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Air Frances Fleet Plans.

Thu Jan 13, 2000 7:19 am

I was looking at how Air France's load factors across the atlantic have really increased. They have redeployed several 747-400s to the Atlantic pond. They definately need capacity. They seem to be a launch customer for the 777-300X could they also purchase some 747-400Xs when they are launched possibly this fiscal quarter?
"History does not long entrust the care of freedom to the weak or timid." D. Eisenhower
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Joined: Tue May 18, 1999 3:49 am

RE: Air Frances Fleet Plans.

Sun Jan 16, 2000 12:09 am


Yes, AF is very likely to become the launch customer of the 777-300X.

Anyway, they'll order a sizeable fleet of 777 in the coming years.

But, no they won't order the 747-400X. Their aim is to phase the 747-200 out. The aircrafts operating on leisure routes (Antilla, Indian Ocean), which have a special layout, will be replaced by the 747-400.

The 747-400 will be replaced on the "main" network by the 777-300X, and 777-200ER.

AF said it won't order the A3XX neither. They want to play the fragmentation as much as possible.

Why do they operate more 747-400 on Atlantic so ? It's because you need less a/c to operate a daily flight on that market, than you need to operate on Asia (routes are shorter, and the a/c can come back to CDG the same day).
That way they make 747-400 available for convertion into full passenger configuration. All 744 registred with a "S" is a combi (the other were 100% pax from the beginning).
That conversion is made in the view of operating the 744 on leisure routes which don't need such a cargo capacity.

BTW, the undiscloed order for 2 GE-powered 777-200ER is very likely to be for AF.

The 777 is reported to be very reliable and to please to AF operating staff, crews and customers. So they'll make to 777 their main a/c for long haul ops.

They should be one of the launch customer of the 777F as well.

Alain Mengus
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RE: Air Frances Fleet Plans.

Sun Jan 16, 2000 3:32 am

I think if AF orders the 777X as the launch customer, they would then seal the GE exclusivity deal with Boeing. Isn't there a "time limit" to secure the first orders before the deal becomes void. I sincerely hope for Boeing's sake that AF holds off and RR is allowed back in the game. And P&W for that matter. To me it seems that airlines are negotiating prices with Boeing and engine manufacturers separately whenever a plane has a choice of engines. Thus, I just don't understand why Boeing made this decision. The burden of development and profit-making appears to rest squarely on the shoulders of the engine builders. The 340 will kill them if they go with GE alone.
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Joined: Tue May 18, 1999 3:49 am

RE: Air Frances Fleet Plans.

Sun Jan 16, 2000 5:15 am


GE gave enough money to Boeing to convince them to chose them over the others as a sole supplier for the engines of the 777X.

Boeing was aware that American, British and Cathay wouldn't be really happy with the GE deal. Either will AF order enough 777X, or they think the 777 operators can't go with Airbus.

Even if both seem hard to be believe... One or both are true.

Alain Mengus
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Joined: Fri Dec 31, 1999 5:47 am

Are You Sure It Has Increased?

Sun Jan 16, 2000 12:05 pm

I do not know about the load increase. Two years ago, Air France used to fly two daily CDG-ORD-CDG flights, one with a 747-400, and the other an A340-300. Now they decreased it to two daily 767-300ER flights. That seems like a decrease to me.
life wasn't worth the balance, or the crumpled paper it was written on
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RE: Air Frances Fleet Plans.

Sun Jan 16, 2000 12:51 pm

I really think that Air France is strongly marketing CDG airport as THE European transit airport. Therefore they seem to be increasing capacity in key markets and coordinating incoming and outbound flights to Europe, Africa, etc.

The sad reality is that French workers seem to be capitalizing on this by creating work stoppages that disrupt CDG's flight operations. Why would anyone want to transit CDG when there's even a small chance that their flight plans will go awry? There's plenty of other airports where workers don't seem to revel in disrupting everyday operations......sorry to have to say that, because I think CDG is a fabulous airport with great potential.
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RE: Air Frances Fleet Plans.

Sun Jan 16, 2000 7:57 pm


I think,you're wrong TWA : until last summer AF operated one daily flight. First with an A343, then a moment with a 777.
Last summer they upgraded to two daily flights with 763ER, then this winter one daily 763ER and a daily A343.
This summer they'll operate two daily A343.

If you don't call that growth...

BTW, the workers usually work every day, like anywhere in the world. They don't go on strike more than in ORD, or LAX.
That's a legend I think...

Best regards,
Alain Mengus
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Joined: Wed Aug 18, 1999 5:49 am

RE: Air Frances Fleet Plans.

Mon Jan 17, 2000 2:03 am

So, to summarise, by c. 2005, excluding the 5 Concorde aircraft, Air France should be operating the following major types:-


This certainly makes a lot of sense from a commonality point of view. I'm assuming, of course, that the 735 will be replaced by the A318/319, but being a relatively new type, they probably won't be in too much of a hurry to get rid of it.

Finally, a340-300, what are Air France flight crews like? Are they fairly decent about cockpit visits and jump seats? I've only ever flown AF once, from LHR - CDG on an A310 (GEMF), back in 1992, and was allowed up front, but never got to ask about the j/s. By all accounts it has got its act together, and I'd certainly like to fly with them again.

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