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Topic: Was The A340 A Flop?
Username: 76794p
Posted 2012-11-13 22:42:23 and read 2810 times.

I have been thinking about this recently. Was the A340 an overall success? It seems that the only model that has done well is the -600. The -500 didn't terribly well and the -300, in my mind did okay. But as an over all project is it a success or a failure? Is there and was there ever a demand for a long-haul single deck quad engine aircraft?


Pat

Topic: RE: Was The A340 A Flop?
Username: BMI727
Posted 2012-11-13 22:46:10 and read 2896 times.

Quoting 76794p (Thread starter):
Was The A340 A Flop?

No.

Overall, Airbus made a bet and lost. But they didn't get completely crunched and they hedged against it in such a way that it didn't hurt them.

Topic: RE: Was The A340 A Flop?
Username: FlyingAY
Posted 2012-11-13 22:52:07 and read 2882 times.

Quoting 76794p (Thread starter):
I have been thinking about this recently. Was the A340 an overall success? It seems that the only model that has done well is the -600. The -500 didn't terribly well and the -300, in my mind did okay.

Considering that they delivered 218 A340-300s and 97 A340-600s, what makes you say that -600 did well and -300 only "okay"? Keep in mind that Airbus was much more established manufacturer at a time when -600 was launched, when compared to A340-300.

Topic: RE: Was The A340 A Flop?
Username: TWA772LR
Posted 2012-11-13 22:59:50 and read 2878 times.

Quoting 76794p (Thread starter):
Is there and was there ever a demand for a long-haul single deck quad engine aircraft?

707 and DC8 for starters  

But seriously, the A340 was good when it came out when ETOPS wasn't as good as it is nowadays. And is still good for long routes from hot and high airports like JNB. Also the routes from South America to Australia, and Australia to Africa where the routes aren't ETOPS rated. But the day will come when ETOPS will be virtually limitless and those routes will go to the 777/787/A350 etc... The A340 has done it's work. If it had come out a couple of years earlier, there would be a lot more today.

PS, it's a shame SU did'nt order any A345's or A346's, those will look almost as good as a TWA 772LR!      

[Edited 2012-11-13 23:00:45]

[Edited 2012-11-13 23:20:27]

Topic: RE: Was The A340 A Flop?
Username: 76794p
Posted 2012-11-13 23:03:52 and read 2843 times.

Quoting TWA772LR (Reply 3):
. If it had come out a couple of years earlier, there would be a lot more today.

How so?

Topic: RE: Was The A340 A Flop?
Username: TWA772LR
Posted 2012-11-13 23:12:21 and read 2848 times.

Quoting 76794p (Reply 4):
How so?

IMO, it would've done better because ETOPS was in its infancy, and also would've had "that" much more orders than the 777, which came out later. If the A340 did come that much earlier, I think CO and NW wouldn't have cancelled their orders.

This is all my opinion and thoughts on what would've happened. I am no expert on Airbus or the A340.

Topic: RE: Was The A340 A Flop?
Username: SIA747Megatop
Posted 2012-11-13 23:12:24 and read 2860 times.

It's no wonder airlines are phasing A340's out of their fleets so rapidly, back when SQ ordered the A340-500 in 1999 oil was less than $25. When the said aircrafts were delivered in 2004 oil was still less than $50.

Topic: RE: Was The A340 A Flop?
Username: avion660
Posted 2012-11-13 23:25:12 and read 2848 times.

Despite being quite old, some of these points may still be relevant  Time To Call The A340 A Failure? (by MrComet Sep 15 2005 in Civil Aviation)

Topic: RE: Was The A340 A Flop?
Username: RickNRoll
Posted 2012-11-13 23:38:36 and read 2845 times.

Not a failure, but not as good as they had hoped either. The program created a twin and four engine plane using mostly common parts. The A330 has been a huge success, so it turned out a lot better than expected in that sense. The idea of creating the four and twin using the same base paid off.

Topic: RE: Was The A340 A Flop?
Username: TWA772LR
Posted 2012-11-13 23:44:05 and read 2849 times.

Quoting RickNRoll (Reply 8):
The idea of creating the four and twin using the same base paid off.

It was smart of Airbus to do that, but honestly, I have no idea why. Why would you design two nearly identical planes, and have them do nearly identical missions? Is it the whole ETOPS thing?

Topic: RE: Was The A340 A Flop?
Username: strfyr51
Posted 2012-11-13 23:44:49 and read 2859 times.

No it Wasn't. Airbus thought he A340 was going to replace te 747-200's and -300's But ! They Kept it all European and installed the CFM-56 which was probably all they HAD at the time.. Rolls was busy building Engines for the 747-400, the 757- 767, and the 777 series and either they didn't ASK them or didn't consider them. But it was plain to see that the A340 -200 and -300's were underpowered. Especially after a UAL 777 climbed out of Singapore 1hr AFTER an A340,
En Route Climbed OVER said A340 and Landed 1hr Ahead of said A340 at LHR. Where upon
SQ dumped their order for the A340, BOEING took 3 in Trade For 777's and Airbus refused to support anybody who bought those airplanes FROM Boeing, (they later relented) To me that was pretty much the End of the A340 as a major Program. But! They DID get busy building the A330 into a fine ETOPS platform which they had NOT originally intended it to BE.

Topic: RE: Was The A340 A Flop?
Username: BlueSky1976
Posted 2012-11-13 23:57:11 and read 2851 times.

Quoting TWA772LR (Reply 9):
Why would you design two nearly identical planes, and have them do nearly identical missions? Is it the whole ETOPS thing?

A330 was initially medium-haul twin. A340 was the long-haul quad. Together, they were meant to complement each other.

Had the original PW SuperFan worked, Airbus would have sold many more A340.

A330 became long-haul aircraft through the course of time. Initially, its range oscillated around 7000km, with all improvements it grew to nearly 11000km for -300 variant, giving it the performace it has now. Hence, no need for A340 any more.

Enter A350XWB...

Topic: RE: Was The A340 A Flop?
Username: Lutfi
Posted 2012-11-14 00:01:14 and read 2849 times.

When the A330/A340 was on the drawing board, really big engines weren't around. IF the B777 engines had been available, then the A340 likely wouldn't exist (AB would have built something very similar to a B777)

So, for ULH, they went with 4 x GTF. The GTF failed, and they did a late swap to 4 x CFM.

The A330/340 was always seen as a family, and as a family, it certainly didn't fail.

Note that the MD11 split the difference (3 engines) and didn't do so well

Topic: RE: Was The A340 A Flop?
Username: TWA772LR
Posted 2012-11-14 00:01:29 and read 2840 times.

Quoting BlueSky1976 (Reply 11):
A330 was initially medium-haul twin. A340 was the long-haul quad. Together, they were meant to complement each other.

Thanks! Always good to learn something new.  
Quoting BlueSky1976 (Reply 11):
PW SuperFan

?

Topic: RE: Was The A340 A Flop?
Username: PHX787
Posted 2012-11-14 00:08:11 and read 2840 times.

Quoting TWA772LR (Reply 5):
IMO, it would've done better because ETOPS was in its infancy, and also would've had "that" much more orders than the 777, which came out later. If the A340 did come that much earlier, I think CO and NW wouldn't have cancelled their orders.

