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AA A300's On Transatlantic Routes  
User currently offlineWorldTraveler From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Posted (8 years 7 months 2 days 10 hours ago) and read 10029 times:

Can someone with specific knowledge tell me if AA had any operational issues (payload limitations, fuel limits) on its A300s when they flew transatlantic routes? What cities did they serve? And was the reason for pulling them off because the 777s became available or were there other reasons?

35 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlineCommavia From United States of America, joined Apr 2005, 11840 posts, RR: 62
Reply 1, posted (8 years 7 months 2 days 10 hours ago) and read 9982 times:

Quoting WorldTraveler (Thread starter):
Can someone with specific knowledge tell me if AA had any operational issues (payload limitations, fuel limits) on its A300s when they flew transatlantic routes?

I don't think AA really had any specific performance issues with the A300s short of the normal unreliability of the planes for AA. As for operational limitations, I doubt AA ever really had a problem, as the planes were never flown on any routes outside of the Northeast. They only really flew from four U.S. cities -- JFK, EWR, BOS and PHL -- to London and Paris, with perhaps a few exceptions, but not much.

Quoting WorldTraveler (Thread starter):
What cities did they serve?

I know they flew PHL-LHR at least at some point, along with BOS-ORY back when AA's Paris operations were at Orly. They also flew on EWR-LHR on and off as AA served the route, and were replaced on the route by a 777 only a few months before the route was cut altogether in 2003. However, the bulk of AA's A300 flying to Europe was on BOS-LHR and JFK-LHR. Both BOS-LHR flights operated with A300s for many years, and at some points, as much as half of AA's JFK-LHR schedule was comprised of A300s, with the other half being -- depending on season and the year -- a mix of 767-200s, 767-300s, or MD11s. (This was also back when AA had international 3-class configured 767-300s and international 767-200s.)

Quoting WorldTraveler (Thread starter):
And was the reason for pulling them off because the 777s became available or were there other reasons?

The A300s were never intended to fly the Atlantic forever. They were put in place because they were high-capacity, and could basically act as a placeholder until AA found something bigger and better to put on its premium Europe routes. The MD11 was supposed to take over, but was a failure. The 777, on the other hand, replace the A300s and AA has never looked back, having placed the A300s back on the Roach Coach runs in the Caribbean and Latin America where their high-density, uber-cargo-capacity configuration is more appropriate.


User currently offlineWorldTraveler From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 2, posted (8 years 7 months 2 days 10 hours ago) and read 9971 times:

thanks Commavia. Based on the weight of the aircraft, it should have been capable of doing 8 hr transatlantic flights which all the routes you mention are. I take it the A300s had a 3 cabin configuration at the time? It still seems that AA would benefit from A330s for NE-Europe flights, esp. to London. The A300s were probably too small but the 777 is overkill compared to what it could be doing for AA on the Pacific.

User currently offlineAirxliban From Lebanon, joined Oct 2003, 4514 posts, RR: 53
Reply 3, posted (8 years 7 months 1 day 22 hours ago) and read 9663 times:

Look at this which I dug up from Tugmaster:

The A300's had a problem with carrying any decent load over the distances from LHR to BOS/JFK/EWR. They could carry loads of freight and not that many pax or vice versa ,but not both...and they always had there tanks topped up to the max. I remember pushing them and if it was a hot day the wing fuel vents used to piss out fuel as you were pushing as they needed to fill the thing up to the gills so it get to it's destination. Also have flown to JFK on it , the pax seating used to be 9F/30J/148Y and the morning I flew to Kennedy, the flight was limited to 102 pax total due to the holds being full of freight.(luckily there were only 99 fare paying and I managed to get the 102nd non rev seat. ) Also, the A300 would never dept LHR with 4 pallets in the forward hold as it just didn't have the guts to carry the weight back to the states...max was 2 pag's/pmc's and six bins on the westbound legs,........need more......? As with nearly all poor quality airbus products!
, the PDU's in the holds were utter crap....though this is not just an issue for the A300, the 330/340 also suffer from these poorly made/designed PDU's. So as you can see, the employees at LHR were indeed happy to see them go back to the states.



PARIS, FRANCE...THE BEIRUT OF EUROPE.
User currently offlineCommavia From United States of America, joined Apr 2005, 11840 posts, RR: 62
Reply 4, posted (8 years 7 months 1 day 22 hours ago) and read 9620 times:

Quoting WorldTraveler (Reply 2):
I take it the A300s had a 3 cabin configuration at the time?

Yes. There was a small subfleet of about 8-10 aircraft reconfigured for a 3-class FJY configuration. After the A300s were pulled off the Atlantic around 2002-2003, they reconfigured all of them back to the standard 2-class configuration for Latin America.

