C'est bien beau de faire un avion pour les compagnies du Golfe mais si elles en commandent une centaine ou deux ce sera le maximum.
Par contre si ça fait perdre d'autres clients, il faut peut-être s'interroger.
The actual announcement from Emirates was modest by its standards. It would start daily Dubai-Dallas Fort Worth flights on 2 February and daily services to Seattle from 1 March, both initially with either Boeing 777-300ERs or -200LRs. It already has A380s and 777s to New York City, and other 777s to San Francisco and Los Angeles.
But it is what Clark said in supporting interviews that grabbed the US headlines. From 2013 it can start replacing 777s with A380s to California because of further improvements to the big Airbus in terms of range and payload, and based on demand, growth and the fact that it makes money out of every flight why wouldn’t it use the cost advantage of the giant Airbus against its competitors.
Clark’s comments help us understand what Emirates plans to do with up to 90 A380s, bearing in mind that some of that total order book is for replacing the early A380s, as this is an airline with a fleet that has a unit average age of six years and two months.
Dubai-based Emirates Airline (EK) is experiencing “enormous” operations problems and has lost nearly $100 million from necessary modifications to repair wing rib cracks on its in-service Airbus A380s.
Speaking on the sidelines of the IATA annual meeting and summit in Beijing this week, EK president Tim Clark told ATW the situation has caused the airline “great difficulty” and has affected its expansion plans.
The cracks issue, discovered early this year, resulted from use of a material known as 7449 that was used in A380 wing rib feet construction (ATW Daily News, May 25). The European Aviation Safety Agency issued an airworthiness directive, extended to all in-service A380s, ordering mandatory inspections of the wing ribs (ATW Daily News, Feb. 9).
EK had to ground six A380s while the inspections/modifications were performed. “That means 30% of our A380 fleet stopped flying. Each one [was] flying 15 hours daily, [with a] 90% load factor,” he said, adding the aircraft were replaced with Boeing 777-300ERs.
“We have to handle it, because we have no choice,” said Clark. “It [the A380] is a hugely successful airplane for us.”
Clark said that in the last quarter of the financial year, “nearly $100 million was hit [to] our bottom line as a result [of] not having [these] six A380s in service.” Aircraft had been grounded for eight weeks “and we had thousands of crews sitting there doing nothing. Is there compensation possible? No one is paying anything at the moment,” Clark said, adding that “John Leahy [Airbus CCO customers] said there is no compensation. We have a different view.”
He said the aircraft took longer to repair than Airbus originally stated. “The problem was Airbus said it [could be] easily fixed in six to 10 days, then it took longer, on average it was 35 days,” Clark said, adding that it really took “30,000 manpower hours per aircraft, [and] you got to do 120 aircraft at $100/hr. [for] manpower.” Also, he said the stranded A380s took up a lot of hangar space in Dubai, impacting MRO work on EK’s remaining fleet.
Airbus will do the retrofits, which will be performed from early 2013 at four MRO facilities worldwide. “We start in the third week in March 2013 until Nov. 14,” Clark said. “There will be always be four A380s out at one time.”
The A380s delivered from early 2014 will have a new all-aluminum rib design.
However, Clark said, “All this wouldn’t stop our interest in getting more [A380] or -900 aircraft. They [Airbus] will fix it. I hope they learn from it.”
On the western side of the globe, the French city of Lyon will be added to the Emirates’ network from 5th December, the carrier’s third point in France after Paris and Nice. Emirates will operate five weekly flights to this vibrant economic and tourism centre of south eastern France.
urther expansion - timings and aircraft:
Adelaide (4 weekly flights beginning 1st November 2012)
EK 440 departs Dubai on a Tuesday, Thursday, Friday and Sunday at 0155hrs and arrives in Adelaide at 2045hrs – using a Boeing 777-300ER in a three class configuration.
Perth (5 extra flights from 1st December 2012)
EK 422 leaves Dubai at 2145hrs on a Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday and lands in Perth at 1225hrs the next day – operated with a Boeing 777-300ER in a three class arrangement.
Lyon(5 weekly flights from 5th December 2012)
EK 81 departs Dubai on a Monday, Tuesday Wednesday, Friday and Saturday at 1435hrs and arrives in Lyon at 1900hrs – using an Airbus A340-500 in three cabin classes.
Warsaw (daily flights from 6th February 2013)
EK 179 takes off daily from Dubai at 0730hrs and lands in Warsaw at 1045hrs – served by an Airbus A330-200 in a three-class configuration.