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Old January 25th, 2005, 09:16 AM   #301
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Does anyone here really expect Emirates to fill all of their A380's with paying passengers? Just simple math shows that 40 aircraft will have 22,000 seats that need filling every day.
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Old January 25th, 2005, 01:46 PM   #302
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No they won't fill them all, if there on charter flights they won't be full. 747s that fly charter flights from London to New York are normally only half full. They have to fly even if theres no one on them because its written in contracts with the airports. My dads bin on 747s that have only had 5 people on them. Its like a bus route you have to run on it or you lose it to another company.
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Old January 25th, 2005, 09:41 PM   #303
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Some aviation agreements stipulate that if you don't use X% of the route rights then another airline can take over. I'm not sure how prevalent these conditions are among different countries. However, many airlines advertise their frequent schedules and stick to them to attract business travelers, since they really need the connectivity and flexible schedules in case they have to hop on a plane and fly somewhere right now.

That being said, a plane doesn't need to be that full to make money. I've read studies where the profit from a full business class is equivalent to filling the entire economy class.
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Old January 25th, 2005, 10:03 PM   #304
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Quote:
As I said. Show us the actual wordings of the agreement. The press releases from the US as well as HK authorities actually say NOTHING about giving HK carriers that right, although it does give American carriers fifth freedom passenger flights out of Hong Kong. It is for this reason, that Cathay Pacific was quoted as saying the deal was tilted in favour of the Americans, as clearly stated in an article above.
You are looking at an outdated document before the Hong Kong authorities reached an agreement with the UK for fifth freedom rights. That's why you don't see the transatlantic route mentioned in the US agreement but it came up following the subsequent UK agreement. You should consult more current files that reflect the current circumstances.

Here is an excerpt of a Financial Times article confirming CX was asking for fifth freedom rights and the Americans are OK with it :

In return Hong Kong is seeking similar fifth freedom rights for Cathay Pacific, its de facto flag carrier, to fly to the US via London's Heathrow airport.

The British government is understood to have backed the deal, but it is expected to run into severe opposition from some other carriers, most significantly BMI British Midland and Singapore Airlines, which have been campaigning in vain for several years to fly on the lucrative transatlantic routes from Heathrow to the US.

The US is willing to accept flights by Cathay, while it is blocking BMI in the absence of a much wider so-called "open skies" deal with the UK or between the European Union and the US.


... and the excerpt from the Hong Kong government's press release

The new package includes fifth-freedom rights for the UK airlines to operate beyond Hong Kong to Sydney and for Hong Kong airlines to operate beyond London to New York.

Yes, fifth freedom rights were included in the package. If CX cannot fly between London and New York, why would all these independent news organizations and government press release talk about it? Why would Hong Kong sign a bilateral air services agreement with the UK when Hong Kong carriers don't get anything in return? Are the press organizations wrong? If CX cannot fly the route, then it has no rights to it, but they won the rights to do so. Clearly that's a contradiction to your opinion.

In fact, if you read the wording carefully, the UK has given HK fifth freedom rights to fly out of Heathrow. This is reflected consistently in the literature - London to New York. So technically, Cathay can fly from Hong Kong, pick up passengers in the UK, and then proceed to New York. That wouldn't be a problem for the Americans, since Hong Kong airlines are given access to New York from Hong Kong. There is just a stopover at London, just like the present routing via Vancouver. You don't need fifth freedom rights to fly into New York from Hong Kong.

Here is a blurb from the AFX newswires about this :
Cathay Pacific wants fifth-freedom rights from London to New York, enabling it to market a trans-Atlantic service in Britain and the United States which could also capture business between London and Vancouver as well as end-to-end traffic between New York and Hong Kong.
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Old January 25th, 2005, 10:09 PM   #305
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Indian airports gear up to welcome super jumbo
Indo-Asian News Service
New Delhi, January 25, 2005|11:34 IST

India's four main airports are gearing up to lay out the welcome mat for the world's biggest passenger plane, the Airbus A380, when it begins flying next year.

