Exclusive: Emirates Airlines gets pitch for 100 Boeing 747-8s

  • Update, 3:30pm PST: For those who may not be adept at reading literally what was written, we did not say Boeing made the pitch.

Feb. 4, 2015: In a pitch designed to save the Boeing 747-8 and simultaneously kill the prospect of an Airbus A380neo, Emirates Airlines has received a pitch for 100 of the slow-selling Boeing, two sources familiar with the situation tell Leeham News and Comment (LNC). This is isn’t yet a formal proposal, as far as we know.

Tim Clark, president of Emirates, said he would buy 100 A380s if Airbus re-engined and launched the neo. The neo would use the new Rolls-Royce Advance engine, according to two different sources. Neither Pratt & Whitney nor GE Aviation, which dominate the current A380 engine market share with its joint venture Engine Alliance GP7200, are interested in developing a new engine for the prospective A380neo, according to public statements by both companies. PW doesn’t offer an engine alone that could be adapted to the size required for the A380neo. GE’s GEnx engine, used on the Boeing 787, is in the thrust and size bracket but would only improve the efficiency with 4-5%, thus not worth the change effort. The smaller version of the GEnx is on the 747-8.

Killing the A380neo would also delay Rolls-Royce’s next generation of engines and help retain GE’s dominance in the large engine market. Pratt & Whitney’s parent, United Technologies, has already said it won’t develop a large engine version of the Geared Turbo Fan any time in the foreseeable future.

According to our two sources, talks with Emirates are not with Clark but with the chairman of the airline, Sheik Ahmed Bin Saeed Al Maktoum.

The 747-8 is hanging on by a thread. The backlog is thin, with production gaps this year and next and then almost non-existent in 2017, according to the Ascend data base. Boeing could offer the airplane long before Airbus and RR could offer an A380neo which would be about 2020-21. But the proposal to provide 747-8s includes improved GEnx engines to lower fuel consumption. While Emirates’ Clark, the president, says he wants a 10% reduction in fuel consumption in an A380neo compared with the A380ceo, just how much a GEnx-powered 747-8 with Performance Improvement Packages to the engines and airframe would gain is unclear. Two sources told us that Boeing continues to work on PIPs under the code name Project Ozark, a long-standing program to improve the 747-8’s fuel efficiency. Boeing confirmed to us last October that PIPs were underway, though it didn’t specifically tie them to Project Ozark.

From Emirates’ perspective, the smaller 747-8i doesn’t fit well with its business plan built principally around the A380, and this is one reason why Clark has consistently refused to order the airplane. Emirates was the launch customer of the Boeing 777-8 and 777-9, firming up an order last year for 150 airplanes; the order was announced at the 2013 Dubai Air Show. The larger 777-9 nominally seats 407 passengers in three classes. Boeing claims the 747-8i seats 467 passengers in three classes, but when LNC configures the 747-8 with our normalized 3 class cabin, the capacity is 405 passengers versus the 777-9’s 368. That would mean Emirates would gain a capacity step in their fleet of around 40 passengers as the 747-8 and 777-9 have similar range. The A380 seats 569 passengers with the same normalized 3 class cabin.

How the proposed addition of the 747-8 would fit into a fleet comprised of today’s A380, the 777-300ER and 777-8/9 remains unclear.

Although our sources didn’t mention it, we would not be surprised if the 747-8 proposal to Emirates could be included in a Boeing proposal for the 787-9 and 787-10 when Clark holds a bake-off between the Airbus A350-900/1000 and the twin-engined Boeing’s for their medium haul needs later this year.

By Scott Hamilton, with additions by Bjorn Fehrm.

