Rolls-Royce displaces Engine Alliance for Emirates A380 order

Rolls-Royce, in a major upset, won the Emirates Airlines order to power 50 Airbus A380s ordered in November 2013. The win displaces Engine Alliance, which to now has been the sole-source provider for EK’s A380s.

Two sources confirmed the RR win. RR and Airbus did not comment on the win. EK and RR have not made any announcement. EA also did not comment.

According to one source, EK determined the RR Trent 900 was determined to be up to 4% more efficient than EA. But it’s unclear if there were other factors involved.In June 2014, EK canceled its order for 70 RR-powered Airbus A350s. Whether the A380 engine selection was influenced by the cancellation of the earlier RR deal is unknown; this may have been a simple economic and commercial deal for the A380. RR will have another shot at winning major EK business during the new evaluation of the competition between the Airbus A350 and Boeing 787. RR is the sole source supplier on the A350 and shares the platform with GE on the 787. This wide-body competition could be resolved this year.

 

131 Comments on “Rolls-Royce displaces Engine Alliance for Emirates A380 order

  1. Leeham: “EK determined the RR Trent 900 was determined to be up to 4% more efficient than EA.”

    That is a very significant performance gap. But Emirates is also strongly backing a proposal for an A380neo that would give RR the same exclusivity it currently enjoys on the A350XWB. In that context this deal could be viewed as a signal that the A380neo is not far on the horizon.

    • I would like to disagree with you in the a380neo.The airbus management had said that the don’t have a closed business for a reengined version of the a380neo. I have also read that they are not going to !aunch the programm if they don’t have at least 250 orders.

      • “I have also read that they are not going to !aunch the programm if they don’t have at least 250 orders.”

        Could you provide a source for that, please?

          • Thanks, but that source only quotes an unnamed “industry insider”, not Brégier or any other Airbus representative.
            They’ve launched most other programmes with far fewer than 250 orders initially, so I’d be surprised if they suddenly raised the bar for teh A380NEO like that. While an 140-strong order from EK should be more than healthy to launch a derivative on, it would also mean Airbus leaning even more heavily than before on EK for the future of the A380 programme. Which is not just dangerous from a customer base perspective, but also from a marketing perspective, as Boeing and its proponents tend to focus a lot on the fact that the A380 supposedly has “exactly one enthusiastic customer”, as Aboulafia put it.
            I expect that, when Airbus say they’re trying to validate the business case (which is exactly what they said before the A330NEO was launched), they’re also looking at lining up at least one more launch customer, either a new customer (which would be quite the feat), or an existing customer that places a top-up NEO order (SQ would seem like a good candidate for that).

          • http://www.aerotelegraph.com/airbus-chef-fabrice-bregier-a380-neo-emirates-10-jahre-zu-frueh
            Though the basic information is attributed to an interview with Bregier the “250 min” bit is ancillary information sourced from an “industry insider”
            (use google translate.)
            actually a bunch of articles around that target his “10 years early” quip.
            then “ten years early” and “no NEO” don’t really fit together.
            I’ll stand with my position: a NEO and -900 are in the chute.
            Delivery still open.

          • I don’t think why any logical businessman would spend billions on a project where there practically only one customer so why airbus should do it even if that customer give a massive order the risks are too great

          • “I don’t think why any logical businessman would spend billions on a project where there practically only one customer …”

            I guess none of the US defence contractors are run by logical businessmen, then.

      • Rolls Royce probably threw-in a whole lot of spare engines (at a loss to seal the A380 deal); a practice common on other Airbus or Boeing Variant-Orders……….”Free for Pity Deal”.

        “Free-Bees” are a mandatory- plus; as RR Power Plants are more maintenance intensive (expensive in Parts/Labor),Heavier,(real world usage, use more fuel),etc. to keep flight-worthy than any GE,P&W or P&W/GEHybrid to date.

        Don’t forget, Airbus has been on it’s knees begging(willing to do anything to do/get >>>) GE for a GE90/Gen x variant for the A380 for many years now………….so the RR deal is a win-lose deal in the end.

        • as RR Power Plants are more maintenance intensive (expensive in Parts/Labor),Heavier,(real world usage, use more fuel),etc. to keep flight-worthy than any GE,P&W or P&W/GEHybrid to date.

          Well, Scott’s original post claims that RR’s Trent 900 is up to 4% more efficient than the competing P&W/GE hybrid.

          Don’t forget, Airbus has been on it’s knees begging(willing to do anything to do/get >>>) GE for a GE90/Gen x variant for the A380 for many years now

          Any sources for that?
          If Airbus actually did that, somebody better tell them that they can stop begging, because they already have an A380 engine option that is a variant of the GE90, using a GE90 core with new fan and low-pressure system.

          • Yes, Google any source………even our own American John Leahy has said it’s unfair they can’t have the GE90/Gen X variant for the A380/A350.

            GE and Boeing’s response to Airbus……..pony up the developmental expenses involved with the scaled-up CF6……….which has been called the GE90/Gen X for for some time.

            RB11 was never a great to begin with……….scale-it-up and call it the “Trent” ………still has many deficentcies…………which of Course……….then Rolls Royce claims “we bulid the best fan jets in the world”; and then claims they don’t have the recources to build a beast of an engine as fitted to 787ss, 747-8s,777s.

            Even if the A380 was fitted real GEs………..the plane would still be a turd in fuel consumption; as it’s DEAD- Empty Weight is like 650,000+lbs.

            Don’t take a brain surgeon, carrying/trying to lift that much weight plus fuel,baggage,freight load is gonna be expensive; more so since……….annual average passenger loads amount to about 350+ passengers on Long Haul International Hauls.

            Look at the Saudi Royal Family History of plane purchases,neglect/abuse, and quick retirement of Aircraft, they really don’t care about the fuel consumption, as their fuel depots on the Peninnsula and in Asia…..Guaranntee………all but “free fuel-ups” ……while the majority of their population lives below the poverty-line..unable to ever board or fly on one of the UAE Carriers.