Bingo. ETOPS, the 77L, and 77W, along with the r&d going into the A350 can arguably be said as the nails into the coffin for the A340 program. We can say this can also be said about the MD11, but I may be straying off a bit

Topic: RE: Was The A340 A Flop?
Username: zeke
Posted 2012-11-14 00:24:13 and read 2840 times.

Quoting 76794p (Thread starter):
I have been thinking about this recently. Was the A340 an overall success?

As far as Airbus is concerned, I think they consider it successful. People need to remember that OEMs actually derive more of their income from ongoing maintenance and support than what the do from selling aircraft.

Quoting strfyr51 (Reply 10):
They Kept it all European and installed the CFM-56 which was probably all they HAD at the time..

The launch engine for the A340 was the P&W superfan, P&W were unable to deliver on the engine, the CFM56 was a backup choice, It was not what the aircraft was initially designed with.

Quoting strfyr51 (Reply 10):
Especially after a UAL 777 climbed out of Singapore 1hr AFTER an A340,
En Route Climbed OVER said A340 and Landed 1hr Ahead of said A340 at LHR.

For any aircraft to beat an A340 over a SIN-LHR flight by 2 hours would need to cruise supersonically. The maths does not lie. Yet another a.net myth busted.

Quoting strfyr51 (Reply 10):
BOEING took 3 in Trade For 777's and Airbus refused to support anybody who bought those airplanes FROM Boeing, (they later relented) To me that was pretty much the End of the A340 as a major Program

Boeing actually took something like 17 A340s and a bunch of A310s from SQ. SQ made it a condition of the 777 order that they take all of the Airbus widebodies, which included all of the A340s. The ex-SQ A340s were supported by Airbus, I flew a number of those aircraft for the best part of 10 years after they left SQ, I think the majority of the others ended up in EK and Gulf Air. Yet another a.net myth busted.

Topic: RE: Was The A340 A Flop?
Username: steman
Posted 2012-11-14 00:25:14 and read 2841 times.

I don´t think the A340 has been a failure.
One must consider that it was Airbus first truly long haul model,
the first 4 engined model and part of a bigger family that produced 7 different models
with 2 and 4 engines spanning a wide range of applications.
It also gave Airbus the necessary experience to design the A380.
Few years after entry into service of the original -200 and -300, things started to change
with the improvements in ETOPS technology.
Hence the huge success enjoyed by the B777 and A330 while the A340 started ist´s
slow decline.
Nevertheless it is still in widespread use today with many first tiers operators around
the world. Passengers love its quietness.

The SuperFan, as far as I remember, was a PW project which should have provided
the power for the A340. But it got cancelled when the A340 was on an advanced
design stage.
Airbus had to resort to what was available in the same class and CFMI realized the -5 version
of its popular CFM56.
Is the A340 underpowered? Many believe so. I think it does its job well.

The -500 and -600 came out probably too late and could not really compete against
Boeing´s excellent 777-300ER.
But they are still very modern and extremely elegant airplanes.
We´ll miss the 4 holers when all airliners will be 2 engined.

Topic: RE: Was The A340 A Flop?
Username: btblue
Posted 2012-11-14 00:34:39 and read 2835 times.

I don't see the A340 as a flop but more of a disappointment. Had it arrived a few years earlier (for all versions) then it would likely have garnered more success.

Saying that, we have the A330 which is an almost identical derivative but with two engines and it's still going strong seeing regular updates. So as a programme and lessons learned and implemented, I guess overall it is a success in that respect. Plus we have the birth of the A350XWB which in terms of orders, implies it will be successful too.

Topic: RE: Was The A340 A Flop?
Username: sweair
Posted 2012-11-14 00:42:55 and read 2831 times.

Airbus seem to miss timing of its products in the market, they often seem to miss the big turns and changes. The A340 is a dud IMO, they should have done the A330+ A 777 competitor instead of the A380 back in 2000. The over hyped growth of the credit economy lured Airbus to go for it.

Now they will be late to the big twin party and the A380 is not a big seller, its just too big.

The only families I really think is good is the 320 and 330.

Topic: RE: Was The A340 A Flop?
Username: zeke
Posted 2012-11-14 00:49:36 and read 2832 times.

Quoting steman (Reply 16):

The SuperFan, as far as I remember, was a PW project which should have provided the power for the A340. But it got cancelled when the A340 was on an advanced design stage.

It is somewhat similar to the GTF they are working on today. It was the V2500 core with a geared fan, they promised Airbus an engine with 30,000+ lb thrust with a TSFC that was 15-20% lower than the V2500. if they had produced that engine, even by todays standards it would be very efficient.

Airbus had no idea that P&W could not deliver on the engine until they went to P&Ws headquarters in Connecticut to sign the deal in 1987, only to be told P&W had cancelled the engine, they offered the PW2000 instead. Airbus had already had order for the Superfan powered A340s at that stage from Northwest and Lufthansa.

Topic: RE: Was The A340 A Flop?
Username: Scipio
Posted 2012-11-14 01:04:55 and read 2840 times.

As a family, the A330/A340 is currently the best-selling widebody family of all times (with 1,617 orders), ahead of the B747 (1,529 orders), the B777 (1,380 orders), and the B767 (1,105 orders).

I think that, for many reasons, the A340 was an essential part of this undeniable success.

Topic: RE: Was The A340 A Flop?
Username: anstar
Posted 2012-11-14 01:10:41 and read 2839 times.

Quoting 76794p (Thread starter):
It seems that the only model that has done well is the -600. The -500 didn't terribly well and the -300, in my mind did okay.

And yet we have VS getting rid of 600's and keeping older 300's.

Topic: RE: Was The A340 A Flop?
Username: AF185
Posted 2012-11-14 01:18:15 and read 2837 times.

Quoting Scipio (Reply 20):
As a family, the A330/A340 is currently the best-selling widebody family of all times (with 1,617 orders), ahead of the B747 (1,529 orders), the B777 (1,380 orders), and the B767 (1,105 orders).

I think that, for many reasons, the A340 was an essential part of this undeniable success.

I agree. If you think about it, many airlines have operated an A330/A340 combo (LH, EK, AF, CX, MU, CI, SQ, QR..to name a few), and having the A340 in the fleet most probably convinced some airlines to expand their A330 fleet later on.

Topic: RE: Was The A340 A Flop?
Username: slinky09
Posted 2012-11-14 01:36:07 and read 2828 times.

Quoting anstar (Reply 21):
And yet we have VS getting rid of 600's and keeping older 300's.

Which is more to do with lease terms and overall TCO than one being 'better' than the other.

Topic: RE: Was The A340 A Flop?
Username: brightcedars
Posted 2012-11-14 01:37:47 and read 2832 times.

I don't think you can consider the A330/A340 programme as a whole a failure, by a wide margin.

It put Airbus' foot in the door at many airlines at a time when there was a choice between Boeing and... Boeing after McDonnell Douglas failed to deliver on its promises regarding the MD-11.

And yes, Boeing responded with a fantastic product in the form of the 777.

Still it gave Airbus experience in a new market they hadn't explored before: long haul. Something that gave them the skills to develop the A380 program and now the A350.

