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A340-5xx Future  
User currently offlineMaiznblu_757 From United States of America, joined Mar 2002, 5112 posts, RR: 50
Posted (10 years 1 month 4 weeks 2 hours ago) and read 4103 times:



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This is by far my favorite Airbus aircraft, the A340-5xx srs. How are orders looking for the future? Will this wind up being like the 767-400 and 757-300, only serving in limited numbers for a few airlines?



27 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlineDfwRevolution From United States of America, joined Jan 2010, 977 posts, RR: 51
Reply 1, posted (10 years 1 month 4 weeks 2 hours ago) and read 4029 times:

Will this wind up being like the 767-400 and 757-300, only serving in limited numbers for a few airlines?

First of all, the A345 is definitly a niche market aircraft. It is designed for ULH routes or C-market routes that are greater than 8500nm or so. There are very few airlines who need an aircraft with this much range, but since it's tied to the A346 development (much like the 772LR and 773ER) this is okay. Some airlines, like EK, simply use the A345 on B-market routes, allowing more payload with less restrictions to be carried.

How are orders looking for the future?

I'd say iffy. The A345 has been matched with the 772LR in gaining new customers since the 772LR arrived, but it is likely the 772LR will have much greater range and payload. And, SQ swapping A345s for 772LRs is entirely possible.


User currently offlineScbriml From United Kingdom, joined Jul 2003, 12566 posts, RR: 46
Reply 2, posted (10 years 1 month 4 weeks 2 hours ago) and read 4017 times:
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It's a niche market aircraft, just like Boeing's 772LR. Neither model is going to sell in big numbers.

Air Canada has just, finally, received theirs. As well as the existing customers, Thai and Etihad have them on order.

A345 customers:
Air Canada (2)
Emirates (10)
Etihad (4)
Qatar Airways Amiri Flight (1)
Singapore Airlines (5)
Thai (3)

Total 25

Boeing 772LR customers:
EVA (3)
Pakistan (2)

Total 5

So, as you can see, small numbers for both types. There aren't that many routes that need the range offered by these planes. This doesn't particularly 'hurt' either manufacturer as both are sub-models of existing types, although they would both be delighted to sell more!



Time flies like an arrow, but fruit flies like a banana!
User currently offlineERJ135 From Australia, joined Nov 2000, 680 posts, RR: 1
Reply 3, posted (10 years 1 month 3 weeks 6 days 21 hours ago) and read 3822 times:

It's a hard call if these aircraft will sell in any numbers or not. What has to be remembered is not so must that not many airlines have such long routes but rather these aircraft are making direct services possible that just a few years ago required a fuel stop. More airlines could indeed use it if they had enough through passengers on stopover routes. But realistically not many airlines have all that many long range stop over flights, a few yes but that may not be enough to warrant a new fleet.


I remember when the DC-3 was new!
User currently offlineDutchjet From Netherlands, joined Oct 2000, 7864 posts, RR: 57
Reply 4, posted (10 years 1 month 3 weeks 6 days 20 hours ago) and read 3737 times:

Also remember that the A345 (and the 777LR) are expensive airplanes to acquire and airlines are still evaluating passenger acceptance of 18+ hour flights. Of course, the revenue side of ultra-longhaul segments is being carefully studied as well: SQ, with its low-capacity seating arrangement on the A345 (which was installed for passenger comfort AND to keep payload down) is betting on very good yields on the new nonstop flights with pax paying a premium for nonstop service - but airlines want to be convinced that pax will pay higher fares even after the noveltly of the new flights was passed.

The market for the types is small - neither the A345 or 777LR is of much interest to any European carrier as there are no important destinations that will gain nonstop service due to the types; London-Sydney is still not possible when the aircraft are operated with typical loads, and applying normal restrictions and limits. London-Perth and/or Paris-Papette are routes that simply do not justify the investment that this required for airlines to acquire and operate these aircraft. US carriers are not in the financial position at the moment to invest in ultra longrange aircraft, and in any case, I do not think that any US carriers are interested in adding lots of ultra long haul routes.....DFW-SYD or ORD-SYD are the only segments that comes to mind.


