GusNYC From United States of America, joined Nov 2005, 143 posts, RR: 4 Posted (10 years 4 months 3 weeks 5 days 6 hours ago) and read 13190 times:
First of all, this question is not intended to start a B vs. A topic.
I always found to be a strange plane in Aerolineas Argentinas fleet. Trying to fly it from EZE to NYC non-stop a few years ago, and now using it for flights to Bogota and Mexico. It seems that it always lacks the range, or passenger capacity for the routes in where AR wants to use them.
On the other hand, I am just wondering why I almost never find topics involving the Airbus 310. Was that a bad design? I can see A300 as freighters but not A310s. It was not a very successful airplane? Why is almost impossible to spot it in the US?
Cedarjet From United Kingdom, joined May 1999, 8654 posts, RR: 53
Reply 1, posted (10 years 4 months 3 weeks 5 days 6 hours ago) and read 13152 times:
EZE to JFK is 10 and a half hours, 5,300 miles. If the A310 can do that nonstop, I take my hat off. And what a lifesaver for AR, if they only have 160 bookings, to put an A310 on the route instead of losing their shirts with a two-thirds empty 747-200 or half full at best A340.
No, I think the A310 is a great plane, a widebody which gives that passenger perceived value, but quite small (I think of it like a little football, bobbing along) so you don't need 300 to make it pay. It was the first widebody flown by many flag carriers such as Kenya Airways, Sudan Airways et al, and earns it's keep to this day at Air Transat, SATA and elsewhere, for all whom it is a uniquely useful aircraft and not easy to replace. And how about that Ferrari-designed cockpit eh? I'm definitely a fan.
fly Saha Air 707s daily from Tehran's downtown Mehrabad to Mashhad, Kish Island and Ahwaz
EddieDude From Mexico, joined Nov 2003, 8223 posts, RR: 42
Reply 2, posted (10 years 4 months 3 weeks 5 days 6 hours ago) and read 13116 times:
The problem with MEX is that on the return flight, the A310-300 cannot make it non-stop to EZE because of MEX' high altitude. The original plan was for AR to fly EZE-MEX-ACA-MEX with ACA being only a refueling stop.
I don't think the A310 is a bad plane per se, as it is -I have read- very capable and efficient for short cycles. With respect to its long-haul capabilities, the A310 was left behind by Boeing's 767ER planes and that is why it has fallen out of favor.
I believe that the problem with AR is that it does not have sufficient widebodies. The best aircraft for the EZE-MEX route, for example, would be 763ER's (like MX does), 772's (RG flew at some point the non-ER version from GRU to MEX and back non-stop, so I am sure a 772A can do EZE-MEX-EZE too) and A332's. I am sure AR would love to send a 742 or an A342 to MEX but the problem is that its other long-haul routes have their big jets occupied.
AirxLiban From Lebanon, joined Oct 2003, 4536 posts, RR: 52
Reply 3, posted (10 years 4 months 3 weeks 5 days 6 hours ago) and read 13107 times:
Not knowing anything concrete, I'd guess that the CASM would be monstrous on all but the thinnest, longest routes.
Czech Airlines use them on the PRG-JFK (or is it EWR) and YUL (or is it YYZ) sectors.
Who else even uses the 310 anymore? SU....do they still have any? Yemenia...EK has that one solitary A313 left, TP I think uses them for some Atlantic runs, TS perhaps, RJ...? Of course Air India...can't think of anyone else.
I'd be interested in hearing what the CASM is on that aircraft, my guess is that its likely to be very high.
GusNYC From United States of America, joined Nov 2005, 143 posts, RR: 4
Reply 4, posted (10 years 4 months 3 weeks 5 days 6 hours ago) and read 13090 times:
I am almost 100% sure that AR flew the A310 from EZE to JFK (with a lot of restrictions). I remember stories about the 30% of the luggage never being delivered in the same flight because of the weight limitations. (I heard that from an AR flight attendant).
I am not an expert (that's why I open this topic) and I don't want to make bash the aircraft. I am just curious about it.
Laxintl From United States of America, joined May 2000, 29171 posts, RR: 50
Reply 5, posted (10 years 4 months 3 weeks 5 days 5 hours ago) and read 13068 times:
The A310 is one of the more versatile and economic aircraft designs.
The type can economically operate with 200 passengers and cargo on both short 1 hour hops as easily as 7-8hour intercontinental flights.
While the design is a bit dated from the late 70s/early 80s its still an efficient aircraft. One needs to remember also initially the type was meant to be an inter European short hop aircraft, and only few years later was upgraded to operate what was at the time longer-thin routes much like the B767-200s did for Boeing.
