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A380

December 2 is literally around the corner and Emirates is supposed to take delivery of its first Rolls-Royce powered A380.  But it looks like this might not occur on the date.  News out November 18th suggests that Rolls-Royce has not met its contractual obligations.

Sir Tim Clark, president of Emirates, is not a man to be trifled with.  He has built the airline’s remarkable success on the A380.  He is committed to the aircraft, and it is the cornerstone of the airline’s plans to move pretty much all major traffic flows over Dubai.  At a media meeting in Berlin on the 18th he was unequivocal “We want the engines as prescribed in the contract”.

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Sir Tim gave no details.  But there are apparently technical issues that need fixing.

Rolls-Royce pushed to win Emirates as a customer and secured a deal to power… Continue reading

News this week about Singapore Airlines not renewing the lease on its first A380 has caused a flutter.  The considered opinion is that this is another piece of bad news for the Airbus program.  The Wall Street Journal has this view: “But it is another symbolic hit for the double-deck aircraft, for which Airbus has struggled to find customers after investing about $15 billion to develop.”

The news that Malaysian is also offloading its A380s is seen as bad news. But we believe this is not to be a reflection on the aircraft, but more a case of the airline not having the traffic and ability to exploit the A380.  Back in 2003, Malaysia was pressed for a quid quo pro to allow its seafood products to have unrestricted access to the EU.  While there were no direct links to an A380 order,… Continue reading

During the Farnborough Air Show, Airbus announced a production rate cut for the A380, reducing production to one aircraft per month.  This rate cut reflects the waning backlog for the aircraft, which has yet to emerge as a favorite among airlines, although it is a favorite among passengers.  This rate cut also buys time for Airbus, and leasing company Amedeo, to garner orders for the A380 should demand begin to increase for the type.

Has the A380 program peaked?  We don’t think so and offer this report (buy it here) laying out our thinking.

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Delta Air Lines seems to be ending three routes to Tokyo’s Narita. Since Tokyo is a major market, the changes must be really noteworthy.  Delta’s Japanese hub was created by Northwest Airlines.  Recent changes to the US-Japan bilateral herald important developments.

The US and Japan agreed earlier this year to open Tokyo’s second airport, Haneda, to more US service.  Since Haneda is closer to the city, it is popular with people who want to visit Tokyo, rather than transition to another Asian city.   Delta has already presaged its Asia network changes by building Seattle as a hub.  Delta has said it will stop JFK-Narita this fall and it also plans to stop service between Narita-Osaka and Narita-Bangkok.  Delta is waiting for the DoT ‘s approval for two new routes: MSP and LAX to Haneda.

What do all these network changes mean for Delta?… Continue reading

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