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A Flight Group Special Report June 2005

Economies of scale
Geared for growth
Taking on the 747
Room to improve
Systems revolution

Changing the game
Will the world look different after the A380?


SPECIAL REPORT Will the 555-seat A380 CONTROL
exert the same influence In the four years since
Max Kingsley-Jones and over the airline market the A380 was launched,
Mark Pilling as the Boeing 747 did 30 Airbus has smoothly
years ago? built up a solid order
Contributors book for the aircraft
Colin Baker, Peter Conway,
Andrew Doyle, Nicholas
Ionides, Emma Kelly, David
Learmount and Murdo

Bob Wells GUIDANCE Airbus has created the
The A380’s entry into biggest, most technically
Design and layout
service could be the advanced airliner ever,
Dominic Ray
catalyst for big changes and at the same time
Artwork and graphics in Airbus’s ownership undergone a complete
Tim Brown and Gareth Burgess structure restructuring of its
Joe Picarella

Published by Reed Business
Information Ltd 14 HOME 20 FEEDING TIME
Quadrant House COMFORTS The arrival of the A380
The Quadrant Airbus has developed on some of the world’s
Sutton a raft of new systems busiest routes will cause
Surrey SM2 5AS and technologies for the the biggest upheaval
© RBI 2005
A380, not least on the in airline network
Colour reproduction and flightdeck dynamics for decades
type-setting by J Jays Ltd, Essex

Printed in the UK by Polestar
(Colchester) Ltd

This special report can be 24 PREPARE FOR 28 SPACE RACE
viewed on line at ARRIVAL Will the A380 literally
The sheer size of the be an air bus, or is a new
Additional copies can be A380 means airports era in cabin comfort
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landside to handle it

Everything possible is The huge investment
being done to ensure required to support the
that the A380 enters A380 in service means
service next year with it is highly likely there
the reliability levels of a will be tie-ups between
mature airliner maintenance, repair and
overhaul players

The A380 Freighter
faces a tough fight in
the cargo market with
its incumbent rival, the
Boeing 747, but Airbus
is confident its superior
range and economics
will win through

w w w. f l i g h t i n t e r n a t i o n a l . c o m THE FLIGHT GROUP JUNE 2005 1

380_contents.indd 1 21/6/05, 4:22:10 pm


Size shift

Now that the A380 has taken to the skies, the debate over whether

of air travel
❝ the 555-seater will exert the same influence over the market as
Boeing’s 747 did in the 1970s begins in earnest

SAEED AL-MAKTOUM WHEN BOEING’S 747 JUMBO JET spective, the A380 is the largest step-
CHAIRMAN, started criss-crossing the world’s major change since Concorde. The sheer size
air routes in 1970, it changed the game of the aircraft has dictated that Airbus
for the airline business. Never before adopt smart new engineering solutions,
had airlines been able to sell 375 seats from the structure to the hydraulic
IN MY VIEW in one aircraft and fly people across system. As with all new technologies,
the Atlantic. Later the aircraft became there will be teething troubles. The

even better, flying more people further manufacturer and airlines expect this,
than ever. but with the impact of a technical
It has taken 35 years, but finally the delay being magnified by the aircraft’s
747 has a challenger. Not only that, it size, all are working furiously to ensure
has a rival that Airbus has deliberately the A380 is as mature as possible on
designed to take a step-change in size. service entry.
By almost every physical measure, the
A380 leapfrogs the 747, and if Airbus Steep learning curve

sticks to its promises, the aircraft could On the ground, airports have never
have seat-km costs 15-20% better. seen anything as large as the A380 and
So, to mark the A380’s public debut are spending millions to handle it.
at the Paris air show, this first-ever joint Despite the best-laid plans, the learning
achievement in many special report written by Airline Business curve for airlines and airports will be
decades. I think that and Flight International steep as London Heathrow, Singapore
the number of orders – which includes our Changi and Sydney Kingsford Smith
A380 cutaway poster will discover late next year.
the aircraft

will grow rapidly as
– asks whether the
giant will change
In the air, the double-deck
A380 will instantly give
proves itself the game in airlines 30% more
STEVEN the same way seats than the
the 747 did 30 747 and
years ago.
ILFC doubt, from a
technological per-

2 THE FLIGHT GROUP JUNE 2005 w w w. f l i g h t i n t e r n a t i o n a l . c o m

380_comment.indd 2 21/6/05, 4:20:20 pm

its biggest had to play with. it is industry praise for making the A380 a market pen- etration that will reality. But rapid traffic growth meant IN MY VIEW As an all-cargo transport. is delivering 747 freighter.7 70. Today smaller widebodies such as the A340 and 777 have made major – that alone means it is vital to ❝ challenge is aircraft.4 +24% Wing area (m2) 845 541 +56% Height (m) 24.200 +6% Maximum fuel capacity (l) 310. competitive pressures and uncertainty Clearly. The passenger-carrying – that will determine whether airlines 747 fleet has been in decline for several make money with their new produc. as a raft of new and converted But other factors are at play.000 +11% Cargo payload – Freighter (t) 150 113 +33% List price ($million) 272-292 198-227 +37% to +29% increase capacity at the world’s slot- As the A380 greater real estate than they’ve ever more complex than they were 30 years constrained airports takes off.7 +3% Wingspan (m) 79. its biggest challenge is air travel like the 747 did in the ❝ count.1 19. years. there were those SINGAPORE even keener on a stretched A380.000 14. too. of the high-capacity Aviation Editor Airline Business QANTAS long-haul market are far Flight International FRENCH FROGS AIRSLIDES w w w. but the hard truth is that it will inroads into what were once traditional our future yet to come be bums on seats – and a lot of them 747 markets. some are Thirty years ago. but as the flight test programme gets under way. is far from finished as a freighter.4 +24% Maximum take-off weight (t) 560 413 +36% Range (km) 15. Airbus. the dynamics Commercial Managing Editor CHIEF EXECUTIVE. CHIEF EXECUTIVE. although it is by no means as strong. The ubiquitous Boeing the A380 into an economic upswing.000 +29% Accommodation (typical 3-class) 555 416 +33% ❝ Installed thrust (lb) 280. oned. c o m THE FLIGHT GROUP JUNE 2005 3 380_comment. While in yet to come.indd 3 21/6/05. As a money-maker. f l i g h t i n t e r n a t i o n a l . if the A380 is to mirror the over how new markets will develop. 4:20:26 pm . tion tool. Then who doubted whether the 747 would AIRLINES there is the prospect of all-economy be a success – even some within Boeing A380s shuttling 700 people on trunk itself – as supersonic transport beck- routes. How they compare – A380 versus 747 IN MY VIEW A380 747-400ER % difference Length 72. both for whether capacity constraints really will ❝ manufacturer drive carriers to larger aircraft. 1970s sales terms the A380 GEOFF DIXON has got off to a solid Max Kingsley-Jones Mark Pilling start. Airbus and Airbus has gained widespread operators. 747 in changing the And perhaps the biggest unknown is game.8 64. the aircraft the Seattle-based manufacturer’s gam- KEVIN PHILLIPS offers one-third more payload than the ble paid off.000 241. They are promising much for the interiors of their new ago. such as 747s are entering the cargo arena.000 252. however.

f l i g h t i n t e r n a t i o n a l . “This is a good cruise speed. This aircraft is a production tool that 4 THE FLIGHT GROUP JUNE 2005 w w w. not only for the passenger ver. and aircraft a year. 4:21:08 pm . Airbus had announced 154 firm orders and com- mitments for the aircraft. Airbus’s Healthy order book although some observers have raised super salesman. promised. disputes the size of the market for very allegations of heavy discounting Well over a year before the aircraft large aircraft. “We have been very agreeably sur. Airbus has added a couple nearly every year since (see graphic). These include orders this year from China Southern Airlines for five A380s and from UPS for 10 A380 Freighters. it is the task of John Leahy. Airbus has built a a giant step in proving to the world that its A380 is the technical marvel it ers a year. “We far.indd 4 21/6/05. Bagging these WITH THE FIRST FLIGHT OF ITS NEW customers means Airbus has already In the four years since the A380 super jumbo on 27 April. planning to produce more or less 40 sion. deputy head of commercial. solid order book for the aircraft. Airbus of production that is already taken. c o m 380_commercial. reason to be pleased with its efforts so airlines are ready for the A380. COMMERCIAL OVERVIEW Cruise speed After an initial flurry of orders from seven customers when the aircraft was launched in 2001. If you look at our 150 are a bit ahead of where we expected orders. but believes the healthy enters service. but particularly for freighters. the Airbus sales team has state of the order book to date proves and question the size of the market. that represents over four years to be. Airbus took met Leahy’s target of two new custom- was launched. Now.” says Scherer.” says Christian Scherer.” says Scherer. By the end of May. “We are orders. as flight testing ramps up. put our success down to the relevance reports Mark Pilling prised by the pace of our pre-first flight of this aircraft. to translate technical He acknowledges that Boeing hotly into commercial success.

” Scherer will not reveal the price cuts routes.” Air France 10 benefits of this aircraft.1 billion.” conclusions. However. it does see a market for 535 aircraft of over 400 seats (and of adding two customers a Airbus does offer. Originally written in early 2002 UPS 10 waiting for the right time in the invest. order the aircraft. “It is a matter of report. capture at least 50% of that market. the $8. “A good portion is linked to the fact several large 747-400 operators are that we have sold more aircraft than being targeted by Airbus as obvious we originally thought and conse- sales candidates. An interesting twist to this story FedEx Express 10 US carriers are generally not in the came in early April when the authors of ILFC 10 b financial position to order A380s today. Northwestern University. excluding two passenger costs could exceed the planned $10. Airbus especially in congested hub-to-hub quotes the A380’s current catalogue operations – and it is confident it can price as $272 million to $292 million. we’re not. is taking measures to limit any overrun Airbus has already said this select group and it will have only a “minor impact” of carriers. and is studying transactions. Airbus reports that the company is a “little w w w.7 consultants – Richard Aboulafia of variants leased from ILFC b Including two passenger variants placed with billion (in 1999 dollars) budget by the Teal Group. but updated in mid-2004. and Scherer says the alleged discounts Boeing is convinced carriers prefer mentioned in the report are a work of smaller and more efficient airliners. cabin variants to satisfy our customers Customer although neither appears a short-term than planned. He said Airbus with its size and economic advantage. with financial backing from Boeing. Perhaps we haven’t Qantas 12 with JAL and ANA on explaining the really driven that point home. plus or minus 10%. 4:21:14 pm . with a capi- like its 250-seat 787 and the 300-360- seater 777. now and completion of the A380 pro- ally could change the long-haul game gramme around 2011”. departing Hamlin of MergeGlobal and Hans Weber of Tecop Consulting – stress AIRBUS drops an airline’s costs 15-20% – you that the US manufacturer was not want to get your hands on it if you can consulted about their approach or the afford it. and five Freighters some €1. and one lessor have ordered A key element of the report states that the A380. both of the world’s largest express package Heavy discounting carriers. It suggests airlines have customer. Malaysia Airlines 6 ment cycle.” At this early point in the A380’s Scherer says he is comfortable with life. in December the company report is open to claims of bias. Emirates – with its 43 orders Airbus has been heavily discounting – is by some distance the largest the A380.” says Scherer.45 billion. George Speaking earlier this year. the headline Thai Airways International 6 conclusion was that between 2006 and Virgin Atlantic 6 Break-even target 2025 the A380 programme would lose China Southern Airlines 5 From a commercial point of view. So far. 12 passenger airlines. but says he is “still amazed at the gossip that goes around equivalent-sized freighters) over a year – this is a good cruise this industry when it comes to aircraft similar time period. are we doing 747 to offer a 450-seater – the 747 extraordinary things to get this giant Advanced – from 2009. Airbus forecasts a demand been paying launch prices of $130 for around 1. Qatar Airways 2 the programme to reach break-even. mainly because of cost Korean Air 5 Airbus party line is that it needs to overruns and the aggressive discount- Etihad Airways 4 sell 250 A380s. Compared to normal whether to upgrade and stretch the speed” commercial practice. of $240 million to $250 million. will operate the vast Scherer says the risk of overrun is majority of A380s that enter service. but Notes warned that research and development the four respected US academics and a Including two Freighters. f l i g h t i n t e r n a t i o n a l . programme will be. nobody knows how successful the head of commercial. We are ahead in terms Emirates 43 a prospect. Naturally enough.600 A380-sized passenger million to $145 million. for ing for large numbers of launch orders. “We are not giving up on of orders and so are ahead in terms of Lufthansa 15 Japan and are working very diligently development cost. to operate on point-to-point “We’re meeting our target tal B and a capital S. These include Japan quently are looking at many more A380 order book Airlines and All Nippon Airways. partly down to the A380’s sales success: As the accompanying table shows. c o m THE FLIGHT GROUP JUNE 2005 5 380_commercial. fantasy: “They’re bullshit.” he says. an A380 project appraisal released their Singapore Airlines 10 but eventually will be. deputy going? No. Airbus chief executive Noel Forgeard the chief executives of the airlines that said this overrun is “a risk between have ordered it believe the aircraft re. Aaron Gellman of Emirates. plus a few others likely to on the profitability of the programme. Christian Scherer. With Boeing’s involvement.indd 5 21/6/05. the Total 154 However. a huge 40% and freighter aircraft over the next 20 discount from earlier catalogue prices years – mainly as a 747 replacement.

f l i g h t i n t e r n a t i o n a l . “Clearly there are against convention and launch the doubt that we will order the stretched growth plans for this airplane and we stretch first. Source: AvSoft ACAS database fed into a stretched variant which has the range of the original aircraft.” says Maurice Flanagan. emergence of the 747 Passenger airlines 747-400 fleet Who’s next? British Airways 57 “We are selling to very large. although Northwest Airlines Polar Air Cargo 6 when the Airbus aircraft is stretched is seen as a longer-term prospect. c o m 380_commercial. with two Freighter operators not committed to A380/A380F ing first. United Airlines is not Asiana 6 There will be even more clear blue in the financial shape to place new Cathay Pacific Airlines 6 water between the 747 and the A380 orders. com. snap up the proposed A380-900 stretch down the next steps for the aircraft The manufacturer may even go if it became available. Traditional aircraft development sees KLM Cargo 3 Air China could become the next a more powerful aircraft with a higher EVA Air 3 A380 customer with an order before Top 15 747-400 passenger and top 10 747-400 gross weight.” says the got now is the mini version” programme’s senior vice-president engineering. suit the needs of the airlines. COMMERCIAL OVERVIEW bit ahead” of the A380’s business plan: BOEING “Airbus constructed a business case for the A380 and we are doing very well in- deed compared to that. Maurice Flanagan. What we’ve got now is the mini would expect airlines like Emirates to sion has a good chance of coming first version. some people wondered whether the size and price of the aircraft would demand a new dynamic in sales and financing.” ■ Airbus has built plenty of growth potential into the A380 – “We have not designed an aircraft with an “There is no doubt that we will order the stretched A380. “Even in our company. Advanced has Japan Airlines 44 A look at the largest Boeing 747- cated airlines and there are a number slowed a few United Airlines 31 400 operators that have not yet of ways and there are a number of areas A380 sales China Airlines 30 ordered the A380 clearly shows the where we can customise transactions to campaigns All Nippon Airways 23 main sales prospects for Airbus. but it is not decided yet because I don’t see any challenge on chairman. year-end for 10 aircraft. The Prospective A380 customers ranging performance guarantees. and a deeper level of manufacturer support. In the USA. it is depend on whether Boeing launch- El Al 5 “not a major threat”. people had a little stage fright. It is the relevance of the aircraft that is driving demand. That wouldn’t be the case if we were running around discounting the hell out of it to get the numbers up. All Korean Air Cargo 16 ate the 747 Advanced. China Airlines. Emirates group. These improvements are then being leased from ILFC. evaluating its large aircraft strategy. the notable size difference prospect after 2010 and is currently Cargolux 13 between the aircraft means they are ad. It is es its 747 Advanced. Cargolux fall into this category. And.” Scherer admits that in the early days of the programme. What we’ve 845m2 wing for nothing. sophisti. but could Boeing is being pressed by carriers to Air China 12 order A380s in 2008 for 2010 deliv- decide whether to launch its 450-seat ery as it upgrades its fleet alongside Air India 11 747 Advanced. EVA Air 15 ing on debt reduction. “An increased capacity ver- A380. Cathay Pacific and Cargo airlines 747-400F fleet that have been taking time to evalu. along with the two Cathay Pacific Airlines 19 Japanese majors. the A380 sales process has benefited from an industry trend towards deals that tie in more wide. Air France 5 but not before 2010. A380 orders Asiana 6 riers choosing the 747 Advanced. For several carriers.” However. says Scherer. as Scherer Nippon Airways is a medium-term Singapore Airlines Cargo 14 notes. mainly cargo and not passenger carriers Japan Airlines. giving more range. But it is not a different way of selling – it is business as usual. Although a couple the opening of London Heathrow’s Air New Zealand 8 of A380 sales campaigns have been Terminal 5. South African Airways 8 slowed down by the possibility of car. 4:21:18 pm . are key potential 747 Advanced threat customers. Atlas Air 11 dressing different market segments.” KLM 22 British Airways. “There is no for the time being.” says Scherer. Today BA is concentrat- Northwest Airlines 16 As Airbus begins flying the A380. Emirates Group 6 THE FLIGHT GROUP JUNE 2005 w w w. to hold around 650 passengers. when this will take place or by how range at this point. vice. vice-chairman. Robert Lafontan. be interested. Emirates has already said it would But the commercial team is playing much it will be stretched.indd 6 21/6/05.

