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Old April 30th, 2005, 08:01 PM   #1
Nick in Atlanta
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A380 airports: Known and guesstimates

The new double decker Airbus A380 that flew for the first time this week has many airports around the world questioning whether they should spend the money on larger taxiways, main deck and upper deck jetways for each A380 and other costs.

Atlanta's airport manager has said that they will not make any changes to the airport for the A380. Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) will not be ready for Virgin Atlantic's stated desire to fly there from London as soon as they get their first A380. But Munich has already been certified as A380 capable.

Based on the list of orders for the A380 and the purchasing airport's hub, we can make a list of which airports will need to be capable of handling the A380. But, those planes have to fly somewhere and I'd like to know which airports you think will need to be capable of handling the A380.

Airlines with Firm Orders for passenger aircraft and their chief hub, which will have to be A380 capable:

Air France--Paris, France (Charles de Gaulle)
China Southern Airlines--Guangzhou, China
Emirates--Dubai, United Arab Emirates
Etihad Airways--Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates
Korean Airlines--Seoul, Korea (Incheon)
Lufthansa--Frankfurt, Germany
Malaysia Airlines--Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Qantas Airlines--Sydney, Australia
Singapore Airlines-Singapore
Thai Airways International--Bangkok, Thailand
Virgin Atlantic Airways--London, UK (Heathrow)

What I would like to hear from all of you, is where you think these airlines will fly their A380s to. Please list the name of the airline and it's likely A380 destinations.

Example: Qantas--Sydney to Los Angeles (LAX)


**I didn't include Federal Express, UPS and ILFC, because the first two have ordered A380 freighters, which aren't due out until 2008, and ILFC because it is an aircraft leasing company and it's not public knowledge who will be their customers for their passenger A380s.

Last edited by Nick in Atlanta; May 1st, 2005 at 04:57 AM.
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Old April 30th, 2005, 08:17 PM   #2
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I'm pretty sure Amsterdam Schiphol will want to make changes to their airport, for two reasons. One is to keep their top10 airport ranking in the world, and two is so they can facilitate Air France A380's, should they need to. (Schiphol is the hub of KLM, who merged with Air France. I don't know if this will mean that Air France's A380's will use Schiphol as well though)
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Old April 30th, 2005, 08:24 PM   #3
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I've read in February in the Dutch newspapers that Malaysian Airlines will start A380 operations to Amsterdam Schiphol Airport in the end of 2007/the beginning of 2008, while a few months earlier, the Schiphol board stated not to expect any A380 flight to Amsterdam before 2010...

And the fact that our national airline KLM is merged with Air France into Air France/KLM can be another reason for Schiphol Airport to adapt its infrastructure for the A380.

The article said that the newest (fifth) runway, the so called 3800 metres long 'Polderbaan', completed in 2003, is capable of handling A380's. The other four runways and all platforms need adaptions though.
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Old April 30th, 2005, 08:30 PM   #4
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well Qantas is getting 12 of them, so it will probably put them on:
Melbourne-London
Melbourne-Los Angeles
Melbourne-Tokyo/Hong Kong
Sydney-London
Sydney-Los Angeles
Sydney-New York
Sydney-Chicago
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Old May 1st, 2005, 04:28 AM   #5
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Heathrow and Manchester are the only two UK airports that I know of with development programmes to fully accomadate the aircraft.

A recent incorrect press release from the newly opened "Robin Hood" airport in Doncaster said that they were the only ones outside London in the UK capable on runway size (except Manchester has two runways longer than their single runway), but this huge thing is more than that, it's terminal changes, taxi run changes, etc. and only Heathrow and Manchester have these programmes underway.

So, in the UK ATM:

London Heathrow
Manchester

SIA have a direct daily flight out of Manchester for example, Emirates also.
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Old May 1st, 2005, 04:49 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Proud_Melburnian
well Qantas is getting 12 of them, so it will probably put them on:
Melbourne-London
Melbourne-Los Angeles
Melbourne-Tokyo/Hong Kong
Sydney-London
Sydney-Los Angeles
Sydney-New York
Sydney-Chicago
As soon as LAX is A380 ready, I think that Qantas will have at least one or maybe two A380 flights a day between Sydney and LAX. Melbourne will also probably have a daily 380 to LAX too.