The airports in New Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata and Chennai are undergoing a significant makeover to be able to receive the A380 super jumbo, which can carry 555 passengers, by the time it begins commercial operations.

The 80-foot-high twin deck, four-aisle aircraft has a wingspan of 262 feet, which is too large for average airport parking bays.

"The expansion of parking bays and twin aerobridges to cater to the new A 380 have been included in the airport modernisation plan for Mumbai and Delhi," a senior official of the Airports Authority of India said.

The taxiways would be modified to cater to the wider wheelbase of the A380 and fillets would be provided on the turns. Also, parking stands will be provided at all four airports.

A plan worth Rs 1 billion is already in motion to give a facelift to the New Delhi and Mumbai airports, the country's main international gateways. At the same time, the other two, Kolkata and Chennai, were also undergoing adjustments to receive the A380.

"By the time the plane arrives in India, it will be nearly two years. We will be ready by then," said the official.

India's flag carrier Air-India has already evinced interest in the A380 although it is not on the shopping list for now. The A380 is priced at $260 million.

Work has begun on building new parking bays to take in the A380. However, officials say the runways do not have to be modified and are equipped for the landing and take off of the gigantic passenger aircraft.

The A380's large wingspan and advanced mechanism enable it to take off and land in less distance than other aircraft.
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Old January 26th, 2005, 05:04 AM   #306
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Quote:
Originally Posted by andysimo123
No they won't fill them all, if there on charter flights they won't be full. 747s that fly charter flights from London to New York are normally only half full. They have to fly even if theres no one on them because its written in contracts with the airports. My dads bin on 747s that have only had 5 people on them. Its like a bus route you have to run on it or you lose it to another company.
if that is the reality, why doesn't the airline just use a smaller plane but with the same range as 747 (or with the range to go across atlantic at least)??
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Old January 26th, 2005, 01:10 PM   #307
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vincent
if that is the reality, why doesn't the airline just use a smaller plane but with the same range as 747 (or with the range to go across atlantic at least)??
I dont know, you go and ask them that.
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Old January 26th, 2005, 01:20 PM   #308
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vincent
if that is the reality, why doesn't the airline just use a smaller plane but with the same range as 747 (or with the range to go across atlantic at least)??
Probably they dont have any other plane available but a 747.
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Old January 26th, 2005, 05:35 PM   #309
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hkskyline
You are looking at an outdated document before the Hong Kong authorities reached an agreement with the UK for fifth freedom rights. That's why you don't see the transatlantic route mentioned in the US agreement but it came up following the subsequent UK agreement. You should consult more current files that reflect the current circumstances.

Here is an excerpt of a Financial Times article confirming CX was asking for fifth freedom rights and the Americans are OK with it :

In return Hong Kong is seeking similar fifth freedom rights for Cathay Pacific, its de facto flag carrier, to fly to the US via London's Heathrow airport.

The British government is understood to have backed the deal, but it is expected to run into severe opposition from some other carriers, most significantly BMI British Midland and Singapore Airlines, which have been campaigning in vain for several years to fly on the lucrative transatlantic routes from Heathrow to the US.

The US is willing to accept flights by Cathay, while it is blocking BMI in the absence of a much wider so-called "open skies" deal with the UK or between the European Union and the US.


... and the excerpt from the Hong Kong government's press release

The new package includes fifth-freedom rights for the UK airlines to operate beyond Hong Kong to Sydney and for Hong Kong airlines to operate beyond London to New York.

Yes, fifth freedom rights were included in the package. If CX cannot fly between London and New York, why would all these independent news organizations and government press release talk about it? Why would Hong Kong sign a bilateral air services agreement with the UK when Hong Kong carriers don't get anything in return? Are the press organizations wrong? If CX cannot fly the route, then it has no rights to it, but they won the rights to do so. Clearly that's a contradiction to your opinion.

