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A340 Lovers "Beware"  
User currently offlinemffoda From United States of America, joined Apr 2010, 1102 posts, RR: 0
Posted (1 year 5 months 1 week 3 days 23 hours ago) and read 37640 times:

The following WSJ article puts to bed many of the fan based arguments regarding the merits of the A340... Despite her eye appealing beauty. The financial community speaks out.




harder than woodpecker lips...
168 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently onlinefrancoflier From France, joined Oct 2001, 3807 posts, RR: 11
Reply 1, posted (1 year 5 months 1 week 3 days 23 hours ago) and read 37767 times:

The link is 404...

But I certainly look forward to another completely unbiased and expert opinion of everything aviation by the WSJ...  

And what's the point of beating a dead horse anyway?

[Edited 2013-06-13 20:47:36]


Looks like I picked the wrong week to quit posting...
User currently offlinemffoda From United States of America, joined Apr 2010, 1102 posts, RR: 0
Reply 2, posted (1 year 5 months 1 week 3 days 23 hours ago) and read 37666 times:

The link won't post here...

But if you google: For Airbus and Bankers, Big A340s Pose Sizable Risks

It will bring you to the article.



harder than woodpecker lips...
User currently offlineBreninTW From Taiwan, joined Jul 2006, 1705 posts, RR: 1
Reply 3, posted (1 year 5 months 1 week 3 days 23 hours ago) and read 37616 times:

I think the article being referenced is the one entitled "For Airbus and Bankers, Big A340s Pose Sizable Risks" -- from WSJ Online.

Google will help you by-pass the PayWall.



I'm tired of the A vs. B sniping. Neither make planes that shed wings randomly!
User currently offlineflood From United States of America, joined Feb 2009, 1381 posts, RR: 1
Reply 4, posted (1 year 5 months 1 week 3 days 23 hours ago) and read 37645 times:

Here you go:
http://tinyurl.com/moxe64q


User currently offlinemffoda From United States of America, joined Apr 2010, 1102 posts, RR: 0
Reply 5, posted (1 year 5 months 1 week 3 days 23 hours ago) and read 37480 times:

Quoting flood (Reply 4):

Thank you flood,  



harder than woodpecker lips...
User currently offlineN328KF From United States of America, joined May 2004, 6491 posts, RR: 3
Reply 6, posted (1 year 5 months 1 week 3 days 23 hours ago) and read 37513 times:

The article is quite vicious. If you're an A340 fan and so are inclined to assume that negative articles are biased, how do you counter those assertions? They seem to have good sources.


When they call the roll in the Senate, the Senators do not know whether to answer 'Present' or 'Not guilty.' T.Roosevelt
User currently offlineStitch From United States of America, joined Jul 2005, 31236 posts, RR: 85
Reply 7, posted (1 year 5 months 1 week 3 days 23 hours ago) and read 37374 times:
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The A340 did what it said on the side of the tin it would do, however by guaranteeing a minimum asset value to help secure deals, the value Airbus contractually guaranteed for the plane is more than what the standard market value is. And potential customers for those used planes are not willing to pay that price. I also expect those potential customers want their own guaranteed asset values as A340 values will only fall farther as 777s come onto the second hand market in competition.

User currently offlinecrownvic From United States of America, joined Oct 2004, 1942 posts, RR: 5
Reply 8, posted (1 year 5 months 1 week 3 days 23 hours ago) and read 37320 times:

There was talk in industry publications, that many of these a/c would see a second life as freighters, yet there is no mention of it in this article as no formal program has been announced. Ironically, the plane that killed the MD-11 is now going to have the last laugh  

User currently offlineStitch From United States of America, joined Jul 2005, 31236 posts, RR: 85
Reply 9, posted (1 year 5 months 1 week 3 days 23 hours ago) and read 37208 times:
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Quoting crownvic (Reply 8):
There was talk in industry publications, that many of these a/c would see a second life as freighters, yet there is no mention of it in this article as no formal program has been announced.

I think the A330P2F program has killed any real prospects for an A340P2F.


User currently onlinefrancoflier From France, joined Oct 2001, 3807 posts, RR: 11
Reply 10, posted (1 year 5 months 1 week 3 days 23 hours ago) and read 37209 times:

Ok, got it. Thanks.

I guess someone should mention that the article talks about the A340-500 and -600, their much faster than planned depreciation and how it is affecting the companies that financed them, leased them as well as the airline's accounting books. Problem is that they have virtually no residual value and airlines are trying to replace them early for more efficient models.

That being said, I believe the only ones really affected by this might be smaller financing companies who were proportionally more exposed in these deals. Airbus itself is more than ready to wipe the chalkboard and move on, while most airlines are able to get rid of theirs through deals with manufacturers on future purchases or by ending the leases altogether.

Most of the damage is done already. I can only think of VS who will shortly get rid of theirs, and EK's which were part of the A350 deal. LH will be keeping them until their accounting value reaches their actual value (=scarp), so that's not an issue for them, as long as they're happy to fly them.


I like this quote:
"But the company continues to sell new aircraft aggressively, and banks facing losses on A340s complain that the new sales undercut the value of planes that they helped Airbus sell just a few years ago."

Note to banks financing new aircrafts: While the A340-500/600 was certainly a bad bet, it is somewhat of an indications of things to come. With more and more financial burden switching to operating the airplanes rather than financing their purchase, operators will now be switching models quicker than ever before, and that doesn't bode well for resale and residual values generally speaking...



Looks like I picked the wrong week to quit posting...
User currently offlineRevelation From United States of America, joined Feb 2005, 12839 posts, RR: 25
Reply 11, posted (1 year 5 months 1 week 3 days 23 hours ago) and read 37166 times:

Interesting to read how the article explicitly says Boeing will scrap the A340s it took in as a part of deals to sell 777s yet it seems pretty obvious that most if not all of the planes discussed won't fly again. As mentioned in another thread, the best economic value of A340s these days seems to be to serve as parts donors for A330s...


Inspiration, move me brightly!
User currently offlineBreninTW From Taiwan, joined Jul 2006, 1705 posts, RR: 1
Reply 12, posted (1 year 5 months 1 week 3 days 23 hours ago) and read 37124 times:

Quoting francoflier (Reply 10):
With more and more financial burden switching to operating the airplanes rather than financing their purchase, operators will now be switching models quicker than ever before, and that doesn't bode well for resale and residual values generally speaking...

I wouldn't be surprised to see re-engining programs being instituted in the future. By this I mean that after 10 years or so, the engines get swapped out for more efficient models while the fuselage remains in service.



I'm tired of the A vs. B sniping. Neither make planes that shed wings randomly!
User currently onlinefrancoflier From France, joined Oct 2001, 3807 posts, RR: 11
Reply 13, posted (1 year 5 months 1 week 3 days 23 hours ago) and read 37027 times:

Quoting Revelation (Reply 11):
it seems pretty obvious that most if not all of the planes discussed won't fly again.

Even those that Airbus bought back will likely be headed the same way...

Quoting BreninTW (Reply 12):
By this I mean that after 10 years or so, the engines get swapped out for more efficient models while the fuselage remains in service.

I think New Engines + New Wings seems to be the developing trend. Those are the 2 areas where most fuel saving can be done. That's essentially what the NEO, MAX, 777-9X and 748 are. I'd like to see the A330 getting that treatment too.



Looks like I picked the wrong week to quit posting...
User currently offlinemandala499 From Indonesia, joined Aug 2001, 6951 posts, RR: 76
Reply 14, posted (1 year 5 months 1 week 3 days 22 hours ago) and read 37039 times:

As an A340 fan, I say, "Whopeeee! Cheap 340s on the market!"   

However, I stick with the 342 and 343... the 345 looks awesome but from the beginning I thought it (345) together with the 346 are in my opinion, financial timebombs... Sadly, I'm not wrong.

If one does not need the payload range, stick to the 343 and not be tempted to go 345/6.

---

I do feel the article is a bit harsh as it isolates purely on the 340... the 342/3 are part of the 330/340 program, while the 345/6 are in my view the separate program. The 345/6 are flunks. No stats can skew it otherwise, but if some carriers find good use for it, good.

On the other hand, will the 747-8i face the same fate as the 345/6?

[Edited 2013-06-13 21:30:40]


When losing situational awareness, pray Cumulus Granitus isn't nearby !
User currently offlineLufthansa From Christmas Island, joined May 1999, 3224 posts, RR: 10
Reply 15, posted (1 year 5 months 1 week 3 days 22 hours ago) and read 36965 times:

Okay what stands out for me is how cheap the aircraft are.
This seems to be less than what i heard a year or two ago for the 744, though
given that in the last 2 years a lot more of them have been pulled from service that
may have fallen even lower.

But what got me thinking, is if its cheap enough to buy, that will go someway to offsetting the
aircrafts higher fuel consumption (and it is still lower than the 744...anybody at virgin or Lufthansa
who operate both care to comment?) Then this aircraft could potentially be a good aircraft in the longer
range leisure market, in a high density configuration. I'm thinking the long range operations of the TUI group,
or even Jetstar or Norwegian Air Shuttle etc. Squeeze 400 plus seats in it and send it to places like Cancun, SXM or HNL.


User currently offlineLufthansa From Christmas Island, joined May 1999, 3224 posts, RR: 10
Reply 16, posted (1 year 5 months 1 week 3 days 22 hours ago) and read 36947 times:

Quoting mandala499 (Reply 14):
On the other hand, will the 747-8i face the same fate as the 345/6?

Potentially worse. If Boeing Launch their next gen 777 and it grows even slightly, it's going to be tough
selling 748s. Unless at a significant discount. It will be pretty much what the 77W did to the 744 all over again.


User currently offlinetortugamon From United States of America, joined Apr 2013, 3450 posts, RR: 11
Reply 17, posted (1 year 5 months 1 week 3 days 22 hours ago) and read 36876 times:

My favorite quote from the article: "Unfortunately," says Akbar Al Baker, chief executive of Qatar Airways, the A340 isn't an old car "that you can just throw away." Who throws away cars? I would love to be AAB for a bit just to see how that guy's mind works.

Interesting and depressing article for sure. Less than $20 Million for a 10 year old plane? Boeing buying them just to scrap them is sad. I would like to think we could come up with a positive use for these aircraft. Infrequent but long distance high rollers with engine confidence issues and a large possy does not sound like a huge market though.

Anybody else a conspiracy theorist like me; maybe the timing of this article had an intended purpose? Is there any new information in this article that was not also true and available six months ago? I know it is a stretch but there seems to be some interesting articles coming out and it is only 3.5 hours until #A350FF.

tortugamon


User currently offlineLufthansa From Christmas Island, joined May 1999, 3224 posts, RR: 10
Reply 18, posted (1 year 5 months 1 week 3 days 22 hours ago) and read 36849 times:

Quoting BreninTW (Reply 12):
I wouldn't be surprised to see re-engining programs being instituted in the future. By this I mean that after 10 years or so, the engines get swapped out for more efficient models while the fuselage remains in service.

Interesting idea. how much of a fuel saving would you say sticking the Gen EX engine or the 787 trent engine on the A346? It would have to be quite significant to justify the investment.


User currently offlineBreninTW From Taiwan, joined Jul 2006, 1705 posts, RR: 1
Reply 19, posted (1 year 5 months 1 week 3 days 22 hours ago) and read 36837 times:

Quoting francoflier (Reply 13):
I think New Engines + New Wings seems to be the developing trend. Those are the 2 areas where most fuel saving can be done. That's essentially what the NEO, MAX, 777-9X and 748 are. I'd like to see the A330 getting that treatment too.

Yes, I can see that being a trend for new-manufacture aircraft.

However, I wouldn't be surprised to see similar programs being applied to second-hand/in-service aircraft. Something similar to what happened with the DC8 aircraft that were re-engined with CFM engines.

While I understand that the fuel consumption delta between the CFM and original P&W engines was substantial, with continued high fuel prices, and large in-service fleets of modern widebodies, it will become increasingly financially feasible to instigate re-engine programs. For example, if RR was to develop an updated engine for the A330 that is ... say ... 2.5% to 5% more fuel efficient than the installed engines and didn't require a new interface it could be a game-changer for the A330.



I'm tired of the A vs. B sniping. Neither make planes that shed wings randomly!
User currently offlineBreninTW From Taiwan, joined Jul 2006, 1705 posts, RR: 1
Reply 20, posted (1 year 5 months 1 week 3 days 22 hours ago) and read 36776 times:

Quoting Lufthansa (Reply 18):
Interesting idea. how much of a fuel saving would you say sticking the Gen EX engine or the 787 trent engine on the A346? It would have to be quite significant to justify the investment.

It wouldn't work for a small fleet such as the A346/A345 -- as you say the investment would be difficult to justify. However for aircraft with large "installed bases" it might become justifiable.



I'm tired of the A vs. B sniping. Neither make planes that shed wings randomly!
User currently onlinefrancoflier From France, joined Oct 2001, 3807 posts, RR: 11
Reply 21, posted (1 year 5 months 1 week 3 days 22 hours ago) and read 36789 times:

Quoting Lufthansa (Reply 16):
It will be pretty much what the 77W did to the 744 all over again.

Well, the 744s have mostly flown long enough to justify their low to nil residual values, unlike the A346s.

Mandala499 raises a good point in saying that there are 747s (and A343s) which will outfly most A346s. Given how cheaply you can get one of these, and given they're still cheaper to operate than a 747, one wonders would could profitably operate them. However, it seems even high density charter operators are now shying away from bigger and older aircrafts and shifting to smaller and more efficient models...

On a side note, that Azerbaijan A345 does look stunning.

Quoting Lufthansa (Reply 16):
it's going to be tough
selling 748s.

Except the freighter model. There's nothing on the horizon that will replace it. I'm pretty sure it will keep getting orders for years to come, if only a trickle.



Looks like I picked the wrong week to quit posting...
User currently offlineNAV20 From Australia, joined Nov 2003, 9909 posts, RR: 36
Reply 22, posted (1 year 5 months 1 week 3 days 22 hours ago) and read 36650 times:

Quoting Lufthansa (Reply 16):
it's going to be tough
selling 748s.

Add in the fact that Airbus only got 9 orders for the A380 last year, and haven't landed any so far this year, and it begins to look as if four-engine types are just plain 'out of date'?



"Once you have flown, you will walk the earth with your eyes turned skywards.." - Leonardo da Vinci
User currently offlineSSTeve From United States of America, joined Dec 2011, 724 posts, RR: 2
Reply 23, posted (1 year 5 months 1 week 3 days 22 hours ago) and read 36472 times:

There will be no type savior like Delta for MD-90s? No one wants to accumulate cheap middle-aged A340s?

User currently onlinerotating14 From United States of America, joined Jan 2012, 711 posts, RR: 0
Reply 24, posted (1 year 5 months 1 week 3 days 22 hours ago) and read 36344 times:

Quoting BreninTW (Reply 12):
I wouldn't be surprised to see re-engining programs being instituted in the future. By this I mean that after 10 years or so, the engines get swapped out for more efficient models while the fuselage remains in service.

I'm sure as big as Airbus is, they probably rolled that idea around with other possible solutions but the fact remains. The aviation community, insiders and outsiders, now know it had its chance. Gotta move on, cut your losses.

What surprises me more is the fact that with all the assumed gov't oversight, how could they give out those resale guarantees like that. So we know of Singapore. Who else received these resale guarantees like the ones mentioned?? They had to have known that you cant bet on resale values so far in the future. But I'm sure they have learned from this and going forward t'll be better for them.


User currently offlineYXD172 From Canada, joined Feb 2008, 451 posts, RR: 0
Reply 25, posted (1 year 5 months 1 week 3 days 22 hours ago) and read 37470 times:

Quoting francoflier (Reply 10):

Note to banks financing new aircrafts: While the A340-500/600 was certainly a bad bet, it is somewhat of an indications of things to come. With more and more financial burden switching to operating the airplanes rather than financing their purchase, operators will now be switching models quicker than ever before, and that doesn't bode well for resale and residual values generally speaking...

I wonder if the guarantees that Airbus offered for the A340's resale value may have accelerated their retirements? I'm sure there's a point where Airbus offers enough compared to the market value that it makes more sense to retire the aircraft early and claim the guaranteed value than it does to continue operating the frame.



Radial engines don't leak oil, they are just marking their territory!
User currently offlineDocLightning From United States of America, joined Nov 2005, 20186 posts, RR: 59
Reply 26, posted (1 year 5 months 1 week 3 days 21 hours ago) and read 37319 times:

Quoting francoflier (Reply 10):
Note to banks financing new aircrafts: While the A340-500/600 was certainly a bad bet, it is somewhat of an indications of things to come. With more and more financial burden switching to operating the airplanes rather than financing their purchase, operators will now be switching models quicker than ever before, and that doesn't bode well for resale and residual values generally speaking...

I don't understand. My understanding is that newer aircraft are less and less expensive to operate but more and more expensive to buy. They are not getting cheaper to buy, nor are they getting more expensive to operate.

Quoting Lufthansa (Reply 18):
Interesting idea. how much of a fuel saving would you say sticking the Gen EX engine or the 787 trent engine on the A346? It would have to be quite significant to justify the investment.

For ~130 total aircraft sold, assume that 30 get the re-engine, an entire testing and certification and redesign program (structural changes to the wing) not to mention the capital costs of the new engines and execution of the modifications would probably run around US$90-100M per frame (I figure US$1Bn development cost/30 frames = about US$30M and a T1000 costs US$16M (x4). The result would still be less efficient than a twin with the same generation of engines installed.

Given the fact that a new airplane costs only 2-3 times that and lasts a lot longer an burns less fuel, I just don't see the business case.

I love the A340. It's beautiful and it's technically a fantastic aircraft that delivers good payload/range and an excellent safety profile. Unfortunately, for companies who care more about books and bottom lines than whether the plane is pretty, the A340 is a dog.


User currently offlinelightsaber From United States of America, joined Jan 2005, 13416 posts, RR: 100
Reply 27, posted (1 year 5 months 1 week 3 days 21 hours ago) and read 38170 times:
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From the OP, link, its not as bad as I feared:
EADS has set aside more than $1 billion to cover guarantees on its products, the company said in its 2012 financial statement. It also said Airbus is "taking mitigation action to reduce the impact of asset-value guarantees falling due in the coming years relating to A340s in particular."
$1,000M divided by 131 is but $7.6M per aircraft. Ok, not trivial, but on a per aircraft bases, that represents only an extra 5% depreciation per aircraft.

So while the article is negative (I'm not exactly a fan of the A340's economics and I've been vocal on a.net), but let's take a step back. Airbus made guarantees on the aircraft resale value and while they will have to pay out, it is a paltry sum of each aircraft's initial sales price on average.

Now later in the OP article it notes that for EK's A340s, Airbus might be in for 'tens of millions of dollars per aircraft.' But, I assume that is part of the billion Airbus has put aside. As well as for SQ.