The A380 won't be able to make the flight from Australia to London nonstop, as the Boeing 747 can't either right now. Flights from Melbourne and Sydney to London (Heathrow) will have to stop along the way.
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Old May 1st, 2005, 04:53 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WeasteDevil
Heathrow and Manchester are the only two UK airports that I know of with development programmes to fully accomadate the aircraft.

A recent incorrect press release from the newly opened "Robin Hood" airport in Doncaster said that they were the only ones outside London in the UK capable on runway size (except Manchester has two runways longer than their single runway), but this huge thing is more than that, it's terminal changes, taxi run changes, etc. and only Heathrow and Manchester have these programmes underway.

So, in the UK ATM:

London Heathrow
Manchester

SIA have a direct daily flight out of Manchester for example, Emirates also.
Emirates, Malaysia Airlines, Qantas, Singapore, Thai and of course Virgin Atlantic will most likely fly the A380 into London (Heathrow). I don't think Singapore will fly the A380 to Manchester, but Emirates may.
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Old May 1st, 2005, 04:55 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by th0m
I'm pretty sure Amsterdam Schiphol will want to make changes to their airport, for two reasons. One is to keep their top10 airport ranking in the world, and two is so they can facilitate Air France A380's, should they need to. (Schiphol is the hub of KLM, who merged with Air France. I don't know if this will mean that Air France's A380's will use Schiphol as well though)
I'm pretty sure that Air France will keep their A380s flying from Paris(CDG). The most likely airline to fly the A380 into Amsterdam is Emirates from Dubai.
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Old May 1st, 2005, 04:59 AM   #9
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I'm just saying that Heathrow and Manchester are the only two UK airports with progammes underway to support the A380.
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Old May 1st, 2005, 05:00 AM   #10
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Obviously, Manchester will not get them right away, but 6 to 10 years down the line.
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Old May 1st, 2005, 05:04 AM   #11
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Sorry, but your question was which airports would be capable of servicing the A380, and Manchester will be able, whether they come or not.
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Old May 1st, 2005, 05:08 AM   #12
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Toronto's Pearson is A380 ready.
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Old May 1st, 2005, 06:15 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Proud_Melburnian
Sydney-Chicago
That isn't going to happen anytime soon. O'Hare is such a mess right now, I don't think it'll be A380 ready until, at least, 2012.
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Old May 1st, 2005, 06:19 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nick in Atlanta
What I would like to hear from all of you, is where you think these airlines will fly their A380s to. Please list the name of the airline and it's likely A380 destinations.

Example: Qantas--Sydney to Los Angeles (LAX)
Sorry if I wasn't clear enough. What I want to do is try to determine where the airlines I listed, which have orders for the Airbus A380, will want to fly them to. Such as the extremely popular route I listed in the example.

Whether an airport is A380 capable or not is for another thread.
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Old May 1st, 2005, 06:21 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by STR
That isn't going to happen anytime soon. O'Hare is such a mess right now, I don't think it'll be A380 ready until, at least, 2012.
If O'Hare was A380 ready, the only airline and route I can possibly see is Lufthansa from Frankfurt to Chicago.
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Old May 1st, 2005, 06:26 AM   #16
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^That too, though I've seen a few KLM 747's now and again, about as often as I see Lufthansa. Somewhat less frequently are the Air France, British Airways, Alitalia and Qantas 744's.
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Last edited by STR; May 1st, 2005 at 06:32 AM.
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Old May 1st, 2005, 06:41 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by STR
O'Hare is such a mess right now...
Speaking of which, what's the latest on the O'Hare "Modernization" Program STR? Is it going to start soon, has it already started, or is opposition still getting in the way?
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Old May 1st, 2005, 06:52 AM   #18
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It looks like it'll go through. It has powerfull support in Congress, which is forcing the FAA to greenlight it, even though there are a number of potential (minor) saftey issues.

However, there's no way to fund it without boosting the ticket fee so high as to price the airport out of the market. American and United, who where going to foot the original bill, can't pay. So the expansion will get approved and there's money for at least one new runway, but after that is anyones guess.

