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Cathay Pacific And The A340-600  
User currently offlineCF-CPI From Canada, joined Nov 2000, 988 posts, RR: 0
Posted (4 years 6 months 3 weeks 4 days 1 hour ago) and read 11110 times:

I was looking into the history of the long-legged Airbus with CX and was curious about a few things, especially as their 3 ships have been transferred to Hainan Airways.

1) Did CX only operate 3 of these (B-HQA, -QB and -QC)? Why was the fleet so small?
2) Did CX envision a larger fleet of these, with some earmarked to replace older 747-400s, only to find that the 777-300 offered a more attractive alternative?
3) Did the CX birds have the early, heavier wing structure, similar to a couple of the VS ships (now parked)?

Thanks.

17 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlineCloudyapple From Hong Kong, joined Jul 2005, 2453 posts, RR: 9
Reply 1, posted (4 years 6 months 3 weeks 4 days 1 hour ago) and read 11098 times:

Yes, yes and yes.

They only needed something they can operate nonstop to JFK. Only the A346 was available at the time - so they rented 3 for just the one route.

When they were deciding on the new fleet the A346 was up against the B77W and there was no match. At the time of the B77W purchase, Cathay was taking on SIA's B744s.



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User currently offlineCF-CPI From Canada, joined Nov 2000, 988 posts, RR: 0
Reply 2, posted (4 years 6 months 3 weeks 3 days 6 hours ago) and read 9393 times:

Thanks for the detailed response. I had no idea they had also ordered the advanced A340 primarily for one route - similar in approach to Thai and Singapore. I suppose they needed to go head-to-head with CO's 777s from EWR.

From the looks of it, they were also used off and on for Asia regional and Australia.

There are some interior pics of the CX A340-600 in the database. I would not want to spend 16+ hours in those economy seats!


User currently offlineVapar8 From United States of America, joined Aug 2005, 69 posts, RR: 0
Reply 3, posted (4 years 6 months 3 weeks 3 days 4 hours ago) and read 7960 times:

I flew on one from LAX-HKG

User currently offlineBombayhog From United States of America, joined May 2001, 557 posts, RR: 0
Reply 4, posted (4 years 6 months 3 weeks 2 days 21 hours ago) and read 6567 times:

I did that 16 hour flight in one of those in economy class and it was very uncomfortable. It didn't help that I was squeezed into a window seat, but still, I found it very cramped.

User currently offlineAzncsa4qf744er From United States of America, joined Oct 2003, 689 posts, RR: 0
Reply 5, posted (4 years 6 months 3 weeks 2 days 19 hours ago) and read 6382 times:



Quoting Bombayhog (Reply 4):
I did that 16 hour flight in one of those in economy class and it was very uncomfortable. It didn't help that I was squeezed into a window seat, but still, I found it very cramped.

That statement is very commont for any Economy class on ULH route.

Quoting Vapar8 (Reply 3):
I flew on one from LAX-HKG

CX did operates HKGLAXHKG for a few weeks and went back to the B744 at the time.


User currently offlineMarcoPoloWorld From United States of America, joined Mar 2008, 617 posts, RR: 0
Reply 6, posted (4 years 6 months 3 weeks 2 days 16 hours ago) and read 6124 times:

I recall flying one of these gracious birds on the SFO-HKG route too a few years ago. In 2003, CX downgauged SFO to an A340-300 in the wake of the Sars epidemic. Then, as an interim to resuming 747 service, they operated the A346 for a short while. Maybe it was in 2004.

User currently offlineJfk777 From United States of America, joined Aug 2006, 8090 posts, RR: 7
Reply 7, posted (4 years 6 months 3 weeks 2 days 4 hours ago) and read 5659 times:
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Other then teh JFK route Cathay did operate them to other destinations all over its system on a substitute basis. LHR, SYD, LAX, SFO, YVR and YYZ were all visited by the trio of A346 at one point or another.

User currently offlineEPA001 From Netherlands, joined Sep 2006, 4593 posts, RR: 38
Reply 8, posted (4 years 6 months 3 weeks 2 days 4 hours ago) and read 5634 times:
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Quoting MarcoPoloWorld (Reply 6):
I recall flying one of these gracious birds on the SFO-HKG route too a few years ago

Oh yes, they are ever so gracious and beautiful. I flew the A340-600 with LH a couple of times. Very comfortable and quiet. But overall the B77W is the better offering and the respective sales have clearly shown this.


User currently offlineVH-OJO From Slovakia, joined Jan 2000, 238 posts, RR: 1
Reply 9, posted (4 years 6 months 3 weeks 1 day 8 hours ago) and read 5086 times:

The three Cathay birds were not identical, as I recall. -QC was different than the first two -QA and -QB. It had something to do with having lighter wings and thus a bit more range, correct me if I am wrong.

User currently offlineCX flyboy From Hong Kong, joined Dec 1999, 6533 posts, RR: 55
Reply 10, posted (4 years 6 months 3 weeks 1 day 6 hours ago) and read 4881 times:



Quoting VH-OJO (Reply 9):
The three Cathay birds were not identical, as I recall. -QC was different than the first two -QA and -QB. It had something to do with having lighter wings and thus a bit more range, correct me if I am wrong.