In 2004. the price wobbles. EADS and Airbus are one and the same and their fortunes inextricably entwined. contributing €20. For differ. as it first airline flights of Europe’s highest- respectively (see chart over). arm have all boosted EADS’s prospects outside the civil aircraft market. the creation and junior partner BAE Systems. guidance At times. respectively. but has a desire to keep a strategic Window to sell orderly retreat from aerospace. the media’s focus on Airbus seems almost to frustrate EADS’s senior management. both Lagardère and DaimlerChrysler will seek to get the best price for their stakes in EADS. much bigger nearly two-thirds of EADS’s revenues hundreds of thousands of passengers Machinations between French player and almost four-fifths of its net earn. will begin an ers. who repeatedly stress the importance of its defence. There is also the sug- gestion that Airbus’s performance in the market may entice Lagardère and DaimlerChrysler to hold on to their stakes for a bit longer. When a major Airbus order is announced. politicians and the two governments AIRBUS over the appointment of chief execu- tives at EADS and Airbus and a mooted mega merger with French defence giant Thales have made a smooth withdrawal more complicated than it might have been a year ago. But it will be far from easy in the US civil rotorcraft market and the turning around of the ailing space to avoid upsetting the delicate balance of national shareholders. 15% and 30% of EADS. when worries that the A380’s entry into service next the Frankfurt. f l i g h t i n t e r n a t i o n a l . will have flown on the double-decker. EADS the main shareholders to sell. Madrid and Paris stock emerge over Airbus costs or market year will be the point at which the exchanges. the signing of the four-nation Tranche 2 order The A380’s entry into service could be the catalyst for big changes for Eurofighter. EADS’s strategy of developing the rest of its business has been reasonably successful. 4:27:59 pm . Privately and political hand on the tiller of The 12 months following the A380’s owned French media company Europe’s big aerospace project. French and German shareholders of also wants the best value for its taxpay- Airbus’s parent. the French government and In the five For several years. which could be offered to private and institutional buyers. 20% shareholder BAE also makes almost one-fifth of its revenues and profits from Airbus.2 billion ($26 Parental billion) and €1. Not surprisingly. Airbus accounted for over the world and within months. That may become a Boeing. EADS. The launch of the Airbus A400M military transport. c o m 380_shareholders. Investors (including a number of US financial houses) already own 30% of 8 THE FLIGHT GROUP JUNE 2005 w w w. Eurocopter’s strength in Airbus’s complex ownership structure. The French government is keen to divest itself of its remaining industrial shareholdings. SHAREHOLDERS ings. entry into service in late 2006 has Lagardère. civil helicopter and space divisions. Lagardère and DaimlerChrysler ultimately both want to concentrate on their core businesses of publishing and selling cars. of EADS. The French government share.9 billion. Murdo Morrison reports from London But in the eyes of many. The control 15%. now not be so straightforward. Airbus has been a been seen as an obvious window for German car maker DaimlerChrysler years since cash cow for its two shareholders. Despite having abandoned civil aircraft construction in its own right. has slowly wrested market leadership profile civil aircraft programme since ent reasons. IT HAS LONG BEEN ASSUMED the business through shares traded in EADS shares get a boost.indd 8 21/6/05. each has been looking for Airbus has in the airliner market from US rival Concorde will command headlines all an exit from the industry. but under the right terms.

At risk could be state-provided loans for developing the A350. Thales and missile house believes this would give its industry a ramp up the stock market price and MBDA. “You get ing on for increasing returns. The plan is believed to “Airbus gives BAE very strong access cashing in on a valuable asset or hang. when rumours emerged that the French Being part of Airbus gives massive ests. It reaps the benefits of invest- and DaimlerChrysler to keep their tion played. Cracks began to demands on investment: Lagardère is appear in the EADS marriage last year Pressure not to sell keen to develop its on-line media inter. there is to one analyst. aerospace champions of France and EADS if it wants out. strongly. Airbus and EADS Another complication comes from of it just as a liquid asset” really matter to the French. although some believe it may yet hap. All that is likely to Dassault. Airbus’s answer to Boeing’s mid-size 787. with Spain’s Casa given a views on BAE’s thinking. the pressure and industrial investment. a partner in the the Paris government is sensitive about former Airbus Industrie consortium. but the state – through its holding arm SEPI Industry analyst French state sees Airbus as a symbol of – a 6% stake in EADS. a bigger role than ment across its defence programmes. Its 15% stake in EADS dates pen. says one analyst. the media giant’s sug. Airbus will finally be generating rev. have been vetoed by DaimlerChrysler. It has made on whether that window of oppor. It’s a huge mistake to think of it just as a liquid asset it can sell whenever it wants. f l i g h t i n t e r n a t i o n a l . company no longer becomes liable for Delicate balance While a question mark hangs over capital gains tax on any sale. For Lagardère. Now Madrid enues from A380 customers to begin hands. If the French government and bigger slice of EADS’s and Airbus’s R&D deliver Lagardère and DaimlerChrysler Lagardère sell their stakes. Not only Spain.indd 10 21/6/05. EADS also the suggestion that BAE may sell gestion that it is waiting for the world and Airbus were created as European its 20% stake in Airbus. state-owned Casa. BAE must offer its stake first to to sell in two years’ time. politically. Under the deal to accept the A380 is a “smokescreen” projects – the balance of ownership that set up the current Airbus entity in and tax is the real reason for its desire delicately divided between the national 2001.” says one analyst. With Airbus performing the French a bigger shareholding than entities fall into foreign hands or close. The 2000 deal gave the Spanish do they create high-tech jobs. It in the programme. ■ Additional reporting by Helen Massy- Beresford 10 T H E F L I G H T G R O U P J U N E 2 0 0 5 w w w. in 2001 from consortium to integrated still gives it political and industrial the temptation may be for Lagardère company. with Lagardère and the French government selling their stakes in the UK government not to sell [its stake from when state-owned Aerospatiale was merged with Lagardère’s Matra EADS to allow the merger to go ahead and the balance between overall French in Airbus]. ance within EADS is important. the final obstacle to any change in EADS and Airbus ownership might come from the USA. In exchange. There are differing But recent events have cast doubt Germany. It has a direct or indirect stake wants to raise cash from Spanish banks paying back the $12 billion invested in its four main suppliers – EADS. its world status. SHAREHOLDERS “BAE would come under pressure from The French government’s role is also crucial. It’s a huge mistake to think defence division just before EADS itself and German interests maintained. keen for taxpayers’ money to be used 2007 – that is the point at which the to ramp up Spain’s shareholding. According The delicate French-German bal. Doubts over such a crucial programme may put a very different complexion on Airbus’s – and therefore EADS’s – attractiveness to investors. but Airbus than expected over the next two years. will be on to find a “friendly” domestic French and German partners are not there is another benefit in selling after buyer. But the the windfall they seek. rid of that at your peril.” Ironically. c o m 380_shareholders. smaller stake. Politics and national ambi. shares a bit longer. clout. no matter how well the A380 performs between now and the end of its first year of service. the future ownership of EADS. retained its 20% the top five US prime contractors and a Airbus’s other products perform better share in Airbus after its reorganisation transatlantic defence giant. BAE would come under immense pressure from the UK government not to sell. If the A380 and mained outside EADS. which re. The current spat between Washington and Brussels over subsidies and tax breaks for Boeing and Airbus could drag on for years if the World Trade Organisation wades in. DaimlerChrysler needs to spend government was pushing for a merger kudos to a UK government that has on new product development in the with Thales – which would have given seen several of its other big aerospace car industry. no secret of its ambition to be one of tunity still applies. its defence assets falling into overseas was bundled into EADS. was created in 2000. BAE Systems. 4:28:05 pm . Both have pressing pure market forces. As for the rest of EADS. the gamble might be between the Germans. to increase its stake closer to 10%. arguably.

as well as in December 2000 was Frenchman months after the go-ahead. Thomas handed the reins over to creation of integrated development period in the manufacturer’s history. blood. was broken down into “physical from its consortium structure into an deliverables associated with the aircraft integrated company.” He is referring to the fact that industrial best-practice recommenda- tions suggest new products should use existing processes and tools. He had formed Airbus’s when there were issues to resolve. But it was not just the execu. as Airbus began the biggest tech- nology leap in its history. We came out of a system where we had five balance sheets and five separate entities – four ex-partners plus Airbus – where we now have only one. writes Max Kingsley-Jones from Toulouse chief engineers. some say it is more advanced in terms of step than Concorde – the key issue is the size. A3XX concept from its beginnings in ing technical issues at aircraft level the senior executives of the team that the early 1990s as Airbus’s answer to and performing the flight tests.” says Champion. set about shaping whole aircraft. we have one chief engineer – Robert A380 happen. “On top you had an Airbus person in charge of the relationship with WHEN THE A380 PROGRAMME appointment. The man chosen to succeed Airbus from paper project to revenue-earning This saw the co-location of engineer- legend Jurgen Thomas at the helm long-haul workhorse in less than 72 ing and procurement staff. according to the book. Airbus became an integrated company. 4:29:18 pm . and at the same time undergone a complete restructuring of directors.” So.indd 12 21/6/05.” says Champion. and. Champion All change says the development team also had to contend with another possible hurdle – reorganisation. There were also four its organisation. industrial border”. for Airbus was about quarters near Toulouse-Blagnac airport Lafontan – who is in charge of the to undergo the biggest transforma. each responsible for his own profit and loss. Champion to manage the transition teams across Airbus for the first time. f l i g h t i n t e r n a t i o n a l . While this revamp Building a new Airbus itself – we didn’t follow the lines of the was essential for the A380 to succeed. it But soon after the A380 launch with national borders but the lines of the also created another potential difficulty 50 commitments from six custom. with its the double-decker into an aircraft that him. Thomas had steered the customers. “On the very same day the A380 was launched. “Depending on who you speak to. Large Aircraft division in an off-site “We’ve shifted to a mode where tives that were changing to make the office adjacent to the Airbus head. co-ordinating and manag- became a reality on 19 December 2000. Below tion in its 30-year history. the programme the manufacturer being reorganised the best product for the market place. representatives from the risk-sharing Charles Champion (then 45 years old) “The A380 is the first fundamentally partners and vendors. – an ex-Aerospatiale engineer who new Airbus to be developed since the The A380 development was broken had been running Airbus’s single-aisle A320. about just how bold the A380’s technological leap is.” says Champion. and demonstrated technologies. the A380 is somewhere between the A320 and Concorde. the exist- ing organisation.” says had brought the ultra-large airliner the perceived global need for “ultra. which means you must master everything related to flexibility of the structure and also the weight. with his team. each programme had four programme ever. This could result in “big from the concept to definition stage high-capacity airliners” to succeed the fights” between the various parties stepped aside to make way for younger Boeing 747. instead of the traditional four “na- four shareholders becoming two and would provide Airbus salesmen with tional organisations”. we did what we are not supposed AIRBUS/H. even within Airbus. Airbus was about to break all three ground rules. “And when we down into nine international air- production immediately before his launched the programme in December craft component management teams 12 T H E F L I G H T G R O U P J U N E 2 0 0 5 w w w. DEVELOPMENT 2000. each in charge of his workshare of the aircraft.GOUSSE to do. This resulted in the in what was going to be a complex ers. “In certain areas. There is some debate.” Airbus has created its biggest. c o m 380_tech. most technically advanced airliner Under the old consortium structure. Champion.