User currently offlineConcordeBoy From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 5, posted (10 years 1 month 3 weeks 6 days 8 hours ago) and read 3419 times:

I do not think that any US carriers are interested in adding lots of ultra long haul routes.....DFW-SYD or ORD-SYD are the only segments that comes to mind.

They're more than interested in additional high-Bmarket and Cmarket routes.... but fiscal/political matters must be attended to first.



User currently offlineAntares From Australia, joined Jun 2004, 1402 posts, RR: 38
Reply 6, posted (10 years 1 month 3 weeks 6 days 7 hours ago) and read 3231 times:

It seems to me that the 777-200LR should over time do better than the A345-500 if only in terms of cabin amenity. My guess is that SQ would put in its e-economy product which is a comfortable 7 abreast on the A345 as an eight abreast for the same reason on the 777-200LR.

But if the jets are used on 'shorter' routes, like Sydney-Dubai, where Emirates flies the A345 (and also to Auckland) the standard eight abreast in the A345 doesn't stand a chance against the 777 cabin.

If you look closely at what Emirates is doing with its A345s you can also see how the real market for both types is possibly that of being an alternative to a 747 Combi.

Emirates does a roaring trade in air freight. In many respects the large cargo capacity of the newer A340s and 777s means they are de facto combis, with about the same numbers of passengers on the main deck, and really good cargo capacity below. (We see this in the 7E7 too, a mini-combo?).

This is one reason why I think SQ may hold onto its A345s (in the absence of a good bid) even when it takes 777-200LRS.

It could use the A345s as a substitute combi to Amsterdam or Vancouver, both non-stop, with superior economics to an old 747 combi. Or if it gets transPac rights out of Australia, it could do LAX-MEL with excellent cargo below and more passengers above in a standard two class layout than even the QF 744 ER simply because the Qantas jumbo still cops a payload penalty despite the extra efficiency Boeing wrung out of the design.

Mind you it would be as comfortable as the 744, nothing is....

Down the track, when Airbus stops being stupid about the 7E7 and comes up with its own version, I am convinced they will go for a wider cabin too, and it could be they do that new family in both twin and four engined configurations if they really believe there will be enough orders for the latter for ultra long haul routes like London-Sydney.



User currently offlineWhitehatter From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 7, posted (10 years 1 month 3 weeks 6 days 6 hours ago) and read 3122 times:

Antares

Food for thought certainly, but freight lugging is more about weight and volume than range. That's why the MD-11 is such a popular freighter but didn't cut it as a long range passenger carrier.

Freight is all about getting weight on the aircraft in cargo, and carrying fuel for ultra long range ops cuts down on the weight you can lift in cargo. There isn't also the pressure for saving time that there is with long range passenger operations. Adding in a stop for fuel can be offset by the extra payload the aircraft can carry.

So an A345 combi would be trading fuel against payload, which cuts down the range. And when that starts to be factored in, it doesn't look as economical because there are a good few ways of doing the same thing with a much less expensive option than an A345.


User currently offlineAntares From Australia, joined Jun 2004, 1402 posts, RR: 38
Reply 8, posted (10 years 1 month 3 weeks 6 days 5 hours ago) and read 2830 times:

Thanks Whitehatter for that insight, which i sincerely appreciate.

At the moment I understand the EK jet is carrying max cargo and full passengers I think 240 odd seats between Sydney and Melbourne to Dubai, which is virtually the same distance as Sydney-Los Angeles. Out of LAX SQ is now typically loading 4 tonnes of freight with high pax load factors where the original plan was to carry no freight.

CX said at a briefing that its (much unloved) A346s were doing non-stops both ways to LAX with twice as much freight as they typically flew in a 744. I keep reasonable contact with forwarding agents here since my Dad's involvement with
shipping/trading firms like Burns Philp and Union SS and the Bank Line carried over into my business. Until I became more interested in aircraft I made a name for myself as a shipping and land transport analyst, and even today, that is where the best money in transport is being made by far.

