PM From India, joined Feb 2005, 6813 posts, RR: 65 Posted (8 years 3 months 3 weeks 6 days 19 hours ago) and read 4176 times:
Qatar Airways have a substantial fleet of A330s (-200s and -300s) and chose GE of the three engine options. But one of their planes (A330-200 A7-ACH c/n 441) was built with PW and then converted to GE CF6s. Why?
The short answer is because they want GE but why go to the expense of converting a virtually new plane? The expense must have been considerable. Surely there was a customer ready to take an A330-200 with PW4000s? Why was it in this case - uniquely, as far as I know - preferable to pull off the PWs and install GEs?
Converting planes from one engine type to a competing one is almost unknown. (OK, the prototype 777-200 was converted from PW to RR for Cathay but that was a special case. The plane was built for Boeing but much later placed with a customer who happened to want an engine other than PW.) Have there been any other examples?
If not, why did it happen in the case of Qatar and the A332?
N60659 From United States of America, joined Mar 2005, 654 posts, RR: 28 Reply 1, posted (8 years 3 months 3 weeks 6 days 19 hours ago) and read 4124 times:
Quoting PM (Thread starter): If not, why did it happen in the case of Qatar and the A332?
PM, you track this much better than I could ever hope to, but just to play out a 'what-if' scenario, is it possible that the aircraft in question was a 'white-tail'? Was it either cancelled or deferred by another carrier with PW power that QR acquired to fulfill the immediate need for capacity and chose to convert subsequently? Could it be that the cost of conversion was offset by the immediate impact of available capacity? Like I said, I don't have a definitive answer. Just supposition.
PM From India, joined Feb 2005, 6813 posts, RR: 65 Reply 2, posted (8 years 3 months 3 weeks 6 days 19 hours ago) and read 4085 times:
Must have been something like that. But it's an extreme (and unique?) expedient to snap up a white-tail and change the engines. I wonder who picked up the bill? Qatar (who maybe needed the plane in a hurry) or Airbus (who perhaps wanted to offload a white-tail)? I'm told that it's neither easy nor cheap to switch between GE/PW/RR once a plane has been completed.
Lightsaber From United States of America, joined Jan 2005, 11886 posts, RR: 100 Reply 8, posted (8 years 3 months 3 weeks 6 days 14 hours ago) and read 3790 times:
On the A332 the conversion isn't cheap
Different nacelle on the A332 (on the 767 and 744 the CF6 and pw4000 use the *same* nacelle). There is a cool million or so.
However, with the A332 there is another reason. Pratt designed the pw4172 and due to a botched flow path out of the surge vents, the engine had to be derated back down to 68k of thrust. Because of this, the MTOW is reduced (sorry, I don't have the figures in front of me for the MTOW reduction). GE met the 72k thrust requirement. If one is flying the A332 for more than 5,000nm, this is a *big* issue. Or... if one is flying Hot/high this is a *big* issue. (Gee, Qatar need hot performance... naa...)
Beyond the cost of the engine and nacelle, I have been quotes an even $1million for the cost to convert an airframe's engine type. So this conversion was probably on the order of $1.5m (nacelles) + $1m (conversion) +$5mill (engines) or $7.5million dollars. However, the Pratt engines would have sold for about $4m on the used market (anyone have more up to date prices?). So a $3.5 million conversion to keep commonality actually isn't too bad on a ~$70 million USD airframe. The pay back would probably be in 2 or 3 years.
N60659 From United States of America, joined Mar 2005, 654 posts, RR: 28 Reply 9, posted (8 years 3 months 3 weeks 6 days 13 hours ago) and read 3768 times:
Quoting Lightsaber (Reply 8): So this conversion was probably on the order of $1.5m (nacelles) + $1m (conversion) +$5mill (engines) or $7.5million dollars. However, the Pratt engines would have sold for about $4m on the used market (anyone have more up to date prices?). So a $3.5 million conversion to keep commonality actually isn't too bad on a ~$70 million USD airframe.
Good information Lightsaber. Thanks. Now if this and all the other A330s QR flies are leased through GECAS, and the cost of the conversion is split three ways, everyone turns out a winner:
-QR gets an A330 that conforms with the rest of the fleet from both the maintenance and performance standpoints,
-GECAS has a re-marketable and popular airframe/engine at the end of the QR lease which is similar to all the others it owns, and,
-Airbus is able to make a sale on a white-tail (if it truly was one).