In fact, if you read the wording carefully, the UK has given HK fifth freedom rights to fly out of Heathrow. This is reflected consistently in the literature - London to New York. So technically, Cathay can fly from Hong Kong, pick up passengers in the UK, and then proceed to New York. That wouldn't be a problem for the Americans, since Hong Kong airlines are given access to New York from Hong Kong. There is just a stopover at London, just like the present routing via Vancouver. You don't need fifth freedom rights to fly into New York from Hong Kong.

Here is a blurb from the AFX newswires about this :
Cathay Pacific wants fifth-freedom rights from London to New York, enabling it to market a trans-Atlantic service in Britain and the United States which could also capture business between London and Vancouver as well as end-to-end traffic between New York and Hong Kong.
You drew attention to an "outdated" document to substaintiate your points as well, if you did not realise, and all the more unusual that attempt is, because they simply do not contain the concessions you assume existed.

You argued that HK airlines enjoy fifth freedom rights out of the United States in order to validify the JFK-Heathrow flight route. You based this assumption on the subsequent HK-UK deal which allows Cathay (limited) fifth freedom rights out of Heathrow to the United States. I have been repeatedly pointing out to you, that a bilateral agreement between the UK and the HK government does not offer it rights which have to be accorded by other parties, in this case, the US, and which are not part of this round of talks.

To put it across more directly, does it make sence, that Hk airlines are given fifth freedom rights out of the United States through a negotiation which took place between the HK and UK governments, without the involvement of the US government?

You need fifth freedom rights from the UK government before you can fly from HK to the US via the UK. Similarly, you need fifth freedom rights from the US government to fly from HK to the UK via the US. Take a hard look again and everything you have posted so far. Are there ANY substantive point which says that United States has already given HK airlines fifth freedom rights out of the US to any other destination beyond that country?

I am therefore greatly pleased, when you finally seems to realise that Cathay Pacific does NOT need fifth freedom rights from the US government to launch that route. All it needs from the US government are landing rights at JFK from London (which are also not part of the HK-US deal reached in 2002). That is still not the end of the story thou.

To put it in simple terms, the HK-Heathrow-JFK route will be made possible if all these are met:

1. The UK government grants HK airlines fifth freedom rights out of Heathrow to JFK. This requirement has been met in the above agreement. Seriously, you can relax about this point, because your exhaustive efforts to enforce this one point isnt exactly contested. Rather, the rest of these are:

2. The US government grants HK airlines landing rights at JFK from Heathrow. Has this been granted? It is not just about HK getting landing rights in JFK. There are also limitations based on flights with specific stopover points. Landing rights awarded to a HK-Vancouver-JFK flight does not equate to rights awarded in a HK-London-JFK configuation. They are not as "transferable" as you make it out to be in this particular situation.

Your above article says
Quote:
The US is willing to accept flights by Cathay, while it is blocking BMI in the absence of a much wider so-called "open skies" deal with the UK or between the European Union and the US.
At the same time, of coz, we can also find articles that say:
Quote:
Cathay also needs approval from US aviation authorities to fly to New York via London, which US domestic carriers will probably oppose, said Timothy Ross, an analyst of UBS Warburg in Hong Kong.

Ross questioned whether flying one of the most competitive routes in the world would be profitable for Cathay. "I can't see it as a particular goldmine. If we look where profitability has declined the most in the airlines industry in the past three years, it's business-class traffic across the trans-Atlantic," Ross said.
Why should the US be quoted to be saying they are "willing" to accept Cathay, if they already have landing rights as you say? Similarly, why would another article muse the possibilities of objections to the awarding of those rights?

I call for information which confirms that this right has indeed been awarded since the time the articles above were published.

3. The European Commission approves the intentions of Cathay to fly the transatlantic route. To date, the EC has yet to agree to it. Cathay was fuming when Virgin went ahead with its HK-Sydney route even before EC approval (mainly because it cant do the same thing without the Heathrow landing slots which Virgin isnt gonna give up without a fight as well), and the EC ended up saying they wont oppose that particular route.

4. Cathay manages to acquire landing slots at Heathrow airport in order to launch flights, preferably at favourable timings. Contrary to an assumption made above that this will be "easy," not a single media report pertaining to this puts it across as a simple endeavour. Cathay has yet to attain this too, if we base this on the information in media reports.