EK and CX are in my experience the most focussed airline operators in terms of freight and relationship with shippers, as you see at Dubai where the transhipping arrangements to sea are world leading.

I'm curious to see if the A380 freighter does in fact eliminate the Anchorage tech stop for high value time critical shipments between north Asia and Japan and Canada and the US. Fedex is going to be really pissed off if it doesn't...



User currently offlineWhitehatter From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 9, posted (10 years 1 month 3 weeks 6 days 5 hours ago) and read 2760 times:

I think FedEx will be more interested in just how much weight they can shove on the A380 for one side of the equation, and also whether they can eliminate the tech stop for the critical services. Having an aircraft with much higher MTOGW than their existing biggie, the MD-11, means they can be flexible with both sides of the operation. Having an aircraft that can fill both requirements makes sense.

To me the A380 is more attractive as a freight hauler than as a passenger liner. That's where the growth is at the moment, which is why the 747F is outselling the 747 passenger aircraft at the moment for new build. Cargo haulers want those big airframes with the flexibility to either go for long range or high payload.

Where the Airbus aircraft are at a disadvantage is that they don't offer the outsize load capacity of the 747. You can't squeeze a long load into a side door. The airline which can fly an outsize drill bit fast to an oil drilling operation can charge what they want, which is why the 747F is and will remain so attractive.


User currently offlineGigneil From United States of America, joined Nov 2002, 16347 posts, RR: 84
Reply 10, posted (10 years 1 month 3 weeks 6 days 4 hours ago) and read 2735 times:

So an A345 combi would be trading fuel against payload, which cuts down the range. And when that starts to be factored in, it doesn't look as economical because there are a good few ways of doing the same thing with a much less expensive option than an A345.

The trade is a fine one.

If you fly an A340-300 from DXB to AMS, you can't carry very much cargo.

If you fly an A340-500 from DXB to AMS, you can carry probably the maximum structural amount of payload, and the necessary amount of fuel.

Antares hit it pretty much on the head the first time. Using a C market plane on a B market route gives you a huge extra uplift. This is the highest potential growth path for both the A340-500 and the 777-200LR.

N


User currently offlineWhitehatter From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 11, posted (10 years 1 month 3 weeks 6 days 4 hours ago) and read 2649 times:

Antares hit it pretty much on the head the first time. Using a C market plane on a B market route gives you a huge extra uplift. This is the highest potential growth path for both the A340-500 and the 777-200LR.

Then why is UPS still flying the 741?

That's where it falls down. It's not about whether an expensive C market airframe can be loaded up to fly B market cargo routes, but whether it can be done with a less expensive option. Cargo isn't going to complain about a three hour extension in the flight time if the carrier can do it for less. Pricing is also critical.

C market aircraft on cargo routes will not be feasible unless the aircraft can be bought for less than new ticket price in the second or third user market. Dedicated ultra long and ultra fast cargo is an extremely limited sector; one which hasn't even been positively identified to date or there would be fleets of aircraft already dedicated to that. Which there are not.


User currently offlineGigneil From United States of America, joined Nov 2002, 16347 posts, RR: 84
Reply 12, posted (10 years 1 month 3 weeks 6 days 4 hours ago) and read 2642 times:

We're talking about passenger/cargo combo carriers. Not dedicated cargo carriers.

UPS would KILL to be able to buy a 777 based on the C market 777 platform. They've been just waiting for Boeing to say ok.

N


User currently offlineWhitehatter From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 13, posted (10 years 1 month 3 weeks 6 days 4 hours ago) and read 2579 times:

We're talking about passenger/cargo combo carriers. Not dedicated cargo carriers.

UPS would KILL to be able to buy a 777 based on the C market 777 platform. They've been just waiting for Boeing to say ok.


Er....but UPS isn't a combined carrier?

UPS might well be able to justify it with their customer profile. I for one would doubt it would be anything more than a one-off with a small number of aircraft to fill an equally small requirement. Otherwise their MD-11s could do anything which the 777LR could offer with a short fuel stop and no massive capital cost.

Which is why they fly the 741 and haven't bought anything more expensive to replace them. Is a couple of hours on the planned journey such an issue that they need to spend hundreds of millions of dollars in capital acquisition costs?

