teahan
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SAA Considering A340-500s

Thu May 01, 2003 10:19 am

Key parts from the interesting article in Airline Business:

***
[snip]

Airbus is seeking new customers for Air Canada's first two A340-500s because the launch operator is unlikely to take delivery of the aircraft as scheduled due to its financial woes. Emirates and South African Airways (SAA) are seen as the lead candidates for the aircraft.

Air Canada was due to be the first airline to take delivery of the 313-seat A340-500 in May, but according to manufacturing sources, delivery of its first two aircraft, which are awaiting handover in Toulouse, has been delayed following the airline's recent bankruptcy protection filing.

Air Canada was unavailable for comment on the status of the deliveries; Airbus declines to comment.

SAA, which already operates the larger A340-600, has emerged as the most likely operator and SAA chief financial officer Richard Forson confirms that the airline has held "preliminary talks" with Airbus, but says it has not yet received a formal proposal. "I can't say we are seriously looking, but if Airbus makes a proposal, we will look at it," he says, adding that Airbus is also talking to other carriers about the aircraft.

Emirates, which has six A340-500s on order, is understood to have also been contacted about the aircraft. The Dubai carrier was already due be the second airline after Air Canada to receive the -500, in September. Singapore Airlines (SIA) is the only other airline customer for the -500, and is due to put the type into service early next year.

Meanwhile, Airbus has unveiled a higher weight option for the A340-500 to boost range to 16,400km (8,860nm) and reduce the performance gap with the Boeing 777-200LR, which can fly 16,980km.

[snip]
***

BTW, does anyone have any update on the rumours about SAA purchasing 4 A380s. Will the purchase still go ahead this year?

Jeremiah
Goodbye SR-LX MD-11 / 6th of March 1991 to the 31st of October 2004
 
United777
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RE: SAA Considering A340-500s

Thu May 01, 2003 10:34 am

That would be cool see SAA flying the A340-500. They could start non-stop flights to the western US and perhaps Australia.

I still don't get how SAA turned all Airbus after being a somewhat good Boeing customer and actually ordering 737-800s and 777's and canceling them!

Anyway SAA livery looks great on Airbus jets.
 
dynkrisolo
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RE: SAA Considering A340-500s

Thu May 01, 2003 10:46 am

I still don't get how SAA turned all Airbus after being a somewhat good Boeing customer

Management change at SAA and persistent effort by Airbus.
 
teahan
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RE: SAA Considering A340-500s

Thu May 01, 2003 10:57 am

United777,

I still don't get how SAA turned all Airbus after being a somewhat good Boeing customer and actually ordering 737-800s and 777's and canceling them!

I don't believe SAA actually cancelled any 737-800s.

Jeremiah
Goodbye SR-LX MD-11 / 6th of March 1991 to the 31st of October 2004
 
BOEING747-700
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RE: SAA Considering A340-500s

Thu May 01, 2003 11:18 am

Air Canada is going to be releasing a business plan within two or so weeks and I am sure we will know the fate of their A340-541s. But SAA would be a nice home for those planes.
 
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yyz717
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RE: SAA Considering A340-500s

Thu May 01, 2003 12:28 pm

I can't see what AC would need those 345's for now. The YYZ-NRT route has been temporarily suspended and the long-planned YYZ-HKG route has apparently been shelved.

I dumped at the gybe mark in strong winds when I looked up at a Porter Q400 on finals. Can't stop spotting.
 
ConcordeBoy
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RE: SAA Considering A340-500s

Thu May 01, 2003 2:18 pm

I can't see what AC would need those 345's for now. The YYZ-NRT route has been temporarily suspended and the long-planned YYZ-HKG route has apparently been shelved.

There was also YVR-SYD to consider as well....




As for SA flying the yucky A345... it's only a matter of time, may as well get it over with.
Faire du ciel le plus bel endroit de la terre c'est impossible sans Concorde!
 