I don't see anything more exciting in commercial aviation until Comac produce their own long-haul tube or better, someone leaps into the future or aviation (supersonic jumbos or better).

Topic: RE: Was The A340 A Flop?
Username: pvjin
Posted 2012-11-14 02:16:59 and read 4265 times.

Quoting strfyr51 (Reply 10):
Especially after a UAL 777 climbed out of Singapore 1hr AFTER an A340,
En Route Climbed OVER said A340 and Landed 1hr Ahead of said A340 at LHR

Are you sure? To me that sounds total rubbish unless there were some very significant differences in winds between altitudes.

Topic: RE: Was The A340 A Flop?
Username: Bongodog1964
Posted 2012-11-14 02:24:13 and read 4029 times.

It was launched in to a market place where airlines had a choice of two suppliers for long haul widebodies, today the airlines till have a choice of two, with Airbus having displaced McD.

On the basis that Airbus survived the experience, became a manufacturer which offered a full range of mainline aircraft and are now more or less equal to Boeing it cannot be considered a failure. Even if the A340 never made a euro profit, it still gave the airlines an alternative to Boeing, and now few if any airlines would make a major fleet decision without having a cursory glance at what Airbus has to offer. Until the A340 came along it wasn't even worth their while to do anything other than phone Seattle and accept the offer put in front of them.

Topic: RE: Was The A340 A Flop?
Username: zeke
Posted 2012-11-14 02:30:18 and read 5060 times.

Quoting pvjin (Reply 25):
To me that sounds total rubbish unless there were some very significant differences in winds between altitudes.

SIN-LHR is around 6020 nm along the airways, and would take around 12.5 hrs in an A340, for a 777 to do it in 10.5 hrs, it need to TAS at 573 kts, which is Mach 1 at 36,000 ft.

Topic: RE: Was The A340 A Flop?
Username: FlyCaledonian
Posted 2012-11-14 02:36:02 and read 4763 times.

The A330 could be seen as TriStar 1, DC-10-10 (and even 747-100) replacement, whilst the A340 was a Tristar 500, DC-10-30 and DC-10-40, and a 747-200 replacement. It was designed in the late 1980s, when engines and ETOPs meant a big twin wasn't the thing to do. Remember, the 777 came after the MD-11 and A330/A340, so Boeing was able to see what the competition had coming and come in with a clean sheet design. It was Beong that pushed for the large twin, and then went for the ETOPs capability from the get-go.

The A340 was hit by the recession of the early 1990s, with a number of carriers not taking the aircraft who wanted it, particularly CO and NW. Both went on to add second-hand DC-10s in the mid-1990s, and then went for the 764/772 (CO) and A332/A333 (NW) for their widebody replacement needs.

The A346 is a good plane, but initially came in overweight and was then beaten by the 77W which has proved to be an even more efficient aircraft. As others have said, if Airbus had got that aircraft in service a few years earlier I think it would have taken a few more orders (likely at the expense of some 744s). I wonder why Airbus didn't produce a A335/A336, but perhaps the wing couldn't be developed to support 777 size engines?

Topic: RE: Was The A340 A Flop?
Username: g500
Posted 2012-11-14 02:39:41 and read 4730 times.

Boeing hit the jackpot with the 777 series.... Compared to the 777 one might see the A340 as a failure.. But I don't think it was.

Topic: RE: Was The A340 A Flop?
Username: flyingalex
Posted 2012-11-14 03:37:25 and read 4510 times.

As others have said, it would be too simple a view to look at the number of A340s flying today and declare the programme a failure. The A340 provided Airbus with a crucial stepping stone into the longhaul market, and delivered a base from which they were able to develop the A330 with relatively little R&D cost. The A330 and A340 share a production line, can be flown concurrently, and are very much part of the same overall project.

In its entirety, that project has been fantastically successful for Airbus, even if they didn't sell as many of the four-engined variant as they expected. However, since the success of the two-engined derivative would not have been possible without first building the four-engined base, it was definitely a good move by Airbus to do so.

And, as others have said, at the time when the A340 was developed and first brought into service, ETOPS and ocean-crossing twins were still more of a dream than a reality. ETOPS caught on and caught up very quickly though, and became a game-changer.

Topic: RE: Was The A340 A Flop?
Username: rheinwaldner
Posted 2012-11-14 03:41:22 and read 4504 times.

The A340 played an incredible role in opening new markets Airbus. It was mandatory to become a manufacturer, that offered a full product range.

Keep in mind that any produced A340 was an increase in market share and meant that one of the established OEM's has missed an opportunity to do business. So as a consequence the A340 was one of the key factors why the MD-series have been eliminated in the mean time.

I wonder how a good a GTF-equipped A340 would fare against the 787/A350....

Topic: RE: Was The A340 A Flop?
Username: chieft
Posted 2012-11-14 03:43:26 and read 4513 times.

Boeings moves to get ETOPS extended part by part by the authoroties was a clever strategic masterpiece and lead finally to the fact, that the A340s were kicked out of the markets.

Airbus has recognised that early and designed the A330 - basically another nail on the A340's coffin...

[Edited 2012-11-14 04:06:43]

Topic: RE: Was The A340 A Flop?
Username: na
Posted 2012-11-14 03:47:24 and read 4568 times.

The A340, one of the most elegant airliners ever, wasnt a flop at all. When it came out, it smashed the MD-11, its only serious opponent, only to be overtaken by the 777 in the late 90s (in the mid-90s, when the Triple Seven made its debut, fuel price wasnt such an issue). The A340-600/500 wasnt successful, granted, as RR failed didnt build such an effective engine as GE did for the 77W/77L.
But in the end, as it was developed together with the widely identical A330, the overall program is even one of the big success stories of civil aviation.

Topic: RE: Was The A340 A Flop?
Username: faro
Posted 2012-11-14 03:51:05 and read 4453 times.

Quoting zeke (Reply 15):
As far as Airbus is concerned, I think they consider it successful. People need to remember that OEMs actually derive more of their income from ongoing maintenance and support than what the do from selling aircraft.

Certainly it was not helped by the demise of the Super Fan.

To my mind it's a success if it has broken even on i) joint A330/A340 development costs and ii) A340-specific development costs after taking into account the earnings margins derived from spare parts, training, support, mx, etc.

We can assume that break-even on i) was achieved a long time ago. Can we reasonably assume that break-even was also met for ii) given incremental A345/6 development costs?


Faro

Topic: RE: Was The A340 A Flop?
Username: LAXintl
Posted 2012-11-14 03:53:58 and read 4536 times.

As others eluded to, Airbus killed the A340 with one of its own models.

I well recall sitting in briefings to airlines in the 1990s, an Airbus would push its dual A330/A340 model family offerings.
Basically the A330 was recommended for segments under 8-hours and A340 over 8.

But as the A330 family grew in capability, the lines got blurred, to the point Airbus eventually itself having to admit the A330 was economically far superior to the A340 in most airline business cases.

Eventually I stopped seeing Airbus even offer the A340 any longer except in a few cases trying to push the -600 in futile line up against the 777.

But I think its also important to remember - the A340 was more meant as a competitor to things like the MD-11 at the time, but yes I do also think Airbus failed to properly gauge what Boeing was able to do with the 777 and the great popularity the aircraft was able to achieve.