Now anyone who has read my posts on the A340 won't be surprised that I agree with the article. The A345/A346 is being undermined by high oil prices.

Now I'm a very analytic person... So I'm trying to figure out how the 744 is doing so well. I'll admit to being confused at the different paths of the two quads.

Quoting mandala499 (Reply 14):
On the other hand, will the 747-8i face the same fate as the 345/6?

I'm getting a feeling in my stomach that the A380 is heading down that same path.   I don't want it to be the case, but the pax sales just aren't there for the 748i and unless at Paris this year there sales, I would say the market has spoken. As others have noted the 777X is going to do to the 748i what the 77W did to the 744. And my rumor mill has exactly *zero* on 748 sales this year. Ok, its another bad year for freight, but that market will eventually recover. There the 748F has some unique properties that will sell further examples.

Lightsaber



Societies that achieve a critical mass of ideas achieve self sustaining growth; others stagnate.
User currently offlineStitch From United States of America, joined Jul 2005, 31236 posts, RR: 85
Reply 28, posted (1 year 5 months 1 week 3 days 21 hours ago) and read 38010 times:
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I don't see the business case for a re-engine of the A340 - the engines could be worth more than the frame.

User currently offlineProst From United States of America, joined Oct 2012, 1117 posts, RR: 1
Reply 29, posted (1 year 5 months 1 week 3 days 21 hours ago) and read 38051 times:

Okay, this ship has sailed, but maybe someone can tell me why it's a poor idea.:

Instead of DL refurbishing its 16 747-451s (oldest built in 1989) could they have purchased 16 A340-600s that were 10 years old for ~$20 million a pop and kitted them out with their new interiors? You get a newer aircraft than what your replacing, somewhat commonality with the flight decks of the A330s, low captal expense, and it buys you time to make a large capital expenditure for replacement aircraft. Sure, fuel burn would be higher than 777-300ER, but it'd still be lower than the 747-451.

And I think this article illustrates brilliantly why the 748 has a dearth of orders: The financing companies don't see the residual values of the aircraft.


User currently offlineLufthansa From Christmas Island, joined May 1999, 3224 posts, RR: 10
Reply 30, posted (1 year 5 months 1 week 3 days 21 hours ago) and read 37935 times:

Lightsaber any insight into how much fuel the 346 saves over the 744. I'm getting the impression not a great deal?

User currently offlinezeke From Hong Kong, joined Dec 2006, 9210 posts, RR: 76
Reply 31, posted (1 year 5 months 1 week 3 days 20 hours ago) and read 37643 times:

Quoting lightsaber (Reply 27):
So I'm trying to figure out how the 744 is doing so well.

It is not, all of the leased A346s from CX found new homes, look how many 744s, and even fairly recently converted 744BCFs CX has scrapped in the last year.

Quoting Lufthansa (Reply 30):
much fuel the 346 saves over the 744

Between 2-4 t per hour.



We are addicted to our thoughts. We cannot change anything if we cannot change our thinking – Santosh Kalwar
User currently offlineMax Q From United States of America, joined May 2001, 4734 posts, RR: 18
Reply 32, posted (1 year 5 months 1 week 3 days 20 hours ago) and read 37476 times:

Interesting that Airbus tried to compete with the 777 by using two Aircraft, the 330 / 340.


This was not a winning strategy for them.


Now they are going up against the 787 / 777X with one type, the A350.


Too early to tell..



The best contribution to safety is a competent Pilot.
User currently offlinelightsaber From United States of America, joined Jan 2005, 13416 posts, RR: 100
Reply 33, posted (1 year 5 months 1 week 3 days 20 hours ago) and read 37561 times:
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Quoting Stitch (Reply 28):
I don't see the business case for a re-engine of the A340 - the engines could be worth more than the frame.

I worked on an A346 GTF proposal. Due to the weight of the airframe, we couldn't make the numbers work. At some point the A340 has to pay for every added pound vs. the competition. About $500 per kg per decade. That is the cost, per kg, of added fuel and wear and tear (say brakes and tires) that the added weight puts in costs.

And the A345/A346 wasn't competitive even when it had better engines than the 744 (but less advanced than the 77W, but only a little). It now has the A350 and 787 where the airframe/engine combination has been optimized.

If the airframes are really only worth $20 million, than how could one justify putting on $80 million of new engines, nacelles, and control computers? Engines w/nacelles are a large fraction of new airframe costs. Why give up that lighter CFRP wing with superior aerodynamics? Not to mention the A350 has a superior cargo hold design.

The A35J is the natural A346 replacement. No one should fight that trend.

Quoting Lufthansa (Reply 30):
Lightsaber any insight into how much fuel the 346 saves over the 744. I'm getting the impression not a great deal?

IIRC (I'm going from memory), its about 10% per passenger.

Quoting zeke (Reply 31):
look how many 744s, and even fairly recently converted 744BCFs CX has scrapped in the last year.

Those have mostly been older examples. Overall, for such a well aged queen, the 744 is doing well. Yes, the BCFs were a flop... but that is the poor freight market and their comparative performance. Yes, I see them being retired. But the 744 should be doing worse than the A346. IMHO, while they are both going over the cliff, the 744 is doing so a bit less abruptly.

Now the big thing for the A346 will be when LH gets around to replacing them. I suspect we'll hear about that order within 18 months.

Lightsaber



Societies that achieve a critical mass of ideas achieve self sustaining growth; others stagnate.
User currently offlineAquila3 From Italy, joined Nov 2010, 308 posts, RR: 0
Reply 34, posted (1 year 5 months 1 week 3 days 20 hours ago) and read 37133 times:

Quoting Max Q (Reply 32):

Interesting that Airbus tried to compete with the 777 by using two Aircraft, the 330 / 340.


This was not a winning strategy for them.

Assuming that you are right that Airbus made the 330/340 only to compete with the 777 (and conveniently forgetting the 767) I would say that the 330 did not sell that bad. I believe at the end the numbers of the project (ROI) are in the black, don't you?



chi vola vale chi vale vola chi non vola è un vile
User currently offlinezeke From Hong Kong, joined Dec 2006, 9210 posts, RR: 76
Reply 35, posted (1 year 5 months 1 week 3 days 19 hours ago) and read 37008 times:

Quoting Max Q (Reply 32):

Rewriting history to suit yourself ? The A330/A340 was launched before the 777 was.

Quoting lightsaber (Reply 33):

No the 744 is not doing well, care to share your substance to support this ? Oil prices is not the only thing hurting them, it is the reliability.

There a lot of airlines trying to offload them, no takers.



We are addicted to our thoughts. We cannot change anything if we cannot change our thinking – Santosh Kalwar
User currently offlinemandala499 From Indonesia, joined Aug 2001, 6951 posts, RR: 76
Reply 36, posted (1 year 5 months 1 week 3 days 19 hours ago) and read 36681 times:

Quoting francoflier (Reply 21):
Mandala499 raises a good point in saying that there are 747s (and A343s) which will outfly most A346s. Given how cheaply you can get one of these, and given they're still cheaper to operate than a 747, one wonders would could profitably operate them. However, it seems even high density charter operators are now shying away from bigger and older aircrafts and shifting to smaller and more efficient models...

I am sure the 343s still have some more years ahead of them than the 345/346. Operating 343s profitably is a lot easier than 346s. The 343s is competitive with the 777s, the 345/6s aren't. One needs to have the payload to operate the 346s but at that point the 77Ws are way more profitable. With the 744s, well no future for them on the frontline passenger services, cargo and charters are their future (and they remain popular amongst hajj charters... am surprised I haven't seen 346s doing it here!).

From personal experience, at one stage some at Airbus seemed to be 'desperate' to sell the 345/6 to the extent that on one of the projects I was doing, they were willing to offer a brand new 345/6 for cheaper than a new 343 or a young used 343. I came up with my own burn and trip projections and they said it was wrong and produced their own numbers... I asked them to open the then FCOM2 for the aircraft and tell me how they came out with the numbers... At which point they backed off and agreed to offer the 343 instead (they used marketing numbers). To me, that is desperation!

Quoting lightsaber (Reply 27):
Now anyone who has read my posts on the A340 won't be surprised that I agree with the article. The A345/A346 is being undermined by high oil prices.

Now I'm a very analytic person... So I'm trying to figure out how the 744 is doing so well. I'll admit to being confused at the different paths of the two quads.
Quoting SSTeve (Reply 23):
There will be no type savior like Delta for MD-90s? No one wants to accumulate cheap middle-aged A340s?

343s yes, 345/6s, no. But then older 772ERs are also becoming available in the market, it locks the 345/6s out of the market for a few more years. The 350 will then start to have an effect on older 772ERs and 343s, but the major effect will be to detriment of the 345/6s.

Quoting YXD172 (Reply 25):
I wonder if the guarantees that Airbus offered for the A340's resale value may have accelerated their retirements?

No, it accelerated their sales and also accelerated their retirements. There would be a lot fewer sales if the guarantees weren't there. The 345/6 is in my eyes, merely a customer retention exercise until newer planes become available.   

Quoting lightsaber (Reply 27):
I'm getting a feeling in my stomach that the A380 is heading down that same path.

The 748 is a 747 stretch and it is reaching its limits. The 380 however can still be expanded. However, this does not mean the 380 will have a rosy future. The 744 replacement market is currently split between 77W and 380... the 748i doesn't come into the picture at the sales rate they're achieving. Congestion and frequency based bilateral agreements are the driver for the 380... that's about it.

Quoting lightsaber (Reply 27):
I don't want it to be the case, but the pax sales just aren't there for the 748i and unless at Paris this year there sales, I would say the market has spoken.

Sad but true.

Quoting lightsaber (Reply 27):
There the 748F has some unique properties that will sell further examples.

Agree, there'll be some markets the 748F can serve while no other (not even the 388F) can serve.

Quoting Stitch (Reply 28):
I don't see the business case for a re-engine of the A340 - the engines could be worth more than the frame.

I think reengining the 345/6s would be a futile exercise as lightsaber pointed out. However, 343 reengine market might actually be a more feasible one.

Anyone considering A343 vs A346, I urge them to obtain the certified performance numbers and do your own analysis... not brokers, not leasing companies' numbers....

Mandala499



When losing situational awareness, pray Cumulus Granitus isn't nearby !
User currently offlineAesma From France, joined Nov 2009, 6812 posts, RR: 12
Reply 37, posted (1 year 5 months 1 week 3 days 17 hours ago) and read 35921 times:

Quoting rotating14 (Reply 24):
What surprises me more is the fact that with all the assumed gov't oversight, how could they give out those resale guarantees like that. So we know of Singapore. Who else received these resale guarantees like the ones mentioned?? They had to have known that you cant bet on resale values so far in the future. But I'm sure they have learned from this and going forward t'll be better for them.

Banks being banks. Governments being naive. To this day France and Germany are still trying to shield their banks from more oversight, while claiming otherwise.

Quoting DocLightning (Reply 26):
I don't understand. My understanding is that newer aircraft are less and less expensive to operate but more and more expensive to buy. They are not getting cheaper to buy, nor are they getting more expensive to operate.

The list price goes up, but that's only so that manufacturers can offer 50% discounts without losing money. An economic journalist was saying the other day that for the 748i Boeing offered 60% off.



New Technology is the name we give to stuff that doesn't work yet. Douglas Adams
User currently offlineRickNRoll From Afghanistan, joined Jan 2012, 883 posts, RR: 0
Reply 38, posted (1 year 5 months 1 week 3 days 17 hours ago) and read 35903 times:

Quoting mffoda (Thread starter):
The following WSJ article puts to bed many of the fan based arguments regarding the merits of the A340... Despite her eye appealing beauty. The financial community speaks out.

I liked my A340 ride to Thailand more than the delayed (due to some mechanical problems) return flight on a 747. The A340 is a good customer experience, it did what it was designed to do. As with all planes, there are factors outside your control that can make them no longer economically viable. In this case, it was the price of fuel. Boeing decided a big twin was a better idea, and it paid off for them well.


User currently onlinefrancoflier From France, joined Oct 2001, 3807 posts, RR: 11
Reply 39, posted (1 year 5 months 1 week 3 days 17 hours ago) and read 35794 times:

Quoting lightsaber (Reply 33):
If the airframes are really only worth $20 million

But that's the interesting point. The difference between buying a $20 million A346 and a $250 million A35J (which you'll get in 7 years) will make up for a lot of fuel. Surely a second or third tier operator looking for capacity and range would be tempted by the deal and the immediate availability. And at such a cheap acquisition price, it's not such a burden on the books and no one cares about the dwindling value anymore.

Of course, as said above, the agressive selling tactics and facilitated financing options, plus the ever increasing operating cost of older frames, slant everything towards new planes these days. Just like cars... The manufacturers are sabotaging the resale values of their own aircrafts.

Quoting mandala499 (Reply 36):
But then older 772ERs are also becoming available in the market, it locks the 345/6s out of the market for a few more years.

To be honest I doubt the 772 ER will fare a better fate on the second hand market than the A346. For the same reason I mentioned above.

Quoting DocLightning (Reply 26):
I don't understand. My understanding is that newer aircraft are less and less expensive to operate but more and more expensive to buy.

True, but the increase of operating costs increases a lot faster than the acquisition cost. A 744 burns 10 Tons of fuel every hour it flies. Increase the price of that fuel by just 5% and you'll quickly feel the pain, no matter how cheaply you got that aircraft.



Looks like I picked the wrong week to quit posting...
User currently offlineAirbusA6 From United Kingdom, joined Apr 2005, 2022 posts, RR: 0
Reply 40, posted (1 year 5 months 1 week 3 days 16 hours ago) and read 35634 times:

Is this one of those situations where neither Airbus nor Boeing want cheap A345/6s out there as competition for their newer models, as I would very happily buy a fleet of $20m A346s rather than spending 10 times as much on an A350.


it's the bus to stansted (now renamed national express a4 to ruin my username)
User currently offlinefrigatebird From Netherlands, joined Jun 2008, 1701 posts, RR: 1
Reply 41, posted (1 year 5 months 1 week 3 days 15 hours ago) and read 35275 times:

Quoting francoflier (Reply 10):
LH will be keeping them until their accounting value reaches their actual value (=scarp), so that's not an issue for them, as long as they're happy to fly them.

But LH is already planning to order a replacement for the whole fleet of A346s this year...

Quoting tortugamon (Reply 17):
Who throws away cars?

Mr. AAB himself quite often I guess, probably when the ashtray is full  

Quoting francoflier (Reply 21):
On a side note, that Azerbaijan A345 does look stunning.

Every A345 looks stunning. TG's is my favourite, but with those now parked Azerbaijan's is indeed a good replacement   

Quoting SSTeve (Reply 23):
No one wants to accumulate cheap middle-aged A340s?

Probably because there will be enough cheap middle-aged A330s on the market the next couple of years...

Quoting lightsaber (Reply 27):
Quoting mandala499 (Reply 14):On the other hand, will the 747-8i face the same fate as the 345/6?I'm getting a feeling in my stomach that the A380 is heading down that same path.

That's too pesstimistic. The A380 has no competition. The market may be smaller than envisioned, but there won't be another plane that blows it off the market, like the 77W did to the A346 and 744. And no, the 777X won't kill the A380, it will kill the 748 however.



146,318/19/20/21,AB6,332,343,345,388,722,732/3/4/5/G/8,9,742,74E,744,752,762,763,772,77E,773,77W,AT4/7,ATP,CRK,E90,F50/7
User currently offlineRomeoBravo From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 42, posted (1 year 5 months 1 week 3 days 15 hours ago) and read 34414 times:

Quoting Max Q (Reply 32):
Interesting that Airbus tried to compete with the 777 by using two Aircraft, the 330 / 340.

The A330 and A340 are the same aircraft for all intent and purposes.

Quoting Max Q (Reply 32):
This was not a winning strategy for them.

Sales speak differently i would argue.

The A340NGs would done alright if fuel prices hadn't skyrocketed after entering service. When you make a relatively low cost stretch that isn't that fuel efficient you always leave yourself open to that possibility though. Sometimes you win and sometimes you lose.

[Edited 2013-06-14 05:08:32]

User currently offlinejfk777 From United States of America, joined Aug 2006, 8450 posts, RR: 7
Reply 43, posted (1 year 5 months 1 week 3 days 15 hours ago) and read 33984 times:
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The lack of fuel economy by the A340 is sad because its a beautiful airplane. What has killed the A340-300 is the A330-300, as the two engine brother has increased its range operators by it. SWISS and LH are two perfec examples, their recent Airbus for additonal planes have been for the A333.

User currently offlinebennett123 From United Kingdom, joined Aug 2004, 7746 posts, RR: 3
Reply 44, posted (1 year 5 months 1 week 3 days 14 hours ago) and read 33238 times:

It looks as if those of us who have never flown on an A340 may need to get a move on.

User currently offlineairbazar From United States of America, joined Sep 2003, 8567 posts, RR: 10
Reply 45, posted (1 year 5 months 1 week 3 days 14 hours ago) and read 32426 times:

What exactly is a "big A340"? LOL
Where is the news on this article? They're not saying anything new. I have a message for the WSJ: 2005 called, they want their story back.


User currently offlinewaly777 From United Kingdom, joined Oct 2012, 337 posts, RR: 3
Reply 46, posted (1 year 5 months 1 week 3 days 14 hours ago) and read 32249 times:

Quoting bennett123 (Reply 44):
It looks as if those of us who have never flown on an A340 may need to get a move on.

Indeed, I've always wanted to fly either the 340-500 or 600. Seems LH or VS would be a good choice for a few more years @ least.

I've always thought the latter 340's were stunning aircraft but sadly fuel price increased @ an almost exponential level at the very wrong time. Well @ least another beauty the 350-1000, would be coming soon.



The test of first-rate intelligence is the ability to hold 2 opposed ideas in the mind concurrently, and still function
User currently offlineOldAeroGuy From United States of America, joined Dec 2004, 3574 posts, RR: 67
Reply 47, posted (1 year 5 months 1 week 3 days 14 hours ago) and read 32249 times:

Quoting airbazar (Reply 45):
Where is the news on this article? They're not saying anything new. I have a message for the WSJ: 2005 called, they want their story back.

One piece of news in the article is:

"The 777 is "a much better airplane," Airbus Chief Commercial Officer John Leahy conceded at a conference earlier this year."

Leahy wouldn't have said that in public in 2005.

[Edited 2013-06-14 06:15:07]


Airplane design is easy, the difficulty is getting them to fly - Barnes Wallis
User currently offlinelightsaber From United States of America, joined Jan 2005, 13416 posts, RR: 100
Reply 48, posted (1 year 5 months 1 week 3 days 14 hours ago) and read 32217 times:
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Quoting zeke (Reply 35):
No the 744 is not doing well, care to share your substance to support this ?

