User avatar
PM
Topic Author
Posts: 4837
Joined: Wed Feb 09, 2005 5:05 pm

A345/A346 Problems: The Airlines Speak

Wed May 04, 2005 2:58 pm

Many of you will already have read the current issue of Flight International. For those of you who haven't, it includes a very interesting feature on the introduction of the A345/A346 and the problems various airlines encountered.

I've read here on A.Net countless statements about airline X or Y having huge/minor/real/imaginary problems with their A345s or A346s and I've read an equal number of rebuttals. Many posts (on either side) have appeared ill-informed and it's hard to know who to believe.

So it's a breath of fresh air to read Virgin, Lufthansa, Airbus, Rolls-Royce and others - who actually know talking (reasonably) frankly about the issues. I recommend it.

(But it's frustrating that SAA declined to comment and that will no doubt re-ignite the speculation and rumour-mongering.)
 
777ER
Crew
Posts: 9863
Joined: Fri Dec 19, 2003 5:04 pm

RE: A345/A346 Problems: The Airlines Speak

Wed May 04, 2005 3:18 pm

Sounds interesting, finally the REAL storys from the airlines about their A345/6 fleet. Could anyone who has the latest Flight International able to post some of the info from the airlines? even if its a shortened version of what is in the magazine.
Head Forum Moderator
moderators@airliners.net for all Moderator contact
 
monteycarlos
Posts: 2018
Joined: Sun Mar 20, 2005 5:16 pm

RE: A345/A346 Problems: The Airlines Speak

Wed May 04, 2005 4:05 pm

Yeah I second 773ER's comment! Can someone post the article for us to read?
It's a beautiful night to fly like a phoenix...
 
GQfluffy
Posts: 3072
Joined: Tue Apr 19, 2005 1:25 pm

RE: A345/A346 Problems: The Airlines Speak

Wed May 04, 2005 4:24 pm

I'll 3rd 777ER. I'd like to know what I smell and what I see before I wipe my shoe on the grass.

fluffy

[Edited 2005-05-04 09:31:07]
This isn't where I parked my car...
 
Udo
Posts: 4288
Joined: Tue May 18, 1999 5:16 pm

RE: A345/A346 Problems: The Airlines Speak

Wed May 04, 2005 4:26 pm

PM,

why didn't you give us a short summary?


Regards
Udo
Me & You & a Plane Named Blue...
 
User avatar
sebolino
Posts: 3495
Joined: Tue May 29, 2001 11:26 pm

RE: A345/A346 Problems: The Airlines Speak

Wed May 04, 2005 4:28 pm

Quoting PM (Thread starter):
So it's a breath of fresh air to read Virgin, Lufthansa, Airbus, Rolls-Royce and others - who actually know talking (reasonably) frankly about the issues. I recommend it.

???

Hey, please inform us !
 
777ER
Crew
Posts: 9863
Joined: Fri Dec 19, 2003 5:04 pm

RE: A345/A346 Problems: The Airlines Speak

Wed May 04, 2005 4:29 pm

Quoting GQfluffy (Reply 4):
I'll 3rd 773ER

I'm 777ER, not 773ER  Smile
Head Forum Moderator
moderators@airliners.net for all Moderator contact
 
GQfluffy
Posts: 3072
Joined: Tue Apr 19, 2005 1:25 pm

RE: A345/A346 Problems: The Airlines Speak

Wed May 04, 2005 4:30 pm

Ooop. I just went with Monteycarlos....there....how's that?

fluffy
This isn't where I parked my car...
 
User avatar
PanAm_DC10
Crew
Posts: 3805
Joined: Wed Aug 23, 2000 7:37 am

RE: A345/A346 Problems: The Airlines Speak

Wed May 04, 2005 4:31 pm

Quoting PM (Thread starter):
I've read here on A.Net countless statements about airline X or Y having huge/minor/real/imaginary problems with their A345s or A346s and I've read an equal number of rebuttals. Many posts (on either side) have appeared ill-informed and it's hard to know who to believe.

So true. Last year, in particular, saw many a thread about which airline may or may not have been having problems with A345/A346 but as time went by each airline did seem to speak, except SAA, as you pointed out.

Iberia; The debate raged after their decision over the 777 and with EIS some on this site went into overdrive on how the 346, was for IB, a politically motivated disaster. Ironic that they ordered 3 more as a UFO at the time.

Virgin; Yes, Again we all heard how the A346 was not meeting their requirements so Virgin spoke and ordered up to 26!

Be good to see the article but some airlines that have "reportedly" encountered EIS or service difficulties seem to have spoken in the best manner possible.

Regards
Ask the impossible to achieve the best possible
 
columba
Posts: 5045
Joined: Fri Dec 10, 2004 10:12 pm

RE: A345/A346 Problems: The Airlines Speak

Wed May 04, 2005 4:48 pm

ATWONLINE: intersting the remarks of Buchholz regarding the A346 in the middle of the article

...........
Lufthansa sees 737 Classics flying beyond 2010, eyes 747 Advanced
Tuesday May 3, 2005
Lufthansa is in no hurry to replace its fleet of 60 737-300s/-500s even though the aircraft have an average age of 14 years, Senior VP-Corporate Fleet Nico Buchholz told ATWOnline.

