Re: Why a new super-jumbo isn't going to be built anytime soon.

From:         Eric Peeters <>
Date:         18 Apr 1997 14:02:54 -0400
Organization: Lufthansa BRU (my opinions, not the airline's)
References:   1
Followups:    1
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On 15 Apr 97 03:22:41 , (matt weber) wrote:

>    Why no new Super-Jumbo?

>6), Will such an aircraft be built? My own suspicion is yes, but in order
>to make it attractive, it is not going to be anytime soon

While I don't disagree with your points, I'm willing to make a long term
bet. Wanna bet the aircraft will be launched well before the end of the
century ? My estimate is it will be formally launched within 2 years.

I understand your scientific objections to the feasibility of such an
aircraft. However, I believe they can all be overcome because I think the
need for such an aircraft is there.

Airbus needs it because it needs to complete its range of aircraft in
order to compete efficiently with Boeing. When an airline needs an
aircraft of the size of the B777 or the A340 and it already operates
B747-400 or it intends to, the order often goes Seattle's way for
commonality reasons. Please note that I said often, because we operate
both the B747 and the A340.

Airlines such as the one I work for (Lufthansa), BA and FedEx have made it
clear they'll need some very large aircraft. I think at least 20 aircraft
could be sold between the three airlines and selling the 20 others
shouldn't be a problem.

Both Boeing and Airbus agree on the need for a very large aircraft some
time in the future. The difference between the two manufacturers lays in
the time scale. Airbus targets a service of entry date of 2003 while
Boeing thinks such an aircraft won't be needed until 2010 because both
manufacturers have different views on the evolution of air travel in
Asia. Boeing says traffic in and from/to Asia will evolve the way it did
in Europe when deregulation came around. More flights between regional
cities, thus by-passing congested hub cities.  Airbus doesn't agree,
claiming deregulation will be much harder to come by in large Asian
countries where the powers that be still like to keep central control over
everything, including air traffic. It adds that no matter how much you
deregulate, skies can only get more crowded over Japan and on routes such
as HGK-TPE. I tend to lean Airbus' way, because deregulation in Europe
didn't lead to an explosion in transatlantic regional to regional flights
or even regional to hub flights. The best example is Germany, where there
is no natural hub, large cities in the country all tend to be almost of
the same size. Still, long haul flights out of Munich or Dusseldor or
Hamburg don't abound. There are a few, granted, but at the same time as
those flights came to life, capacity on trunk line was increased, not
decreased. Beside, many non-stop flights out of non-hub cities have been
cancelled altogether. My estimate is regional flights increased mostly on
domestic flights and short haul flights.  Moreover, I also think
regulation in Asia is not going to be as wide-spread as it was in
Europe. Don't expect countries like China, India or Indonesia to rush to
the table to fully deregulate their air industry, much less sign open
skies agreement. On the whole, major Asian hubs are here to stay for a
while, and larger aircraft will be needed to relieve overcrowding.

None of this is in direct reply to your objections, but I tried to show
both the will and the need for a very large aircraft is there, and will
and need together will overcome technical objections, as they always have
been since man was man.

Now how long it will take is the subject of our bet, isn't it ? :)

Eric Peeters