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Airbus to add winglets to A380 to boost sales - sources


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Fri Jun 16, 2017




Europe's Airbus plans to upgrade its A380 superjumbo with fuel-saving wingtip devices, or winglets, in an effort to boost slow sales of the mammoth jet, two people familiar with the matter said on Friday.

The latest modifications to the world's largest airliner will be announced at next week's Paris Airshow, they said.

Plans for the wing modification were first reported by Reuters in March as part of a programme of efficiency improvements tentatively dubbed A380-plus.

"We have always said the A380 has further efficiency upside potential," an Airbus spokesman said, declining further comment.


(Reporting by Tim Hepher, Editing by Dominique Vidalon)




Postado no Airliner.net, dizem que não é fake. A conferir no Le Bourget.








Estão cobrindo o A380 PLUS.



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The capacity bump combines a variety of manufacturing modifications that Airbus calls, in a feat of marketing speak, "cabin enablers." Some of these techniques are classic moves (adding seats to rows), though Airbus announced other, more novel alterations, like reconfigured stairways, at this week's Aircraft Interiors Expo in Hamburg, Germany. Here's how the company crammed 80 additional seats into the ginormous jet:

  • Airbus moved the stairs at the front of the plane further down the fuselage, and combined the entrance that takes passengers up a level with one that takes crew members down to a private rest area. Airbus also nixed the space-hogging spiral staircase at the back of the plane for a squared-off setup that allows more storage.
    Result: 34 seats (business, premium, and economy), plus room for two more food trolleys to feed the extra masses.
  • Airbus will eighty-six the flight crew's rest area behind the cockpit and combine it with the cabin crew's nap zone on the lower deck.
    Result: Three premium economy seats.
  • Airbus is dusting off an idea it first floated in 2015: putting 11 seats in each economy row, instead of 10. The folks who pay extra for premium economy seats go from eight to nine per row.
    Result: 23 economy seats, 11 premium economy.
  • The planemaker also removed storage areas in the sidewalls of the upper deck to makes room for lie-flat business seats.
    Result: 10 business class seats.

"This new package for our A380 customers is a smart way to meet airline needs while improving the A380 economics with additional revenues and innovating in passenger comfort," Kiran Rao, Airbus' head of strategy and marketing, said in a press release.

New staircase design aside, these changes don't change make the plane bigger or add more overhead bin space or lavatories—which suggests everyone will be less comfortable. Then again, the flying pubic has proven again and again it will suffer virtually every indignity in exchange for a cheaper fare. Just look at the success of proudly frill-free airlines like Spirit and Ryanair.

But even if Airbus isn't making passenger-first changes, the planemaker may have misread the needs of its primary market: airlines.

"There's no demand for planes that can seat 500, or even 450," says aviation analyst Richard Aboulafia. Compounding the problem, Airbus' A350 and Boeing's 787 Dreamliner, both newer jets, offer better fuel efficiency than the A380, which entered service in 2007. (Airlines already seem reluctant to adopt even the original A380. In 2015, Airbus took just four orders for the plane. Two of those orders were canceled. Last year, net sales fell to zero.)

Plus, the Extra 80 scheme does little to draw the business and first-class customers who pay more money and generate more profit for airlines. "You're focused on the back of the plane, where you're not making any money anyway," Aboulafia says.

So, maybe airlines won't go for Airbus' sardine special, and you can settle for chatting with the small village of 500 people sharing your next flight.








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The A380plus will have an increased maximum take-off weight (MTOW) of 578 tonnes providing the flexibility of carrying up to 80 more passengers over today’s range (8,200nm), or flying 300nm further.


8,500nm chega bem perto do 777-8 que terá 8,700nm. O 777-9 fica nos 7,600nm, por enquanto até lançarem o ER.

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Pra quem quer uma aeronave gigante e não tão econômica até que o A380 serve, mas faltou um motor novo nessa história

Acho que pra isso, a Airbus iria gastar tempo e dinheiro, e acho que ela não quer correr o risco de perder grana em algo que ela sabe que pode não dar certo, que são as vendas da aeronave. Então colocou uma "split scimitar" no avião, e bora lá, bora tentar vender rsrs



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Estão tendado garantir as encomendas que ainda falta entregar.