61 Comments on “Exclusive: Emirates Airlines gets pitch for 100 Boeing 747-8s

  1. Seeing as the A380 is upper hand on the 747-8 from an operating economics point of view… Emirates should be pushing Boeing for a 747-8NEO 🙂

  2. I would be very surprised if this works.
    – the B747-8 is technically surpassed by frames in existence or in the making; it will have higher CASM than A350-1000, B777X, A380; it barely reached the numbers of the B777-300ER (by Boeing’s own accounts)
    – Emirates is very strong on finance, hence doesn’t require discounted airframes.
    – EK pays via sale-lease-back. No sane leasing company would make such a deal for a B747-8, hence EK would have the airframes for eternity

    The only asset of the B747-8 is low pricing. However, in a world of cheap finance this cheap cash is only available for aircraft that have a “AAA resale value”, hence the usual twins.

    In my opinion the B747-8 died of “Multiple Morbidities”. Bad CASM, bracketed in capacity, old cabin, tough in finance (despite pricing).

    • Emirates may be rich but that just means at least of why they got that way is they cut good deals!

      And to keep it in perspective, no sane leasing company should do that with an A380 either, once Emirates is done with them there is not market.

      Sane doesn’t seem to have anything to do with it.

  3. Do we get a feeling of desperation from both B and A about the future of aircraft deliveries? Both are ramping up their production potential to a level never previously seen and appear to me to be so very vulnerable to a downturn or worse. We see evidence of whitetails (Skymark) and the potential elimination of 747-8. By competing at this extremely aggressive level surely both are suffering dramatic reductions in their margins and are in a playing field where both are set to be the loser.

    • A 748i buy would take exemplary political arm twisting.

      OK, looking around
      that would fit the established behavioral pattern 😉

  4. Hello Scott,

    I’ve recently read an excellent article right here comparing A380/777/747 : https://leehamnews.com/2014/12/17/a380-a-deep-analysis-of-its-competitivness/
    PIP should cover fuel burn improvement and range improvement (747-8I currently lacks 350 Nm vs A380)
    For now the 747-8 on a per cost basis isn’t better than the 777-300ER
    Boeing also intended to PIP the 777-300Er if I remember

    Isn’t it better for Boeing to sell 100 more 777-300Er than 100 747-8 ?

    Good day

    • After reading your article, It sems to me that compared with a A380neo, a B748 with improved GEnx engine (which can be attained with far less effort and cost as the comparative re-engining implied in a A380neo) has nearly all the advantages, b.o.:

      1) SIZE AND MARKET: A A380neo would probably be advantageous on routes with very high densities ending in London. But thes routes already are covered widely by the already delivered or irreversibly ordered. The available market for B747 sized aircraft is precisely the one which was covered by the B747-400, i.e routes which need to land on airport, of with low frequency whic cannot afford modifications to receivee the ultra-heavy and large A38), aside tha the aircraft in average would fly with a low load factor
      ADVANTAGE: By far the B748

      It seems obvious that this is the main reason the GE and PW are not willing to develop such engine
      p
      2) The B748, even if the existing GEnx is upgraded, is as said not what Airbus calls a NEO, but really a derivative which implies a lot of changes and as Scott writes, with a long time before the first of such model is delivered. Which is different with the B748, where the procedure is essentially to only exchange the engine
      for one of the same family.The inteneder A380neo one is a new one
      And even in the this exchange , given that the existing GEnx is a much more advanced product as the existing at the A369 and therefore does iincrease somewhat lessthe efficiency, given the relative low cost of this upgrade .

      • I repeat here again the text of the first part!!

        After reading your article, It sems to me that compared with a A380neo, a B748 with improved GEnx engine (which can be attained with far less effort and cost as the comparative re-engining implied in a A380neo) has nearly all the advantages, b.o.:

        1) SIZE AND MARKET: A A380neo would probably be advantageous on routes with very high densities ending in London. But thes routes already are covered widely by the already delivered or irreversibly ordered. The available market for B747 sized aircraft is precisely the one which was covered by the B747-400, i.e routes which need to land on airport, of with low frequency whic cannot afford modifications to receivee the ultra-heavy and large A38), aside tha the aircraft in average would fly with a low load factor
        ADVANTAGE: By far the B748

