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Story On Cathay Pacific's A346s?  
User currently offlinetimmydasquirrel From United States of America, joined Jul 2010, 41 posts, RR: 0
Posted (3 years 4 months 1 week 1 day 17 hours ago) and read 13584 times:

I was curious as to why Cathay Pacific has retired their fleet of A340-600s while still operating the A340-300 model?
Seems like Lufthansa, South African, Virgin Atlantic, and others are pretty happy with their A346s?
????

16 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlineViscount724 From Switzerland, joined Oct 2006, 25311 posts, RR: 22
Reply 1, posted (3 years 4 months 1 week 1 day 17 hours ago) and read 13544 times:

Quoting timmydasquirrel (Thread starter):
I was curious as to why Cathay Pacific has retired their fleet of A340-600s while still operating the A340-300 model?
Seems like Lufthansa, South African, Virgin Atlantic, and others are pretty happy with their A346s?

The other carriers you mention don't operate the 77W. Makes sense to standardize on one type to reduce costs, and if not mistaken the 77W is more fuel-efficient than the 346 which is important with today's high fuel prices.

The 343 is smaller and presumably serves a role in markets where demand is lower.


User currently offlinetimmydasquirrel From United States of America, joined Jul 2010, 41 posts, RR: 0
Reply 2, posted (3 years 4 months 1 week 1 day 17 hours ago) and read 13478 times:

Viscount,
That thought didn't occur to me.
Makes good sense, however.


User currently offlinearniepie From Belgium, joined Aug 2005, 1265 posts, RR: 1
Reply 3, posted (3 years 4 months 1 week 1 day 14 hours ago) and read 13032 times:

There are a couple of employees working for CX on this board so maybe they could expand a bit .

But as far as I remember reading about the A346 operating at CX there certainly seemed to be a lot of mixed feelings about it.
They certainly performed well for certain routes (hot/high) and where rather well liked by their passengers.
But they had their problems, a small subfleet leading to unnecessary costs, problems with CoG (at the beginning) and most notably a lot of undercarriage problems leading to high MX costs and offcourse a fuel consumption disadvantage with the later 77W.

Still a shame to see it go out so quickly, as previously said, they certainly seem to work for its current operators so something must be good about them. (0 parked- all operational)



[edit post]
User currently offlineBen175 From Australia, joined Jul 2008, 693 posts, RR: 0
Reply 4, posted (3 years 4 months 1 week 1 day 11 hours ago) and read 12738 times:

I was so close to flying one of these beauties, back in 2005 I was booked HKG-JFK on a 346, arrived at the airport only to see my flight was downgraded to a 343 and was then routed via YVR. Shame!

User currently offlineScipio From Belgium, joined Oct 2007, 894 posts, RR: 10
Reply 5, posted (3 years 4 months 1 week 1 day 11 hours ago) and read 12713 times:

CX leased these early A346s to try them out. They got some of the earliest (overweight) frames off the assembly line, and these faced a lot of teething problems. Taking in parallel the opportunity to try out the 77W, they opted for the latter (as did many airlines after them). Once that decision had been made, it did not make sense to renew the A346 leases.

One of the lasting consequences seems to be that CX has vowed never again to be an early adopter of a new airplane type.


User currently offlinecalvin99 From Hong Kong, joined Sep 2001, 225 posts, RR: 0
Reply 6, posted (3 years 4 months 1 week 1 day 9 hours ago) and read 12486 times:

Quoting Scipio (Reply 5):

CX leased these early A346s to try them out. They got some of the earliest (overweight) frames off the assembly line, and these faced a lot of teething problems. Taking in parallel the opportunity to try out the 77W, they opted for the latter (as did many airlines after them). Once that decision had been made, it did not make sense to renew the A346 leases.

I haven't joined the industry back then so I am not sure how truth is this but when I asked around, the A346 is actually not as bad as people said. The fist two aircraft B-HQA and B-HQB are indeed heavier but the third aircraft, B-HQC is actually delivered as per designed. There was initial problem when the A346 joined the fleet, but when it got sort out, the A346 actually performed extremely well with a very high desptach rate.