"From a technical perspective, we don't have to talk about a fleet change now," Buchholz said, adding that Lufthansa would prefer to see "what will happen with the A320, which is already on the market for 16 years. . .and what Boeing intends to do with its 737NGs." Lufthansa plans to operate the 737s for at least several more years because successors to the A320 and 737NG are not expected until 2012-15, he said. "But with a big 737 fleet, there is always a fluctuation of aircraft."

Lufthansa also is studying the future 747 Advanced to supplement its A380s. "We have ordered the A380 which has to deliver to us around 15% lower seat-mile costs compared to our current 747-400s. The operating costs of a 747ADV, [if it is launched] have to be between a 777-300 and the A380," he said. The airline, which ordered 15 A380s and holds five options, is expecting no delays for delivery of its first aircraft by the end of 2007.

Buchholz said Lufthansa is happy with the performance of its A340-600s, of which it has 10, discounting industry rumors that the aircraft has had its share of teething troubles. "The fact that we ordered seven more A340-600s shows that we are quite satisfied with this aircraft," he said.

He sees no urgent need to make a decision for new types like the 787 or the proposed A350, which could replace A340-300s. "Our oldest A340-300 is now around 10 years old. So we have ample time to look for a replacement," he said. Nevertheless, LH would prefer the larger 787-9 or A350-9 versions of the aircraft.

The current 377-aircraft fleet including Lufthansa Passage, Lufthansa Cargo, CityLine and Air Dolomiti is still younger than 10 years on average. At year end, the fleet was listed on the books with a value of €7.3 billion ($9.38 billion) including spare engines. Most of the aircraft are owned by Lufthansa with just 30 on operating leases and 25 via finance lease arrangements.


by Kurt Hofmann
It will forever be a McDonnell Douglas MD 80 , Boeing MD 80 sounds so wrong
 
777ER
Crew
Posts: 9863
Joined: Fri Dec 19, 2003 5:04 pm

RE: A345/A346 Problems: The Airlines Speak

Wed May 04, 2005 4:55 pm

Quoting Columba (Reply 10):

Well LH is ahppy with their A346s, so that kills the storys that LH is unhappy with the A346s
Head Forum Moderator
moderators@airliners.net for all Moderator contact
 
LAXintl
Posts: 20183
Joined: Wed May 24, 2000 12:12 pm

RE: A345/A346 Problems: The Airlines Speak

Wed May 04, 2005 5:15 pm

Here is a brief little synopsis. Not all bad.

Virgin -
Suffered most as the carriers service entry date proceeded all other operators.

To build crew time and experience type was introduced summer of 2002 on relatively short LHR-JFK route. Passenger bookings were based on smaller A340-300 to allow easy substitutions.

Part of the reason for choosing the -600 was commonality with the -300, however in practice much of this failed to materialize. Aircraft has lots of new systems and suppliers.

Dispatch reliability the first year was not acceptable. Airbus failed in its goal to deliver a "near mature" aircraft.

Virgins goal of 98.5% technical dispatch reliability is still not being met by fleet on a consistent basis.
Issues of concern with type includes multiple IDG failures, fuel system software faults, galley chillers, engine blades rubbing on casing.

Passenger, cargo performance impressive allowing airline to carry 20tons of cargo plus 306 pax on LHR-HKG route.

Happy with fuel consumption and performance, including sprintness compared to -300 performance.


Cathay -
Dispatch reliability "acceptable", however can be skewed with such a small fleet of only 3 airframe.
Generally happy with fleet, however declines to get into details as carrier is in the midst of selection for additional long haul aircraft


Iberia -
Better passenger/cargo capacity aircraft on Iberia network compared to carriers B747 fleet.

Generally pleased with aircraft, however conceding they had hoped for better dispatch reliability from the start. Overtime however numbers are improving as service bulletins and modifications take effect.

Issues with fuel system software, lavatory system and "several" early engine removals are mentioned.


Singapore -
Refuses to detail problems or point fingers, however acknowledges it has had some service entry problems with its -500s.

Given demands of ultra long haul ops "satisfied" with dispatch reliability.

Support from Airbus and Rolls Royce is good.

Largest issue has to do with keeping crews qualified on type. Ops two daily short haul SIN-CGK rotations along with simulator time to ensure crews meet required one landing per 28 days.


Lufthansa -
Aircraft performed "much better then we hoped for". Aware of many issues Virgin experienced.

Some issues with fuel system and water dispenser system.

Had 3 unplanned engine removals including one inflight shutdown due blade tip-rubbing problems on Trent.

Slightly higher fuel consumption than calculated, however this could be result of CG issues involving location of crew rest module.

Software upgrades and training has brought the -600 reliability of the system is in line with the rest of Lufthansa’s fleet.
From the desert to the sea, to all of Southern California
 
keesje
Posts: 8856
Joined: Thu Apr 12, 2001 2:08 am

RE: A345/A346 Problems: The Airlines Speak

Wed May 04, 2005 5:22 pm

So their basicly isn't much of a problem apart from the aircraft / engines maturing ?

 Sad
"Never mistake motion for action." Ernest Hemingway
 
User avatar
PM
Topic Author
Posts: 4837
Joined: Wed Feb 09, 2005 5:05 pm

RE: A345/A346 Problems: The Airlines Speak

Wed May 04, 2005 5:26 pm

Quoting Udo (Reply 5):
PM, why didn't you give us a short summary?

Fair enough. The trouble is, that it isn't a short article! It's one of those pieces that FLIGHT do well that includes a number of related items.