Quoting WorldTraveler (Reply 2):
The A300s were probably too small but the 777 is overkill compared to what it could be doing for AA on the Pacific.

The 777s are not too small. These routes, at least for AA and BA, are very high-volume and very high-yielding, not to mention the large amount of cargo AA carries to Heathrow. The 777 is perfect for these routes, and AA bought the 777 with Heathrow specifically in mind.


User currently offlineKC135TopBoom From United States of America, joined Jan 2005, 12173 posts, RR: 51
Reply 5, posted (8 years 7 months 1 day 22 hours ago) and read 9588 times:

When the AA A-300-605Rs are gone, I doubt you will ever see another Airbus product in AA colors. These airplanes have been a disappointment, to say the least, for AA. While other airlines really like the A-300-600R, and other Airbus airplanes, AA just has not had very good luck with them.

It was not really the AA B-777-200ERs that replaced the A-300-600R on Trans-Atlantic routes (I agree the B-777 is a lot more airplane capability than the A-300), but more of the B-767-300ER. This airplane is much closer in size, and load capacity, to the Airbus, but also has about 60% more range as well as a much lower CASM.

Cargo capacity is very important to AA, as that is where they make lots of money. I agree the A-300-605R has a very good cargo capacity, it's PDUs are an oddity for AA.


User currently offlineWorldTraveler From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 6, posted (8 years 7 months 1 day 22 hours ago) and read 9545 times:

thanks for the info.... what are PDUs?

User currently offlineAirways45 From United Kingdom, joined May 2000, 300 posts, RR: 0
Reply 7, posted (8 years 7 months 1 day 21 hours ago) and read 9488 times:

PDUs are 'power drive units' - the electric cargo rollers that move the cargo containers inside the belly hold.

Check out http://www.cargo.goodrich.com/lowerdeck.shtml

Airways45


User currently offlineCaptaink From Mexico, joined May 2001, 5109 posts, RR: 12
Reply 8, posted (8 years 7 months 1 day 21 hours ago) and read 9465 times:

Does the A330-300 and A340-300 suffer from these problems? Secondly, it has been said that the A300 are used on Caribbean/Latin American routes for its cargo capacity. I assume that it serves well here cause the routes are much shorter? What would AA use on these routes when/if the A300 is phased out?


There is something special about planes....
User currently offlineCommavia From United States of America, joined Apr 2005, 11840 posts, RR: 62
Reply 9, posted (8 years 7 months 1 day 21 hours ago) and read 9465 times:

Quoting KC135TopBoom (Reply 5):
It was not really the AA B-777-200ERs that replaced the A-300-600R on Trans-Atlantic routes (I agree the B-777 is a lot more airplane capability than the A-300), but more of the B-767-300ER.

I have to disagree with you here. The two main routes AA flew the A300s on for the longest time to Europe were BOS-LHR and JFK-LHR. Both are now 100% 777s. The 777s did, indeed, mostly replace the A300s on trans-Atlantic routes, but you are certainly right in saying that the 767-300 makes up the mantle of AA's overall network to Europe.


User currently offlineNW747-400 From United States of America, joined Jun 1999, 504 posts, RR: 0
Reply 10, posted (8 years 7 months 1 day 20 hours ago) and read 9045 times:

AA used the A300 on routes PHL-SJU in the 90's. Usually a 727 in long haul config (3-2 Y class instead of 3-3) was used but a few times I was lucky enough to catch the widebody.

User currently offlineAA777223 From United States of America, joined Feb 2006, 1254 posts, RR: 6
Reply 11, posted (8 years 7 months 1 day 19 hours ago) and read 8521 times:

Quoting Commavia (Reply 9):
I have to disagree with you here. The two main routes AA flew the A300s on for the longest time to Europe were BOS-LHR and JFK-LHR. Both are now 100% 777s. The 777s did, indeed, mostly replace the A300s on trans-Atlantic routes, but you are certainly right in saying that the 767-300 makes up the mantle of AA's overall network to Europe.

One thing we all have to remember too, is that part of the reason AA uses 777s on their routes to london is they are one of 2 aircraft types they have left that have a 3 class configuration. The other is the 762, which they have to have all three classes because they signed a contract of sorts with hollywood that they would supply a first class product between New York and LA. I actually flew on an AA A300 once several years ago. I flew in the business cabin and I don't remember the route exactly. I assume it was either ORY-JFK or ORY-DFW. I remember being surprised when I got to the gate and there was an airbus there instead of the usual 767. It was an alright flight though. The international flagship product was identical to AA's 767s of the time.



