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Thread: Airbus A-318

  1. #1
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    Airbus A-318

    Hello,
    I am new here so I don't know if this has been talked about.
    I know that the Airbus A318 "baby bus" is a double shrink I know that its overweight and it has few orders. How unprofitable is it. Would an operator of this aircraft make any money. In the very distant future like 15-20 years I hope to start an airline in the Caribbean based from Florida and a 100 seat aircraft with 3000 mile range looked good but would it make any money. I understand that it is a niche aircraft. Could an airline operate this as a sole type? I know that for the same operating costs I could pay up and get the A319 but this is hypothetical so I just want thoughts on the A318.

    Also the Dornier CD2 Seastar I think that it looks like the perfect a/c for a small seaplane airline in either Alaska or the Caribbean. 12 pax seats, 1100 mile range. 6.2 million list price is high though. What do you think.

    Thank You

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    8 of the 318's built were scrapped for economic reasons.

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    Quote Originally Posted by stratoduck View Post
    8 of the 318's built were scrapped for economic reasons.
    I completely understand that. Can someone clarify, was it unprofitable in the way that it brought in no income but a loss? Or did it just bring in lower income than another plane? I want as much information on the subject as possible. Either way I see why the airlines ditched it in North America but BA uses it AF also uses it. Neither of them appear to be retiring it.

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    Senior Member Ari707's Avatar
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    TWA had them on order before the were bought out, British only uses them for the very limited trans- atlantic market, and I think that sometime AF buys airbus because they have too...
    Overheard on JFK TOWER - S Turns are fine, U-Turns are bad....

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    Okay, I read that the A-318 has a lower CASM than say the Embrear-190/95. I understand that these are not direct competitors. JetBlue choose the 190 over the 318 why? They have had problems with the aircraft and I have heard that their CEO said they regret ordering the 190 at the time (They were the launch customer). Why did they chose the 190 over the 318. The 318 has commonality and a lower CASM. Was it just that they wanted to pay the crews less? 190 pilots can be payed closer to regional jet wages while the 318 pilots who would be the same pilots as the 320 would have to be payed at the same rate as the 320. Now that I look at it the 318 seems like the better aircraft for JetBlue.

    Everyone talks about the economic issues but where are they the only issue I see is that it pays the same landing fee as the 320. But the A319 pays the same landing fee as the 320 couldn't I make the same case the skip the 319 and go straight to family leader the 320. That landing fee could be made up by the more cargo the aircraft could hold.

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    Senior Member Ari707's Avatar
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    Also keep in mind that in 15-20 years when you are planning on starting your airline the remaining A318's will be between 25 and 30 yrs old, how much life will be left in them if there are any actually still around. A plane with 100 seats and a 3000 mile range may exist by then but hasn't been developet yet. But if you are just flying from Fla to the Caribbean, why do you need a 3000 mile range?
    Overheard on JFK TOWER - S Turns are fine, U-Turns are bad....

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    Senior Member Mateo's Avatar
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    Landing fees are based on weight. The 318 is 130,000lbs. The straight E190 is 105,000lbs. Does the 318 seriously have a lower CASM, even on short sectors?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ari707 View Post
    Also keep in mind that in 15-20 years when you are planning on starting your airline the remaining A318's will be between 25 and 30 yrs old, how much life will be left in them if there are any actually still around. A plane with 100 seats and a 3000 mile range may exist by then but hasn't been developet yet. But if you are just flying from Fla to the Caribbean, why do you need a 3000 mile range?
    Sorry, I didn't make that clear. I said I intend to start an airline but that would most likely not be with the A318 but another aircraft (C-Series). I want 3000 miles range so I can reach the entire Caribbean and also have range for other places All of north america, central and south america, transatlanic. Starting with that leaves all options open. I'm asking could this be a viable option if I were to place an Airbus order tomorrow 2/12/2014. Or a regrettable mistake.

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    Senior Member megatop412's Avatar
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    To answer your question about why jetBlue went with the jungle jets instead of the A319(or A318 for that matter)...I asked one of their pilots the same question and was told that Neeleman being Brazilian had something to do with it and Embraer gave them a really nice deal that couldn't be topped by Airbus.


    I have no idea if that's the truth or not, that's just what he told me.

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    Quote Originally Posted by megatop412 View Post
    To answer your question about why jetBlue went with the jungle jets instead of the A319(or A318 for that matter)...I asked one of their pilots the same question and was told that Neeleman being Brazilian had something to do with it and Embraer gave them a really nice deal that couldn't be topped by Airbus.


    I have no idea if that's the truth or not, that's just what he told me.
    I heard that too

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mateo View Post
    Landing fees are based on weight. The 318 is 130,000lbs. The straight E190 is 105,000lbs. Does the 318 seriously have a lower CASM, even on short sectors?
    I have read they have a higher trip cost but lower casm. Also read that the casm is 5% less than the a319 on the A318. Don't know how accurate these figures are.