            Saudi’s don’t care about wasting money away on a “White Elephant” such as a A380 or buying ridiculous amonts of 777s……as long as the wells keep flowing………it’s all good…..even under UK Management……which is robbing them blind.

            If the Saudi’s were smart they would manage their Carriers by themself………instead of letting the British put them selves into a situation where there are too many planes and not enough WESTERN passengers.

            I fly quite abit…..no way in hell am I flying to the Saudi Penninisula/over the Middle East just to get somewhere else…and so the Saudis can fill their planes up for “free”.

            And as their Carriers are mainly “UK” managed…………the British mamagers will do anything to land RR Contracts…….see the dichotomy?

          • A380 uses a mix and march of P&W and GE Turbo Fan…..it’s not a GE90 in any sense.

          • Are you trying to imply the Saudis are big A380 customers? News to me, or do you have insider knowledge that they are about to buy 100 or so to compete with EK???? I don’t otherwise see the relevance of your Saudi comments.

          • Sure thing, Keith. Please do tell us about the world-renowned superiority of British built cars. Because the world knows that the UK makes the most reliable autos around……..

          • For the same quality they used to use a lot less resources 😉

            .. and completely changed when Honda started to build in the UK.

          • Keith..At least the Americans still have an Automobile industry of their own while the Brits lost Rolls Royce and Bentley to Germans, Jaguar to India, Rover to China and Aston Martin to Arabs ..LOL And get this even the famous jingoistic Jeremy Clarkson confessed that Rolls Royce with BMW engines became much better than they were before..
            BTW, the US made jet engines dominate the world markets if you include the narrow body market in which Rolls doesn’t exist..

        • Yes, Google any source

          Sorry, that’s not good enough. You made a very specific claim and fail to show us any source.

          even our own American John Leahy has said it’s unfair they can’t have the GE90/Gen X variant for the A380/A350.

          There you go changing your original statement. Suddenly you bring in the A350, and you’re no longer saying Airbus were willing to do anything to get a GE engine on the A380, they’re just complaining about unfairness.

          So to recap:
          Your original statement – Airbus begging to get a GE90 variant for the A380 – is manifestly untrue. They have that today. It’s called the GP7200.

          As for the A350XWB, you’re at least getting into closer proximity to facts.
          They’ve not exactly been begging for a GE engine for the A350XWB (incidentally, they had a GE engine for the A350 Mk I), either (as much as Aboulafia would have loved to see that). But Leahy did indeed complain that GE were willing to tailor engines to Boeing’s planes, while they expected Airbus to tailor their planes to GE’s engines.

          Oh – here’s the source, by the way:
          http://www.theage.com.au/news/business/airbus-ends-show-with-singapore-fling/2007/06/22/1182019371306.html?page=fullpage#contentSwap1

          Quote:
          “The frustration that Airbus has with GE right now,” Mr Leahy said, “is that GE seems to go to Seattle and say, ‘Show us your airframe and tell us what you need in terms of an engine.’ Then they come to Toulouse (France) and say, ‘Here’s our engine and here’s what we suggest you do to change your airframe to accommodate it to our engine.’ I’m not sure that’s the best sales tack and that’s the problem we have right now.”

          • It’s a Hybrid P&W/GE…………not a GENX or GE90 in any sense……….Boeing has Exclusivity to both variants.

            Hey, if Airbus actually puts some development money on the table…sure GE would give them an awesome Turbo Fan. Problem is, Airbus (it a Government Subsidized Entity) feels entitled to reap the rewards of another engineering house without contributing……….in the FORM OF CASH !

            Wanna know who is number 1 in total Global sales for Turbo Fans? GE. Wanna keep your City lighted-up? Around the World?………GE is preferred.

            Want a sole or ancillary source of power for your ship beyond Diesel? GE/P&W are the preferred Engines

    • Acc to Flightglobal Clark says GP7200 development has flatlined. Maybe RR are promising some kind of super-PIP. I guess plenty of XWB and TEN tech could be squeezed into the 900, a sort of halfway T7000 to keep EK happy.

  2. My info from the past was the GP7000 was 1-2% better. So probably more to this story. E.g a NEO commitment.

    • “My info from the past was the GP7000 was 1-2% better. ”

      That was my impression, as well. That the EA engine has held a 1-2% advantage over the Trent 900 for like, forever. And I read somewhere the Airbus “Orange Book” even specifies the EA GP7200 as more fuel efficient. Some something about the RR getting 4% better overnight doesn’t sound right at all.

      • RR seems to have offered significant improvements for the Trent900. So the 4% are for a PIPed engine delivered
        sometime in the near future.

        • It’s RRs new engine the Trent 900 NG with the best bits of the XWB (has the best SFC ever). Keep up USA.

  3. It definitely doesn’t sound like the most ludicrous idea that RR would give EK a good overall price for a combined CEO/NEO deal.
    Although whether or not to actually launch an A380NEO is still Airbus’ decision, and they’ve said they’re not keen to launch for just a single customer, even if that customer buys a shedload. Then again – if the price is right…
    Let’s wait and see. Less than three months to FAS at this point.

  4. We will not build the neo for one customer, repeat, we will not build the neo for one customer. .
    Memo to leahy,
    It looks like you just did…

  5. Emirates is trying to prime the pump, plain and simple.

    the GP is also less costly to maintain,.

    But then when your entire aviation industry from the janitor to the airport, the authorities and airlines is one and the same Emirate can give up efficiency to get what they want knowing they still have huge cost advantages.

    • I’d see it differently:
      The ME3 actually do competition and take up adequate risks for the purpose.
      The US3 don’t do risk, they don’t do competition and they don’t do “a worthwhile product”. What they (try to) do is tilting the table to their advantage via political leveraging.

      • I am not any apologist for the US airlines.

        Like Emirates and the ME3, they take advantage of their position.

        Here they have to deal with a number of entities they do not fully own though often influence (some entities more than others). ME 3 is not accountable to anyone in the public sectors, its all in house.

