UAL747-600 From United States of America, joined Sep 1999, 538 posts, RR: 0 Reply 4, posted (13 years 1 week 4 days 1 hour ago) and read 1106 times:
I wonder why so many airlines shed their relatively young A310's. Bill Harm's site shows the last one was delivered to Austrian in 1988 so they are retiring a 12 year-old airplane????? The A310's must have horrible economics hence their early transition to the cargo ranks. Is it the same for A300's as well???
MEA-707 From Netherlands, joined Nov 1999, 4117 posts, RR: 37 Reply 5, posted (13 years 1 week 4 days ago) and read 1082 times:
Nope, FedEx is only interested in buying old Airbus 310-200s. The longer range 310-300s (the only outward difference are small winglets) are still doing OK in the passenger airliner second hand market. Air Plus Comet, a Spanish charter, got some of the Austrians.
You can check fates and histories of all individual A-310s on the site http://people.a2000.nl/sverb
nobody has ever died from hard work, but why take the risk?
Cedarjet From United Kingdom, joined exactly 14 years ago today! , 7703 posts, RR: 55 Reply 7, posted (13 years 1 week 3 days 22 hours ago) and read 1046 times:
UAL747-600, you must really wish Airbus ill - "horrible economics" indeed. The A310 is a very efficient design and was ground breaking in being the first widebody with a two-person flightdeck - a flightdeck deigned by Porsche (and it shows, nice). The plane has found worldwide use as the flagship of many small nations' carriers, bringing (profitable) long-haul widebody service for the first time without the high operating cost (and probably low load-factors) of a 747 or DC10. See: Kenya Airlines, Sudan, Ecutoriana, Middle East Airlines (although they also had a trio of 747s), Air Algerie, Tunisair, Al Yemen, THY Turkish Airlines, and of course Austrian.
Also, the last OS A310 flight wasn't to Paris - the aircraft was ferried there empty. Military jets don't fly 10 feet away from airliners on commercial flights full of passengers!
fly Saha Air 707s daily from Tehran's downtown Mehrabad to Mashhad, Kish Island and Ahwaz
Navion From United States of America, joined May 1999, 981 posts, RR: 1 Reply 8, posted (13 years 1 week 3 days 20 hours ago) and read 1012 times:
I agree with your post (especially regarding the convoluted deduction that because not a lot of A310's were built or retained for a really long time means they have horrible economics), however, was the A310 2 person flight deck before the 767? I know the 767 debuted in 1982, and the A310 was definitely around by early 1983. Seems like just a matter of days between the two.
UAL747-600 From United States of America, joined Sep 1999, 538 posts, RR: 0 Reply 9, posted (13 years 1 week 3 days 19 hours ago) and read 997 times:
I would disagree with your assessment. How can you explain approximately 50 examples or 20% of all produced (in mid 80's) already in the hands of Fedex and the armed forces of Canada and Germany when non of these entities ordered the planes new????? And 9 of these are the -300 model??? We also know that Delta was very disatisfied with the plane. I can also tell you that Singapore is issueing an RFP for a replacement aircraft and that Kenya will be getting rid of theirs shortly.
It just seem's there must be a reason for this........
William From United States of America, joined Jun 1999, 1138 posts, RR: 0 Reply 10, posted (13 years 1 week 3 days 19 hours ago) and read 996 times:
I know from talking to FEDEX personnell they love theirs(including the 300s.) Some aircraft do not take hold in the market. Case in point,the DC-8. Boeings sold many,many more 707s than Douglas sold DC-8. Yet talk to any aviation engineer in the know(not the opinion of a teen who knows nothing but looks)and they admit the DC-8 is a stronger airframe than the 707.
Just an example. As we know from history,767 came out and was a sales success,and this no doubt took it toll on the A310.
Its how the free market works. Doesn't mean it was an inferior aircraft.
Tullamarine From Australia, joined Aug 1999, 1147 posts, RR: 0 Reply 11, posted (13 years 1 week 3 days 18 hours ago) and read 989 times:
SQ was and is very happy with their A310s.
SQ has a policy of maintaining a young fleet so most aircraft are cycled out after about 10 years (which by many standards is quite young and by US standards positively pre-pubescent) hence they are looking to replace their A310s now just as they are also beginning to cycle out their first 744s.
UAL747-600 From United States of America, joined Sep 1999, 538 posts, RR: 0 Reply 13, posted (13 years 1 week 3 days 18 hours ago) and read 979 times:
Why aren't they still in the fleet if they were so happy with them????? Delta is still flying 767's aquired earlier in the 80's. However, I have read before on this site that DL had a very bad experience with the A310 although I do not remember the specifics.
FLY777UAL From United States of America, joined May 1999, 4510 posts, RR: 3 Reply 16, posted (13 years 1 week 3 days 15 hours ago) and read 947 times:
That was my best guess. They had Pan Am's integrated for a while before they ordered their own, so they were truly able to "be one" with the A310. By ordering more from Airbus a few years after the intergration, it sends the message that they were pleased with the aircraft.
