Monday, April 27, 2015

The Re-purposed Jumbos 747-8i and A380

Boeing has sold 122, 747-8i in both the freight and passenger models. Airbus has sold 317 A-380, or about 62% of the recent super Jumbo market. It was reported recently a 80% load factor is a common indicator of what an airlines can expect. The A-380 can expect it will fill only 80% of its given seats on a given day. The same with the 747-8i. The question becomes who makes the most sense running with 80% loaded on day-to-day. It doesn't matter about bragging rights of who can go the farthest or carry the most passengers. It all becomes duck soup to the stock holders.  Then there is the 777X-9 coming on board which could carry 405 stuffed-in passengers. Its load factor at 80% is 324 passenger on two engines.

Wide Body Promenade:
Likely Scenario Seats Filled= Load Factor
Type Average Seat Configuration Engines 80% 81% 82% 83% 84%
787-8 250 2 200 203 205 208 210
787-9 303 2 242 245 248 251 255
787-10 323 2 258 262 265 268 271
777X-8 350 2 280 284 287 291 294
777X-9 405 2 324 328 332 336 340
747-8i 450 4 360 365 369 374 378
A-380 525 4 420 425 431 436 441
A-350-9 315 2 252 255 258 261 265
A-350-1000 387 2 310 313 317 321 325

1. How many routes exists that can fill the right airplane at least by 80%?
2. How many competitors will dilute the market causing a lower Load factor?

747-8i/F ordered = 122
A-380 ordered = 317

747-8 38 % Market Share; Start Date 2010
A-380 62% Market Share: Start date 2005

More anemic sales of the 747-8's have been sold in the last two  years than  the zero ordered A-380's. Twenty-nine front line orders have been canceled since A-380 program started. The Option book has dwindled back to 28, out of a possible 105 options, made during the program history. Global warming is really affecting the A-380 Glacier. 

Those two key questions plague all airlines and in particularly the super Jumbo Customers. Emirates bet the Oil Farm on the A-380 without noting how many routes could financially sustain flying to those locations. A dwindling ticket base could kill the super Giant. It will take delivery on or about 82 more these monsters. With less high density routes available to support its weight, it is tenuous on its survival. The A-380 will collapse itself before Emirates can reach 140 A-380's delivered. I would expect some more Airbus A-380 cancellations, before it reaches its own profound conclusions of 317 delivered. Only 163 undelivered A-380's remain to be produced , and only 28 Options are on the books that could go away after the next airline board meeting. It looks like an 747-8i scenario. 

Emirates took the baseball adage "build it and they will come", even in a corn field. Yes, there are fans of the A-380 who will always appreciate over a cup of hyperbole, while commenting on it, as well other people do with other aircraft. Queue the Ice water. The smaller 747 Jumbo sales is receding like a Glacier during Global warming. However the Larger A-380 Jumbo is calving off its sales number with cancellations more than new orders for the last few years. Emirates will give into the Global warming as others go more towards the 777X-9 , its more handy in all markets, but it too has seat glut problems as well but not so much.

Survival of the fittest in this Darwinian scenario. Will the big dinosaurs rule like the A-380, or will the Horse change the world once more. Even a wooden horse collapsed the city of Troy thousands of years ago. Emirates, there is still time to survive. Get a flying horse!