Champion is sure there “will still be challenge each ACMT’s thinking on de. rigs. at the intermedi. it created “big debates “Now. for example. was broken to lateral loads that was higher than fully repres- where we established tiger teams with up into nine anticipated. there are component manage- ment integration teams. is unparalleled. During the rear-end test. respectively. but I’m not sure we would have “And we decided to do additional test achieved the same weight and perform. “cabin zero” and “landing gear zero” “Depending on who adds that although the reorganisation did not cause a fundamental change in rigs in Toulouse. the sheer fact that the “Four months into the programme. and the us to have a better design base”. Airbus and its vendors. configuration. it has resulted in the A380 aircraft are being undertaken across being a better aircraft. much more effort into maturity before the early days. “I spent development because we had identified a sensitivity where we are not part of the summer of 2001 in the UK. Despite all the pre-flight testing. on the A380. somewhere between that of “We could have made the A380 “We’ve invested more in testing with the previous organisational struc. we have one person across the whole team and this allowed in charge of the whole wing.” says Champion. than ever before. with Airbus having ate level.” various aspects of design responsibility. An example of this is how Airbus complete aft section with simulated “We have a step gap of technology was able to mitigate the programme’s loads as a “risk mitigation” and to vali. ously unplanned “rear-end test” of the surprises” now the A380 is airborne. integration of Airbus. so as not to spend more senior vice-president. we decided to reinforce entative on the French. Champion built fully integrated “aircraft zero”. Airbus the first flight.” An example of this is extra struc- A by-product of the integration was tural tests carried out on the A380’s adds just a few kilos to weight. the • Landing gear and associated systems team does not only cover engineering • Cabin and cabin systems and manufacturing aspects like • Systems (excluding above) recurring costs.” says Champion. bench tests you speak to.” teams stabiliser actuator] bracket. f l i g h t i n t e r n a t i o n a l . teams all report directly to him. Spanish and Germans to management the THSA [trimmable horizontal the test challenge the [UK-based] wing team. that trade-off is within the The CDBTs were given targets for scope of the head of the wing team.” what Champion describes as a “British composite/metal rear fuselage section. Hamburg and Filton. suffered a highly publicised breakage. sign. On top of that. we considered have glitches. But these TIM BROWN way over target – double-digit in terms A380 doing nothing.” issues were much greater.” ■ w w w. 4:29:26 pm . effort and cost required to solve usually found during flight-testing. So if there is an issue with optimising an Design targets interface. which were not part of the original Charles Champion. which benches. should be in the areas of tonnes. despite some initial of every significant component of the technology step is difficulties. the maturity and early detection of issues A380 programme time. • Forward fuselage Each system team also has specific • Aft fuselage targets for direct maintenance costs. but also support costs. • Wing mean time between unscheduled • Empennage removals. money later on.indd 13 21/6/05. we were were not representative. • Propulsion (including pylon) “Unlike previous programmes.” says Champion. the A320 and Concorde” ture. But after discussions. the A380’s the workshare split.” • Final assembly line says Champion. c o m T H E F L I G H T G R O U P J U N E 2 0 0 5 13 380_tech. which eliminates the tiers of Champion says that although the AIRBUS management and improves response effort did not change the A380’s overall time and efficiency. (ACMTs). says Champion. and to improve the “Under the previous structure. and despatch reliability. so even though we put potentially disastrous weight growth in date the design as soon as possible. The nine ACMT groups are: such as weight and parasitic drag levels. idea” – the creation of “tiger teams” to Airbus decided to undertake a previ. complexity of the aircraft is much when we had the first bottom-up but Champion says: “Because the loads higher will mean we will calculations on the weight. Below the ACMTs are about 100 The level of ground testing un- component design-build teams (CDBT) dertaken on the A380 programme and between the two. ance – these are better because of the business case.

not least in the cockpit. fingertip access to information. INTEGRATED SYSTEMS Home comforts Airbus is introducing a raft of new technologies on the A380.indd 14 21/6/05. says chief test will be significantly pilot Jacques Rosay. 4:24:12 pm . in many ways. senior vice-president flight AIR FRANCE division] were impressed by the ease of handling of the aircraft. flight. Rosay sum- marises the flightcrew’s four traditional 14 T H E F L I G H T G R O U P J U N E 2 0 0 5 380_integrated. Yet Rosay and executive vice-president engineering A380 programme Robert Lafontan insist the aircraft is. even if greater inertia means market it will take a little longer for a change in flight trajectory to take place. we [he and fellow pilot Claude Lelaie. and to displays that promise a new level of aircrew situational awareness. Handling similarity will be cre- ❝ ated artificially – an easy task with digital systems. more revolutionary than the Aerospatiale/BAe Concorde was in its day. A given sidestick lowered compared to displacement will produce the same the other long-range aircraft on the ❝ result in the A380 as in the relatively tiny A318. Rosay SPINETTA said: “Within the first minutes of the CHIEF EXECUTIVE. AIRBUS has been struggling with a self-created AIR FRANCE dichotomy – it wants the environment to make pilots from other Airbus fly- by-wire types feel immediately at home while offering them unparalleled.” No revolutions here. then. We have no doubt any Airbus pilot would immediately feel at home in the A380. David Learmount reports from Toulouse on the new systems developed for the giant IN MY VIEW ON THE A380 FLIGHTDECK. To illustrate this claim. This begins with the feel of the controls. which was in line with what we had felt in the simu- lator. They do not claim any one system makes it so – it is the total package. JEAN-CYRIL Immediately after the first flight.

4:24:55 pm .380_integrated.indd 15 21/6/05.

we will linked with the central mainte- system (NSS) is its central nerv. rain. checklists are called up BIN SEIF AL NAHYAN quickly and precisely than previous on the aircraft’s electronic centralised types that have only accelerometers aircraft monitor (ECAM). for example. Normal law delivers full flight envelope protection (FEP). Airbus has the NSS includes the avionics put in a toggle switch to en- domain. and to navigate. zero however. but ing their way round the world’s airports. ultimately.” he part of the NSS. schematics indicating the de. – although it has those too – the A380 check is completed. ing flight operations Peter ECAM. a one-way feed outward to Rosay says the manufacturer the ops and so to the on-board is studying setting up a link information system (OIS) inter. the everybody feel like a distinguished ❝ software and direct the primary flight control surfaces as if the aircraft were navigation display (ND) automatically presents the airport navigation system conventionally controlled. but domain by a diode. The that is traditionally in paper rect pages in the documenta. Part of the reason the A380 as in other fly-by-wire types for having the TPI on the PFD is that – normal law. easing the crew’s task of find- guest has a fly-by-wire rudder system. It has a two-way their OIT keyboards. the includes in its lower sector a verti- primary flight display (PFD) may look cal profile of the aircraft’s actual and similar to that on current Airbus types. 4:25:18 pm . ment system (FMS). and charts. would like to allow specific in- “ops domain” of the NSS is the format” – aircraft documenta. standby trim switches on the ❝ flight control computer performance. we can use the signal to ics] failure or fault signals. But that’s like taking the formation to transfer the other part with a two-way data flow. allow for degraded or. the NSS ops domain is enable it to take information nance system – also an integral ous system. tion. company documents. “Eventually we and information source. helping To fly. tion. “So. to communicate. c o m 380_integrated. planned flight path relative to the ter- but it also sports a trim position indica. and to on the ground the PFD shows the taxi- ETIHAD manage the systems. alternate law and direct this is the first Airbus with no pitch law – but they are delivered more pre. f l i g h t i n t e r n a t i o n a l . alternate law feels Navigation system create an environment similar to normal law but delivers less The navigation system gives the pilots that complements FEP. says Chandler. trim wheels. Also to aid the flying task.” he adds. for highly specific data – such face. ployment state of high-lift devices. These on-board informa.indd 16 21/6/05. Apart from the normal cisely. “I am confident pilot’s main instrument panel. adds. It is an Airbus de. DR SHEIKH AHMED to sense and deal with sideslip more In the A380. it will be done. is rectangular in the “portrait” sense. ing camera view of the wheels. centre pedestal replace the wheels. In flight. and direct law means the control active guidance as the aircraft starts our intention to make signals completely bypass the FEP its pushback. you transfer it di- well as providing information rectly into the flight manage- to other systems.” worked out the performance amendments for each flight. The aircraft function. says Airbus ex. showing all the constraints. where we can The NSS avionics domain is on the OIT. On the ground. which nose. and as each CHAIRMAN. as “Longer term. the ND. for example if you has to be linked directly to the for creating an unprecedented perimental test pilot engineer.” The security-critical part of Until this is done.” tion from all types of sensor Chandler. 16 T H E F L I G H T G R O U P J U N E 2 0 0 5 w w w. as performance data – but it is tion terminals (OIT) are large necessary to develop strict pro- screens just outboard of each tocols for this. having accepting uploaded data and aircraft manuals. as minimum safe altitudes or decision The A380’s central nervous system The aircraft’s network server As it interfaces with the link it to the avionics. which controls and able the pilots to communicate integrates the aircraft avionics with the avionics domain from system. essentially an electronic flight from the aircraft systems. OITs. These different levels pitch trim switches on the sidesticks. information through the diode way so. providing never both. such tor (TPI). providing “anything generate a short-cut to the cor. They are interface with the avionics either in connection with the but is separated from the ops ops domain or the avionics. from the avionics into the OIS. “Clearly that signed and engineered system bag (EFB). the pilots have the same the pilots to judge their lateral position fly-by-wire control law spectrum in on the taxiway. says Rosay. it changes from ETIHAD AIRWAYS has three sideslip sensor vanes on the blue to green. INTEGRATED SYSTEMS IN MY VIEW tasks in managing any aircraft – to fly. have an alert come up on the avionics to pick up any [avion- ability to integrate informa.

the A380 as in other modern long. A button marked “ABN” with unprecedented systems redundancy and system” that is the key to the aircraft’s enables the crew to call up checklists damage tolerance. We have no doubt crew’s task is more or less the same in Concorde” in the number of changes it introduces. says the aircraft’s Jacques Rosay interface will be the same no matter size alone makes it a step-change because.” immediately feel at home traffic control mailbox control unit just behind the throttles. for heights. as Airbus experimental linked to it via the “ops domain” of only one electrical generation source. So the aircraft also had to be designed (NSS) – an electronic “central nervous manually. All primary control surfaces are operated the weather radar. The early deliveries will not the ECAM is self-contained. It also shows the database. Those that dispatch reliability becomes more critical. at present either Jeppesen or Lido. the traffic alert and ware-created or PDF charts. The communications part of the technological advance. containing an aircraft library provide even deceleration to leave the with charts. hydraulic and pneumatic sys- Systems management tems capability. complexity increases with size. the NSS.180km) – twice Airbus range. Robert Lafontan. 204bar (3. The OIS is a fully integrated electronic flight bag tion that sets braking automatically to (EFB) in its own right. It can also operate with systems that. Rosay says this technological is useful when approaching an airport with storm cells near it. Size in the A380” age controller-pilot datalink commu. says Chandler. The NSS could be lik- At landing. hydraulic source. It has a communications craft systems integration is much higher than the control and display unit and an air civil air transport world has seen before. At present. part item will already be green. says of the A380’s network server system cannot be sensed must be confirmed Lafontan. The weather radar is a new sys- The A380 as a tem that memorises what it has seen. but is surfaces. going through the checklist – the Because size increases the aircraft’s unit price. cell. but Rosay says this NSS. To create a path to avoid a storm gration between flight-control functions. components and capabilities the previous distance in Airbus types. but the ability diameter of the hydraulic tubes. All the informa. clipped en-route charts – can show soft. and the software supplier is customer-chosen. spoilers. Lafontan says the A380 will have erations Peter Chandler says. says Lafontan. The on-board information system using electricity to operate only the flight control The AESS brings together the sensor (OIS) is not a part of the EFIS. Once landing is complete. unprecedented level of systems inte. in horizontal and tilt. CONTINUED OVERLEAF transponder/datalink. Each pilot’s onboard informa. is monitored by the aircraft environ. in Chief test pilot what communications system is used. but in due Control/systems redundancy provide data integration as complete as course it will be linked to the aircraft’s The A380 will be the first civil air transport aircraft Airbus had planned. The w w w. being introduced and integrated in one aircraft During flight. Chandler says the programme. plus the ground proximity warning system. and this can ing the flightcrew with full situational awareness be downlinked to ATC. If any checklist task can turing techniques. be sensed as completed – for example. capable of flying with a total hydraulic failure. says Rosay. pilots can use the cursor control to avionics and systems control – all aimed at provid- create a track graphically. Weather The network server system/onboard information cells are also shown in the vertical dis. Senior vice-president engineering for the A380 nications messages. The chart collision avoidance system. was the need for more powerful control cruise as well as in climb and descent. or the and it displays terrain and sector safe to existing Airbus pilots. the A380 crew has an ECAM example. But it is also linked into the NSS (see dia- status of the gear. f l i g h t i n t e r n a t i o n a l . The rationale for changing from a For the final task. and total aircraft control. as does the need for electrical. two outside the aircraft” – the enhanced where he/she would traditionally have elevators and three ailerons each side. The vertical display is active in ment. will be upgraded quickly [see box left]. the aircraft’s situation flaps have been set for take-off before makes the A380 a major advance as a total system.000lb/in2) to 340bar hydraulic system. if the pilots have se. screen and graphics that look familiar actuators without increasing their weight. which can man. c o m T H E F L I G H T G R O U P J U N E 2 0 0 5 17 380_integrated. gration. tion from these systems can be dis- AIRBUS played simultaneously or separately on the ND. lected “brake to vacate” (BTV) – a func. the ND again shows the Charles Champion says this system is the prime justification for claiming the aircraft is a massive the ease of handling of the airport navigation system display. system (NSS/OIS) provides a greater degree of inte- play. especially if the step-change initial descent path will require almost a 180° turn to intercept the extended Systems integration final approach to the runway. comparing the step-change as being “somewhere between the A320 and the aircraft. and the autobrake gram). He explains: “The complexity at the level of air- any Airbus pilot would haul aircraft. sensors. or only one test pilot engineering flight op. The scale on the A380’s ND to call up checklists on it is new to the sheer number of advanced-technology manufac- can be set to 640nm (1. Executive vice-president A380 programme “We were impressed by functions and indicators. aircraft and company manuals and a runway at a chosen exit point – the ND fully updatable aviation information services (AIS) shows “BTV active”. aircraft. “look tion terminal (OIT) screen – located two separate rudders and rudder systems. ened to a central nervous system for the aircraft.indd 17 21/6/05. for abnormal situations. 4:25:20 pm . Lafontan says the altitudes. systems manage. ment surveillance system (AESS).

the sales engines’ design to make them qui- A340-500/600. Components and structure made of composite unit could be plugged into the system for Heathrow runway 27L”. it ‘copy and paste’ of an existing prod- is now more mature as a specialist material. Meeting the design challenges The main parts where metal alloy components AIRBUS have been replaced by composites are the centre Airbus spent much of the last decade wing box. the building and line to be optimised before construc.” which would enable the aircraft nose – just below the cockpit windscreen. and better “design and resulted in Airbus delaying the lation. has faced with some major challenges in been used for a significant proportion of the up. airlines was good and commitments the nacelle by 20in to have more noeuvre to enable faster control surface reaction. rolled in. ■ materials comprise 25% of the A380 by weight. offer the crew links to the appropriate link to transfer highly specific informa- gramme go-ahead. “to. “We decided to have a sig- The A380 will use its own version of passive load nificant step over the 747 in passenger alleviation using the fuel-management system. Performance from the avionics side of the NSS – is to Airbus is working on setting up a Lafontan says the challenges even before pro. uct. and environmental certification standards. Airbus also introduced a “droop software algorithms and better sensors – such as back was to be quieter. comfort and performance of the Boeing 747. and refining its design for the A380 under almost the entire tail section and empennage. In fact it was a integration to the wing. 18 T H E F L I G H T G R O U P J U N E 2 0 0 5 w w w.” centre-of-gravity control. load sheets and flight plan.indd 18 21/6/05. The the A380 on 19 December 2000. requirements – dubbed “QC2” – at “All these changes meant we needed Digital mock-up systems London Heathrow which gave the to redo the iteration on the engine Extensive use of digital mock-ups during the most headaches. auxiliary power unit. characteristics. “so it will actually Materials usage trol. Chandler says this will “in the FMS.” adds Lafontan. which of design and manufacturing process enables closer condition of Singapore Airlines’ order course impacts the escape-slide instal- interface with customers. and the ram air turbine integrated. but is not yet fully NOTAMS. 16% in the A340-500/600 and about 3% in the original A300. but in the future those performance module. taken together. 4:25:23 pm . More use has been made of the less ing feedback from customers. econom. The aircraft has three flight-management day they would normally get out one says Chandler. Airbus says this is because although vari. There OIS functions like a class 3 electronic to upload flight information. the months before the launch follow- per fuselage. One of the ter the derived take-off speeds into the things we will do – by taking signals flight management system (FMS). The RAT produces electrical power mation after dealing with a failure. With the A3XX concept fully starting point was a revamp of the mental advance on the principles adopted in the defined by the start of 2000. but it is not a funda. component maintenance access could Lafontan says his team “had three vamped version and Airbus launched be tested before design/layout is finalised. assemblers.” says the programme’s senior vice-president engineering. and the rotor-burst and flutter loop” between component manufacturers and delivery target by several months. He lists the need to: exceed by When A380 pilots key in the aircraft reduce the chance of manual transcrip- significant margins the mission-capability. This already in the FMS. upper deck floor beams. required a pages in any of the documents”. Finally. the programme by the end of 2000. A USB stick or other data-bearing come up with the page. just a more mature. weather. “The load sheet will appear as 75kVA output. Chandler says that if the and any amendments for the NSS ops (RAT) has a rotor diameter of well over 1m. stringent night-time departure noise there were some serious knock-ons. which compares with 10% in the A320. INTEGRATED SYSTEMS by both electrical and hydraulic actuators. Lafontan: three months to refine design This will be deployed for wing-bending relief and digit operating cost reduction. tion errors when entering data into the ics. but Lafontan says it needs only two – the of the manuals. wing ribs. But first in a commercial transport aircraft.” only. ance. is done using either pilot’s pull-out ta. but was A composite/metal laminate material. having a system that commitments. with a pilots wanted any supplementary infor. the “A3XX” project name. The A380’s load alleviation advances are mid-2000 and began securing launch engine fan size by 6in [15cm]. first challenge was not to make a ations of it have been available for a long time. From the OIS take-off systems. capacity and mission…and a double. months” to refine the design. The major drive was the require. and – the weights will be entered manually Chandler says information that is make the aircraft viable for operation at existing into the OIS performance module. one of the items on the OIS screen. but it was not all good acoustic treatment to be quieter. the crew can en- third is to heighten dispatch reliability. such as the airport airports. It also enabled the final assembly With Airbus anxious to launch He achieved the objectives. The reaction from celle diameter by 9in and lengthened enables more sensitive recognition of any ma. for example. Glare. should transfer ble QWERTY keyboard and cursor con. says Lafontan: “Market feed. but Rosay says extremely strict meet today’s considerably more stringent safety short term” be performed with an EFB protocols will be needed for this. tion – such as performance data – to major advance. dition to accelerometers. c o m 380_integrated. f l i g h t i n t e r n a t i o n a l . in ad. to have more nose” concept for the inner slat the three sideslip detector vanes on the aircraft’s range and more cargo volume. Robert Active load alleviation Lafontan. the na- mainly in active load control. customers were happy with the re- tion. more sensitive team received authority to offer in eter. the planned. dense alloy aluminium lithium than was originally “When designing the A380. to fly a steeper take-off trajectory. is one 150kVA generator per engine. and departure runway. domain. says Lafontan: “We increased the system.” This is achieved through the use of sharper control news. manuals will be in the OIS. to the OIS easily. The sideslip vanes are a ment to comply with the most reducing community noise levels. two on the flight bag (EFB). weights to calculate take-off perform.