        Emirates etc has to answer to no one in that regard. The entire aviation industry including regulation, airports, authorities are all operated by the same group of people.

        Obviously the ME 3 are serious people and know what it takes to do it right, but they have a clear path and no one they have to be accountable for on the bucks spent.

        Buidlign an airport to their desires is a non issue, the US has a lot of players that have say in it and want an acoutanlbeiy for the profit and loss of said eneitry.

        • the US has a lot of players that have say in it and want an acoutanlbeiy for the profit and loss of said eneitry.

          More like a bunch of “wetting their beaks” groups, isn’t it? ( I am forever fascinated by “pork barrel” arrangements in US politics. Broken by design.)

          • I would say Fiat’s current success with the Chrysler Group under their portfolio……….they got rid of the cheap-plastic interiors and improved initial build quality and put massive (successful) campaigns into lines like the Jeep Brand, Minivans, Light Truck Trucks..

            Where as, the Benz Group tried (horribly unsuccessful) tried to instill highly disastrous German ways of building/selling vehicles.

            Hats off to Fiat for now……….as the Chrysler Group seems to be in a turn around these days.

  6. Maybe, just maybe the other A380 prospect might give it a go when a A380 is on offer. E.g United, Delta, Turkish, ANA, BA, SQ, LH, CX..

    Oh wait this is the A380, it just won’t sell according to Randy, Aboulafia, VerVenia, Aspire and other similar pre occupied observers.

    • So far they are right.

      Down the road?

      Hazy thinks it has to be a 900 as it currently lack belly capacity. Its not just the pax economics that count, its the fright aspect that does not get calculate into the return and should.

      Airbus has to pay for the 900 itself and will see how they feel about the business case. Obviously Emirates has to take whats offered even if its not what they want. Its not like they will just dump it and buy 747s.

      • Hazy is a great guy that basically invented the aircraft leasing business. He had it right in many cases on the industry.

        He hit the wall big time too, with some other predictions (dismissing A320NEO, A350mk1; not good against 787, since A sold 1000x 330s).

        US analysts have been claiming the imminent dead of A380 for a decade. Saying what their consumers want to hear with different words. They’ve past the point of no return, so can never admit A380 sells, delivers and performs. Better a Don Quichotte then change view and being pulled into the spotlights.

        http://airinsight.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/12/2.png

        • Your last statement is half correct, the A380 does indeed perform. Other than a few issues its a technical success (at least so far, seeing as how the wing rib crack issue was revealed due to a blowup of an engine you have to wonder – and I feel the same way about the 787 battery so its not A380 specific only time will tell for all these new aircraft)

          However, when you invoke selling, that is patently untrue. I had not sold well and its not sold in the numbers that were pulled out of a hat. The original project was a prestige project and the justification was then fabricated to support it)

          How well it sells down the road and at what prices and at what loss is the $64 question. Currently its limping along somewhat better than the 747-8, but its not selling (other than to one buyer) and its prospects are speculative.

  7. The problem with the a380 is the enormous capacity. I don’t know many airlines can sustain its capacity. Why airbus give 2 billion dollars to reengine an aircraft when there is not enough demand

    • If it’s too large, why will Emirates be sending a daily 615-seat A380 in a two-class configuration to Copenhagen from December 1?

        • As I understand it, at one point Emirate had an A380 doing nothing over night in Australia (forget which city)

          so they shucked it onto an NX route at night. No where near full but it was not sitting there doing nothing either. It also make a mockery of competition and ROI for those who had invested in the route.

          To answer all those aspect you would have to break each and ever route down, how full it is, where it came from where it goes to know if it really is a money maker or just breaking even and or re-positioning.

          In the US we call it “The Rest of The Story”

          “Or having 3 services a day to Auckland?

      • He said: “I don’t know many airlines can sustain its capacity. ”

        Emirates accounts for half the backlog and is obviously a special case of an airline that needs a large number of airplanes that big. Very few airlines are in the same position. You can’t look at the order book and declare that the A380 is anything more than a niche product at this point.

        • @Sterling. You left out the first and the last sentence: “The problem with the a380 is the enormous capacity” and “Why airbus give 2 billion dollars to reengine an aircraft when there is not enough demand”.

          So, there’s clearly enough demand to put a 615 seat A380 on to the CPH route, which would seem to indicate that the problem with the A380 is not the “enormous capacity”, but rather the IMJ limited lower cargo deck capacity. Since the launch of the A380, detractors of the aircraft have consistently been championing that frequency trumps capacity. Yet, Emirates did not add an additional frequency on, for example, their routes to LAX, SFO, DFW, IAH and now CPH, before upgrading to an A380. They even added a third daily non-stop A380 flight to JFK , whithout even having put a smaller 77W on that third daily JFK flight first.

          The fact that Emirates can operate a daily 615 seat A380 to Copenhagen should be an indicator that all of Emirates’ current 140+ destinations should be able to be flown profitably by the A380, sooner rather than later. That may be bad news for the 777-9X. It’s starting to look as if the 777-9X will be too small for Emirates.

    • [This entire post has been deleted as a violation of Reader Comments.]

    • A380 is dead and even the Emirates can’t save it from demise..

  8. You must stop comparing Emirates to other carriers, who simply cannot sustain that kind of capacity.
    When legacy carriers such as air france,Lufthansa, among others are either deferring orders,or cancelling them all together, its a clear sign, its a niche aircraft, that can utilized on very limited routes…

    • So, the very “limited” routes include DXB-CPH?

      As for the other carriers, Lufthansa originally ordered 15 A380s, talked about ordering 3 more (AFAIR), then cancelled ONE — and has, as of today, 15 A380s. BTW, Lufthansa also ordered 20 747-8Is and will be taking delivery of 19 (i.e. one deferred/cancelled). Thus Lufthansa will be operating 33 VLAs in the near future (i.e. not including their 744s).