God knows what copyright laws I'm infringing but here are the most relevant bits.

Airbus concedes that the A340-500/600 family had a less than perfect introduction, and lays much of the blame on the aircraft’s ambitious development programme, and partly on the late changes made to some systems.

Poor dispatch reliability ... more system changes than originally expected ...

The new galley cooling system developed for the -500/600 ... quite a few difficulties with early operators ... had to undergo a significant upgrade.

The fuel system ... ongoing problems with spurious fault messages.

The fault has was a software problem in the FCMC – the computer that controls the fuel system – and the command and monitoring ‘com/mon’ logic.

The integrated drive generator (IDG) has suffered problems when the oil is extremely cold (ie -30-40°C).

... dispatch reliability target of 98.5% by the end of the year, compared with the current level of around 98%, an improvement on the initial 18-24 months in service, when it averaged 97-97.5%.

Five airlines tell about their experiences – not all plain-sailing.

There are now 58 A340-500/600s in service (16 -500s and 42 -600s) with nine airlines and one government in Africa, Asia, Europe, the Middle East and North America. All current airline operators were invited to participate in this report, although Air Canada, China Eastern Airlines, Emirates and South African Airways declined to be interviewed.

Virgin ... a fairly bumpy ride with the new quad-jet during the introductory period ... Part of the reason for choosing the -600 was the anticipated commonality benefits with the -300, but in practice some of these have failed to materialise. The -600 was “sold to us as a derivative aircraft, but it is not – there are lots of new systems and suppliers”.

The aim was a technically mature aircraft at entry into service ... didn't happen.

Virgin set a target with Airbus at the start of 2004 that the aircraft needed to achieve a basic on-time performance of 98.5% ... not yet there.

Virgin says Airbus issuing service bulletins to address problems on the aircraft "almost faster than we can do them.''

the fuel system ... unreliable ... not putting the fuel into the right tanks

R-R 53,000-56,000lb thrust (236-249kN) Trent 500 ... some problems ... oil degradation ... compressor blade tips rubbing on the engine casing as clearance was too tight ... Trent 500’s fuel burn very close to book

flight operations ... the -600 has been well received ... the aircraft’s cargo-carrying capability that has really impressed.

potential problem ... early in the A340-600 flight-test programme ... flexing of the forward fuselage during turbulence. However, this has proved less of an issue than feared in service.

Virgin comfortable with the fuel consumption of its A340-600 fleet

Cathay ... generally satisfied with the fleet’s performance, but declines to discuss or even acknowledge any potential problems because it is now evaluating new ultra-long-haul aircraft.

Cathay: acceptance by the passengers and crew have been good.

Iberia is generally pleased with the performance of the -600, but has shared some of the early problems suffered by other operators. In the beginning ... expected to have better dispatch reliability ... fuel software glitches ... some problems with the A340-600’s toilet system

SIA acknowledges it has experienced problems with its A340-500 fleet, but refuses to detail what they are, saying it does not want to point fingers.

SIA ... satisfied with dispatch reliability ... problems encountered have been normal for the introduction of new aircraft types … very seldom has it been pulled out for AOG

A340-500 has been received well by pilots with and without Airbus experience. “The pilots are generally very im­­pres­sed. The technology is very advanced. Compared with the -300 series the performance is much better and the handling is also much better.”

Lufthansa ... relatively trouble-free introduction ... generally pleased with the performance of the Trent 500, but has had three unscheduled removals – mainly due to the blade tip-rubbing problems – and one in-flight shut-down ... due to an electronic engine control system problem ... slightly higher fuel consumption than calculated.
 
User avatar
PM
Topic Author
Posts: 4837
Joined: Wed Feb 09, 2005 5:05 pm

RE: A345/A346 Problems: The Airlines Speak

Wed May 04, 2005 5:31 pm

A point that is made in the article is that both Virgin and Lufthansa have gone on to re-order the A346 so they're obviously not dissatisfied with it. My reading is that these are models that have experienced more than their share of teething troubles (and they aren't over yet) but that's what they are: teething troubles and not major design faults.

Good summary, Laxintl. Thanks.
 
astuteman
Posts: 6346
Joined: Mon Jan 24, 2005 7:50 pm

RE: A345/A346 Problems: The Airlines Speak

Wed May 04, 2005 5:31 pm

Quoting Laxintl (Reply 12):
Happy with fuel consumption and performance, including sprintness compared to -300 performance.



Quoting Laxintl (Reply 12):
Lufthansa -
Aircraft performed "much better then we hoped for".

Thanks for the excellent synopsis, Laxintl - saved me from doing it. It's a great article. Recommended reading for all.

What fascinated me is that the PERFORMANCE issues for A345/6 were ALL based around dispatch rates, reliability, and systems immaturity, and not fuel burn/economy/payload.

EVERY carrier that commented on performance in terms of economy, fuel burn, payload, etc stated that the aircraft either met it's contracted performance, or bettered it (see above).

I've seen so many posts on here stating that no Airbus EVER made its design performance figures on start-up, that I don't read them anymore.

At last some genuine, informed, commentary from the guys that run them.

It's also good to see the universal credit for both Airbus and RR in working so hard to satisfy the Airline's needs.
 
Udo
Posts: 4288
Joined: Tue May 18, 1999 5:16 pm

RE: A345/A346 Problems: The Airlines Speak

Wed May 04, 2005 5:35 pm

Thanks PM!