        It seems obvious that this is the main reason the GE and PW are not willing to develop such engine
        p
        2) The B748, even if the existing GEnx is upgraded, is as said not what Airbus calls a NEO, but really a derivative which implies a lot of changes and as Scott writes, with a long time before the first of such model is delivered. Which is different with the B748, where the procedure is essentially to only exchange the engine
        for one of the same family.The inteneder A380neo one is a new one
        And even in the this exchange , given that the existing GEnx is a much more advanced product as the existing at the A369 and therefore does iincrease somewhat lessthe efficiency, given the relative low cost of this upgrade .

        (and therfore certainly worth the effort!!

        3) COMPATIBILITY of the aircraft in case Emirates acquires the B788 with the B777X, the B788 and 9 or 10.
        ALL will have essentially the same engines and avionic

        COMPATIBILITY: of the aircraft in case Emirates acquires A380neo,re-acquires the A359 (!!) and eventally some A351

        The Engines ofthe A380ceo (with alternatives) , A380neo and the A350 9 and 10 will be totally different, as the ones and the avionics of the A380s with the A350s (or A330 neos which Tim Clark has declared he does not wan

        I would respectfully add SCOTT to comment these my opinions!

        AS ENGLISH IS CLEARLY NOTMY FIRST LANGUAGE, I HPE THIS IS COMPREHENSIBLE!!!

  5. Now that would be spectacular, I would hope it works for the effects of it.

    “..talks with Emirates are not with Clark but with the chairman of the airline, Sheik Ahmed Bin Saeed Al Maktoum”

    Let hope that doesn’t backfire.

    • Leaving aside whether or not the proposal is good business, this is almost like telling Clark in the face that he doesn’t know how to run the airline so they will talk to someone else from the management about it…

      • Its more at the Strategic level if they are talking to the Chairman. They will say whos navy is sailing in the Gulf, whos airforce is present in the skies in the region. Not as though Boeing is bring its profits back to the US to pay for the military umbrella based on the the so called ‘cash reserves’ in the financial results

  6. Clark’s abilities as a visionary and air transport business Guru are getting confused, mixed with megalomania. We may discard him. The man clearly is out of his own depth. And if that’s the case with the man, so is the case also with his business operations. Sooner or later, the rash reality of Emirates will transpire from under the veil ? Better stay at safe distance. Let him have his 747-8s, would they do him good ! Airbus should turn the page.

    • Agree totally. Boeing should push the 777-10 and forget the the 747-8. Boeing themselves proved the way to go was with the earlier 777, as was proved by the sales. The A380 in my view was a emotional programme and relied heavily on growing passenger numbers-bums on seats-which we are still all waiting for.
      As for Emirates,Clark makes his own arrangements as per the A350. Enough said.I would not trust this guy and as to building a A380neo on his ‘promise’ yea right. Airbus should build and announce soonest a 350-1100. It seems to me that the way its going is for two engined aircraft and no matter which way you swing it,two always use less than four.
      Prediction-Clark will say Airbus took to long on the A380neo and will order the B777-10. Forget anything this guy says before hand-must play poker well!

  7. Emirates has no interest in the Boeing 747-8 Intercontinental as it views the Airbus A380 as the only very large airliner that can deliver the capacity and performance it requires.

    The Dubai carrier’s president Tim Clark says he is not in talks about an order for Boeing’s largest aircraft but admits that “Boeing is quite keen to discuss it with us”.

    He adds that while Boeing and General Electric have worked hard to improve the 747-8I’s performance, “it won’t do the job that a 500-seater A380 will do. That’s not to say that if you wanted a smaller capacity, that you wouldn’t use a 747-8I, but the 777X is coming along and that’s got brilliant economics, two engines etc,” he says.

    “There’s nothing out there that resembles what the A380 can do, at all, for us.”