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    Not to sound mean, but if you are looking to start an airline in the distant future, you are better off speaking with an expert in aviation/airline management, and not to a bunch of enthusiasts who've mostly heard and read stuff on forums; those who know real numbers are often bound by confidentiality agreements. Also, in 15-20 years these planes will be 35-20 year old technology, with some planes being around 40 years old; it would be the equivalent of starting an airline today with a Boeing 737-200, more or less. Kudos for thinking ahead, but I suspect that in the next 15 years there will be a lot of changes, and given the life of a modern airplane, I wouldn't be surprised if the only A318s left by then are purely museum pieces.

    Some of the questions that you're asking can't be answered. Would an operator of this type make any money? Well, Mexicana folded; Frontier has been a financial mess; AF and BA are fine.

    Would you make any money? Again, look at the panorama when the time comes. 20 years ago, any startup hoping to make UAS would have been a failure. Next year the airspace opens up for civilian UAS and suddenly it's starting to look like a better idea.

    Quote Originally Posted by Simpilot17 View Post
    I have read they have a higher trip cost but lower casm. Also read that the casm is 5% less than the a319 on the A318. Don't know how accurate these figures are.
    Probably very inaccurate. The only way to have a higher trip cost and a lower CASM is to cram more seats in there.

    CASM = Direct Operating Cost / Available Seat Mile.

    It is possible that for certain short hops there is a slightly lower CASM on the A318, assuming that both planes are capped at the same amount of seats, based simply on the fact that the smaller plane has less weight that needs to be taken to altitude.

    Given how many A318s ended up flying in hot and high environments, my guess is that that's where they shine, at least in the case of Avianca and Mexicana, they replaced the F-100, flying out of some fairly high airports (MEX at 7341ft ASL, BOG at 8361ft).

    The A318 has the distinction that it can fly out of LCY, not every plane is certified to fly at such high rates of climb, and it's my understanding that even the E-170/190 has special versions certified for LCY use.

    Back in the day, IB used to fly the 747-200 MAD-MEX-MAD, except that in the summer months they couldn't make the hop back to MAD with full passengers and full cargo, they had to leave some of either in MEX; for a while, they leased some 747-300s from Air Atlanta (ex-Varig -341s with the newer CF6 engines) and those could fly with a full load back to MAD; those routes were eventually taken over by the A340s.

    Without understanding every aspect of aircraft operation, you can't just flat out say that the A318 seemed like the better option for JB. For instance, the V2500 engines that JB uses are not available for the A318, so that would add costs; but the same can be said about the A321, the thrust ratings on the A321 V2500s are higher, and even though it's the exact same engine as that on the A320, the only difference being a few jumpers on a control unit, you still have to maintain two pools of engines, because you can't just convert a 25k lbf engine to have a 31k lbf thrust rating (it CAN be done, but it's not something that you can do while the plane is getting catered), and some engines will have higher operating costs; you don't need to train mechanics on two separate engine types, so you save money there, but it's not the exact same engine for most purposes.

    If you were to buy them, would you regret that decision? who knows. For all we know, 20 years from now the A318 could be the most expensive plane to operate, or not. The C-Series could turn out to be a huge lemon, or the best plane Bombardier has ever made. The A340-500 certainly sounded like a great idea back in the day, and look at what happened to the 18h40+ SIN-EWR that Singapore Air bragged so much about; when those A340s were purchased oil was a lot cheaper, but by 2013 it made no sense to burn fuel just to carry more fuel for the sake of bragging rights. The 747SP was a great plane for SAA back in the days of apartheid, when they had landing and airspace flyover restrictions, nowadays the 747SP has been relegated to VIP and research (SOFIA) tasks, for the most part.

    The E-190 has a reputation for being bad, and for being even worse in cold weather. But JetBlue got some of the earlier E-190s, and Embraer undoubtedly learned from that first run of airframes; this happens in every industry. Those 747-8F's that were NTU by Atlas are a perfect example, they have a heavier wing and therefore don't perform as good as promised, so Atlas didn't take delivery. You also see this type of thing in the auto industry, the electronics industry and more, and most of the time, if there is a significant problem you won't catch it until a good number of "samples" are being used outside of your test parameters (Regardless of how comprehensive your testing was).

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    In 20 years there will be another plane. But if I had to order today to start in a few months. We don't have the C-Series yet. Could it work. I understand that you are a bunch of enthusiasts so there are no real numbers but from what we have seen with the actual industry. A318 or stay away. In my opinion JetBlue should have gone with A318.

    "Well, Mexicana folded; Frontier has been a financial mess; AF and BA are fine." Is that the A318's fault. Mexicana probably had other causes and hasn't Frontier always been a financial mess.

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    Senior Member Mateo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Simpilot17 View Post
    In my opinion JetBlue should have gone with A318.
    Their yearly financial reports indicate otherwise.

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    Senior Member megatop412's Avatar
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    Felipe that was one informative post! Interesting bit about the IB 742's

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