Hence, the contant rumblings in telling us that one criteria out of many is fulfilled while glossing over the rest is not exactly overwelmingly convincing that Cathay can launch that flight tomorrow or in the near future until we get more updates about the situation, wont you think so?
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Old January 27th, 2005, 07:24 AM   #310
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China Southern to order five A380s: report

27 Jan 05

(BEIJING) China Southern Airlines will order five A380 planes from Airbus this week, becoming the first Chinese carrier to buy the new giant superjumbo, state media reported yesterday.



Citing a telephone interview with China Southern executive Yang Defeng, the China Daily said the contract would be signed in Paris tomorrow.

Although orders have flooded in for the A380, a twin-deck four-engine plane which can carry some 550 passengers, Airbus's ultimate success is seen as depending on whether it can interest China, one of the world's biggest operators.

It is forecast that China will become the world's second-largest commercial aviation market after the United States within 20 years with a 2,800-strong fleet of planes.

To get there, its airlines will require nearly 2,300 new aircraft by 2023 and will spend some US$183 billion to quadruple their fleets, Airbus rival Boeing said recently.

Mr Yang said the Guangzhou-based airline's purchase 'will have a strategic significance for the development of China Southern'. The planes, however, are not expected to be delivered 'for several years'.

The newspaper gave no financial details but with a catalogue price of between US$263-286 per plane, the deal could be worth up to US$1.4 billion. - AFP
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Old January 27th, 2005, 08:44 AM   #311
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I am not too sure if anyone of you guys have seen this so here goes -




^ Malaysia Airlines A380 livery
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Old January 27th, 2005, 05:18 PM   #312
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If you go on the airbus site and have a search though the A380 explorer bit there are loads of them liveries for the different airlines.
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Old January 29th, 2005, 03:10 PM   #313
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First A380 order by a chinese carrier
From the Airbus site:

CHINA SOUTHERN AIRLINES, CASGC SIGN AGREEMENT WITH AIRBUS FOR THE PURCHASE OF FIVE A380s
JANUARY 28, 2005

China Southern Airlines Company Limited and China Aviation Supplies Imp. & Exp. Group Corporation (CASGC) have signed in Paris a General Terms Agreement (GTA) with Airbus for the purchase of five A380s. This is the first commitment placed by a Chinese carrier for the A380, which herewith becomes the 15th customer for the all new very large Airbus airliner.


“As one of the largest carriers in China, we are pleased to join the list of renown customers for Airbus’ new double-decker. We believe that the A380 will further build our image of reliability, punctuality and efficiency and increase our competitiveness in the global market, ” said Liu Shaoyong, Chairman of China Southern Airlines Company Limited. “We also hope that the acquiring of the A380 will help China become a powerful civil aviation giant.”


“The A380 is the newest and largest airliner ever produced in the world. CASGC has enjoyed an excellent cooperative relationship with Airbus for many years. Through our joint efforts, Airbus can provide modern and economic aviation products to Chinese airlines, while CASGC can offer high quality and value-added services to Chinese airlines, and we are pleased to join the list of renown customers for Airbus’ new double-decker," CASGC Vice President Zhu Yanjun said.


“We are extraordinarily pleased to have received the first commitment for the A380 from China, which marks a significant breakthrough of our business in this important and strategic market,” said Airbus President and CEO Noël Forgeard. “The A380 will effectively accommodate ever growing air travel demand in the dynamic Chinese market, and will be able to provide first-class services to 2008 Olympics in Beijing, 2010 World Expo in Shanghai and 2010 Asian Games in Guangzhou.“


With today’s agreement, Airbus has now 154 orders and commitments from 15 customers for the A380 programme. Built to the latest and most stringent requirements, the world’s first full-length twin-deck aircraft embodies the most advanced technologies, providing unbeatable operating costs, more range, and greater comfort for passengers.