    Emirates considered ordering the 747-8I back in the 2007 and pushed Boeing to focus on a slightly shorter stretch to maximise the aircraft’s payload/range performance. However Boeing opted for a longer stretch to increase passenger capacity further.

    http://www.flightglobal.com/news/articles/iata-emirates-dismisses-boeings-747-8i-overtures-399923/

    Again, When the first phase of the expansion of the Al Maktoum International at Dubai World Central is completed in 2023, Clark and EK will be getting 100 contact stands for Code F Aircraft (i.e. 3 air-bridges each), especially designed for full double-deckers and exclusive boarding for the premium class passengers directly to the upper deck. That’s 75 more contact stands than what’s available today at DXB (i.e. 5 A380 stands at Concourse B and 20 A380 stands at Concourse A).

    100 A380 capable contact stands is equivalent to a fleet of at least 300 A380s (i.e. only about one third of the fleet will be in Dubai at any one time) In the second phase they’ll be adding another 100 contact stands for Code F Aircraft (A380). That would seem to indicate that Emirates is planning to eventually have a fleet consisting of at least 500 A380-sized aircraft (i.e. post 2030).

    http://www.dubaiairports.ae/corporate/media-centre/fact-sheets/detail/new-dwc-expansion-project

  8. If they are talking to Sheik Ahmed Bin Saeed Al Maktoum, they are using political pressure to buy Boeing.

    List price for 747-8 is $367.8 mln
    List price for 777-9 is $388.7 mln
    http://www.boeing.com/boeing/commercial/prices/

    747-8 has higher capacity, better comfort and superior cargo capability on long flights, specially from hot places.

    I wonder what prices and conditions Boeing is willing to offer at this stage.

    If you compare the 747-8 to the A380 you have to put 11 abreast on a A380, otherwise we get apples/oranges.

    • The sudden intervention of the sheikh is indeed significant. If the reason is to introduce the polical interest of the emirate alone, which obviously favors BOEING, or the purely economical reasons reflecting the fact of the collapse of the Oil prices, which eve if the stab;ize around $70/barrel, means that the revenue of DUBAI and the Royal family’) will be strongly diminished, he probably does not wish that the Briton Tim Clark take such financial decisions now!

      I add here two aspects which I did not address in my separate post.
      * AS several blogger stated, and as myself wrote, the captioned purchases do not impose, even the contrary, to buy very , very large aircraft inadequate for smaller airport and less traffic as the A380, but the B748 would be the right size.
      Even so, given its economical and even more compatibility huge advantages, possibly buy more smaller B777X would be the best solution

      Nevertheless, as BOEING has a vast interest to maintain the B748 line)including the freight version) they will surly be willing to quote not refusable prices., if needed at a loss, which given
      its financial bonanza the company could easily afford, not so, aside the technical mainly size realted drawbacks of the A380.
      the financially struggling France and EU cannot afford , which is already spending many billions due to the A400 affaire, !!

  9. Seems like a tactic to push Airbus towards A380neo.
    It make no sense for Emirates to ‘support’ two dying airliners when committing to one may save it.

    • I notice many like to put the 747-8 & A380 and their destinies in one category.

      But that doesn’t seems to be the case because the A380 is a modern airframe with 13 operators, happy customers and a 5 year backlog. While the 747-8 is not in the same position.

      Related, the 747-8 will likely remain the biggest private jet. I guess nobody in the world is able to justify spending $500 for a private jet. Rightfully.

      http://www.baviation.cn/en/oem/all/airbus/3527-airbus-erases-world-s-first-vvip-a380-from-order-book

      • Even though your comment is mostly accurate, there is no doubt they compete with one another.
        There is a famous case where Coca-cola asked another supplier to produce aspartame just to create a threat to it’s main supplier in order to keep price down.
        In this case, it’s a 2 billion investment that Emirates wishes for.

      • Mmmm the 747 has more than 13 customers and is modern. While it lacks the backlog is lacking, calling the 747-8i a “private jet” is ridiculous. KE, LH, Air China and Transaero think that it’s worth the investment thus making them happy.

