Dutchjet From Netherlands, joined Oct 2000, 7864 posts, RR: 56 Posted (11 years 8 months 2 weeks 5 days 11 hours ago) and read 6688 times:
Does Airbus plan any future development of the A340-300 airliner?
Airbus has successfully introduced the ultra long range A345 and higher capacity A346 in recent years and the newer members of the A340 family are attracting orders and interest from airlines. Also, the very successful A332 and improved A333 now cover much of the market that was originally allocated to the A342 and A343. What is the future of the A343 - will this type be dropped by Airbus? Are there still orders outstanding for the type?
EddieDude From Mexico, joined Nov 2003, 8223 posts, RR: 42
Reply 1, posted (11 years 8 months 2 weeks 5 days 11 hours ago) and read 6647 times:
Hi Dutchjet, I think you have a very valid point. All I can say in connection with the future of the A343 is that earlier this year SA received the upgraded A340-300e which is a more efficient version of the original -300. I don't know if more airlines have placed orders for this improved type.
On a related matter, rumors that MX is looking at the four-engined Airbus for flights to China are running wild in the forum. Would that be the A343e, the A345 or the A346?
ConcordeBoy From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 2, posted (11 years 8 months 2 weeks 5 days 10 hours ago) and read 6629 times:
The A343X/E, while horrifically losing the battle for market to the 772ER... still has something of a place in Airbus' lineup (unlike the A342)-- most of its remaining future orders will likely be add-ons, rather than new customers however.
Starlionblue From Greenland, joined Feb 2004, 17654 posts, RR: 65
Reply 3, posted (11 years 8 months 2 weeks 5 days 10 hours ago) and read 6611 times:
As EddieDude says, the Classic 340 has already been updated (twice IIRC, X and E). The 342 and 343 are still in their own niche, and will at least be offered for a while to come. If nothing else, when operators with fleets of these aircraft wish to "fill up" they will not buy just one or two 345/346, since if the engines are different.
Hirnie From Germany, joined May 2004, 597 posts, RR: 0
Reply 4, posted (11 years 8 months 2 weeks 5 days 10 hours ago) and read 6606 times:
I don`t think that the A343 will be dropped in the near future. For the time the marked in this segment seems somehow to be satisfied. The A333 has the capacity but not the range and the A332 has the range but not the capacity to replace the A343. The A345 and 346 serve another marked and I think the A345 will follow the A342 and stay in a niche.
A competitive A343 replacement could be a new design based on a family based on a competitor to the B787(7E7). If Airbus would come up with such a new design they could replace the 332,333 and 343 with one family. But at this time Airbus has to focus on the A380 and to do only strategic plans on a response to the "Dreamliner".
RJ111 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 8, posted (11 years 8 months 2 weeks 5 days 5 hours ago) and read 6382 times:
If the A350 becomes reality then Airbus could render the A343 obsolete themselves.
Much may depend on the level of investment they are willing to pour into the project. As ConcordeBoy points out the A330/A342/3's was not designed to support 4 large engines, or house two high-bypass engines - which heightening the landing gear may or may not allow. If Airbus is willing to redesign the wing/aircraft to meet the latter criteria, then a long-range twin much like the 772ER could be offered, which would leave no room for the A343. But if Airbus is not planning on redesigning the wing, the jury's out on how far the range of the A333 can be extended through efficiency increase alone, which may leave room for the A343. The natural thing to do then is offer a bleedless A343, but obviously appropriately sized bleedless engines are not currently being studied (AFAIK), which is why IMO, the A343's future looks bleak.
EGNR From United Kingdom, joined Feb 2004, 517 posts, RR: 0
Reply 16, posted (11 years 8 months 2 weeks 4 days 21 hours ago) and read 6022 times:
"Arent' all A330/340s built on the same line with a lot of the same tooling? If that is the case then it costs Airbus very little to keep that product available."
The A340-500 and A340-600 wings are built on the same line (http://www.electroimpact.com/e4100.asp) using completely different tooling to the classic A340 wings which are made on a different line alongside the A330 wings.
I think the final assembly of all A330/A340 variants takes place on the same "line" in Toulouse though.
AlitaliaMD11 From Spain, joined Dec 2003, 4068 posts, RR: 12
Reply 17, posted (11 years 8 months 2 weeks 4 days 21 hours ago) and read 5991 times:
i think the only airline that is getting delivers of the 343 now is Swiss and i dont think there has been one in while. Last time i was in TLS which was august i saw nothing but 346s and 345s and 330s.
AFa340-300E From France, joined May 1999, 2084 posts, RR: 25
Reply 18, posted (11 years 8 months 2 weeks 4 days 20 hours ago) and read 5923 times:
IMHO the A340-300 could be simply dropped from Airbus' catalog if the A350 comes to fruitition. At 8,000nm range and 280 pax capacity, that airplane would hurt the 777-200ER more than the 7E7-9 it is officially due to combat. And it would kill the A340-300X
It would IMO less logical for airbus to ad extra range to the 332 (A332 has a good range (e.g. lots of US/European 332s at NAR), so it would be a big investment for a small market segment).
However I think little investment is required to keep the 343 up to date & available as an option for customers that e.g prefer 4 engines over the oceans/poles..