It seems there weren't really serious issues with the aircraft - in contrast to permanent negative rumours on this board ("disaster" and so on). Three of the affected airlines placed follow orders for the type which speaks for itself.


Regards
Udo
Me & You & a Plane Named Blue...
 
User avatar
SQ773
Posts: 193
Joined: Fri Apr 15, 2005 7:24 pm

RE: A345/A346 Problems: The Airlines Speak

Wed May 04, 2005 5:36 pm

Quoting Keesje (Reply 13):
So their basicly isn't much of a problem apart from the aircraft / engines maturing ?

I absolutely agree with you.

What is really true is that the sales of the 346 and the 345 are not as good as expected, specially for the 345.
I think that the 345 will end up being a kind of Airbus extravaganzza. The longest range aircraft in the world !! So, what ?? ( Until the 777LR came, of course with more range, 2 engines, lower seat -mile cost, and the excellent background of the first family of 777 )
 
pictues
Posts: 174
Joined: Tue Nov 09, 2004 11:41 am

RE: A345/A346 Problems: The Airlines Speak

Wed May 04, 2005 5:38 pm

Well Air Canada has spoken, they decided they didn't want to wait for the -500's to mature with only two anyways and have now switched their entire Widebody fleet with B777's and B787's, of course that is ordered. By 2010, if it goes as planned there will be no A340's and possibly no A330's in Air Canada's fleet, although I think the A330's will start to be replaced when Boeing delivers the B787-900 as that is the A330's replacment aircraft adn acording to Boeing website they don't plan on starting delivery of the B787-900 until 2012, subject to change of course.
 
ha763
Posts: 3168
Joined: Mon Jan 06, 2003 5:36 pm

RE: A345/A346 Problems: The Airlines Speak

Wed May 04, 2005 5:42 pm

With the 773ER nearing its 1st anniversary of service with AF, I'd like to see a similar analysis for the 773ER and then one later for the 772LR since it doesn't enter into service until 2006. AF has publically praised their aircraft and I don't recall them saying any negative things. However, I wonder about JAL and ANA. They've been flying there 773ERs for awhile now and I wonder how they are doing.
 
User avatar
PM
Topic Author
Posts: 4837
Joined: Wed Feb 09, 2005 5:05 pm

RE: A345/A346 Problems: The Airlines Speak

Wed May 04, 2005 5:49 pm

Quoting Ha763 (Reply 20):
With the 773ER nearing its 1st anniversary of service with AF, I'd like to see a similar analysis for the 773ER

No doubt FLIGHT will do exactly that later this year or in 2006.
 
Udo
Posts: 4288
Joined: Tue May 18, 1999 5:16 pm

RE: A345/A346 Problems: The Airlines Speak

Wed May 04, 2005 5:50 pm

Quoting SQ773 (Reply 18):
What is really true is that the sales of the 346 and the 345 are not as good as expected, specially for the 345.

How do you know who expected what?


Regards
Udo
Me & You & a Plane Named Blue...
 
User avatar
SQ773
Posts: 193
Joined: Fri Apr 15, 2005 7:24 pm

RE: A345/A346 Problems: The Airlines Speak

Wed May 04, 2005 6:00 pm

Quoting Udo (Reply 22):
How do you know who expected what?

Common sense based on information that WE all can get from many many sources, in this case Airbus mainly.
 
User avatar
PM
Topic Author
Posts: 4837
Joined: Wed Feb 09, 2005 5:05 pm

RE: A345/A346 Problems: The Airlines Speak

Wed May 04, 2005 6:06 pm

Quoting SQ773 (Reply 18):
What is really true is that the sales of the 346 and the 345 are not as good as expected

I think it's quite widely agreed that both the A345 and 772LR are niche aircraft and that neither will ever gain large orders. So far the 345 has been quite well-received by EK and SQ with TG just starting operations. Etihad will follow. AC have dropped their two as part of what seems to be a wholescale re-think of their long-haul plans. Meanwhile, the A346 seems to have gained a respectable list of orders - and repeat orders. Virgin, Lufthansa, Emirates and so on aren't fools.

The 773ER and 772LR may be the flavour of the month and they are certainly winning orders but these things often go in phases. It's not that long ago that Boeing were down in the dumps because Iberia and then Thai chose the A346 over the 773ER.

And EK, let's not forget, may be the biggest customer for the 773ER (30) but they have also ordered 28 A345/346s. Last time I looked, Airbus had 110 orders for the A346 from 13 airline customers. They're doing OK.
 
monteycarlos
Posts: 2018
Joined: Sun Mar 20, 2005 5:16 pm

RE: A345/A346 Problems: The Airlines Speak

Wed May 04, 2005 6:16 pm

Quoting 777ER (Reply 7):
I'm 777ER, not 773ER

My bad, a long day at uni dealing with figures and I am just about ready to pass out... but Liverpool won so my day hasn't been all bad!

Quoting GQfluffy (Reply 8):
Ooop. I just went with Monteycarlos....there....how's that?

Yeah my bad!

Quoting PANAM_DC10 (Reply 9):
Be good to see the article but some airlines that have "reportedly" encountered EIS or service difficulties seem to have spoken in the best manner possible.

I think thats the article on small level... its just dealing with how the airlines have integrated it into their fleets and how things have been going, not really concerned with the performance of the aircraft in conventional terms.