        • 748 has one current operator and four more with orders (KE, Air China, Arik and TransAero). KE and Air China look solid but whether Arik and TransAero ever take delivery is questionable.

          • The 748 has 2 current operators. LH and Air China. KE has bare metal frames around the Everett campus, Arik swapped the 748 for 77W’s, and Transaero and Boeing are working out the contract for their 748’s for future deliveries.

          • Right. End result is the same, likely three operators in the end, with maybe 36 frames in commercial service. Not quite the same as the A380.

        • On the “modern” scale the 748 is about at A310 levels except for new engines ( i.e. FBW spoilers ) . 😉

  10. Interesting indeed. I’m sorry to be the one saying this, but the acquisition of 747’s is like going backwards, even with lower fuel prices. No premium airline would that at this point and Emirates would look like the biggest fool. Tim Clark getting left overs whilst Qatar and Etihad are stacking up with modern planes, I don’t think so. Al baker would throw a party.

    What Emirates needs for the future is a combination of 777-X, A350’s , B787-10’s, and A380 Neo’s. They know it too.

    RR will continue to work on the Advance/Ultrafan engines and Airbus will probably launch the A380 Neo and A350 Neo all in one big sweep and be done with it. Such engines could probably also be launched on the subsequent A330 Neo.

  11. Boeing can throw in as much improvement into the 747-8i it wants, but it still won’t have the capacity and performance EK wants. I would say, sort of like the A350-1000 to the 777X in EK speak.

    “Although our sources didn’t mention it, we would not be surprised if the 747-8 proposal to Emirates could be included in a Boeing proposal for the 787-9 and 787-10”

    – For that matter, won’t Airbus try and combine the A380neo and A350 RFP together as well?

  12. So here’s a product I’ve already offered to customer X a few times over, and each time they declined. Not even that politely.
    X instead buys shedloads of a competing product. And then some more shedloads.

    So my new sales tactic is: I just ask X if you they would consider buying a really big batch of my flailing product.
    It just *might* work…

    Seriously, though: How would buying 100 747-8 make any sense, and how would the 747-8 “kill” the prospect of an A380neo if it wasn’t even able to “kill” the A380ceo – not in the marketplace, not at EK?
    Never even mind that for any deliveries past 2018/19, Boeing themselves have a plane with almost identical capacity but much better operating economics, of which Emirates has incidentally already bought 150.

  13. The 747 and the A350 are roughly similar for 20″ seat and 20″ aisles, from (center of armrest to center of armrest), 11×20=220″, and 12×20=240″, for a consistent product.
    The 777, and A380 are very close to 21″ seat and 21″ aisles, 21×11=231″, 21×12=252″, which is what Singapore does.
    Since Emirates has he 777 at 10, 19″ seats(cc) and the A380 at 10, 21″, why not compromise and entirely switch over to the 747? Phase out the 777 and A380 and simplify the fleet to one aircraft like Southwest.

  14. The Boeing 747-8 is as economical, efficitent and environmentally friendly as the A 380, the Boeing 777-300ER and the 777-9X, with 400 to 440 passengers it does fit perfectly between the A 380 with 569 passengers on one side and the B 777-300ER and B 777-9X, 300 to 350 passengers, on the other side. In a typical 3- or 4*-class version (*if a Premium Economy Class is added). Other airlines like Lufthansa, Korean Air, Transaero and Arik already have discovered that Advantage and I hope many other leading airlines all around the world will do so as well. Only the fuselage’s conception is from the 1960 but aerodynamically still way ahead of it’s time. Everything else, technology etc. contained by the 747’s latest version corresponds to the most modern standard of the advanced 21st century.

  15. Broaden the upper deck of the 747-8i to provide more room, more width for the stairs. At least one advantage the 747-8i has on the A380, more cargo space since it carries fewer passengers and the “belly” area is larger than on the A380-800.