says chief ex. it altered the concept Feeder networks For launch operator Singapore of air travel because it carried more Asian airports with expanding A380 op- Airlines (SIA). says Lufthansa’s Schneider. Virgin Atlantic and tions. some. SIA will look to fill 100 more then on Asian routes like Tokyo and long-haul carrier at London Heathrow. managing director of the 140-seat Boeing 707 were the main. and ple. “This is the major reason why we bought the aircraft. vice-president A380 entry wave of routes on which it will operate. slot-constrained. is perhaps the easiest. they will have to Paris as Lufthansa. the “kangaroo route” people over longer distances.” Air France introduce A380s on heavy the aircraft will play a major role in The seating gap between current transatlantic routes. f l i g h t i n t e r n a t i o n a l . “To be honest. their feed role diminishes. “We will grow into markets will cause the biggest upheaval in airline network dynamics for as they grow – we don’t plan to swamp markets and ruin the business there. Although it is the second-largest carrier. whose to make a step-change in the capacity slot constraint problem and will enable carrier will go for 500-550 seats in its they can offer with one airliner. 160. starting in summer 2007. For leading A380 747 almost 40 years ago brought down these A380s up”. stays of the intercontinental fleet.indd 20 21/6/05. Singapore base will be a key market for the marketplace as was predicted by he says. Kuala Lumpur and Singapore the 747. says SIA. technology. with the aircraft of its larger capacity and improved placed on the obvious trunk routes. the DC-8 and crease along routes which are currently David Stroud. for which had been the largest commercial capacity growth without frequency in. At the time.” With seat-km costs advertised at Feeding time 15% better than the 747-400.” says jet airliner. A380 plans differs a lot from carrier to routes. “The A380 will allowing carriers to grow at congested three-class 747 configurations and first operate on New York and Montreal hubs. and about the increasing influ- its A380s. for. London and Singapore-Sydney will demand for air travel at that time. of the CTAIRA consultancy. to Singapore Changi in particular.” Because these carriers usually do not be announced in due course. fleet renewal strategy. the launch of the hubs because they will need to fill all typical 747-400 flight. Also. but with most carriers plan.” says Dr Joachim required to fill A380s on the second of Dubai and it is doing some damage Schneider. 4:27:19 pm . For instance.” A380s. Virgin Atlantic is a perfect exam. the early network planning the per seat-mile operating cost because arrival also “re-energises the hub”. When us to continue growing. and Lufthansa will have an extra Jean-Cyril Spinetta. seats on its A380s compared with its Beijing from summer 2008. the A380 will give operators a significant ad- vantage over competitors with current widebodies. says Stroud. mainly because of the pent-up ence of low-cost carriers in the region. “Our Gatwick-based 747-400s Boeing’s 375-seat 747-100 entered serv. But the erations have to start thinking harder between Australia and Europe via its extra capacity did not radically change about developing their feeder networks. chief executive of slots to serve its network. more seats on offer. We think it will be absolutely critical for any major carrier to have that tool available.” Airbus has long contended that fight harder for the traffic to fill it. many will be ketplace with the introduction of the The aircraft “creates pressure on these selling about 30% more seats than a A380. interline.” says Tarry.” But for now. Routes apart from Singapore. it isn’t a gargan- years. “The A380 will jump. will all have home-base A380 operators. carriers have the opportunity be a perfect antidote to the Heathrow tuan leap in size.” says Ridgway. It allows some ing to be a price and capacity war. but its customers. particularly in Asia. example on the kangaroo route. But will something similar hap. But it will be a fast-moving game where 20 T H E F L I G H T G R O U P J U N E 2 0 0 5 w w w. ning 490-530 seats in it. NETWORK FOR THE FIRST TIME IN OVER 35 ecutive Steve Ridgway. The bigger another major threat to the Asian hubs.” ice with Pan American World Airways (operations and services) Lt Gen Bey Whatever seat densities airlines go in January 1970.” decades. at routes that have such a high demand to be able to aggregate demand over a Competitive pressure will also ramp that even today they could use more hub.” says it still has less than 3% of the airport’s 747s. But Virgin may have less of a Air France. c o m 380_network. The growth of Dubai as a con- frequency of service on its A380 routes today for the A380. Mark Pilling examines the impact it will make says Schneider. “The natural A380 routes will challenge will be to generate the feed “There are already some big flows out be tackled first. where a jump in size as that from the DC-8 to “It is still premature to say if radical Bangkok. “Because they have up between Frankfurt. UK-based Airport Strategy & Marketing. London and aircraft because of slot or timing restric.” says Chris Tarry necting hub for Europe-Asia traffic is because there is growth to be had. “That is not wise. “The seat-mile costs will be significantly lower with the A380 com- pared to other long-range aircraft. He reckons there will be some “real The A380 does not offer quite such Radical changes hub battles”. “There is go- McDonnell Douglas DC-8 Super 60. changes will take place in the mar. there will be capacity hikes in the in capacity compared to the 250-seat tant to our overall capacity growth and most competitive markets. operators say they will The arrival of the A380 on some of the world’s busiest routes be cautious about adding too much capacity. “We will look “The issue airlines face is they have got Stroud (see box on p22). he which adds it will not change the pen this time? “Some routes are ready adds. it was a huge leap Soo Khiang says: “The A380 is impor. SIA’s senior executive vice-president are already at just over 450 seats.” says into service at Lufthansa.

operators generally regards the aircraft already need additional capacity.” Qantas Airways October 2006 Sydney. Melbourne we see destinations which fit those Etihad Airways 2007 Abu Dhabi London. The transpa. so we will sup- China Southern 2007 Guangzhou n/a plement it in the regional routes where Emirates October 2006 Dubai London. not replacement”. vice-president corporate capacity at a market that is suddenly cific will also see some A380 services. like Korean Air Late 2007 Seoul Los Angeles. We won’t throw Australia and within Asia. New Delhi. we need to drive aircraft. “Perhaps in China. Paris. Germany and down seat-mile costs as yields are not see much of the action. FedEx Express August 2008 Memphis Asia at places where growth is very fast. c o m T H E F L I G H T G R O U P J U N E 2 0 0 5 21 380_network. Paris Shanghai. says Kawin on yields will remain. London Kawin says Thai is not concerned Qatar Airways 2009 Doha London about too many extra seats entering the Singapore Airlines October 2006 Singapore London. rather than as a of surging demand for air travel. says that as well as Europe. Paris. “With A380s will be used on regional routes as fitting into an all-new category the A380 being introduced at a time in Asia. Lufthansa both the airlines operating the aircraft and the consumer. Asawachatroj. f l i g h t i n t e r n a t i o n a l .” she says. Sydney the midnight departure to Europe. product and service development. and night. Munich New York. The aircraft will be “all for ex- expected to recover and the pressure operators extending their services to pansion. New York JFK. but Asia-Europe will clearly to key cities in France. New Delhi aircraft. Bangkok 11am or 10am and come back before Malaysia Airlines 2007 Kuala Lumpur London. the aircraft can leave here at Lufthansa Late 2007 Frankfurt. adding: reticent about where they will use their aircraft mostly on high-density routes “Like all carriers. Singapore. He also UPS 2009 Louisville China says the planned service improvements Virgin Atlantic Spring 2008 London Heathrow/Gatwick New York Kennedy. will use its Ridgway of Virgin agrees. Hong Kong. 4:27:20 pm . Montreal. vice- them into the network. “Our European flights leave at for growth purposes. Coming back here in the Carrier Service entry Main base First destinations morning of the next two days we have Air France April 2007 Paris New York JFK. GARETH BURGESS Key A380 hubs and route networks “We will grow into markets as they grow – we don’t plan to initially on routes which are already growth-constrained through barriers swamp markets and ruin the business there” such as slots and curfews.” says SIA’s Bey. Sydney market because loads are already high Thai Airways Int’l Late 2008 Bangkok London. we are confi- dent that the impact will be positive for Dr Joachim Schneider. because many of the president of Thai’s corporate planning The Asian group of future A380 routes on which the A380 will operate department. which everybody observes everybody else. Our initial A380 orders For the most part. Beijing. Asian carriers are relatively modest and we can take do not appear to be concerned about Regional routes a sensible decision on how to integrate the market becoming flooded with so Sang-ngun Pornpaiboonstid. Thai Airways International. Rome. Melbourne Los Angeles.indd 21 21/6/05. Sydney.” many extra seats. with some the UK. Tokyo the daytime available. over-served. Rome on routes the A380s will use. Some are has six A380s on order. Sydney. Mumbai. on the aircraft and the fact that overall Los Angeles operating costs will be lower should w w w.” Boeing 747-400 replacement. Leaving here at midnight is a good time to be arriving in Europe in Initial A380 destinations the morning.

“Of the As the A380 is equipped with the latest carriers that will use A380s on transpa. If it gets the go- post. and to Paris – all is room for growth in these sectors. slot nomics less rosy than expected. with an average growth catches up. It stresses no final decisions between Australia/New Zealand and service. in 4. “There will be a massive injection of ca- ly high cabin factors.000 and 115. “The fact is that if we Ahmad Fuaad Dahlan says the carrier’s airlines will be using the A380 on deploy it on high-demand sectors.” says Ahmad Fuaad. but the aircraft could be Europe contributes significantly to our customer experience and expectations. beyond its traditional markets. a 16. chief operating officer. the kangaroo route technology and provides better-quality cific routes. Of all the Asian challenges in getting additional slots. it points has seen a big state effort to needed to make Dubai an A380 Emirates is not alone in not so much to particular turn Dubai into the region’s hub. but he believes Emirates is the Chairman Sheik Ahmed the UK and the Indian sub. Kennedy in the USA.” says steal competitors’ non-stop traffic and Southern’s largest passenger aircraft is Ahmad Fuaad.32 billion ringgit ($1. who growth plans in the region as JUMEIRAH INTERNATIONAL phenomenal. we will be able to deploy this aircraft. c o m 380_network. and there The lower operating cost of the A380. which will provide for growth. NETWORK Booming Dubai spurs Emirates A380 optimism When Emirates management is and is less reliant on oil than its attraction of duty-free shop. of passenger poaching. then we are growing the number of available hotel says about 100. on matching capacity to demand to the summer Olympic Games begin on we believe there is a strong economic achieve decent yields and profits is not 8 August 2008. on the ability of carriers to stimulate of the Beijing Olympic Games in 2008 “On routes where we are facing local demand. beds from 45. says that for the 2003/4 financial year increase. It re. “Most of the maintain yields. operated to Los Angeles and New York coffers. we are well positioned in the The worst-case scenario is yields Los Angeles from its Guangzhou base.” in Dubai’s two largest markets. which it uses to carrier.” Kawin adds. f l i g h t i n t e r n a t i o n a l . it is expected to have six prominent commercial centre key routes between Europe runways and a capacity of 120 in the United Arab Emirates and Asia/Australasia. because the other uplifting more passengers at a time to use price and added amenities to future operators have 747-400s.7% rise in GDP last year. A380s it has ordered.” China Southern Airlines could also to March.1 billion). Flanagan says “The growth here is absolutely are ex-patriate workers. ■ 22 T H E F L I G H T G R O U P J U N E 2 0 0 5 w w w.” he says. or short to medium term until demand cently firmed up a deal for five aircraft. graphical advantages. best-positioned carrier there. should still be able to maintain relative.” This suggests services rationale for this addition to the fleet. its geographical at Jebel Ali. He together with the massive capacity key routes from its Seoul Incheon base. – a key Emirates A380 destina- asked where it will put the 43 neighbours. capacity on existing routes”. Li Kun. and the Dubai: “phenomenal growth” million passengers a year. Expect increased levels – and the last in 2010. big ‘new metal’ operators will continue ping up most in size. however. enough hotel rooms. 4:27:24 pm .” he says. bination of the local Dubai a new airport along the coast originally founded as a trading economy. 56% of total revenue. with encouraging traffic falling and the A380’s operating eco- Chief operating officer Li Kun says: growth on our long-haul routes. It is also and Qatar Airways looking to the carrier’s vice-chairman.” good. China Southern will be step. We just can’t get account for most of the traffic a whole are “not sustainable”. The industry’s record as part of our long-haul fleet before the A380’s expected cost advantages.000 ex-patriate faster than anyone. the kangaroo route brought Supply and demand “We are excited to be having the A380 as part of our long. hitting “We are excited to be having the A380 constraints in key destinations and profitability. Korean Air (KAL) is one of the few and to Australia/New Zealand. with “Dubai is a very powerful mag. authorities to consider building next five or six years. it will raise the benchmark on are made. The past decade ping will build the critical mass tion – to North America. main international trading hub. both of which will “If it’s a question of playing Dubai is looking to double be served by A380s. The carrier is also looking spotting the region’s geo- destinations as to Dubai itself. craft are earmarked for European routes pacity. A380 and other operators. “As Malaysia’s national aggregate it at their hubs. we A380s “will provide much-needed extra high-density long-haul routes. “We think this spike in capacity will push yields down in the use its A380s across the Pacific. China Southern Airlines a partner at Mercer Management Consulting. “There is no run- haul fleet before the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing” ning from the eternal: supply and de- mand economics.000 over the Emirates believes a com. the USA as a target. China using existing frequencies. At least 80% of the population looking to fly beyond Australia follow its lead. help attract more passengers and Malaysia Airlines managing director yield erosion. Ahmad Fuaad does expect some it even harder to square this circle. This growth has led Dubai 90.” says Maurice Flanagan. There will be limits the first to be delivered in 2007 – ahead passenger load factor of 70%.” now the Boeing 777. The danger is the A380 will make will be operated from the capital. Flanagan catch-up.” says Blair Pomeroy.indd 22 21/6/05. has always been the most position at the crossroads of ahead. Its six air. bin Saeed al-Maktoum says continent. Dubai is booming and saw with Sheik Ahmed pointing to Abu Dhabi’s Etihad Airways net. long-haul routes. Analysts agree fares will have to fall for carriers to fill A380s. may exert pressure on yields. Dubai. region and.000 to between workers are from the UK.

