FARNBOROUGH: A380 shines in cost battle – Amedeo
Amedeo chief executive Mark Lapidus says its campaign to put “the record straight” about the Airbus A380’s cost advantage is gathering pace, almost exactly a year after the lessor revealed an intention to acquire 20 of the superjumbos.
“Our message is that with the A380 you have the lowest unit cost out there, and it will remain the lowest cost versus the A350-1000, the 777-9X and the 777-300ER,” says Lapidus. “When we bring that information to airlines, they are a little bit surprised by it – it gives us an ability to get through the door.”
In Amedeo’s analysis, a comparison of cash operating costs per seat between the four types with comparable class configurations shows the A380 comes out ahead of all four except against a two-class layout for the A350-1000.
For example, a two-class A380 is 24.7% better in operating costs than the 777-300ER in a two-class layout, and 4% better than the 777-9X, says Amedeo.
“Airlines want to be comfortable they are looking at the lowest cost solution,” says Lapidus.
Another message Amedeo has been putting across to potential customers is that “they no longer need to have large numbers of aircraft in the fleet to justify the fleet economics”, says Lapidus.
With the long-standing ability to have engines on fleet-hour agreements coupled with similar deals for airframe support, “it is very easy to introduce a smaller subfleet into the system, and there is no longer a need to have a small army of mechanics [to support it]”.
Lapidus reveals that one of the several serious discussions it is having with potential customers is with an airline that could take just three A380s for use on a single specific route.
Amedeo is working to sign up its first A380 customer this year, says Lapidus. This is an important timetable because the first Amedeo is scheduled for delivery towards the end of 2016 and customer-specific longer-lead items will need to be identified for production aircraft next year. Amedeo will take four to five A380s per year from 2017.
As to whether Amedeo is looking at ordering the A330neo, Lapidus says it is possible but not quite yet. “Once we place these aircraft and generate significant cash flow, it would be interesting to look at other Airbus and Boeing widebodies,” he says.