Years ago when discussing A346 economics, the point was made that the 744s would be retired first. Now it isn't that the 744s aren't being retired, but most of the examples I've seen scrapped had completed full (20 year) service lives. We've seen investment in seats from a number of 744 operators that implies they will still be in service to the next D-check.

I'm not arguing the 744 will go on for a long time. It is just doing better *relative to the A346* than I was expecting. That's all. We look at the same data, same number of airline retirements, and yet the 744s being retired are substantially older than the A346s.

Quoting mandala499 (Reply 36):
But then older 772ERs are also becoming available in the market, it locks the 345/6s out of the market for a few more years.

That ends the window for the A346 as in 2015 or 2016 77Ws start coming off leases...

Quoting mandala499 (Reply 36):
The 748 is a 747 stretch and it is reaching its limits. The 380 however can still be expanded.

Agreed. And I had a typo. I meant to write 748i, not A380. Mea culpa. I'm a huge fan of the A380!

Quoting frigatebird (Reply 41):
That's too pesstimistic. The A380 has no competition.

Typo! (Well... we call it a 'brain fart.') I meant to write 748i...  
Quoting AirbusA6 (Reply 40):
as I would very happily buy a fleet of $20m A346s rather than spending 10 times as much on an A350.

That $20m A346 would need a D-check. Also, no one pays list on an A350. But there is a large cost difference.
The A346 needs 54,000 gallons of fuel loaded for a 7,500nm still air voyage. That compares to a 77W max fuel capacity of 47,890 which, IIRC, isn't full at 8,000nm. Jet fuel is at $2.75/gallon per http://www.indexmundi.com/commodities/?commodity=jet-fuel.

Thus for a 7,500nm flight, the A346 burns about $25,000 more in fuel per day or about $9m/year. Add to that a few million per year in additional maintenance costs, about a million USD a year in higher ATC fees, and the market adopting the 77W becomes clear. We're talking about a $12million/year operating cost difference.

For pricing, 77W's trade up to $162M. No way is an A359 or even A35J earning 50% more. So the break even in operating costs between a used $20M A346 and $162M 77W is 12 years at most. But that $20M A346 is a circa 2002 model with eleven years of wear and tear. It probably needs another $20M or so to be ready to fly for another airline. So that brings in break even 18 months. And its competing with a $88M used 77W. ($88M-$20M)/$12M/yr=5.7 years minus whatever it costs to make the A346 competitive.

So there is only a narrow window before the A346 new airline would have to replace their fleet. Since an old 77E is going for only $40M, why not fly that and be ahead in 3 years (or less)? And the 77E will have more resale at the end of 3 years than the A346...

Aircraft Values, And Lease Pricing - Spring 2013 (by LAXintl May 14 2013 in Civil Aviation)

And what routes would you fly these A346s? On anything within A333 range, the A333 will eat its siblings lunch. That means competing on the longest haul routes. Against 787s. Against 77Ws. Against $11.5M used 744s, A380s, and soon A359s. That extra $12M/year in estimated costs adds up quickly (vs. the 77W, more vs. the A35J).


Lightsaber



Societies that achieve a critical mass of ideas achieve self sustaining growth; others stagnate.
User currently onlinefrancoflier From France, joined Oct 2001, 3807 posts, RR: 11
Reply 49, posted (1 year 5 months 1 week 3 days 13 hours ago) and read 31548 times:

Quoting airbazar (Reply 45):
I have a message for the WSJ: 2005 called, they want their story back.

The WSJ mostly hates everything that comes from Europe. With the A350 coming under the spotlight, the sarcastic and caustic side of me wants to say that they needed a story to play it down...  



Looks like I picked the wrong week to quit posting...
User currently offlinePolot From United States of America, joined Jul 2011, 2305 posts, RR: 1
Reply 50, posted (1 year 5 months 1 week 3 days 13 hours ago) and read 31247 times:

Quoting francoflier (Reply 49):
The WSJ mostly hates everything that comes from Europe. With the A350 coming under the spotlight, the sarcastic and caustic side of me wants to say that they needed a story to play it down...

Most people in the US don't even know, or frankly care, that the A350 was about to fly (considering that it occurred at an inconvenient hour in the US I do not expect people to right now know it has flown). Even on the BBC's website it's maiden flight story is buried halfway down the page. That is the downside of having a low key launch like Airbus did.


User currently offlineDUSint From Germany, joined Apr 2013, 194 posts, RR: 0
Reply 51, posted (1 year 5 months 1 week 3 days 13 hours ago) and read 31030 times:

Quoting OldAeroGuy (Reply 47):
One piece of news in the article is:

"The 777 is "a much better airplane," Airbus Chief Commercial Officer John Leahy conceded at a conference earlier this year."

Leahy wouldn't have said that in public in 2005.

But since when do we count anything Leahy says as "newsworthy"? I am puzzled, because every time he says something aimed to tease a competitor, it is disregarded as "pure marketing, etc. pp." in this very forum.

Quoting francoflier (Reply 49):
With the A350 coming under the spotlight, the sarcastic and caustic side of me wants to say that they needed a story to play it down...

...which seems also to sum up be the purpose of this whole thread quite nicely, it seems.


User currently offlineairbazar From United States of America, joined Sep 2003, 8567 posts, RR: 10
Reply 52, posted (1 year 5 months 1 week 3 days 13 hours ago) and read 30385 times:

Quoting Polot (Reply 50):
Most people in the US don't even know, or frankly care, that the A350 was about to fly

That is irrelevant. The people at the WSJ clearly know about the A350 FF and that is all that matters. They have their agenda and they will take it upon themselves to remind their readers, just in case. Again, this is not news.

As for the "A340 lovers", I think there's a new gal in town, it's called the A350XWB, and she's everything and more the A340 has ever been. They'll be ok 
Quoting OldAeroGuy (Reply 47):
One piece of news in the article is:

"The 777 is "a much better airplane," Airbus Chief Commercial Officer John Leahy conceded at a conference earlier this year."

Leahy wouldn't have said that in public in 2005.

Ahahah, I missed that 


User currently offlinezeke From Hong Kong, joined Dec 2006, 9210 posts, RR: 76
Reply 53, posted (1 year 5 months 1 week 3 days 13 hours ago) and read 30446 times:

Quoting lightsaber (Reply 48):
Years ago when discussing A346 economics, the point was made that the 744s would be retired first. Now it isn't that the 744s aren't being retired, but most of the examples I've seen scrapped had completed full (20 year) service lives. We've seen investment in seats from a number of 744 operators that implies they will still be in service to the next D-check.

The 744 are being retired first and rapidly at the moment, who has scrapped a A346 so far (not due to an accident, for pure commercial reasons) ?

Quoting lightsaber (Reply 48):
The A346 needs 54,000 gallons of fuel loaded for a 7,500nm still air voyage. That compares to a 77W max fuel capacity of 47,890 which, IIRC, isn't full at 8,000nm. Jet fuel is at $2.75/gallon per http://www.indexmundi.com/commoditie...fuel.

Sorry, the numbers are rubbish. This is the sort of stuff people pick up later and treat like gospel. 54,000 gal would be full tanks, i.e. maximum ferry range, be around 9000 nm.

Have a look at the last page of http://www.aircraft-commerce.com/sam...icles/flight_operations_sample.pdf and see the comparison on the HKG-JFK trip, yes the A346 does burn more fuel, it also lifts more payload (pax and cargo). Also in particular read the last two columns, in the context of todays fuel prices, and lower passenger/freight yields. The conclusions change as the numbers are changed.

A lot of people on this site think the 77W outlifts the A346, it is not the case on long haul routes. What really killed the 346 is that revenue has not been keeping up with costs (yields have in fact decreased). Airlines are making less money compared to what they have invested, and it is costing them more to do business.

Quoting lightsaber (Reply 48):
So the break even in operating costs between a used $20M A346 and $162M 77W is 12 years at most.

Where is your cost of ownership ? do you know someone that fund "20" or "162" million at 0% interest ? Send them my way.....

You may recall the CEO of QF saying that the international arm was basically not making money, it was the finance costs that were killing them, they would have made more by just putting those funds in a term deposit.



We are addicted to our thoughts. We cannot change anything if we cannot change our thinking – Santosh Kalwar
User currently offlineRevelation From United States of America, joined Feb 2005, 12839 posts, RR: 25
Reply 54, posted (1 year 5 months 1 week 3 days 13 hours ago) and read 29246 times:

Quoting francoflier (Reply 10):
I guess someone should mention that the article talks about the A340-500 and -600, their much faster than planned depreciation and how it is affecting the companies that financed them, leased them as well as the airline's accounting books. Problem is that they have virtually no residual value and airlines are trying to replace them early for more efficient models.

Very good summary, but you should mention that Airbus itself is one of the aggrieved parties. At least the current Airbus is being victimized by its own aggressive financing in the past. Whilst Airbus is selling A32x and A330 as fast as they can make them, it's definitely getting this unwelcome after-effect of the A340 program at the same time it's dealing with large losses from A380 and A440M. I suppose this makes the accountant have something to use as write-offs but then again it gives them other things to worry about too. I suppose in balance it's "all good" and one can't have every program become a cash cow. I think A340 is more of a victim of bad fortunes rather than foreseeable difficulties that A380 and A440M are facing.

Also the article mentions the launch aid given to Airbus for the A345/6 and of course similar aid has been given to Rolls Royce, but it doesn't really mention if the RLA has indeed been repaid in full, so various EU governments may also be aggrieved parties too.

Quoting DocLightning (Reply 26):
I don't understand. My understanding is that newer aircraft are less and less expensive to operate but more and more expensive to buy. They are not getting cheaper to buy, nor are they getting more expensive to operate.

In the case of the A345/6 it is much more expensive to operate than when it was first being considered due to the persistent rise in fuel prices. This seems to have hit a tipping point, especially for A345, where it's just not worth operating the type.

Quoting mandala499 (Reply 36):
To me, that is desperation!

There of course were comments all along during the sales campaigns that some of the A345/6 deals were "too good to be true". The article notes that B has been more fiscally prudent, but I would not be surprised if there were skeletons in the closet there as well. On the other hand, the article shows that most of the financial details leak out sooner or later (which is almost always the case when so much money sloshes around and so many parties are interested in having a slice) so it'd be hard to keep the skeletons in the closet secret for too long.



Inspiration, move me brightly!
User currently onlineMIflyer12 From United States of America, joined Feb 2013, 1177 posts, RR: 0
Reply 55, posted (1 year 5 months 1 week 3 days 12 hours ago) and read 27989 times:

Quoting francoflier (Reply 39):
The difference between buying a $20 million A346 and a $250 million A35J (which you'll get in 7 years) will make up for a lot of fuel. Surely a second or third tier operator looking for capacity and range would be tempted by the deal and the immediate availability.

There are hundreds of commercial air carriers worldwide - over 200 as parties to IATA. Lots of those operate long-haul fleets that would be candidates for used A340s. If the operating cost disadvantage could be overcome by cheap acquisition cost as you assert, some smart airline (or two) would figure it out and buy used A340s - inflating residual values. But they don't - demonstrating that elements of classical economics and capitalism still work, even in France.

The WSJ piece is very narrowly, and, IMHO, successfully argued. They don't say the A340 is a bad aircraft; they say current residual values (as demonstrated by free market transactions) are much less than original lease agreements projected. It must have been that way for some time now, as asset write-downs are imminent and banks don't exactly rush to take hundreds of $millions in losses on short-term fluctuations they could seek to dismiss as market aberrations.


User currently offlinelightsaber From United States of America, joined Jan 2005, 13416 posts, RR: 100
Reply 56, posted (1 year 5 months 1 week 3 days 12 hours ago) and read 28075 times:
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Quoting airbazar (Reply 52):
Ahahah, I missed that

So did I, interesting.

Quoting zeke (Reply 53):
who has scrapped a A346 so far (not due to an accident, for pure commercial reasons) ?

They're being returned to Airbus and sitting... same thing. Just delaying the inevitable. I've seen 744s change hands (ok, not this year), but not *one* A346. In fact, excluding a few A345s to Venezuela, I'm not area of a A345/A346 ever trading hands. All indications are the bidders are scrappers. If you have *any* indication otherwise, I would like to know as I like everything about the A345/A346 except their economics (and first build payload at range until the MTOW increase).

Why both are being retired, its not the same to compare a fully depreciated 744 vs. the A346s that are looking for homes. I'm not going to bother discussing over 14 year old airframes. They're depreciated. The bank isn't losing money on them unless they were silly.

Quoting zeke (Reply 53):
Sorry, the numbers are rubbish.

Instead of just calling it rubish, why didn't you put out a better number? You link shows about an 8,000 gallon difference in long haul flights or $22,000 per day in fuel versus my estimate of $25,000. The ballpark cost difference per year remains unchanged as I probably grossly underestimated the added A346 maintenance costs. The conclusion doesn't change.

And now 787 deliveries are restarted... That will put pressure on the A346, A345, and 744. Once A350 deliveries start in numbers (sometime in 2015), there will be tremendous competition to all three of the older quads.

And I noticed you neglected the 77W can lift more belly cargo on shorter missions which it is used on. Almost 15,000lbm per your link. Once the 77W went 9-across Y, that was the true end of the A346. Since that is now becoming industry standard...   

Lightsaber



Societies that achieve a critical mass of ideas achieve self sustaining growth; others stagnate.
User currently onlineMIflyer12 From United States of America, joined Feb 2013, 1177 posts, RR: 0
Reply 57, posted (1 year 5 months 1 week 3 days 12 hours ago) and read 27818 times:

Quoting airbazar (Reply 45):
What exactly is a "big A340"? LOL
Where is the news on this article? They're not saying anything new. I have a message for the WSJ: 2005 called, they want their story back.

Fuel prices were rising pretty steadily between 2002 and 2006, but it was the spike of late-2007/2008, and sustained prices of $90+/barrel throughout 2011 and 2012, that killed the A340 vs. 2-engine aircraft (be they 777, 787, A330, or A350).

The news is the flurry of activity to dump A340-500/600s, the collapse of residual values, and thus the need for firms behind some A340 leases to take write-downs. This story couldn't have been written in 2005.


User currently offlineRevelation From United States of America, joined Feb 2005, 12839 posts, RR: 25
Reply 58, posted (1 year 5 months 1 week 3 days 11 hours ago) and read 26972 times:

Quoting MIflyer12 (Reply 57):
The news is the flurry of activity to dump A340-500/600s, the collapse of residual values, and thus the need for firms behind some A340 leases to take write-downs.

And that's what is of interest to WSJ readers, although it's interesting how so many want to come up with conspiracy theories...



Inspiration, move me brightly!
User currently offlinewarreng24 From United States of America, joined Nov 2005, 708 posts, RR: 0
Reply 59, posted (1 year 5 months 1 week 3 days 11 hours ago) and read 26939 times:

It takes a lot to admit something like this about a competitor's product.

"[The 777 is} a much better airplane," Airbus Chief Commercial Officer John Leahy conceded at a conference earlier this year.


User currently offlineStitch From United States of America, joined Jul 2005, 31236 posts, RR: 85
Reply 60, posted (1 year 5 months 1 week 3 days 11 hours ago) and read 26672 times:
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While it is true that 747-400s are being pulled from revenue service, are any of them 2002 or later deliveries?

User currently offlineOldAeroGuy From United States of America, joined Dec 2004, 3574 posts, RR: 67
Reply 61, posted (1 year 5 months 1 week 3 days 11 hours ago) and read 26223 times:

Quoting zeke (Reply 53):
The 744 are being retired first and rapidly at the moment, who has scrapped a A346 so far (not due to an accident, for pure commercial reasons) ?

Considering that 744's can have 10 or more years service than A346's that's hardly surprising. You're comparing 20yo airplanes with 10yo's.

Quoting zeke (Reply 53):
Have a look at the last page of http://www.aircraft-commerce.com/sam...icles/flight_operations_sample.pdf and see the comparison on the HKG-JFK trip, yes the A346 does burn more fuel, it also lifts more payload (pax and cargo). Also in particular read the last two columns, in the context of todays fuel prices, and lower passenger/freight yields. The conclusions change as the numbers are changed.

Great Zeke, reference a 2001 article that came out before either the A346 or 773ER EIS. The situation described in this dated article is far from today's facts. Compared to the chart you reference, 773ER's delivered today have no payload disadvantage over the A346HGW for the routes shown (excepting JNB originations) and have a greater fuel burn advantage. Plus the price of fuel is higher today than in 2001.

Quoting lightsaber (Reply 56):
I'm not area of a A345/A346 ever trading hands.

Well, there are Zeke's beloved CX A346's that went to Hainan, on lease from ILFC.

[Edited 2013-06-14 09:06:04]

[Edited 2013-06-14 09:14:16]

[Edited 2013-06-14 09:15:18]


Airplane design is easy, the difficulty is getting them to fly - Barnes Wallis
User currently offlineairbazar From United States of America, joined Sep 2003, 8567 posts, RR: 10
Reply 62, posted (1 year 5 months 1 week 3 days 11 hours ago) and read 25911 times:

Quoting MIflyer12 (Reply 57):
The news is the flurry of activity to dump A340-500/600s, the collapse of residual values, and thus the need for firms behind some A340 leases to take write-downs. This story couldn't have been written in 2005.

Sorry, who in 2005 following the EIS of the 77W (and probably even earlier than that, did not know that the way of the future was going to be large twins and as a consequence the A340 would not have any value in the second hand market? I did and I'm a mere enthusiast. You have to be kidding yourself if you think that this is news.


User currently offlineflybynight From Norway, joined Jul 2003, 1023 posts, RR: 2
Reply 63, posted (1 year 5 months 1 week 3 days 11 hours ago) and read 25671 times:

The 777 is "a much better airplane," Airbus Chief Commercial Officer John Leahy conceded


Wow!! I have enjoyed flying on SK's 343's over the years, but I must admit the plane seemed to have, well, a lack of power compared to the 777.
I wonder if SK will replace their fleet with 350's.



Heia Norge!
User currently offlinezeke From Hong Kong, joined Dec 2006, 9210 posts, RR: 76
Reply 64, posted (1 year 5 months 1 week 3 days 10 hours ago) and read 25492 times:

Quoting MIflyer12 (Reply 55):
If the operating cost disadvantage could be overcome by cheap acquisition cost as you assert, some smart airline (or two) would figure it out and buy used A340s - inflating residual values.

Well the argument then is where are all these A340s available ? The early A340s etc are getting on now, and equipment wise will need money spent on them if they are going to fly in Europe soon. Airlines will opt to dump them rather than doing avionics upgrades. Same happened when noise requirements came into play.

Quoting lightsaber (Reply 56):
I've seen 744s change hands (ok, not this year), but not *one* A346. In fact, excluding a few A345s to Venezuela, I'm not area of a A345/A346 ever trading hands.

All of the leased 346 and 343 aircraft from CX found homes as far as I am aware. All of the A340s from SQ that Boeing had found homes as well.

