Is it the end of the A380?

Eagle1

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AUGUST 24, 2017
First Airbus A380 parked amid search for new operator
Jamie Freed, Tim Hepher

SINGAPORE/PARIS (Reuters) -

The first Airbus (AIR.PA) A380 superjumbo to fly passengers almost a decade ago has been taken out of service by Singapore Airlines (SIAL.SI), highlighting a debate over the future of the world’s largest airliners.

An Airbus A380-841 airplane of Singapore Airlines takes-off from Zurich airport, Switzerland, April 14, 2016. REUTERS/Arnd Wiegmann
Singapore Airlines has already said it plans to hand back its first A380 to a German leasing company rather than extend its 10-year lease.

The move focused attention on slack demand for the 544-seat double-decker and raised the prospect that some could be headed for the breakup yard, casting a pall over celebrations to mark the airliner’s 10 years of service in October.

Confirming a report in flightglobal.com, Singapore Airlines said it had parked the aircraft ahead of the transfer back to its owner. Its last commercial flight was to London in June.

“It is correct that the aircraft has been removed from service ahead of its return to the lessor in October,” a spokesperson for the airline said by email.
“We are not in a position to comment on what is planned for the aircraft after it is returned to the lessor.”

The owner of the aircraft, Dortmund-based Dr Peters Group, and Airbus both declined to comment on the move.

The German owner says it is in talks with several entities who may be interested in the first aircraft, one of four due to come back from Singapore Airlines up to June next year.

In total the asset manager owns nine superjumbos including five leased to Air France (AIRF.PA).

These have been financed through the Kommanditgesellschaft (KG) market, a tax-efficient system best known for its appeal to high-income individuals.

Singapore Airlines continues to take delivery of new A380s which will be fitted with upgraded cabins.

But the problems in finding a new airline willing to operate the giant aircraft as they come off their initial leases have highlighted the lack so far of a fluid second-hand market.

That in turn weighs on fragile demand for new aircraft, which has twice forced Airbus to reduce production.

The race to find a new home for the first jet comes as Airbus tries to maintain confidence in the programme and negotiate deals for new jets at the Dubai Airshow in November.

While most airliners have an economic life of 25 years and are built to last even longer, the first A380 faces an uncertain future less than 10 years after it went into service in 2007, marking what European leaders hailed as a new era in air travel.

If Dr Peters cannot find a new operator, it is widely expected to break up the first one or two aircraft for parts.

Airbus insists the A380 does have a future due to congestion and predicts 5 percent of aircraft delivered over the next 20 years will be in the same category.

U.S. rival Boeing (BA.N) disagrees and stopped forecasting demand for very large four-engined airplanes such as the A380 and its own 747-8 in June.

Editing by Susan Thomas

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-airbus-a380/first-airbus-a380-parked-amid-search-for-new-operator-idUSKCN1B421M
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14 NOVEMBER, 2017
German asset manager Dr Peters is in talks with British Airways and other prospects on the potential sale of A380s as it prepares to receive four of the jets back from lessee Singapore Airlines.
https://www.flightglobal.com/news/articles/dr-peters-chief-confirms-ba-talks-on-ex-singapore-a-443294/
 

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Air France retrieves stranded A380 from Canada

  • 07 December, 2017
  • BY: David Kaminski-Morrow
  • London

Air France has retrieved the Airbus A380 stranded in Canada, flying it back to Paris, but the aircraft will not be returned to service for several weeks.

The aircraft (F-HPJE) had been parked in Goose Bay since 30 September after it diverted following uncontained failure of one of its Engine Alliance GP7200 powerplants.

Air France tells FlightGlobal that its own crew, rather than Airbus personnel, flew the aircraft back to Paris Charles de Gaulle on 6 December. It landed around 22:00.

The aircraft has been taken to the H6 hangar at the airport, a facility which was specifically designed for A380 maintenance.

Air France says the aircraft will undergo checks for "a few weeks" before it is returned to scheduled service.

The A380 suffered failure of its starboard outboard engine during a flight to Los Angeles.

Its engine was subsequently replaced in Goose Bay, having been transported by an Antonov An-124, and the A380 departed Canada with all four powerplants functioning, says the airline.