      As air travel seems to continue to double every 15 years, or so, it’s pretty obvious IMJ that the market will gradually swing towards ever larger aircraft. The main “problem” with the current A388 is the relatively limited lower deck space for additional cargo. If an A380-800neo would be followed by an A380-900 and an A380-900 Combi, the latter would have about the same trip costs and passenger capacity as that of the current A380-800ceo, but it would have more than 50 percent higher cargo capacity than the 777-9X; or about 12,000 cubic feet vs. 7500 cubic feet; or 48 LD3 containers on the lower deck on both the 777-9X and a 10 frame stretched A380-900, but with an additional capacity for the A380-900 Combi-version of seven 747-type main deck pallets on the aft part of the main deck.

        • Saudis have major Interests in UAE Carriers/Operations……..they also hold major stakes with Airbus Suppliers………like Daimler Benz,etc. I know the Difference (quite well from UAE/Saudi Arabia).

          They get “employee” prices……..which don’t fall under the “Air Plane Dumping” Anti-Trust Umbrella………..even so….nobody really wants the A380 but them………it’s why all New A380 orders have dried-up(putting aside late delivery penalties and fuel consumption credits to current Operators).

          Mainly Asian/EU State Supported and Owned Carriers realize they took a turd………out of political-pressure or Pity-Diplomacy gesture.

          Present and Future is large Twins !

        • Daimler AG that is. With that group having so many Financial/Identity Crisis…………their name has morphed/changed at a whims notice in the past 2 decades………..lol !

          • Everything fine until they made the mistake of taking over American manufacturer ……..

          • Absolutely fascinating that todays FIAT ownership seems to show effective management and is a lot more synergetic. ( common ?Mafia? roots 😉

            A global “cultural synergies matrix” could be quite interesting/informative. Any research around?

          • Still repercussions of Edzard Reuters dreams ( ~1985 ) and his “assasination” bei Jürgen Schrempps (1995) finaly ending in delusions of grandeur while cycling Chrysler through the books.

      • Emirates is not selling CPH->DXB and filling an A380, they are selling CPH->all of South Asia, East Asia, Australia, Maylay Archipelago and Africa.

        the Geography is the key enabler to the ME3 making money on an A380.

        Their hub locations are ideal for acting as the multiplexing point from large endpoints in the EU/Africa/Asia/Australia continental cluster

        Europe is nowhere near as well situated to serve as a megahub which is what you need to make the A380 work.

        Honduras or Panama would be ideal for an equivalent NorthAm/SouthAm hub, but neither country has the capital to build the infrastructure and finance the aircraft

        Icelandair could conceivably make it work as they are geographically well situated for the NorthAm-EU/WestAsia hub

        • “Emirates is not selling CPH->DXB and filling an A380, they are selling CPH->all of South Asia, East Asia, Australia, Maylay Archipelago and Africa.”

          Yes, of course. However, the point in question was “limited routes”.

          As for your “megahubs”; there are plenty of those already in Europe and Amsterdam and Frankfurt, for example, have been “multiplexing points” for decades. The ME3 is not even competing on Europe to North and South America and has little to offer on Europe to China and North East Asia — and BA and Lufthansa seems to be able to make good money on the A380. As I pointed out, the main “problem” with the current A388 is the relatively limited lower deck space for additional cargo. Therefore, a combi-version of an A380-900neo should be particularly useful for both BA and Lufthansa and many more airlines as well.

          • You are right, plus European airlines serve India , SE Asia, Africa etc with non stop service currently. A stopover and probably change of planes in the middle of the night in Dubai isnt everyones cup of tea, especially premium travellers, so there has to be ‘something extra’

          • yup, bot those European megahubs are misplaced for optimum economic routing and are structural artifacts of the time when only Europe and the US had true world-spanning airlines.

            and that nonstop to India from Frankfurt is wonderful, if you are starting from Frankfurt, but likely you are starting from somewhere else, so it is a 1 stop anyway. would you rather have a 1 stop where both legs are a nice modern widebody, or a 1 stop on a 30 year old A320 and a 30 year old 747?

      • Had a very pleasant flight on AF recently US->FR via A380, then back on 777. They’re both configured 10-abreast in steerage class but the A380 is wider and therefore slightly more tolerable. The A380 flight was completely full btw. I’d choose it again given the opportunity.

  9. This order has nothing to do with any of the above. It is to compensate RR for the big cancellation of A350’s and the associated engines With this order Emirates is 100% in the clear of any penalties associated with that cancellation.

    • The engine choice isnt finally inked in till about 1-2 years before delivery, so doesnt seem to apply here.
      Cancellations like this would occur before major payments start to flow for both engine and airframe manufacturer

        • In that case it would be the desired engine thrust from the range offered for that engine. As I said the serious payments dont flow from about 1-2 year period.
          If you havent paid any serious money beforehand there is no compensation required

          • Depends on how the contract is written. engine manufacturers can incur costs well before that window, and if there are costs, then claims can be made. Even if deposits are not paid that does not mean there is no compensation claim.

          • Besides the choice in thrust range does not really alter the cost to the manufacturer.. these are mostly software limitations on the engine.

  10. Ok..im convinced, now if you can only conince vigin,amedeo,hong kong airlines, air austral, perhaps they will be as well.

  11. Airbus will NOT launch an a380neo. The NEW airbus management CAN’T close the business case. Emirates will be FRUSTRATED and will look for REPLACEMENTS of the a380. Whether that mean 747-8 or 777-10X

      • A 777-10X may be feasible, but what about payload/range for such an aircraft? The MTOW can’t go much higher with the existing triple bogie main landing gear assembly. Hence, it certainly wouldn’t be a real alternative to the A388 on longer ranged route sectors.

    • “Whether that mean 747-8 or 777-10X …”

      rofl, lmao.
      They’ll buy A380 anyway and work them to death.

      But: contrary to some opinions floated a happy customer is a better customer than one who is forced to buy a frame that is suboptimal from his view. Airbus will do the NEO. and they’ll do a -900 too.
      The big question is what timeline. It will to some degree depend on how fast the US (politics and economic powers ) will loose decisive influencing powers.