Quoting lightsaber (Reply 56):
Instead of just calling it rubish, why didn't you put out a better number?

The article is full of numbers and analysis, a link was provided for you to read, rather than posting the copyright material. I referred to where the numbers and relevant comments were in the article.

Comparing your numbers to the article, over 7500 nm, the article says the A346 burns around 5500 fewer gallons than you stated, and carried around 15,000 lb more payload. If you were to compare the same payload mass, the fuel burn on the 346 goes down, it would be in the order of around 4-5t.

The article did these comparisons, I just highlighted that the revenue side of things is more depressed now, while the operating costs have gone up.

Quoting lightsaber (Reply 56):
The ballpark cost difference per year remains unchanged as I probably grossly underestimated the added A346 maintenance costs.

The cost is only part of the issue, it is the revenue is what brings money into the business. What that article does not mention is that we do not fly around at 100% LF in pax and cargo, more likely an 80% average. As I said before, what hurt the 346 is yields, i.e. what is left over after fuel goes up, and revenue does not go up accordingly. Cargo is not very lucrative on long haul flights with the higher fuel costs. It is not free to carry the extra weight.

Do not underestimate the cost of maintaining big twins, all new engines are relatively reliable. I know of cases where we would leave an engine on a quad if it had a vibration exceedence, where on a large twin we would swap the engine.

Quoting lightsaber (Reply 56):
And I noticed you neglected the 77W can lift more belly cargo on shorter missions which it is used on. Almost 15,000lbm per your link. Once the 77W went 9-across Y, that was the true end of the A346.

No I did not mention short haul missions, as you do not buy a 346 or 77W for that, that is why I specifically said long haul. Airlines will and do "abuse" a long haul aircraft between long haul flights on shorter sectors, however that does not really make enough to keep the lights on. They are configured with too few seats to make money on shorter sectors.

Quoting Stitch (Reply 60):

While it is true that 747-400s are being pulled from revenue service, are any of them 2002 or later deliveries?

The BCFs all delivered in the last 5 years, not really much money made out of a "estimated" 40 million dollar conversion.

Quoting OldAeroGuy (Reply 61):
Great Zeke, reference a 2001 article that came out before either the A346 or 773ER EIS.

Do you have something better ? The fuel burns and distances (inc winds) on the routes listed look pretty good to me. Payload is underestimated, however we average around 80% LF so that is not as relevant.

At least I did not try and claim the aircraft needed full tanks to achieve less than design range.



We are addicted to our thoughts. We cannot change anything if we cannot change our thinking – Santosh Kalwar
User currently offlineNorthStarDC4M From Canada, joined Apr 2000, 3056 posts, RR: 36
Reply 65, posted (1 year 5 months 1 week 3 days 10 hours ago) and read 25302 times:
AIRLINERS.NET CREW
CHAT OPERATOR

Airbus really just got unlucky that the GE90-110/115 ended up being such a reliable efficient engine and the Trent 500 basically couldn't improve enough to compete. The A340-600 was a superior airlines to the 777-200ER in most ways, Airbus just couldn't/didn't anticipate the -200LR/-300ER coming along.

It's also worth noting that the A340-500's market was totally overestimated and that the 777-200LR just outperforms it. If the 345 had done ULH better than the 77L, the residual values of the 346 would also of been kept higher.



Those who would give up Essential Liberty to purchase a little Temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety.
User currently offlineBestWestern From Hong Kong, joined Sep 2000, 7259 posts, RR: 57
Reply 66, posted (1 year 5 months 1 week 3 days 10 hours ago) and read 25160 times:

Quoting lightsaber (Reply 56):
I'm not area of a A345/A346 ever trading hands.

Hainan air took a half dozen CX A346s which are used on longer domestic and international services.



The world is really getting smaller these days
User currently offlinedennys From France, joined May 2001, 895 posts, RR: 1
Reply 67, posted (1 year 5 months 1 week 3 days 10 hours ago) and read 25112 times:

It is a pretty good things the A340 is still flying . For long haul jets specially on South Hemispere i ' d rather feel safer on this beauty Quad !

A340 Lover For Ever .


User currently offlineSCL767 From Chile, joined Feb 2006, 8862 posts, RR: 5
Reply 68, posted (1 year 5 months 1 week 3 days 10 hours ago) and read 24753 times:

Quoting flybynight (Reply 63):
Wow!! I have enjoyed flying on SK's 343's over the years, but I must admit the plane seemed to have, well, a lack of power compared to the 777.

SK recently took delivery of the oldest A343 that flew for LAN (LN-RKP).

Quoting dennys (Reply 67):
It is a pretty good things the A340 is still flying . For long haul jets specially on South Hemispere i ' d rather feel safer on this beauty Quad !

LAN will phase out another A343 during the next few weeks; thus terminating A343 service to MAD/FRA.


User currently offlineFerroviarius From Norway, joined Mar 2007, 244 posts, RR: 0
Reply 69, posted (1 year 5 months 1 week 3 days 10 hours ago) and read 24745 times:

I personally do prefer 2-4-2 vs. 3-3-3, 2-5-2 or 3-4-3. Moreover, the 340s are much more silent than the 777s or 744s. So, whenever possible, I avoid as a passenger 777s or 744s.
I wonder whether the 343s couldn't be reengined using Pratt's GTF. I have no idea whether this would make the 343s more economic to a degree, which would economically justify their future use as passenger airliner.

Best,
Ferroviarius


User currently offlineSEPilot From United States of America, joined Dec 2006, 7012 posts, RR: 46
Reply 70, posted (1 year 5 months 1 week 3 days 10 hours ago) and read 24613 times:

Quoting Lufthansa (Reply 16):
Quoting mandala499 (Reply 14):
On the other hand, will the 747-8i face the same fate as the 345/6?

Potentially worse. If Boeing Launch their next gen 777 and it grows even slightly, it's going to be tough
selling 748s. Unless at a significant discount. It will be pretty much what the 77W did to the 744 all over again.

The only saving grace is that so few 748i's have been sold.

Quoting lightsaber (Reply 27):

Now I'm a very analytic person... So I'm trying to figure out how the 744 is doing so well. I'll admit to being confused at the different paths of the two quads.

Simple. The 744 has in the past been in high demand for freighter conversions. With the air freight downturn and the 748F this may soon no longer be the case, and also means that nobody is likely to develop a P2F conversion for the A340, which would be its only salvation.

Quoting RomeoBravo (Reply 42):

The A340NGs would done alright if fuel prices hadn't skyrocketed after entering service.

The A340NG's had no chance once the 777NG's proved to be so much better. Even JL has now acknowledged that. Even with dirt cheap fuel the 777's would have outsold them by pretty much the same margin.

Quoting lightsaber (Reply 56):
Once the 77W went 9-across Y, that was the true end of the A346.

I think you mean 10 across...

Quoting zeke (Reply 64):
All of the A340s from SQ that Boeing had found homes as well.

Where? The article says they are going to be scrapped.



The problem with making things foolproof is that fools are so doggone ingenious...Dan Keebler
User currently offlineOldAeroGuy From United States of America, joined Dec 2004, 3574 posts, RR: 67
Reply 71, posted (1 year 5 months 1 week 3 days 10 hours ago) and read 24612 times:

Quoting zeke (Reply 64):
Do you have something better ?

Well, the market place is pretty good one where the 773ER has out sold the A346 at a nearly 7:1 ratio. The conclusion to the article you quoted was that the A346 would earn $4,000 to $10,000 per trip than the 773ER. How could all those airlines be so much in error?

We've been discussing this issue for over 10 years. You do have an unusual fondness for your belief in the superiority of the A346.

Quoting BestWestern (Reply 66):
Hainan air took a half dozen CX A346s which are used on longer domestic and international services.

More like a quarter dozen (ie 3).



Airplane design is easy, the difficulty is getting them to fly - Barnes Wallis
User currently offlineOldAeroGuy From United States of America, joined Dec 2004, 3574 posts, RR: 67
Reply 72, posted (1 year 5 months 1 week 3 days 10 hours ago) and read 24429 times:

Quoting SEPilot (Reply 70):
Quoting zeke (Reply 64):
All of the A340s from SQ that Boeing had found homes as well.

Where? The article says they are going to be scrapped.

He means the A343's Boeing took for the 772ER's they sold SQ.

The article talks about the A345's that SQ is returning to Airbus.



Airplane design is easy, the difficulty is getting them to fly - Barnes Wallis
User currently offlineairbazar From United States of America, joined Sep 2003, 8567 posts, RR: 10
Reply 73, posted (1 year 5 months 1 week 3 days 10 hours ago) and read 24111 times:

Quoting MIflyer12 (Reply 55):
If the operating cost disadvantage could be overcome by cheap acquisition cost as you assert, some smart airline (or two) would figure it out and buy used A340s

"Some" smart airline has an entire fleet of them and making tons of money with them for that same reason: Lufthansa.


User currently offlineatomsareenough From United States of America, joined Feb 2008, 566 posts, RR: 2
Reply 74, posted (1 year 5 months 1 week 3 days 10 hours ago) and read 24019 times:

I am a little bit surprised that if these relatively new, high capacity aircraft are selling resale for just $20M, that some airline won't just snap them up for cash, Allegiant-style, and deploy them only where they can be profitable. Are the operating costs really SO incredibly bad that flying a paid-for airplane still can't be done profitably?

Or is it that Airbus or whoever is stuck with these planes isn't willing to absorb the book loss by actually selling it that cheaply? But then, I can't believe that scrapping them will bring back any significant return...


User currently offlineSEPilot From United States of America, joined Dec 2006, 7012 posts, RR: 46
Reply 75, posted (1 year 5 months 1 week 3 days 10 hours ago) and read 23853 times:

Quoting OldAeroGuy (Reply 72):

He means the A343's Boeing took for the 772ER's they sold SQ.

OK, I got it wrong. FTA: "China Eastern Airlines Corp. 600115.SH +0.34% last year persuaded Boeing to buy its five A340-600s as part of a deal to sell it 20 new 777s. The airline said the planes had a book value of about $142 million apiece. The complex transaction with Boeing will help China Eastern avoid having to declare a substantial accounting loss, according to a person familiar with the deal." These were the ones I was thinking of.



The problem with making things foolproof is that fools are so doggone ingenious...Dan Keebler
User currently offlinecslusarc From Canada, joined May 2005, 842 posts, RR: 0
Reply 76, posted (1 year 5 months 1 week 3 days 9 hours ago) and read 23656 times:

Quoting SSTeve (Reply 23):
There will be no type savior like Delta for MD-90s? No one wants to accumulate cheap middle-aged A340s?

Personally, I think that DL is the carrier that will pick up some used A340-300s/500s/600s if it can get an awesome price to fund further nonstop international expansion between the Lower 48 and Asia/Africa.



--cslusarc from YWG
User currently offlineNeutronStar73 From United States of America, joined Mar 2011, 520 posts, RR: 0
Reply 77, posted (1 year 5 months 1 week 3 days 9 hours ago) and read 22597 times:

Quoting N328KF (Reply 6):
The article is quite vicious. If you're an A340 fan and so are inclined to assume that negative articles are biased, how do you counter those assertions? They seem to have good sources.

Because, if you are an A340 fan who says it has everything over the 777, then you've literally "lost the plot." And to continually defend it in the face of reality is really a bit childish.

The 777 handily mugged the A340. No doubt about that. And what helped the 777 beat the A340? Airbus, with their constant improvement in the A330 that was basically Airbus committing public fratricide and not caring anything about it, because they saw the handwriting on the wall and consciously made decisions that helped seal the A340's fate. To bleat on that the A340 is/was "superior" to the 777 really means your opinion is to be discarded. Because airlines and money has spoken and none of it is going the A340's way, and hasn't for quite some time.

The 777 beat it and left it bleeding, and the A330 nailed the A340's coffin shut. How can you argue against that is quite telling.


User currently offlineFirstClass From United States of America, joined Jun 2013, 29 posts, RR: 0
Reply 78, posted (1 year 5 months 1 week 3 days 9 hours ago) and read 22441 times:

I find the timing of the article very interesting. Today is all about the 350s first flight, the fact that A345/6 struggle to find buyers is old news ever since the 777 300 ER.

User currently offlinedfambro From United States of America, joined Nov 2009, 343 posts, RR: 0
Reply 79, posted (1 year 5 months 1 week 3 days 8 hours ago) and read 21621 times:

Quoting airbazar (Reply 62):
Sorry, who in 2005 following the EIS of the 77W (and probably even earlier than that, did not know that the way of the future was going to be large twins and as a consequence the A340 would not have any value in the second hand market? I did and I'm a mere enthusiast. You have to be kidding yourself if you think that this is news.
Quoting FirstClass (Reply 78):
I find the timing of the article very interesting. Today is all about the 350s first flight, the fact that A345/6 struggle to find buyers is old news ever since the 777 300 ER.

Does Airbus get a free pass today on all issues because of the 350? And anyway, the 350 first flight isn't news because even enthusiasts have known for weeks that the first flight was coming about now. I'm kidding about that last sentence, of course.

The article is not about the fact that the 340NG is a poor seller and not worth much today. It's that both European Banks and Airbus are at financial risk because of a combination of low resale values and the terms of financing contracts. That's what both the article title and first paragraph talk about. I don't think that this is/was widely appreciated. I, for one, would not have thought Airbus faced any liability apart from it coming up as a negotiating point in discussions about new purchases.

Why publish today? Obviously the 350 first flight is the news hook, as it's right there in the first sentence of the article. Is that sour grapes/anti-Airbus sentiment in the WSJ newsroom? It could be.


User currently offlinelastrow From Germany, joined Dec 2010, 72 posts, RR: 0
Reply 80, posted (1 year 5 months 1 week 3 days 8 hours ago) and read 21479 times:

Spiegel Online presented the same WSJ Article (translated) and subtitled this:

"A350 Predecessor: Which Problems Airbus has had with the A340"

-> Another example of general aviation expertise ...

Quoting lightsaber (Reply 56):
've seen 744s change hands (ok, not this year), but not *one* A346. In fact, excluding a few A345s to Venezuela, I'm not area of a A345/A346 ever trading hands.

this observation can be also explained with comparing the numbers of 744 built to the numbers of 345/346 built?

Quoting airbazar (Reply 73):
"Some" smart airline has an entire fleet of them and making tons of money with them for that same reason: Lufthansa.

maybe true, but one reason for Lufthansa's often cited usage of A34x is that they have a heterogenous route network / heterogenous missions to fly where they can optimally deploy them. They are also "special" in their ownership model that they own the planes. It is easier not to fly birds if they are already paid off. it would be difficult to compare this to other airlines being of similar level when it comes to "smartness".


User currently offlineNeutronStar73 From United States of America, joined Mar 2011, 520 posts, RR: 0
Reply 81, posted (1 year 5 months 1 week 3 days 8 hours ago) and read 21481 times:

Quoting Revelation (Reply 58):
And that's what is of interest to WSJ readers, although it's interesting how so many want to come up with conspiracy theories...

I have no clue about that either, but the following:

Quoting airbazar (Reply 52):
That is irrelevant. The people at the WSJ clearly know about the A350 FF and that is all that matters. They have their agenda and they will take it upon themselves to remind their readers, just in case. Again, this is not news.

Is just plainly ridiculous and fanboy paranoia An "agenda"? Come on.

While I'm asking; what would the WSJ's "agenda" be, perhaps? Can you share that with the forum?

Maybe, just maybe (follow me here) the reason why they released this today is PRECISELY because of the A350's first flight, and how the A340 has been superceded by it.

No agenda perhaps, to just, you know, put a sotry out there that jsut might be relevant to the A350 flying, and completely complementary to the A350 first flight. Or perhaps, in addition, that many former A340 operators have or will buy the A350?


User currently offlinePolot From United States of America, joined Jul 2011, 2305 posts, RR: 1
Reply 82, posted (1 year 5 months 1 week 3 days 8 hours ago) and read 21383 times:

Quoting airbazar (Reply 73):
"Some" smart airline has an entire fleet of them and making tons of money with them for that same reason: Lufthansa.

Lufthansa isn't making money with the A340 because of their cheap acquisition costs...all of theirs were delivered new (at least the A340NGs, they might have some used A343s not sure) and, with their A380/748i orders, seem in no rush to pluck any used ones off the markets.

It also hasn't stopped LX (100% owned by LH) from buying new 77Ws versus picking up used A346s (either from LH or somewhere else).

Quoting cslusarc (Reply 76):
Personally, I think that DL is the carrier that will pick up some used A340-300s/500s/600s if it can get an awesome price to fund further nonstop international expansion between the Lower 48 and Asia/Africa.

I don't. It is an entirely new type (yes, if shares some commonality with the A330, the NG's engines certainty don't) and if they want more ULH routes I see them turning more towards additional 77Ls (AI's were recently on the market, they may still be).

Also this whole "DL buys used jets that nobody else wants" has been completely blown way out of proportion here on A.net. Yes, DL is buying up all the MD-90s that it can. But unlike the A340NG, the MD-90 is actually cost competitive with its competition. It just has range issues and comes from a now dead manufacturer (who was dying when it was offered new). The 717 are generally not as efficient as the Ejets, but they are not dogs. Delta wants cheap but efficient planes, not just cheap. You are not seeing them buying up and operating used MD-80s (they just buy them for parts). DL would rather wait until used A330s/777s start showing up as 787s/A350s enter service.

[Edited 2013-06-14 12:13:15]

[Edited 2013-06-14 12:13:53]

User currently offlinepeterinlisbon From Portugal, joined Jan 2006, 581 posts, RR: 0
Reply 83, posted (1 year 5 months 1 week 3 days 8 hours ago) and read 21003 times:

I guess if the lease values are very low now, then they would be useful for routes with a lot of down time (say a couple of aircraft flying long-haul routes that spend more than 10 hours per day on the ground). You pay more each day on fuel, but less on the lease. Another possibility is as charter / VIP / military transport etc. Any role where they are not in the air all that much because whilst they are on the ground you're paying the lease whearas it's only when they're in the air that you're paying for fuel.

User currently offlinemultimark From Canada, joined Jul 2006, 797 posts, RR: 0
Reply 84, posted (1 year 5 months 1 week 3 days 8 hours ago) and read 20910 times:

What is the highest density configuration for an A346?

User currently offlinePolot From United States of America, joined Jul 2011, 2305 posts, RR: 1
Reply 85, posted (1 year 5 months 1 week 3 days 7 hours ago) and read 20766 times:

Quoting peterinlisbon (Reply 83):
You pay more each day on fuel, but less on the lease. Another possibility is as charter / VIP / military transport etc. Any role where they are not in the air all that much because whilst they are on the ground you're paying the lease whearas it's only when they're in the air that you're paying for fuel.

It is true that the A340 is attractive for that role. But the problem is (other than the fact that many VIP buyers suffer from shiny jet syndrome) that there are more A340s currently available out there (let alone when SQ's, EK's, MU's and others start to hit the market) than the market needs. Which just depresses their value and makes scrapping them look more attractive to the owners.


