Re: Lufthansa Chair sees no superjumbos

From:         chuanga@iia2.org (H Andrew Chuang)
Date:         25 Jun 1995 17:13:10 GMT
Organization: International Internet Association.
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In article <3sf57t$htt@gsb-crown.stanford.edu>,
Robert Ashcroft <rna@gsb-pound.stanford.edu> wrote:
>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.

He cited that the reason why BA needed superjumbos was because of the
congestion at Heathrow.

>
>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.

When the B747 first came, everyone thought it was too big.  Many US
airlines dumped the B747.  Twenty-five years later,  the B747 is still
too big for the US domestic market, but it's not too big for the
Trans-Pacific and Europe-Asia routes.  The 600-800-seat superjumbo has
only a 50% increase in capacity over the 400-550-seat B747; that's a lot
less than the increase from the B707 to B747 (~250% increase).

Furthermore, take a look at how many one-runway airports there are in
East Asian countries (partly due to lack of land, partly due to lack
of foresight of various governments).  Superjumbos are definitely needed
in the East Asian market.  However, whether there are enough orders
to warrant the aircraft manufacturer(s) to invest US$10-15 billion,
that's another question.  The B747X is, IMHO, a good compromise.

-- 
  H Andrew Chuang   chuanga@iia2.org