Air France says the detached engine has been shipped to the UK for further analysis to determine the nature and cause of the failure, which included the loss of its fan disk.

https://www.flightglobal.com/news/articles/air-france-retrieves-stranded-a380-from-canada-443971/
 

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A380 operators ordered urgently to check GP7200 fan hubs


  • 13 October, 2017
  • BY: David Kaminski-Morrow
  • London

Operators of Airbus A380s with Engine Alliance GP7200 powerplants are being ordered to conduct an urgent inspection of the engines' fan hubs for damage.

The US FAA's emergency directive follows the uncontained failure of a GP7200 which, it says, had accumulated 3,527 cycles since new.

It describes the powerplant as a "relatively high cycle engine". The directive requires removal of the fan if damage or defects are found during the one-time visual inspection.

Investigators have been probing the uncontained GP7200 fan failure on an Air France A380 over Greenland on 30 September. The aircraft, bound for Los Angeles, diverted to Goose Bay in Canada.

The directive is intended to prevent failure of the fan hub, damage to the engine, and potential damage to the airframe.

Transportation Safety Board of Canada, in a preliminary bulletin, says the Air France A380 sustained "substantial damage" to the starboard outboard engine inlet during fan separation, and visible damage to slats and fairings either side of the powerplant.
Components have been located in Greenland while a runway inspection, says the bulletin, discovered debris on the arrival runway at Goose Bay.

Operators must conduct the engine inspection within two weeks if the fan hub has logged at least 3,500 cycles.

This deadline extends to five weeks for fans with 2,000-3,500 cycles, and eight weeks for all others.

It states that the inspections are an interim measure, because the cause of the fan failure has yet to be determined.

https://www.flightglobal.com/news/articles/a380-operators-ordered-urgently-to-check-gp7200-fan-442155/
 

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Airbus, Etihad Team Up On A380 MRO Services

Mainly to support A380-related maintenance, Airbus and Etihad form MRO joint venture in Abu Dhabi.

Paul Seidenman | Dec 07, 2017

Airbus and Etihad Airways Engineering have inaugurated joint A380 MRO services at Etihad’s heavy maintenance center in Abu Dhabi, with the commencement of an Airbus A380 six-year C check for Lufthansa. The workscope slated for the mega-transport includes major structural checks, along with mandatory service bulletin work.

“Etihad Airways Engineering is experienced with providing line, light and heavy maintenance services around the clock, including design, advanced composite repair, cabin refurbishment and component services, from its state-of-the-art facility adjacent to Abu Dhabi International Airport,” says Bruno James, head of business development and projects for Airbus customer services. “Airbus provides a dedicated working party and Airbus parts on-site.”

Announced at this year’s Dubai Airshow, the joint A380 MRO services collaboration was agreed to in November 2016 by Airbus and Etihad Airways Engineering.
“The partnership established A380 maintenance, engineering and upgrade capabilities in Abu Dhabi to [deliver] third-party support for airlines’ A380 fleets by providing them with efficient turnkey solutions,” James notes. “Under the partnership, Airbus and Etihad Airways Engineering combine their respective skills to offer a value-added MRO service solution for worldwide A380 operators under one roof, including heavy maintenance checks and upgrade installations.”

The Abu Dhabi location, he points out, also will provide additional outsourcing opportunities to those A380 operators that already have in-house MRO capability but whose own facilities are fully booked and need to offload some heavy checks and upgrades to an Airbus-approved third-party facility.

James adds that Etihad Airways Engineering, the largest commercial aircraft MRO provider in the Middle East, will be capable of working on up to three A380s simultaneously. “It will boost the global A380 MRO aftermarket, giving operators more choice for heavy A380 MRO airframe services,” he says. “The Airbus-Etihad Airways Engineering collaboration will also leverage the MRO’s experience maintaining Etihad Airways’ A380 fleet, which is one of the world’s largest.”

MR-ETIHAD_map.jpg

Etihad Airways Engineering is one of 12 MROs worldwide with A380 C check capabilities and is part of the Airbus MRO Alliance (AMA), officially launched at the June 2017 Paris Air Show. While the partnership is now focusing exclusively on A380 heavy maintenance, James says the collaboration could be expanded to other Airbus products to meet market demand.

http://www.mro-network.com/middle-east/airbus-etihad-team-a380-mro-services
 

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Departure of Airbus top management fuels fresh suspicions over A380 visibility
By Shayan Shakeel
18 December 2017

Aspate of resignations mean Airbus will be without three of its top executives by 2019, prompting fresh speculation about the future of Airbus, and in particular the A380 programme.