  16. Even Delta or United which are current 747 operators didn’t go for it. That’s telling.

  17. Cheeky move by Boeing but I just cant see them pulling it off! The 777 does 90% of the what the 748 does at lesser cost! Might be a bit off point here but why doesn’t Boeing offer some 748’s to Ryanair. MOL wants to get into the transatlantic market. He can get these relatively quickly & cheaply and pack them with seats! The relationship with Boeing is already there – its a no-brainer in my opinion.

  18. I think that this a campaign by Boeing to push Airbus into a A380NEO decision. I agree with Arial in his assessment.
    I cannot fathom Boeing’s reasoning given the fall-out from EK’s rejection (when it comes) will likely be followed by a decision to quietly stop marketing the 747-8i pax.
    It may be possible that Airbus and Clark have already agreed on the A380NEO plus putting the A350 order back on the books. Watch some current EK A380 orders being converted to A380NEO’s

  19. OK Scott (or Bjorn), I’ll bite. If Boeing didn’t make the pitch, then who did?

    • The other company who would benefit from the 100 747-8 sales, and have a competitor who would benefit from 100 A380Neo sales, is GE.
      Purely speculation, obviously…

      • Emirates has RR-engines on its A330 aircraft and on the early B777-200ER/300 aircraft. All other A380 and B777 are exclusive GE. Many B777 are actually leased through GE.
        The last time EK took delivery of an RR-powered aircraft was 2005 (A340-500), and the last time it took delivery of an RR-powered aircraft that offered an engine choice was 2003 (B777-300 (not ER), A330-200).

        The discussion about the A380NEO is possibly not only between Airbus and EK, but at the same time between RR and EK. A horizon of 150 additional A380NEO exclusively RR-powered … I guess GE is willing to spend some money to prevent this from happening.

  20. Like pointed out eralier, this may be race betweem an A380 Neo/A350 package versus a 787/747-8 package.

    Buying the 747 would be a big blow to Emirates’s brand. GE can try lure Emirates all they want, but development of the advanced engines by RR won’t stop and will be used on the A350’s to outform the 777-X.

  21. The B-748 is structurally more efficient than the 380, with newer wings and engines. The empty weight per passenger of the 748 is lower due to the 380’s wings being designed for the the planned stretched 380 size.

    The Middle East airlines’ model is coming to an end as more 787’s and 350’s, and MAX’s and NEO’s to a certain extent, becomes online. City to city will become the norm and the hubs will wither away. Who wants to add changing planes and hours of waiting to one’s trip, when you can go direct to your destination.

    The 380 won’t pass 500 copies if it does not offer a cargo version.

  22. Emirates A380 EA (Engine Alliance) powered birds are more fuel efficient than RR powered A380s.

  23. RR must not be allowed to have sole rights to widebody Airbus aircraft.
    There needs to be competition.

    • Quod licet Iovi, non licet bovi.

      What is your position for Boeing and GE on the 777 and 737?

  24. You get the impression Airbus is pushed around by Emirates, GE and Boeing to do all kinds of things they do not want.

    Non-sense in my opinion. They are in charge and will be delighted to sell another 100 A380s to EK, specially if EK / RR pay for a NEO.

    Most likely a NEO will include an overall upgrade of the aircraft. The 747-8 going belly up, makes A380 monopolist in this segment.

    In the coming years I expect new orders from airlines like Turkish, ANA and United and follow up orders from airlines like BA, SQ and QR. That’s in my opinion how it most likely is gonna be.

    • But let’s be honest: the A380 cannot be improved 10% by simply means. Bolting a new engine on it is already tough. It is a very delicate technical challenge that will cost lots of money to do. Like the B777X.
      The A320 and A330 are both very “NEO-friendly” aircraft, to some extent by chance (both had the advantage of the engines being hung below the wing instead being located more or less in front of the wing as already being the case at the B737NG).
      B737 and B747 have demonstrated to be rather stubborn (the MAX is sort of a mixed blessing, and the B747-8 outclasses the B767-400ER in being the financial-wise worst decision of BCA ever).

