New high capacity airplanes

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October 20th, 2013 at 8:08:46 AM permalink
Pacomartin
Member since: Oct 24, 2012
Threads: 636
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A Russian airline is making plans to put 650 seats on their new A380. A French leisure carrier based in the overseas island territory of Reunion, had ordered an 840-seat version but seems to backing off.

When the 747 made it's first commercial flight in January 1970 there was inevitable fears about putting that many people in a single plane. The first serious accident took 7 years, and it was far worse than anyone could imagine. In 1977 two B747's crashed together on a runway killing 583 people died in a single airline accident. Another 8 years later a single all economy plane crashed with 520 people onboard in Japan.

Since 1985 the death toll from a single accident not related to terrorism or accidental military intervention has remained much lower.

583 03/27/1977 Tenerife, Canary Islands Pan Am / KLM B747 / B747
520 08/12/1985 Mt. Osutaka, Japan Japan Air Lines B747
349 11/12/1996 New Delhi, India Saudi / Kazastan B747 / Il76
346 03/03/1974 Bois d' Ermenonville, France Turkish Airlines DC10
329 06/23/1985 Atlantic Ocean West of Ireland Air India B747
301 08/19/1980 Riyadh, Saudi Arabia Saudi Arabian Airlines L1011

There are currently 259 firm orders by 20 customers for the passenger version the A380-800, but none by US carriers. Korean Air has chosen to put only 407 seats in their A380 which is by far the roomiest configuration.

Current maximum loading in USA airlines
376 passengers Delta: B747-400
374 passengers United: B747-400
296 passengers USAirways: Airbus A330-300 (333)
247 passengers American: B777

Theoretically 660 seats could be put on a Boeing 747-400D in a single economy class, but I don't believe anyone has ever tried to max out this plane.
Do you think that US carriers would be smart to avoid planes with more than 400 seats forever?
October 20th, 2013 at 10:14:56 AM permalink
Fleastiff
Member since: Oct 27, 2012
Threads: 46
Posts: 3795
Depends.
Pilots at the Regional level are now pretty much at McDonald's wages and McDonald's labor clout. Oh sure the airlines keep yapping about pilots salaries and health care costs and pension costs but in reality all the feeder airlines have pilots living near welfare income and eating the free peanuts the passengers toss to them at the end of the flight. Sleep is disrupted, housing is bad and located in cheap areas, etc.

So how much does the airline save by having humungous passenger loads? Feeder airlines just don't carry that many passengers into the hubs. Its the hub to hub flights that are captive passengers at captive prices.

In India pilots licenses are so bad that some have NEVER been in an airplane cockpit or ever flown ANY airliner no matter what their licenses and logbooks read. One pilot tried to land an airliner on its nosewheel, thinking that is how you landed airplanes. Was her first real flight as a pilot despite all the lies in her official papers.

What do you want on the ultra long flights of on and off duty pilots? The Turkish pilot who insisted all junior pilots walk in a long line behind him like ducks? The male pilot who was screaming at a female pilot but this was felt proper even though he stopped paying attention to his flying of the airplane at the time? The French crew that stalled at umpteen thousand feet after leaving South America and all the way down couldn't figure out what to do even though stalls are practices by student pilots in lesson number three?
October 20th, 2013 at 10:31:02 AM permalink
Nareed
Member since: Oct 24, 2012
Threads: 301
Posts: 9766
Quote: Pacomartin
When the 747 made it's first commercial flight in January 1960


1970.

The first customer was Pan-Am.
If Trump where half as smart as he thinks he is, he'd be twice as smart as he really is.
October 20th, 2013 at 11:06:40 AM permalink
Pacomartin
Member since: Oct 24, 2012
Threads: 636
Posts: 7249
Quote: Fleastiff
So how much does the airline save by having humungous passenger loads? Feeder airlines just don't carry that many passengers into the hubs. Its the hub to hub flights that are captive passengers at captive prices.


Will the A380 fly for U.S. airlines? was an article written over two years ago, and it speculated that US carriers were not interested in the plane. Two years later no one has placed an order.

There is even some speculation that the 40 planes with the highest capacity may be retired. It is possible to make high density configurations with a 777, but most of the time it isn't done.

Boeing 747400
United: (24 planes) 374 passengers
Delta: (16 planes) 376 passengers
October 20th, 2013 at 11:33:18 AM permalink
AZDuffman
Member since: Oct 24, 2012
Threads: 95
Posts: 5621
Quote: Pacomartin

Do you think that US carriers would be smart to avoid planes with more than 400 seats forever?


