Posts Tagged ‘lufthansa’

A380 Superjumbo Update: Where’s Your Messiah Now, SFO? Things Just Aren’t Working Out with the Big Airbus

Thursday, September 4th, 2014

Even back six years ago, even back in aught-eight, this kind of press release from SFO seemed more optimistic than average.

Anyway, we spent a lot of money getting ready for the Airbus A380 double-decker and we do get a handful of flights* every week, but things just haven’t worked out.

Oh look, it’s a Lufthansa A380 filled with German tourists going home after their summer vacations in the bay area, high above Daly City: 

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I’ll tell you, the reason why we still use a lot of four-engined Boeing 747-400 jumbos at SFO is because we already have them. They’re there, hundreds of them. But they guzzle a lot of fuel, so, not too long ago, the A380 was considered to be The Future. But it’s a guzzler too. So The Future now belongs to large twin-engine aircraft like the Boeing 777 models (present and future) and the slightly smaller twin-engined Airbus A350 line.

So all that hype coming out of SFGov about the A380 being “green,” well that was a lot of hogwash. The A380 was/is just another jetliner and SFO took steps to accommodate its massive size and that’s fine, but it wasn’t/isn’t/will never be a game changer the way the people at SFO were hoping for (or lying about – I still can’t tell why they were so excited as late as 2008, when the promise of the A380 was already being questioned).

Anyway, here’s the update:

A380 Continues To Pose Challenges For Heathrow – The A380 was tapped to help capacity-strapped airports, but could it end up hurting them?

Arguably, the A380 was specifically designed for Heathrow, which has a runway shortage and a NIMBY neighbour problem. So great, here’s a giant plane that’s really quiet – isn’t that great? Well, read the link above to see how things are working out when the rubber meets the tarmac.

SFO also has a runway shortage and a NIMBY neighbor problem, but our airport is a lot smaller and, as stated, those A380′s aren’t really working out and nobody’s really buying them anymore, so we’re not going to have to deal with Heathrow’s problems. No no, we’ll just muddle through.

But the skeptics have already been proven correct, after just six years.

One wonders what SFO’s next overhyped fad will be…

*More so in the summer, when the French and the Germans really pine to come here, so they can stay “Near Union Square” in a fleabag hotel only to get bitten by bedbugs, only to be told that said fleabag hotel doesn’t have bedbugs so GTH. On behalf of San Francisco, I wish to say, “Sorry, French and German people.”

Hill, Plane, Building: “SOUTH SAN FRANCISCO, THE INDUSTRIAL CITY” – Frankfurt-Bound Lufthansa 747-400 – “UNITED AIR LINES”

Tuesday, July 2nd, 2013

Icons all:

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“Giant A380 Jetliner Proves SFO Planners Were Right?” Uh, Not Really, SFGate

Monday, May 23rd, 2011

Well, here’s the latest from Business Report – The Chronicle with Bloomberg:

Giant A380 jetliner proves SFO planners were right

Uh, so I’m not saying that the powers that be shouldn’t have gotten ready for the long-delayed Airbus A380 jumbo jet, but this wasn’t all that much of a gutsy call, right? It’s like, should we prepare to accommodate the jets that are being planned for five-ten years from now?

O.K., so why not prepare? Sure. But I don’t know how much credit should go to the people of SFO for doing what they’re paid to do.

See? Some have three jetway thingees, some have two:

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In other news, the new A380 uses more fuel than any other airliner you could think of. So this is incorrect:

It’s a much less fuel-consuming aircraft. It’s a much more efficient aircraft; it costs 30 percent less to operate than other wide bodies.”

And considering all the hype, the hype like this:

The A380′s modernity, comfort and stylishness should help drive business between the Bay Area and overseas markets, said R. Sean Randolph, president and CEO of the Bay Area Council Economic Institute. Randolph said he thinks this is especially true of the burgeoning business relationship with India, which generates high transpacific traffic.”

…the A380 appears to be kind of a big nothingburger. You want to fly from India, you can do it on a Boeing 777 or an old 747 or, soon enough, the long-delayed new 747-8i. And in fact, if anything, the trend of rising fuel prices is making some airlines rethink the desirability of non-stop hops from faraway lands. And “stylishness?” You know, I’d just love to make business with you there, Reddy, but that triple-seven they want me to fly over on, well, it just doesn’t do it for me, it’s not stylish at all, you know? I’ll wait until Airbus makes a fat piggy plane with wings that are too big (because they were designed for future stretched versions like the A380-900, or, Gaia help us, the mythical A380-1000. But, seeing as how the freighter version of the miraculous, wonderful, oh-my-God-this-changes-everything A380 got cancelled, it might be a good long time before the world sees a stretched A380…)

And speaking of the new 747, Lufthansa is also buying those as well, so maybe you’ll be on a Boeing the next time you fly to Frankfurt. IRL, Lufthansa calculates about a 3% delta in fuel economy per passenger betwixt the newish A380 and the impending Boeing 747-8i.

Anyway, the giant A380 jetliner does not necessarily prove SFO planners right, just saying.

Now, about those substandard runways…

Daily Jumbo Jet Flights To Frankfurt Soon to Use Slightly Larger Airbus A380 – Lufthansa A New Deity for SFO’s Cargo Cult

Monday, January 31st, 2011

Where to begin on this one, uh, how about this bit from just last week talking about how long SFO has been waiting for the arrival of regular A380 service.

All right, well, as you might know by now, the news just recently came out about how Lufthansa is going to use Airbus A380′s instead of Boeing 747-400′s on daily flights from Frankfurt, Germany.

Is this really a “windfall,” as the Mayor said (or actually, as the Mayor’s holdover staff wrote)? Well, probably not, as a windfall is something you luck into, like when coconuts fall into your arms from a stiff breeze.

And actually, SFO has been planning for the arrival  of A380 for more than a decade now.

Here’s what it means to be “A380 ready.” See how one plane has three jetways in its gate? That’s one of the ways you can tell that SFO readied itself for the A380.

But actually, what we’re doing is losing service from one double-decker jumbo jet and gaining service from another, slightly bigger, jumbo jet.

Is the A380 really “the world’s most fuel-efficient aircraft” as the Mayor says it is?

Nope. A Boeing 747 or 777 making the same flight would burn less fuel.

And will these kinds of flights “help appease Peninsula residents who for decades have complained that it’s too loud to live near the airport or under flight paths?

Nope, not in the least.

And are some A380′s still grounded due to an issue with Rolls Royce Trent 900 engines?

Yep.

And does Lufthansa use A380′s with Rolls Royce Trent 900 engines (instead of the more American, less blow-uppy Engine Alliance GP7200 engines?”

Yep.

Oh well.

(Oh, in other news, the reason why Qantas (oh, snap! “Qantas Incident” is like the most popular search term on Google these days it seems) left us for Texas is because them melon farmers down there paid the Aussies $3.5 million buckaroos to make the move.)

See the press releases, after the jump. Try to contain your excitement…

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