In regards to AR and its usage of the A310, the carrier could very well be misusing the aircraft by scheduling it on routes the type was not really meant for.
To this day, I remain a fan of the A310 as I have worked closely with it and seen the types flexibility and good economics.
From the desert to the sea, to all of Southern California
DL787932ER From United States of America, joined Dec 2005, 597 posts, RR: 1
Reply 6, posted (10 years 4 months 3 weeks 5 days 5 hours ago) and read 13054 times:
DL got 21 A310s from Pan Am when it bought their shuttle routes, and subsequently bought 9 new airframes from Airbus to replace/supplement the older Pan Am birds while waiting on their 763ER fleet. I don't know the details, but they were sufficiently frustrated by maintenance and manufacturer support problems that they not only got rid of the 310s as soon as possible, but essentially decided that they never wanted to operate an Airbus again. They signed a 20-year deal with Boeing getting discount prices in exchange for buying only Boeing aircraft - that deal was thrown out as an antitrust condition of the Boeing-MD merger, but DL is to this day about as likely to stop flying to ATL as they are to buy Airbus. If other airlines had similar problems with the type, it would explain the relative unpopularity as compared with other Airbus types.
This isn't necessarily an A v. B thing either, as DL management has said the same thing about the 747. Airbus (and 747) aircraft just don't work for their business model.
KC135TopBoom From United States of America, joined Jan 2005, 12362 posts, RR: 51
Reply 7, posted (10 years 4 months 3 weeks 5 days 5 hours ago) and read 13040 times:
The A-310 is a very good airplane. Many are flying freight around the US, like with FedEx. But, it was sort of left behind by the B-767-200ER and the A-340-200. The economics and range of the B-757-200 might have hurt it too.
Flyidaho From United States of America, joined Dec 2005, 37 posts, RR: 0
Reply 8, posted (10 years 4 months 3 weeks 5 days 5 hours ago) and read 13031 times:
Definitely left way behind with the 767 models. The A310 is an odd-ball.
It does have huge cargo volume but if you have to choose between your passengers or their bags then its all for not anyway. A decision FEDEX doesn't have to make and I'm sure their quite happy with their fairly old A310-200's.
They seem to work well with AirTransat's network of 3500-4500nm trans atlantic routes but that's all your going to get out of an A310-300. My company flies 11 A300B4-200 freighters and they are great for hauling 95,000lbs up to 2000nm but even with zero payload and full tanks (110,000lbs) its only good for 3400nm, with a good wind. A 73G can nearly make that now-a-days. But the economics just aren't there anymore for that design.
Mariner From New Zealand, joined Nov 2001, 27674 posts, RR: 81
Reply 9, posted (10 years 4 months 3 weeks 5 days 5 hours ago) and read 13001 times:
Quoting DL787932ER (Reply 6): as DL management has said the same thing about the 747.
They said this about the 747?:
Quoting DL787932ER (Reply 6): they were sufficiently frustrated by maintenance and manufacturer support problems that they not only got rid of the 310s as soon as possible, but essentially decided that they never wanted to operate an Airbus again.
If the A310 experience was enough to put them off Airbus, then if they felt the same way about the 747, why did they ever buy from Boeing again?
You have to wonder if the problem is with Delta and not with the aircraft.
Tavong From Colombia, joined Jul 2001, 877 posts, RR: 4
Reply 10, posted (10 years 4 months 3 weeks 5 days 5 hours ago) and read 12985 times:
Well maybe the A310 is not the best widebody on it's size where it's certainly outclassed by the 767-200ER, but for AR's case it migth be just the perfect plane, not so big, not so small, it's a plane that already was operated by AR and for AirPlusComet (and thus they have enugth experience with the plane) and for the routes they need to recover like BOG/LIM among others it can be the best plane for flying these routes without taking a huge risk in the process.
In short maybe is not the best plane for doing the routes but it sure is good enougth if you take in cosideration the special AR situation.
Just put me on any modern airliner and i will be happy, give me more star alliance miles and i will be a lot more happy.
I apologize for being inaccurate. I'm not aware of any maintenance or support issues with the 747; it was just a complete mismatch to DL's business model. Almost every major American airline operated 747s when they were first introduced; the fact that only NW and UA still have any is evidence that the airplane is a mismatch to most other U.S. airline business models too. One must remember that DL operated the type during regulation, when they had no overseas routes (though I love the pictures of DL 747s at LHR, on a Pan Am code/equipment share).
The A310s came later, from taking over a number of Pan Am shuttle routes that included the airplanes (727s as well as the A310). These airplanes, as well as several more that were bought new from Airbus, are the ones DL had the problems with. Since they were also in the middle of acquiring an enormous 763ER fleet at the time, the A310s became redundant as well as problematic, and DL gave up on them and Airbus.