Looks like the answer there is a resounding no. And I certainly haven't heard anything to suggest otherwise.

Excellent debate in this thread BTW; better than the "yah boo Airbus/Boeing blows goats" crap normally spewed out here

[Edited 2004-07-26 04:46:26]

User currently offlineGigneil From United States of America, joined Nov 2002, 16347 posts, RR: 84
Reply 14, posted (10 years 1 month 3 weeks 6 days 3 hours ago) and read 2518 times:

Er....but UPS isn't a combined carrier?

Yeah I was trying to get to your point on the 741 only with that post.

Combined carriers would benefit from increased TOW at ranges below the plane's max in the form of increased cargo capacity, especially since the passengers do care about the time they arrive.

You're quite right... 5X is fine with the planes they have, until they can no longer get them. There's only so many MD-11s available, and they have demonstrated a lot of interest in a 777.

N


User currently offlineFido73 From Finland, joined Dec 2003, 33 posts, RR: 0
Reply 15, posted (10 years 1 month 3 weeks 5 days 13 hours ago) and read 2139 times:

the standard eight abreast in the A345 doesn't stand a chance against the 777 cabin

This is something I really don´t understand. Why is the 777 seating arrangement better than the A345´s 2-4-2, where you never get a middle seat or end up being stuck next to the window two seats away from the aisle? It can´t be a AvsB thing because Boeing has a great arrangement with the B767 eco cabin. Somebody please explain to me, thank you.



Long Beach Iron Works - still going strong!
User currently offlineGigneil From United States of America, joined Nov 2002, 16347 posts, RR: 84
Reply 16, posted (10 years 1 month 3 weeks 5 days 13 hours ago) and read 2122 times:

The A340's cabin is far superior to the 777's cabin in just about every way except storage.

3-3-3 or 2-5-2 doesn't compare.

N


User currently offlineConcordeBoy From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 17, posted (10 years 1 month 3 weeks 5 days 11 hours ago) and read 2011 times:

The A340's cabin is far superior to the 777's cabin in just about every way except storage.

Are you kidding us with that drivel?


...in terms of "comfort" for some steerage riders yes.

The A340's cabin can also be a far inferior to the 777's cabin in terms of premium seating.


User currently offlineAntares From Australia, joined Jun 2004, 1402 posts, RR: 38
Reply 18, posted (10 years 1 month 3 weeks 5 days 8 hours ago) and read 1900 times:

Dear Fido,

I'd agree with you about the geometry of the 777 and A340 cabins except for one thing. The average width of the A340 seats is narrower even than 10 abreast economy on a 747 and notably tighter than an A320 seat. It is an anomaly that Airbus gives short haul economy passengers as better seat width than it does on its long haul product. The average width of a 777 seat in economy is however around an inch or 2.54 cms wider than a 747 seats (in 9 abreast, there are some 10 abreast out there including China Southern and Emirates).

So it comes down to width. The 777 Y seat is like the A320 Y seat, good if you have a big backside, or just like a bit of space.

Most of the airlines I fly do the 777 as nine across in triples, I avoid the 2-5-2 arrangement for the atrocity that it is.

The same story applies in J class. If the carrier runs the product six across in three doubles it is a more spacious cabin than an A330-340 with a similar configuration. However some carriers can't help themselves and cram in business class as seven across in a 777 which is really dumb, since you are screwing high fare paying passengers and in my part of the world there is plenty of choice.



User currently offlineConcordeBoy From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 19, posted (10 years 1 month 3 weeks 5 days 8 hours ago) and read 1868 times:

However some carriers can't help themselves and cram in business class as seven across in a 777

...perhaps because they can successfully sell that configuration due to demand? It's not exactly like the 777 was the first ever aircraft to ever have this implemented. Also, lest you forget that some A330s now feature 2x3x2 in Biz as well?  Wow!  Yeah sure




User currently offlineUdo From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 20, posted (10 years 1 month 3 weeks 5 days 7 hours ago) and read 1848 times:

The B777's only big disadvantage is its 3-3-3 layout. Well, 2-5-2 is ok for me as I always try to get a window seat and don't care about the middle section. But 3-3-3 is the most uncomfortable layout ever besides 3-4-3. Having two people next to me really pisses me off.