Topic: RE: Was The A340 A Flop?
Username: flyingalex
Posted 2012-11-14 04:08:25 and read 4417 times.

Quoting LAXintl (Reply 35):
But I think its also important to remember - the A340 was more meant as a competitor to things like the MD-11 at the time, but yes I do also think Airbus failed to properly gauge what Boeing was able to do with the 777 and the great popularity the aircraft was able to achieve.

Exactly. With the A340, Airbus achieved what it set out to achieve - to build a longhaul widebody aircraft that was better than the widebodies that ruled the 70s and 80s, and could capably replace them. It was their bad luck that the market moved on before they could really sell a lot of said aircraft, but it laid an important foundation for the future.

Topic: RE: Was The A340 A Flop?
Username: AirbusA6
Posted 2012-11-14 04:35:16 and read 4422 times.

The A340-300 was definitely NOT a flop, as it was effectively an A330-300ER, but with 4 engines instead of 2, but sharing virtually everything else, it definitely sold enough to pay for these differences, launched Airbus into a new market sector AND kicked MD out of the business, by taking many potential MD11 customers...

The A340-500/600 probably has to be considered a flop, as it was an expensive derivative that delivered few sales, and of all the recent Airbus and Boeing products is the one most comprehensively outperformed by a rival. The airframe was a major part of the problem, an A330-600 wouldn't have been optimal either, hence the launch of the replacement A350-1000.

Topic: RE: Was The A340 A Flop?
Username: OzGlobal
Posted 2012-11-14 04:36:07 and read 4349 times.

Is the better question, wasn't the A340/A330 family a great success, spanning as it has different ETOPS eras and eveolving range and performance...? It is after all more or less one plane with variants.

Topic: RE: Was The A340 A Flop?
Username: jfk777
Posted 2012-11-14 04:49:24 and read 4453 times.

The A340 gets a bum rap for poor sales, its like the Airbus 747SP. But what did the SP and A340 have in common ? They were part of much bigger successful programs which sold or are selling over 1000 planes which for a widebody is a lot. The 747 speaks for its own sales and the A330/340 program is still going strong, its is the A330 growth that killed the A340. IF an A330 can do what the A340 did wy would you buy a A340 ? You wouldn't, A330 are strong crossing the Atlantic like 767 did and even fly the Pacific to Korea and Japan. There are a few flights where the A340 can't be replaced by an A330 but those are too few to worry about. The A340 "flop" has become the A330-300's success.

Topic: RE: Was The A340 A Flop?
Username: Ferroviarius
Posted 2012-11-14 05:58:41 and read 4192 times.

Quoting na (Reply 33):
The A340-600/500 wasnt successful, granted, as RR failed didnt build such an effective engine as GE did for the 77W/77L.

One possibly should mention that RR already DID have the TRENT 8104 when Boeing was looking for engines for the 77W/L. RR suggested to develop that 8104 into an 8110 or 8115 but was, if I recall correctly, not willing to make a deal with B - as GE did - in sharing R&D costs for the entire 77W/L. GE did and B agreed to ONLY accept GE engines on the 77W/L.


Concerning the 342 and 343, I wonder whether there might be available within some years a development of P&W's GTF currently being prepared for the 32? NEOs to replace the CFMs. Thus, re-engined versions of the 342 and 343 might be available and economically viable solutions for - possibly (?) - passenger traffic but also as freighters.

Best,

Ferroviarius

Topic: RE: Was The A340 A Flop?
Username: sweair
Posted 2012-11-14 06:13:46 and read 4131 times.

Quoting Ferroviarius (Reply 40):
Concerning the 342 and 343, I wonder whether there might be available within some years a development of P&W's GTF currently being prepared for the 32? NEOs to replace the CFMs. Thus, re-engined versions of the 342 and 343 might be available and economically viable solutions for - possibly (?) - passenger traffic but also as freighters.

The market is saturated with freighters and old frames, it would not be worth the cost, the A340 program is history and dead anyway.

Topic: RE: Was The A340 A Flop?
Username: rfields5421
Posted 2012-11-14 06:25:16 and read 4121 times.

Quoting TWA772LR (Reply 9):
Why would you design two nearly identical planes, and have them do nearly identical missions? Is it the whole ETOPS thing?

It is very easy today to dismiss the impact of ETOPS upon aircraft design and usage.

The idea of Trans-Pacific flights in a twin, Trans-Atlantic flights from the Caribbean to Europe, a route such as the LAN B767 from Chile to Easter Island to Tahiti, etc - simply wasn't acceptable.

EROPS did not allow twins to fly northern Trans-Atlantic routes unless the aircraft actually overflew UAK - KEF - FAE until the revision of ETOPS in 1985.

There were no long range twins flying from the US to Hawaii at that time.

By then much of the A330/A340 design work had be done and Airbus was committed to the concept. The A340/A330 long range / short range concept was finalized in 1982.

It was ETOPS 90 initially in 1985, when ETOPS 120 was approved.

ETOPS 180 did not happen until 1988.

The A340 isn't a flop. It was just a product that came out near the end of the life cycle of smaller quads. The A340 was never designed to compete head to head with the B747, but to fill the gap for airlines that did not need a full sized B747 aircraft.

Airbus quickly found with ETOPS that the A330 twin could be a greater selling long range aircraft than the A340.

Topic: RE: Was The A340 A Flop?
Username: StickShaker
Posted 2012-11-14 06:27:07 and read 4133 times.

Quoting RickNRoll (Reply 8):
The program created a twin and four engine plane using mostly common parts. The A330 has been a huge success

The original 330/340 family as launched in the late 80's comprised the 342, 343 and 333. All R&D costs were for the "family" rather than any individual model. The 332 came much later. While the 342/3 sold less than hoped this shortfall has certainly been made up by the 330 models. Its not appropriate to describe these 340 models as a failure as the overall program has been very successful. Having a common wing with the 340 has given the 330 plenty of room for MTOW increases which has led to its range increases which have made it so much more appealling.

Quoting SIA747Megatop (Reply 6):
back when SQ ordered the A340-500 in 1999 oil was less than $25. When the said aircrafts were delivered in 2004 oil was still less than $50.

And within a few more years oil had climbed to around $150/barrel. The 345/6 suffered the perfect storm, massive increases in fuel prices along with competition from a new twin whose engine (GE90) exceeded all expectations.


Regards,
StickShaker

Topic: RE: Was The A340 A Flop?
Username: Ferroviarius
Posted 2012-11-14 06:34:02 and read 4099 times.

Quoting sweair (Reply 41):
The market is saturated with freighters and old frames, it would not be worth the cost, the A340 program is history and dead anyway.

Yes, Sweair, but these old frames will have to be recycled within some years and then re-engined 34?s might become acceptable MD10 or MD11 replacements. Of course, they cannot compete with any 77F, 332F or 748 but they would be MUCH cheaper to acquire. They still do establish economic value as airplanes, not as parts of airplanes, only, as long as they are airworthy, I assume, just as the MD11s today are economically valuable freighters while at the same time not useful any longer as passenger airplanes.

Or am I wrong???

Best,
Ferroviarius

Topic: RE: Was The A340 A Flop?
Username: EagleBoy
Posted 2012-11-14 06:35:44 and read 4098 times.