given the step up Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). London Gatwick is be- agreed at the end of last year. “They have plenty – and 13 others have construction work timeframe and has no plans to follow of money. also being monitored. “The main prob- been finalised. The master which Dupont says would be “fine”. On situation at LAX is now much better. to wait until it has a chance to prepare 24 T H E F L I G H T G R O U P J U N E 2 0 0 5 w w w. There will also be two airport to open in 2009. but as a back-up it early 2007. Dupont believes the agreement on the ground. is also being Incheon. ing looked at after one or two carriers plementation is still awaited. rather slow. it the one hand. Auckland says it is “committed to being A380-capable”. The problems were basically political” report. remote gates at the western end of the monitored now the emirate’s new flag Kuala Lumpur. taxiway and terminal upgrades to become A380-compatible. “What is important is regu- handle a new size of aircraft and more passengers. airports in the first wave to receive is also applying for FAA dispensation to “They will need to adapt one or two A380 services. which will be to Auckland from Dubai in late 2006 or Airbus will begin proving flights to operated by Qantas. 4:04:25 pm . Florida. the extra scale of the A380 is a plan is still awaiting approval by the US Auckland’s international airport is challenge for airports. Virgin Atlantic possible destination and the timing of Angeles International Airport (LAX). says: “We need a real opening date. director of infrastructure. But unlike Auckland. along with Air France. carrier. airports that are experi. has postponed plans to operate A380s development of a new facility is caus- which had been the most notable lag. China. Airlines. hand. says Willy-Pierre Dupont. bringing a Airport operator BAA has asked them Airbus some concern as the A380’s total of seven to nine daily flights. is expected to serve the airport during expressed an interest in flying there.” says Dupont. the first A380 flights. c o m 380_airports. One gates.” The airport surprises. “The International Airport. previously LAX hopes to be able to widen one it had less notice than most other the largest passenger aircraft an airport of its southern runways by November airports that it was to receive the super- could expect to handle.indd 24 21/6/05. is an A380 cus- Narita. Karachi the planning phase. which is building a second of this month. Airbus reports “good progress” at two taxiways to make way for further planning an extensive A380 network five other airports.” The much-delayed airport is now slated throughput increased without any he adds. such as Orlando.” Another one on the Airbus watch list has been the new Bangkok THE ARRIVAL OF THE A380 IS A entry into service inched closer. AIRPORTS Prepare for arrival The A380 will alleviate some capacity issues on the Despite the problems with LAX.” are plenty of those – will see passenger “The problems were basically political. with another one terminal and has plans for a new for the A380 – Guangzhou. There has been handling more A380s are being studied is coming under the spotlight as a some welcome news this year from Los for the master plan. six airports are ready in November 2006. On the other and pollution concerns. Colin Baker reports from London there are plenty of others who will be very happy to have more traffic.” says Dupont. Munich and Tokyo airport served by buses.” says Dupont. Emirates. but Dupont encing capacity problems – and there frastructure and environment at Airbus. Airbus New airport Abu Dhabi. with four still at A380 stands. In its annual better. which is still double-edged sword for airports. Etihad Airways. but it has already forced airports to get ready to master plan means the airport is on the right track. f l i g h t i n t e r n a t i o n a l . As at the airport’s Tom Bradley terminal plans to spend NZ$27 million ($19 mil- lion) over the next three years on run- “The situation at Los Angeles International is now much way. “The planning process is gard in preparing for the A380. Willy-Pierre Dupont. up on a proposal by Airbus to relocate With Etihad’s neighbour. Korean Air and FedEx Express. LAX was one of five airports causing the 2007-2010 timeframe.” he says. more aircraft movements.” under construction. if air- ports have to turn down A380 flights. but could include some A380-compatible gate will be ready lem is limited resources. “However. As a new facility. $11 billion master plan was finally but. will be A380-compatible. 2006 to 60m (200ft) to accommodate jumbo. LAX’s airport’s readiness for the aircraft. in April 2007. This group has not operate on a 46m runway width. director of in. Singapore In Europe. lar dialogue. mainly because in size from the Boeing 747. South Korea. Emirates plans to begin flights During the flight-test programme. although options for into the Indian subcontinent. Hong Kong. to LAX because of concerns over the ing concern. under way to accommodate the giant. resources new airports at Bangkok and Doha be “adequate” for the 2006-2010 are less of an issue. but im. pointing to issues such noise to open in the middle of next year. Two more are being built – the The airport says it thinks this will tomer.

says Gamper. two A380 gates in Terminal 4 by late they will have to fund a third bridge if regulators and the aviation industry 2006/early 2007. 4:04:27 pm . David Gamper. adequate. There will also be Heathrow operator BAA telling carriers forcing airports to adapt. which is very outer main gear wheel span of between the manufacturer to realise that an air important for the airports. “The A key consideration for all A380 big hubs. a key A380 positioning. (6. BAA is making automated system for simultaneous A key matter such as check-in. TIM BROWN A380 airport timing 1st Wave 2006/2007 2nd Wave 2008/2009 Abu Dhabi Amsterdam Auckland Anchorage Bangkok Beijing Dubai Brisbane Frankfurt Chicago O’Hare Hong Kong Doha Kuala Lumpur Indianapolis London Gatwick Jakarta London Heathrow Jeddah Los Angeles Johannesburg Melbourne Karachi Montreal Manchester New York Kennedy Manilia Paris CDG Memphis San Francisco Miami Seoul Incheon Mumbai Singapore Munich Sydney New Delhi Tokyo Narita Osaka Shanghai Toronto Source: Airbus Washington Dulles facilities. enable airports to be certificated for will have the most extensive facilities ing carriers with a high proportion of A380 operations while minimising for the super jumbo. have gone for two airside are mirrored on the landside. with where the A380’s extra size is also June of next year. disruption. added in 1999 – apply- it should be perfectly feasible for ing to airports handling aircraft with Upper deck loading total turnaround time not to exceed wingspans between 65m and 80m and However. Coping with the giant airports is whether to add a third air are going for three bridges. 60m is the prescribed code. San Francisco thinks cation of 45m. Airbus initially cilitation and technical/safety at the contains standards and recommended suggested two bridges to doors on the Airports Council International (ACI).” the airlines is an important issue. Dr airports to for the A380 without major changes. c o m T H E F L I G H T G R O U P J U N E 2 0 0 5 25 380_airports. is opting A380 load of 555 passengers waiting the Code F requirements for wingspan for three bridges. Organisation’s (ICAO) Annex 14 gers during turnaround. as for the 747. the size of areas led airports. However. Dubai. Heathrow A380 operations in May or air bridges. practices for aerodrome reference Code main deck. For the A380. director of fa. who Gamper says airports may need to baseline for airports that were built to will generally be seated in this cabin. This Some airports. super jumbo next year. adapt their departure lounges to take cater for the 747 is the Code E specifi- Airbus insists two bridges will be more passengers. with four gates being it. for all A380 baggage handling should be adequate destination. The International Civil Aviation bridge to smooth the flow of passen. says: how many cilities. have come up with a compromise to Another early A380 airport. says: “Simulation studies show that F operations.700ft2) to accommodate a typical in upgrading older airports to meet Frankfurt Main. as with Boeing 747s.” Dupont 14m and 16m. f l i g h t i n t e r n a t i o n a l . In general. however. entry into service at Lufthansa. The A380 transfer traffic are the most likely capital expenditure and operational airport’s new Terminal 3 will have 23 to go for three bridges because passen. whereas the after their premium passengers. is up and running for the Costs. which bridge to the upper deck (as well as says airlines’ performance levels differ has a wingspan of 79. Meanwhile. Our position is that we cannot to use – although staffing of these desks by built onto what will become Pier 6 afford to raise costs in our business.indd 25 21/6/05. passport control and sure London Heathrow. and is trialling a new to board. with connections to Terminal 3.” he adds. airlines and regulators to w w w. one to each deck. such as Singapore and Dubai. for instance. they want it. and the option of a third it will need to have at least 620m2 The cost and disruption involved bridge is up to the airlines and airports. talks with airlines soon led 90min. gates designed to handle the A380. are a key concern. ger throughput will be a priority.8m – just below one to the maindeck) was the preferred widely in loading and unloading the Code F limit – a runway width of option because carriers wanted to look passengers. Joachim Schneider. and often already lion ($840 million) to make Heathrow “The big question is how to finance air bridges cope with simultaneous 747 operations A380-friendly. vice-president A380 consider is Airports usually have spare check-in fa- BAA has spent a massive £450 mil. as ever. such as San Francisco The problems being faced on the is scheduled to be ready for the first and Heathrow. Dupont says airports that are serv.

was set up to tackle down to national civil aviation tions. would be to pave”. warns Airlines seem fairly confident A380 because of the number of older Gamper. with stabilised turf and netting. been built to handle the super jumbo.” says Schneider at of the A380 at airports currently unable end up using a grass surface extension Lufthansa. Capt Dennis Dolan. seek waivers informal group which includes civil and shoulder width of 75m. ingestion of foreign objects such as taxiway separation.” Common sense “Our fear is that a number of these marginal airports will. the A380 Airport each side to provide an additional 15m number of these marginal airports will. Europe has some of the authorities. There have been some concerns about the risks of an A380 deviating from the centre line of the taxiway. if the ground is strong “We are pretty satisfied with the work Document” which proposes agreed enough to support the occasional pas. an “outer shoulder”. achieved by Airbus together with the lesser requirements for safe operation sage of an aircraft. Sydney. there is likely to be some ings are huge. with airports having to would be for airports to overslab to airports capable of handling what was apply for a “modification of stand.” do not actually meet Code E standards. and one option method followed in 1975 to make by-case basis. “There is a lot of margin relative Airbus and ACI. you are increasing your costs for nothing.indd 26 21/6/05. Compatibility Group (AACG). warns: “Our fear is that a airports. up the so-called “Common Agreement For instance. operate on Code E runways. Many Asian A380 airports have wingspan increase.” says Gamper. airports and indus. to the Annex 14 requirements to allow aviation authorities. only New York JFK has resurface the runway. 4:04:34 pm . “At existing airports. c o m 380_airports. this is the exact choosing to look at the issue on a case. although the taxiway shoulders should be widened to give an overall taxiway and shoulder width of 60m (see graphic). some airports may airport community.” One of the most important AACG despite their non-compliance with The aviation industry has worked recommendations is that Code E Code F. president. The FAA is not a member of AACG. To date. f l i g h t i n t e r n a t i o n a l . with decisions expected to “Thus taxiway-to-taxiway separation Dupont points out there are a be similar to specifications drawn up by only needs to be increased by the A380 number of airports handling 747s that AACG. president with regulators to establish criteria airports should modify the runway of the International Federation of Air for safe A380 operations at Code E shoulder with an extension of 7. Paris CDG. operating larger aircraft. to meet ICAO Code F. Pointing to the high proportion of says. airside challenges posed by the A380. According to AACG. seek waivers to Annex 14 requirements” operations at Code E airports is just common sense.5m on Line Pilots. most severe problems in handling the variation between airports. a 60m width next time they need to then the biggest bird in the sky – the ards”. he says. with implementation A380 operations.” ■ 26 T H E F L I G H T G R O U P J U N E 2 0 0 5 w w w. either Code E or Code F airports. which Airlines can look back to history ICAO is carrying out a review of the Gamper says would be within the ICAO for reassurance. the cost sav- these issues. However. “This may be because in Code E airports.” he says. IFALPA just for the sake of widening. and has not published any guidelines. senior consultant at Frost & Sullivan. pointing to the fact that ICAO has given the all-clear to Code E opera- try representatives. New York JFK and Heathrow airports concluded that deviation for larger aircraft was actually slightly less than that for seek ways to accommodate the A380 received approval for its plans for A380 smaller aircraft. AIRPORTS The extra wheelspan has been less of an issue than wingspan. Meanwhile. this avoids the need for a taxiway width increase above the 23m prescribed for Code E. But pilots fear safety standards could “We designed the A380 to operate on and Gamper says those that aren’t be compromised for financial reasons. Boeing 747. just creeping over the upper Code E limit. In Europe. giving a total runway for commercial reasons. ble airports. But Gamper says “the preference notes: “Interestingly. Frankfurt. But recent studies at Amsterdam. AACG has drawn do not need to be paved. says Gamper. but ACI does not expect pilots take more care because they are insisted the A380 would be able to any major problems with other applica. Johan Orsingher.” says Dupont. given the size of the aircraft. Pointing to the move existing Code F specifications and may guidelines as a means of preventing towards increasing runway width and change them.” he have been liaising with their regulator. stones by engines. airports that will receive the A380 to safe operations. The shoulder extensions that airports will be able to meet the airports. for Airbus insists the move to allow A380 commercial reasons. “If you widen runways Capt Dennis Dolan. Airbus has always operations.

” Airbus showed in its initial ideas for the A380. “Space in an aircraft is novation and ground-breaking design. he adds. chief comfortable. or is a new era in puts the romance of travelling back into the sky. changes 28 T H E F L I G H T G R O U P J U N E 2 0 0 5 w w w. “The Andrew Doyle in Hamburg. more pleasant flight ❝ and SIA are promising something innovative for their real estate. “We executive of Air France. question whether carriers really will ing offices and on the production line be able to do anything different when at Airbus in Toulouse and Hamburg. 500 or more other people will feel just like getting onto a bus.indd 28 21/6/05. creative director at airline you get trapped in a false direction branding and design agency Landor seeing things like bars and swimming Associates. “Because of the sheer size of the aircraft.” says SIA chief this aircraft will offer unprecedented KOREAN AIR executive Chew Choon Seng. promising the more exotic features but not totally mind-blowing.” Boarding an aircraft with cabin comfort approaching? Mark Pilling in London. “The danger would be to just extend the traditional language of current aircraft interior design and scale it up. 4:16:37 pm .” “Our intention is to install more says an Airbus insider. and we are taking full advantage of them.” says Lt-Gen Bey Soo Khiang. both in the draw. CHO YANG HO and our consultants to give free play for example. “If you look at the impression Hard economics generated from the Toulouse mock-ups.” says Jean-Cyril Spinetta.” says Dr Joachim Schneider. spacious relaxation areas than on other Like all A380 customers. senior executive vice-president (opera- tions and services) at SIA. the economic pressure to make money “Emirates is going berserk to make sure with the aircraft is paramount. primarily rests on the balance sheet.” and only on a few of the carriers. vice-president A380 entry into service You will see a few token gestures of in- at Lufthansa. Launch opera.” The sheer size of the A380 means carriers Space race should recognise how different the de- sign challenge is.” Knapp believes what airlines do with their A380s could be pivotal for the future of air travel. Peter Knapp. CABIN IN MY VIEW THE INSIDE STORY OF THE A380 IS With a floor area nearly 50% greater one of the most closely guarded secrets than that of the 747-400 and the ability in the airline business. into a new era of functionality that is operationally based. the A380 is no longer a room – it is now a hall. But some their cabin designs. “Being the first airline in the world to operate the revolutionary aircraft presents excellent opportunities for change and innova- tion. It would be ridiculous to experience were looking for cabin dimensions that imagine we would have swimming enable our creative in-house people pools or gambling tables or showers. says: “Naturally the decision pools. to put in 35% more seats than Boeing’s tors and arch-rivals Singapore Airlines jumbo jet. Designers will be dealing with a small architec- tural project. “It will Airlines are tight-lipped about how they will use the determine whether air transport falls space afforded by the double-deck interior of the A380. “But we must be realistic. comfort with tailored facilities. the A380 offers the largest (SIA) and Emirates are almost paranoid space over its two decks that any airline about the other getting a glimpse of has ever had to play with. The But so far. need to make good use of it. Nicholas Ionides in A380 could become the antithesis of functional transportation. ❝ we put curtains around its aircraft. the talk is of generating a memo- rable passenger experience. Emirates aircraft. It’s so big. c o m 380_cabin. f l i g h t i n t e r n a t i o n a l . most carriers are not cabin interior will be very innovative.” Singapore and Emma Kelly in Perth report Although carriers are giving pre- cious little away about their interior plans. he says. to their imagination. or whether it Will the aircraft literally be an air bus. the most valuable in the world and we but at the end of the day not many.” But he adds: “It’s obvious CHAIRMAN.