Sic 'em bears
User currently offlineCommavia From United States of America, joined Apr 2005, 11840 posts, RR: 62
Reply 12, posted (8 years 7 months 1 day 19 hours ago) and read 8419 times:

Quoting AA777223 (Reply 11):
One thing we all have to remember too, is that part of the reason AA uses 777s on their routes to london is they are one of 2 aircraft types they have left that have a 3 class configuration.

Indeed. Again, AA's 777s were designed specifically to fly the Heathrow routes and take over for the A300s.

Quoting AA777223 (Reply 11):
I remember being surprised when I got to the gate and there was an airbus there instead of the usual 767. It was an alright flight though. The international flagship product was identical to AA's 767s of the time.

True. A lot of frequent flyers actually liked AA's 3-class A300s, as the planes had a bigger 'feel' to them because they were so wide and fat. Also, IINM, AA's 3-class A300s (again, only 8-10 of them) were equipped with PTVs, which was also popular with travelers back then.


User currently offlineAA777223 From United States of America, joined Feb 2006, 1254 posts, RR: 6
Reply 13, posted (8 years 7 months 1 day 18 hours ago) and read 8138 times:

Quoting Commavia (Reply 12):
Also, IINM, AA's 3-class A300s (again, only 8-10 of them) were equipped with PTVs, which was also popular with travelers back then.

I don't remember seeing PTVs on the A300. They had them in First I know, but back then in business you got this little mini video player that used these cassettes that were a little bigger than audio cassettes. They used those on the 767s also. They used them up until the advent of the 777 and they introduced a new business class product across the line, sans sheepskin seat covers. They now give out personal DVD players on the 767s and the T7s obviously have PTVs at every seat.



Sic 'em bears
User currently offlineMAC100 From United States of America, joined Oct 2000, 260 posts, RR: 0
Reply 14, posted (8 years 7 months 1 day 17 hours ago) and read 7490 times:

AA's A300s did have PTVs in Economy and very nice leather seats, too (at least on the BOS-LHR route).

User currently offlineQqflyboy From United States of America, joined Oct 2003, 2296 posts, RR: 13
Reply 15, posted (8 years 7 months 1 day 13 hours ago) and read 6217 times:

The three class Bus at AA was one of the nicest aircraft we had. The configuration was fantastic as even coach felt intimate... I dont remember coach capacity but it wasn't very much. There were indeed PTVs in all cabins and was powered by the Matsushita 2000 or 3000 (can't remember the number) IFE system. There were even games... something not even the T7 at AA offers.

If there were any problems for that aircraft across the Atlantic it was the service ceiling. When fully loaded it took the plane a long time to burn off the necessary fuel to climb to higher altitudes and even then the ceiling is less than the 763 and 777. You would get tossed around a bit more in the Bus, but that probably has as much to do with it's rigid wing as it does with the service ceiling. I remember those planes fondly, however, and still enjoy working them to the Caribbean.



The views expressed are mine alone and do not necessarily reflect my employer’s views.
User currently offlineC133 From United States of America, joined Jan 2005, 225 posts, RR: 0
Reply 16, posted (8 years 7 months 1 day 11 hours ago) and read 5510 times:
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Quoting Commavia (Reply 4):
and AA bought the 777 with Heathrow specifically in mind.

Would you care to share with us your source for this statement?



Fine: Tax for doing wrong. Tax: Fine for doing well.
User currently offline1337Delta764 From United States of America, joined Oct 2005, 6633 posts, RR: 2
Reply 17, posted (8 years 7 months 1 day 11 hours ago) and read 5467 times:

Quoting Captaink (Reply 8):
What would AA use on these routes when/if the A300 is phased out?

AA is a likely candidate to order the 787. The 787-3 is an ideal replacement for the A300s, where the 787-8's range is not needed.



The Pink Delta 767-400ER - The most beautiful aircraft in the sky
User currently offlineCommavia From United States of America, joined Apr 2005, 11840 posts, RR: 62
Reply 18, posted (8 years 7 months 1 day 11 hours ago) and read 5442 times:

Quoting C133 (Reply 16):
Would you care to share with us your source for this statement?

While I don't have a specific press release to refer you to, AA has always said that its 777s would be reserved for only its most premium routes. AA's first route with its 777 was DFW-Gatwick, and the planes were flying on AA's routes to Heathrow from Chicago, L.A. and Miami within 18 months of taking delivery. Again, I don't have a specific source to point you to, but I assure you -- you could ask just about any executive at AA and they would readily tell you that AA bought the 777s specifically thinking they would be serving LHR. It is just the way it was.