Scbriml From United Kingdom, joined Jul 2003, 15352 posts, RR: 45
Reply 16, posted (10 years 4 months 3 weeks 4 days 23 hours ago) and read 12571 times:
The A310 is still providing sterling service for many airlines. If you want to see a lot of A310s, go spend a day at DXB. Notice how many are based in or near the Middle-East, the A310 is still a nice regional plane.
To the best of my knowledge, current A310 operators:
FedEx - 57
Air India - 17
PIA - 11
Air Transat - 10
Iran Air - 7
Turkish - 7
German AF - 7
Royal Jordanian - 6
TAP - 6
HapagFly - 5
Canadian AF - 5
Sibir - 5
Biman Bangladesh - 4
CSA - 4
Yemania - 4
Aerolineas - 3
Air Algerie - 3
China Eastern - 3
Kuwait - 3
Air Plus Comet - 3
French AF - 3
Uzbekistan - 3
Emirates - 2 + 2 to come
Belgian AF - 2
Lybian Arab - 2
Mahan Air - 2
SATA - 2
Spanish AF - 2
Plus an odd-ball collection of about 10 airlines that only operate 1 each.
Olympicbis From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 17, posted (10 years 4 months 3 weeks 4 days 22 hours ago) and read 12473 times:
Swissair operated both -200 and -300 series and were delighted ith it. Same with other airlines such as AF, KL, LH. A great aircraft with excellent operating economics, a great aircraft for pax to fly on.
Orion737 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 18, posted (10 years 4 months 3 weeks 4 days 21 hours ago) and read 12311 times:
I am a big fan of the A310. It was perfect for European airlines high density scheduled short haul routes, LH FRA-LHR, SR ZRH-LHR, KL AMS-LHR etc. It was also well loved by Hapag Lloyd who found the aircrafts capaity and range ideal for both busy European charter flights and long haul charters too.
One thing I have found hard to understand is that many A310s were prematurely retired, especially compared to other aircraft of the same generation.
The A310 is my favourite Airbus aircraft and I believe the high density, short haul routes and on medium haul routes it was an excellent aircraft.
In fact, the reason is survived so long with LH was that their was no other wide bodied aircraft available which was suitable for short haul European routes.
MEA From Australia, joined Jan 2001, 631 posts, RR: 0
Reply 20, posted (10 years 4 months 3 weeks 4 days 19 hours ago) and read 12155 times:
I am a big fan of the A310 aircraft & can still remember my first flight on EKs A310s from SIN to DXB via CMB and Dubai to SIN via MLE.
The A310 has played an important role in many airline fleets such as SQ, TG, EK, QR, TY, ME, LH, AI, SR, etc.
In it's heyday the A310 provided economic payloads both pax and cargo within it's range of approximately 8 hours. SR made great use of the aircraft on transatlantic flights between Zurich and JFK whilst SQ used the A310 on short regional hops.
This demonstrates the versatility of the aircraft and the different combination of routes where it can be deployed.
On a side note, there are strong rumours that when QF were deciding between the A310 and B767, the A310 was the preferred aircraft. The B767 eventually won due it's longer range capabilities (reference to article from Australian Aviation).
SQ has been waiting for years for either Boeing or Airbus to build a replacement for the A310 that is capable of operating thin regional routes economically. Airbus submitted a number of proposals with a derivative of the A330-200 dubbed the A330-500 which were knocked back as they were too heavy.
Many A300/A310 and B767 operators went on to order the A330-200 now many A330-200 operators are moving towards the B787. Ultimately, aircraft models will come and go, it's a natural step in technological development: A300/A310 to the B757/B767 to the A330-200 to the B787.
Anyway, I digress from the topic relating to AR, however I disagree that the A310 is a bad plane.
MEA From Australia, joined Jan 2001, 631 posts, RR: 0
Reply 23, posted (10 years 4 months 3 weeks 4 days 18 hours ago) and read 12086 times:
I disagree with 2 of your points:
Firstly, SR did use the A310 on flights to JFK. I have timetables as well as some advertisements from SR promoting the service. From memory it was a night flight and i'll try to locate the timetables from storage if you like.
Secondly, SQ operated the B752 and they were quickly removed from service so I doubt the B753 would have been considered. You will also note that the B753 wasn't in production for long compared to the production span of the A313. There were also more A313 produced and no-one ordered the B753 as a replacement for their A310 fleet.
By the way, am I the only one who thinks that the old MEA livery on the A310 beats the current one hands down?