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yyz717
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RE: SAA Considering A340-500s

Thu May 01, 2003 2:22 pm

There was also YVR-SYD to consider as well....

This would be a very low yield market....it could not support the expensive 345. A nonstop YVR-SYD would also lose out on the HNL mini-hub traffic and SYD-HNL 5th freedom traffic.

AC really has no need for the 345 now. Indeed, perhaps not ever. The 345 is of no use to any airline that cannot utilize its long range.


I dumped at the gybe mark in strong winds when I looked up at a Porter Q400 on finals. Can't stop spotting.
 
ConcordeBoy
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RE: SAA Considering A340-500s

Thu May 01, 2003 2:26 pm

Agree with your statements about YVR-HNL



The 345 is of no use to any airline that cannot utilize its long range.

Herein seems to be the problem: it would appear that many airlines would be better off using A345/772LRs as an ultra-MTOW A343/772ER instead of for long range only; but the high price of both tends to thwart that.

Faire du ciel le plus bel endroit de la terre c'est impossible sans Concorde!
 
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yyz717
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RE: SAA Considering A340-500s

Thu May 01, 2003 2:51 pm

The higher price of the 345/772LR over the 343/772ER means that utilizing the 345/772LR makes no sense unless you exploit the extreme range.....for which there are actually relatively few markets.

I dumped at the gybe mark in strong winds when I looked up at a Porter Q400 on finals. Can't stop spotting.
 
United777
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RE: SAA Considering A340-500s

Thu May 01, 2003 5:14 pm

Teahan - SAA never did cancel the 737-800 but have said they will be phased out with new Airbus aircraft. I think by the time they got the 738's it was too late to cancel the order like the 777.
 
9v-svc
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RE: SAA Considering A340-500s

Thu May 01, 2003 10:19 pm

Hmmm , that will be interesting if SA gets A340-500 .
Airliners is the wings of my life.
 
gigneil
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RE: SAA Considering A340-500s

Fri May 02, 2003 12:10 am

They also cancelled the 777 because of ETOPS limitations to some markets they were planning on expanding heavily, like Australia and South America.

I think there was also some of the "here, now" syndrome. The ex-Swissair planes were available, they needed new planes, the 773ER and 772LR were forever and a day away, so they moved.

N
 
kaitak
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RE: SAA Considering A340-500s

Fri May 02, 2003 2:24 am

It might well suit SAA very well, particularly if there is a HGW model, as Teahan mentions above. This aircraft (which will presumably be a -542) would be of particular interest to SAA, which needs a high powered long range aircraft not just because of its range, but because of JNB's altitude. A core question for SAA will be, can either -500 models fly n/s JNB-JFK/MIA/ATL?

Even if the -541 can't do it (or only with load constraints), they could still lease the -541s and either trade them in for -542s later or convert them to -542s, if this is technically possible. Do they have o/s options for -600s which could be converted to -500s?

Interestingly, if SAA does go for the -500, they'll become the first airline to operate all 4 versions of the 340; they already have -200s and -600s, with the -300s coming soon.
 
bells
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RE: SAA Considering A340-500s

Fri May 02, 2003 2:33 am

Er, I think the article was in this week's Flight International.
 
gigneil
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RE: SAA Considering A340-500s

Fri May 02, 2003 2:33 am

The -541 should be able to negotate all [JNB,CPT]-[MIA,ATL,JFK] flights nonstop both directions no problem with max pax and bags and a significant amount of cargo.

The -542 will just enhance their cargo carrying capabilities on the routes. It would be technically possible to convert the existing -541s to -542s, but they wouldn't have the enhanced (lighter) wing.

In fact, an A340-642 should do ok on [JNB,CPT]-JFK, and close to ok on CPT-ATL. JNB-ATL would be a stretch but doable with restrictions.