A380plus doesn’t solve the superjumbo’s fundamental issue

The enhancements from Airbus to the A380 are great – cementing the A380 as the lowest seat-mile cost aircraft on the planet when configured densely at current fuel prices. The extra 300nm of range are useful, as they would allow (for example Singapore Airlines) to potentially fly nonstop from Singapore to Los Angeles and San Francisco at a later date. Improved operating economics are always a benefit, particularly for the Middle Eastern customers that have lost their cost edge in the wake of lower fuel prices. In the right set of market conditions, the extra seating would be a boon for Emirates, which could use it to drive even more volume through its Dubai mega hub.

But the reality is that the A380’s problem is not and has never been seat mile economics or capacity. Instead, it is an aircraft that is already too big and thus has a limited year-round mission. As an example, neutral observers often ask why US airlines don’t operate the A380, looking at the cases of multiple daily flights from San Francisco to Tokyo on United or from New York JFK to London Heathrow on American. And it is true that in the summer months, the US airlines could probably fill an A380 or two on each of those routes.

The problem would come in the winter months – the market between the United States and Australia/Africa/Latin America is nowhere near the size of the US-Europe market and the latter two are nowhere near as concentrated as US-Asia. So an A380 that was full and profitable in the summer months would be a half-empty money pit regardless of the destination in the winter months. The fundamental problem for the A380 is that you can’t fill 500+ seats profitably year-round in enough markets. Of the theoretical customers who might want to buy the superjumbo, only Cathay Pacific and Turkish Airlines stand out as being realistic. Neither carrier is looking to grow its long-haul fleet.

A380plus will be useful in shoring up backlog risk

Where the A380plus does have a role to play is in ensuring that the existing backlog of A380 orders is protected. We have previously judged a substantial portion of the A380 backlog as at risk, and one way of staving that off is by convincing existing customers to keep their purchases of the A380 in place. In particular, Emirates has constantly been asking for more payload (the A380plus increases the A380’s maximum take-off weight [MTOW] from 575 tons to 578 tons) and range (the extra 300nm) on the A380, whether through upgrades or a plane with the new engine. The A380plus reduces our perceived risk that Emirates will defer some or all of its backlog of 47 A380s.

Singapore Airlines might end up taking on options for more jets given the extended range (ditto for British Airways), and Qantas could be induced into taking at least a couple of its additional eight superjumbos on order. The A380plus will be less useful for lessor Amedeo, which faces the same problems Airbus does in selling the A380 to new customers. Even so, the A380plus upgrade could help preserve 10-15 orders, which sounds trivial but isn’t in the context of an aircraft with a backlog of just 104 orders.

Rumors abound that Airbus will cut A380 production further to one or even less than one aircraft per month, allowing for Airbus to stretch out A380 production for years. There is no clear milestone that Airbus is targeting like Boeing was with the 747-8. And sustaining a production rate below one aircraft per month will be difficult for a jet that barely broke even at 27 deliveries in 2015 (2.25/month). But if Airbus can do it, along with the A380plus, it could give the European giant enough time to realize its thesis of Asian economic growth and ATC constraints creating a fertile environment for the A380.

If that thesis were to come to fruition (we still view it as unlikely – and believe that the Asian market will instead fragment as regional population centers grow) and the Middle East Big 3 of Emirates, Etihad, and Qatar Airways shake off their recent economic and geopolitical doldrums to resume growth, then there may yet be a case for a re-engined A380neo in the mid-2020s. But a lot has to go right between now and then to enable that outcome. The A380plus is a step in the right direction, but it is not a game changer for Airbus’ troubled superjumbo.


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Pelo preço de um A388, muito provavelmente se compre dois A359 ou dois 789. Vai caber o mesmo número de assentos e com mais espaço pra carga. Mesmo range, mesmas quatro turbinas pra manutenção, mas a diferença está no tanque de combustível. No A388 vão 323mil litros, em cada A359 138mil litros.

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Pelo preço de um A388, muito provavelmente se compre dois A359 ou dois 789. Vai caber o mesmo número de assentos e com mais espaço pra carga. Mesmo range, mesmas quatro turbinas pra manutenção, mas a diferença está no tanque de combustível. No A388 vão 323mil litros, em cada A359 138mil litros.

Por isso que acho mais fácil o futuro ser ponto a ponto e cada vez menor a importância dos hubs.
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