      • The possibility of an A380neo seems to worry a lot of people. That’s why the signal to noise ratio seems to be decreasing. 😉

  12. It will interesting to see what happens with leases coming up in a few years, with demand for the current model almost nonexistent, it looks as though they’ll have a one way trip to the salvage yard..
    Emirates already stated thats where they’re early built a380’s will be heading. .

    • Given that EK are making extra margin because of the A380s popularity with pax there is no sense letting second hand specialists like DL get in on the act cheaply. So chop ’em up makes a lot of sense.

  13. ANA, CX, UA, DL, Turkish and some others are possible new operators. Many of the current operators will most likely place additional orders.

    • @Keesje,

      “ANA, CX, UA, DL, Turkish and some others are possible new operators. Many of the current operators will most likely place additional orders.”

      I’ve been basically hearing this line from you for almost a decade – it still hasn’t happened.

      NH has already ordered the B77X – dont’ see them as an A380 operator.
      CX – still see potential.
      UA/DL – I’m not sure if they want a plane larger than the A350-1000 and/or B77X.

      I do see existing A380 carriers such as BA, SQ,etc. ordering the A380 NEO.

      • @jacobin777,

        do you remember this thread:

        https://leehamnews.com/2013/10/14/odds-and-ends-airbus-optimistic-on-a380-sales-second-a350-joins-test-fleet-cseries-factory-progress/#comment-28143

        jacobin777: EK isn’t going to have 180 A380’s at one time. There might be a replacement cycle but there might be the fact EK won’t have purchased 180 frames. We don’t know and as of right now EK’s number of A380’s ordered is 90 (there abouts).

        It’s always amusing when people are seemingly offering their “insights” with an absolute certainty. 😉

        You said back then that EK “isn’t going to have 180 A380’s at one time”. Could you perhaps explain why Tim Clark has been talking about ordering as many as 200 A380neos and why there will be built 100 contact stands for the A380 in phase one of new DWC expansion project at the Al Maktoum International at Dubai World Central (DWC) — and a further 100 A380 stands in phase two. 200 contacts for the A380? Wouldn’t that seem to indicate a fleet of over 500 A380s? You know, at least two thirds of the fleet is away from DXB at any one time — and I can’t see other airlines operating hundreds of A380s into DWC.

        Source:

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

        Final Phase

        5 parallel runways, Code F, CAT III B, each 4.5 Km (2 New + 3 existing) capable of simultaneous operation

        West Terminal with annual capacity of 35 million passengers

        East Terminal with annual capacity of 15 million passengers

        4 satellite Concourses. 65 million passengers per annum per Concourse

        Total annual capacity of 260 million passengers

        400 wide body aircraft contact stands

        200 stands each for Code E and Code F aircraft

        Train Link between Terminals & Concourses

        6 Trains – 2 tracks each for Departures, Arrival and Transfers

        3 stations at each Concourse

        Total 14 stations (12 at the Concourses, 1 at the West Terminal and 1 at the East Terminal)

        • Any independent analysis as to how far off the edge of reality that all is?

          • LOL!!! Oh SNAP!! TransWorld, that was pretty funny!

          • Well, there is an independent analysis available looking at UAE airports and how the country’s airports have more than tripled passenger traffic over the last decade; and furthermore, that unlike many other major international airports, the growth outlook for the UAE’s airports is rosy. Perhaps you could offer an “analysis” of your own claiming that all this can’t possible be true.

            What they testify most effectively to is the rapid transformation of the air transport market in the UAE. Over the space of a decade the country’s airports and airlines – led by the relentlessly successful combination of DXB and Emirates – have more than tripled their passenger traffic.

            Unlike many other major international travel hubs, the growth outlook for the UAE’s airports is rosy. DXB, along with the smaller airports at AUH and SHJ are mostly free of infrastructure constraints, and benefit from aviation friendly government regimes and rapidly expanding domestic carriers. Their overriding objective is to keep passengers flowing through their hubs to feed money into the UAE’s economy.

            The fortunes of UAE’s major airports stand in stark contrast to developed hubs such as London, New York and even Beijing and Shanghai. To a greater or lesser degree, these airport systems all suffer from congestion, either on the ground or in the air, and are approaching capacity limits of their existing infrastructure – yet with no plans for expansion.

            In comparison, while airspace problems are beginning to emerge, Dubai has a virtually clean slate design in DWC, and SHJ and AUH still have plenty of room for growth.

            http://centreforaviation.com/analysis/uae-airports-pass-100-million-passengers-for-2014-209527

      • @jacobin777,

        as for Turkish Airlines, have you checked out the plans for the new Istanbul Airport? Isn’t it correct to say that the existing airport infrastructure in Istanbul is not compatible with operations of the A380, and that a large Turkish Airlines A380 order would only make sense if it would be synchronized with the opening of the new airport?

        http://www.igairport.com/en/index.html

        and

        http://www.aabri.com/manuscripts/131548.pdf

        Flights with Very Large Aircraft
        Atatürk Airport’s existing facilities are not appropriate for very large aircraft operations (e.g., A380). New airport will be the opportunity for this kind of aircraft operations which will maximize the passenger transport.

        Improved Transit Flight/Passenger Services
        Turkey with her exceptional geographic location has a great advantage for transit flights between Europe, Middle East, Asia and Africa. In this context, Turkish Airline attaches great importance to the transit operations (both passenger and cargo) and significant increase has been achieved past few years. With the new airports transit service facilities, transit activities will increase more rapidly.

  14. The only one ordering is Emirates.

    The rest deferred (gone) or took theirs and are not in the que.

    Doesn’t seem to be a big rush there.

    Good deals and even better ones if they come off lease if there is a need.

    At some point it has to make money for Airbus, good deals do not do that, its not like the 747 days when it was the only game in town and Boeing could get what they wanted without bargaining.

      • Actually I agree it could well be.