Quoting sweair (Reply 18):
The A340 is a dud IMO, they should have done the A330+......

The only families I really think is good is the 320 and 330.

You seem to be missing the point mentioned by several posters.

The A340 was a complement to the A330. At the time of design an 'A330+' was not an option due to engine technology. In recent years we now have the upgraded 'A330+' as you refer to it.

Quoting jfk777 (Reply 39):
There are a few flights where the A340 can't be replaced by an A330 but those are too few to worry about. The A340 "flop" has become the A330-300's success.

P.S. the A340 is part of the A330 family........

[Edited 2012-11-14 06:36:04]

Topic: RE: Was The A340 A Flop?
Username: sweair
Posted 2012-11-14 06:36:27 and read 4060 times.

Re engine is not that straight forward, it would involve certification and big investments, who would foot that bill?!

Topic: RE: Was The A340 A Flop?
Username: ecbomberman
Posted 2012-11-14 06:37:08 and read 4067 times.

I think that when you look at the A340, one must consider it together with the A330.

I think that Airbus was revolutionary in terms thinking (when one looks back) that you get 2 airplanes with essentially almost identical parts (e.g.: airframe and to a certain extent, the wings). I would say that it was very clever on Airbus' part in order to minimise risk and establish themselves as a company capable of making large planes.

I know, correct me if I'm wrong, that Boeing created cockpit communality with the 757/767. However, Airbus went a step further by going one step further so that pilots can fly A320/330/340 (correct me if I'm wrong again). I'm sure not a lot of people appreciated this during the early years but I would hazard a guess that it might be more of a significance nowadays.

By gaining experience from the A330/340 project, Airbus was then able to get more ambitious and created the A380. I'm sure without the experience of the prior, Airbus would not have been able to achieve it.

Quoting BlueSky1976 (Reply 11):
Quoting BlueSky1976 (Reply 11):
A330 was initially medium-haul twin. A340 was the long-haul quad. Together, they were meant to complement each other.

Had the original PW SuperFan worked, Airbus would have sold many more A340.

A330 became long-haul aircraft through the course of time. Initially, its range oscillated around 7000km, with all improvements it grew to nearly 11000km for -300 variant, giving it the performace it has now. Hence, no need for A340 any more.

Enter A350XWB...

Couldn't have agreed more.

Despite the high fuel costs, the A343 still does have a niche market to fulfil. Those long and thin routes where the 77E are too big for the job and not cost effective or hot and high fields where twins are 1 engine inop restricted.

Thus, I would like to think that one should not just look at the surface of things. The A340 does have a market and it should be considered a success for such a small company at that time (and probably still now with the A343).

Topic: RE: Was The A340 A Flop?
Username: AM744
Posted 2012-11-14 07:21:42 and read 3977 times.

Quoting steman (Reply 16):
I don´t think the A340 has been a failure.
One must consider that it was Airbus first truly long haul model,
the first 4 engined model and part of a bigger family that produced 7 different models
with 2 and 4 engines spanning a wide range of applications.
It also gave Airbus the necessary experience to design the A380.

I think this can't be understated. The A340 at the very least, made Airbus a legitimate contender in the large airplane market.

Topic: RE: Was The A340 A Flop?
Username: strfyr51
Posted 2012-11-14 07:30:29 and read 4009 times.

Quoting Lutfi (Reply 12):

unfortunately? That was NOT the case, The PW JT9D-7G/R/Q, the CF6-50 and 80 series,the RB211-524 and 535's and any Number of Russian Built engines were all plying the skies at the time the A340 was designed and built, and each would have given the A340 some get up and GO.
The A340-200 and -300 appears to have been designed to just enough power to lift it's bulk at Max Gross Weight, and not 1 Pound more. I've watched that Airplane climb out of ORD in the evening for FRT and it wallows like a beached Whale, while the -500 climbs like it's Tail is on fire and it's trying to outrun the flames. For a long time VS had a banner on it's side "4 Engines Not Two" Because as many know, ETOPS was a TWA Idea pioneered by TWA/ Boeing and their B767-233's who did the first concept and proving runs. The Center tank was fully installed with pumps and wiring but wasn't even Activated on the United 767-222's because flying Domestically we didn't need them. Even Boeing and the FAA had to be convinced that the B767-200's could fly ETOPS and TWA provided the extensive route planning. For 60 and 120 Min. ETOPS. over the Atlantic. The FAA came up with ETOPS Criteria for Safe Operation.
The FAA didn't get heavily into the act with the 180, 207 and now 300 Min Rules until Boeing Purpose Built the 767-300 series for ETOPS. And freely Admitted at the time, That if the Idea sells Airplanes? They were all for it.
And that more than anything IMHO Might have spelled the end of the Trijet and put a crimp in the A340 Program .
And as it appears?? I might be right. Even the 777-200A was purpose built for the US-EU and west coast to Hawaii market
and why Hardly anybody today has any 200A Airplanes and buy ONLY the -B, -ER and -LR airplanes .

Topic: RE: Was The A340 A Flop?
Username: PM
Posted 2012-11-14 07:41:47 and read 3963 times.

What I would have said about the A340 as a commercial proposition has already been said (and well) above so I won't add to it. It was no flop.

But I might add the customer's perspective. I've done 23 flights on various A340s in Economy and Business and it remains a preferred airliner if I have the choice.

I suppose I'm suggesting that there is more than one way to look at 'flop'. A 10-abreast 777 will kick sand in the face of an 8-abreast A340 in terms of generating income for the airline. But, having flown on both, I know which is the better travelling experience.

Topic: RE: Was The A340 A Flop?
Username: b741
Posted 2012-11-14 07:48:53 and read 3964 times.

Not from a spotter's point of view. The first time I saw one from a distance I thought OMG a 707!!

Topic: RE: Was The A340 A Flop?
Username: YULWinterSkies
Posted 2012-11-14 08:19:02 and read 3607 times.

The MD11 was quite a flop, from a commercial and technological point of view. The A340 overall sold reasonably well, put the MD11 out of the market in a couple of years, and reliability problems on the A340 are quite unheard of, despite being a quad, having more maintenance etc, etc.... It is just not as fuel-efficient as a twin would be (ie the 777 or the A330 for anywhere where true long-range range is not needed), but this is inherited from late 80s technology, before B broke the barrier and became able to build a long-range large-sized wide-body.

Could Airbus have developed a long-range A330 instead of a long-range A340 and a medium-range A330?
Airbus would probably know this better than anyone else, I'm taking the safe bet that they are not idiots, considered it, but did not want to run into too many problems and delays, and gave up for 2 more conventional airplanes instead of 1 ground breaking one.

One has to keep in mind that at the time, they had yet to establish themselves as a true long-range aircraft manufacturer. The A340-A330 duo accomplished that mission perfectly, and is now probably beyond their initial hopes (regarding the success of all A330 improvements, which have now become almost as capable as the first A340 with much better fuel economy). Boeing certainly never liked this, and this is indirectly what pushed them to build the 777. They had to come up with something revolutionary asap or Airbus would have totally taken over the market.

The A340-500/600 is where Airbus could have avoided spending resources, however. They would certainly have, had they anticipated the trouble the A380 has gotten them into!