From the first day CX operates the aircraft, it was never meant for long term. The contract was signed for not more than 5 years. At the time when CX took delivery of A346, the aircraft is the only one that is capable to operate nonstop to JFK profitably. I guess CX wants to see the performance of the aircraft before committing anything further. After approximately a year or two after CX operates the A346, CX enters negotiation with Boeing and Airbus regarding the purchase of new long haul aircraft. Airbus offers CX the A346HGW and Boeing offers the Boeing 77W. Similar things happened around that time with Iberia (in which Iberia famously turned down the sweet offer from Boeing which Boeing thought had won and went with the A346), Philippine Airlines and more. For CX, the study yields that the 77W is simply superior than the A346. Hence the decision was made to drop the A346 and buy the 77W, a decision that shaped what CX is now.

Quoting Scipio (Reply 5):
One of the lasting consequences seems to be that CX has vowed never again to be an early adopter of a new airplane type.

Another airliners.net myth which I don't understand why it is still circulating. CX will one the first few operators of Boeing747-8F.


User currently offlinecalvin99 From Hong Kong, joined Sep 2001, 225 posts, RR: 0
Reply 7, posted (3 years 4 months 1 week 1 day 8 hours ago) and read 12466 times:

And just to add to my earlier post, Air Canada did the similar things with CX. AC operated two A340-500 on YYZ-HKG for a few years before they took deliver of their own B77W.

User currently offlineflythere From Hong Kong, joined May 2010, 443 posts, RR: 0
Reply 8, posted (3 years 4 months 1 week 1 day 6 hours ago) and read 11552 times:

Quoting Scipio (Reply 5):
One of the lasting consequences seems to be that CX has vowed never again to be an early adopter of a new airplane type.

True, because of uncertainty and the publicity brought about as the launching customer does not worth the dollar of flying a heavier aircraft in such a ever-highest oil price era.
But if price is alright and after balancing the pros and cons, CX might still be interested. CX is still operating the first 772 prototype B-HNL sold by Boeing a few years after the 772 launch.

Quoting calvin99 (Reply 6):
For CX, the study yields that the 77W is simply superior than the A346. Hence the decision was made to drop the A346 and buy the 77W, a decision that shaped what CX is now.

Right on the dot! whatever a 346 can do, 77W can do it better. The number of orders speak for the difference. If LH, SA etc. can ever choose it again, they for sure wont be let down.


User currently offlinesolnabo From Sweden, joined Jan 2008, 852 posts, RR: 2
Reply 9, posted (3 years 4 months 1 week 1 day 5 hours ago) and read 10915 times:

Quoting flythere (Reply 8):
whatever a 346 can do, 77W can do it better

Reminds me of the song -Anything you can do, I can do better.....*lol*

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bNCKMNhAJ7o&feature=related

//Mike   



Airbus SAS - Love them both
User currently offlinesomething From United Kingdom, joined May 2011, 1633 posts, RR: 21
Reply 10, posted (3 years 4 months 1 week 1 day 4 hours ago) and read 10478 times:

Quoting flythere (Reply 8):
If LH, SA etc. can ever choose it again, they for sure wont be let down.

I'm not quite sure a twin would work for SA, from an operational standpoint. And as far as LH are concerned, the 777 simply entered the market too late. At the time LH ordered the A346 in 1995, they already had some 30+ A340-300 in their fleet plus an odd number of A332s and a massive number of A320s, all of which delivered satisfying performances. After all, they were a driving force who wanted Airbus to build the A340 and became launch customer for this type. The advantages of fleet commonality and the availability of the A346 at that point apparently outweighed the 777s better economics. And by the time the A330s/A340s are put to rest, more capable aircraft than the 777 will have entered the market (A350/787/748/A388).

