Airlines being upended

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jis

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Passenger 777-300s are being used as freighters by several airlines to make some money while market is down. Apparently you can run a 777-300ER profitably just by filling its belly with the maximum number of containers that it can hold while leaving the passenger compartment empty. It is not possible to do so using the A380, so they were the first intercontinental aircraft to be parked as this episode evolved.. It is surmised that many of them will never get unparked after this ends.
 

Dakota 400

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Apparently you can run a 777-300ER profitably just by filling its belly with the maximum number of containers that it can hold while leaving the passenger compartment empty
Wow! I'd like to see the interior of that area!
 

Night Ranger

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Saw this story yesterday that Delta has received permission to fly cargo in passenger cabins. In the article, the Delta CEO says it could be 3 years before Delta sees a "sustainable recovery" in passenger travel.

 

jiml

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Passenger 777-300s are being used as freighters by several airlines to make some money while market is down. Apparently you can run a 777-300ER profitably just by filling its belly with the maximum number of containers that it can hold while leaving the passenger compartment empty.
That makes sense, and removing all the seats would lighten their load and increase capacity at the same time.
 

Devil's Advocate

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Why is that? Why couldn't they be converted to full freighter's, handling container's and everything else air freighter's carry?
Full freighter conversions are an involved process that borrows from the design and testing of the production freighter version. The A380 platform abandoned freighter concepts early in the design process so new solutions would need to be created and tested from scratch with little in the way of prior effort to call upon. The time and expense required to convert the world's largest, heaviest, and least flexible passenger aircraft into a newly certified (but still inflexible) full service freighter would be immense. You would have to work around several passenger-specific design choices that never took freighter service into consideration (floor strength, pallet clearance, loading access, weight management, fire suppression, etc.). Then you would need regulators to certify your work and to convince manufacturers to support your modifications at a reasonable cost. Put frankly this would be a massive undertaking with an extremely limited path to financial success. Hundreds of aircraft with established conversion plans are entering the secondary market leaving little demand for unproven solutions with limited flexibility. The most viable plan I've seen for A380's on the secondary market are high density wet leasing arrangements for troop movements, religious pilgrimages, and emergency evacuations. That role is already certified and supported with minimal effort involved. Any A380's that survive their first retirement will probably end up there.
 
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jis

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That makes sense, and removing all the seats would lighten their load and increase capacity at the same time.
Very few of the passenger airlines that are in the freight husiness using their 777s at this time are actually removing seats in a big way. Some are just loading light cargo into the the passenger section on the seats covered by heavy duty plastic wrappers. Many are simply not using that compartment at all. As I said, you don;t need to to operate a reasonably profitable operation, the 77W is that good. 78Js are also being used similarly.
 

Michigan Mom

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maybe lots of lower weight/ lower dimension medical shipments.. the temperature controlled cabins are actually ideal for when a certain temperature range is indicated.
 

railiner

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I could see one possible advantage of the huge size of the 380...they could reconfigure the seating into a "social distancing" configuration, and still carry enough to perhaps run some flights at a profit....not sure...
 

Trogdor

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I don’t think there is any airplane that can be profitably flown in any configuration when social distancing must be maintained.

The A380 has a lot of space, but it is also the most expensive modern passenger plane in the world to fly on a per-trip basis. That space costs money. That money requires revenue. Revenue means high airfares, which would mean few would be able to afford them.

If the A380 could be profitable with 150 or so people on board, it would have sold more than the 250 that it did.
 

bratkinson

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It was just announced today in Forbes and other publications that Richard Branson, owner of VIrgin Atlantic Airlines, is seeking a buyer for the airline. click here

It makes one wonder what the future of Brightline in Florida and now California & Nevada will be...
Warning...don't post Virgin railroad holdings comments in this thread.
 

jis

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It was just announced today in Forbes and other publications that Richard Branson, owner of VIrgin Atlantic Airlines, is seeking a buyer for the airline. click here

It makes one wonder what the future of Brightline in Florida and now California & Nevada will be...
Warning...don't post Virgin railroad holdings comments in this thread.
Well, you should not have posted your ill informed comment on this thread if you did not want a followup post ;) So here goes :p