Topic: RE: Was The A340 A Flop?
Username: FI642
Posted 2012-11-14 08:30:31 and read 3489 times.

Quoting YULWinterSkies (Reply 52):

The MD11 was quite a flop, from a commercial and technological point of view. The A340 overall sold reasonably well, put the MD11 out of the market in a couple of years, and reliability problems on the A340 are quite unheard of, despite being a quad, having more maintenance etc, etc.... It is just not as fuel-efficient as a twin would be (ie the 777 or the A330 for anywhere where true long-range range is not needed), but this is inherited from late 80s technology, before B broke the barrier and became able to build a long-range large-sized wide-body.

True, but it's found quite the market as a freighter and converted to a freighter. FedEx and UPS make a lot of money utilising the MD11. It's still one of my favourite birds to have flown.

Topic: RE: Was The A340 A Flop?
Username: KochamLOT
Posted 2012-11-14 09:12:56 and read 3414 times.

Who knows if it was a flop for Airbus or not but I would say for Passengers it definitley was refreshing. Many people who are scared of flying like flying with 4 engines. Airlines like Virgin used flying with 4 engines as something to brag about. Flying the A340-600 was my most relaxing and enjoyable experience and by far the quietest aircraft Ive ever flown on.
4 engines 4 long haul does have its drawbacks and with the reliability and etops and the efficiency of the twins these days, it would make sense that Airbus could see the A340 as something to move on from.

Topic: RE: Was The A340 A Flop?
Username: PHX787
Posted 2012-11-14 09:24:10 and read 3457 times.

Quoting zeke (Reply 27):
Quoting pvjin (Reply 25):
To me that sounds total rubbish unless there were some very significant differences in winds between altitudes.

SIN-LHR is around 6020 nm along the airways, and would take around 12.5 hrs in an A340, for a 777 to do it in 10.5 hrs, it need to TAS at 573 kts, which is Mach 1 at 36,000 ft.

Don't forget that the GE-90, weight differences, and the 77L fuselage shape pretty much gives it a huge advantage there. Don't wanna be the guy who turns it into an A v. B thread, but in reality, it's mark 1 for Boeing here.
I really do love the A340, but it was just awful timing in its introduction

Topic: RE: Was The A340 A Flop?
Username: Jalap
Posted 2012-11-14 09:26:21 and read 3424 times.

If I remember correctly, pre 1995 the 342 and 343 were the good sellers while the 333 wasn't doing very well. I think it was the 332 that really got the 330 selling well. And today it's the 333 that's the hot one while the 332 is losing ground.

This shows that you have to take the entire family in mind when you evaluate the 340. And it shows the versatility of the concept. Sure, it probably was strange to develop a quad and a twin in the same family, but by doing so they gave themselves a lot of freedom for future development. I'm sure nobody at airbus in 1992 expected that the 333 would still be selling like hotcakes 20 years later, had the world and technology developed differently it may have been the 346 that was crowding the skies today.

And apart from all the rationale, the 342 simply is the most beautifull thing in the skies, in my opinion!

Topic: RE: Was The A340 A Flop?
Username: ukoverlander
Posted 2012-11-14 09:58:48 and read 3381 times.

Considering that the A330/A340 models are essentially derivatives of a single platform does it even make sense to question/analyze whether the A340 is a flop?

The A330 is an enormous success and while the A340 derivative necessarilly had some structural differences, these were relatively few in the big picture and the additional incremental costs of building in those differences were probably relatively small overall and have long since been recovered through sales over time.

From Airbus's perspective the return on their investment in the A330/40 program must leave them pretty happy. Due to the commonality of the design/engineering I'd venture to say the A340 filled it's niche. Today it may have largely been bypassed by the big twins (due to changes in ETOPS,) but the continued success of the A330 means the platform overall continues to provide return on their investment and has been an excellent product for Airbus.

Topic: RE: Was The A340 A Flop?
Username: 9VSIO
Posted 2012-11-14 10:27:21 and read 3360 times.

Quoting jfk777 (Reply 39):
its like the Airbus 747SP

The what?!

Topic: RE: Was The A340 A Flop?
Username: CF-CPI
Posted 2012-11-14 10:37:54 and read 3405 times.

Quoting strfyr51 (Reply 10):
Where upon
SQ dumped their order for the A340

Ironically, SQ had dumped the MD-11 in favor of these A340s, in a purchase that was widely seen as the death knell for the MD-11 market, such was the influence of SQ at the time.

Topic: RE: Was The A340 A Flop?
Username: zeke
Posted 2012-11-14 10:38:21 and read 3406 times.

Quoting PHX787 (Reply 55):
Don't forget that the GE-90, weight differences, and the 77L fuselage shape pretty much gives it a huge advantage there.

That has nothing to do with the comment that I was referring to....

Quoting strfyr51 (Reply 10):
Especially after a UAL 777 climbed out of Singapore 1hr AFTER an A340, En Route Climbed OVER said A340 and Landed 1hr Ahead of said A340 at LHR.

UAL does not have the 77L, and no 777 can cruise at Mach 1, the myth is busted. What is also false about this statement is that the A340 has better initial and en-route climb capability over the 777.

Topic: RE: Was The A340 A Flop?
Username: starrymarkb
Posted 2012-11-14 10:45:47 and read 3337 times.

Quoting ecbomberman (Reply 47):
Airbus went a step further by going one step further so that pilots can fly A320/330/340 (correct me if I'm wrong again)

A330 and A340 are common Type Rating - going from the A320 to the A330/340 needs a conversion course but only a short one (5 days IIRC) due to the high similarity...

Topic: RE: Was The A340 A Flop?
Username: airbazar
Posted 2012-11-14 10:54:45 and read 3358 times.

It sold 300 frames, despite ETOPS, and it's part of the same family as the A330. If that's a flop, it's one happy flop 

Topic: RE: Was The A340 A Flop?
Username: XT6Wagon
Posted 2012-11-14 11:09:13 and read 3347 times.

The A343 was quite good for its day. The A342 had its uses even with its fairly horrible operating economics. Certainly better for most airlines than the 747 that killed many airlines through it being far too much plane for them.

where it goes off the rails is the A340NG which combined breaking commonality to a massive degree, expensive captial costs, and even higher operating costs.

Topic: RE: Was The A340 A Flop?
Username: mham001
Posted 2012-11-14 11:11:04 and read 3390 times.

Quoting zeke (Reply 27):
SIN-LHR is around 6020 nm along the airways, and would take around 12.5 hrs in an A340, for a 777 to do it in 10.5 hrs, it need to TAS at 573 kts, which is Mach 1 at 36,000 ft.

2 hours may be a myth but lets look at where that began. Your numbers assume the A340 was cruising at rated speed. Airbus themselves, when they threatened to sue Boeing in 1996 over their claim of the 777 shaving 1 hour on long haul, admitted that early operators of the type were cruising at 0.78 Mach to increase either payload or range. In other words, they flew the plane slower to overcome other shortfalls.

Quoting zeke (Reply 15):
Boeing actually took something like 17 A340s and a bunch of A310s from SQ. SQ made it a condition of the 777 order that they take all of the Airbus widebodies, which included all of the A340s. The ex-SQ A340s were supported by Airbus, I flew a number of those aircraft for the best part of 10 years after they left SQ, I think the majority of the others ended up in EK and Gulf Air. Yet another a.net myth busted.

