While SQ continues to fly SIN-ICN-SFO with the A340-313X, don't expect them to be on this route by the end of 2002. The SQ SIN-HKG-LAS flight with the 777-200ER will give SQ the experience to eventually switch the SQ 016 (SIN-ICN-SFO) and SQ 015 (SFO-ICN-SIN) flights to the 777-200ER.
When SIA signed a Letter of Intent for a fleet of MD-11s, it was clearly specified that it should operate nonstop between Singapore and Paris without payload restrictions throughout the year . . . and it was felt shortly thereafter that the MD-11 (at that stage of development) was over-weight or under-performing . . . and SIA was not happy with the projected rate of deterioration of engine performance.
The Airbus A340-300 was order instead to fulfil this requirement, but on the SIN-CDG route, it experience poor climb performance compared to other aircraft types operating to Europe (the skies over SIN, Malaysia, Thailand, Myanmar and Bangladesh are extremely crowded with Europe-bound traffic during the last hours of each day). It also took an extra hour on the SIN-CDG route compared to Air France's B777-200 and front-end passengers were "migrating" to the French carrier to save the extra hour. The B747-400 was restored to this route.
From what is recently heard (or rumoured), SIA is to retain a few A340-300s to operate alongside the A340-500.
I am not surprise if SQ retains some A343s ( most probably the newer aircrafts ) because not only it can operates along side A345 , if the B777 Etops is suspended ( Sin-Seoul-Vancouver) , the A343 can replace the B777 until SQ gets back the Etops on that route for example .
If SQ do retains those A343s , i feel they should upgrade the cabin .
I agree with Tsentsan in that the A340 fleet has very much the same interior as the 772s and 773s (in terms of seats and amenities).
However, if plans are for the remaining A340s to serve long haul routes, then it may be good if they upgraded the interiors to include Ultimo seats in J class (existing ones are uncomfortable with limited recline IMO).
The existing P class seats are very comfortable with 180 degrees recline with an interesting 2x1x2 config, and lots of leg space.
The Y class seats are as good and cramped as those found on the 744s.
Here's a better list of on what routes the A340s were deployed (All from memories)
Singapore - Jeddah vv (Replaced By B772ER)
Singapore - Lahore vv (Suspended)
Singapore - Karachi vv (Suspended)
Singapore - Athens vv (Replaced By B772ER)
Singapore - Sydney vv (Replaced By B744 and B733)
Singapore - Hong Kong vv (Rare Sight, Mainly B744 and B772, Also B773)
Singapore - Beijing vv (Nowerdays B772)
Singapore - Seoul - San Francisco (Should Be Replaced By The B772ER)
Singapore - Seoul - Vancouver (Was Replaced By The B772ER in May, however A340 still operates the route occasinally)
Singapore - Jakarta (Rare Sight)
Singapore - Denpasar Bali (Replaced By A313 and B772)
Singapore - Copenhagen (Replaced By B772ER)
Singapore - Paris (Replaced By B744)
Singapore - Bangkok (Gone, Now B744, A313 and B772)
Singapore - Taipei (Rare Sight)
Singapore - Perth (Replaced by B772)
Singapore - Bandar Seri Begawan (Rare Sight, Mainly A313 nower days)
Singapore - Christchurch (Replaced By B772ER)
Singapore - Dhaka (Nower days A313 and B772)
Singapore - Rome (Replaced By B772ER)
Singapore - Manila (Rare Sight, Replaced By B772 and B773)
Singapore - Kuala Lumpur (A few flights only)
Singapore - Vienna (Suspended, also operated by B744 before)
Singapore - Penang (Rare Sight, Mainly A310 and B773 nower days)
I guess that's all I can remember for now...and saddest thing is that I have never had the chance to fly on them uptil now...
Well, as they say, imitation is the best form of flattery .... but seriously, I don't think any of the Singaporean a.net members here spell "nowadays" as "nowerdays" (although they might actually pronounce it as "nower-days" when you hear them speak). Or could it be that you fly SQ too much, and got affected by those Singapore Girls...
Must be the influence from your "real life" Singaporean friends
Yeah....I was alittle cracked up. No offence intended. Just kidding with you.
Here are a few additional former A343 routes that 9V-SPK may have missed:
Singapore-Melbourne vv (replaced by 772, then 773/744)
Singapore-Adelaide vv (replaced by 772)
Singapore-Johannesburg-Durban vv (very brief, replaced by 744, think it was JNB's hot-and-high conditions)
Singapore-Johannesburg-Cape Town vv (ditto above)
Singapore-Colombo vv (briefly, replaced by mix of 313 and 772)
Singapore-Cairo vv (suspended, re-routed SIN-DXB-CAI)
Singapore-Dubai-Cairo vv (replaced by 773)
Singapore-Shanghai vv (briefly, replaced by 773)
Singapore-Bangkok-Seoul vv (replaced by 772)
SQ772/9V-SPK: I like the "nowerdays", it's cute. But when you start saying "hot tar-world" we'll need to call Ryanair!!! to come put you out of your misery.
Re: keeping a few 343s in service.
From what I understand, SQ has been wavering between: (1) keeping a few 343s in fleet alongside the 345s in order to realize some economies of scale from the common fleet (2) keeping some 343s in fleet until the 345s come online (so that some pilots can keep flying the type) and then ditching them, or (3) ditching them asap and starting afresh with the 345. Then, of course, there is the 747-400QXLR (or whatever letters there are) scenario to complicate the whole issue.
The 345's publicly stated role is to open nonstop SIN-LAX vv, and possibly SIN-SFO vv. I haven't heard anything about it taking over any current routes. In any case it may be unsuitable for most current routes because (1) it is engineered for very long routes and may not be suitable for shorter routes and (2) I think the design of the A345 sacrifices cargo capacity for range and (3) I think SQ's 345s will have a large Raffles Class cabin, and hence may not be suitable for a lot of current long haul routes, especially those to Europe. My hunch is that they will fly the odd regional route, though, if there is a long planned ground time in SIN between the arrival and departure of the nonstop LAX/SFO flights.
compare the take off performance of the Celestars to the Megatops, always a thrill to watch the former and wonder if they are even going to rotate at all! Even after they rotate, you wonder if they are even going to climb!
There is this gate (E2) at Changi coastal road where some of us enthusiast in Singapore go to watch the planes - runway 20L / 02R. The 744s would rotate before E2 but the A340s would rotate after it. Amazing sight!
Welcome to my starry one world alliance, a team in the sky!
I have seen fully-laden LHR-bound B744s take off from runway 02L and 02R, and even as they seem to take up every single metre of those runways, I wasn't worried as soon as they begin to rotate.
With the A340s, I continue to worry for them as they climb over the fence on the airport's northern perimeter . . . wondering if they will take away some laundry from those bamboo poles sticking out of the apartment blocks in Changi Village.
But once in the air, the A340 is a beautiful plane to photograph!