User currently offlinelightsaber From United States of America, joined Jan 2005, 13416 posts, RR: 100
Reply 86, posted (1 year 5 months 1 week 3 days 7 hours ago) and read 20792 times:
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It should be noted the A346 is now competing with a 10-across Y 77W. That makes a significant competitive difference.

Quoting OldAeroGuy (Reply 61):
Considering that 744's can have 10 or more years service than A346's that's hardly surprising. You're comparing 20yo airplanes with 10yo's.

   And as I noted before, aircraft over 14 years old should be depreciated enough to not be of concern for this thread.

Quoting OldAeroGuy (Reply 61):
Compared to the chart you reference, 773ER's delivered today have no payload disadvantage over the A346HGW for the routes shown (excepting JNB originations) and have a greater fuel burn advantage. Plus the price of fuel is higher today than in 2001.

That needs to be remembered. If only a few routes are good for the A346, that leaves only one or two airlines that would be interested in used examples. The 77W now has the revenue advantage.

Quoting OldAeroGuy (Reply 61):
Well, there are Zeke's beloved CX A346's that went to Hainan, on lease from ILFC.

Thank you. I forgot about those. So two trades in total.

Quoting zeke (Reply 64):
Comparing your numbers to the article, over 7500 nm, the article says the A346 burns around 5500 fewer gallons than you stated

I went into the numbers and didn't find that big of a difference. We'll have to agree to disagree. I still think the $12million dollar operating cost difference per year is a good enough SWAG and the lease rate differences versus demand for the two types substantiates I'm in the right ballpark.

The 77W leases for about $550k/mo more than the A346. But no new leasing airlines are being found and aircraft are being returned and replaced with A333s instead of paying any A346 lease fee. In other words, the lease cost differences are not covering the operating cost differences. Thus 77W minus A346 operating costs, excluding the lease payment, are over $7M per year.

Aircraft Values, And Lease Pricing - Spring 2013 (by LAXintl May 14 2013 in Civil Aviation)

If the operating cost difference were less than $7M per year, we would see A346s 'snapped up.' They're not. The fact the 77Ws are all being utilized and A346s sit awaiting buyers shows the operating cost difference is significantly more than $7 million in fact... The A346s sitting imply at least another $150k to $200k per month of operating costs difference at a minimum due to the huge number of A330 operators who could pick up the type with cheap startup costs. (e.g., for operators with poor credit but better than their bond rating prospects) or at least $9.5M per year in operating cost difference off the demand/lease rates.

But that $9.5M would be a minimum. So my $12 million per year estimate is looking better and better. I would love another number to discuss. So anyone is welcome to provide one.

Quoting zeke (Reply 64):
The cost is only part of the issue, it is the revenue is what brings money into the business

But the 77W doesn't have less revenue with the latest PIPs/MTOW increases. In fact, with 10-across Y a 777 should bring in a few million more per year in revenue than the A346.

Quoting zeke (Reply 64):
The fuel burns and distances (inc winds) on the routes listed look pretty good to me.

Even with the A346 six tons overweight?   

If anyone has one of PanAmDC-10s' old comparison charts handy, I would appreciate it.

Quoting zeke (Reply 64):
I just highlighted that the revenue side of things is more depressed now, while the operating costs have gone up.

Yes, cargo is down but fuel prices are up. And the 77W with MTOW increases and PIPs really has few areas it isn't superior... The market has spoken. If the A346 were that good, it would be finding used homes *and* have sold better.

Quoting airbazar (Reply 73):
"Some" smart airline has an entire fleet of them and making tons of money with them for that same reason: Lufthansa.

LH has started talking replacing the A346. We just had a thread on 744/A346 early retirements (that was all speculation, so I won't bother linking). LH is making money thanks to high premium demand in their home market. They would do far better flying other aircraft. But the capitol hit LH would take trying to sell their A346s would be painful. LH cannot afford the write off the A346s would require. They have some of the latest examples including 3 from 2009! LH is going to have to take a charge off on their last examples when they do retire the type.. Looking at airfleets, it looks as if LH was receiving A343s prior to 2003 and then A346s 2003 to 2009 .

For the record, I'm not as worried about A343s. They have depreciated enough to find a buyer for newer examples. Again, I'm not going to discuss planes over 14 years old and so few A343 after 2005 that they aren't really of interest to anyone outside of an aviation forum.

Quoting atomsareenough (Reply 74):
I am a little bit surprised that if these relatively new, high capacity aircraft are selling resale for just $20M, that some airline won't just snap them up for cash, Allegiant-style, and deploy them only where they can be profitable.

The problem is that 'Allegiant style' flights/economics fall apart on routes over 9 hours. Since the A346 has very poor comparative economics on the 10-hour mission vs. the 763ER and latest A333s, they have been pushed out of that window. The only 'window of opportunity' for the A346 is 5000nm to 7500nm still air miles. Distances dominated by the A332 and 77W.

By that same logic, 744s should have higher resale value. Well... it is the risks fuel costs have imposed.

Lightsaber



Societies that achieve a critical mass of ideas achieve self sustaining growth; others stagnate.
User currently offlinedennys From France, joined May 2001, 895 posts, RR: 1
Reply 87, posted (1 year 5 months 1 week 3 days 7 hours ago) and read 20725 times:

Quoting SCL767 (Reply 68):

LAN will phase out another A343 during the next few weeks; thus terminating A343 service to MAD/FRA."

Well , AF . LH IB CX , CI SA , MK and others are flying them for a couple of years now. , am GLAD , let us fly this beauty up to 2020 s' !


User currently offlineKELPkid From United States of America, joined Nov 2005, 6428 posts, RR: 3
Reply 88, posted (1 year 5 months 1 week 3 days 7 hours ago) and read 19516 times:

Quoting Stitch (Reply 9):
Quoting crownvic (Reply 8):
There was talk in industry publications, that many of these a/c would see a second life as freighters, yet there is no mention of it in this article as no formal program has been announced.

I think the A330P2F program has killed any real prospects for an A340P2F.

Really? Either aircraft requires (A330 or A340) requires a very expensive major modification to turn it into a freighter, all because the designers saw it fit to let it sit nose down on the ground...which is a very expensive oversight to make if you think a product's resale value lies in converting it to a freighter  

Is the A330P2F about to achieve a sales breakout that I'm not aware of?

Also, what would an (hypothetical) A340 converted freighter bring to the table that an A330 would not? Same interior volume...but are the Fedexes and UPSes of the world going to push the range in an A330 freighter? I know that the A340 has longer range and probably slightly higher lifting capacity...



Celebrating the birth of KELPkidJR on August 5, 2009 :-)
User currently offlinemandala499 From Indonesia, joined Aug 2001, 6951 posts, RR: 76
Reply 89, posted (1 year 5 months 1 week 3 days 6 hours ago) and read 19213 times:

Quoting SEPilot (Reply 70):
Where? The article says they are going to be scrapped.

None of the SQ A343s went to the scrappers (which you know by now, but this is for the benefit of others).
9V-SJA, B and C went to Cathay.
SJG, H, I, J, and N went to Emirates.
SJL and O went to Gulf Air
SJP went to China Airlines

SJD, E went to Khalifa then Emirates
SJF went to Khalifa (subleased to Air Algerie), then to Etihad and now at HiFly.

Of the above, SJD, E, F and H went to Boeing, and all had new employers.
As for the future fate of the 345s... sadly, I fear it'll be the scrappers...

Quoting Polot (Reply 82):
Lufthansa isn't making money with the A340 because of their cheap acquisition costs...all of theirs were delivered new (at least the A340NGs, they might have some used A343s not sure) and, with

None of their 343s were used when it first entered their fleet (some have been leased out, one went to OS for a few years I think).

Quoting lightsaber (Reply 86):
The only 'window of opportunity' for the A346 is 5000nm to 7500nm still air miles. Distances dominated by the A332 and 77W.

And ironically, even the 343 does better in terms of economics on those stage lengths!   



When losing situational awareness, pray Cumulus Granitus isn't nearby !
User currently offlineSCL767 From Chile, joined Feb 2006, 8862 posts, RR: 5
Reply 90, posted (1 year 5 months 1 week 3 days 6 hours ago) and read 19193 times:

Quoting dennys (Reply 87):
Well , AF . LH IB CX , CI SA , MK and others are flying them for a couple of years now. , am GLAD , let us fly this beauty up to 2020 s' !

LAN will only retain two A343s to operate the SCL-AKL-SYD route. However by the end of 2014, they will be phased out of the fleet.


User currently offlineKC135TopBoom From United States of America, joined Jan 2005, 12171 posts, RR: 51
Reply 91, posted (1 year 5 months 1 week 3 days 6 hours ago) and read 19158 times:

Quoting lightsaber (Reply 33):
Those have mostly been older examples. Overall, for such a well aged queen, the 744 is doing well. Yes, the BCFs were a flop... but that is the poor freight market and their comparative performance. Yes, I see them being retired. But the 744 should be doing worse than the A346. IMHO, while they are both going over the cliff, the 744 is doing so a bit less abruptly.
Quoting zeke (Reply 35):
No the 744 is not doing well, care to share your substance to support this ? Oil prices is not the only thing hurting them, it is the reliability.

The B-747-400 (all models) out sold the A-340 (all models) nearly 2:1, 694 for the B-744 vs. 377 for the A-340. The base pax model B-747-400 alone out sold all A-340s with 442 sold. So it is natural the B-744 would be retiring in higher numbers than the A-340s.

There is no demand for used A-340s

The fact the B-744 even had a chance at a second life as the BCF also shows the versatility of the B-744. To date, no A-340 has been through any P2F conversion. There was the one ridiculous proposal to convert some A-343s to freighters by installing elevators from the cargo hold to the main deck, without adding a cargo door. This was not an Airbus proposal, and I forgot who proposed it.

Reliability is a maintenance function. If you don't maintain any airplane properly, its dispatch rate goes into the tank. LH has flown their B-744s for up to about 120,000 hours, and kept reliability very high, as they do for their A-343/6s.

Quoting zeke (Reply 35):
There a lot of airlines trying to offload them, no takers.

Correct, the same for the A-340s, too. Yes, each of us can find a B-744 or A-340 here and there that found a new home, but most are going into retirement in the desert, or to become beer cans. The best market for each of these four holers seems to be in the used parts market, but have parts and engines selling very well to help keep their sister airplanes flying.


User currently offlinetrex8 From United States of America, joined Nov 2002, 4825 posts, RR: 14
Reply 92, posted (1 year 5 months 1 week 3 days 5 hours ago) and read 17875 times:
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Quoting dennys (Reply 87):
Well , AF . LH IB CX , CI SA , MK and others are flying them for a couple of years now. , am GLAD , let us fly this beauty up to 2020 s' !

The recent CI order for 77Ws with 8 to be delivered in 2014 is to initially replace the A343 and then as A359s join the fleet these will take the place of the 77W and the 77Ws will replace the 744s.


User currently offlinebrilondon From Canada, joined Aug 2005, 4370 posts, RR: 2
Reply 93, posted (1 year 5 months 1 week 3 days 5 hours ago) and read 17416 times:

Quoting mffoda (Thread starter):
Quoting cslusarc (Reply 76):

Quoting SSTeve (Reply 23):
There will be no type savior like Delta for MD-90s? No one wants to accumulate cheap middle-aged A340s?

Personally, I think that DL is the carrier that will pick up some used A340-300s/500s/600s if it can get an awesome price to fund further nonstop international expansion between the Lower 48 and Asia/Africa.

No they won't. They are buying used aircraft that fit into their current structure to replace older, less efficient types. The A340-300/500/600 would not replace or augment any type they currently have at a cost advantage to DL



Rush for ever; Yankees all the way!!
User currently offlineCF-CPI From Canada, joined Nov 2000, 1109 posts, RR: 0
Reply 94, posted (1 year 5 months 1 week 3 days 4 hours ago) and read 16609 times:

Quoting mandala499 (Reply 89):
And ironically, even the 343 does better in terms of economics on those stage lengths!

As measured in seat mile costs, assuming a standard mix of business/economy? I'm not necessarily disagreeing with the assertion, but I'd be curious to see specific figures for various routes and configurations.


User currently offlineViscount724 From Switzerland, joined Oct 2006, 25838 posts, RR: 22
Reply 95, posted (1 year 5 months 1 week 3 days 3 hours ago) and read 15647 times:

Quoting jfk777 (Reply 43):
SWISS and LH are two perfec examples, their recent Airbus for additonal planes have been for the A333.
LX still has a few routes beyond the A333s economic range such as ZRH-SIN/BKK/GRU/SFO/LAX.

[Edited 2013-06-14 17:02:15]

User currently offlineViscount724 From Switzerland, joined Oct 2006, 25838 posts, RR: 22
Reply 96, posted (1 year 5 months 1 week 3 days 3 hours ago) and read 15533 times:

Quoting tortugamon (Reply 17):
My favorite quote from the article: "Unfortunately," says Akbar Al Baker, chief executive of Qatar Airways, the A340 isn't an old car "that you can just throw away." Who throws away cars?

They do throw away cars in the Gulf, often very expensive ones.
http://www.thenational.ae/news/uae-n.../abandoned-the-dream-cars-of-dubai
http://www.arabianbusiness.com/qatar...-hike-in-abandoned-cars-79826.html


User currently offlineStitch From United States of America, joined Jul 2005, 31236 posts, RR: 85
Reply 97, posted (1 year 5 months 1 week 3 days 3 hours ago) and read 15402 times:
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Quoting SEPilot (Reply 70):
The only saving grace is that so few 748i's have been sold.

That's a saving grace?   



Quoting multimark (Reply 84):
What is the highest density configuration for an A346?

Exit Limit for an A340-600 is 440 per the Type Certificate.

Quoting KELPkid (Reply 88):
Also, what would an (hypothetical) A340 converted freighter bring to the table that an A330 would not?

Airbus Freighter Conversion Vice-President of Marketing and Sales Michael Fuers gave preliminary numbers of 70 tons for the A340-300P2F. Flight Internatonal guestimates the A340-500 and A340-600 could lift 90-100t.


User currently offlineLTBEWR From United States of America, joined Jan 2004, 13169 posts, RR: 15
Reply 98, posted (1 year 5 months 1 week 3 days 3 hours ago) and read 15314 times:

Let us not forget the expected long term continuing higher fuel prices along with mx costs for 4 vs. 2 (and 3 with the DC-10/MD-11 series) engines and you have a/c like the A340 series sharply declining in value and demand in the used market. There is a limited need for 4 engine civilian a/c anymore, for the biggest a/c (747 & A380) and a few long haul routes over Russia, the poles and the South Pacific. The hope to convert A340's to freighters seems to disappeared due to changing realities. There might be a limited number that could go to charters, but they too have issues with costs of MX and fuel vs the fare prices they can charge.
I still expect a number of them to be around into the early to mid 2020's, but beyond that, I expect them gone from the skies.


User currently offlineDocLightning From United States of America, joined Nov 2005, 20186 posts, RR: 59
Reply 99, posted (1 year 5 months 1 week 3 days 2 hours ago) and read 15052 times:

Quoting DUSint (Reply 51):

But since when do we count anything Leahy says as "newsworthy"? I am puzzled, because every time he says something aimed to tease a competitor, it is disregarded as "pure marketing, etc. pp." in this very forum.

Mr. Leahy has nothing to gain from knocking the 77W as opposed to the A346. The A340 is no longer for sale. And he knows that if he tries to imply that the A346 is as economical as the 77W, that every single airline CEO knows it's a lie.

That might work in politics, but not in business.

Quoting dfambro (Reply 79):
And anyway, the 350 first flight isn't news

Any true aviation enthusiast will see the first flight of any new type as exciting and big news, regardless of who built it.

Quoting KELPkid (Reply 88):
Also, what would an (hypothetical) A340 converted freighter bring to the table that an A330 would not?

More lift and range. But your point is still valid because the improved lift and range would come at a monetary cost of developing the P2F program, certifying it, and implementing it. And that would simply kill the business case for such a small total number of airframes.

Where there might be a business case is as a VVIP aircraft. But the market for those is small. In that case, the utilization is low (and if you own your own A346, money isn't an object anyway), so the operational costs are relatively trivial and the lease payments are also low.

The other issue I wonder about is parts availability, especially for the engines. If the Trent 500 was made in such small numbers and a great number of A345/6 are going to the scrapyard, I wonder how long RR will continue to support that engine model.


User currently offlineLufthansa From Christmas Island, joined May 1999, 3224 posts, RR: 10
Reply 100, posted (1 year 5 months 1 week 3 days 1 hour ago) and read 14302 times:

Quoting DocLightning (Reply 99):
The other issue I wonder about is parts availability, especially for the engines. If the Trent 500 was made in such small numbers and a great number of A345/6 are going to the scrapyard, I wonder how long RR will continue to support that engine model.

Well what about a conversion for both types for use as a military Tanker? You could then basically make the entire fleet either VIP aircraft for governments, or tanker/transporter aircraft.


User currently offlinePolot From United States of America, joined Jul 2011, 2305 posts, RR: 1
Reply 101, posted (1 year 5 months 1 week 3 days 1 hour ago) and read 14138 times:

Quoting Lufthansa (Reply 100):
Well what about a conversion for both types for use as a military Tanker? You could then basically make the entire fleet either VIP aircraft for governments, or tanker/transporter aircraft.

I'm not sure Airbus would be keen on competition with their A330MRTT. They want governments buying new tankers/transporters, not buying and converting used planes.

With such a small market and so few planes it is not really worth third parties paying the certification costs for a A340 tanker either.


User currently offlinemffoda From United States of America, joined Apr 2010, 1102 posts, RR: 0
Reply 102, posted (1 year 5 months 1 week 3 days 1 hour ago) and read 13882 times:

Quoting Polot (Reply 101):
Quoting Lufthansa (Reply 100):
Well what about a conversion for both types for use as a military Tanker? You could then basically make the entire fleet either VIP aircraft for governments, or tanker/transporter aircraft.

I'm not sure Airbus would be keen on competition with their A330MRTT. They want governments buying new tankers/transporters, not buying and converting used planes.

With such a small market and so few planes it is not really worth third parties paying the certification costs for a A340 tanker either.

If we go back to original article? The financials regarding any new Military project based on the A340, as you suggest Lufthansa... Would rise a Giant Garrison sized RED flag!  

The A340's fate has been all but sealed... Parts donor I'm afraid.



harder than woodpecker lips...
User currently offlineRevelation From United States of America, joined Feb 2005, 12839 posts, RR: 25
Reply 103, posted (1 year 5 months 1 week 3 days ago) and read 13226 times:

Quoting LTBEWR (Reply 98):
There is a limited need for 4 engine civilian a/c anymore, for the biggest a/c (747 & A380) and a few long haul routes over Russia, the poles and the South Pacific.

