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Future Of AF A340s?  
User currently offlineDelta763 From United States of America, joined May 2008, 316 posts, RR: 0
Posted (6 years 3 days 2 hours ago) and read 7986 times:

Air France has already publicised their plans to phase out the 744s in favor of greater use of 777s. What might this mean for their A340 fleet?

Will they see a phasing out as well in the near future? Or is there a place for them still? What routes will work best for this type which seems to be more and more of a niche player in the wake of larger and longer-ranged twinjets with higher-yielding seat plans?


I'd like to hear about any and all of AF's routes, though my particular personal interest is in the ATL flight, which may be my most likely chance to fly this type. It's been changed to a 744 and to a 772 in the past, but those didn't last very long. What about the 343 makes it a good fit for this route?

I was also hoping I'd get to fly one to PPT one day, but it looks like my time for that is running out.

26 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlineStitch From United States of America, joined Jul 2005, 31259 posts, RR: 85
Reply 1, posted (6 years 3 days 2 hours ago) and read 7972 times:
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Quoting Delta763 (Thread starter):
Air France has already publicised their plans to phase out the 744s in favor of greater use of 777s. What might this mean for their A340 fleet?

Probably nothing, since AF is not taking delivery of new 777-200ERs and availability of the 787-9/A350XWB for them are late next decade.


User currently offline767nutter From United Kingdom, joined Sep 2008, 161 posts, RR: 0
Reply 2, posted (6 years 3 days 1 hour ago) and read 7913 times:

Don't talk too soon Stitch, i was quite surprised in reading that Qatar replaced their A340 fleet with 777's, and apparently Emirates were talking to Boeing about doing the same if Boeing could give Emirates a good offer, though i haven't heard any more about it recently, so maybe the deal fell thorugh, who knows?

User currently offlineHaggis79 From Germany, joined Jun 2006, 1096 posts, RR: 1
Reply 3, posted (6 years 3 days 1 hour ago) and read 7881 times:



Quoting Delta763 (Thread starter):
I'd like to hear about any and all of AF's routes, though my particular personal interest is in the ATL flight, which may be my most likely chance to fly this type. It's been changed to a 744 and to a 772 in the past, but those didn't last very long. What about the 343 makes it a good fit for this route?

well, mostly the configuration.... the 772 is in a more premium configuration (the 772 has F, the 343 doesn't, and the 772 has also more C class seats). At the moment, AF's 343s and 744s are in a config better suited for low-yield destinations (less C seats, no F), whereas the 332s, the 772s and the 773s are in a higher-yield config (more C seats and F class in all 777s). There's also the leisure "COI" config of the 773, but this one is afaik only used on the long-haul "domestic" routes from ORY.

So, configuration-wise, AF has mostly sent the lower-yield a/c to ATL - the difference between the 744 and the 343 just being size. I think the 744 was taken off the route as DL added their third flight back to the schedule this summer. In winter, the demand for the 744 just isn't there.

Maybe they also don't send any 777s to be in line with DLs product, which doesn't offer F, either.



300 310 319/20/21 332/3 343 AT4/7 143 B19 732/3/4/5/G/8/9 742/4 752/3 763/4 77E/W CR2/7/9 D95 E45/70 F50 F70 100 M11 M90
User currently offlineGigneil From United States of America, joined Nov 2002, 16347 posts, RR: 85
Reply 4, posted (6 years 3 days 1 hour ago) and read 7870 times:



Quoting 767nutter (Reply 2):
i was quite surprised in reading that Qatar replaced their A340 fleet with 777's

I would be surprised to read that as well, since it didn't happen.

NS


User currently offlineBA319-131 From United Kingdom, joined Jan 2001, 8578 posts, RR: 54
Reply 5, posted (6 years 3 days 1 hour ago) and read 7870 times:
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Quoting Delta763 (Thread starter):
Air France has already publicised their plans to phase out the 744s in favor of greater use of 777s. What might this mean for their A340 fleet?

- AF have nothing on order to replace the current 343 fleet so don't expect these birds to be going anytime soon & don't forget they are not the gas guzzlers people make them out to be.

Expect these birds and the 772 fleet to be replaced by a mix of 787 & A350 - some time to go yet!

M



111,732,3,4,5,7,8,BBJ,741,742,743,744,752,762,763,764,772,77L,773,77W,L15,D10,30,40,AB3,AB6,A312.313,319,320,321,332,333
User currently offlineHaggis79 From Germany, joined Jun 2006, 1096 posts, RR: 1
Reply 6, posted (6 years 3 days 1 hour ago) and read 7858 times:



Quoting Delta763 (Thread starter):
Air France has already publicised their plans to phase out the 744s in favor of greater use of 777s. What might this mean for their A340 fleet?