Crosswind From United Kingdom, joined Nov 2000, 2592 posts, RR: 59 Reply 10, posted (8 years 3 months 3 weeks 6 days 13 hours ago) and read 3743 times:
C/N 441 was ordered by Flightlease with PW4000 engines (A330-223) for lease to Air Luxor as CS-TMT.
As best I can work out, the Air Luxor transaction was cancelled during production of the airframe, and that the PW engines were never installed. At that stage the airframe was signed over to Qatar Airways as a white-tail and they specified GE engines so when the airframe rolled out of the factory it was as an A330-203. The engines can be changed fairly late in the production process, but it's an altogether more complex matter to re-engine an aircraft once it has been completed.
As far as Qatar is concerned they didn't re-engine the aircraft, they took up a white-tail in production and specified a different engine to the original customer, who I would expect have borne any additional costs of the PW/GE substitution under their contactual obligations resulting from cancelling the order.
Lightsaber From United States of America, joined Jan 2005, 11886 posts, RR: 100 Reply 11, posted (8 years 3 months 3 weeks 6 days 13 hours ago) and read 3723 times:
Quoting Crosswind (Reply 10): The engines can be changed fairly late in the production process, but it's an altogether more complex matter to re-engine an aircraft once it has been completed.
Good information. If the nacelles were never attached... that saves a ton of money. Also, if the plane first flew with GE's, then there would be no need to recirt the airframe. The original customer would have been hit with a cancellation penalty from Pratt (engines and nacelles, the pw4168 is the only engine still in production with Pratt nacelles).
Peter, how's Switzerland treating you? Keep in touch.
Dutchjet From Netherlands, joined Oct 2000, 7864 posts, RR: 58 Reply 12, posted (8 years 3 months 3 weeks 6 days 12 hours ago) and read 3703 times:
Interesting stuff - a change in the specified engine for an airliner during production or afterwards is very rare.
One case I can think of is a couple of CX's A330s - in order to get aircraft quickly, CX purchased the two A333 test models and those were converted to RR power to be uniform with the other A333s in CX's fleet.
Lufthansa From Christmas Island, joined May 1999, 3152 posts, RR: 10 Reply 15, posted (8 years 3 months 3 weeks 6 days 7 hours ago) and read 3573 times:
Nobody ever pays the list price at Airbus (or very few at boeing these days)
They would have probably got the A332 for that or slightly more... just like 737s are suppose to be $45 million but they're frequently discouted to early $30s million.
Still expect recent USD vs Euro exchange rates to impact on the price of Airbus widebody aircraft... not so much the A320s because of the higher output and production economy of scale, but recent movements should make things look good for the old 777.
there were the previous threads saying some NW exec spilled the beans on the cost of their A333 which IIRC was around 70 or less and there was the CI website announcement of financing for one of theirs for 80s millions. Its quite possible its less engines and other airliner supplied equipment like furnishings but some major airlines are not paying over 100 total for sure!
then there are the qantas threads which say QF paid less than 100 for their 744ERs. when either manufacturers want your business its a buyers market out there!
June 21, 2004, Taipei, Taiwan- China Airlines and CALYON, a leading French bank, today held a joint signing ceremony for a US$ 235 million financing contract for CAL¡¦s acquisition of three new Airbus A330-300 aircraft. The new aircraft financing is guaranteed by the European export credit agencies. Mr. Phillip Wei, President of China Airlines, and Mr. Michel Roy, Senior Country Manager of CALYON, signed the contract for the two companies. The three new aircraft are to be delivered in late June, July and December, 2004.
China Airlines ordered 14 A330-300s from Airbus Industrie in 2002, and will take delivery between 2004 and 2007. The A330s will eventually replace CAL¡¦s A300-600Rs on Asian regional routes departing from Taipei and Kaohsiung. With 313 seats, the A330 has 18% more capacity than the A300-600Rs. In addition, the A330 aircraft have a high degree of commonality with CAL¡¦s A340 fleet, which leads to reduced maintenance and flight crew training costs, and increased pilot productivity.
¡§We are pleased to entrust CALYON as the manager, underwriter and security trustee for this financing case,¡¨ said Mr. Phillip Wei in the ceremony. ¡§Continuous support from banks is essential for our future growth.¡¨
Despite the current high fuel prices, China Airlines has managed to keep fuel costs low through hedging. As a result, CAL foresees solid growth in 2004, and expects to post an after tax profit of NT$ 3.1 billion for the year. The signing of this financing contract illustrates that China Airlines¡¦ financial performance and future prospects are highly regarded by international banks.