Airbus announced its chief operating officer and president of its commercial plan manufacturing business, Fabrice Brégier will step down in February. Tom Enders will also no longer seek another term as CEO and depart in April 2019.

Both exits come after the European plane maker’s top salesman, John Leahy, the man responsible for much of Airbus’ order winning success in recent years, decided to step down earlier this year.

Leahy had been looking for orders gold at the Dubai Airshow in November when a new Airbus A380 deal with Emirates was set to be announced before a last minute hitch saw talks fall through. The deal would have all but guaranteed the future of the super jumbo which Airbus has been struggling to get more airlines accept into their fleet.

Brégier told ITP Media Group’s sister publication Aviation Business in October, that the plane maker was looking to find an acceptable production and delivery rate for the A380 programme which forms the backbone of Emirates’ fleet.

Emirates had asked for guarantees that Airbus would keep the aircraft in production for at least 10 years, a key point of contention which led to no announcement of a deal for more aircraft at the Airshow.

Later in December, Brégier told Reuters that Airbus might reduce A380 production to six or seven a year to help meet that demand.
However, Airbus needs to produce at least 20 of the aircraft a year to meet breakeven costs, meaning reduced production would leave the programme unprofitable unless a lower breakeven could be achieved.

Brégier’s replacement Guillaume Faury, currently CEO at Airbus Helicopters, is being brought in to inject “fresh blood” into a leadership marred by power struggles between Brégier and Enders for the top CEO slot as well as corruption investigations into Airbus’ use of middle-men to sell aircraft.

Until Airbus’ board names a new CEO to replace Enders, Faury’s support for the A380 programme, or lack of it, will be seen as crucial to how the European manufacturer will approach tackling the ailing superjumbo’s fortunes.

http://www.aviationbusinessme.com/airlines/2017/dec/18/450795/
 

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Emirates tentatively signs for up to 36 A380s
  • 18 JANUARY, 2018
  • SOURCE: FLIGHT DASHBOARD
  • BY: DAVID KAMINSKI-MORROW
  • LONDON
Airbus has secured a crucial preliminary agreement from Middle Eastern carrier Emirates to supply up to 36 more A380s.

It covers 20 potentially firm aircraft and options on another 16. Deliveries would commence in 2020.

The agreement is still the subject of a memorandum of understanding.


Airbus

No engine selection has been disclosed. Emirates has been taking its most recent A380s with Rolls-Royce Trent 900 engines after accumulating a fleet fitted with the Engine Alliance GP7200.

Emirates chairman Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum says the agreement, valued at $16 billion at catalogue prices, will provide "stability" to the A380 production line.

Airbus had recently indicated that it might have to take the production rate for the type down to just six per year, and had signalled that Emirates was central to the viability of the A380 programme.

https://www.flightglobal.com/news/articles/emirates-tentatively-signs-for-up-to-36-a380s-445004/?cmpid=NLC|FGFG|FGABN-2018-0125-GLOB|news&sfid=70120000000taAf
 

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Emirates tentatively signs for up to 36 A380s
  • 18 JANUARY, 2018
  • SOURCE: FLIGHT DASHBOARD
  • BY: DAVID KAMINSKI-MORROW
  • LONDON
Airbus has secured a crucial preliminary agreement from Middle Eastern carrier Emirates to supply up to 36 more A380s.

It covers 20 potentially firm aircraft and options on another 16. Deliveries would commence in 2020.

The agreement is still the subject of a memorandum of understanding.


Airbus

No engine selection has been disclosed. Emirates has been taking its most recent A380s with Rolls-Royce Trent 900 engines after accumulating a fleet fitted with the Engine Alliance GP7200.

Emirates chairman Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum says the agreement, valued at $16 billion at catalogue prices, will provide "stability" to the A380 production line.

Airbus had recently indicated that it might have to take the production rate for the type down to just six per year, and had signalled that Emirates was central to the viability of the A380 programme.

https://www.flightglobal.com/news/articles/emirates-tentatively-signs-for-up-to-36-a380s-445004/?cmpid=NLC|FGFG|FGABN-2018-0125-GLOB|news&sfid=70120000000taAf
I thought the UAE would shift to the dreamliners! it turned into more A380? Getting more involved in the market after Qatar airways has been pushed out as a result of the ongoing rift with its neighbour.... agh.
 