  25. For those who may not be adept at reading literally what was written, we did not say Boeing made the pitch.

    In fairness, you said that Emirates received a pitch for 100 747. You also said “we would not be surprised if the 747-8 proposal to Emirates could be included in a Boeing proposal for the 787-9 and 787-10”.
    Based on that, I don’t think it demonstrates a lack of reading and comprehension skills to think that Boeing made the pitch, and there was initially no clear statement indicating otherwise.

    Anyway, as speculated above already, GE (or its leasing arm GECAS) seem like obvious candidates for making said pitch. Or some political figure(s) – hence bypassing Tim Clark. But then I wouldn’t really call a political, ahem, suggestion a pitch.

    • Timeo Danaos et dona ferentes

      I would not be suprised if this is a “gifts exchange programme” from the US government.
      Low oil prices is a political effect and not market driven.
      Strange bedfellows around. ( From synergistic interests and not common interests )

      From Airbus view the parties seeming to force an A380 NEO appear to present another case of strange bedfellows.

      Question: separate bedrooms or a single one 😉

  26. I think the Boeing 747-8i is the best option for emirates. They should buy 200 of them.

  27. “But let’s be honest: the A380 cannot be improved 10% by simply means”

    For sure not. But these days we prefer per seat cost (& then play with seatcounts behind the curtain..)

    Airbus has experience in putting different engines under the same wing. The A330/340 inboard position had 6-7, the A320 series 5 sofar, A380 3 already (incl XWB). They can do, and some room seems left for new engines with slightly bigger fans. (8% better sfc?)
    http://cdn-www.airliners.net/aviation-photos/photos/2/4/5/1214542.jpg

    Futhermore sharklets (2% sfc?), 11 abreast seating (+10% seats?), Cabin-Flex lavatories (2% extra seats?), and e.g. reduced premium cabins/ bars make the A380 more of a 600 then 500 seater. Slashing fuel efficiency (per seat) 15% easily.

    https://bartlapers.files.wordpress.com/2014/05/emirates-a380-business-class-bar-and-lounge.jpg?w=500

    • These days the NEO-euphoria is huge, but some think that there is infinite potential. The current A380 engine is already a very good engine (though rather conservative in layout), not that far from the B787-engines. 8% SFC improvement sounds like a huge challenge to me.
      The aerodynamics of the A380 have been optimized, and there isn’t much room left. I would consider a modest stretch (not to -900 size) of a few frames as another option to increase capacity and reduce cost, same as Boeing did with the -9X.

      • A couple of years ago Airbus had a range of research projects going for slimming down the A380.
        At the time potential for ~20 tons reduction was seen afair. parked for the time being.

  28. No matter how you slice this, the 747-8 is a flop and they are trying to unload it in a “close out sale” presumably by polotical agenda/favors.

    To the extent that theA380 is a “flop or white elephant, the 747-8 is the same but of 3 times the magnitude.

    Clearly, the GE/Boeing allinace is threatened by the RR Advance engines and the A380Neo.

    I agree with the above, that sooner or later orders from Turkish or even JAL and additional Qatar and Etihad orders will roll in.

  29. What would a couple of full cabin width suites look like on the upper deck of the 748?
    How big is the untapped market between more room and privacy than first class, and flying on a private jet for long trips?

    • I was thinking something like Etihad’s ‘first apartment’. Will the 777 have enough floor space? Lends itself better to the A380, and maybe a 748 could work. Anyway, the A380 seems ready to take advantage of super premium compartment travel.

      Takes up the real estate of about 8 economy seats, so 8 times economy fare is cheaper than a private jet. Trains have compartments, so it seems like the logical next step in air travel.

      • ‘first apartment’ is offered even on the 787 so obviously can fit on 748.

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