March 19, 2007


Malaysia Airlines likely to cancel Airbus A380 orders (People's Daily On-Line)

Malaysia Airlines System ( MAS), the national carrier, is likely to cancel its orders for six Airbus A380 jumbo passenger jets, local press reported Monday.

Despite the huge discounts for the new A350 planes Airbus is offering to almost all airlines that have ordered the A380, the new delivery dates for the aircraft will no longer fit into MAS's fleet plan, said the New Straits Times.

A380 reaches new heights in airspace: The jetliner debuts in the U.S. with room for 491 fliers and then some -- but still there are lines at the bar and the 15 restrooms. (Peter Pae, March 20, 2007, LA Times)

So far, 156 orders have been placed -- though none by U.S. carriers.

Airbus c'est arrive!: The giant A380 landed Monday at LAX, which is ill-equipped to handle many more of them. (Paul Thornton, March 20, 2007, LA Times)
[A] few minutes after the plane arrived, the surrealism kicked into high gear.

Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa said that super-size planes such as the A380 are "better for our airports." But in the distance behind him, aging terminals were already crowded wingtip-to-wingtip with jets much smaller than the A380. An executive from Qantas Airways, which will be the first airline to fly the A380 to L.A., boasted of his airline's commitment to LAX as the airport's biggest international carrier -- even as Qantas moves some flights that serve LAX north to San Francisco's gleaming new international terminal.

The most perplexing comments came from Allan McArtor, head of Airbus North America. He declared that the A380 is "perfectly designed" for LAX. In an abstract sense, he has a point -- airlines plan to make L.A. the top destination in the U.S. for the A380, and ideally, bigger planes mean fewer flights.

But in reality, LAX is one of the worst-equipped airports that will handle the A380. By the end of this year, just two gates at LAX will be able to accommodate the plane.

Posted by Orrin Judd at March 19, 2007 2:49 PM

But the plane just made a triumphant landing in New York.

Posted by: Dave W at March 19, 2007 10:04 PM

The news today showed a little bit of the takeoff and a litle bit of the landing. Both looked pretty scary. The plane on takeoff seemed to to be yawing from side to side, and the litle bit of the landing seemed to show the flying whale going into a bad skid. Both were a lot more than we are used to seeing in the case of a large airplane.

Perhaps some multi-engine pilot out there noticed something like what I am trying to describe.

Posted by: Lou Gots at March 19, 2007 10:21 PM drives like a whale too!

Posted by: KRS at March 19, 2007 10:23 PM

oj, didn't you say that no A380 will ever land at an American airport?

Airbus is going to sell a good number of those big birds even if they'll never break even.

Posted by: Mörkö at March 20, 2007 3:16 AM

Not never land--even the Spruce Goose was landed. Never land regularly. They won't build the A380. Private airlines won't buy it. Deocratic communities won't tolerate the noise and traffic. The program will be cancelled.

Posted by: oj at March 20, 2007 7:10 AM

So now it's never land regularly? What next? Never land every day? Etc.

Airbus has more than 150 orders for A380, so they won't scrap the program.

Posted by: Mörkö at March 20, 2007 7:49 AM

Exactly. It will never fly a commercial route here. They'll trot it out for airshows once in awhile, like yesterday.

Posted by: oj at March 20, 2007 8:09 AM

Say what you will, that's one impressive aircraft. And it's perfect for the hajj run.

Posted by: curt at March 20, 2007 8:41 AM


OJ did indeed say the A380 would never land in the US.

I guess it depends on what the meaning of the word "never" is.

I'll bet the A380 eventually flies regularly between Asia and the US.

Posted by: lurker at March 24, 2007 1:37 PM

Yes, a couple state-owned airlines could fly it to LA & maybe NYC. Thus proving the point. It's too French tto be viable. It's the Concorde.

Posted by: oj at March 24, 2007 5:36 PM