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Nooooo i didn't even got a chance to sit in this beauty :(
The ones out there won't be retired for a very long time yet (most airlines that got them have not even recouped their investment yet). You have plenty of time left :)
 

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I thought the UAE would shift to the dreamliners! it turned into more A380? Getting more involved in the market after Qatar airways has been pushed out as a result of the ongoing rift with its neighbour.... agh.
I think Middle East is only real viable market for the giant passenger carriers nowadays....because of the large airport hubs there sitting far enough from most of the biggest population/economic centres in the world (thus transit stop+short tourist stop model makes more sense than say in NA, Europe and East Asia where turnaround bottom dollar rules). Literally its kind of marketing overcapacity with more overcapacity....and it sort of works in free market (esp in niche) if you strike the right combo.
 

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Emirates orders Boeing Dreamliners worth USD 15 billion: Is it the end of the A380?
Nov 21, 2017
View attachment 4213
With the significant Emirates order now gone, questions are being raised about the fate of the Superjumbo whose sales have been dwindling for quite some time.

Excitement over a possible deal between Emirates and Airbus was brewing ahead of this year's Dubai Air Show. Emirates was expected to place a new order of 36 A380 aircraft.

The deal would have boosted sales prospects of Airbus' ailing flagship aircraft, also nicknamed as the 'Superjumbo'.

However, just a few days after Airbus delivered Emirates' 100th A380, the Dubai-based airline made an eleventh-hour switch and instead placed a fresh order worth USD 15 billion with Airbus' main rival Boeing.

Emirates' decision to buy swanky new 787 Dreamliners at a cost of USD 15.1 billion, not only dents Airbus financially, but also puts a question mark on the future of the world's biggest commercial aircraft.

With 100 A380 aircrafts, Emirates is the largest user of the A380. Singapore Airlines comes in at a distant second place with just 19 in-service A380s.

Airbus had first bagged orders for 76 A380s in 2001. However, by the time the first prototype took off in 2005, Airbus was receiving orders as low as 10 per year.

In 2007, the aircraft was pressed into service for the first time by Singapore Airlines. While demand from Singapore Airlines and Emirates initially drove the sales number up, the numbers have been falling ever since.

Airbus received an order for two A380s in 2015 and none in 2016. Amid crashing sales of the Superjumbo, Airbus was looking at Emirates, the model's largest user, with hope. However, with this significant order now gone, questions are being raised about the aircraft's future.

The Superjumbo
The Airbus A380 is the world's only double-decker commercial aircraft. The aircraft is 239 feet long and 79 feet tall, making it the largest of its kind, also shadowing its rival, the iconic Boeing 747 'jumbo jet'.

A single unit of the A380 costs around USD 430 million and can carry 525 people in a three-cabin configuration and 853 people in the single class configuration.
With a flying range of just over 15,000 kms, coupled with the ability to carry more than 500 passengers, the aircraft became an integral part of airlines' hub-and-spoke operations.

Here's what went wrong
There were significant delays in production of the aircraft right from the beginning. Some of the A380 aircraft also faced problems with their engines. Engines manufactured by both the Engine Alliance as well as Rolls Royce were involved in engine failure incidences.

Having a larger aircraft with more seats also involved a financial risk with regard to filling capacity and operational costs.

At the same time, smaller and more fuel-efficient twin-engine aircraft such as the new Boeing 777 and Airbus' own A350 were launched.