Singapore Arlines c480 But how different will the A380 ise would be very interesting. giving business travellers Notes: *All seating is three-class apart from Emirates. There Thai International 500-530 really be? “The aircraft brings new op. The concept of premium flying huge size you can never get away from the fact Carrier Seats will see advances and. The problem new seat designs.” says mindset. Every economy passenger the change to spend leisure time with It is planning three variants of the A380: three-class will get more space. c=circa. there Air France 538 tantly. 1-2in [25-50mm] more width compared in the air. a bar. This is very “That would make a difference. although on spe- communal spaces comes from the some social areas in their A380s. Korean Air n/a flagship. Some. special lounge areas. and presentations. three-class medium-range and two-class 10-abreast seating in economy. cial occasions and press trips. while for leisure passengers.” Qantas 501 important. not only with respect to size spaces but the A380 may offer the space to Lufthansa c550 but also in bringing a new dimension create social situations. would be an extension of the business Virgin Atlantic 500-550 portunities compared to the 747. and is a popular place for business trav. “With colleagues.” to the 747 – that is really something with introducing one to economy customers will feel. you get the beginning of the holiday would be medium-range. Singapore Qantas has already said it will have Airbus mock-ups show features such as Airlines. meeting area or duty-free shop. long-range. MARK WAGNER will be evident throughout the entire The A380’s Knapp at Landor adds: “Although A380 cabin configurations cabin. bars to the business cabin.” Relaxation area would be dealing with the number of The opportunity to provide large Most carriers are likely to introduce people likely to use it.” sengers could go to a bar and social. a range of major new product and casino/gaming area and space for peo.indd 29 21/6/05. Virgin’s business and economy sections. “We are finalising Virgin Atlantic has said it will offer a ellers to congregate at after a meal. have featured bars bars have thronged with people. the romance of air travel will be opportunity will be the opportunity to give choice China Southern n/a enhanced. “The thought that pas.” to create to [economy] passengers. for example. most impor. w w w. n/a=not announced. as “Everyone will try to do something Upper Class bar has six fixed bar stools well as facilities for business meetings there and so will we. Malaysia Airlines c500 in passenger experience. c o m T H E F L I G H T G R O U P J U N E 2 0 0 5 29 380_cabin. Virgin’s space underneath and around the stairs like Virgin Atlantic. its ultra-long-range A340-500s. Qatar Airways c490 more efficient. has a relaxation area on onboard special lounge areas in first. between the main and upper decks. Schneider. Virgin has so far kept its service enhancements that will include ple to exercise and “stretch their legs”. However.” says Schneider. provides the that people are on a tin tube. The aim is not only to be says Knapp. f l i g h t i n t e r n a t i o n a l . 4:16:39 pm . in business class for years.” Today that Emirates 489/517/644* Lufthansa’s Schneider says: “We large choice is restricted to the small private Etihad Airways n/a want to position the A380 to be our communal space afforded by the seat they sit in. too.

we see op. France and about 550 at Lufthansa. for each aisle. or alterna- ticulated design. ent configurations is Emirates. director of Thai’s product develop. three-class leading industrial designers. allowing a comfortable 2-4-2 terns. the first carriers to take A380 technology and the experience of other has not decided whether to have only deliveries next year. possible. such as for the seating. Emirates and optimise the budgets. which keeps moving. ule can be installed at the rear Overhead luggage bins can of the upper deck.” 517-seater. c o m 380_cabin.indd 30 21/6/05. 4:16:46 pm . so that cabins announced by carriers so far is the end of 2008 – more than two years is an advantage of having more time. two-class 644-seater. Thai Airways International. Higgs says that each Every existing A380 deck and a mix of business and year ago. rising to 538 at Air “We are able to wait and see how on its A380 fit-out. manager of Thai’s for a three-class configuration but with the middle of 2007 to firm up cabin corporate product planning depart- far fewer seats than the 555 Airbus plans. medium-range. Thai Airways International use by Thai in 2008. says Higgs. six-abreast business class on However. the twin-aisle de- the upper deck. revenue seating. One or have the front sections for premium 30 T H E F L I G H T G R O U P J U N E 2 0 0 5 w w w. says the airline. The least dense layout so far be closely examined. three-class 489-seater. f l i g h t i n t e r n a t i o n a l . video on demand. are the first articulating bins on 747. portunities to be better than the others. there will be new in-flight entertainment systems “We can wait and see how the first airlines to operate the that are very efficient and can provide better services to passengers. “These Economy class could feature 10-abreast seating on the main deck reducing freight capacity. “By the year 2008. Most are opting after SIA – and it says it will have until Suthi Suthiphan. size carry-on roller-bags. are going to be perfect by the aircraft’s has ordered the A380 in a low-density. or design plans well after their aircraft are nology. internet capability flying and the reaction from paying two years from now we will have much and larger entertainment screens. deck and premium class at the top. be located in the cargo hold. and is in fact 100mm the cabin lining are a choice (4in) wider than the main between “cool” and “warm” deck of the A330/A340 family. things and we can see the reaction of technologies. though customisation is arrangement in economy. says the carrier Qantas. seats. with the rest opt- Germany. deck of the 747”. and a higher-density. which the market. What other airlines do in terms ment. but next year the aircraft are long-range. One of these is more reliable systems that keep passen- Qantas chief executive Geoff Dixon. Thai’s vice- dium-range. “We that on the A340 and Boeing each centre row of four seats. each sized to tively a 12-person module can accommodate three standard. Offered by sign is much wider than that of Airbus as standard options for the 747.” A380 initiate things and we can see the market reaction” Suthi also says seating technology will have improved and be ready for Songsak Namwong. or an ar.” says Higgs. launch. more by the time Thai needs to decide is SIA’s 480 seats. main deck is about the same as insert a double-armrest to split upper deck. The mobile mock-up in terms of its shape and the features a 10-abreast main provision of floor-mounted deck economy section – minus luggage bins for window seat centre overhead bins – and passengers. So we have an advantage. colour shades and two pat. There will be opportunities for Thai to president of corporate product and All eyes are on SIA. airline maintenance people One of the firm details about A380 not take delivery of its first A380s until and investment people happy. the first airlines that operate it initiate when we get our aircraft. Prototypes are already being looked at that promise more comfort at lower weights. “These The only carrier planning differ.” says Higgs. as some future airlines because we will be later. “Airlines can pay for A 13-person crew-rest mod- something else. says Higgs. and there is an extra inch the main deck.” says Songsak Namwong. economy class seating on the main operators will be able to finalise their “We have an advantage from tech. in early April. CABIN Taking a closer look inside the A380’s cabins Airbus unveiled the first dimen. which will gers happy. says in-flight entertainment in describes in its standard catalogue of privacy for premium passengers will particular should have developed much layouts. to optimise the service development. The extra width ity” of airlines are installing cabin mock-up at the Aircraft The ceiling height on the gives airlines the option to first and business class on the Interiors show in Hamburg. “When we talk with still going to have the current types of low-density. A “small major- sionally accurate partial A380 an Airbus. Kawin Asawachatroj. displacing be fixed “super-bins”. a ment department.” the number of seats. It’s a very flexible economy seat will be about customer has opted to install economy upstairs. me.” says passengers is known.” says 1in (25mm) wider than on the 10-abreast economy seating on The upper deck of the A380 senior marketing analyst A380 is “rather like the upper ANDREW DOYLE Corrin Higgs. aircraft to configure. ing to locate first on the main completed detailed design a 747.

The A380 will be our all-new the ultimate travel shuttle will come along eventu- flagship. for long haul Malaysia Airlines (MAS) managing Most carriers are planning three- director Ahmad Fuaad Dahlan says: class A380s in the first wave of “We need to provide a balance between operations.” Creating a fantastic new experience in economy is tough. The choices for premium passengers to select dedicated services.indd 31 21/6/05. especially if premium traffic is experience with latest technology and comforts to offer sucked away to other aircraft. but in the premi- um cabins.” he adds. It will combine prestige with a Chinese market. esting to see what happens in the ence. It is planning state-of-the-art technology. managing director AKBAR AL BAKER embody luxury in upscale elegance. but analysts believe the market expectations for better personal aircraft’s low seat-mile costs may space and legroom in our flagship attract low-cost players interested ❝ aircraft vis-à-vis reaping the benefits in long-haul services. could have an impact on long-haul widebody serv- ices. says: “We are committed to of the A380 a new dimension of service and are re- MARK WAGNER sponding to the needs of our passengers while improving operating efficiency and cost structure. carriers can go further. vice-president of the Unisys R2A consultancy. areas for 700 people.” says the than later. As Tim Clark. Emirates mon front-end facilities and services relaxation president. Gary Chapman. “They will get more privacy that Spacious this aircraft would seat upwards of way. says Ronald Kuhlman. High-density versions of carrier. president of Emirates airport services group Dnata. where clear and functional design offering a carriers could make high-density redefinition in the luxury class theme seating work.” could be a Airline Business: “We would enter a Korean Air (KAL) chairman Cho big feature new dimension of long-haul travel.” that sets new standards in emotion and Emirates is already thinking of functionality as well as in design and high-density A380s. f l i g h t i n t e r n a t i o n a l . is how exclusive they can make the A380 feel for the highest-paying customers. c o m T H E F L I G H T G R O U P J U N E 2 0 0 5 31 380_cabin. “It will be very inter. comfortable cabins throughout the ❝ “I am looking out for people Upscale elegance aircraft putting 650 seats on the A380. said in a recent article in that we are planning. vice-president of the Unisys R2A consultancy. It will be equipped with the ally.” a two-class 644-seat variant for MAS expects all-economy class on shorter-range routes to the Indian the main deck and first and business subcontinent from Dubai. The problem carriers have. The economics of the A380 support our strategy. of UK-based Airport Strategy & CHIEF EXECUTIVE. Ronald Kuhlman. as well as benefit from some com. says Emirates will have showers in the first-class cabin. passengers and the back for economy. And the classes upstairs. As Knapp of Landor says: “How can you feel that exclusive when you are one of 500 people?” ■ w w w. IN MY VIEW “We are already looking at five or six different options and that is not even Low-cost set sufficient – there are still a lot more op- tions that we will look at. “It makes sense that carrier makes no secret that it wants the premium classes are together and the stretched A380 sooner rather are given the upper deck. such as corporate jets or the business-class-only long-range A319 and 737s.” says spacious and a quality of service that will be the golden benchmark of the future.” Yang Ho. 4:16:50 pm . “I would not of lower seat cost per mile given the be surprised if operations like a expected commercial efficiency of the high-density New York to London aircraft.” says “The A380 cabin and seat design will David Stroud. QATAR AIRWAYS modernity of the air travelling experi. which conveys an image of control and Marketing. for example.

indd 32 21/6/05. the tools are in place to ensure it does est airliner. president (operations and serv- Pilling in London service-entry since Concorde lems. A380 – or any other new programme haul fleet engineering and mainte- LUFTHANSA – and senior executives are confident nance at Air France whom Airbus What the If Airbus manages to keep to its planned development Trent 900-powered aircraft is due soon after. The introduction of the A340-600 “It is a stated corporate objective start of a new age of three years ago was Airbus’s final for the A380 to be mature at entry into long-haul flights in a rehearsal ahead of the A380’s arrival service. not happen. rather than undersell A380 customer to take deliv. Max Kingsley-Jones reports from Toulouse Ready IN MY VIEW to fly AIRBUS MAY BE ONLY AT THE beginning of the A380’s flight test LUFTHANSA programme. Qantas. ENTRY INTO SERVICE Everything possible is being done to ensure that when the A380 enters service. technical suppliers to bring to allow for flexibility in the ery. Airbus acknowledges the aircraft is still not delivering satisfacto- gramme. A380 pro- with the most advanced ❝ performance. the A380 into service.” repeat of the A340 experience with the Mhun – the former head of long- CHAIRMAN. of around 480 seats. reliability and supportabil- MAYRHUBER Airbus knows it cannot afford a ity – of the A380. Emirates and Heathrow and Sydney. and for the airlines. f l i g h t i n t e r n a t i o n a l . With its A380s hav- Service entry of its Rolls-Royce “This is to ensure the A380 will ing 30% more seats than the 32 T H E F L I G H T G R O U P J U N E 2 0 0 5 w w w. “Since we announced ices).” it says. Lt Gen Bey Soo Khiang.” says Philippe Mhun. “Part of [A380 chief engineer] Robert Lafontan’s design team has a ry reliability levels and has undergone specific group of six or seven people technology a series of modifications to resolve covering what we call ‘MRS’ – main- WOLFGANG in-service problems. says it intends to fill the programme began. we’ve been working closely aircraft to the maximum from SIA is due to be the first with Airbus and all other the start. it involves gearing ❝ up for operations with the world’s larg. tainability. For the manufacturer. But plans for what The airline does not antici. The first operate in a manner that com- plements the airline’s overall schedule. this means ensuring the A380 exhibits the reliability perform- ance of a mature airliner from day one. in the second half of 2006. and the Nicholas Ionides in Singapore. c o m 380_eis. Airlines (SIA). but the manufacturer and the launch airlines have spent the past four years preparing for the giant’s in- troduction into revenue service.” airlines say to take delivery of their first A380s next year – Singapore be the two extremes of the “kangaroo route” – London SIA intends to equip its A380s with a configuration Report by Colin Baker in Dubai. three airlines are due destinations for SIA’s A380 will safety and service philosophy. 4:23:29 pm . airline’s senior executive vice- Emma Kelly in Perth and Mark should be the most publicised pate major operational prob. it is as reliable as a mature airliner. vice- spacious ambience – and it was not exactly a copybook president customer services. have been under way since the our order of the A380 in 2000. operation.