Those two are not financially as deeply connected as most confused people think they are. Branson's financial involvement in Brightline is less than 5% of the total book value of the company. It is still mostly an FECI/ Softbank operation. If it sinks it will be due to Florida Real Estate market tanking (which could happen but at present appears to be unlikely) and will have very little to do with Branson or Virgin Atlantic. Even if Branson decides to bail and pull his small investment that by itself will not sink Brightline.
 

willem

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If the A380 could be profitable with 150 or so people on board, it would have sold more than the 250 that it did.
That might be true, but your analysis does not complete the proof. Other aircraft could fly 150 people at a greater profit, so airlines bought other aircraft for flights that were expected to have 150 passengers. This does not mean that the A380 could not make a profit with 150 passengers. (It doesn't mean it could, either.)

Of course, flying with 150 passengers with revenue exceeding variable costs would be better than not flying, even if the flight lost money due to fixed costs. The fixed costs are there regardless.
 

jiml

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It is going to be a very long time before airlines return to anything resembling pre-Covid. I would not be surprised to see many A-380's parked permanently, since only the Middle-Eastern carriers with very deep pockets will be able to afford to fly them. The era of the large jet may be done for good, with the airlines focusing on super long-range versions of smaller planes. KLM took advantage of the current situation to retire the last of their 747's a year before planned, and apparently Qantas has now followed with a similar advance, affecting the 6 still flying. If you're a plane fan that loves the 747, this is really sad news.
 

railiner

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That's a great video, thanks for posting the link!

And thanks to those worker's, helping to transport health essential products....
 
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Well, you should not have posted your ill informed comment on this thread if you did not want a followup post ;) So here goes :p

Those two are not financially as deeply connected as most confused people think they are. Branson's financial involvement in Brightline is less than 5% of the total book value of the company. It is still mostly an FECI/ Softbank operation. If it sinks it will be due to Florida Real Estate market tanking (which could happen but at present appears to be unlikely) and will have very little to do with Branson or Virgin Atlantic. Even if Branson decides to bail and pull his small investment that by itself will not sink Brightline.
I guess nobody wanted his island (which he claims was a business that he lived in) as collateral for a loan?

Wasn't the Virgin branding on Brightline essentially naming rights (like the Sears Tower becoming the Willis Tower, or a sports arena)? As I understand it, it wasn't even a franchise, correct?
 

railiner

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Branson now has to add a brand new cruisline, that launched a new ship, and can't cruise to his woes, although it is a joint venture with Bain Capital...
 

Dakota 400

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Branson now has to add a brand new cruisline, that launched a new ship, and can't cruise to his woes, although it is a joint venture with Bain Capital...
Poor Mr. Branson. Introducing Scarlet Lady to the cruising market at "just the poorest time". (Good looking vessel, though.) His crystal ball must be just as fuzzy as the rest of ours are.
 

saxman

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So perhaps a little surprising but not so much is that Delta is parking their entire 777 fleet permanently. They only have 18 of them and they've always been a small part of their wide body fleet. The MD-88/90's are also done as of June 2.

Delta Fleet Plans

Haven't heard much other yet, from the other US carriers fleet plans yet. American has said they will permanently park their older 737's along with the E-190's and Airbus A330-300's. 767's and 757's are done too. AA has a huge chunk of 777's and 787's for the majority of it's long haul fleet. 787's can do almost the same job as the 777 on most routes so I've heard talk of older 777's being parked as well. It all depends on international travel.

United also rely's on only 787's and 777 for its long haul flights as well. 767's are being parked as well.

I'm curious to see the future of long thinner markets that usually comprise of 767 and 757 type aircraft. I fly to Shannon, Ireland a lot, and the summer months usually have a 757 doing non-stops to the East Coast. Perhaps the A321's will start doing that if there is even demand for it.
 

jis

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United just unparked 17 of their RR 757s for induction back into their June schedule lineup, which is expanding service considerably. They are also unparking a significant part of their 739ER fleet, and even several 772s. Of course they already had all their 77Ws and 78Js operating regularly, though rotating through the fleet, since all of the fleet was not needed for their May schedule.
 
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