http://www.moneycontrol.com/news/business/emirates-orders-boeing-dreamliners-worth-usd-15-billion-is-it-the-end-of-the-a380-2443351.html
The rise of the medium to large capacity twin turbofan engined airliner over the course of the past 40 years has edged out the majority of quad power plant airframes. The Boeing 747 and it's variants for the most part are the only surviving examples of the quad power plant commercial jet airliner still remaining in production and service as commercial airliners. Mind you, in the air freight and Part 135 Charter business, there are many DC-8 and Boeing 707 aircraft still in service as well as a number of triple power plant DC-10 and Lockeed L-1011 aircraft operating. Even the United States Air Force still maintains a number of their venerable KC-135 Stratotanker aircraft in their inventory. The legendary aircraft based upon the Boeing 707 airframe which pioneered the art of Air-to-Air refueling originally utilized by Strategic Air Command's fleet of heavy bombers. However, all of these aircraft have been retrofitted with more fuel efficient advanced design turbofan engines. The primary driving factor of this trend is, of course, the cost of Jet-A. This coupled with major advances in turbofan power plant technology means it is no longer necessary to use multiple engines to achieve the required thrust for take off with large payloads. The improved reliability that these newer propulsion systems offer also enhances their attractiveness with lower operating costs due to increased TBO specifications and the associated lower maintenance costs. All of these qualities along with the lower sticker price of the Boeing products in this class gives them quite an advantage in the Heavy Commercial aviation marketplace. In retrospect, it was arguably the Boeing 737 which started this trend. It was the first mass produced commercial twin turbofan airliner of this configuration that dominated the marketplace until the Airbus A320 appeared to challenge it. This aircraft design configuration enjoyed massive success both domestically and abroad. The subsequent variants merely leveraged this basic template with an increase in size, advanced technology turbofan engines, and more advanced glass cockpit avionics technology. These evolved into the 757, 767, 777, and now the 787. Physically they all have the same configuration. They only differ in their physical size.
IMG_0481.JPG
 

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The ones out there won't be retired for a very long time yet (most airlines that got them have not even recouped their investment yet). You have plenty of time left :)
But there's no airline using A380's when traveling from ME to Pakistan (for obv reasons) :(
 

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The rise of the medium to large capacity twin turbofan engined airliner over the course of the past 40 years has edged out the majority of quad power plant airframes. The Boeing 747 and it's variants for the most part are the only surviving examples of the quad power plant commercial jet airliner still remaining in production and service as commercial airliners. Mind you, in the air freight and Part 135 Charter business, there are many DC-8 and Boeing 707 aircraft still in service as well as a number of triple power plant DC-10 and Lockeed L-1011 aircraft operating. Even the United States Air Force still maintains a number of their venerable KC-135 Stratotanker aircraft in their inventory. The legendary aircraft based upon the Boeing 707 airframe which pioneered the art of Air-to-Air refueling originally utilized by Strategic Air Command's fleet of heavy bombers. However, all of these aircraft have been retrofitted with more fuel efficient advanced design turbofan engines. The primary driving factor of this trend is, of course, the cost of Jet-A. This coupled with major advances in turbofan power plant technology means it is no longer necessary to use multiple engines to achieve the required thrust for take off with large payloads. The improved reliability that these newer propulsion systems offer also enhances their attractiveness with lower operating costs due to increased TBO specifications and the associated lower maintenance costs. All of these qualities along with the lower sticker price of the Boeing products in this class gives them quite an advantage in the Heavy Commercial aviation marketplace. In retrospect, it was arguably the Boeing 737 which started this trend. It was the first mass produced commercial twin turbofan airliner of this configuration that dominated the marketplace until the Airbus A320 appeared to challenge it. This aircraft design configuration enjoyed massive success both domestically and abroad. The subsequent variants merely leveraged this basic template with an increase in size, advanced technology turbofan engines, and more advanced glass cockpit avionics technology. These evolved into the 757, 767, 777, and now the 787. Physically they all have the same configuration. They only differ in their physical size.
View attachment 5408
It has been a while since I read a well constructed informative post.
 

Eagle1

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I thought the UAE would shift to the dreamliners! it turned into more A380? Getting more involved in the market after Qatar airways has been pushed out as a result of the ongoing rift with its neighbour.... agh.
787-10 needed to replace old 777's, whereas the intial A380's induccted are nearing thier retirement age soon and will need repalcement as well, hence these 2 orders.

Dubai, UAE, 12 November 2017 – Emirates, the world’s largest international airline, today announced a US$ 15.1 billion (AED 55.4 billion) commitment for 40 Boeing 787-10 Dreamliners.

https://www.emirates.com/media-centre/emirates-places-us151-billion-order-for-40-boeing-787-dreamliners-at-2017-dubai-airshow#
 

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But there's no airline using A380's when traveling from ME to Pakistan (for obv reasons) :(
Pakistani Airports do not comply with ICAO Code F requirements, hence A380's cannot land in Pakistan. Emirates offered to upgrade KHI to Code F so that it could cut down its 5~6 daily 777 flights, but as usual..........
 

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