Thursday, September 27, 2007

British Airways UPDATE: Artificial Respiration For The A380

The word's in on the BA order, and it's 12 A380s and 24 B787s.

A vote of confidence in a program that was on life support until now? Fo' sho'.
A vote of no confidence in the A350 I Wanna Be Like MikeLiner? Fo' shizzle.

The real question is will this order save the A380's bacon? That's another story that's yet to be written. The Airbus cheerleaders will have their much needed day in the sun and long life and good health to them.

However, one robin does not make spring as we say here on the prairie. This gets Airbus back to where they were before UPS and Fedex dumped their A380F orders.

All this order means is that the patient didn't die on the way to the hospital.

On the other hand, it's too early to say the clouds are gathering over the B747-8I, but it may well be relegated to the status of a perpetual wallflower. Future orders from the legacy carriers in the US will tell the tale of the B747-8I, but for now, advantage Airbus.

On the other hand, the B747-8F may well have permanently greased the skids under the A380F. The buyers of freight capacity have voted with their dollars. The A380F was always like the Honda Ridgeline-it looks like a truck to people who don't understand transportation logistics, and that appeals to people who don't know anything about trucks and why you buy them.
You buy trucks to haul heavy loads, not to haul feathers.

We've often opined that the B747I program was akin to Kaiser Wilhelm's fleet-not important enough to dominate, but certainly enough to tie up huge resources, annoy the hell out of Airbus, and slurp up some loose orders here and there. Had the B747-8I not been available, it's likely that Lufthansa would have ordered 20 more A380s than they did.
If you're a contrarian thinker as we here are at times, that 747-8I order might have done Airbus some good because it was 20 money losers they didn't have to build, likewise the orders that Fedex and UPS cancelled. Following this line, the BA order puts the A380 back in the crapper for EADS because that's 12 more money losers they have to build before the life support for this turd of a program is discontinued.
As my pal Saj over at the Fleetbuzz Towers informs me, Bloomberg has said that the development costs of the A380 TurkeyLiner have now reached an astounding $18 billion. Fleetbuzz is the bes' li'l ole blog in the UK.
Stop by, look around, sit in the chairs and put your feet up on the coffee table, ole Saj don't mind.

Some might suspect that the deal was done earlier in the year as Ole Swampgas Hisself, John Leahy alluded to the distinct possibility of new customers for the A380. I believe he said "20 orders by the end of the year".

Well. I'll start paying closer attention to him.
No, nevermind. I've got a hammer and a handful of carpet tacks I need to pound into my head. That ought to be more fun.


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