Yes, but not because of accidents. Boeing explained once that they would not meet the A380 because the most efficient way to get that many people place to place was "fly two airplanes."

Boarding and waiting for luggage take far longer. Any mechanical failure affects twice as many people. When the load factor falls easier to cut one flight than fly one at a low load. Asian carriers have higher populations and possible fewer slots so must make the most of them. But in North America the long haul market is just not where it is at.
The man who damns money has obtained it dishonorably; the man who respects it has earned it
October 20th, 2013 at 11:43:16 AM permalink
TheCesspit
Member since: Oct 24, 2012
Threads: 23
Posts: 1888
Quote: Fleastiff
] The French crew that stalled at umpteen thousand feet after leaving South America and all the way down couldn't figure out what to do even though stalls are practices by student pilots in lesson number three?


Have you read the black box transcripts? Very interesting and haunting reading... they didn't realize where the plane was spatially, stuck the nose up and... well, game over.
It is said that your life flashes before your eyes just before you die.... it's called Life
October 20th, 2013 at 5:43:28 PM permalink
s2dbaker
Member since: Oct 24, 2012
Threads: 13
Posts: 241
Quote: Pacomartin
Do you think that US carriers would be smart to avoid planes with more than 400 seats forever?
A little known factoid that I learned from a travel agent manager: If you sell out first class on a flight, then the flight breaks even and the rest is pure profit. I would like to believe that one day, an airline will try the other direction. Enlarge First Class by a couple of rows and make most of the rest of the cabin business class with perhaps 5 to 10 rows of cattle class and then charge a little more for the cattle class seats and upgrade everyone for free if there's room available. Give randomly selected passengers to option to move from business class into first class until first class is full and then fill in the business class seats the same way with pre-purchased cattle class and then stick all the stand-by passengers in what cattle class seats remain.

This has several selling advantages:
1) First class passengers can purchase first class seating for less.
2) Business class passengers can hope for the occasional lucky draw up to First class.
3) People who purchase cattle class seats in advance have a reasonable expectation of being bumped to Business class.
4) People who fly stand-by suck.

I could make this business model work.
October 21st, 2013 at 2:26:16 AM permalink
Pacomartin
Member since: Oct 24, 2012
Threads: 636
Posts: 7249
Quote: AZDuffman
Yes, but not because of accidents. Boeing explained once that they would not meet the A380 because the most efficient way to get that many people place to place was "fly two airplanes."


Boeing 777-300 technical specifications for seating are:
Typical 2-class configuration 451
Typical 1-class configuration up to 550

So no US Carrier is even interested in flying the current Boeing aircraft at maximum seating capacity.
October 21st, 2013 at 3:43:08 AM permalink
AZDuffman
Member since: Oct 24, 2012
Threads: 95
Posts: 5621
Quote: s2dbaker
A little known factoid that I learned from a travel agent manager: If you sell out first class on a flight, then the flight breaks even and the rest is pure profit.


I find that exceptionally hard to believe. First Class is a small fraction of the seats available.

They had a show about AMR on CNBC once and showed a fairly full flight that only made a few hundred bucks, mentioned that if hey had sold one less seat it would have been a loss.
The man who damns money has obtained it dishonorably; the man who respects it has earned it
October 21st, 2013 at 9:18:25 AM permalink
Pacomartin
Member since: Oct 24, 2012
Threads: 636
Posts: 7249
Quote: AZDuffman
I find that exceptionally hard to believe. First Class is a small fraction of the seats available.


My guess is that information is dated. There used to be more seats in "first class". It is also essentially a meaningless statement. Full fare first class is at such huge expense that almost all passengers are upgrades to reward loyalty.

Take the Newark to Singapore flight.
If you fly United's longest flight to Hong Kong first it is $1K on United Economy®
8,049 mi 16hr EWR to HKG
1,593 mi 4hr HKG to SINGAPORE
9,642 miles total

If you fly Singapore airlines nonstop (longest flight in the world) it is $8K
9,525 mi 18.5 hr EWR to SIN

In order to carry the necessary fuel, the Singapore jet has only 100 seats (all the same class)

United jet to Hong Kong is outfitted
8 Global First (not clear on price)
40 Business First® $7,619
110 United Economy Plus® (not clear on price)
108 United Economy® $1,129

While I am not absolutely sure, it would seem that Singapore airlines selling out all 100 seats at $8K would bring more revenue than United selling out connection through Hong Kong.

But Singapore Airlines is giving up the world's longest flight after many years, and selling the 5 jets (they also fly to LAX) back to Airbus.
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