This Day On The Street
Continue to site
ADVERTISEMENT
This account is pending registration confirmation. Please click on the link within the confirmation email previously sent you to complete registration.
Need a new registration confirmation email? Click here

Why U.S. Airlines Don't Fly the Airbus A380

ATLANTA ( TheStreet) -- Three U.S. carriers are also the world's three biggest airlines -- United (UAL - Get Report), Delta (DAL - Get Report) and American (AMR) -- but little indication exists that any of them have any particular desire to fly the world's biggest passenger airplane.

Four years after the introduction of the Airbus A380 , which can carry up to 600 passengers, 49 aircraft are flying for six international airlines, and orders have been placed by a total of 18 airlines.

None are based in the U.S.

Moreover, no U.S. carrier seems close to purchasing the A380, although Airbus spokesman Clay McConnell said that "eventually you will see some U.S. airlines order it."

So far, the A380 has defied skeptics, , to the point that its story no longer revolves around doubts and questions, but rather around what destination will be the next to gain service.

The destinations don't currently include Atlanta, Charlotte, Chicago, Dallas, Houston or Newark, where U.S. carriers operate their principal hubs. Rather, the U.S. airports with A380 service are all international gateways served by foreign carriers with hubs on the opposite side of the Atlantic or Pacific. These airports include Los Angeles, Miami, New York (Kennedy), San Francisco and Washington Dulles.

U.S. Carriers: Size Matters Less

The U.S. carriers, "prefer frequency over size," said aviation consultant Scott Hamilton. In their hubs, several times each day, dozens of airplanes fly in, exchange passengers and fly out, and the carriers often prefer to serve international destinations more than once a day -- or they simply don't have enough passengers to a given destination to fly an A380.

"When I look at the current crop of managers, the guys running airlines in the U.S. today, they don't appear to be the kind of people who manage their businesses to have bigger airplanes," added Avondale Partners analyst Bob McAdoo. "Instead, they want to manage smaller airplanes and more frequencies to their hubs."

In any case, it seems clear that only two U.S. carriers, Delta and United, are potential 380 customers, because they are the only two operating super large aircraft -- Boeing 747s -- today. Also, both fleets include both Airbus and Boeing (BA - Get Report) jets, unlike American, which is all Boeing.

1 of 2

Check Out Our Best Services for Investors

Action Alerts PLUS

Portfolio Manager Jim Cramer and Director of Research Jack Mohr reveal their investment tactics while giving advanced notice before every trade.

Product Features:
  • $2.5+ million portfolio
  • Large-cap and dividend focus
  • Intraday trade alerts from Cramer
Quant Ratings

Access the tool that DOMINATES the Russell 2000 and the S&P 500.

Product Features:
  • Buy, hold, or sell recommendations for over 4,300 stocks
  • Unlimited research reports on your favorite stocks
  • A custom stock screener
Stocks Under $10

David Peltier uncovers low dollar stocks with serious upside potential that are flying under Wall Street's radar.

Product Features:
  • Model portfolio
  • Stocks trading below $10
  • Intraday trade alerts
14-Days Free
Only $9.95
14-Days Free
To begin commenting right away, you can log in below using your Disqus, Facebook, Twitter, OpenID or Yahoo login credentials. Alternatively, you can post a comment as a "guest" just by entering an email address. Your use of the commenting tool is subject to multiple terms of service/use and privacy policies - see here for more details.
Submit an article to us!
SYM TRADE IT LAST %CHG
BA $149.60 0.00%
DAL $44.76 0.00%
UAL $61.49 0.00%
AAPL $124.75 0.00%
FB $80.78 0.00%

Markets

DOW 17,826.30 -279.47 -1.54%
S&P 500 2,081.18 -23.81 -1.13%
NASDAQ 4,931.8150 -75.9760 -1.52%

Partners Compare Online Brokers

Free Reports

Top Rated Stocks Top Rated Funds Top Rated ETFs