User currently offlineCaptaink From Mexico, joined May 2001, 5109 posts, RR: 12
Reply 19, posted (8 years 7 months 1 day 11 hours ago) and read 5431 times:

Quoting Qqflyboy (Reply 15):
There were indeed PTVs in all cabins and was powered by the Matsushita 2000 or 3000 (can't remember the number) IFE system. There were even games... something not even the T7 at AA offers

Are any of these A300s around still? What did AA do with them? I am talking about the leather seat/PTV equipped buses. I get the opportunity to fly the A300 alot between MIA/SJU and i did it twive MIA/MEX but i hear that the airplane is no longer used on the route. I like the A300 quite a fun airplane to fly on.



There is something special about planes....
User currently offlineAlitalia744 From United States of America, joined Mar 2000, 4760 posts, RR: 44
Reply 20, posted (8 years 7 months 1 day 11 hours ago) and read 5417 times:

AA is god's gift to humanity WorldTraveler - don't you know? They have no operational issues. Ask Commavia and he'll confirm

[Edited 2006-05-01 02:32:35]


Some see lines, others see between the lines.
User currently offlineIsitsafenow From United States of America, joined Feb 2004, 4984 posts, RR: 23
Reply 21, posted (8 years 7 months 1 day 11 hours ago) and read 5396 times:

Quoting Commavia (Reply 18):
you could ask just about any executive at AA

Are you showing us "your cards"?
safe  wave 



If two people agree on EVERYTHING, then one isn't necessary.
User currently offlineCommavia From United States of America, joined Apr 2005, 11840 posts, RR: 62
Reply 22, posted (8 years 7 months 1 day 10 hours ago) and read 5367 times:

Quoting Isitsafenow (Reply 21):
Are you showing us "your cards"?
safe

Very funny.  Smile
Just simply stating that anyone at AA -- doesn't even have to be an executive! -- would readily tell you that AA bought the 777s specifically with the Heathrow market in mind. Heathrow is the end all be all of premium markets, and the 777 is the most premium-oriented airplane AA has.


User currently offlineIsitsafenow From United States of America, joined Feb 2004, 4984 posts, RR: 23
Reply 23, posted (8 years 7 months 1 day 10 hours ago) and read 5136 times:

Quoting Commavia (Reply 22):

AA ALWAYS had premium equipment as long as I can remember and the 777 just puts the iceing on the cake. I'm disappointed my old company, NW went with the A330 instead of the triple seven. But now I'm just an armchair airline CEO, like a
lot of people at A-net.

Thx for the grin.
take care.
safe



If two people agree on EVERYTHING, then one isn't necessary.
User currently offlinePhllax From United States of America, joined Jan 2006, 443 posts, RR: 0
Reply 24, posted (8 years 7 months 1 day 10 hours ago) and read 5108 times:

Quoting Commavia (Reply 1):
I know they flew PHL-LHR at least at some point,

PHL-LHR was a 767 for the entire time it was online.

The only A300's in PHL were used for the SJU runs. It flew the outbound leg in the morning and was the RON on the return.


25 QQflyboy : Yes, they are. The only way you could recognize them now is the drop down screen in the middle of the overhead bins are flat, not the old style TVs.
26 AirxLiban : What about having AA's 767 and 777 lookalike C-Class seats? It seems as though some of the A300's have the blue business class seats and the rest hav
27 Ikramerica : And NRT. That was and is also a very important premium market, now with 6 777s a day most days of the year.
28 Commavia : Absolutely. NRT was also a market AA had in mind when buying the 777s.
29 C133 : Wouldn't it be fair to say that AA wanted to replace the MD-11s with a right sized (to them) airplane for the important international routes, and when
30 AA777223 : I know AA still has a few triple 7s that don't have the international flagship suites in F. Does anyone know what routes these fly? I have flown AA tr
31 KC135TopBoom : AA has never flown the A-300-605R into DFW, except for the maintenance tours. The A-300-600R has a range of 3800nm, the distance between DFW and ORY
32 QQflyboy : There are new seats in business class too, at least on the former 3-class Busses. I didn't mention it before because unless your sitting in that cabi
33 Commavia : Size wasn't the issue. It was a premium product AA wanted for premium markets like LHR, EZE and NRT. The 777 was is a superb aircraft, very well rega
34 TUGMASTER : At present AA has 45 777's plus 1 on lease to Boeing...each day at LHR you will see 19 different ships.... They brought back the different designatio
35 Post contains images AA777223 : I always wondered why they even bothered to use two different configurations, and why they used the triple 7s for all the european markets, only to t
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