I'm not sure what "a.net myth" you are referring, but the poster was correct about Airbus threats to service before backing off.
Boeing Regrets SIA Celestar Deal (by Singapore_Air Nov 9 2001 in Civil Aviation)

Topic: RE: Was The A340 A Flop?
Username: zeke
Posted 2012-11-14 11:12:42 and read 3389 times.

Quoting starrymarkb (Reply 61):
A330 and A340 are common Type Rating - going from the A320 to the A330/340 needs a conversion course but only a short one (5 days IIRC) due to the high similarity...

No, the A330 and A340 are not a common type rating, the A330 and A350 are being proposed to be. One can CCQ (cross crew qualification) from any of the FBW Airbus aircraft to another, it is a short transition course as you described. It is also possible to MFF (mixed fleet flying) between different FBW airbus types, e.g. A320/A340, A320/A330, A330/A340, similar with the A380 and A350 in the future.

Topic: RE: Was The A340 A Flop?
Username: OldAeroGuy
Posted 2012-11-14 11:16:06 and read 3402 times.

Quoting zeke (Reply 60):
What is also false about this statement is that the A340 has better initial and en-route climb capability over the 777.

Which A340's and which 777's are you refering to? The initial climb and ICAC relationships between the A343 and the 772ER are not the same as the relationships for the A346 and 773ER.

Topic: RE: Was The A340 A Flop?
Username: Burkhard
Posted 2012-11-14 11:21:04 and read 3343 times.

No. The A340 was the aircraft that made Airbus a producer of long range aircraft, was mandatory to enhance their market share of 50%+ - the A340 was one of the biggest successes in aviation ever.

Airbus, having the A340 line booked out still for many years, does not mind a second if the aircraft are delivered with 4 engines and are called A340 or with two engines under the marketing name A330 - both are largely identical, provide a huge profit to Airbus, so I can only repeat - - the A340 was one of the biggest successes in aviation ever, comparable as THE game changer only with the 737.

Topic: RE: Was The A340 A Flop?
Username: Boeing777300
Posted 2012-11-14 11:40:01 and read 3353 times.

On the subject of nervous passengers preferring a four engine plane to fly in, I remember a programme on BBC TV a few years ago about British Airways, where a high ranking official (from either BA or RR, I can't remember exactly) said that " the only reason he flew on four engine aircraft across the Atlantic is because no manufacturer built one with five engines". In this regard, I believe that the A340 was of its time.

Topic: RE: Was The A340 A Flop?
Username: zeke
Posted 2012-11-14 11:41:50 and read 3414 times.

Quoting OldAeroGuy (Reply 66):
Which A340's and which 777's are you refering to? The initial climb and ICAC relationships between the A343 and the 772ER are not the same as the relationships for the A346 and 773ER.

Both, the A343 will be able to reach a high initial cruise altitude over the 772ER, 744, and 77W at max weight. The Boeings when heave are typically stuck just below FL300, the A340 above FL310.

Topic: RE: Was The A340 A Flop?
Username: AAMDanny
Posted 2012-11-14 11:43:36 and read 3340 times.

The A340 paved the way for the A330, they share the same fuselage as well as many other systems, the main difference is ones a quad and the others a twin. But together as they are part of the same family so the A340 could had been a flop, but when You factor in sister aircraft the A330... I think it was a success.

Topic: RE: Was The A340 A Flop?
Username: jfk777
Posted 2012-11-14 11:48:09 and read 3364 times.

Quoting EagleBoy (Reply 45):
P.S. the A340 is part of the A330 family........



Really > I thought it part of teh A320 family, its big cousin. NOT, I don't need to be lectured on what the relationship beween the A330 and 340, thanks.

Quoting 9VSIO (Reply 58):
Quoting jfk777 (Reply 39):its like the Airbus 747SP
The what?!

My comparison to teh SP is that the A340 is a slow selling version of planes in a larger program, over 1000 747 were sold but only 47 were SP's.

Topic: RE: Was The A340 A Flop?
Username: ZaphodB
Posted 2012-11-14 16:26:48 and read 3218 times.

Quoting zeke (Reply 69):

Quoting OldAeroGuy (Reply 66):
Which A340's and which 777's are you refering to? The initial climb and ICAC relationships between the A343 and the 772ER are not the same as the relationships for the A346 and 773ER.

Both, the A343 will be able to reach a high initial cruise altitude over the 772ER, 744, and 77W at max weight. The Boeings when heave are typically stuck just below FL300, the A340 above FL310.

Every 77W flight I've taken had to level off at FL290. The last A widebody I can recall doing that was the 306R.
And those who love to complain about the 343s sedate takeoff roll and slow climb out should take a ride on QF8.

[Edited 2012-11-14 16:28:09]

Topic: RE: Was The A340 A Flop?
Username: 76794p
Posted 2012-11-14 17:57:24 and read 3097 times.

Thanks so much everybody! Very insightful about the program.

Topic: RE: Was The A340 A Flop?
Username: cosyr
Posted 2012-11-14 18:41:06 and read 3104 times.

Given that the Hull was derived from the A300 and shared with the A330, the development costs were lower than say a 787 and split between a couple types of planes. I would say that they more than broke even. I don't think it was a flop for Airbus, but the 777 and their own A330 made it a flop for airlines who bought it.

Topic: RE: Was The A340 A Flop?
Username: strfyr51
Posted 2012-11-14 23:57:27 and read 3016 times.

well the result of SQ's dumping the A340 for the B777 was Boeing Took them in on a trade and probably made $0.00 on selling the used airplanes, What's more?? They did it AGAIN with 17 A340's For China Eastern..
But I wa s at WORK the day the 777 landed before the SQ 340 and an SQ passenger reported to his Company That HE believed the SQ A340 must have Crashed because he left Behind them and landed in front of them. By 1 HR.
It wasn't a rumour and sent shock waves all over the place. NOBODY wants to see another airline Lose an airplane and this guy set off a PANIC in London and Singapore before the SQ A340 landed. We actually HAD an SQ 340 and an SQ 747-412 on the ground preparing to depart. from the Old SFO International Terminal as UAL was the Only USA Based Airline for a while Qualified on the A340 By Lufthansa and Singapore. (Star Alliance Partners)
here is the article I quoted
: Kuwait Times
NEW YORK: Boeing may soon be looking for buyers for long-range passenger jets built by arch-rival Airbus under a rare trade-in deal with China’s third largest airline that underscores all-out competition between the planemakers. The US planemaker has agreed to buy half of China Eastern’s fleet of 10 Airbus A340 jets as part of a $6 billion deal to sell 20 Boeing 777s to the airline, the Shanghai carrier said in a stock exchange filing on Monday. Airbus has itself agreed to take back the other half of China Eastern’s A340 fleet as part of a separate deal to sell 15 A330 jets, but faces likely delays in getting the deal done due to a row between China and Europe over emissions.
The two deals lift a veil on an obscure corner of the jetliner industry, where planes are traded in like used cars. Just like car dealerships, the world’s dominant aircraft manufacturers sometimes offer to take back their old models when trying to persuade airlines to upgrade to the latest models, in an industry with $100 billion in annual new sales. But experts agree it is unusual for aircraft to cross over the barrier separating Airbus and Boeing in their combative duopoly, and when they do it stokes up emotions on both sides. “It sometimes happens but it is not their preferred route at all,” said Karl Bruenjes, managing director of UK-based RPK Capital Management, a specialist in second-hand aircraft.