Not exactly a gaping wide open market, is it?

Quoting LTBEWR (Reply 98):
The hope to convert A340's to freighters seems to disappeared due to changing realities.

Or the unchanging reality that the A340 has been weight challenged since launch, and has only been viable due to relatively cheap fuel?

Quoting Lufthansa (Reply 100):
Well what about a conversion for both types for use as a military Tanker?

The newer A340s are a lot of airframe for the mission, and the older A340s are probably coming up short due to age and the fact that A330s are b etter suited to the mission.

Quoting mffoda (Reply 102):
The A340's fate has been all but sealed... Parts donor I'm afraid.

  



Inspiration, move me brightly!
User currently offlinetortugamon From United States of America, joined Apr 2013, 3450 posts, RR: 11
Reply 104, posted (1 year 5 months 1 week 2 days 22 hours ago) and read 12774 times:

Quoting Viscount724 (Reply 96):
They do throw away cars in the Gulf, often very expensive ones.

Very true. I saw that special a couple months back. So sad. They leave the keys in them often with sorry notes to the bank and what not. I am not sure which situation is sadder. Its the financial firms that primarily get fleeced in both situations.

tortugamon


User currently offlinePacific From Hong Kong, joined Mar 2000, 1071 posts, RR: 0
Reply 105, posted (1 year 5 months 1 week 2 days 18 hours ago) and read 12282 times:

Quoting Revelation (Reply 103):
Or the unchanging reality that the A340 has been weight challenged since launch

The A340-500/600 are indeed very heavy but the A340-300 is lighter than the 777-200ER.


User currently offlinelastrow From Germany, joined Dec 2010, 72 posts, RR: 0
Reply 106, posted (1 year 5 months 1 week 2 days 13 hours ago) and read 11775 times:

Quoting Stitch (Reply 97):
Quoting KELPkid (Reply 88):
Also, what would an (hypothetical) A340 converted freighter bring to the table that an A330 would not?

Airbus Freighter Conversion Vice-President of Marketing and Sales Michael Fuers gave preliminary numbers of 70 tons for the A340-300P2F. Flight Internatonal guestimates the A340-500 and A340-600 could lift 90-100t.

to add here: basically, low acquisition cost can offset higher MRO and fuel cost. Read this thread, especially post 30:

Why Are Cargo Aircraft So Old? (by AirPacific747 Sep 16 2007 in Civil Aviation)


User currently offlinePolot From United States of America, joined Jul 2011, 2305 posts, RR: 1
Reply 107, posted (1 year 5 months 1 week 2 days 13 hours ago) and read 11739 times:

Quoting lastrow (Reply 106):
to add here: basically, low acquisition cost can offset higher MRO and fuel cost. Read this thread, especially post 30:

Although it is important to note that many of the larger cargo airlines are moving more and more towards new freighters.


User currently offlinemandala499 From Indonesia, joined Aug 2001, 6951 posts, RR: 76
Reply 108, posted (1 year 5 months 1 week 2 days 13 hours ago) and read 11660 times:

Quoting CF-CPI (Reply 94):
As measured in seat mile costs, assuming a standard mix of business/economy? I'm not necessarily disagreeing with the assertion, but I'd be curious to see specific figures for various routes and configurations.

For an operations feasibility study about 5 years ago I did a no-fancy stuff 2 class layout, and a mission requirement of filling all the seats and go a certain distance and figure out the per seat cost for the trip for 772ER, 343, 333, 332, 763ER. I did CGK-DME and DPS-DME, using realistic wind (which includes the sections with 100kt winds over Iran). Westbound the 333 even on the highest MTOW couldn't even make it with full pax load, thanks to the airway structure (TK's SIN-IST is way shorter!)... the 763ER couldn't make it westbound. The 332 fared best albeit at lower design capacity, but the per seat cost was the best... 343 fared second and ironically, 772ER was third. I did 345 in it and it was a dismal number from what I remember. However, once you go to maximum revenue potential, the 772L and 345 was highest... but profitability went to 343 and 772E. As far as I remember, they were quite close together in the results... that the fuel prices of the day.

Quoting DocLightning (Reply 99):
Mr. Leahy has nothing to gain from knocking the 77W as opposed to the A346.

He has said, 77W is today the airplane to beat, and the 350-10 is the plane to beat the 77W... so all in all, he admitted it to use as his own marketing tool & promise that "the 350 will beat the 77W"... and we're back to square one!

Quoting Revelation (Reply 103):
Or the unchanging reality that the A340 has been weight challenged since launch, and has only been viable due to relatively cheap fuel?

For 345 & 346 I agree. For 343, I disagree.



When losing situational awareness, pray Cumulus Granitus isn't nearby !
User currently offlinewaly777 From United Kingdom, joined Oct 2012, 337 posts, RR: 3
Reply 109, posted (1 year 5 months 1 week 2 days 13 hours ago) and read 11620 times:

Quoting lastrow (Reply 106):
to add here: basically, low acquisition cost can offset higher MRO and fuel cost. Read this thread, especially post 30:

It can be so when fuel isn't as expensive as it is today, however with crude oil forecasted to hit the $200 mark in the next 10 years, the advantage of acquisition costs is soon wiped out and factor in the larger a340's consume up to 50% more fuel per hour than the a330....not mention MRO costs for older aircraft are usually higher as their heavy cycle intervals become more frequent and hence more expensive due to age.

Quoting Polot (Reply 107):

It certainly echoes what he said, the cargo airlines are increasingly moving to newer models.



The test of first-rate intelligence is the ability to hold 2 opposed ideas in the mind concurrently, and still function
User currently offlinefrmrCapCadet From United States of America, joined May 2008, 1732 posts, RR: 1
Reply 110, posted (1 year 5 months 1 week 2 days 10 hours ago) and read 11260 times:

Would these 340s function economically as a reserve fleet for emergencies? How few flights a month to keep the planes and air force reserve crew members qualified? Airplanes were the best for thousands, including nursing home residents and staff, in New Orleans during Katrina. Icelandic volcano like-events create back logs which could be cleared with a reserve fleet. I certainly would pay extra for more timely return. I could see any number of developed counties maintaining amongst them a fleet of a (few?) hundred VLAs for emergency deployment. But do not know what it would cost. Certainly a big bunch of $20 million great planes would greatly reduce costs.


Buffet: the airline business...has eaten up capital...like..no other (business)
User currently offlinePolot From United States of America, joined Jul 2011, 2305 posts, RR: 1
Reply 111, posted (1 year 5 months 1 week 2 days 9 hours ago) and read 11226 times:

Quoting frmrCapCadet (Reply 110):
But do not know what it would cost.

Waaaaaaayyyyyy to much to be worth it. How often do you need a hundred (!) extra (VLA) planes on reserve? You named two situations that might tie up a fleet for a grand total of 2 or 3 days (together).


User currently offlineRevelation From United States of America, joined Feb 2005, 12839 posts, RR: 25
Reply 112, posted (1 year 5 months 1 week 2 days 9 hours ago) and read 11121 times:

Quoting Pacific (Reply 105):
Quoting Revelation (Reply 103):
Or the unchanging reality that the A340 has been weight challenged since launch

The A340-500/600 are indeed very heavy but the A340-300 is lighter than the 777-200ER.
Quoting mandala499 (Reply 108):
For 345 & 346 I agree. For 343, I disagree.

I was thinking about the A345/6 when I typed that, but didn't make that clear at all, sorry..

I'm not that surprised the 7772ER is heavier than the A343, it's already an "XWB" and has those honking big turbofans hanging off it, as opposed to the infamous A343 "hair driers"...

We know that the -3 used the CFM56s which are relatively small/light and the -5/-6 used Trents, which are heavier and which required wing and presumably undercarraige re-enforcement too.

We know the trend is that one uses heavier engines to get better economy: heavier because they have bigger fans and use higher temperatures in the combustion and turbine sections.

Seems like the extra weight of the Trents has made for a fairly challenging economic profile, especially in light of today's fuel prices.

Glad to see LH can make it work, but even they seem to be bailing out relatively soon.



Inspiration, move me brightly!
User currently offlineDocLightning From United States of America, joined Nov 2005, 20186 posts, RR: 59
Reply 113, posted (1 year 5 months 1 week 2 days 9 hours ago) and read 11074 times:

Quoting mandala499 (Reply 108):
He has said, 77W is today the airplane to beat, and the 350-10 is the plane to beat the 77W... so all in all, he admitted it to use as his own marketing tool & promise that "the 350 will beat the 77W"... and we're back to square one!

Agreed. He admitted the A346 wasn't up to the mark, but claims that the A350 is. And it is. It's ten years newer than the 77W and made of CFRP with the next generation of engines (the 77W/L was the first airliner with swept fan blades, AFAIK).

And now Boeing has to beat the A350.


User currently offlinelastrow From Germany, joined Dec 2010, 72 posts, RR: 0
Reply 114, posted (1 year 5 months 1 week 2 days 7 hours ago) and read 10782 times:

Quoting waly777 (Reply 109):

Quoting lastrow (Reply 106):
to add here: basically, low acquisition cost can offset higher MRO and fuel cost. Read this thread, especially post 30:

It can be so when fuel isn't as expensive as it is today, however with crude oil forecasted to hit the $200 mark in the next 10 years, the advantage of acquisition costs is soon wiped out and factor in the larger a340's consume up to 50% more fuel per hour than the a330....not mention MRO costs for older aircraft are usually higher as their heavy cycle intervals become more frequent and hence more expensive due to age.

prediction of prices is hard. I wish I could. But USD 200 in 10 years appears unlikely given today's situation and current long term forecasts. Did you consider that the US could turn into an oil export nation the next years? A forecast of 200 seems to based on oil company FUD in order to get licenses for reattempting oil production at known reservoirs with new production methods.

To give two popular cases about old cargo planes:

Kalitta Air has ten 742 currently in service. 5 of them taken over in 2010 and 2012. Granted that they seem to move to 744s, however, if oil price would be the main show stopper, they would not have acquired two 742 in 2008 when oil prices where at 125 USD / barrel (now it is about 100). I think there are more cargo airlines with a similar fleet characteristic as Kalitta.

There are some popular cargo carriers flying MD-11. For which mission one would consider an MD-11 being more fuel efficient than a 343? The MD-11 can lift a relatively high payload despite its fuel burn much higher than a A332F, for example. I think the MD-11 was also famous for missing fuel targets in the early days.

"Heavy cycle intervals" become less frequent, not more, because cargo carriers do not use the planes as much as passenger carriers.

Moreover, It is true that the older a plane get, the shorter become intervals for C- (or even the second D-) checks? Your statement, waly777, seems to imply this.


User currently offlinelastrow From Germany, joined Dec 2010, 72 posts, RR: 0
Reply 115, posted (1 year 5 months 1 week 2 days 7 hours ago) and read 10722 times:

Quoting frmrCapCadet (Reply 110):

Would these 340s function economically as a reserve fleet for emergencies? ...But do not know what it would cost. Certainly a big bunch of $20 million great planes would greatly reduce costs.

Well, it seems to me that your idea is not too far fetched: Did you consider how much it costs to keep all the military airlift capacity in the world ready for the readyness targets? there you have your spare VLAs for emergency cases. By the way: How is "Bewegungsfahrten" translated into English?  


User currently offlinewaly777 From United Kingdom, joined Oct 2012, 337 posts, RR: 3
Reply 116, posted (1 year 5 months 1 week 2 days 6 hours ago) and read 10627 times:

Quoting lastrow (Reply 114):
prediction of prices is hard. I wish I could. But USD 200 in 10 years appears unlikely given today's situation and current long term forecasts. Did you consider that the US could turn into an oil export nation the next years? A forecast of 200 seems to based on oil company FUD in order to get licenses for reattempting oil production at known reservoirs with new production methods.

Indeed, however the OECD and IMF are predicting very high prices...the OECD forecast from March this year is predicting $190 a barrel in 7 years.

http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/d026f6a0-8...11-00144feabdc0.html#axzz2WJi08oQv

Quoting lastrow (Reply 114):
"Heavy cycle intervals" become less frequent, not more, because cargo carriers do not use the planes as much as passenger carriers.

Oh I didn't realise you were referring to just cargo carriers. I do agree with you in that respect then...however when a CBA is done looking @ low acquisition costs and operating costs for however long the aircraft is to kept, there is usually a point where the low acquisition cost just doesn't cut it. I haven't looked into details with cargo operations but IATA recently pointed out that fuel which used to be 14% or so of operating costs is now about 35% on average..hence fuel burn is now a major consideration for even cargo operators.
Even lufthansa cargo has ordered 777F's and all it's MD-11's are fully paid for, hence little ownership costs for them.

Quoting lastrow (Reply 114):
Moreover, It is true that the older a plane get, the shorter become intervals for C- (or even the second D-) checks? Your statement, waly777, seems to imply this.

Yes, depending on if a progressive or pyramidal maintenance system is used...heavy checks as well as line checks could either take longer or be more frequent as aircraft age because during the later years of an aircraft's life more parts will need to be replaced, not to mention more inspections due to greater chance of corrosion and metal fatigue etc. Hence why older aircraft are usually more expensive to maintain.



The test of first-rate intelligence is the ability to hold 2 opposed ideas in the mind concurrently, and still function
User currently offlinelightsaber From United States of America, joined Jan 2005, 13416 posts, RR: 100
Reply 117, posted (1 year 5 months 1 week 2 days 6 hours ago) and read 10568 times:
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Quoting mandala499 (Reply 89):
And ironically, even the 343 does better in terms of economics on those stage lengths!

You have a valid point there. Ironic that the older A340 looks destined to outlast the 'new' A340.

Quoting KC135TopBoom (Reply 91):
Reliability is a maintenance function. If you don't maintain any airplane properly, its dispatch rate goes into the tank. LH has flown their B-744s for up to about 120,000 hours, and kept reliability very high, as they do for their A-343/6s.

   But the 744 does require quite a bit of maintenance. That was the 'weak link.' However, Boeing has worked to improve the required workload on the old Queen.

Quoting frmrCapCadet (Reply 110):

Would these 340s function economically as a reserve fleet for emergencies?

Great planes lacking rough field performance. I have friends and family who have participated in emergency airlifts. Its always under rough conditions (e.g., ATC is down) and often the 'airfield' wasn't built as an airfield the first few weeks...

Commercial jets are built to fly between commercial airports. Neat idea, but that is a role for the C-17, C-130, and A400.

Lightsaber



Societies that achieve a critical mass of ideas achieve self sustaining growth; others stagnate.
User currently offlineStitch From United States of America, joined Jul 2005, 31236 posts, RR: 85
Reply 118, posted (1 year 5 months 1 week 2 days 6 hours ago) and read 10536 times:
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Quoting lastrow (Reply 106):
to add here: basically, low acquisition cost can offset higher MRO and fuel cost. Read this thread, especially post 30:

But that post also notes that freighters are low-utilization compared to passenger aircraft. Older freighters also operate shorter stage lengths.


User currently offlinelastrow From Germany, joined Dec 2010, 72 posts, RR: 0
Reply 119, posted (1 year 5 months 1 week 2 days 5 hours ago) and read 10393 times:

Quoting Stitch
But that post also notes that freighters are low-utilization compared to passenger aircraft. Older freighters also operate shorter stage lengths.

right, I agree, I was also adding this link to you mentioning before a potential A340P2F conversion program.

Quoting waly777 (Reply 116):
Indeed, however the OECD and IMF are predicting very high prices...the OECD forecast from March this year is predicting $190 a barrel in 7 years.

http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/d026f6a0-8...08oQv

I have checked google before I posted my response and I could also add links predicting stable prices in the next 7 years. as I said, prediction is hard and you need also to consider who predicts.

Quoting waly777 (Reply 116):
Even lufthansa cargo has ordered 777F's and all it's MD-11's are fully paid for, hence little ownership costs for them.

That was an interesting order! And a.netters have discussed why this plane (instead of he 748) and who will eventually fly this (aerologic, german cargo). Apparently, they will go into the LH cargo fleet?

we basically agree: these days, it does not look like the A340 enjoys the popularity of the A330 and as other posters have said, they will be likely pulled out of service earlier compared to other models.

But, LH cargo could have ordered a more modern freighter some time before already, if they wanted to or would have been forced by high oil prices. Of course at some point, the MD-11 will reach their limit of approved cycles. The 777 are still "on order" for LH Cargo, so it appears like they are not pushing the replacement of the MD-11.

I would like to mention another point which seems to be forgotten about the A340, if it is true: wasn't the A340 designed originally with a more efficient engine by IAE ("superfan"), which IAE failed to deliver at targets? The A340 has also a bad start (similar to the MD-11) in terms of efficiency.


User currently offlinedennys From France, joined May 2001, 895 posts, RR: 1
Reply 120, posted (1 year 5 months 1 week 1 day 13 hours ago) and read 9618 times:

.... A340 Lover , , GOOD NEWS for you !
EY is flying AUH - GRU using the Quad on its right Hauls !
Cheers


User currently offlinewaly777 From United Kingdom, joined Oct 2012, 337 posts, RR: 3
Reply 121, posted (1 year 5 months 1 week 1 day 11 hours ago) and read 9333 times:

Quoting lastrow (Reply 119):
That was an interesting order! And a.netters have discussed why this plane (instead of he 748) and who will eventually fly this (aerologic, german cargo). Apparently, they will go into the LH cargo fleet?

we basically agree: these days, it does not look like the A340 enjoys the popularity of the A330 and as other posters have said, they will be likely pulled out of service earlier compared to other models.

Indeed it was, a surprise order to an extent for me. Though with Aerologic already flying 777's, it wasn't entirely unexpected.

Certainly agree with you on the latter, the a340...particularly the 500/600 will see the grave much earlier than they should. It is unfortunate as I do think they are one of the best looking widebodies out there and particularly enjoy seeing the 600 T/O and land.



The test of first-rate intelligence is the ability to hold 2 opposed ideas in the mind concurrently, and still function
User currently offlinemandala499 From Indonesia, joined Aug 2001, 6951 posts, RR: 76
Reply 122, posted (1 year 5 months 1 week 1 day 11 hours ago) and read 9346 times:

Quoting Revelation (Reply 112):
We know that the -3 used the CFM56s which are relatively small/light and the -5/-6 used Trents, which are heavier and which required wing and presumably undercarraige re-enforcement too.

We know the trend is that one uses heavier engines to get better economy: heavier because they have bigger fans and use higher temperatures in the combustion and turbine sections.

With hindsight it may not have been the best of moves to use the Trent but what choice did they have? Or was it? That I wonder... I wonder what GE was offering and what PW was offering before Airbus decided to give their choice to RR for the 345/6.

Quoting DocLightning (Reply 113):
And now Boeing has to beat the A350.

The eternal leapfrog race continues...   



