Airbus Wants LH To Take SR's 346 Order

Tue Dec 25, 2001 3:21 pm

Source: Flight International

Manufacturer is looking for a taker for nine aircraft ordered for now-bankrupt Swissair

Airbus is attempting to recruit Lufthansa as a launch operator for the A340-600 with an attractive lease deal on the first three aircraft originally earmarked for Swissair.

However the German flag-carrier says it has rejected the offer and is sticking to its current delivery schedule for the stretched A340, which will see its first aircraft handed over in mid-2003.

Airbus is casting around for takers for nine Swissair aircraft ordered by the latter's leasing affiliate Flightlease but cancelled following the financial collapse of the Swiss flag-carrier. Virgin Atlantic, due to be the first operator of the A340-600, has meanwhile shelved plans to begin taking its aircraft from June 2002 leaving Cathay Pacific as a reluctant potential launch operator. Talks on the delivery of the Virgin aircraft continue, however.

Lufthansa, which already has 10 A340-600s on order, says Airbus approached it with an offer on the first three Flightlease aircraft "a couple of months ago", but the proposal is being rejected because it would be "too expensive" to modify the cabins and systems on the ex-Flightlease A340s to meet its own specifications. "The case is now closed," says the German airline, which operates a large fleet of A340-200/300s and recently confirmed a deal for 15 A380s. "There are no further talks with Airbus planned from our side," it adds.

Despite Lufthansa's comments, sources familiar with the discussions say Airbus still believes it can do a deal with the German airline. The sources add that Lufthansa decided to break-off the talks after Airbus withdrew its original offer and resubmitted a proposal containing less favorable terms.

Airbus declines to comment other than saying the manufacturer is "actively marketing these aircraft" and that there are "several possibilities". However, Iberia is understood to be discussing a possible switch of two of three A340-300s due for delivery next year to the larger -600, while South African Airways could be interested in some or all of the aircraft.

- Airbus is to market a "very, very important person" (VVIP) conversion of the A340-200 as the "World Ranger". The company has nine VVIP versions of the aircraft currently in service, largely sold on an ad hoc basis to heads of state. Priced at $120 million green, the 60-70 seat World Ranger will now be marketed by the Airbus A319 Corporate Jetliner (ACJ) team. A market for "at least" two customers per year is envisaged, says Airbus.
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RE: Airbus Wants LH To Take SR's 346 Order

Tue Dec 25, 2001 3:27 pm

With SR and VS both backing out or at least making noises about the A346 programme, maybe Airbus should consider a temporary postponement of the launch date? After all, Boeing's 773ER won't be available until 2003.
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RE: Airbus Wants LH To Take SR's 346 Order

Tue Dec 25, 2001 5:54 pm

Its all about placement and beating its rivals, and it wants to get the jump on Boeing. If it successfully launches the A340-600 program, it will build confidence in the plane and will boost sales. It may even steal some B777-300ER sales away from the American giant.

It goes back to the tried and proven method, and thats what Airbus wants to tewll the world....with a 4 engined advantage.

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RE: Airbus Wants LH To Take SR's 346 Order

Tue Dec 25, 2001 6:16 pm

What about Air Canada? When are they supposed to receive theirs?
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Joined: Mon Dec 11, 2000 10:39 am

RE: Airbus Wants LH To Take SR's 346 Order

Tue Dec 25, 2001 7:50 pm

For a little comic relief (and wishful thinking):

Ansett to take them to resume flights to Asia under fox/lew. Who knows - they'd get an unbeatable deal for some brand new aircraft!!!!!!!
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Joined: Mon Jun 04, 2001 11:32 am

RE: Airbus Wants LH To Take SR's 346 Order

Tue Dec 25, 2001 9:16 pm

Yeah, good work aussie, just abit of comic think that Idea went out on Incompitent Airlines flight 123 ( Air New Zealand Flight 123 )...


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