Quoting Laxintl (Reply 12):
Here is a brief little synopsis. Not all bad.

Cheers Laxintl!

Quoting PM (Reply 14):
Airbus concedes that the A340-500/600 family had a less than perfect introduction, and lays much of the blame on the aircraft’s ambitious development programme, and partly on the late changes made to some systems.

No plane is without its issues to start with, whether they be big or small. These weren't hastily developed, but they weren't faultlessly designed either (in terms of intial operations). Seems like the biggest gripe was getting the planes serviced by Airbus.

Quoting PM (Reply 15):
A point that is made in the article is that both Virgin and Lufthansa have gone on to re-order the A346 so they're obviously not dissatisfied with it.

Very true PM. The article wasn't there to say that the airlines were dissatisfied, merely to suggest what the issues were and I am guessing how they were overcome?

Quoting Astuteman (Reply 16):
What fascinated me is that the PERFORMANCE issues for A345/6 were ALL based around dispatch rates, reliability, and systems immaturity, and not fuel burn/economy/payload.

Not usual but I guess performance from an airline ops perspective.

Quoting SQ773 (Reply 18):
What is really true is that the sales of the 346 and the 345 are not as good as expected, specially for the 345.
I think that the 345 will end up being a kind of Airbus extravaganzza. The longest range aircraft in the world !! So, what ?? ( Until the 777LR came, of course with more range, 2 engines, lower seat -mile cost, and the excellent background of the first family of 777 )

I think this statement is out of place a little. For example, the article has barely any mention of sales from what I hear. I mean fair enough, they haven't sold like hotcakes (and if someone can explain the whole hotcake thing it would be good) but thats not the point. As many will tell you the 772LR and the A345 are niche aircraft and neither is likely to sell anymore than 100 combined, and that is a best case scenario. The 772LR may prove to sell a lot better but its still not for everyone to go and buy.

Quoting Ha763 (Reply 20):
However, I wonder about JAL and ANA. They've been flying there 773ERs for awhile now and I wonder how they are doing.

Yeah, I personally wonder if either airline have taken them outside 3000nm miles yet... they really need the ER version when they're operating NRT-SIN!

Quoting Udo (Reply 22):
How do you know who expected what?

Yeah, wouldn't mind a source for that comment either. And the discussion was going pretty well to that point!
It's a beautiful night to fly like a phoenix...
 
jwenting
Posts: 9973
Joined: Mon Apr 23, 2001 10:12 pm

RE: A345/A346 Problems: The Airlines Speak

Wed May 04, 2005 6:17 pm

Quoting PM (Reply 15):
A point that is made in the article is that both Virgin and Lufthansa have gone on to re-order the A346 so they're obviously not dissatisfied with it. My reading is that these are models that have experienced more than their share of teething troubles (and they aren't over yet) but that's what they are: teething troubles and not major design faults.

Correct. That's what I read here as well and that's what the OP meant to say and was misunderstood (possibly purposely) by some people (both Airbus lovers and Airbus antagonists) to reinforce their beliefs.

It seems the problems are now well enough solved to give the operators enough confidence in the future of the design to risk expanding their fleets.
I wish I were flying
 
Udo
Posts: 4288
Joined: Tue May 18, 1999 5:16 pm

RE: A345/A346 Problems: The Airlines Speak

Wed May 04, 2005 6:43 pm

Quoting SQ773 (Reply 23):
Common sense based on information that WE all can get from many many sources, in this case Airbus mainly.

Common sense based on which sources? I have never seen Airbus saying "we want to sell 200 units of X and 300 units of Y" about the A345/346. A346 sales are not bad at all - and the A345 is a niche aircraft, never been intended to break sales records.


Regards
Udo
Me & You & a Plane Named Blue...
 
Planesmart
Posts: 1766
Joined: Sun Dec 05, 2004 3:18 am

RE: A345/A346 Problems: The Airlines Speak

Wed May 04, 2005 7:50 pm

Performance guarantees for long range aircraft in terms of payload / range, fuel consumption, etc are usually more detailed and more onerous than for shorter range aircraft. For example, contracts may even specify particular routes / payloads / prevailing winds / numbers of days flyable.

The A34 series has been purchased by some of the toughest negotiators in the industry, who demand and get some of the most detailed performance guarantees backed up by harsh penalties.

If the A34 was under-performing to the extent some on a.net have previously claimed, A would have probably ceased manufacturing, because the penalty payments would have been so great, airlines would have been able to cancel orders without penalty, and there would have been no repeat and new orders, as the word spread.

This is a niche range, which after allowing for cycles and hours, presently enjoys the lowest depreciation rate of any commercial airliner currently in production.

Hopefully the report cards for the A38 and 787 will be as good.
 
QFA001
Posts: 651
Joined: Sat May 27, 2000 6:47 am

RE: A345/A346 Problems: The Airlines Speak

Wed May 04, 2005 8:15 pm

Quoting Monteycarlos (Reply 25):
No plane is without its issues to start with, whether they be big or small.

I want to use Montey's words a little out-of-context here to raise a point: Airbus guaranteed that despatch reliability of the A340-500/600 would be 98.5% after 12 months service and 99% thereafter. It was one of the ways that Airbus decided to attack ETOPS. That is, by making reliability a non-issue.

Nearly three years since EIS, and the new A340 still isn't meeting 98.5%. One particular airline has a rate in the low 90s. Another is said to be receiving penalty payments for higher-than-guarantee fuel burn.