this means Emirates is a joint launch tomer and the first with Engine will always be able to get the SIA cannot easily fall back on customer with SIA. A380 than a 747. we looked not the development programme.” he says. has set a to get direct maintenance cost [DMC] A380 – says Airbus has set a despatch Charles Champion. step back in time. you CONTINUED OVERLEAF w w w. “If you passengers on and off.” the Boeing fleet for a substi. “For the first time. Flanagan asks of the Qantas group has had need. driving factor as much as the weight set up several fuel test rigs in the UK. AIRBUS recruited last year to redouble its efforts that’s why I’m confident the maturity Airbus tenance costs aspects. and also at the customer services and main. c o m T H E F L I G H T G R O U P J U N E 2 0 0 5 33 380_eis. but Champion. problems is the fuel system. “We don’t see the of its A380 in October. the selection of vendors and risk-shar.” delivery and entry into service many more passengers on an services. ing partners. agement computer software. engine supplier – the GE/P&W 747. despatch guarantees in accordance with the reliability target of 99%. says that as reliability overall DMC target of the A380 that we try to achieve from entry into service. due for certi. well as undertaking more ground test. far as alternate airports go. the “Singapore Airlines has Engine Alliance.” says We have facts and data to substantiate only at the recurring cost aspect. says each business area says Khiang. a new approach was taken to A380 gramme that has continued to give devices specifically to evaluate the in. but is Alliance powerplants. 4:23:39 pm . David Cox. and the airline’s 747-400s. The airline is targeting Pointing out that there are not operations and maintenance new service or aircraft type.” of being an early A380 cus. target of are committed to with our customers. “Maturity and customer was one element of the A380 for which the so-called “aircraft zero”. executive vice. which it will president A380 programme. and this tegration of components and systems. “We zero” and “landing gear zero”. “As potential number of seats.indd 33 21/6/05. expected to trail the Asian car. “It is testing the fuel man- the way the aircraft will behave. all the same Qantas – which like SIA is an tute aircraft should one of its rier with its A380 inauguration things were said about the R-R-powered A380 customer A380s have a technical problem because it chose the “other” entry into service of the Boeing – should also take its first A380 during initial operations.” says Mhun. technical underselling inventory on a year. “These devices reflect properly the and the purchasing cost. And we managed in the customer services area on the is really under control. airline’s executive general never followed the practice of fication on the A380 later next Double-deck loading manager engineering.” he says. “cabin in-service aspects were considered as a Airbus decided to bolster testing. which were not originally planned in way the aircraft behaves in operation. late next year.” and a key part of the effort to achieve ing than ever before to ensure system 99% for the One area of the previous pro- maturity was the decision to create test maturity. f l i g h t i n t e r n a t i o n a l . especially since we don’t Emirates vice-chairman “what’s the panic?” because streams of activity relating to plan to equip our A380s with Maurice Flanagan takes a all Emirates’ A380 airports will the A380 for some time but anything like the maximum relaxed view of the problems have double-deck loading.

” flight critical items.” integrated cockpit-cabin communica- executive vice-president. “Today a good dispatch reli- tomers that all functions might not be ability rate is not enough – the length available from day one. with potentially high commercial haul. A380 operations – high capacity. “This that the airline can plan better 34 T H E F L I G H T G R O U P J U N E 2 0 0 5 w w w. “We are putting in place a level of programme manage- planning maintenance systems. done before. known before. but this is a level of programme ing at specifics.” he says. c o m 380_eis. Another key area where Airbus beginning with the A350. “Cabin system fail. partly because security Airbus is also looking to address the aspects had to be reviewed after 9/11. f l i g h t i n t e r n a t i o n a l . Cox says Qantas is “abso.” Mhun says a big part of the A380’s says Mhun.” time taken to rectify an in-service says Champion. and how the whole integrated impact to the airline. So for the first time.” engineering. “We have built improved maintainability – and all the in much more despatchability on the experience gained on the A380 will set A380. “Before the airline calls our centre. the datum for all future programmes. final readiness phase. Airbus has several strings to its dancy to enable the release of the bow to improve this area of the A380’s aircraft from a minimum equipment performance that come from the MRS list perspective to be much better than effort. and no substitute aircraft avail- able – we have created our ‘enhanced support’ programme. from Airbus is enabling this issues. dubbed the In-service problems A380 programme NSS/OIS. For example. First destinations manage the aircraft to ensure “We will understand what this lutely on track” with its A380 One of the airline’s first A380 all parts of the airline are ready aircraft can do on a level never planning and happy with destinations will Los Angeles. management that couldn’t ing that in maintenance and most reliable ever…we put the and putting plans in place to have been imagined before. Using its built-in test equipment and sophisticated communications platform. and all parts will work seam. AIRTAC was only in reactive mode. ENTRY INTO SERVICE gauging. Previously. the A380 will be able to relay messages automatically via the airline to the Airbus “AIRTAC” 24h techni- cal AOG centre in Toulouse about any technical problems it is experiencing during the flight.” of a technical delay is also an issue. for example. entry into service will be “the fied to cater for the aircraft. we’ve be available from day one” their development schedule and cus- tomers have been told there is a “matu- applied the exact same methodology to the cabin environment as the one we Charles Champion. Airbus is doubling the staffing of the AIRTAC AOG management team as part of a move to upgrade the support to airlines from “reactive” to a “proac- tive” mode. design focused on increasing redun. says Cox.” CONTINUED FROM PAGE 33 detailed. tions network platform. says Mhun. specification. An example is the A380’s new have for airworthiness systems. with analysis provided by the airline.” says Mhun. “Now each business together on maturity issues. rity risk”. we will already have prepared accurate procedures or recommendations to trouble-shoot or undertake structural repairs.” he says. the expectation on Airbus and they support the aircraft from an The high level of support cell is now looking at software are responding that it will be engineering point of view.” says Cox. namely enhanced support and previous programmes.” he says. adding its progress as it enters the and the airline is working lessly together. “We were late in finalising the In parallel with the reliability effort. hensive than Qantas has ever over the last year this has been A380 customers have worked field and relocating a runway. problem. We’ve introduced formalised. very detailed programme to ment to happen. Qantas believes the A380’s terminal needs to be modi. add. detailed discussions on how the new types into service before has an A380 readiness cell look. 4:23:44 pm . are as critical as “We’ve warned customers system works. spares provision and very mature from day one”. you Champion says Airbus has already can’t depart with some non-operat- that all functions might not identified some systems that are behind ing toilets. says Mhun. has upped the reliability tempo is the “Because of the specific context of cabin. “We’ve warned cus. long ures. closely with the city’s LAX programme is more compre- Because of the way Airbus and airport on three levels – the air.indd 34 21/6/05.

being one of the first. but not chief executive Jean-Cyril it the opportunity to change “There are a lot of differ. Heathrow and Sydney. which was the airline deferred its deliver. c o m T H E F L I G H T G R O U P J U N E 2 0 0 5 35 380_eis. fied and spare parts delivered to the As the date for the launch of rev. Airbus is now into detailed bilateral PRESIDENT. “The teams will be stationed at any up the engineering process to fix the recurrent technical issues. flight within our own organisation programmes. “This will be a great help safe for the mechanics. not without its problems. and some components. months for each new operator. for “It has created a momentum from other entry-into-service be the first European airline to example maintenance. designers to make sure the removal and and can be interrogated automatically installation of equipment is easier and from the air. erator for the A380. for Air France staff will not people from various divisions has avoided being a launch op- rival of the A380. London This will involve a team compris- ing engineers from AIRTAC. different tasks involved: refit. meetings with all next year’s A380 UPS AIRLINES tenance experts challenging the future operators – SIA. we set up a begin before mid-2006. is much greater than for previous air- UPS called “virtual warehouse”. the design Philippe Mhun. Managed by craft – for example.” says Mhun. services. as well as airline representatives vice-president customer than an ‘airline approach’ and these being co-located at the AIRTAC offices. “They are also look.” when you have to make a decision about the repairability of a system at an Fast repairs ❝ outstation. for example in SIA’s case that will initially be Singapore. Airbus. Airbus has set requirements for growth has increased tested during the A380’s route-proving the time to remove and reinstall certain programme early next year. will comprise teams of 12 specialist incorporate a modification is appreci- engineers assigned to support each ated by customers. Air France will ing at the operational side. been sent to the flight test team to Once the aircraft is in service. the first training sessions The airline has over 100 this was partly why the airline “To prepare for the ar. Internal processes over 40 different departments. JOHN aircraft. Emirates and Qantas.” says Mhun. despatchability on the A380” A380 station. Airbus monitor any potential problems. So we’ve bridges and runways – being its first A380s in 2007. away.” says Dr Joachim Lufthansa was an early opera- have been Virgin Atlantic. To guard against a potential technical He says most of the new functions problem significantly delaying an A380 of the enhanced support plan will be flight. says Mhun. with customer service engineers having able as long as is required”. vice-president A380 tor of the A340-600. The “MRS” effort has involved “main.” says Schneider. introduce the A380. air Lufthansa is also due to receive so almost every part of the mature as it can be. but Spinetta says that with serv.” w w w. Spinetta. ice entry still almost two years entry into service at Lufthansa. have the flexibility to have them avail. says Mhun.” says Air France the arrival of the giant gives the aircraft’s introduction. wants to avoid the problems of past “Any issues being raised as part of programmes. ■ and have all the tools in place. when repetitive faults flight testing could be qualified as a took too long to be fixed. maintainability of the A380’s design… Mhun says the technical assistance to make the maintenance processes Airbus will provide for service-entry easier and more efficient”. a raft of internal processes. “but we The process is already under way.” technical issues. ences that set this aircraft apart In April 2007. to let it get as ting airports – terminals. determine the cause of Mhun says he expects the teams to the problem and implement the fix. “It is wiser project team to define all the The A380 team is working with for an aircraft that is different.” of that solution Once the problem has been identi. and ies by 18 months last year. working on the programme. has created a so. f l i g h t i n t e r n a t i o n a l .” for change. like the A380. and says company will be touched by got the best compromise from the major one. the first. office and the “poor performing ven- “We are taking a ‘base approach’ rather dors”.” says Mhun. Meanwhile. going to experience with the A380. this is a database that can pro.” be in place for between three and six says Mhun.” says Mhun. together with “The size and weight of components IN MY VIEW airlines and vendors. 4:23:46 pm . “We want to be sure that our need for larger trials are also being undertaken with launch operator Singapore Airlines on they can be replaced within the two- to-three-hour turnaround time we are aircraft and the super jumbo is part ❝ its A340-500 fleet.indd 35 21/6/05. BEYSTEHNER repair is achieved as quickly as possible. It should and ground operations. each air generation AIRTAC. “We’ve learnt potential in-service problem and from earlier programmes that reducing would require a fix before service the time needed to fix a problem and entry. A380 programme resources will be shared at each station “They will identify any recurrent by whoever operates there. Schneider. Airbus has also ensured the enue services looms on the horizon. so we aim to speed “We have built in much more launch operator. system unit in the wing root weighs vide information on the availability of 400kg – and we had to work with the spares for the A380 around the world.

three for light overhaul – and insiders believe more giving the MRO companies breathing management maintenance. Bob Lunn. the of all A380 sales to date. company. with high investment in spares and in- means it is highly likely there will be tie-ups between maintenance. line maintenance checks.” next year. He is confident Emirates will have the look at third-party business.” says Gary Chapman.” business in December. the prospects are strong for joint ventures repair and overhaul players. A380 maintenance. Airbus is keen to guide its customers airline arms of several of the world’s Frankfurt Given the airline’s insistence that it with the MRO aspects of the aircraft.” says Emirates man. customers with the maintenance the airline’s current orderbook for 45 of president of Emirates sister company manual and tooling recommendations. A380 programme. key MRO players already have the air. Emirates management makes clear. and Singapore Airlines – and some for overnight each of the hangars is designed to says Philippe Mhun. space to finalise their strategies. adding that the carrier is not interval is six years for intermediate The site’s new offices will open for currently looking at joint ventures for check and 12 years for heavy check.indd 36 21/6/05. seeking third-party work. 4:26:47 pm . The complex will comprise eight ago. largest A380 maintenance facility in always be secondary to the core needs tenance programme and provided the world – not surprising given that of Emirates. will house up will eventually operate the proposed and will eventually incorporate it into craft – Air France. catering for its own fleet rather than required will see “only major players” ager engineering facilities. vice-president have given a glimpse of their plans for checks handle the larger variant. “We are further advanced of the Emirates fleet. 2006. Mhun says the size of the aircraft nance facility to match the scale of the however. The hangar at painting. repair Kelly in Perth and Max Kingsley-Jones in Toulouse and overhaul (MRO) companies. but it will Airbus has set up the A380 main. The 110m x customer services. so the investment than most people. Emirates. the aircraft represents almost one-third Dnata. 105m (360ft x 344ft) hangars will have “We are waiting for some of our MRO a footprint of 11. frastructure to maintain the giant. At least one tie-up has been an- nounced – the partnership between Air France Industries (AFI) and Lufthansa So the first A380 major checks are Lufthansa’s A380 hangars – four dedicated to heavy Technik (LHT) on A380 component not likely to begin until around 2012. f l i g h t i n t e r n a t i o n a l . created a year 10 years typically for the A340. with line main. MRO network. “We will participate. Emirates will have a mainte. the Dubai airport services “In terms of heavy maintenance. that given the rapid growth means most players will have to build super jumbo. Lufthansa to four A380s -900 stretched version of the A380. This compares to five and tenance expected to begin in January The AFI/LHT tie-up.000ft2) partners to build A380 experience for Dubai centrepiece with two mezzanine levels and craning them to be on board our future A380 By the time the A380 enters service late systems made of three moving bridges. and one reserved for are on the cards. its top priority is new facilities. its recently launched MRO Network. says Mhun. report Colin Baker in Dubai. MAINTENANCE & SUPPORT LUFTHANSA TECHNIK THE A380’S OPERATOR BASE AND fleet size will remain relatively limited Joint effort The huge investment required to support the A380 in service during its early years in service and. Emma among leading maintenance. will “provide an economical 36 T H E F L I G H T G R O U P J U N E 2 0 0 5 w w w.500m2 (124. c o m 380_maintenance. A380 MRO.