        I am not enamored by the 777x or its market.

        The reality is its the ME3 that drove that beast. Not a well rounded aircraft for sure.

        Like the A380 it will pick up some other ops but not a lot.

        And frankly even the 777-300 is a two engine dog, Glad I don’t have to fly in em anymore.

        Given a choice I would take an A380, but as stated…….

        I don’t have to worry about it being successful, only if I liked what it did for me. Airbus and Boeing have to thread that string through the ring of success or they go out of business (well as soon as the laughing stops they are supposed to anyway)

        • Again, as I said to jacobin777 up-thread, it’s always amusing when people are seemingly offering their “insights” with an absolute certainty. 😉

          You said: “The only one ordering is Emirates. The rest deferred (gone) or took theirs and are not in the que. Doesn’t seem to be a big rush there.”

          How can you be so sure that none of the current A380 operators would be interested in an A380neo, an A380-900neo or even an A380-900neo-Combi?

          • You don’t

            You go by track record and history and note that the A380F was a bust, so talking about a combi seems delusional.

            Build it and see what happens?

            Of course I am not a visionary, I just keep things running as best I can and so far I have yet to sweet talk a pump seal or a bearing into magically working just because I want it to.

          • ” .. note that the A380F was a bust ..”

            You should not rewrite history.
            The A380F was sacrificed to fix problems with the basic design and production ( due to unlimited resrouces not available.)

          • “You go by track record and history and note that the A380F was a bust, so talking about a combi seems delusional.”

            Why would a combi version of an A380-900 have anything to do with a full freight version? It would only carry cargo on the aft main deck (i.e. in the area aft of doors 4 -L/-R).

            As for the A380F, please keep in mind that the 777F entered into service almost 14 years after the EIS of the 777-200. So, the A380F was, if anything, premature. A full freight version of an A380neo could come online a decade hence; or a few years after the closure of the 747 line.

            It’s true that there are some operational disadvantages of loading cargo onto the aft main deck of a 747-400 Combi, in the relative narrowness of a 65 m Code E stand. However, the A380 uses an 80 m wide Code F stand. Thus, you’d have significantly more space on the apron to move cargo around. Hence, I can’t see any major show-stopper for an A380-900neo Combi — and one doesn’t have to be a “visionary” in order to understand that such an aircraft would have a tremendous competitive advantage over smaller “cargo heavy” twins such as the A350-1000 and the 777-9X. 🙂

          • “You should not rewrite history.
            The A380F was sacrificed to fix problems with the basic design and production ( due to unlimited resrouces not available.)”

            Ewe: You are the one spinning the proverbial top here.

            The only orders for the A380F were UPS and FedEx. No one else could make use of it as the floor loading and size did not allow non express freight.

            You should also be honest in that the business case was made with the A380F as part of the package, and the early part, not 100 years latter.

            Back to the original flawed thought process was that Airbus would make a killing on the A380 like Boeing did on the 747 (which we all know has had a significant freighter component to the early ones and the 747-8 is the mainstay for the -8 by leaps and bounds.

            So now a combi is out of any rational thinking.

            And sans an A380F then ignore that it was a key element of the so called business case (though more accurately prestige project)

            There never will be an A380F in any form.

    • The A380 is the only deal in town by now. W’ll have to accept.

      Unless you assume capacity is irrelevant in network planning.

  15. I would like to clear up the mess abouth the a380.
    Firstly emirates is a very unique airline and there are no equivilent in order to compare it.
    Secondly many analysts have pointed out that the problem wth the a380 doesn’t lie with its efficiency but with its capacity and there are not so many airlines in the mid-term to justify an investment of that scale.
    Thirdly any airline that needs the capacity of the a380 will buy it.
    Finally the airbus management doesn’t want spend on a project with no guarntee of return in its investment.Also they pointed out they will not launch an a380neo for one customer because airbus don’t want to take that risk. They want risk mitigation.

    • Most of these “analysts” you’re talking about failed to predict the rise of Emirates and the significance of the A380 for their operations. 🙂

  16. With a few Skymark Whitetails sitting at TLS I was wondering if anyone wants to invest in my airline. I am going to take the A380s and do a new Skytrain from Stansted to JFK and Mumbai. Just have to rip out the big seats and pack it with 700 economy (should be able to find these from retired A744s).

    What I am getting at is that with Whitetails in existence and older A388s coming into the market the whole programme looks precarious. So it is NEO or die IMO

    • Why buy new ones if you can get VLA’s at yet undetermined discounts from the other, far more desperate VLA supplier?

      ” The 747s are likely selling for significantly reduced rates as the company tries to hold out the production line as long as possible. Reuters cites sources saying the jets are selling for about 50 percent less than list price, or about $400 million each.

      The company has an incentive to keep the 747 going as long as possible, though. If Boeing kills the 747 line, the company’s investors will have to take a $1 billion accounting charge. ”

      http://www.bizjournals.com/seattle/morning_call/2015/04/the-end-of-the-boeing-747-could-be-coming-sooner.html

      • Yep, what the whole story is I suspect has more facets to it, but its a mistake (as much as I love the 747 and I think the 747-8F is one of the best looking airliners of all time up with the Constellation, DC-8 stretch and the A340)

        I do know Boineg had desing issues that had to be redone.

        They also were threading a needle between cargo that was fine with exisitn range (base setup per Anchorage AK) and the long range passenger desire of Emirates..

        Was it a huge mistake to not give it more range per what Emirate wanted vs what the Cargo folks wanted?

        So unless cargo picks up its toast and its never going to be anything more than a niche passenger airline and grossly less so than the poor selling A380.

  17. Can emirates replace the a380 fleet with 747-8 ? They have a smaller capacity but with the right discount (60-65%) and the immidiate availiability of the 747 (end of 2016) they might have second thoughts about the aircraft

    • I forgot that emirates HAS already the boeing 747-8F so they have commonality

    • They’ve had offers for the 748i thrown at them so many times at this point (last reported offer was from GECAS for 100 planes) and always balked at the plane. I think it’s pretty safe to say they have no interest in it, and much any interest in replacing their whole A380 fleet with 748i.

