Re: Lufthansa Chair sees no superjumbos

From:         rna@status.Stanford.EDU (Robert Ashcroft)
Date:         25 Jun 1995 17:46:26 -0700
Organization: Stanford University, CA 94305, USA
References:   1 2
Next article
View raw article
  or MIME structure

In article <3sk4l1$jke@kragar.kei.com>,
Peter J. Coe <petercoe@netcom.com> wrote:
>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.

BA is one of the only airlines (the other being SQ) that has expressed a
strong preference.  Unfortunately, by themselves they provide nowhere
near enough demand for it.  Were I a rational airplane maker, I wouldn't
proceed until I had binding commitments from enough carriers to cover the
gigantic costs involved.

I do think BA is going to be mildly screwed if the superjumbo doesn't
proceed.  That is to say that they'll have to shift quarters from LHR
a lot earlier than planned.  It also has implications for the approval
of terminal 5 at LHR, and its size once completed.

Perhaps it's time to buy land around Stansted, with a view to making 
a buttload of money on it in a couple of decades.  It's the only remaining
expandable London airport---Gatwick and Heathrow being close to their
limits already.

RNA