As it was said on another forum, the 345's would be used on routes that are already a stretch for AC's 343's aka: BEY, DEL, and NRT
1. BEY, if it is approved or not should not be a stretch at all for the A340-300 or even the 767-300ER from anywhere in the east.
2. Is it really going to be that much better operating costs for an A345 than a 744 to justify the increased costs of introducing a new type of airframe to the fleet? It just doesn't make sense to me. No other airlines are using the A340-500 for anything but ULH flights because it is a very, very heavy aircraft (compared to the seating capacity). The numbers don't lie:
Basic Operating Empty Weights:
747-400: 180,985 kg
A340-500: 170,400 kg
Those had better
be high-yielding pax or else it is a very uneconomical proposition considering the 747-400 would be seating at least 120 more pax.
The only reason I can see for AC
to get the A340-500 is if they have plans to ditch the 74Es and replace them with A340-600s and either cut down their freight operations to Europe or use another dedicated freighter aircraft type.
If there is any kind of Airbus that AC
should be considering right now for route expansion or replacement it is the A330-200.
(edited for typos)
[Edited 2004-03-07 06:57:56]