The deal echoes a move by Boeing to buy A340s from Singapore Airlines in the mid-1990s including some still in assembly. Back then, the aim was to support a blockbuster sale of 777s. When delivery came there was a brief spat over whether Airbus would support the A340s, according to people familiar with the deal. The subsequent trading spawned a joke inside Boeing headquarters that Boeing had placed more A340s than Airbus that year-a source of irritation for Airbus that may be repeated if Boeing quickly sells the jets it plans to buy this time.

Airbus halted production of the slow-selling A340 last year. In 1984, according to industry sources and web databases, Boeing bought a handful of brand-new Airbus A310 models assigned to Kuwait Airways to allow the airline to take Boeings instead. In the European camp, in 2008 Air Algerie told the United States that Airbus had offered to buy its entire Boeing fleet to prise open a key Boeing client, according to an unconfirmed account in a cable marked “sensitive” and released by Wikileaks.

Airbus said its policy was not to buy Boeing airplanes. “It is very rare in this industry that someone buys their competitor’s aircraft. We do not do it,” sales chief John Leahy said. Boeing said it did not comment on specific transactions, but a spokesman added: “In general it is fair to say that at times we do take airplanes in trade, including occasionally non-Boeing airplanes, as part of our orders transactions.”

DIFFICULT SECOND-HAND MARKET
The A340 entered service boasting “four engines for long haul” in 1993, shortly before the 777 ushered in an era of two engines for all but the biggest aircraft or the longest routes. While the 777 enjoyed record sales last year, Airbus decided to halt production of the A340, which was outsold four to one. China Eastern’s A340 fleet includes five A340-600s, until recently the world’s longest jetliner and still relatively young at an average age of 8.3 years. According to UK consultancy Ascend, the notional market value of these jets, which are due to be sold to Boeing, is $55 million each, but some dealers called the figure optimistic. “The A340 is a difficult market and they will be competing with the manufacturer,” Bruenjes said, noting that Airbus already has nine A340s on its own list of trade-ins for sale.

“The value will mainly be in the engines, not so much the airframe. An existing operator might be interested in getting some at cheap prices, but we wouldn’t pay more than $30 million each, and that’s if we looked at them at all,” Bruenjes said. Airbus faces an even tougher task if gets the green light from Beijing, since its half of the proposed A340 fleet trade-in is older at roughly 15 years and the model has less range. Ascend’s market value for those five A340-300 jets is $15 million each, but Bruenjes estimated a seller would be lucky to get much more than the value of the engines-some $4 million.

The A340 averaged $250 million new at list prices before it was taken out of production. In practice jetmakers take trade-ins to facilitate new sales rather than make extensive profits. Airbus says a future jet, the carbon-composite A350-1000, will leapfrog the 777 and wrest back one of the most lucrative parts of the global airliner market from Boeing. Pending that jet’s arrival in 2017, the smaller A330 is selling well and the 777 is said to compete on occasions with the much larger A380. Boeing is considering revamping the 777 to protect its grip on the 300-400 seat market and try to pre-empt the challenge from the A350-1000, which is still trying to establish momentum.- Reuters

Topic: RE: Was The A340 A Flop?
Username: rheinwaldner
Posted 2012-11-15 00:33:42 and read 2983 times.

Quoting jfk777 (Reply 71):
over 1000 747 were sold but only 47 were SP's.

Well in that light the SP and the A340 seem not that much comparable...

Topic: RE: Was The A340 A Flop?
Username: pvjin
Posted 2012-11-15 01:23:38 and read 2990 times.

Quoting strfyr51 (Reply 75):
It wasn't a rumour and sent shock waves all over the place. NOBODY wants to see another airline Lose an airplane and this guy set off a PANIC in London and Singapore before the SQ A340 landed.

During flight from London to Singapore that A340 must have been under radar coverage at that time, why would people panic instead of contacting other authorities to confirm it's still on their radar?

If your story is true I believe that A340 either had some kind of malfunction that caused them to fly slower / stay in way below cruising altitude for long time or had to fly longer route, pure cruising speed difference between 777 and A340 simply can't create that big difference in flying time.

Topic: RE: Was The A340 A Flop?
Username: zeke
Posted 2012-11-15 01:24:41 and read 2989 times.

Quoting strfyr51 (Reply 75):
well the result of SQ's dumping the A340 for the B777 was Boeing Took them in on a trade and probably made $0.00 on selling the used airplanes, What's more?? They did it AGAIN with 17 A340's For China Eastern..
But I wa s at WORK the day the 777 landed before the SQ 340 and an SQ passenger reported to his Company That HE believed the SQ A340 must have Crashed because he left Behind them and landed in front of them. By 1 HR.
It wasn't a rumour and sent shock waves all over the place. NOBODY wants to see another airline Lose an airplane and this guy set off a PANIC in London and Singapore before the SQ A340 landed. We actually HAD an SQ 340 and an SQ 747-412 on the ground preparing to depart. from the Old SFO International Terminal as UAL was the Only USA Based Airline for a while Qualified on the A340 By Lufthansa and Singapore. (Star Alliance Partners)
here is the article I quoted

Did you ask yourself if United ever actually operated the SIN-LHR route ? let alone with a 777 ?

Boeing made money on the sale of the A340s, I flew some of those aircraft for years. So did EK.

Topic: RE: Was The A340 A Flop?
Username: flyingalex
Posted 2012-11-15 12:21:00 and read 2934 times.

Quoting zeke (Reply 78):
Did you ask yourself if United ever actually operated the SIN-LHR route ? let alone with a 777 ?

They didn't. And BA didn't start flying 777s between Singapore and London until long after SQ dumped their A343s.

I'm going to say what you're thinking and call BS.

Quoting PM (Reply 50):
But I might add the customer's perspective. I've done 23 flights on various A340s in Economy and Business and it remains a preferred airliner if I have the choice.

I suppose I'm suggesting that there is more than one way to look at 'flop'. A 10-abreast 777 will kick sand in the face of an 8-abreast A340 in terms of generating income for the airline. But, having flown on both, I know which is the better travelling experience.

Amen, brother!

Topic: RE: Was The A340 A Flop?
Username: Boeing777300
Posted 2012-11-16 00:36:27 and read 2902 times.

As far as I recall, no airline has regularly flown an A340-300 from SIN-LHR, certainly not Singapore Airlines, upto the A380 service it was always 747 based service once they entered the SIA fleet, along with 777-300ER until recently when the 3 x daily became all A380 then when the 4th daily service it has been a 777-300ER again.

The only time I have ever seen a SIA 340 near LHR is OTT from EWR-SIN direct.

Topic: RE: Was The A340 A Flop?
Username: dennys
Posted 2012-11-16 09:46:36 and read 2865 times.

For me the A340 is still flying , and that makes me happy . I feel quite safer on a fine looking quad than on a twin , specially on overseas routes such as JNB PER , JNB NYC , EZE JNB or EZE SYD over the Antartic Ocean .


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