2-3-2 and 2-4-2 layouts are by far the best available. I can only hope Boeing won't go the stupid way and push for 3-2-3 in the B7E7. Just avoiding 2-4-2 because Airbus once introduced it would be pure BS...


Regards
Udo


User currently offlineConcordeBoy From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 21, posted (10 years 1 month 3 weeks 5 days 7 hours ago) and read 1843 times:

The B777's only big disadvantage is its 3-3-3 layout.

That's not a disadvantage to the aircraft... that's something that sucks for whomever can't afford to actually matter to the airline.


User currently offlineDfwRevolution From United States of America, joined Jan 2010, 977 posts, RR: 51
Reply 22, posted (10 years 1 month 3 weeks 5 days 7 hours ago) and read 1829 times:

2-3-2 and 2-4-2 layouts are by far the best available. I can only hope Boeing won't go the stupid way and push for 3-2-3 in the B7E7. Just avoiding 2-4-2 because Airbus once introduced it would be pure BS...

Actually, if you talk to those who have visited the 7E7 mock-up, many find the 3-2-3 perfectly fine. Boeing isn't trying 3-2-3 just to give the finger to Airbus, they are doing it because it was recommended by the consulting firm Boeing hired for the interior design. They did their own research and found that inverting the typical cabin layout increases cabin abience and comfort.

Besides, airlines have a choice as to what configuration they want. Boeing can no more tell an airline what configuration to use as they can what color scheme they use.

This is something I really don´t understand. Why is the 777 seating arrangement better than the A345´s 2-4-2, where you never get a middle seat or end up being stuck next to the window two seats away from the aisle? It can´t be a AvsB thing because Boeing has a great arrangement with the B767 eco cabin

First, remeber that comfort is typically secondary to economics. While the A345 is longer than the 772LR, the 772LR is wider, and thus has more floor area. More area = more seats = more revenue. The wider cabin also allows more premium passengers to be carried.

Boo hoo... 2+3+2 in J class...  Crying

You want sympathy? Get a cat  Big grin


User currently offlineKl911 From Czech Republic, joined Jul 2003, 5141 posts, RR: 15
Reply 23, posted (10 years 1 month 3 weeks 5 days 7 hours ago) and read 1813 times:

''2-3-2 and 2-4-2 layouts are by far the best available. I can only hope Boeing won't go the stupid way and push for 3-2-3 in the B7E7. Just avoiding 2-4-2 because Airbus once introduced it would be pure BS...''

Just the way I think about it as well, thanks!

KL911


User currently offlineAntares From Australia, joined Jun 2004, 1402 posts, RR: 38
Reply 24, posted (10 years 1 month 3 weeks 5 days 6 hours ago) and read 1773 times:

OK, here are my best and worst 777 configs from personal experience.

Best 777s. SQ J is 2 by 2 by 2 and Y is 3 by 3 by 3.
CX (only -300s) same as above, less legroom in J, sit up not sleepers.

Worst 777s. China Southern. Only flew Y. It was 3-4-3 and zip legroom. Hideous.

Best A330/340s. New CX config, have flown all classes, Y is tight but service good. Have flown J on A346. Deadshit blocked out windows in second cabin, very annoying.

Worst A330/340s. (haven't yet flown the A345) Air Mauritius (Y) AOM (now gone Y), SQ (P and J no, the service was no compensation) and LH (J).


25 Ualonghaul : After talking to a captain on EWR-SIN SQ is for sure not dropping the A345 for a 777. I know this was talked about here by people who obviously know n
26 Post contains images DfwRevolution : After talking to a captain on EWR-SIN SQ is for sure not dropping the A345 for a 777. I know this was talked about here by people who obviously know n
27 Udo : Certainly it's a matter of the airline to choose between 3-3-3 or 2-5-2, but I think the B777's problem is that it only offers these two configuration
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