China Southern Airlines currently has 232 large and medium-sized aircraft, operating out of 17 bases on 660 routes. In 2004, the company achieved a turnover of around 40 million passengers, becoming one of the top ten passenger carriers in the world. Among all Chinese airlines, it boasts the largest fleet with the most bases, most extensive domestic networks and highest flight frequencies. Renowned for its excellent passenger services, the airline has won Five-star Diamond Award for flight services and has been honoured as China’s best airline by TTG Asia Magazine.


Cladiv I think it will get more attention in here.
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Old January 30th, 2005, 03:58 AM   #314
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Quote:
The US government grants HK airlines landing rights at JFK from Heathrow. Has this been granted? It is not just about HK getting landing rights in JFK. There are also limitations based on flights with specific stopover points. Landing rights awarded to a HK-Vancouver-JFK flight does not equate to rights awarded in a HK-London-JFK configuation. They are not as "transferable" as you make it out to be in this particular situation.
Are landing rights in the US based on airline or country of origin? The flight from Hong Kong originated in Hong Kong, and it can land according to the US-HK bilateral air services agreement. In fact, Cathay is not flying the HKG-JFK route solely out of Vancouver. There are 2 routes - only 1 of them out of Vancouver.

One of the articles already stated that the Americans have no problems with Cathay flying the Heathrow to JFK route.

Quote:
Cathay also needs approval from US aviation authorities to fly to New York via London, which US domestic carriers will probably oppose, said Timothy Ross, an analyst of UBS Warburg in Hong Kong.
Provide the date and source. There is an inconsistency in this argument, since the US airlines cannot influence Britain in giving fifth freedom rights to Hong Kong carriers. After all, Hong Kong negotiated with the UK, and not the US. SIA and BMI protested the London - New York route as well, but the British still gave the concession to Hong Kong. In fact, complaints are expected.

Quote:
3. The European Commission approves the intentions of Cathay to fly the transatlantic route. To date, the EC has yet to agree to it. Cathay was fuming when Virgin went ahead with its HK-Sydney route even before EC approval (mainly because it cant do the same thing without the Heathrow landing slots which Virgin isnt gonna give up without a fight as well), and the EC ended up saying they wont oppose that particular route.
The bilateral air services agreement is a package deal. If the EC annuls the Cathay part of the deal, then the Virgin package will also fall apart. The deal was structured such that it's all or nothing.

Quote:
4. Cathay manages to acquire landing slots at Heathrow airport in order to launch flights, preferably at favourable timings. Contrary to an assumption made above that this will be "easy," not a single media report pertaining to this puts it across as a simple endeavour. Cathay has yet to attain this too, if we base this on the information in media reports.
Cathay doesn't need additional landing slots at Heathrow since it is using its existing schedule to land at Heathrow from Hong Kong already. That's why it is an easy issue to resolve. Rather, Cathay can use its takeoff time slots to fly out to New York instead of flying back to Hong Kong. An issue may arise if Cathay wants to swap times with another carrier.

In fact, Cathay's ability to fly the LHR-JFK sector is quite a done deal indeed. Given how the UK-HK bilateral air services pact is structured and how Cathay can use its existing operations in New York and London to handle this one additional route, the uncertainties are not really big issues at all.
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Old January 30th, 2005, 05:27 PM   #315
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hkskyline
Are landing rights in the US based on airline or country of origin? The flight from Hong Kong originated in Hong Kong, and it can land according to the US-HK bilateral air services agreement. In fact, Cathay is not flying the HKG-JFK route solely out of Vancouver. There are 2 routes - only 1 of them out of Vancouver.

One of the articles already stated that the Americans have no problems with Cathay flying the Heathrow to JFK route.

Provide the date and source. There is an inconsistency in this argument, since the US airlines cannot influence Britain in giving fifth freedom rights to Hong Kong carriers. After all, Hong Kong negotiated with the UK, and not the US. SIA and BMI protested the London - New York route as well, but the British still gave the concession to Hong Kong. In fact, complaints are expected.
And another article also states that airlines in American are likely to oppose Cathay's flight into JFK via Heathrow. Waging arguments by quoting from news articles is not always the best way to advance the discussion. I am still seaking data from official sources.