N
 
ZSSNC
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RE: SAA Considering A340-500s

Fri May 02, 2003 2:50 am

Neil,

as a matter of fact there have been rumors for quite some time that the A340-642 might be used on the JNB/ATL and JNB/JFK routes as it would indeed be possible to do both routes nonstop with this equipment, which is not possible with the Boeing 747-400.

However, such a decision would probably also mean that SAA would have to reconfigure the A340-642 to a three-class configuration as First Class sells well on the routes to North America while it doesn't sell very well on the routes the A340-642 is used on now. Also, SAA is able to fill the A340-642 to FRA both passenger and cargo wise. The increased cargo load capacity of 18 tons over the maximum 10 tons of the Boeing 747-300 sure make a huge difference for SAA revenue wise.

ZSSNC
Airbus A340-600 - the longest temptation in the sky
 
gigneil
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RE: SAA Considering A340-500s

Fri May 02, 2003 3:01 am

I had heard tell that JFK was a possible destination for the 346... and certainly well within the stated limits of the plane.

Thing about ATL is that from JNB its a great circle distance of approx 7350 nm... cutting it quite close to the stated range of 7500nm for the plane. With winds and reserves and whatnot, it'd require some significant restrictions.

Now don't get me wrong... those restrictions would be much smaller than the 744s, and could do it both ways. But still.

I always like to hear what SAA is going to be doing next... the new management seems like a real set of go-getters (not just because they bought Airbus, no, that's not what I'm saying). I always loved seeing the big SAA 744s land when I lived near ATL.

N
 
ZSSNC
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RE: SAA Considering A340-500s

Fri May 02, 2003 3:12 am

Neil,

I do not know what kind of restrictions would have to be applied to get the A340-642 from JNB to ATL. But I think that there would still be the possibility to do the route on a reclearance flight plan. And thinking of that: does anyone know how frequently reclearance flight plans are filed? I heard that e.g. Nippon Cargo Airways does it all the time. But what about passenger flights? This would sure be a possibility of cost saving for some airlines that are in financial troubles now.

ZSSNC

[Edited 2003-05-01 20:14:00]
Airbus A340-600 - the longest temptation in the sky
 
gigneil
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RE: SAA Considering A340-500s

Fri May 02, 2003 3:14 am

How would it save costs?

N
 
ZSSNC
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RE: SAA Considering A340-500s

Fri May 02, 2003 3:32 am

Well, if you take less fuel than required to your intended destination onboard in favor of more payload the revenue from that particular flight would also increase, or wouldn't it? Then again, if your flight has underload to begin with it doesn't make much sense to go on a reclearance flight plan, so my initial reasoning doesn't make much sense on a second thought.

ZSSNC
Airbus A340-600 - the longest temptation in the sky
 
gigneil
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RE: SAA Considering A340-500s

Fri May 02, 2003 3:41 am

Yeah, that's the catch.  Laugh out loud

N
 
SAA201
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RE: SAA Considering A340-500s

Sun May 04, 2003 4:46 am

I think the whole SARS thing may have just put an end to SAA selecting the ex-Canada A345's for deliver this year. From what I can gather, SAA was keen to put the aircraft into service on new routes to Beijing and Japan. However, with SARS, SAA has now decreased current flights to Hong Kong from 5 to 3 flights per week. Once the SARS thing is over, than SAA would need to rebuild and consolidate the Hong Kong route before it considers new routes to the Far East. This could possibly take up to a year I guess.

Anyway, it may be better for SAA order A345's as a separate order. That way they will be able to order interior specifications that match its current A346's. I assume the AC A345's have already been fitted out. Perhaps the Airbus proposal is to lease the AC A345's to SAA until there own A345's can be delivered. (Similar situation to the current one whereby SAA are leasing A342's from Airbus pending the delivery of their A343's)

Also heard that SAA are very interested in the "ER" type version of the A346 previously offered to Emirates. This aircraft would possibly offer better capacity and/or payload for non-stop SA-USA Eastbound and would possibly be favoured over the A345.