There has been some earth-moving at the site, but if you'd only notice it if you were familiar with the area. I live only 2 mile west of runway 9R/27L and drive around the airport every so often, so I noticed.
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Old May 1st, 2005, 10:24 AM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nick in Atlanta
Emirates, Malaysia Airlines, Qantas, Singapore, Thai and of course Virgin Atlantic will most likely fly the A380 into London (Heathrow). I don't think Singapore will fly the A380 to Manchester, but Emirates may.
Agreed. The obvious routes which everyone noes SIA will be using is on the Kangaroo route at least from Sydney to Heathrow via Singapore. It mentioned intentions to fly Sydney to LA, until its approved, of coz. Months ago, there has been talk of Singapore-Tokyo-LA. San Francisco was often mentioned early on as well, but remains to be verified.

SIa might also use it for the Singapore-Frankfurt-NYC route, considering it has a solid alliance with Lufthansa.
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Old May 1st, 2005, 02:05 PM   #20
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World's airports weigh risks of big new Airbus A380 could be hard to accommodate
Mark Landler
29 April 2005
International Herald Tribune

FRANKFURT:

Now that the Airbus A380 has taken to the skies on its first test flight, this giant bird needs someplace to land. For Airbus, selling its new super-jumbo jet to the world's airports has been only slightly less strenuous than selling it to the world's airlines.

Representatives of airports in Europe, the United States, and Asia gathered here on Thursday, energized after Wednesday's smooth flight, to discuss how they are getting ready for the A380, which is scheduled to go into service in the middle of next year with Singapore Airlines.

But as the talk at the conference drifted to the costly, unglamorous business of retrofitting gates and reinforcing taxiways, some of the excitement faded. The A380, people here acknowledge, is going to be more of a burden, and a risk, for airports than Airbus likes to suggest.

"What's going to happen when two of these planes arrive at the same time, and dump 1,000 people into immigration and baggage claim?" said John Kasarda, an expert on airports and a professor of business administration at the University of North Carolina.

Preparing for these teeming masses, and buttressing runways for a plane that can weigh 544,000 kilograms, or 1.2 million pounds, on takeoff, is not cheap. It will cost airports an average of $100 million to upgrade their facilities, according to industry studies. Heathrow in London is spending $857 million

For Heathrow, one of the world's most congested airports, that heavy investment might pay off. By 2016, analysts estimate, the A380 could account for one of every eight flights there. That would boost Heathrow's capacity by nearly 10 million people without adding a single new flight.

For airports that will attract only a handful of A380s, however, the arithmetic is more troubling. Atlanta, the world's busiest airport, has already said it does not plan to upgrade for the A380; Chicago's O'Hare has not yet decided. Among American airports, only John F. Kennedy in New York City, Los Angeles, San Francisco and Miami have committed to the plane.

"What happens if you spend $100 million, and your only airline with an A380 flight cancels it?" said Kasarda, who led the conference. Airbus, based in Toulouse, France, brushed aside such worries. "Why would airports not want to adapt? They'll have to adapt," said Richard Carcaillet, the head of product marketing for the A380.

Few people are predicting that major airports will not be ready for the A380. But there may be some close calls. Los Angeles International Airport wants to move one of its four runways several feet to the south to create a taxiway wide enough to be used by A380s after they land. But the plans have been bogged down in litigation, and the authority that runs the airport is not sure it will finish construction before the first flight is expected there, in November 2006. It says it has a backup plan: obtaining approval from the Federal Aviation Administration for the plane to land on one of the other runways.

U.S. airports are also limited by tight budgets and aging facilities. At John F. Kennedy, for example, the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey is spending $130 million to accommodate the A380, reinforcing two bridges that carry planes over highways and shifting the width of a taxiway that rings the terminals. Fraport, the company that owns Frankfurt Airport and organized the conference, did not even mention costs in outlining its plan to build 12 A380 gates in two terminals. It is also building a cavernous maintenance building for Lufthansa's 15 super-jumbos. And Charles de Gaulle in Paris is building a satellite terminal with six A380 gates.

But the Europeans have nothing on the Gulf emirate of Dubai. Its airline, Emirates, ordered 43 A380s, the largest single order. Coming in 2008: a $4.1 billion terminal, with two concourses capable of handling 23 A380s.
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