other people,"
Some might argue otherwise, but the people I know who book tickets do so online. They couldnt care less which airline they fly with. I would also say that the vast majority of these people couldnt tell an Airbus from a Boeing and is not even the smallest factor in their decision. They will book a ticket from one company over another if its $1 cheaper. They really couldnt give a crap about the rest of the details and thats really what it comes down to. My understanding of it is that the A380 will utilize more effeciently a finite number of landing slots by virtue of its greater capacity? And also with more passengers for similar costs as other Airliners with less seats, hence making fares slightly cheaper?
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Old 19th Aug 2003, 01:49
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Yup - 'Not invented here' syndrome from a couple of Spams.

The A380 programme is developing considerable momentum, and both wide body and narrow body Airbus products are beginning to outsell Boeing. In fact if they hadn't virtually given away 737s to O'Leary, their sales figures would be even worse......

A318-321 - Tailored for appropriate regional and short-ish haul routes. Airlines can move them around between routes to capitalise on high demand sectors. Friday evening - A321. Tuesday lunchtime, A319.

A330, 340 and 340-5/600 - Selling well on long-haul...


......and in theory ALL have common type rating requirements. Although hopping from a 318 to a 340-600 might prove interesting!
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Old 19th Aug 2003, 01:51
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Other use of spaces.

Full-service restaurants, I somehow doubt this for safety concerns over fire hazards and turbulance issues.

There used to be lounges on some of the first two series of 747s but I believe they soon disappeared in favour of extra seating. Same also happening for restaurants in addition to the above reasons.

Now a bowling alley...
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Old 19th Aug 2003, 02:33
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I think maybe they are worrying that 250 people will not be able to make it off the upper deck in an emergency evac without maiming or killing most of them.
Of course! Because Europeans can't build aeroplanes, they'd obviously design one with upper deck exits that didn't work.

from http://denver.bizjournals.com/phoeni...y1.html?page=2

"Since it's a double-decker aircraft, the escape slides are tremendously long in some instances. The walls of one section of the test facility will be 60-feet high," Oney said. "It's a clear-span structure. That means there are no posts. It's required because of the type of testing that we have to do with these very large slides."




Early models of the A380 aircraft will accommodate 550 passengers in a three-class, two-level structure. Later models are expected to carry as many as 650 passengers.




The aircraft is so large, it has 16 emergency doors and requires 16 escape slides, compared to a 747 aircraft which requires 12, Oney said. Later models will have 18 emergency exits and require 18 escape slides, he said.




The longest upper-deck slide for an A380 will exceed 50 feet, while the longest upper-deck slide on a 747 is 46 feet, he said.




The slides are made of a nylon-based fabric that is coated with urethane or neoprene. They have to be packed tightly into small bundles placed at the foot of emergency exit doors.




The FAA requires Goodrich to conduct between 2,000 and 2,500 tests on the slides to make sure they can accommodate a large number of passengers quickly and withstand wind, rain and other harsh weather conditions.




The upper-level slides, which are wide enough for two people, have to enable the evacuation of 140 people per minute, Probett said. It's also an FAA requirement that the slides enable a 90-second evacuation of 550 passengers from the A380, she said.
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Old 19th Aug 2003, 02:36
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Well my (U.S.) company has bought ten, with options for ten more. I've already got a bid in on the right seat.

Gordon Bethune is a current 757 captain, and was probably just asked his opinion off-the-cuff. Ask Continental's marketing people and you might get a different answer. As for NWA, they run an old (and paid for) fleet - it has served them well so far.

A word about nationalism and aircraft: my city (Mobile, Alabama, U.S.A.) is one of several making a play for the assembly plant for Boeing's next jet. All cities have one thing in common: a seaport co-located with an airport. Why? The jets will be mostly be fabricated overseas, then shipped to America for final assembly. Much like cars - you can buy a Honda made in the US, or a Ford made in Japan....
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Old 19th Aug 2003, 03:03
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El Al packs this many in every 747 JFK TLV flight--and doesn't JAL also?
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Old 19th Aug 2003, 03:11
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Gordinho,

Not sure if I get the hidden meaning behind your question? There is plenty of information available regarding the topic of PAX evac on the A380 from the upper deck. It has nothing to do with being good or not at building airplanes. It comes down to physical realities.

When they conduct the final cert test they are not going to have a bunch of soccer and rugby players filling those seats to see if they can get them safely off in 90 seconds, it will be a smattering of young, middle aged and old. Possible even some handicaps. The cabin will be dimly lit, they will step to a door that is some 40 ft in the air and brightly lit causing them to squint and check out just where they are going to fling themselves. Most people that high up are going to hesitate, looking around and at the bottom of the slide. The people just coming off the slide will be moving somewhere in the 26+ MPH range and piling up rapidly at the bottom.

I believe there has already been a test conducted with 200 people in France that sent 50 plus to the hospital.

Why do you think Airbus wanted to do PAX evac by analysis? Even they are a bit afraid they may not make it or maim or kill somebody to certify it.

I think the A380 will make a great Freighter just so you know.
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Old 19th Aug 2003, 03:15
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More Boeing maskirovka. Or rather, bullshit!

Come up with your evidence for the A380 evacuation test you refer to - or retract. Piss or get off the pot!
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Old 19th Aug 2003, 03:19
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I believe there is a thread regarding it somewhere here on PPRuNe. I said I believe because I am not exactly where I saw the information. The reality of PAX evac certification is real. They may very well pull it off......all I said was it will be no duck walk and will most probably need a little luck.

You ever jump off a 4 story building onto a slide before?


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Old 19th Aug 2003, 03:40
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747FOCAL,

To quote BahraiLad's quote, the longest slide on a 747 is 46 feet! I'm sure thats just as daunting.

I do agree though that evac cetrification is a problem but in my view it's the fact that the 90sec requirement is tested with no smoke, no noise, no panic, no heat, no fire etc. I can only speak for myself but in such a senario i wouldn't give a damn if I was sliding 46 or 50 feet!
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