The story on CX was different though and as rightly mentioned the A346s were acquired exclusively for their HKG-JFK long hauls and then later outperformed by the 777s. The A340-300s remain in a niche of their own. From what I understand, they're slightly more economical than the 772ER and the A333 doesn't have the range (yet?). Also, CX owns them (as opposed to the three leased A346s) and at 12 years of age and with the resale value of used sex toys, I don't see them going anywhere.

Some interesting background info can be found here:
http://www.flightglobal.com/articles...5/05/03/197483/the-long-hello.html


Further detail to be found at:
http://www.airbus.com/aircraftfamili...340family/a340-300/specifications/
http://www.boeing.com/commercial/airports/777.htm



..sick of it. -K. Pilkington.
User currently offlineflythere From Hong Kong, joined May 2010, 443 posts, RR: 0
Reply 11, posted (3 years 4 months 1 week 1 day 3 hours ago) and read 10021 times:

Quoting something (Reply 10):
The advantages of fleet commonality and the availability of the A346 at that point apparently outweighed the 777s better economics.

Yea it is really true that commonality in the fleet composition comes a higher economic sense and flexibility. But just to my wonder that, which LH route can an A346 do but A343 or A332 cant? If they have more 343 or 332, wouldnt it be even better?  
Quoting something (Reply 10):
The story on CX was different though and as rightly mentioned the A346s were acquired exclusively for their HKG-JFK long hauls and then later outperformed by the 777s.

Yea, for the same token, having a small subfleet for a particular route isnt economical or efficient and that's why Cathay only committed to 3 A346 leased and find a type that could fit most, if not all, long-haul routes in CX network in a more efficient and economical manner, and now 77W is the clear winner.

my 2 cents.  

flythere


User currently offlinesomething From United Kingdom, joined May 2011, 1633 posts, RR: 21
Reply 12, posted (3 years 4 months 1 week 1 day 2 hours ago) and read 9687 times:

Quoting flythere (Reply 11):
which LH route can an A346 do but A343 or A332 cant?

LH doesn't have any A330-200s left. They're all -300s versions now. And the A340-600 wasn't needed because LH needed more range than the A340-300s could offer, but simply because it's a bigger aircraft. LH needed new aircraft to expand and the A340-600 outshines their 744s (which may also be too big for some markets). The 777 may be even better than the A340-600, but for above mentioned reasons didn't make its way into LH's fleet.



..sick of it. -K. Pilkington.
User currently offlinecolumba From Germany, joined Dec 2004, 7063 posts, RR: 4
Reply 13, posted (3 years 4 months 1 week 1 day 2 hours ago) and read 9189 times:

Lufthansa's A346s have replaced the 747-230s and fill the Gap between the A343 and the 747-430.


It will forever be a McDonnell Douglas MD 80 , Boeing MD 80 sounds so wrong
User currently offlinecalvin99 From Hong Kong, joined Sep 2001, 225 posts, RR: 0
Reply 14, posted (3 years 4 months 1 week 1 hour ago) and read 4243 times:

Quoting flythere (Reply 11):
But just to my wonder that, which LH route can an A346 do but A343 or A332 cant? If they have more 343 or 332, wouldnt it be even better?

I am not exactly familiar with LH operations and network but I would think their A343 will have difficulty to perform FRA-MEX due to high altitude and hot weather. During hot summer, CX A340 actually have difficulties to do HKG-JNB nonstop without payload restriction, not to mention when one of the A340 CFM engine has some sort of limitation, even more severe payload restriction will be in placed.


User currently offlinetimmydasquirrel From United States of America, joined Jul 2010, 41 posts, RR: 0
Reply 15, posted (3 years 4 months 6 days 1 hour ago) and read 3677 times:

Great info, fellas.
Answers all my questions, and then some!


User currently offlineraggi From Norway, joined Oct 2000, 1001 posts, RR: 1
Reply 16, posted (3 years 4 months 6 days ago) and read 3538 times:

Slightly off topic, but has anything more come of the rumours about CX adding ex-SQ 777-200ERs to the fleet?


raggi



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