FI did a good job on the article, but they didn't come up with the scoop. If anyone had looked at the R-R rate of 0.069 engine removals per 1,000h then they would have seen an unusually high rate for an engine that is supposed to be a derivative (ie. the T500 has a scaled T800 core and T700-sized fan). Furthermore, it's not in the interest of airlines operating the aircraft to speak too candidly about too many defects because it can affect the inherent value of their fleet. However, it is 100% certain that the new A340s have not met their promised performance targets.

So, may it be said that all new airplanes have their issues. The new A340s are supposed to be derivatives, along with their engines. Yet, they are still not performing even to initial guarantees. Understandably, some airlines are aggreived to have not received what they were promised. One, in fact, agreed last week to replace its new A340s with B777s...

Quoting Udo (Reply 27):
I have never seen Airbus saying "we want to sell 200 units of X and 300 units of Y" about the A345/346.

Airbus says it can get 50% of any market they are in. So, if you look at their General Market Forecast you can very much ascertain how many airplanes Airbus thinks they will sell in a particular segment.
 
Planesmart
Posts: 1766
Joined: Sun Dec 05, 2004 3:18 am

RE: A345/A346 Problems: The Airlines Speak

Wed May 04, 2005 8:23 pm

QFA001

'One particular airline has a rate in the low 90s. Another is said to be receiving penalty payments for higher-than-guarantee fuel burn.'

Please name those airlines.
 
monteycarlos
Posts: 2018
Joined: Sun Mar 20, 2005 5:16 pm

RE: A345/A346 Problems: The Airlines Speak

Wed May 04, 2005 8:24 pm

Quoting QFA001 (Reply 29):
However, it is 100% certain that the new A340s have not met their promised performance targets.

Fair comment.

Quoting QFA001 (Reply 29):
So, may it be said that all new airplanes have their issues.

No disagreement here!

Quoting QFA001 (Reply 29):
One, in fact, agreed last week to replace its new A340s with B777s...

LOL. Who?

I think AC didn't really have much to go by when ordering only 2 of these, simply too many costs to spread over the two frames.
It's a beautiful night to fly like a phoenix...
 
QFA001
Posts: 651
Joined: Sat May 27, 2000 6:47 am

RE: A345/A346 Problems: The Airlines Speak

Wed May 04, 2005 8:33 pm

Quoting PlaneSmart (Reply 30):
Please name those airlines.

If I was going to express the airlines involved, I would have done so originally.

Quoting Monteycarlos (Reply 31):
LOL. Who?

I think AC didn't really have much to go by when ordering only 2 of these, simply too many costs to spread over the two frames.

The cost isn't spread over two frames for AC. First, AC has a sizeable fleet of A330s and earlier model A340s. Second, AC intended to buy three -600s and had options for more (although these had been deferred). Even if it were true, it doesn't take rocket science to figure out what fleet costs are going to approximate over a period of time.
 
Planesmart
Posts: 1766
Joined: Sun Dec 05, 2004 3:18 am

RE: A345/A346 Problems: The Airlines Speak

Wed May 04, 2005 8:41 pm

The terms performance guarantees and penalties are used as if these are generic, with the same guarantees and penalties applying for an aircraft model irrespective of airline. This is not the case.

For example, an airline buying / leasing only a small number of a type, will, unless the sales team have had a mental abberration, get a lower despatch guarantee and quite possibly a lower penalty for breach, than a volume purchaser.

For example, the performance guarantees & penalties for Air Mauritius v Singapore would be significantly different.

Remember also that launch discounts are compensation for risk, which includes lower performance, across the board. For example, Singapore would expect and get far tougher performance guarantees and penalties for a mature model than if it was a launch customer.

Major component suppliers also have performance guarantees and penalties written into the master contract, including engines & electronic equipment.
 
QFA001
Posts: 651
Joined: Sat May 27, 2000 6:47 am

RE: A345/A346 Problems: The Airlines Speak

Wed May 04, 2005 8:48 pm

Quoting PlaneSmart (Reply 33):
The terms performance guarantees and penalties are used as if these are generic, with the same guarantees and penalties applying for an aircraft model irrespective of airline. This is not the case.

I don't need a lesson on contracts. I specified my belief that an airline is receiving missed fuel-burn penalty payments. I never said that all the airlines were receiving this.
 
Udo
Posts: 4288
Joined: Tue May 18, 1999 5:16 pm

RE: A345/A346 Problems: The Airlines Speak

Wed May 04, 2005 9:08 pm

Quoting QFA001 (Reply 29):
One particular airline has a rate in the low 90s. Another is said to be receiving penalty payments for higher-than-guarantee fuel burn.

The big mystery once more again...  Confused

Quoting QFA001 (Reply 29):
One, in fact, agreed last week to replace its new A340s with B777s...

AC ordered a large package of B787 and B777 to replace all their B767, A330, A343 and A345. In that whole fleet simplification process two single aircraft don't play a major role. Even if they performed better than expected the whole package would have been a more attractive alternative.

Quoting QFA001 (Reply 32):
If I was going to express the airlines involved, I would have done so originally.

