Jetrader - May/June 2010 - 19

of course at the end of the day, superior profitability. JT: There is as of today no U.S.-based airline who has ordered the A380. Which U.S. airline(s) in your opinion would benefit the most from an A380 operation and on which routes? RC: The U.S. market has only had two 747-400 operators: UA and NW (now DL). Many of today’s other majors (AA, CO…) were essentially domestic operators up to deregulation, and so not many today have the international network to sustain a large aircraft. Trans-Atlantic and trans-Pacific major routes certainly can support A380 operations today, and some do already—or will do shortly—with existing Asian, Pacific and European operators. It is clear that U.S. carriers see, or will see, the A380 effect, “from the other side of the fence” on some of the routes they compete on. Fact is, a simple conclusion has already been drawn by the early A380 operators: It takes an A380 to compete with an A380. JT: The financial world is still in a slow recovery mode and many commercial lenders have left the aviation financing market. How are the A380s, which has a current list of more than $300 million, being financed by airlines taking delivery in 2009 and 2010? What financing structures are being used? RC: Despite the recent airline financing challenges, A380 deliveries have been amongst Airbus’ easiest aircraft to finance. The A380’s long-term future and the quality of its customer base makes the aircraft attractive to investors. A380 customers have been able to draw on a variety of financing sources, including those available to other popular commercial aircraft. (See the chart on the right.)

The A380 is particularly popular with the German closed end (KG) funds, which favour long-term assets with good environmental credentials. JT: What is next for the A380 family development? Will the A380 see an Extended Range version within the next five years? Or is the larger stretched A380-900 of stronger interest to the airlines? RC: The “basic” A380-800 (if I may say, considering the largest civil aircraft ever) already offers over 1,000nm more range than the 747-400, and it operates on some of the world’s more challenging long haul routes (LAX-MEL, SIN-LHR). We have studies ongoing to add that little extra range and payload capability, fine-tuning an already great aircraft to make it perfect. As to a stretch of the A380, the -900, this very much remains part of the family plan that was one key component of the A3XX philosophy—one that has helped us get to dominate the market with over 200 orders from 17 customers. An A380 stretch will come. It is in the back of some airlines’ minds, and it will be offered when the market requires even higher capacity aircraft. JT: Is there a possibility of a re-launch of the A380 Freighter version in the next five years, and who do you see as the re-launch customers? RC: Yes, the case remains strong for the A380F which can be considered the casualty, albeit temporarily, of our well-publicized industrialization challenges and resulting delivery delays in 2006-07. We lost our two launch customers, FedEx and UPS, and are sorry for that.

Given the current state (quite a state) of the air cargo industry last year, with 20/20 hindsight some would say this turned out to be a wise decision, but seriously—air cargo will recover. And the step change that the A380F promised to bring is on a par with what the A380 is delivering today in the passenger market; just as the A380 is proving to be the game-changing aircraft we designed it to be, so the A380F will prove to be the game-changing freighter that the two companies at the leading edge of timedefinite air cargo and logistics decided it would be. We definitely want to offer an A380F again—when the time is right. Our recently issued market forecast ( again confirms the substantial opportunity we see for new freighters in the large capacity segment. Technically, we could see at the time of A380F freeze in early 2007 that it was turning out very well indeed, with the full benefit of the A380-800 design and development—namely, it was very, very close to its predicted empty weight, which is key for a freighter.

Jetrader 19

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