When losing situational awareness, pray Cumulus Granitus isn't nearby !
User currently offlineastuteman From United Kingdom, joined Jan 2005, 10165 posts, RR: 97
Reply 123, posted (1 year 5 months 1 week 1 day 7 hours ago) and read 9006 times:
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Quoting lightsaber (Reply 117):
Ironic that the older A340 looks destined to outlast the 'new' A340.

I've got to say that I think history will mark the A340NG down as a mistake (THE mistake) by Airbus.
As it was part of the A330/A340 development, I don't think the original A340 will be seen the same way. It did a decent job for Airbus in getting them into the longer range widebody market.

I don't think many here will disagree that Airbus should have supplanted the A340 with an all-new large twin and allowed the A330 to continue pretty much as the have. In fact, had they done so, I reckon we would have seen the A350 in its original guise retained

Rgds


User currently offlinemandala499 From Indonesia, joined Aug 2001, 6951 posts, RR: 76
Reply 124, posted (1 year 5 months 1 week 1 day 7 hours ago) and read 8921 times:

Quoting astuteman (Reply 123):
I've got to say that I think history will mark the A340NG down as a mistake (THE mistake) by Airbus.
As it was part of the A330/A340 development, I don't think the original A340 will be seen the same way. It did a decent job for Airbus in getting them into the longer range widebody market.

How would one rate the 342 then? Only 28 were produced.



When losing situational awareness, pray Cumulus Granitus isn't nearby !
User currently offlineCF-CPI From Canada, joined Nov 2000, 1109 posts, RR: 0
Reply 125, posted (1 year 5 months 1 week 1 day 5 hours ago) and read 8700 times:

Quoting astuteman (Reply 123):
I've got to say that I think history will mark the A340NG down as a mistake (THE mistake) by Airbus.

My impression is that the early A340-600s were overweight, and this little detail really put Airbus behind the 8-ball as far as early perceptions of this airframe, circa 2002, when Virgin introduced them. From what people have said, once the weight issues were ironed out, the A340-600 fell somewhere between the 747-400 and the 777-300 in terms of CASM, which in principle wasn't bad. However, the 777 had turned into such a nice leap-frog in terms of cost performance, that being the next best thing (as the A340-600 was), was no longer enough. Things were further compounded by the steady rise in fuel prices at just the time the A340NG came into service. (This was severe enough to kill the -500 in almost any market, and it did).

What does mystify me is that Airbus could not foresee Boeing upgrading the 777 as successfully as they did. Were they still under the spell of "4 engines 4 long haul"? This became increasingly irrelevant at the very time the -600 was introduced - seven years after the initial (more primitive) 777 models went into service.


User currently offlineStitch From United States of America, joined Jul 2005, 31236 posts, RR: 85
Reply 126, posted (1 year 5 months 1 week 1 day 5 hours ago) and read 8676 times:
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Quoting mandala499 (Reply 124):
How would one rate the 342 then? Only 28 were produced.

Sounds about right for an early C-Market/ULH airframe, which the A340-200 effectively was.


User currently offlinewaly777 From United Kingdom, joined Oct 2012, 337 posts, RR: 3
Reply 127, posted (1 year 5 months 1 week 1 day 3 hours ago) and read 8534 times:

Quoting CF-CPI (Reply 125):
What does mystify me is that Airbus could not foresee Boeing upgrading the 777 as successfully as they did. Were they still under the spell of "4 engines 4 long haul"? This became increasingly irrelevant at the very time the -600 was introduced - seven years after the initial (more primitive) 777 models went into service.

To be fair, I don't think Boeing quite expected the 77L/W to perform as well as it did. I remember the original range of the 77W was meant to be around the 7200 or 7300nm however, whilst in service...airlines were consistently reporting much lower than expected fuel burn and it turned out the 77W was infact capable of a little over 7900nm....which I think is a first in recent history.



The test of first-rate intelligence is the ability to hold 2 opposed ideas in the mind concurrently, and still function
User currently offlineStitch From United States of America, joined Jul 2005, 31236 posts, RR: 85
Reply 128, posted (1 year 5 months 1 week 1 day 2 hours ago) and read 8435 times:
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Quoting waly777 (Reply 127):
I remember the original range of the 77W was meant to be around the 7200 or 7300nm however, whilst in service...airlines were consistently reporting much lower than expected fuel burn and it turned out the 77W was infact capable of a little over 7900nm....which I think is a first in recent history.


If we review the PDF zeke linked to in Reply 53, the projected range for the 777-300ER's with Maximum Structural Payload was 4850nm, which was almost 1000nm less than the MSP range of the A340-600. However, between a boost in MTOW from 750,000 to 775,000 pounds and the better-than-expected fuel burn, the 777-300ER's MSP range was close to 5500nm - almost dead-even with the A340-600. And with subsequent tweaks and PiPs, the 777-300ER' has eliminated that gap.


User currently offlineLH707330 From United States of America, joined Jun 2012, 826 posts, RR: 0
Reply 129, posted (1 year 5 months 1 week 22 hours ago) and read 8027 times:

Quoting lastrow (Reply 119):
I would like to mention another point which seems to be forgotten about the A340, if it is true: wasn't the A340 designed originally with a more efficient engine by IAE ("superfan"), which IAE failed to deliver at targets? The A340 has also a bad start (similar to the MD-11) in terms of efficiency.

The Superfan was supposed to be a geared engine with wide-chord composite fan blades, a nice idea at the time but too much risk. When it flopped they pushed CFM for more thrust from the CFM56 and added outboard wingspan and the winglets, which was possible due to the high T/C ratio of 12% (versus 9ish for the MD-11). This got them an aspect ratio of 10.06, which was rare for the time. With these wing mods I think they were actually able to get to the promised burn numbers. The real benefactor of the wing mods was the A330, as it got the higher aspect wing with its unencumbered engines.

Quoting mandala499 (Reply 122):
With hindsight it may not have been the best of moves to use the Trent but what choice did they have? Or was it? That I wonder... I wonder what GE was offering and what PW was offering before Airbus decided to give their choice to RR for the 345/6.

I think PW had a design they were planning which got canceled, so they went with the T500 as a bit of a last resort. That said, the T500 was actually a pretty efficient engine for the time, the big wildcard was that GE beat spec (by 4% IIRC) on the -115B, and the rest is history...


User currently offlinelightsaber From United States of America, joined Jan 2005, 13416 posts, RR: 100
Reply 130, posted (1 year 5 months 1 week 21 hours ago) and read 8027 times:
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Quoting astuteman (Reply 123):
I don't think the original A340 will be seen the same way. It did a decent job for Airbus in getting them into the longer range widebody market.

The original A340 did an excellent job of getting Airbus into longhaul, but also getting their foot in the door to sell A330s. It didn't hurt that between the 767, A330, 777, and A340, the MD-11 was pushed out of the market. I believe without the A340, the MD-11 would have continued a few more years which would have handicapped A330 sales too. (Ok, not a huge amount, but some.)

Quoting astuteman (Reply 123):
I don't think many here will disagree that Airbus should have supplanted the A340 with an all-new large twin and allowed the A330 to continue pretty much as the have. In fact, had they done so, I reckon we would have seen the A350 in its original guise retained

   I believe you are correct on both counts.

Quoting mandala499 (Reply 124):
How would one rate the 342 then? Only 28 were produced.

About break even. The A342 didn't have new engines, wing, gear, or any of the pricey additions of the A345/A346. I think between the 747SP, A342, A345, and 77L we can now show that ULH shrinks have fairly low sales and rather short ULH service lives.

Quoting Stitch (Reply 128):
If we review the PDF zeke linked to in Reply 53, the projected range for the 777-300ER's with Maximum Structural Payload was 4850nm, which was almost 1000nm less than the MSP range of the A340-600. However, between a boost in MTOW from 750,000 to 775,000 pounds and the better-than-expected fuel burn, the 777-300ER's MSP range was close to 5500nm - almost dead-even with the A340-600. And with subsequent tweaks and PiPs, the 777-300ER' has eliminated that gap.

And Zeke's link is prior to the A346 coming in overweight (but with good aerodynamics). I see no shortfall in revenue for the 77W today.

Lightsaber



Societies that achieve a critical mass of ideas achieve self sustaining growth; others stagnate.
User currently offlineStitch From United States of America, joined Jul 2005, 31236 posts, RR: 85
Reply 131, posted (1 year 5 months 1 week 21 hours ago) and read 7949 times:
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Quoting mandala499 (Reply 122):
With hindsight it may not have been the best of moves to use the Trent but what choice did they have? Or was it? That I wonder... I wonder what GE was offering and what PW was offering before Airbus decided to give their choice to RR for the 345/6.

When Airbus issued RFPs to the three engine manufacturers, P&W responded with the PW8000 GTF. P&W had originally aimed the PW8000 at the A320 (using a geared fan on a PW6000 core with a thrust range of 25-35,000 pounds), however Airbus feared a schism in IAE and successfully convinced P&W to push the PW8000 upmarket (to 50-60,000 pounds of thrust) and leave the V2500 alone. However, the engine was not remotely ready by the time Airbus needed to make a decision so P&W were out of the competition.

GE wanted exclusivity and in 1996 Airbus agreed to do so , but then changed their mind in 1997 at which point GE walked away.

That left Rolls-Royce's Trent 500 the de facto choice.


(References)
http://cornponepapers.blogspot.com/2...t-life-and-untimely-demise-of.html
http://www.flightglobal.com/news/art...ims-pw8000-at-higher-thrust-53256/
http://www.flightglobal.com/news/art.../geairbus-sign-for-a340-600-17220/
http://www.flightglobal.com/news/art...-ge-walks-away-from-a340-600-1746/


User currently offlinelightsaber From United States of America, joined Jan 2005, 13416 posts, RR: 100
Reply 132, posted (1 year 5 months 1 week 20 hours ago) and read 7797 times:
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Quoting Stitch (Reply 131):
GE wanted exclusivity and in 1996 Airbus agreed to do so

RR was granted exclusivity. I was working at Pratt on the PW8063 for the A345/A346 and A305 at the time. Pratt would have trailed RR into service (2005ish), but was looking at providing a much more efficient engine. But with the A380 launch, Airbus canned the A305 concept (an aluminum 787 like plane) and *then* let Pratt know RR had an exclusive on the A345/A346 until 2008.

So while RR didn't demand an exclusive, at first, they slipped it in later on.

There also are missing facts on the PW6000 derived PW8000. By that time, Pratt has realized the PW6000 core (if it had made promise) was a poor GTF core. While I worked the PW6000 derived PW8000, the PW8033 (for the A321NEO and smaller A320 family) was going forward with a much reworked core to provide the efficiency and durability at 33k+ of thrust (it was baselined at 35k).

AFAIK, GE was never that serious about the A345/A346 engine program.

When the A346 missed weight... Pratt was already preparing to exit the program. We were flat out e-mailed a copy of the poor business case vs. projected 77W performance (if it had been powered by the Pratt proposed engine for comparisons sake) in 2000. PW8057 development at that point became a derate of the PW8063 only (before the engine design was being optimized for two airframes).

That was my favorite Pratt program to work...

Lightsaber



Societies that achieve a critical mass of ideas achieve self sustaining growth; others stagnate.
User currently offlineSEPilot From United States of America, joined Dec 2006, 7012 posts, RR: 46
Reply 133, posted (1 year 5 months 1 week 14 hours ago) and read 7305 times:

Quoting lightsaber (Reply 130):
I think between the 747SP, A342, A345, and 77L we can now show that ULH shrinks have fairly low sales and rather short ULH service lives.

But the 77L was also the basis for the 77F, which has been successful and is likely to sell a lot more before it's done, so that improves its case over the others you mention, which I agree have been pretty disappointing.



The problem with making things foolproof is that fools are so doggone ingenious...Dan Keebler
User currently offlineRevelation From United States of America, joined Feb 2005, 12839 posts, RR: 25
Reply 134, posted (1 year 5 months 1 week 13 hours ago) and read 7206 times:

Quoting mandala499 (Reply 122):
With hindsight it may not have been the best of moves to use the Trent but what choice did they have?

They had the choice to not go forward with the -5/-6. They probably had an inkling that the numbers were good but not great for the program, but it seems they did not have much of an inkling that the numbers for the 777W would turn out to be great.

Quoting astuteman (Reply 123):
I've got to say that I think history will mark the A340NG down as a mistake (THE mistake) by Airbus.

I don't think it was (a) knowing what they knew at the time, and (b) knowing they weren't "betting the company" on the program. I think their VLA program fails both these tests and fiscally is a much larger mistake, and one side effect of that larger mistake was more or less having no choice but try to hold off the 777W using the A340NG, which was a strategic result of the VLA decision and to me was something they could have figured out at the time.

Quoting astuteman (Reply 123):
I don't think many here will disagree that Airbus should have supplanted the A340 with an all-new large twin and allowed the A330 to continue pretty much as the have.

I doubt they could have had the cash and bandwidth to do an all-new VLA in parallel with an all-new big twin on top of other aspirations such as A440M and continuous investment/improvement in A330 and A320. I feel there was data out there showing that they were taking a big risk by choosing to enter the VLA market that they seemingly downplayed if not ignored.

Quoting CF-CPI (Reply 125):
What does mystify me is that Airbus could not foresee Boeing upgrading the 777 as successfully as they did.

Not me. What mystifies me is how Airbus could make the huge bet on the VLA that they made. The result was huge amounts of risk, financial burden and turmoil for the company, including chairs being tossed in the French Parliament and a CEO walking the plank.

Quoting LH707330 (Reply 129):
the big wildcard was that GE beat spec (by 4% IIRC) on the -115B, and the rest is history...

I suppose what should be a bigger mystery is how they managed to keep such a big win secret till well after first flight.



Inspiration, move me brightly!
User currently offlineSEPilot From United States of America, joined Dec 2006, 7012 posts, RR: 46
Reply 135, posted (1 year 5 months 1 week 13 hours ago) and read 7147 times:

Quoting Revelation (Reply 134):
I don't think it was (a) knowing what they knew at the time, and (b) knowing they weren't "betting the company" on the program. I think their VLA program fails both these tests and fiscally is a much larger mistake, and one side effect of that larger mistake was more or less having no choice but try to hold off the 777W using the A340NG, which was a strategic result of the VLA decision and to me was something they could have figured out at the time.

I agree that the VLA was the bigger mistake, and probably the result of looking at the demand figures through rose-colored glasses-after all, Boeing had the same figures and said that the market could not support even 1 all-new VLA, and I think they have been proven right. And you are right that they undoubtedly did not have the resources to do an all-new large twin at the same time. But wasn't the 777NG program a reaction to the A340NG program, and not the other way around?

Quoting Revelation (Reply 134):
Quoting LH707330 (Reply 129):
the big wildcard was that GE beat spec (by 4% IIRC) on the -115B, and the rest is history...

I suppose what should be a bigger mystery is how they managed to keep such a big win secret till well after first flight.

I thought it was because neither Boeing nor GE realized how good it was going to be. Or perhaps they just did not believe the figures until the thing flew (the "if something is too good to be true" theory).



The problem with making things foolproof is that fools are so doggone ingenious...Dan Keebler
User currently offlinemandala499 From Indonesia, joined Aug 2001, 6951 posts, RR: 76
Reply 136, posted (1 year 5 months 1 week 12 hours ago) and read 7046 times:

Quoting Revelation (Reply 134):
They probably had an inkling that the numbers were good but not great for the program, but it seems they did not have much of an inkling that the numbers for the 777W would turn out to be great.

No need to go the 77W... even the 773 had a better trip burn number for the shorter sectors. And simple payload burn projections (that went higher than the current 77W performance numbers) already made the 346 numbers look bad... in fact, the same payload trip burn 'growth' method that was used to set the "what if 773 simply grew), still put the 343 ahead of the 346. I know these methods sounded weird but someone at the time was willing to pay for it... and when it came out and I saw the actual performance numbers, I am baffled on where Airbus seemingly... screwed up (for lack of a better and more moderate phrase)...



When losing situational awareness, pray Cumulus Granitus isn't nearby !
User currently offlineEPA001 From Netherlands, joined Sep 2006, 4846 posts, RR: 40
Reply 137, posted (1 year 5 months 1 week 12 hours ago) and read 7015 times:
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Quoting SEPilot (Reply 135):
I agree that the VLA was the bigger mistake, and probably the result of looking at the demand figures through rose-colored glasses-after all, Boeing had the same figures and said that the market could not support even 1 all-new VLA, and I think they have been proven right.

I have to disagree strongly here. The original numbers of the business case for the A380 have already been exceeded (250 sold A380's). Of course the major problems (mostly the big software glitch) that had to be overcome in the program shattered that business case, but the original business case was sound and has been proven to be feasible.

Just as the B787 program has lost at least 10 Billion Dollars compared tot the original business case. I do not think anybody is second guessing that business case, so why it is repeatedly done on the A380, even when the original targets have been exceeded, remains a mystery to me.


User currently offlinewaly777 From United Kingdom, joined Oct 2012, 337 posts, RR: 3
Reply 138, posted (1 year 5 months 1 week 12 hours ago) and read 6978 times:

Quoting EPA001 (Reply 137):
The original numbers of the business case for the A380 have already been exceeded (250 sold A380's)

I do not believe 250 is quite the right number.

When the A380 was launched, Airbus did predict far more than 250 A380's would be sold by this point (go ahead and google the first A380 presentations by Airbus). It was estimated the breakeven number would be 250 but I do remember reading that as of last year that number has been increased (can't quite remember the figure for now). Till date, every A380 being produced is made at a loss, Airbus has recently predicted it expects to break-even on production per aircraft by 2015. So for now, the A380's business case has not been exceeded.

Whilst I am also in disagreement that the VLA was a failure, in hindsight I do wonder if Airbus still would have launched the A380. The mistake for Airbus I believe was with the A340-500/600.



The test of first-rate intelligence is the ability to hold 2 opposed ideas in the mind concurrently, and still function
User currently offlineEPA001 From Netherlands, joined Sep 2006, 4846 posts, RR: 40
Reply 139, posted (1 year 5 months 1 week 11 hours ago) and read 6872 times:
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Quoting waly777 (Reply 138):
Airbus did predict far more than 250 A380's would be sold by this point (go ahead and google the first A380 presentations by Airbus)

Of course they did. And there is still every reason to think that a program which should run at least for 30 years will exceed the current number of sold A380's.

Quoting waly777 (Reply 138):
It was estimated the breakeven number would be 250

Which was the amount on which financials of the business case were based. That number has been exceeded.

Quoting waly777 (Reply 138):
but I do remember reading that as of last year that number has been increased (can't quite remember the figure for now).

I do not think Airbus is naming a number, just as Boeing will not name a number for the B787 program. The losses in both these programs have been so immense that it makes no sense. The costs are sunk costs. The benefits of more technology of these programs to be offered in the product line of both OEM's are worth a lot, but are very difficult to quantify against the cost overruns in both programs.