Not much. The next order of AFKL is expected to be for 787s/350s (probably both) to replace their 343s, older 772s and KL's M11s. Note that AF's oldest 777s are almost as old as their 343s. Their 744s, save the three newest ones, are way older.



300 310 319/20/21 332/3 343 AT4/7 143 B19 732/3/4/5/G/8/9 742/4 752/3 763/4 77E/W CR2/7/9 D95 E45/70 F50 F70 100 M11 M90
User currently offlineDelta763 From United States of America, joined May 2008, 316 posts, RR: 0
Reply 7, posted (6 years 3 days 1 hour ago) and read 7786 times:

So what do you think prompted changing PPT from an A340 to 772? A change in demographics? A business contract perhaps? I would've thought the majority of PPT traffic would be low yielding tourists.

Perhaps there are some 744 routes that would be a better fit for an A340 replacement rather than a 777?

I wouldn't call the A340 a gas guzzler, but the economics of fuel consumption/engine power are obviously different for it vs. the 777. Besides the obvious rare ETOPS out-of-range segments (are there any left in the northern hemisphere?), is there a type of route where it works better?

I guess I'm just trying to understand the pros and cons of these very similar yet very different aircraft types.


User currently offlineLH4116 From Sweden, joined Aug 2007, 1714 posts, RR: 18
Reply 8, posted (6 years 3 days ago) and read 7692 times:



Quoting Delta763 (Reply 7):
So what do you think prompted changing PPT from an A340 to 772? A change in demographics? A business contract perhaps? I would've thought the majority of PPT traffic would be low yielding tourists.

I believe that AF pretty recently announced that they would upgrade PPT from an A343 to a 77W starting next year i think.

I believe that you guys forgot to mention that SXM is also a destination that needs to be served by a 4-holer. Due to some sort of engine failure restriction large twinjets aren't allowed to land at SXM. So if the 744 and A343 left the fleet, what other aircraft will fly to SXM, the A380 maybe? I wouldn't think so, the A380 is far too big and they will not be used on low-yeild routes.



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User currently offlineColumba From Germany, joined Dec 2004, 7088 posts, RR: 4
Reply 9, posted (6 years 2 days 12 hours ago) and read 7207 times:

As the 777-200ER and A343 have a similar mission profile how are the aircraft being used with AF ?


It will forever be a McDonnell Douglas MD 80 , Boeing MD 80 sounds so wrong
User currently offlineOHLHD From Finland, joined Dec 2004, 3962 posts, RR: 25
Reply 10, posted (6 years 2 days 11 hours ago) and read 7190 times:



Quoting 767nutter (Reply 2):
Don't talk too soon Stitch, i was quite surprised in reading that Qatar replaced their A340 fleet with 777's,

When did that happen??? They still have their 346 and won´t phase them out anytime soon...


I believe that the A343 will fly for some more years until the A350/B787 will arrive.  Smile


User currently offlineKappel From Suriname, joined Jul 2005, 3533 posts, RR: 17
Reply 11, posted (6 years 2 days 11 hours ago) and read 7102 times:



Quoting Delta763 (Reply 7):
I wouldn't call the A340 a gas guzzler, but the economics of fuel consumption/engine power are obviously different for it vs. the 777.

Engine power really isn't an issue, look at SXM ops. Furthermore the a343 consumes less fuel than the 772 and is also much lighter than the 772. OTOH the 772 is bigger, and as such has more revenue capability. However, the a343 can be a profitable plane for airlines, look at LH, AF, IB, CX, CI who are operating them succesfully.

As for AF, they have already said the a343 will be replaced by a widebody to be ordered next year, along with early 772's and KL's MD11's and 74M's.



L1011,733,734,73G,738,743,744,752,763,772,77W,DC855,DC863,DC930,DC950,MD11,MD88,306,319,320,321,343,346,ARJ85,CR7,E195
User currently offlineFlySSC From United States of America, joined Aug 2003, 7422 posts, RR: 57
Reply 12, posted (6 years 2 days 8 hours ago) and read 6856 times:



Quoting Columba (Reply 9):
As the 777-200ER and A343 have a similar mission profile how are the aircraft being used with AF ?

Commercially : No. The B772ER are used on more "premium" routes as they are fitted with 4 P & 49 J while tha A343 have a maximum of 36 J.
But technically, they could operate on the same markets as they is no flight operated by the A343 that the B772ER couldn't do (except SXM-CDG) and vice versa.

