Thursday, February 08, 2007

THE EDSEL RETURNS, BUT NO FINS THIS TIME, JUST WINGS

As the world contends further with some of the paramount questions of our time -- global warming, dependence on fossil fuels, and the pressures of globalization upon those two concerns -- help appears to be on the way:

The super-duper, splendid jumbo jet, the French-made A380 is readier than ever! So it's . . . actually ready? Not quite, but man is it gonna be good when it is. A few of its special features and amenities:
The interior is roomy, and economy seats leave ample elbow room in the 540-seat demonstration cabin fitted by Airbus . . . Airlines Qantas, Emirates and Singapore Airlines plan to go further, fitting the plane with fewer than 500 seats to give each passenger more space.
Ok, so far, so good. How about "the custom features planned by airlines" including "onboard casinos, beauty salons and even hot tubs"? Well, Airbus Chief Operating Officer John Leahy admits that there may be:
"a little bit of hype. The reality will be lounges, the reality will be duty free shops where you can generate some extra revenue," although an unidentified carrier "has already installed a shower in first class."
It's not enough they get free drinks served by smiling young ladies, now they get showers? Do the flight attendants clean them? Leahy also told reporters that:
"We have a lot of interest in the aircraft, despite all the problems we had last year . . . It's a game-changing airplane. The only minor problem is that we couldn't build it on time."
Like the game-changing professional athlete who's only minor problem is that he's never healthy enough to play. I'm taking his word on the plane's success. Despite the delays that have left Airbus's customers in the lurch, Leahy told reporters that:
"All those customers, all of whom have cancellation rights on this program, have decided not to cancel."
Finally, as discussed by Airbus's chief engineer:

The A380 may be an "engineer-driven" program that "will not make a penny for the next 10 years," but that does not mean it will not be a commercial success for decades after that. "Like the 747, it should be operating for the next 40 years. The demand is definitely there — this isn't another Concorde."

No profits for 10 years, yet a commercial success. I want this guy to do my books. And my only question at this point: will we have fuel to fly the damn things in 40 years . . . assuming they're ready in 40 years?

8 Comments:

Blogger George said...

This business plan must have been developed by ex-Bush White House folks....

12:53 PM  
Anonymous Mike said...

This business plan must have been developed by ex-Bush White House folks....

Well, let's see:

Incompetence? Check.

Delays? Check.

Bullshit Storm for CYA
purposes? Check.

Unintentionally hilarious spokesmanspeak? Check.

Making France look bad? Check.

Tons of money spent with nothing but debt to show for it? Check.

By George, I think you're right.

1:07 PM  
Blogger George said...

I'm not just by George, I am George.

3:19 PM  
Anonymous Dumas said...

A-380 40 year business plan:

First 10 years: Fly.

Next 10 years: Take planes to oceans and lakes. Break side windows and insert long oars. Row.

Next 10 years: Take rusting hulks out of ocean and re-cover windows. Raise chicken.

Final 10 years: Remove shower stall and sell to Emperor Hoogar as luxury item. Recoup entire investment.

7:49 AM  
Anonymous Mike said...

Dumas - I like the oar & row part. Sort of an update of the galleon concept.

But who's this Emperor Hoogar fella?

8:20 AM  
Anonymous Dumas said...

From the Encyclopedia Imperia:
Emperor Hoogar (pronounced who-ger).

After the death of his father Emperor Bush IV, Hoogar ascended to the throne of Miami-Etcetera by murdering his mother Queen Laurabarba and his older half-brother Prince Foosbeau.

An incompetent ruler, Hoogar attempted to deflect popular discontent by invading Cuba, by then an enclave of wealthy Europeans and Canadians who had fled the brutal freezing weather of the Great Climatic Instability of 2015-20.

His pathetic flotilla of 35 inflatable boats and one ex-US Coast Guard cutter reduced to brown coal fuel, was blown out of the water within 5 miles of Havana in July 2050.

Hoogar went on to invade and enslave the few remaining residents of Southern Tzortzia, those that were not wiped out by the Swamp Fever pandemic of 2030.

Soon thereafter Hoogar became addicted to the locals' moonshine and frequently hallucinated he was in direct communication with Ronald, the supreme deity of Reaganism, the official state religion of Etcetera.

In his alcoholic haze he was constantly dreaming of traveling abroad to Texus or even Mejiko, but the Empire's limited finances could not afford the fare on the few remaining Eerbus galleons plying the international sea lanes.

At his death, the Empire's few remaining assets included the nysebell, a holy relic from Greenspanner first priest of Reaganism and a curious box containing shiny metallic hoses that purportedly served in ritualistic ablutions before the Holy Week of The Crash.

11:22 AM  
Anonymous Mike said...

Dumas - That's some wacky shit (and you know that "wacky shit" is a compliment in my world). You made it up?

I like this: Soon thereafter Hoogar became addicted to the locals' moonshine and frequently hallucinated he was in direct communication with Ronald, the supreme deity of Reaganism, the official state religion of Etcetera.

11:30 AM  
Anonymous Dumas said...

I am a man of many parts Mike. Sometimes they even fit together.

Thks for the compliment.

2:35 PM  

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