2007. CHIEF EXECUTIVE. the alliance clash because the former Henningsen says LHT will be in a The airline is now looking at the is a Oneworld member and the latter position to undertake A380 mainte. LHT has already broken ground nance needs and has opened prelimi. this aircraft differently and more inno. The airline is known Late last year. From a line maintenance point of Although the need for an A380 vatively than any other aircraft. It is a relatively government/corporate A380 conver. Cox declines to be nance at its Hamburg headquarters. The inventory needed to operate the A380 component pool will believe the highly competitive labour costs offered by an Asia-based main- of the A380 will put pressure on ❝ be purchased by the partnership and re. A the aircraft. The airline go to the board shortly.” view. “The A380 is a massive programme programme’s vice-president shelf we have used laser. in time for the first aircraft. several European potential clients. support and logistics materials and produc. tumble of airline service anticipate a “much better Mhun says that the which will pool their existing through the use of new behaviour of the aircraft in replacement of rivets with maintenance. to have explored a possible engineer.” says Henningsen. Based in Toulouse. in a high-cost region such as Europe. as “the stress spread is requiring extensive work around the customer services. terms of corrosion”. hangar at the airport which will open the Civil Aviation Safety Authority. engineering. confirms it has been in discussions straightforward upgrade. so Further co-operation could also be we are still at the developmental stage ahead. of how we are going to tackle A380 man August Henningsen: “I see the maintenance and support.” ■ w w w. during the rough and of the A380 leads Airbus to protection. components supply. Airbus has conceived the use of carbonfibre and Glare ingression and therefore OEM Services incorporates Diehl A380 to be more durable materials in the structure improves corrosion Avionik System. Philippe welded shells – the stringers improved because is it not world. one of the most notable being the establish- innovatively than any other aircraft” ment of the former Philippines Airlines maintenance facilities in Manila – now David Cox. I would not rule out co-opera. but also ate – such as the removal and refur- cost per seat ratio for all A380 operators worldwide. AHMAD With Lufthansa’s first A380 due Qantas has started to scope out FUAAD DAHLAN to arrive at its Frankfurt-Main hub in training issues for its A380 mainte.” says Cox.” says David ing and maintenance partnership with possibility of a link with other A380 Cox. though.” says Thales vice-president of av- Mhun. “A VIP A380 is going to happen with other A380 customers about pos. he says. welds on large portions of capabilities. holding any “firm discussions” with of the new fleet. tion techniques.” maintenance services. saying only that “we have a mobile extension for one of the hang. sible partnerships to manage the engi. to be available by September. equipment suppliers unveiled plans to join forces to offer a new product- focused maintenance support service New materials toughen up the A380 devised specifically to meet require- ments of the A380. says the “For the aircraft’s lower the fuselage reduces fatigue. existing hangar converted to do line sooner or later. few irons in the fire” and partnerships ars capable of handling an A380 is due “We have a clear intention to support should be finalised “pretty soon”. MALAYSIA AIRLINES on a four-bay A380 line maintenance nary talks with Australia’s regulator. “In the next six months specific.” Thales Avionics and Zodiac In-Services. maintenance plus some additional although he adds LHT is not currently neering and maintenance requirements minor works. tenance centre will make it hard to 747 operations sponsibility for management and repair justify carrying out most heavy checks split 50/50 between the two players. which between them have an A380 heavy check is likely to gener- placed orders for 25 aircraft. f l i g h t i n t e r n a t i o n a l . 4:26:53 pm . technical operations and customer Singapore Airlines – despite tion with one or a number of parties. The long maintenance rather than riveted – which out to all the stringer/skin “We have gone for a joint venture interval and the increased minimises the water weldings”. details of how to structure support for a Star affiliate. Qantas LHT Philippines – as the specialist for A330/A340 heavy checks. says LHT executive board chair. When Qantas introduced the ment of its base at Sydney Kingsford ing. it had a partnership with Smith airport jet base and a proposal need to provide a covered A380 facility United Airlines and a similar approach for capital to do the upgrade work will because of the potential demand for a is expected with the A380. with one sion. c o m T H E F L I G H T G R O U P J U N E 2 0 0 5 37 380_maintenance. Qantas executive general manager fellow Rolls-Royce Trent-powered A380 players. because the price would be prohibitive for a standalone business. “We have a clear intention to support LHT has been pursuing a strategy IN MY VIEW of creating centres of excellence for KEVIN PHILLIPS this aircraft differently and more various sectors of its business. Mark Barclay. and skin panel are welded just on the rivet but spread ionics services worldwide. the company sees a more urgent Boeing 747. Liebherr Aerospace. not only for the Competitive Asian rates ❝ future A380 fleets of Air France and With the high number of man hours Lufthansa. “We are still 14 months out. we’ll be making decisions.” the bishment of over 500 seats – observers partners say. Qantas has completed the assess- heavy check capability is less press.indd 37 21/6/05.

points out. and that in pursuit of cargo will have such high the nose loader is not available at all loaders. As Richard Carcaillet. – 4. f l i g h t i n t e r n a t i o n a l . CARGO variant – the first 747-400F was not Mass transit delivered until four years after the passenger variant.27m against 3. which shows no sign long-range versions of the passenger ❝ of abating. 14 years after the passenger variant was launched. FEDEX not surprising. Ever since it was first offered in late 2003. with no windows – and an excellent selves to book conversion slots. or the necessary taxiways. which will also have special fuselage panels – stronger than usual. 10 from UPS.” says Carcaillet. is an Add in a wider main deck and a good unknown quantity. making it FRED SMITH Air cargo’s enthusiasm for the 747 is less sensitive to the positioning of dif- CHAIRMAN. but the 747-400SF stretch model are being used for the shot in the arm than Airbus’s jumbo ❝ passenger-to-freighter conversion. five its incumbent rival. And The A380 Freighter faces a tough fight in the cargo market with Airbus has already had 27 orders – 10 from FedEx Express. It was. A380 airlines have been falling over them. famous nose door (although this is The lack of a nose door has also available only on factory-built models. which would need a 590t max- not the A380F or even the proposed imum take-off weight instead of 560t 747 Advanced Freighter or the 777-200 for the current model. 20 airlines took part reports from London in design consultations. They airports. This year’s hot freighter is aircraft. director superior range and economics will win through. Boeing is also offering a 777 also worry about the ease of interlin. consultations. The A380F. Indeed. designed ferent weight pallets. ment is under way at several of them. and ing pallets with their existing 747F no wide cargo door either. industry. IN MY VIEW IF THE A380 FREIGHTER IS GOING Remember too that it is still three and a to be a new paradigm for the air cargo half years to the first freighter delivery. such as the done even better. it is taking a while to catch All this makes me relaxed and optimis- on. c o m 380_cargo. for example. will have no nose door. 4:18:49 pm . but Airbus is confident that its from ILFC and two from Emirates. routes to fill the A380F’s 150t payload. “The top six cargo carriers in the world are all either A380F or A380 passenger customers. “In our dizzy height of 8m above the ground. the prototype A380F is already being built – the metal was cut on 12 April – and test flights will begin in the third quarter of 2007. and its upper deck will require a He also says nose doors are not special high loader that can reach the as vital as Boeing suggests.” the past year or two has been to ask whether his airline has any plans to Stronger structure buy the freighter. been compensated for with an excep- not conversions) and its ability to carry tionally wide main deck cargo door 3m (10ft)-high pallets on its main deck. after Carriers are worried that not all the discussion. “This was always originally as a military transport and a strong point of the 747F. cess. The A380F’s freighter variant grew out The reason is air cargo’s love affair of consideration of future stretch and with the 747F. By contrast. and that there will not be enough On the high-loader question. after all. says Carcaillet. that the nose door does exotic airports freighters tend to fly to have weight/cost implications. but we have has cargo-friendly features.indd 38 21/6/05. Carcaillet says seven manufacturers Set against such concerns is the fact have attended meetings and develop- that the A380F is already a great suc.” fleet. It will carry only proportion of the outsize cargo that 2. sheer and bending capability. freighter.4m on the 747F. the Boeing 747. Production freighters are typically He insists the availability of high load- launched well behind the passenger ers at airports on major routes will not 38 T H E F L I G H T G R O U P J U N E 2 0 0 5 w w w. freighter which has no nose door. in contrast. and the 777 freighter is not due to take to the air until 2008 or 2009. Peter Conway product marketing for the A380 at Airbus. a sure way to get an airline tic that the freighter will be a success cargo manager rolling his eyes in like the passenger variant. The strength- industry could not long-range freighter that Boeing is ened wing and structure of this future have found a better trying to launch. the A380F. airlines accepted.4m-high pallets (like most other needs nose-door loading will fit into freighters).

770km three-deck freighter will take longer to hubs.250km routes between hubs such the upper deck we will use A300 or 767 complete turnaround for the A380F as Cologne and Hong Kong or Osaka containers. long-range planning at UPS Airlines. so it will also benefit The MD-11F can take up to 90t on admits that being able to make the best use of available slots was one factor “I am relaxed and optimistic that the A380 Freighter will that swayed UPS to order the A380. Instead. And But these advantages do not neces- A380F are not worried about high load.000nm) routes. managing sarily apply to conventional cargo op- ers or airport infrastructure. c o m T H E F L I G H T G R O U P J U N E 2 0 0 5 39 380_cargo. leading Boeing to suggest that what excites them is the aircraft’s per.080m3 (38. all this. Both reckon they will deploy the for the 747-400F) matters less to them. he concedes doubling of both payload and cubic particular entry-into-service considera- the 747-400 is 10min quicker. but FedEx use on the MD-11F will fit fine onto With all these improvements. 7. w w w.” he says. and on estimates it will take 91min to do a the 9.400km (4. f l i g h t i n t e r n a t i o n a l . says David Sutton. and Memphis. A380 ing fleets also means they will not have to adjust container sizes to use the A380F. Asian and European extra range (10. director of FedEx’s A380 programme of. Airbus and UPS talk of payloads of 60-70t on the main deck of the A380F. but Airbus is also urging two years. 4:18:50 pm . “The containers we currently other widebody freighters. manager that this loader will be usable for the attractive to these two express carriers. “Apart from – the same time as for the 747-400 con. fice. With a nose door. with 15-20% lower tonne/km costs although the A380F is a good express formance statistics. existing purchasers of the pared with 540m3 for the MD-11.indd 39 21/6/05. This draws a particularly in 2008. director product marketing. AIRBUS/FIXION be a problem. Carcaillet says manufacturers freighters initially across the Pacific. express carriers tend to land and are also planning to make the loader adding Europe a year or so later. capacity – 1. taking three A380Fs There are some special factors at heavy freight. see the super-high tional freighter operators often stop at loaders into upper-deck ones which the A380F as a double-sized replacement upper deck intermediate points to pick up cargo or A380F could carry in its belly. take off at night.” says Roby. three in each of the following work for express operators. vigorous response from Carcaillet.000ft3) com. Scott Roby. however. main deck too. with The A380 Time pressures mean they tend to fly equipment manufacturers to look at a options for 10 more – and UPS.360km against 7. it won’t work for conventional launch customer. and one more in 2011. So the A380F offers a the high loaders. “And remember and range that makes the A380F so much as possible. so the A380’s To counter the charge that a link their US. Container commonality be a success like the passenger variant” The nature of express operators’ exist- Richard Carcaillet. aircraft. so they are keen to longer – so it can take more pallets or It is the combination of payload cut aircraft movements (and noise) as containers at once. for the MD-11 freighters that currently loader counteract imbalances. whereas conven- portable solution to change ordinary takes delivery from 2009-2012.” Certainly. tions for the freighters. Both FedEx – the than the MD-11F. unload. which needs a direct between hubs. Also. erators. there are no other version.

but in 10 best of its exceptional cubic capacity. while putting 25 pallets on the win over conventional cargo carriers is the “wild card” that could affect the upper deck gives a “middle of the road” to the A380F. The situation is no that has commonality of maintenance industry standard 10lb per cubic foot different from when 747 freighters first and crewing with our passenger fleet. new benchmark for discounting” on or the 777F for the same reason. By the time they are space utilisation on the 747-400F. freighters have moved from be. the lessor has ordered five of he says are being studied by some Asian What of other airlines? Carcaillet the aircraft. Not known for its huge freighter with the 8-9lb per cubic foot densities the USA would be good candidates. forwarder Menlo. “Right now the argument This enables the A380F to make the in 2008.indd 40 21/6/05.” as considering the A380F. the only confirmed passenger version in the fleets of major conventional user of the aircraft and airlines could sway the argument for Exceptional capacity due to take delivery soon after FedEx the freighter. but its to replace two 777 routes. be the biggest conventional 777s. density. Ram Menen. “The A380 has meant the 777 and A340 also having passenger version will be rather effect could be even more dra. and 18% better fuel efficiency Management Group in Seattle. “We get our first passenger A380 “If you don’t have 10ft-high pallets. Both has 17 pallets on the upper deck. senior vice. For express operators. but Asia to Europe or Dubai to A380F. day and I am sure the stretch tions.” he said. Carcaillet says its middle and appeared in the early 1970s.” Emirates that is a very important consideration. say possible loading configurations – which high. In fact. portfolio. transpacific hope Boeing will launch its 747-400 on the main deck and 13 on the lower there are other arguments that might routes Advanced Freighter to fill that gap. president cargo at Emirates. CARGO “FedEx and UPS are not just express ageing 747-200F freighters with new carriers any more.” says A380F would be a good freighter. and aircraft. ing supplemental to being core In the short to medium Airbus estimates that with a the cargo capacity might even to our strategy. “Lots of pallets are not 10ft the carrier’s priority was to replace its market demand for them. most pallets on existing UPS will use they see a need for a next-generation Carcaillet says makes it more flexible freighters – including A300s and MD. points out that the problem people may see this as no a 747-400 or A330. week it aimed for. “They are 777 Freighters. senior vice-presi. routes on which to operate an A380F national business where heavy freight with the three to four frequencies a is a factor. “As we go forward. c o m 380_cargo. but about senger A380s. miserly in belly freight capacity. smaller electronic aircraft of the future and the shape of Air France. And if one A380 is used receive three A310 freighters with long-range versions of freighter on the market. Airbus figures say the air. he hopes. project loading pattern. f l i g h t i n t e r n a t i o n a l . admitted the freighter in 2009.” initially on larger capacity than the 747-400F.” he says. Emirates now – and.” he says. A dense configuration 11s – are only 8ft high. 4:19:00 pm . temporary situation. I am confident there will be Carcaillet. matic. the solution bad thing.” Roby confirms this. point. “Engine bigger separation between in the cargo hold. Boudier says this is a key factor at cargo (for example. But he This is also part of Airbus’s answer the icy reception given to the A380F by does not expect that to happen. and there are signs these back to passenger orders. conventional carriers may be cracking.” says Menen. Using the things to come.” lighter density configurations give 31% has not said where it will deploy the ILFC is also optimistic about the more volume than the 747-400F. Boudier also doubted also getting into heavy freight. 40 T H E F L I G H T G R O U P J U N E 2 0 0 5 w w w. its A380Fs freighter with better economics and than the 747F. the this year. to the 3m (10ft)-high pallet question.” he says. “But that could ing to UPS’s recent purchase of freight change in the next decade. “and the Singapore Airlines is also on record A380 will enable us to offer both.” ■ Passenger version’s belly capacity comes up short The A380F may be destined to half the belly capacity of some has six leased 747Fs and will – is not unique to the A380. pallets onto the main deck by putting per tonne than the 747-400F. however. and assuming disappear altogether because But he sees this as only a the A380F is likely to mean a the crew rest area is not put of extra fuel requirements. Marc Boudier. although president John airlines. technology is improving day by cargo and passenger opera- will take eight pallets of cargo. both only” tag is to point to the A380’s three stalwart 747-400F customers. it can have up to 50% more is confident of another freighter Plueger says it has the option to switch volume than the 747-400F. customer this year. the aircraft Ram Menen. more than anyone else because space. favours the 747-400 freighter. limited cargo space. Menen also freighters on rates. executive vice-president in spring 2007 and the first possible you are stuck with relatively poor of Air France Cargo. craft will have 24% lower cash operat. director for consultants Air Cargo a low-density arrangement squeezes 33 ing costs. says Bob Dahl. we will be growing not just in express. At Emirates. This deck. the arrival of 520-seat layout. On longer-range routes. reckons this will create “a years it could easily favour the A380F which could be important in an in. A380F’s future. some cargo That is about the same as his airline is acquiring 43 pas. Dahl says the presence of the A380 one row crosswise. “If we can order a freighter products in more packaging). term. Given that belly cargo is making 10-15t at a typical 10lb will have to face this problem A380 will have more cargo often accused of undercutting per cubic foot density. Better economics but in heavy freight. and even Airbus’s counter to the “express China Airlines and Cargolux. and whether Air France Cargo had enough have purchased these aircraft for inter. “The A380F is the says. but delivered. dent cargo.” he dustry where the trend is for less dense routes it operates. 29 As well as its better cubic capacity.