      • “and much any interest in replacing their whole A380 fleet with 748i.”

        …should have read “…and much *less* any interest…”

        • Key factor si the cargo capcity.

          I would think the 747 would generate far better overall revendue on certain segments as it carries more cargo.

          I still recall the caterwauling on the A380 on startup that it had no cargo capacity (Pax luggage took it all up). the more passengers it carries that gets even worse.

          However, Emirates seems to be able to make it on range and there the A380 beats the 747-8I.

          Emirates and the other ME carriers clearly don’t think so nor for their structure does it seem to be even worth a minimum buy to match some routes better.

  18. The statement above re A389 Combi has my approval, as has the venue of A389 paxliner. The certified Exit Limit of A388 is for 873 pax (Well Done, Airbus !) but current A380 operator marketeers choose to deploy the -800 version in cabin arrangements of between 540 and 650 pax, under-exploiting the seating potential of this vector. The underlying implication is that Product Differentiation has better yield impact than scale effect … common to A388 operators though, is the observation that it is payfreight-constrained due to its double-deck geometry, where check-in luggage requisition lower deck LD3 positions more than warranted. This structural limitation will be largely resolved with a stretched A380-900. The increment in trip cost A388 vs A389 will be reasonable, whilst the yield potential will boost from a healthier payfreight offering. My recommendation to Airbus is to go NEO yes, but for an A389, ie putting the money where belongs, killing two flies in one blow ? … and no need to modify the present Exit Limit, 873 pax is sufficient for years ahead !

    • Yes, a combi version of a stretched A380-900neo would IMJ be a “killer-application”. For example, if Emirates would replace their 5 daily A388s to LHR with 5 A380-900neo-Combis, then the additional cargo capacity offered should be significantly more than one full 777F flight.

      For example, the 777F can have 22 (96-in x 125-in x 120-in contoured pallets) + 4 (96-in x 125-in x 116-in contoured M1H containers) and 1 ( 96-in x 125-in x 96-in contoured pallet) on the main deck. A combi version of an A380-900neo would have space for 7 (96-in x 125-in x 96-in M-1 containers) on the aft main deck. That would indicate that 5 A380-900neo-Combi flights would transfer 35 main deck M-1 containers.

      Now, a full LD-3 container is usually assumed to have the capacity for 40 to 50 bags. Assuming 2 bags per passenger, that’s 20-25 passengers per LD-3s. A 10 frame, stretched, 550 seat A380-900neo-Combi would have the capacity to hold 48 LD3s on the lower deck. With only 20 passengers per LD-3, that’s about 28 LD-3s reserved for passenger, which would mean that another 20 LD-3s would be available for cargo per flight; or 100 LD-3s being available for freight per day on the DXB-LHR route. Now, a 777F can only carry 32 LD-3s on the lower deck, so 5 flights of the A380-900neo would be able to carry more than three times as much cargo on the lower deck per day than what’s available for cargo on the lower deck of one 777F flight.

      http://www.boeing.com/resources/boeingdotcom/company/about_bca/pdf/CargoPalletsContainers.pdf

      http://www.gnieob.com/assets/pdf/commercial/airports/acaps/777fbrochure.pdf

      • We could turn this around ?

        WB frames need profits from additional cargo to balance increased cost from too much frontal area needed to just move a use full area of <2.5m height.

        data:
        777: 30m² for 10across ~3m² per "pax line"
        A380: 47.5m² for 11+8across ~2.5m² per "pax line"

        synopsis:
        The A380 fixes that 😉

        • As I said up-thread, a combi version of a 10 frame, stretched A380-900neo would have more than 50 percent higher cargo capacity than the 777-9X; or about 12,000 cubic feet vs. 7500 cubic feet (i.e. with the capacity of holding 7 M-1 containers on the aft main deck). That’s an enormous extra profit generator — and the trip costs not would not be higher than that of the current A388ceo.

        • In 2015 Retail Psychology (the trade of airline Golden Boys in charge of piloting their Employer’s on-line real-time CRS ticket pricing unit), the recurrent $$$$-question is at all times “at what Bottomline Price will the NEXT immediate instant sales-confirmation click contribute 1$ in NET trip yield ?” Those guys need to have a dependable ACCOUNTANT’s correct answer available at all times to that question, to carry out their job which is to make money for their respective airline, vs the competitive landscape out there on the Web … Now, the immense strategic advantage of payfreight (vs passengers) is that the former is contracted forward by way of professional frame-contracts, the volumes/pricing/weights being known well in advance of departure whereby the yield-potential is available as a FORWARD INPUT into the aggregate yield-equation on the Retail Psychologist’s screen : in this way these guys can operate subtle arbitrations to play with pax ticket prices, using f.ex. cargo revenue to lower an AAA-BBB pax trip bottomline offering, to improve a given todd (time-of-day departure) market share vs arch-competitors … in short, controlling the payfreight flow on AAA-BBB you actually control the pax market as well. Airlines who don’t understand what’s behind the belly-freight conundrum, are passing by their own business as outsiders, wet behind their ears … the ME trio are all very well aware of aggregate yield strategy, as is THY. Airbus needs to integrate these aspects for the next A380 series family member !

  19. Would a “combi” A380 have to be capable of carrying main deck cargo? If passenger baggage could be carried in the rear of the main lower deck that would free up belly space for cargo.

    • On a combi version of an A380-900, you’d put passenger bags in LD-3 containers on the lower deck, and cargo in containers and on pallets, on both the lower deck and aft main deck.

  20. Wow- so many off topic comments. Lots of people have perceptions about RR costs and TCO. They suggests that Emirates made a decision without considering the merits of the case.
    I find this assertion arrogant and preposterous. We on the outside would not have access to the criteria EK used to base it’s decision on.

    The tired old A380 hating argument is raised again. Very tedious as it is again regurgitates bloggers views rather than authoritative facts.