Quoting Delta763 (Thread starter):
Will they see a phasing out as well in the near future? Or is there a place for them still?

Initially, and until 3 or 4 years ago, AF had planned to reduce its A343 fleet from 22 aircraft to only 12 / 15 aircraft, keeping only the last delivered A340-313X and getting rid of the "oldest" A340-311. The plan was to replace them by additional B772ER.

Finally, AF decided to wait a few more years and study (after KL merger) a complete new fleet plan and replacement process with B787 or A350.


User currently offlineAirproxx From France, joined Jun 2008, 640 posts, RR: 1
Reply 13, posted (6 years 2 days 5 hours ago) and read 6198 times:

From what I know about the change/upgrade onto the PPT route from a A343 to a 772ER or 77W, one of the main reason is the cost of keeping two types on the LAX route. The change to a 777 would allow AF to keep only one type on the LAX route, and then reduce operating cost this way...
AF may place an order for some B787/A350 next year, so be patient folks!

Cheers



If you can meet with triumph and disaster, and treat those two impostors just the same
User currently offlineAirGabon From Switzerland, joined Dec 2003, 890 posts, RR: 2
Reply 14, posted (6 years 2 days 4 hours ago) and read 5651 times:



Quoting Airproxx (Reply 13):
From what I know about the change/upgrade onto the PPT route from a A343 to a 772ER or 77W, one of the main reason is the cost of keeping two types on the LAX route.

And also because there is a real demand for premium product to PPT and French Polynesia (i.e Bora-Bora) in particular with regards to luxury cruise ships. AF wants to catch a piece of this market.

Don't forget that TN already offer a First class on board their A343.

And it was one of the main problem of NZ with keeping their old B763 onto LAX-PPT-Rarotonga-AKL, they were unable to generate the higher yields which were existing.


User currently offlineBoogyJay From France, joined May 2005, 490 posts, RR: 4
Reply 15, posted (6 years 1 day 23 hours ago) and read 4457 times:



Quoting FlySSC (Reply 12):
Initially, and until 3 or 4 years ago, AF had planned to reduce its A343 fleet from 22 aircraft to only 12 / 15 aircraft, keeping only the last delivered A340-313X and getting rid of the "oldest" A340-311. The plan was to replace them by additional B772ER.

Finally, AF decided to wait a few more years and study (after KL merger) a complete new fleet plan and replacement process with B787 or A350.

Expect the phase-out of some of the 19 A343s to begin in a couple of years, i.e. probably long before any B787/A350 arrives.


User currently offlineB747forever From Sweden, joined May 2007, 17126 posts, RR: 10
Reply 16, posted (6 years 1 day 22 hours ago) and read 4391 times:



Quoting LH4116 (Reply 8):
believe that you guys forgot to mention that SXM is also a destination that needs to be served by a 4-holer. Due to some sort of engine failure restriction large twinjets aren't allowed to land at SXM. So if the 744 and A343 left the fleet, what other aircraft will fly to SXM, the A380 maybe? I wouldn't think so, the A380 is far too big and they will not be used on low-yeild routes.

Well they could always order the 748i  Wink

How about KLM, they use the MD11 on that route now, what will they replace it with??



Work Hard, Fly Right
User currently offlineFlySSC From United States of America, joined Aug 2003, 7422 posts, RR: 57
Reply 17, posted (6 years 1 day 17 hours ago) and read 4186 times:



Quoting LH4116 (Reply 8):
I believe that you guys forgot to mention that SXM is also a destination that needs to be served by a 4-holer.

SXM is everything you want but a major destination/market and AFKL is not going to keep the A340 or any other aircraft type just because of SXM ...
If ever a day would come when AF has no more aircraft suitable to operate SXM-CDG nonstop, well, they will do a stop somewhere "en route" (like KL and SS do) and that will be just fine for everybody.

Quoting BoogyJay (Reply 15):
Expect the phase-out of some of the 19 A343s to begin in a couple of years

The fleet was already reduced from 22 aircraft to 19 in the past 4 years.
New B77W will replace the B744 on a 1 for 1 basis. As there is no more B772ER on order or the moment, I don't see the A340 retired "in a couple years" or "long before the B787/A350 ariives", unless AFKL has to face a major recession, cut several routes, etc ...
The AF A340 fleet is quite new, and similar in age to the B772ER :
AF operates only 5 of the oldest A343-311 (F-GLZC, ZG, ZH, ZI & F-GNIH) that were delivered before 1998. The 14 others are all A340-313X and were delivered for most of them beteween 1998 and 2001.