There is no inconsistency, because you are not understanding the situation. The US airlines can object the American authorities from granting landing rights. They are not pressurising the British authorities in this case. Also, you appear to be assuming, that all protests issued against aviation deals will be ignored? There is hardly a level of predictability in this regard!
Quote:
Originally Posted by hkskyline
The bilateral air services agreement is a package deal. If the EC annuls the Cathay part of the deal, then the Virgin package will also fall apart. The deal was structured such that it's all or nothing.
And has the EC given Cathay the appriopriate rights to fly that route?
Quote:
Originally Posted by hkskyline
Cathay doesn't need additional landing slots at Heathrow since it is using its existing schedule to land at Heathrow from Hong Kong already. That's why it is an easy issue to resolve. Rather, Cathay can use its takeoff time slots to fly out to New York instead of flying back to Hong Kong. An issue may arise if Cathay wants to swap times with another carrier.
Oh of course it is an easy issue to resolve, if Cathay is willing to fly less often on the London-Hong Kong sector just so that it can share the slots for the London-NYC sector?

Wow. That sounds like such a simple and economically viable option for Cathay, eh?

The very reason why an issue is at hand, is because practically the only option left for Cathay, is to swap landing slots with another carrier, which of coz happens to be a problem because the unwilling party was Virgin Atlantic!
Quote:
Originally Posted by hkskyline
In fact, Cathay's ability to fly the LHR-JFK sector is quite a done deal indeed. Given how the UK-HK bilateral air services pact is structured and how Cathay can use its existing operations in New York and London to handle this one additional route, the uncertainties are not really big issues at all.
Done deal? So, where is the publicity in Cathay's publication? When will the flights be launched? Whats stopping the airline if all four factors above has been fulfilled (when they arent)?
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Old January 30th, 2005, 06:02 PM   #316
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Giant Airbus A380 Creates Extra Decorating Space
By MARK LANDLER
30 January 2005
The New York Times

When European leaders gathered earlier this month in Toulouse, France, to christen the Airbus A380, they gazed reverently at the mammoth fuselage. But there was little for them to see inside, since the plane had yet to be fitted out.

That will change soon, as Airbus installs seats and cabins for Singapore Airlines, the first carrier scheduled to put the aircraft into service, in mid-2006.

Like most airlines, Singapore is keeping its design plans close to the vest. Of all the ways the A380 will change air travel, the look and feel of its cabin may make the strongest impression.

While the new Airbus will have only 35 percent more seats than a standard Boeing 747, it will have 49 percent more floor space. That translates into more room per passenger.

Airbus has dangled tantalizing possibilities about how the carriers could use all that space. Spas, duty-free shops, bars and lounges figure prominently in the marketing pitch, though analysts dismiss many of these visions as commercially unviable flights of fancy.

Still, some carriers seem determined to break new ground in comfort, particularly since the A380 will fly the world's longest routes.

''We want to create the elegance of a cruise liner at 40,000 feet,'' said the managing director of Malaysia Airlines, Ahmad Fuaad Dahlan.

While the Malaysians are seeking elegance, Virgin Atlantic Airways seems eager to create a flying playground. Sir Richard Branson, the founder, said he wanted to equip his A380's with fitness centers, beauty salons, casinos and more double beds in first class.

Promises of high-altitude luxury may run headlong into the economic rationale for the A380, which is its ability to haul 555 or more passengers. Air France said the plane would enable it to trim its number of daily flights between Paris and New York to three, from the current four to six, depending on the day.

That is particularly valuable on long-haul routes between Asia and Europe or Asia and the United States, where, for reasons of the time difference, flights take off and land in narrow time periods.

The plane will also help the carriers squeeze the most out of airports like those in London and Tokyo, which suffer from a dire shortage of landing slots and runways.

Airports will bear the imprint of the A380 in other ways, through investments in wider taxiways, double-deck loading ramps and larger immigration and baggage facilities. For example, Heathrow, which serves London, is spending $842 million to bulk up for its oversize new tenant.