  21. Assuming they build about 300 of the current model, and there is a demand for 500 VLA from 2025 to 2045. Then Airbus could have three other choices if they don’t reengine in the next five years:
    1) largest option, build on the investment in the A380 fuselage and do a 90m folding tip carbon rewing
    2) build a new CFRP double deck “ecoliner” twin
    3) build a new CFRP single deck twin for 10x with a 243″ int. width

  22. Layman:

    While some of what you say is trued, all reports are that the GP is more efficient than the RR and a two spool engine is a lot less costly than 3 as well as maintenance being less.

    So suddenly when Emirates decides the RR is wonderfully better in light of the fact that RR is the only one who is going to think about an NEO for the A380 all our BS indicators light up like a pin ball machine.

    We all know spin when we hear it and that is pure spin (and no apologies for the bad pun).

    So no we are not buying it.

    • Speaking at an event in London the Middle Eastern carrier’s president, Tim Clark, said that the first 25 A380s would arrive between late 2016 and the first quarter of 2018.

      Delivery of the second batch of 25 is “further out”, he says, but Emirates is “trying to advance some of them” to around 2019-20.

      Clark did not clarify the number which might be brought forward but a delivery date before 2020 would appear to rule out any possibility of these A380s being fitted with a completely new engine.

      Assuming that all of the 90 A388s powered by the Engine Alliance GP7000 will have been delivered by the end of 2017, Emirates would have a fleet of 115 A380s by the end of Q1, 2018. So, that’s another 55 A380 deliveries to Emirates over the next 36 months. Thus, another 25 A380 deliveries over the following 24 months seems reasonable. In fact, EK seems to want many more. If Airbus/RR “delays” the EIS by a couple of years (i.e. from 2020), the EK perhaps would order even more Trent-900 powered A388s.

      Hence, Airbus and especially RR has IMJ little incentive to launch an A380neo with EIS before 2021, at the earliest. RR obviously wants to sell and produce as many Trent-900 as possible before ending production. The latest EK order for 217 Trent-900s will make that programme profitable for RR. Before this order was placed, the Trent-900 programme was probably only at the break-even point.

  23. I see less and less reason for RR to do an NEO.

    Now they have a contract in hand what’s the incentive?

    Sell as many as the 700s as possible and make money or come up with even fewer new NEOs while they work on the NEO and loose lots of money?

    Emirates just handed them a trump card, if they had held GP contract over their heads then no choice.

    Alfred E Newman spy vs spy vs spy

    • Perhaps you meant to say as many as the 900s as possible? 😉

      RR has the engineering capacity to now do a next generation Advance engine. They’re through with the TXWB, the Trent-7000 is just a modified Trent-1000-ten engine. To stay on top of their game, they need to keep on innovating. The Advance engine will have a new core and compressors and the overall pressure ratio will exceed 60:1. In fact, it will lay the groundwork for the UltraFan* engine which will enable RR to forcefully re-enter the single aisle market (i.e. the UltraFan should be upwards of 15 percent more efficient than the Leap-X and PW1100 GTF engines).

      Also, with Engine Alliance seemingly going out of business, RR will have the entire next generation A380 market all to themselves. What’s not to like from the point of view of RR?

      * http://aviationweek.com/site-files/aviationweek.com/files/uploads/2014/08/AW_08_25_2014_2905L.jpg

  24. Number of aircraft sold vs the cost to create and all new engine maybe?

    • If airbus can keep this baby chugging along at 30 frames a year lots of good things happen. The learning curve will drag the cost down against 777x and the logic of neo and 900 becomes so much more compelling. The a380’s time will come, we all know that, witness the over-excited response to this thread. The issue is IF airbus can keep the programme running long enough to make it happen. If you have flown a380/b787 you would realise the fundamental passenger comfort difference in cattle and would laud the big one

      • Airbus can learn from the 777x. If the rewing and the folding tips work, Airbus can use that playbook. Airbus can shut down production of the A380 for several years, just like Boeing did in the switch to the 747-8.

  25. Could rolls royce incorporate some the changes of the advance engine on to the 900 ?

  26. Well for all the A380 enthusiasts I think this Flight Global article pretty well says what I have

    http://www.flightglobal.com/news/articles/opinion-emirates-deal-takes-pressure-off-airbus-411574/

    And if there are no more orders coming in (and Emirates turns loose old ones rather than park in the desert) then the production dwindles.

    30 is not the optimum, its supposed to be 48, so it idles along not making money and never an ROI.

    It still has to get something like 600 or more made to do that, not even close.

    And as it does not sell, buyers have the leverage and Airbus has to low ball the deals, they set the bar low to sell what they did and now you can’t raise it.

    It could change, but there is a lot of years under its belt and it has not.

    • Weak competition, a strong global customer base, meeting it specs from frame 1, proven extra revenue power and a five year backlog in a growing market.

      Low ball deals, set the bar low.. beating simple demand supply market dynamics I guess.

      Concerning the A380, a large part of the community is incapable giving credit when its due. And the reasons behind that are’t very advanced..

    • Flightglobal: “By conceding that it is prepared to take all 50 superjumbos with the existing Trent 900 engine, the Dubai carrier appears to have given up on its dream of debuting a repowered – and possibly remodelled – A380 sometime around the turn of the decade.”

      Flightglobal obviously believes the A380neo is not on Airbus’s agenda for the near future. I was holding the opposite view when I wrote in the first post of this thread that “in that context this deal could be viewed as a signal that the A380neo is not far on the horizon.” I still hold the same view, but admittedly I cannot support it with convincing arguments. It’s more a personal belief than anything else.

      The A380 is Airbus’s flagship and consequently a decision in favour of the A380neo would not necessarily be strictly rational. Boeing’s own decision to launch the 747-8 was obviously not based on rational arguments either. In both cases it’s a matter of pride and prestige. It’s easy to argue that there is no business case for the A380neo, but Airbus would not want to loose face and might prefer to loose money instead.

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