Gnomon From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR: Reply 17, posted (13 years 1 week 3 days 4 hours ago) and read 923 times:
Delta was initially pleased with the A310 and found it efficient on the JFK-WAW routes and other routes to eastern Europe and Scandinavia. Regarding FLY777UAL's theory that subsequent A310 orders were made to appease the EU, the Treaty of Maastricht which created the EU from the EEC wasn't signed until summer 1991; when DL ordered the (very small number of) A310s from Airbus circa 1993-4, the EU wasn't a formidable economic force.
All that aside, Pan Am's A310s were in horrible condition - I know this from a first-hand source - and the Atlanta Journal-Constitution ran several articles on DL's financial stresses when DL was trying to integrate the Pan Am North Atlantic routes. The A310s were acquired from Pan Am to fill a niche, and when the market expanded, DL ordered just a few more. The aircraft, however, were acquired on short-term leases and the lease contracts were cancelled when it became difficult to: a.) integrate new aircraft (new Airbuses) with older aircraft that had not been well maintained (the Pan Am Airbuses); b.) integrate an Airbus fleet with a predominantly 767ER fleet and an L-1011 fleet, all operating in DL's Atlantic/European division from JFK and ATL; c.) economically operate such a mixed fleet to some of the same markets. DL found it more advantageous simply to acquire more 767s and not have an Airbus fleet in the middle of Boeings and Lockheeds, an Airbus fleet that was split anyway between new aircraft and Pan Am's aircraft, which had minor differences.
Additionally, the eastern European markets eventually became impractical upon the advent of the codeshare; one can imagine how low load factors were from ATL to, say, Budapest during the mid-1990s anyway. When it became more practical for DL to codeshare its European flights to LH at first, then SR and Malév, there was no need to continue the eastern European services and the Airbuses were no longer needed. Some went to Aerolineas Argentinas, in fact.
Summarily, yes, Delta did not like the Airbus fleet, not because of an innate problem with the aircraft or its design, but rather because of the problems of fleet integration and the fact that the Pan Am A310s were in horrible condition, not having been meticulously maintained during Pan Am's economic crisis and financial woes. Also, the mid-1990s were a bad time for Delta and the airline needed all the efficiency savings it could get during that time.
Hope this helps clarify some points made in this thread already and alleviate some confusion.
FLY777UAL From United States of America, joined May 1999, 4510 posts, RR: 3 Reply 18, posted (13 years 1 week 2 days 23 hours ago) and read 893 times:
Pan Am seemed to hand over quite a few "used" aircraft to those airlines who aquired them.
The 747's that UA aquired in the Pan Am Pacific deal were in horrible condition. As a mechanic told us, the floors were in such bad shape that they literally were able to stomp their foot right through. The aircraft that UA was to use for the inagural Japan-California was in such bad condition that it took two days to repair it (to airworthy condition), and then they had to ferry the plane from NRT back to SFO, as it was unable to carry passengers...
Cedarjet From United Kingdom, joined exactly 14 years ago today! , 7703 posts, RR: 55 Reply 19, posted (13 years 1 week 2 days 10 hours ago) and read 859 times:
Hypermike, why did Delta keep the L1011 "despite commonality problems"? What commonality problems? They were a launch customer for the type (and subsequently operated the world's biggest fleet of the beloved trijet)! Delta were absolutely right to get rid of the A310s, there was no place for them in the MD80/727/737/757/767/L1011 fleet. I was quite surprised to learn from the above that they acquired a few under their own steam, I thought that after the take-over of Pan Am they couldn't get rid of them fast enough. But it's a great plane and SQ and Kenya (KQ is it?) looking for a replacement is simply cos those fleets are getting quite old, 15 years in the case of some airframes. And I know from first-hand experience that SQ absolutely love the A310 and it is the shortened A330 (the proposed -100) that is the leading contender to replace the A310. Kenya don't need new widebody planes just yet but it's all part of a big US drive to sell 767NGs and it's part of a whole fleet replacement program that is driven by Kenya's need for the 737NG and Boeing's need for orders (hello Exim Bank et al).
fly Saha Air 707s daily from Tehran's downtown Mehrabad to Mashhad, Kish Island and Ahwaz
CV880 From United States of America, joined Mar 2007, 991 posts, RR: 2 Reply 20, posted (13 years 1 week 2 days 6 hours ago) and read 838 times:
I agree with all of you who have noted the A310's charms. There had been talk of updating the A310, making it lighter and more efficient, and tossing it into the market against the 757-300. All other things being equal, I'd pick the A310 any day -- widebody comfort vs endless rows of single aisle six-abreast. Seems to me that this slimmed down A310 would be a killer in US transcon service. As a passenger I love the 310 the way I love the Tristar 500: widebody comfort without the crowds. And A310 six-across is more commodious than 767 six-abreast. Quite frankly, DL Business Elite would have been better in an A310, no doubt about it.
There is talk of an A330-100. Is this similar to the A310 'lite' I mentioned above?