Skip to comments.A380: Airbus eyes private buyers
Posted on 05/02/2005 6:48:03 PM PDT by Paleo Conservative
According to sources in the company, an Indian airline has asked for a plane with an all-economy configuration, which means a carrying capacity of 850.
Airbus Industries may have lost to its American rival Boeing in the race to sell its aircraft to Air-India, but the European company is seriously pursuing private airlines in India, pitching the biggest passenger aircraft ever built, the A380.
Senior officials in Airbus Industrie told Deccan Herald that the company is in serious talks with at least one such carrier which may buy the super-jumbo sometime next year.
Refusing to disclose the name of the airline, Mr Nigel Harwood, Airbus Vice-President, Sales (India and South Asia), said: “There are several requests for the A380 worldwide and in India one domestic carrier has expressed interest in purchasing it. It will have an all-economy configuration, which means the aircraft will have 850 seats. It will fly in the domestic sector. We are also working with the Airports Authority of India to prepare Indian airports to receive A380s.”
Mr Harwood’s statement points to the likelihood that the new Indian buyer would be a budget airline, a carrier other than Indian Airlines, Jet Airways and Air Sahara. The budget airlines, apart from Air Deccan, which are likely to take off in the next year include Kingfisher Airlines, SpiceJet, Magic Air, Go Air, Air One and Yamuna Airlines. As of now, Deccan and Kingfisher, which have asked for Airbus aircraft, have not included A380 on their shopping list. SpiceJet has favoured an all-Boeing fleet.
The double-decker A380, which last week successfully completed its initial test flight at Toulouse, its manufacturing base in France, will start commercial flights from 2006 when Singapore Airlines receives the first of the $285-million aircraft. Airbus has 154 orders for the 560 ton plane from leading airlines like Lufthansa, Virgin and Air France; Emirates Air tops the list with an order for 43 aircraft.
Airports gear up
While airports around the world, including Heathrow in London, JFK in New York, Los Angeles, Tokyo, Seoul, Hong Kong, Bangkok, Singapore, Frankfurt, are upgrading to welcome the A380, Indian airports will have to gear up too.
Singapore Airlines is expected to fly A380 to either Mumbai or Delhi late next year, making it mandatory for AAI to upgrade these airports.
AAI Chairman K Ramalingam said in Chennai on Sunday that his organisation would take up work at the four international airports in the metropolitan cities to handle A380 jets.
The A380s need exclusive parking bays, strengthening of taxiing tracks and adequate space for the mighty 79.9 metre wing span. “AAI has received written requests from various foreign carriers, especially those having a large presence at Indian airports, such as Singapore Airlines, Emirates Airlines and Lufthansa,” Mr Ramalingam said.
Also, AAI must take care of what happens inside the terminal: check-in space, baggage handling and security to service up to 850 passengers. For international terminals it will also have to provide space and increase manpower at the customs and immigration counters.
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The only people I see buying something like this are a bunch of rich oil sheiks in the Middle East.
If I were Bill Gates and this was 1998 and I was worth $130 billion, I'd buy one.
As much as I love seeing new planes, I'm not fond of Airbus or their host countries. But I would like to see the new bird!
Sorry, but a plane with 850 Indians on it would stink (literally) to high heaven.
You couldn't pay me to get on that flight, without an oxygen mask.
Airports are upgrading? I hope not with public money.
So, they're going to cram a bunch of people in an A380 in cattle-car mode? This will be interesting to see.
Could it be that Airbus is keeping secret because 1. they are afraid of loosing out to boeing or 2. there is no deal and airbus is trying to save their humiliated face.
I do find it VERY ironic that the people here on FR who predicted this would become a super cramped bus configuration in the end have been proven correct.
Does anyone know what the cost per passenger mile is compared to the dreamliner.
850 people X how many minutes each to get off and on ?
Is the back detachable and does it contain henchmen willing to fight to the death if he should have to make a quick getaway?
Imagine: a 12-hour flight on a plane with 849 other people, it takes you 20 minutes to get off the plane, 10 minutes to get to customs, three hours to get through customs, and two hours searching for your baggage.
it does not end there. 850 people with needs for taxis, rental cars, and parking for people who are there to pick them up.
850 people going onto the surrounding roads and highways.
(not to mention bathroom facilities)
Now add all the other flights comming and going.
i really think the cost per passenger mile will make the final decision.
Absolutely, here's the summary:
In 2003, Paul Allen's 416 ft "Octopus" toppled 408 ft Savarona from its number one position as the world's largest yatch.
Microsoft's "accidental zillionnaire" Paul Allen - worth $20bn according to Forbes, third richest man in America - owns two other yatch monsters and a his latest toy is an investment in the future of space tourism, reaching 62 miles above the earth, SpaceShipOne.
But of Octopus, the vessel cost Allen $200 million and has a permanent crew of 60 people, including several former Navy Seals. It has two helicopters, seven boats and a remote-controlled vehicle for crawling on the ocean floor. Its "James Bond" interior includes a dry dock for a submarine, which has the capacity to sleep eight for up to two weeks under water.
Paul also owns the magnificent Villa Maryland on the Cap Ferrat, allowing him to host parties during the Cannes Film Festival that allow him to associate with Hollywoods most top celebrities.
Octopus's number one place was recently toppled by the new longer yatch commissioned by Oracle Chief Executive Larry Ellisdon. His "Rising Sun" is 12 metres longer ("Mines bigger than yours, nananananaa").
Not for long however, as the Crown Prince of Dubai has ordered a 160m yatch "Platinum" - reference no doubt to his having paid by credit card. With oil reaching $60 a barrel the Crown Prince is going to have to find even more extravagent ways to spend those petrodollars.
And I thought you were kidding. :-)
Imagine 850 passengers waiting at the gate, only to find out their flight has been cancelled. What will the airlines do? It doesn't even make sense to try to move that many people at one time.
"I hope not with public money."
Have you so soon forgotten? All money - yours and mine included - is public money in their perverted minds.
Anybody ever figure the logistical upgrade cost to handle a big plane like that? I don't think one can just drive up to a standard terminal to load/unload one of those monsters.
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