User currently offlineMir From United States of America, joined Jan 2004, 21801 posts, RR: 55
Reply 18, posted (6 years 1 day 15 hours ago) and read 4079 times:



Quoting LH4116 (Reply 8):
Due to some sort of engine failure restriction large twinjets aren't allowed to land at SXM.

Technically, this isn't really true. You could land a 777 at SXM, and you could take off again, but the problem is that you couldn't take off with enough fuel to make it back to Europe without stopping somewhere, unless you wanted to take some severe payload penalties.

The restriction is due to mountains off the end of the runway, and that above a certain weight, large twinjets like the 777 can't clear them with one engine inoperative.

-Mir



7 billion, one nation, imagination...it's a beautiful day
User currently offlineIncitatus From Brazil, joined Feb 2005, 4050 posts, RR: 13
Reply 19, posted (6 years 1 day 11 hours ago) and read 3847 times:



Quoting Delta763 (Reply 7):
I would've thought the majority of PPT traffic would be low yielding tourists.

Recently there was a proliferation of overwater bungalos in Bora Bora and other islands that cost at least 1000 euros per night. The crowd is not made of bargain hunters.



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User currently offlineLH4116 From Sweden, joined Aug 2007, 1714 posts, RR: 18
Reply 20, posted (5 years 12 months 3 days 8 hours ago) and read 3298 times:



Quoting FlySSC (Reply 17):
The AF A340 fleet is quite new, and similar in age to the B772ER :

Since the fleet of 77E and A343X is pretty new, will they get their interiors updated with new seats and AVOD? Will the 77E get a 10 abreast layout just like the 77W, or will they keep the current 9 abreast? How many of the 77W are in the 3-4-3 configuration now? What will happen to the seats that used to be on the 77W, they are pretty new after all, is there any chance that AF could modify them to fit in the A343?



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User currently offlineFlySSC From United States of America, joined Aug 2003, 7422 posts, RR: 57
Reply 21, posted (5 years 12 months 3 days 8 hours ago) and read 3232 times:



Quoting LH4116 (Reply 21):
How many of the 77W are in the 3-4-3 configuration now?

All of them.

Quoting LH4116 (Reply 21):
Since the fleet of 77E and A343X is pretty new, will they get their interiors updated with new seats and AVOD?

All the B772ER + A343 fleet is progressively retrofitted with the new AVOD

Quoting LH4116 (Reply 8):
Due to some sort of engine failure restriction large twinjets aren't allowed to land at SXM.

What a bout this one ?

View Large View Medium
Click here for bigger photo!

Photo © Joe Pries - ATR Team



Actually, B777 can perfectly land in SXM ... and take off. They just can't make it nonstop to Europe because of the restrictions in case on an engine failure on take off.

AF could operate CDG-SXM-SDQ-CDG, like they were used to do with the B744 before SXM was disconnected and operated separately with the A343.


User currently offlineDocLightning From United States of America, joined Nov 2005, 20244 posts, RR: 59
Reply 22, posted (5 years 12 months 3 days 6 hours ago) and read 3067 times:



Quoting FlySSC (Reply 21):

AF could operate CDG-SXM-SDQ-CDG, like they were used to do with the B744 before SXM was disconnected and operated separately with the A343.

And KL could do AMS-SXM-CUR-AMS.


User currently offlineJigarciar From Colombia, joined May 2005, 88 posts, RR: 0
Reply 23, posted (5 years 12 months 3 days 5 hours ago) and read 3029 times:



Quoting FlySSC (Reply 12):
But technically, they could operate on the same markets as they is no flight operated by the A343 that the B772ER couldn't do (except SXM-CDG) and vice versa.

I am not sure that a B772ER (I don't have the technical arguments) will be able to fly the daily nonstop CDG-BOG-CDG that AF flies actually on their A343.


User currently offlineFlySSC From United States of America, joined Aug 2003, 7422 posts, RR: 57
Reply 24, posted (5 years 12 months 3 days 5 hours ago) and read 2961 times:



Quoting Jigarciar (Reply 23):
I am not sure that a B772ER (I don't have the technical arguments) will be able to fly the daily nonstop CDG-BOG-CDG that AF flies actually on their A343.

Avianca will start soon to operate their A332 on BOG-MAD-BOG, so I guess if an A332 can operate BOG-MAD, a B772ER should be able to operate BOG-CDG ... but I may be wrong !


25 Post contains links 767nutter : Ahem sorry for misprint but i meant replacING. read on http://www.flightglobal.com/articles...of-first-14-boeing-777-300ers.html
26 Jigarciar : Well, I may be wrong too!. It depends on the engines that AF has on their B772ER's. Avianca ordered their A332s and 787s with RR power plants, that w
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