Thats correct as far as I know. I am sure Zeke will correct me. The first two were much earlier on the production line and were heavier aircraft. By the time HQC came along Airbus had made production aircraft lighter. I believe there was quite a bit of compansation paid by Airbus because of this, not to mention the landing gear issues they had as well which I imagine would have generated some sort of compensation from Airbus.


User currently offlineCF-CPI From Canada, joined Nov 2000, 988 posts, RR: 0
Reply 11, posted (4 years 6 months 3 weeks 1 day 6 hours ago) and read 4853 times:

The 'heavy wing' issue got me into this topic in the first place, since Virgin has just parked two of their early ones that shared the heavy wing. In these times, I suppose that can be a make or break item. That being said, it was interesting to know that QC had the updated structure.

BTW, a search of internet shows CX A340-600 service to Osaka in summer of '05. Despite the small fleet, they really got around.


User currently offlineJohnClipper From Hong Kong, joined Aug 2005, 826 posts, RR: 0
Reply 12, posted (4 years 6 months 3 weeks 1 day 5 hours ago) and read 4709 times:

I know they were used to/from MNL.

User currently offlineCloudyapple From Hong Kong, joined Jul 2005, 2453 posts, RR: 9
Reply 13, posted (4 years 6 months 3 weeks 1 day 5 hours ago) and read 4663 times:



Quoting CF-CPI (Reply 11):
BTW, a search of internet shows CX A340-600 service to Osaka in summer of '05. Despite the small fleet, they really got around.



Quoting Jfk777 (Reply 7):
Other then teh JFK route Cathay did operate them to other destinations all over its system on a substitute basis. LHR, SYD, LAX, SFO, YVR and YYZ were all visited by the trio of A346 at one point or another.

The A346 was initially on JFK with regional asian runs in between longhauls to maximize utilization - same for all Cathay longhaul aircraft.

When the B77W began arriving, JFK went B77W and the A346 were moved to start the nonstop service to Toronto, replacing some 1-stop A343 services. Then more B77Ws arrived, Toronto went B77W and the A346s were displaced to Heathrow then Joburg again with things like Osaka slotted in between.



A310/A319/20/21/A332/3/A343/6/A388/B732/5/7/8/B742/S/4/B752/B763/B772/3/W/E145/J41/MD11/83/90
User currently offlineArgonaut From UK - Scotland, joined Dec 2004, 421 posts, RR: 1
Reply 14, posted (4 years 6 months 3 weeks 1 day 2 hours ago) and read 4434 times:



Quoting Bombayhog (Reply 4):
did that 16 hour flight in one of those in economy class and it was very uncomfortable.

Flew the same route on CX in Y a couple of weeks ago, but on a 77W, and it was probably the least comfortable flight I've had. Yes, it was 14½ hours airborne, but the seat was already killing me after two hours (and I've experienced similarly long flights on other carriers with much less problem). The way the seat is craftily designed to "recline" without tipping the seat-back towards the occupant behind just doesn't work for someone of my dimensions, I suppose.
Are these the same seats as CX had on the A346?



'the rank is but the guinea stamp'
User currently offlineDocLightning From United States of America, joined Nov 2005, 18681 posts, RR: 58
Reply 15, posted (4 years 6 months 3 weeks 1 day 2 hours ago) and read 4425 times:

Quoting Bombayhog (Reply 4):


I did that 16 hour flight in one of those in economy class and it was very uncomfortable.

That was silly of you! Don't do it non-stop next time!  Smile

[Edited 2009-09-28 10:03:01]

User currently offlineCF-CPI From Canada, joined Nov 2000, 988 posts, RR: 0
Reply 16, posted (4 years 6 months 3 weeks 1 day 2 hours ago) and read 4387 times:



Quoting Argonaut (Reply 14):
Flew the same route on CX in Y a couple of weeks ago, but on a 77W, and it was probably the least comfortable flight I've had. Yes, it was 14½ hours airborne, but the seat was already killing me after two hours (and I've experienced similarly long flights on other carriers with much less problem). The way the seat is craftily designed to "recline" without tipping the seat-back towards the occupant behind just doesn't work for someone of my dimensions, I suppose.
Are these the same seats as CX had on the A346?

The 'crafty' design to which you refer was introduced later, and as far as I know, was never on the A340-600 with CX. THe interior pics I saw showed a more standard design.


User currently offlineCloudyapple From Hong Kong, joined Jul 2005, 2453 posts, RR: 9
Reply 17, posted (4 years 6 months 3 weeks 1 day 2 hours ago) and read 4362 times:



Quoting Argonaut (Reply 14):
Yes, it was 14½ hours airborne



Quoting Bombayhog (Reply 4):
I did that 16 hour flight in one of those in economy class



Quoting DocLightning (Reply 15):
Don't do it non-stop next time!

Don't do it again in economy class!

Quoting Argonaut (Reply 14):
Are these the same seats as CX had on the A346?

Nope. They are new seats. They aren't very good for daddy long legs. Sliding forward reduces your legroom a bit.



A310/A319/20/21/A332/3/A343/6/A388/B732/5/7/8/B742/S/4/B752/B763/B772/3/W/E145/J41/MD11/83/90
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