By 2023, Heathrow will have more A380's landing and taking off than any other airport in the world, Airbus says. By 2016, the aircraft could account for one in every eight flights at Heathrow. This could enable nearly 10 million more passengers to fly to and from the airport without an increase in flights.

The Airbus A380 will enter commercial service at Heathrow in the summer of 2006; test flights at the airport are scheduled to begin later this year.

MARK LANDLER
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Old February 1st, 2005, 07:38 PM   #317
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Airbus A380 won't be landing in Atlanta anytime soon
1 February 2005
Associated Press Newswires

ATLANTA (AP) - European airplane maker Airbus may have made the world's largest commercial jet, but it won't soon be touching down at one of the busiest airports in the United States.

Comment : Isn't Atlanta the busiest airport in the world according to ACI's 2003 data?

The Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport is not approved to land the A380, said airport manager Ben DeCosta, and he does not think the market would support the double-decker "superjumbo" jet, which is capable of carrying 500 to 800 passengers.

Also, the airport would need a major overhaul to accommodate the A380, which has an 80-meter (262-foot) wingspan and a tail as tall as a seven-story building, according to the report Monday in The News-Daily of Clayton County, Georgia.

"It would cost millions," DeCosta said.

Taxiways would have to be widened. There would also be the issue of loading hundreds of passengers in the airport's narrow concourse, DeCosta said.

"You've got to load 500 people and you can't do it through one door," he said.

The Atlanta airport is already in the middle of a $6 billion (euro4.6 billion) expansion and would need even more federal money to bring the A380 to Atlanta, airport spokeswoman Felicia Browder said.

Atlanta's airport is a key hub for the southeastern United States and the home airport for Delta Air Lines.

The Orlando International Airport in Florida is approved to land the plane, but also will require about $20 million (euro15 million) in taxiway widenings.

Like airport officials, Boeing -- Airbus' U.S.-based competitor -- also has said many of the world's airports would not be retrofitted to accommodate the plane.

Airbus countered that some 60 major airports world-wide are on course to welcome the superjumbo by 2010.

"Atlanta was never intended to be among them," said Airbus spokeswoman Barbara Kracht.

Airbus said recently it was pressuring some U.S. airports to step up preparations for the A380, but Kracht declined Tuesday to say which ones.

The Atlanta airport's financial outlook is clouded by problems at its main customer carrier, Delta Air Lines, which came close to bankruptcy late last year and reported the industry's worst ever financial performance earlier this month, posting a $2.2 billion (euro1.69 billion) fourth-quarter loss.

Air France, one of Delta's SkyTeam alliance partners, has ordered six A380s but plans to introduce them for flights to Montreal, New York, Beijing and Tokyo.

"For the moment there's no need for Atlanta to equip itself for the A380," said Air France spokesman Jean-Claude Couturier."

Airport officials admit they see possible benefits of the new plane such as increasing fuel efficiency for passengers and cargo.

But for the Atlanta airport, one of the busiest passenger airports in the world, the benefits do not outweigh the cost.

"It's just not the time or the place," Browder said. "That's just the mind of the (airport's) leadership right now."
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Old February 1st, 2005, 10:58 PM   #318
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Air France ordered 10 380's, not 6.

I must say it's really stupic Atlanta not being able to acomodate the 380's, even after the developments that are being made now.
There are certainly many politics involved in this...
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Old February 2nd, 2005, 03:40 AM   #319
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what are these people thinking?? 744 already carry some 400 passengers. A380 just carry about 100 more. Is it really that overwhelming as they have mentioned??
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Old February 3rd, 2005, 11:56 PM   #320
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If they don't waste space on bars, restaurants or whatever, the A380 can carry a lot more. I'm pretty sure the number of people that the planes will carry will ultimately be decided by the airlines, as they factor in the balance of efficiency and availability of facilities and luxuries.

At the extreme end, maybe a low-cost carrier can use all the space for economy-class seats and fill it with somewhere beyond 800 people. I heard that is possible with the A380.
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