Thank god the rumours may continue on a.net...  relieved 


Regards
Udo
Me & You & a Plane Named Blue...
 
avek00
Posts: 3158
Joined: Mon Oct 25, 2004 5:56 am

RE: A345/A346 Problems: The Airlines Speak

Wed May 04, 2005 9:14 pm

At least this article should help to scuttle the starry-eyed notions of Airbus fleet commonality that so many a.netters cling to.
Live life to the fullest.
 
monteycarlos
Posts: 2018
Joined: Sun Mar 20, 2005 5:16 pm

RE: A345/A346 Problems: The Airlines Speak

Wed May 04, 2005 9:16 pm

Quoting QFA001 (Reply 32):
The cost isn't spread over two frames for AC. First, AC has a sizeable fleet of A330s and earlier model A340s. Second, AC intended to buy three -600s and had options for more (although these had been deferred). Even if it were true, it doesn't take rocket science to figure out what fleet costs are going to approximate over a period of time.

I didn't mean the costs of the aircraft... I meant the integration costs of installing this aircraft into the fleet. It is a fixed cost, so the more frames you spread it over the greater revenue making ability the aircraft has depending on the variable costs and the other fixed costs.
It's a beautiful night to fly like a phoenix...
 
Udo
Posts: 4288
Joined: Tue May 18, 1999 5:16 pm

RE: A345/A346 Problems: The Airlines Speak

Wed May 04, 2005 9:20 pm

Quoting Avek00 (Reply 36):
At least this article should help to scuttle the starry-eyed notions of Airbus fleet commonality that so many a.netters cling to.

Just because one airline does not benefit from commonality it's not a general rule. Other airlines have many times expressed the contrary.


Regards
Udo
Me & You & a Plane Named Blue...
 
Planesmart
Posts: 1766
Joined: Sun Dec 05, 2004 3:18 am

RE: A345/A346 Problems: The Airlines Speak

Wed May 04, 2005 9:23 pm

QFA001

'I specified my belief that an airline is receiving missed fuel-burn penalty payments.'

'One particular airline has a rate in the low 90s.'

Surely the airline with a rate in the low 90's is information in the public domain (you don't preface this with 'believe' so presumably it's fact), so why not name the airline, or at least tell us where the data can be viewed?

I have no problem reading your beliefs, just be a little more specific. If you believe an airline is receiving penalty payments, tell us who you think it is, and why you think it.

Naming the airline/s will allow staff members on this site to confirm or deny what you say, and encourages healthy debate.
 
QFA001
Posts: 651
Joined: Sat May 27, 2000 6:47 am

RE: A345/A346 Problems: The Airlines Speak

Wed May 04, 2005 9:35 pm

Quoting Udo (Reply 35):
The big mystery once more again...

Give it a rest, Udo. As I've said to you before, your source is me. If you can't handle that, then you can go piss your cynicism in a cup.

Quoting Udo (Reply 35):
AC ordered a large package of B787 and B777 to replace all their B767, A330, A343 and A345. In that whole fleet simplification process two single aircraft don't play a major role. Even if they performed better than expected the whole package would have been a more attractive alternative.

I also don't need a lesson on aircraft economics.

There is one piece of evidence that I will turn your attention to that is available in the public forum. Why do you think Robert Milton made specific mention of the reliability of the 2-engine configuration compared to certain 4-engine types?
 
monteycarlos
Posts: 2018
Joined: Sun Mar 20, 2005 5:16 pm

RE: A345/A346 Problems: The Airlines Speak

Wed May 04, 2005 9:42 pm

Quoting QFA001 (Reply 40):
I also don't need a lesson on aircraft economics.

You don't need one or you don't want one?
It's a beautiful night to fly like a phoenix...
 
QFA001
Posts: 651
Joined: Sat May 27, 2000 6:47 am

RE: A345/A346 Problems: The Airlines Speak

Wed May 04, 2005 9:54 pm

Quoting Monteycarlos (Reply 37):
I didn't mean the costs of the aircraft... I meant the integration costs of installing this aircraft into the fleet. It is a fixed cost, so the more frames you spread it over the greater revenue making ability the aircraft has depending on the variable costs and the other fixed costs.

I know what you meant. As I said, AC had a fleet of older A330/340s that the -500s were delivered to operate alongside. Therefore, the cost of integration -- including the fixed costs -- is not based on two frames.

Also, the revenue increase by adding airplanes is more or less linear. It is only the cost of the operation that exponentially reduces with economy of scale. However, I think you meant 'margin' rather than 'revenue'.

Quoting PlaneSmart (Reply 39):
Surely the airline with a rate in the low 90's is information in the public domain (you don't preface this with 'believe' so presumably it's fact), so why not name the airline, or at least tell us where the data can be viewed?

Fine. I believe that one airline has a despatch reliability in the low 90s. AFAIK, there is no publicly accessible web site that details any OEM data on reliability rates, let alone broken down by airline. If I knew of a site that did so, I would have no problem providing a link.

Quote:
Naming the airline/s will allow staff members on this site to confirm or deny what you say, and encourages healthy debate.

PlaneSmart, you're a clever chap. I told you once I'm not going to mention the airlines. I'm now telling you twice.

Quoting Monteycarlos (Reply 41):
You don't need one or you don't want one?

 Yeah sure
 
Udo
Posts: 4288
Joined: Tue May 18, 1999 5:16 pm

RE: A345/A346 Problems: The Airlines Speak

Wed May 04, 2005 10:02 pm

Quoting QFA001 (Reply 40):
Give it a rest, Udo. As I've said to you before, your source is me.

