VirginFlyer From New Zealand, joined Sep 2000, 4537 posts, RR: 48 Reply 2, posted (9 years 10 months 3 weeks 5 days 20 hours ago) and read 2891 times:
Gordon - yup, they flew an A340-200 TLS-AKL, with WorldRanger titles on the aircraft. I was lucky enough to be at Auckland Airport that evening, saw it come in, and even sat in on the press conference (ah they joys of being a child...). I was even able to have a quick word to the flight crew. I was quite saddened to learn, some time later, that the Captain (and I think maybe some others too) were on the A330 prototype when it crashed (the next year I believe).
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AZMD80 From Italy, joined Nov 2003, 289 posts, RR: 0 Reply 3, posted (9 years 10 months 3 weeks 5 days 18 hours ago) and read 2713 times:
The aircraft has not been a good sell number becouse of the seat per mile cost. The cost of the plane was similar to 343 but can carry less pax.
A345 has a bit more range with more pax than A343, so with a seat per mile by far lower.
Gordonsmall From UK - Scotland, joined Jun 2001, 1995 posts, RR: 23 Reply 5, posted (9 years 10 months 3 weeks 5 days 16 hours ago) and read 2466 times:
Only a single A342 ever built would have had that range in pax configuration, and it never entered pax service.
Airbus offered the 275t MTOW as an option to all customers, but it was simply never taken up because like the A340-500 - it had very few practical uses. Although it should be noted that Airbus still offer a conversion program for existing -211/212 airframes to upgrade them to the -213 standard - and at least 2 of these conversions have been completed in the last few years.
Incidentally I doubt the A340-500 will have a seat/mile cost much lower than either the A340-200 or -300. Reason being that while the A340-500 carries a few more passengers (about 15 more I think in a typical config), it burns much more fuel, carries less freight and weighs a whopping 40,000kg more than an A340-300 when empty!
It's really only useful on ultra long range routes of greater than 7000nm, other than that the A340-300 makes much more economic sense IMO.
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