Quoting waly777 (Reply 138):
Till date, every A380 being produced is made at a loss, Airbus has recently predicted it expects to break-even on production per aircraft by 2015. So for now, the A380's business case has not been exceeded.

All true, but those issues are all negative effects of the huge problems the production ramp-up suffered from. Had everything gone to plan, the 250 copies would have made sure for a break-even in the program. And would have made sure that every A380 build would have brought a win. But we all know that was not achieved, but the original number of 250 copies would have been sufficient.

Quoting waly777 (Reply 138):
Whilst I am also in disagreement that the VLA was a failure, in hindsight I do wonder if Airbus still would have launched the A380. The mistake for Airbus I believe was with the A340-500/600.

In hindsight yes, the A340-500/-600 were commercially not the success Airbus hoped for, and both airliners are now commercially "dead". Also because the B77W exceeded its expectations by huge margins where the A340-500/-600 suffered from exceeded weight problems. Though the birds by themselves are among the very best looking that have ever flown. But that is a small conciliation "prize" for Airbus.



[Edited 2013-06-17 08:34:31]

User currently offlinelightsaber From United States of America, joined Jan 2005, 13416 posts, RR: 100
Reply 140, posted (1 year 5 months 1 week 9 hours ago) and read 6585 times:
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Quoting SEPilot (Reply 133):
But the 77L was also the basis for the 77F, which has been successful and is likely to sell a lot more before it's done, so that improves its case over the others you mention, which I agree have been pretty disappointing.

Agreed. Now with the 707, the 707-320C was the best selling variant thanks to the ability to be converted to a freighter. Since I am convinced there will be a 777BCF as soon as resale values of the 777 drop, I think the 777F also helped sell 77Ls!    Note: I'm not predicting 77L conversion to F soon, but within a dozen years I am certain it will happen. Heck, the 788/789 is just going to take too much of the market for anything else to happen.

Now will AI ever be able to sell their 77Ls.      

And conversely, the lack of a A345/A346F didn't help A345/6 sales.  


Lightsaber



Societies that achieve a critical mass of ideas achieve self sustaining growth; others stagnate.
User currently offlineStitch From United States of America, joined Jul 2005, 31236 posts, RR: 85
Reply 141, posted (1 year 5 months 1 week 8 hours ago) and read 6381 times:
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Quoting mandala499 (Reply 136):
I know these methods sounded weird but someone at the time was willing to pay for it... and when it came out and I saw the actual performance numbers, I am baffled on where Airbus seemingly... screwed up (for lack of a better and more moderate phrase)...

I think they were worried by the 777.

In 1996 Airbus studied stretching the A340-300 by 12 frames to create the A340-400. Range at MZFW dropped from 5000nm to 4000nm, which was competitive with the 777-200 and 777-300, but not the 777-200ER. So they scaled it up in size and weight and that became the A340-600.


User currently offlineLH707330 From United States of America, joined Jun 2012, 826 posts, RR: 0
Reply 142, posted (1 year 5 months 1 week 5 hours ago) and read 6073 times:

Quoting lightsaber (Reply 140):
Agreed. Now with the 707, the 707-320C was the best selling variant thanks to the ability to be converted to a freighter.

Ironically not very many of them were though.... What was the weight penalty between a 320C and a 320B advanced?


User currently offlinelightsaber From United States of America, joined Jan 2005, 13416 posts, RR: 100
Reply 143, posted (1 year 5 months 1 week 4 hours ago) and read 5906 times:
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Quoting LH707330 (Reply 142):
Ironically not very many of them were though.... What was the weight penalty between a 320C and a 320B advanced?

Ironic, but still effective sales.  
Per page #9 the weight difference in operating empty weight is 155,100lbm for the -320C and 148,800lbm for the -320B. So 6,300lbm.

http://www.boeing.com/assets/pdf/commercial/airports/acaps/707sec2.pdf

Lightsaber



Societies that achieve a critical mass of ideas achieve self sustaining growth; others stagnate.
User currently offlineSEPilot From United States of America, joined Dec 2006, 7012 posts, RR: 46
Reply 144, posted (1 year 5 months 1 week 4 hours ago) and read 5844 times:

Quoting lightsaber (Reply 140):
Since I am convinced there will be a 777BCF as soon as resale values of the 777 drop, I think the 777F also helped sell 77Ls!

What about the problem of the floor beams? Are they going to go for a low-density conversion without changing them, or a high-cost standard density conversion by changing them? I doubt that there will be 2 conversions; although with the number of 77W's it may make sense to do one changing the floor beams for the 772's and without changing them for the 773's. It will be interesting; but with the number of 777's out there it is almost unthinkable that no conversion will be made.



The problem with making things foolproof is that fools are so doggone ingenious...Dan Keebler
User currently offlineKC135TopBoom From United States of America, joined Jan 2005, 12171 posts, RR: 51
Reply 145, posted (1 year 5 months 1 week 3 hours ago) and read 5765 times:

Quoting LH707330 (Reply 142):
What was the weight penalty between a 320C and a 320B advanced?
Quoting lightsaber (Reply 143):
Per page #9 the weight difference in operating empty weight is 155,100lbm for the -320C and 148,800lbm for the -320B. So 6,300lbm.

The B-707-320C was built with a cargo floor and cargo door already installed. The B-707-320B did not have these features.

Airbus has not had a successful P2F program (or after market program) since the days of the A-300 and A-310. The A-320P2F, failed, the A-330P2F doesn't look so good, and the A-340P2F won't happen. They have only had moderate success with new build freighters, the A-300-600F and A-330-200F. They do have the A-350-900F in their future plans, let's hope it doesn't go the way of the A-380-800F and never get spoken of, much less built.


User currently offlineKlaus From Germany, joined Jul 2001, 21495 posts, RR: 53
Reply 146, posted (1 year 5 months 1 week 2 hours ago) and read 5624 times:

Quoting waly777 (Reply 138):
Till date, every A380 being produced is made at a loss,

I doubt very much that they're selling the A380 below production cost.

What you seem to be talking about is that they haven't reached break even yet, meaning the in fact positive cash flow hasn't covered the cost of development and introduction yet – which is a completely different and much less critical issue as long as there is a plausible expectation that break even will in fact be reached before the program is done – which I would expect to be extremely likely for the A380 program.

That Airbus took on a monumental gamble with the A380 (and which Boeing shied away from at the time) is beyond dispute – what I would very much dispute, however, is the absolute conviction of some that this early in its model life and after an actually relatively smooth introduction and with a pretty good market position it was a certainty that the A380 would be an huge net loss for Airbus.

I get the impression that some are letting their wishful thinking run amok.

Airbus does in fact have to swallow the relative lack of success with the A340NG, but it looks as if they'll survive that without too much disruption, particularly if the A350 campaign continues to go well. And the A380 will in time contribute in keeping Airbus stabilized and well afloat, would be my prediction.


User currently offlineStitch From United States of America, joined Jul 2005, 31236 posts, RR: 85
Reply 147, posted (1 year 5 months 1 week 1 hour ago) and read 5604 times:
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Quoting lightsaber (Reply 140):
Since I am convinced there will be a 777BCF as soon as resale values of the 777 drop, I think the 777F also helped sell 77Ls!
Quoting SEPilot (Reply 144):
What about the problem of the floor beams? Are they going to go for a low-density conversion without changing them, or a high-cost standard density conversion by changing them? I doubt that there will be 2 conversions...

If FX and 5X can use the 777-200 with the existing CFRP floor, I could see that conversion being pushed through first, either by Boeing or Bedek/IAI.

From what has been reported on this forum, the projected conversion cost is as much as the donor aircraft. I believe this extreme cost - and lack of donor aircraft as airlines continue to hold on to even the oldest 777s - has so far nixed plans for a Boeing Converted Freighter (of which Boeing first started talking about in 2008).



Quoting Klaus (Reply 146):
I doubt very much that they're selling the A380 below production cost.

They're not intentionally doing so, but indeed every A380 delivered to date apparently has not covered it's production cost based on Airbus noting they will not reach production break even before 2015.

I don't think even Airbus know when the A380 will make "complete" break-even, where they recovered all the production, R&D, investment and overhead costs. But as I've stated for the past five years, those costs are all sunk so the goal is sell as many A380s as you can for as much as you can to keep chipping away at what you already spent.

And I'll save the Airbus Aficionados the trouble and note that Boeing has acknowledged that they are losing their shirt on every 787-8 delivery to date on a production cost basis and that every 747-8 is likely going out the door for less then they spent to build it, as well, based on the program being in a Forward Loss position, financially.

[Edited 2013-06-17 18:40:11]

User currently offlinewaly777 From United Kingdom, joined Oct 2012, 337 posts, RR: 3
Reply 148, posted (1 year 5 months 1 week 1 hour ago) and read 5566 times:

Quoting Klaus (Reply 146):
I doubt very much that they're selling the A380 below production cost.

What you seem to be talking about is that they haven't reached break even yet, meaning the in fact positive cash flow hasn't covered the cost of development and introduction yet – which is a completely different and much less critical issue as long as there is a plausible expectation that break even will in fact be reached before the program is done –which I would expect to be extremely likely for the A380 program.

No, I was very clear...each a380 being delivered today is loss making. Development and introduction costs will not be covered in it's original value and I believe a large chunk of that was written off anyway so it doesn't matter as much. To further clarify, it is not wishful thinking.

Quote:
EADS admits that it still has several Airbus A380 slots open for 2015, the year in which it hopes to achieve break-even on production for the type.
http://www.flightglobal.com/news/art...ll-all-a380-slots-for-2015-385829/

There are numerous threads on this forum in which these have been discussed to death and beyond.



The test of first-rate intelligence is the ability to hold 2 opposed ideas in the mind concurrently, and still function
User currently offlineKlaus From Germany, joined Jul 2001, 21495 posts, RR: 53
Reply 149, posted (1 year 5 months 1 week 1 hour ago) and read 5499 times:

Quoting Stitch (Reply 147):
They're not intentionally doing so, but indeed every A380 delivered to date apparently has not covered it's production cost based on Airbus noting they will not reach production break even before 2015.

Hmmm... what I've found so far seems to include the extraordinary and one-time cost incurred by the wing repairs and the resulting production slowdown, which I wouldn't normally count as regular per-copy production cost.

Quoting Stitch (Reply 147):
I don't think even Airbus know when the A380 will make "complete" break-even, where they recovered all the production, R&D, investment and overhead costs. But as I've stated for the past five years, those costs are all sunk so the goal is sell as many A380s as you can for as much as you can to keep chipping away at what you already spent.

Indeed. As to the actual break-even date, I doubt that anyone could make a reliable prediction there, since market developments will likely dominate the real outcome in any case.

Quoting Stitch (Reply 147):
Boeing has acknowledged that they are losing their shirt on every 787-8 delivery to date on a production cost basis and that every 747-8 is likely going out the door for less then they spent to build it, as well, based on the program being in a Forward Loss position, financially.

As with the A380, actual margins will only be knowable once the one-time effects can be stripped out of the equation to a somewhat reliable degree. I'd guess that will happen at the earliest when production has stabilized after the grounding debacle has been fully digested.

Quoting waly777 (Reply 148):
There are numerous threads on this forum in which these have been discussed to death and beyond.

I had been suffering from acute A vs. B fatigue for quite some time, so I hadn't kept track of the regular brawls in between.

[Edited 2013-06-17 19:12:14]

User currently offlineStitch From United States of America, joined Jul 2005, 31236 posts, RR: 85
Reply 150, posted (1 year 5 months 1 week 1 hour ago) and read 5460 times:
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Quoting Klaus (Reply 149):
Hmmm... what I've found so far seems to include the extraordinary and one-time cost incurred by the wing repairs and the resulting production slowdown, which I wouldn't normally count as regular per-copy production cost.


The OEMs themselves appear to consider those legitimate costs to apply to each production frame so I follow their lead.

That being said, I am sure many Boeing Boosters would be willing to spot you that, since that would wipe out a very significant amount of costs being attributed to each 787-8 and 747-8 delivered to date and their removal would likely put those frames into positive revenue.   


User currently offlinemffoda From United States of America, joined Apr 2010, 1102 posts, RR: 0
Reply 151, posted (1 year 5 months 1 week ago) and read 5368 times:

Quoting Klaus (Reply 146):
I doubt very much that they're selling the A380 below production cost.

What you seem to be talking about is that they haven't reached break even yet, meaning the in fact positive cash flow hasn't covered the cost of development and introduction yet – which is a completely different and much less critical issue as long as there is a plausible expectation that break even will in fact be reached before the program is done – which I would expect to be extremely likely for the A380 program.

No Klaus, They are talking about production costs. the original quote of a projection break-even point was made in 2010 by Airbus, and that assumed they would reach certain production levels in those years up to 2015. Which incidentally was before the wing crack issue.

http://www.flightglobal.com/news/art...0-could-break-even-in-2015-342126/

Quoting FG:

"With Airbus now confident that it has turned the corner with its A380 production woes, parent EADS is hopeful that the superjumbo programme could reach break-even as early as 2015.

The revelation was made by chief financial officer Hans Peter Ring during EADS's first-quarter results presentation. He said that the "maturity" of the A380 "still needs to be improved", but adds that, if progress continues, then "certainly there is some hope that, towards the end of the [five-year] planning horizon, we are approaching break-even".

Ring says the estimate does not amount to formal guidance but rather an "extrapolation of current trends". He adds that the improvement in the US dollar would also "impact positively the whole situation".

The ongoing struggle to stabilise A380 production prompted Airbus chief executive Tom Enders to comment in January that the programme would remain a "financial liability" for "years to come". Cost rises from the production issues have been compounded by the difficulty the airframer has faced in achieving its target pricing for the aircraft, having signed up many "sporty" deals for the original launch orders."


The last sentence above is very telling (Bolded by me). Read: EK,AF,SQ,VS & LH (all originally ordered in 2001) which account for 171 of the 262 firm orders. Just over 65% of the current firm orders!

** (also, I won't be correcting the spelling in the FG article while quoting)

And if that does not help, as far as production levels? There's this:

"Deliveries last year reached just 10 aircraft, well short of the 18 planned. However, Airbus has instigated another recovery programme and is confident it can deliver at least 20 aircraft in 2010 as it aims to stabilise production at around three A380s a month over the next two years."

In 2010 Airbus delivered 18 Not 20 A/C, and "aims to stabilise production at around three A380s a month over the next two years"... They delivered 26 in 2011 and 30 in 2012. Also short of their projections. And I believe that they stated that would deliver 21 this year (2013).

I think we can toss that 2015 break-even prediction out the window. it was based on best case scenario, much like the 787 as Stitch states below!

Quoting Stitch (Reply 147):
And I'll save the Airbus Aficionados the trouble and note that Boeing has acknowledged that they are losing their shirt on every 787-8 delivery to date on a production cost basis and that every 747-8 is likely going out the door for less then they spent to build it, as well, based on the program being in a Forward Loss position, financially.

The Only fix to these problems are lower your costs and increase production.   



harder than woodpecker lips...
User currently offlinelightsaber From United States of America, joined Jan 2005, 13416 posts, RR: 100
Reply 152, posted (1 year 5 months 6 days 22 hours ago) and read 5281 times:
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Ok, I'm feeling guilt... This is getting off thread.

For its gone to P2Fs... and that is not a market for the A340 IMHO.

Quoting Stitch (Reply 147):
I believe this extreme cost - and lack of donor aircraft as airlines continue to hold on to even the oldest 777s - has so far nixed plans for a Boeing Converted Freighter (of which Boeing first started talking about in 2008).

Interesting. I hope the conversion cost isn't that high...

Quoting SEPilot (Reply 144):
What about the problem of the floor beams?

Errr... could be the cost driver...

Quoting KC135TopBoom (Reply 145):
The A-320P2F, failed, the A-330P2F doesn't look so good

A320 P2F failed due to high residual value for frames, including as parts.
DItto with the A330. A classy problem to have.  
Quoting Stitch (Reply 147):
If FX and 5X can use the 777-200 with the existing CFRP floor, I could see that conversion being pushed through first, either by Boeing or Bedek/IAI.

That would be a far more economical conversion. I agree with one caveat. That is that the resale values of 777s fall a bit further.

Quoting KC135TopBoom (Reply 145):
The B-707-320C was built with a cargo floor and cargo door already installed. The B-707-320B did not have these features.

The question asked was what was the weight penalty for a pax 707-320C vs. the 707-320B. If the plane is not used as a freighter, as many weren't, it was a substantial weight penalty. Yet the best selling version of the 707...

Which, to tie it back into this thread, is that weight has to have a perceived value in an airframe. If not, its a $500/decade per kg cost in high utilization service (a bit less for freight). And that is what is hurting the A345/A346 more than anything. Ok, lower TSFC too...

Lightsaber



Societies that achieve a critical mass of ideas achieve self sustaining growth; others stagnate.
User currently offlineastuteman From United Kingdom, joined Jan 2005, 10165 posts, RR: 97
Reply 153, posted (1 year 5 months 6 days 21 hours ago) and read 5170 times:
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Quoting Revelation (Reply 134):
doubt they could have had the cash and bandwidth to do an all-new VLA in parallel with an all-new big twin on top of other aspirations such as A440M and continuous investment/improvement in A330 and A320. I feel there was data out there showing that they were taking a big risk by choosing to enter the VLA market that they seemingly downplayed if not ignored.

That's the point though. They wouldn't. There's no way that the A380 would have been brought to market in the timeframe it was if Airbus had committed to an all-new big twin. THAT's why the A340NG is THE mistake.

Quoting SEPilot (Reply 135):
I agree that the VLA was the bigger mistake,

It's probably far more satisfying to throw the mud at the A380 of course. It ticks so many boxes.
But committing to the A380 was only possible because of the mistake they'd already made   

Quoting waly777 (Reply 138):
I do not believe 250 is quite the right number.

That's why EPA001 put "original" in his comment. And as such it is the right number.
Today's break-even is NOT the original

Quoting waly777 (Reply 138):
The mistake for Airbus I believe was with the A340-500/600

I believe you are correct.

Quoting Klaus (Reply 146):
I doubt very much that they're selling the A380 below production cost.

They're absolutely not, Klaus. But the ones they are delivering today are being delivered at a loss due to penalty payments, rework, and time-related costs. airbus have made it clear that they intend to work these loss-making frames out of the system ASAP (which is 2015)

Quoting Klaus (Reply 149):
what I've found so far seems to include the extraordinary and one-time cost incurred by the wing repairs and the resulting production slowdown, which I wouldn't normally count as regular per-copy production cost

It does include those costs. Whether or not you consider that "production" cost is a bit semantic MO. THe frames are being delivered at a loss - that's all that matters really. That will change by 2015.
The losses have come down significantly by the way over the last year or so - one of the reasons stated by Airbus for the start of the recovery in their profit margin (which has gone up from 2% to 6%)

rgds