Jetrader - May/June 2010 - 18

A Closer Look: Airbus A380
With Richard Carcaillet, A380 Director of Marketing
Interview conducted by Marco Sterk, The Longbow Group, LLC Jetrader: Why did Air France choose Paris CDG - New York JFK as the inaugural flight for the A380, and what significant differences should passengers, especially in coach, expect to experience in their flight with AFR on this route? Richard Carcaillet: Paris CDG - New York JFK is a key route in the Air France network, and they made it their first A380 route— hence the inaugural flight, AF380, two days before starting revenue service. The A380 flight replaces two flights (respectively with an A340-300 and with a 777-200ER) and maintains the same capacity, within a few seats. This frequency consolidation is also what the A380 can do on major routes, with substantial—unheard of, in fact— economic and environmental benefits: ca. 20 percent lower cost per seat for the same capacity offered, and one flight instead of two with much lower fuel burn and CO2 emissions per seat. What immediately strikes the passenger on the A380 is the exceptionally smooth ride and the bright and amazingly quiet cabin—thanks to its bigger windows than on the 747 and to it generating only half the exterior noise while typically carrying 30-40 percent more seats. Seats which, in economy class, are 1.5 inches wider than on the 747, on both main and upper deck; and wider than on most other long-haul aircraft today. What people also find amazing on the A380 are the two spacious, widebody decks—the upper deck is a true widebody cross-section while the main deck is the widest cabin in the sky bar none, 20 inches wider than the legendary, but now venerable, 747. JT: How is the A380 making money for the airlines in the current economic environment? RC: To stick with the Air France example, they have calculated that the CDG-JFK flight replacing two previous flights will save the airline a massive 12 million to 15 million euro per annum. Beyond this particular case, after over two years of commercial service, it is apparent, and widely acknowledged, that the A380 attracts passengers and thus shows remarkably high load factors—all the more notable in the current downturn. Average load factors of over 80 percent and spot checks showing some in the mid-90s attest to its popularity, well after the novelty effect has worn off. So the A380 is very profitable: on one hand reducing unit cost by 25 percent compared to the 747-400, on the other attracting more passengers which leads revenue management systems to achieve a higher average yield over the cabin. In a nutshell, the A380 would allow airlines to discount more at the same profit margin—but they don’t have to. Because the aircraft “fills itself”—also due to their astute marketing and on-board product quality. This is what we and the airlines call “the A380 effect.” JT: Is there already solid evidence that the current fleet of 26 A380s now in service (as of February 28, 2010) with Singapore Airlines (10), Emirates (8), Qantas (6) and Air France (2) is meeting the Airbus promised 15-20 percent operating cost savings over legacy aircraft types such as the 747-400? And how? RC: The A380 burns 20 percent less fuel per seat than the 747-400 and 10 percent less than the 777-300ER. Airline CEOs have been confirming she beats her guarantees in this respect. I won’t quote them here but would refer the interested reader to ATW, April 2009 issue and Australian Aviation, December 2009 issue for what the customers say. It is not all fuel burn either, and COC savings are higher still thanks to the leading-edge technology and diagnostic capability that help substantially reduce maintenance costs: total COC benefit is on the order of 25 percent for the 747-400, over 20 percent for the 777-300ER, and 15 percent for the 747-8I. In short, the A380 delivers. The A3XX promised a lot, and the all-new A380 delivers—on every commitment: passenger appeal, fuel efficiency, low maintenance cost, environmental quality, and

18 The official publication of the International Society of Transport Aircraft Trading


Jetrader - May/June 2010

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Jetrader - May/June 2010

Jetrader - May/June 2010
A Message from the President
Q&A: Steven F. Udvar-Hazy
ISTAT Shines in Orlando
The State of Aviation Finance
A Closer Look: Airbus A380
Cargo Conversion Candidate Aircraft
Emerging Entrants
Help Yourself
Bavarian Splendor
Flying Higher
Aircraft Appraisals
From the ISTAT Foundation Index
Jetrader - May/June 2010 - Jetrader - May/June 2010
Jetrader - May/June 2010 - Cover2
Jetrader - May/June 2010 - A Message from the President
Jetrader - May/June 2010 - 4
Jetrader - May/June 2010 - Contents
Jetrader - May/June 2010 - 6
Jetrader - May/June 2010 - Calendar/News
Jetrader - May/June 2010 - 8
Jetrader - May/June 2010 - Q&A: Steven F. Udvar-Hazy
Jetrader - May/June 2010 - 10
Jetrader - May/June 2010 - 11
Jetrader - May/June 2010 - ISTAT Shines in Orlando
Jetrader - May/June 2010 - 13
Jetrader - May/June 2010 - 14
Jetrader - May/June 2010 - 15
Jetrader - May/June 2010 - The State of Aviation Finance
Jetrader - May/June 2010 - 17
Jetrader - May/June 2010 - A Closer Look: Airbus A380
Jetrader - May/June 2010 - 19
Jetrader - May/June 2010 - Cargo Conversion Candidate Aircraft
Jetrader - May/June 2010 - 21
Jetrader - May/June 2010 - Emerging Entrants
Jetrader - May/June 2010 - 23
Jetrader - May/June 2010 - Help Yourself
Jetrader - May/June 2010 - Bavarian Splendor
Jetrader - May/June 2010 - Flying Higher
Jetrader - May/June 2010 - Aircraft Appraisals
Jetrader - May/June 2010 - 28
Jetrader - May/June 2010 - From the ISTAT Foundation
Jetrader - May/June 2010 - Index
Jetrader - May/June 2010 - Cover3
Jetrader - May/June 2010 - Cover4