Re: Lufthansa Chair sees no superjumbos

From: (Peter J. Coe)
Date:         25 Jun 1995 16:59:13 GMT
Organization: NETCOM On-line Communication Services (408 261-4700 guest)
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rna@gsb-crown.Stanford.EDU (Robert Ashcroft) writes:

>The chairman of Lufthansa says that he expects the airplane industry
>to scrap plans for superjumbos.  Only a few airlines really need the
>thing, whereas the development costs are incredible.

>This is more or less my own view.  Seems to me that by the year 2005,
>the only passenger aircraft that will be flying that is larger than
>a 747-400 is likely to be a 747-400 stretch, up to 700 passengers is
>sardine-can configuration.

Whatever Lufthansa (and others) might say, the demand from the airlines
is certainly there.  My most frequent route is San Francisco - London.
So far I have always flown BA, who at the moment run two 747's a day.

Given that, I would expect them to schedule the planes for the
convenience of the customer, but instead they do it for their own 
benefit, so the two planes leave within 3 hours of each other.  Why 
3 hours?  That's how long the first plane is on the ground.  On a 
number of occasions I have arrived at SFO on the later plane, and had
to wait 10 minutes or so for the earlier plane to depart. We then pull 
into the same gate.  

What does this buy BA?  Single shift of groundcrew I bet.  What does it
get me, but the choice of a 4:00 or 6:30 departure, neither of which come
close to letting me get a full days work in.

If they had the choice I'm sure they would be putting some 800 seater 
on the route and not giving me any choice at all, and BA are not alone
in doubling up on these routes.  UA also has two flights a day on the 
SFO-LHR and LAX LHR routes.

It seems that only AA is sincere in wanting to offer frequency on any
given international route, and they do that by offering smaller aircraft,
not larger.