Permanent repetition makes it no better to claim things without the slightest proof...  melting 

Quoting QFA001 (Reply 40):
If you can't handle that, then you can go piss your cynicism in a cup.

Hmmmm, regarding that rather emotional reaction, I somehow get the impression certain people can't handle being asked simple questions...  scratchchin 

Quoting QFA001 (Reply 40):
I also don't need a lesson on aircraft economics.

Oh I'm sorry, didn't know you take such a simple comment as a "lesson"...  Wink

Quoting QFA001 (Reply 40):
Why do you think Robert Milton made specific mention of the reliability of the 2-engine configuration compared to certain 4-engine types?

I didn't question that. I was just talking about two airframes not being a major aspect when a fleet of more than 60 aircraft and various types needs to be replaced.


Regards
Udo
Me & You & a Plane Named Blue...
 
User avatar
sebolino
Posts: 3495
Joined: Tue May 29, 2001 11:26 pm

RE: A345/A346 Problems: The Airlines Speak

Wed May 04, 2005 10:15 pm

Quoting QFA001 (Reply 32):
If I was going to express the airlines involved, I would have done so originally.

And we are supposed to believe you just because it's you ?
 
NAV20
Posts: 8453
Joined: Thu Nov 27, 2003 3:25 pm

RE: A345/A346 Problems: The Airlines Speak

Wed May 04, 2005 10:37 pm

Thanks to those who put the info. from the article on. Reading it all through, what struck me was that the commonest complaint seemed to be problems with the engines (which, of course, Airbus don't make). Probably a proportion of the dispatch-reliability problems were engine-related too.

Strikes me therefore that Airbus have just been plain unlucky with this one. But, that said, the aeroplane does look a bit 'doomed' in competition with the Triple Seven - if only because the airlines are likely to feel that two reliable big engines are probably a better bet (and, overall, a smaller maintenance problem) than four dodgy medium-sized ones.

That doesn't appear to have been Airbus' fault - except that, in my view, they should maybe have seen the implications of ETOPs sooner than they did.
"Once you have flown, you will walk the earth with your eyes turned skywards.." - Leonardo da Vinci
 
Toulouse
Posts: 2193
Joined: Thu Apr 28, 2005 4:30 pm

RE: A345/A346 Problems: The Airlines Speak

Wed May 04, 2005 10:38 pm

Quoting QFA001 (Reply 34):
I don't need a lesson on contracts.



Quoting QFA001 (Reply 40):
Give it a rest, Udo. As I've said to you before, your source is me. If you can't handle that, then you can go piss your cynicism in a cup.



Quoting QFA001 (Reply 40):
I also don't need a lesson on aircraft economics.

Think you may have destroyed any of your credibility with those comments... Sad.
Long live Aer Lingus!
 
Toulouse
Posts: 2193
Joined: Thu Apr 28, 2005 4:30 pm

RE: A345/A346 Problems: The Airlines Speak

Wed May 04, 2005 10:44 pm

I also know of one airline that has been having a lot of problems with their 340's, and many might be quick to blame the manufacturer, but that's not always the case, as has frequently occurred with one European airline operating the 340.
Long live Aer Lingus!
 
QFA001
Posts: 651
Joined: Sat May 27, 2000 6:47 am

RE: A345/A346 Problems: The Airlines Speak

Wed May 04, 2005 10:44 pm

Quoting Udo (Reply 43):
Hmmmm, regarding that rather emotional reaction, I somehow get the impression certain people can't handle being asked simple questions...

Not surprisingly, you ended up with the wrong conclusion. The conclusion that you should have arrived at is that I think you are a tosser.  eyepopping 

Quoting Udo (Reply 43):
I didn't question that. I was just talking about two airframes not being a major aspect when a fleet of more than 60 aircraft and various types needs to be replaced.

And what's your point?

BTW, what is two A345s now will be 10+ B772LRs in 3-4 years. What was planned to be 3 A346s (plus options) will now be ~6 B773ERs in 3-4 years. So, you can bet your bottom dollar that the AC experience with their A345s had an impact on their decision to change.

Quoting Sebolino (Reply 44):
And we are supposed to believe you just because it's you ?

I don't believe that we've met, Sebolino. Hello. I have a monument of conceit for Udo and some other users (not in this thread) but not for most users. So, no, I don't expect you to believe me just because it's me. If you see something that I write without a source and it is or becomes true then may my integrity stand on that.
 
avek00
Posts: 3158
Joined: Mon Oct 25, 2004 5:56 am

RE: A345/A346 Problems: The Airlines Speak

Wed May 04, 2005 10:45 pm

Quoting QFA001 (Reply 29):
One particular airline has a rate in the low 90s.

This almost certainly has to be Air Canada - the airline's A345 fleet has been continually plauged with assorted technical problems, causing an operational mess whenever one breaks down (an unreliability rate approaching 10% is disastrous from an airline operational standpoint).
Live life to the fullest.
 
airbazar
Posts: 6936
Joined: Wed Sep 10, 2003 11:12 pm

RE: A345/A346 Problems: The Airlines Speak

Wed May 04, 2005 10:59 pm

Quoting Astuteman (Reply 16):
EVERY carrier that commented on performance in terms of economy, fuel burn, payload, etc stated that the aircraft either met it's contracted performance, or bettered it (see above).

And that's where the real money is made so it more than makes up for the dispatch problems which will likely go away as the aircraft matures.