kappel
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Thai Air Orders 3 More A346

Tue Sep 20, 2005 5:12 pm

http://www.luchtzak.be/article10084.html

Seems that most operators of the a346 are happy enough with it to warrant repeat orders. (Except for CX that is)
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Heavierthanair
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RE: Thai Air Orders 3 More A346

Tue Sep 20, 2005 5:25 pm

G'day

Someone should re-read the Thai statement:

This new A340-600 aircraft will be used to service passengers travelling to Europe, including Zurich, Switzerland, Milan, and Spain, and Tokyo, Japan in Asia. THAI received the two A340-600 aircraft in June and August 2005 respectively and will receive another three aircraft of this model from Airbus by the end of the year 2005, which will complete the order for five aircraft under the A340-600 aircraft type.

http://www.thaiair.com/About_Thai/Ne...ress_Year_2005/press0905-wu306.htm

Seems there are no news really

Cheers

Peter
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kappel
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RE: Thai Air Orders 3 More A346

Tue Sep 20, 2005 5:32 pm

I guess they do indeed. I thought it was a new order, wich would make it 8 for Thai. i stand corrected.
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solnabo
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RE: Thai Air Orders 3 More A346

Tue Sep 20, 2005 5:46 pm

Good for Thai, but why is CX unhappy with them? Problems on the HKG-JFK route?

When it comes to pax qads a/c, is 744(ER) version "standing still"? Didnt find any orders in www.justplanes for the 744 Pax. a big hit as Freighter though.

Just a question, no flamewar, please.

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zeke
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RE: Thai Air Orders 3 More A346

Tue Sep 20, 2005 6:17 pm

Quoting Solnabo (Reply 3):
Good for Thai, but why is CX unhappy with them? Problems on the HKG-JFK route?

Thought the 346 were leased at CX.
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solnabo
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RE: Thai Air Orders 3 More A346

Tue Sep 20, 2005 6:27 pm

Quoting Zeke (Reply 4):

Yep, the CX A346 are leased (3?)

Cheers

Micke//SE  Smile
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garpd
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RE: Thai Air Orders 3 More A346

Tue Sep 20, 2005 6:46 pm

Quoting Solnabo (Reply 3):
but why is CX unhappy with them?

According to my pilot friend:

Quote:


Well, in a nutshell (not as short as I'd like); They don't go anywhere near as far as Airbus said, they are simply too damn heavy on the wing. The engines shutdown in flight of their own accord, this is to do with the defective fuel system that doesn't transfer fuel. We have to turn the fuel management off and do it manually, which is actually quite fun, breaks the monotony of the automation. I feel like I'm in my 747 again. Airbus have supplied updated "bug fixed" software, but it still happens.
We also have a payload restriction on some of the longer routes. We've had to choose between cargo or slf and sometimes the cargo wins!

There are also regular issues with the onboard equipment such as the galley ovens, they'll often not work. The cabin lighting has also been iffy and on more than one occasion the entertainment refused to stay on. Our mechanical gods claim its the flex in the fuselage that's causing this, somthing to do with the wiring and connections. Airbus have been helping but insist the fuselage flex has nothing to do with it.

Mind you, tis a beaut to fly and the flightdeck is audibly quieter than the 747 and we have a little more room to move around.
You asked if I preferred the "game stick" or the yoke from my 747 days. Well, surprisingly I find the joystick is very neat and comfortable and affords me a great little table for my food and paperwork. However, I have to admit that the yoke on the 747 is much more tactile and intuitive.


Don't shoot the messenger now. This is the personal experience and observation from a pilot.

[Edited 2005-09-20 11:48:48]
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RE: Thai Air Orders 3 More A346

Tue Sep 20, 2005 6:48 pm

Quoting Solnabo (Reply 5):
Yep, the CX A346 are leased (3?)

I thought all of them were leased.

Quoting Solnabo (Reply 3):
When it comes to pax qads a/c, is 744(ER) version "standing still"? Didnt find any orders in www.justplanes for the 744 Pax.

Heaps of airlines with B744 that are near their 'due by' date are replacing them with B773s and A346s. I think its because they don't need all of their B744s anymore due to less passengers and its cheaper to operate B777s and A340s
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IB787
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RE: Thai Air Orders 3 More A346

Tue Sep 20, 2005 7:05 pm

With more A346 on their fleet, it's time that TG flies non-stop to MAD instead of via FCO.
 
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solnabo
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RE: Thai Air Orders 3 More A346

Tue Sep 20, 2005 7:28 pm

Then whattabout ETOPS if they´re to go with 773-ER/2-LR? (HKG-JFK)

Micke//SE  Confused
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Morvious
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RE: Thai Air Orders 3 More A346

Tue Sep 20, 2005 7:34 pm

When will Thai sart flying with the A346 on Schiphol?
I beleved I did read that somewhere!
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A319114
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RE: Thai Air Orders 3 More A346

Tue Sep 20, 2005 8:32 pm

If I'm not mistaken, CX uses an old version of the A346. All the newer A346 have new, lighter wings.
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kappel
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RE: Thai Air Orders 3 More A346

Tue Sep 20, 2005 8:38 pm

Quoting Morvious (Reply 10):
When will Thai sart flying with the A346 on Schiphol?
I beleved I did read that somewhere

I believe I also read that in Airliner World. I believe the July issue wich had an article on Thai Air.

Quoting A319114 (Reply 11):
If I'm not mistaken, CX uses an old version of the A346. All the newer A346 have new, lighter wings.

Indeed they do. IIRC all currently produced a346 have the lighter wing, and from Qatar on, all will be the HGW version.
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garpd
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RE: Thai Air Orders 3 More A346

Tue Sep 20, 2005 8:46 pm

Quoting A319114 (Reply 11):
If I'm not mistaken, CX uses an old version of the A346. All the newer A346 have new, lighter wings.

And CX are still unconvinced.
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Ibhayi
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RE: Thai Air Orders 3 More A346

Tue Sep 20, 2005 8:56 pm

It is substantially to operate an aircraft if it is say not as efficient than a 773ER, than replace the existing 346's they have and then retrain and requip staff and maintenance for an entirely new product. If they are happy or not it is highly likely the best option and most economical would be more 346 than changing everything that is presently set up.
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kappel
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RE: Thai Air Orders 3 More A346

Tue Sep 20, 2005 8:57 pm

Quoting GARPD (Reply 13):
And CX are still unconvinced.

I guess we'll know when CX will order some new planes.
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zeke
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RE: Thai Air Orders 3 More A346

Tue Sep 20, 2005 9:01 pm

Quoting GARPD (Reply 13):
And CX are still unconvinced.

Being one of the few that fly them, I do like them.
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eha
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RE: Thai Air Orders 3 More A346

Tue Sep 20, 2005 9:06 pm

Quoting GARPD (Reply 13):
Quoting A319114 (Reply 11):
If I'm not mistaken, CX uses an old version of the A346. All the newer A346 have new, lighter wings.

And CX are still unconvinced.

No way. The A346 delivered to CPA via ILFC have been built in 2002, 2003, which means one of the first ones delivered.

The new plan mentioned for A346 is still a plan imo.

Although A346 dispatch reliability is not exceptional so far, it is not good for CPA, vs the other operators. Any reason mentioned ? apart from the fact they got maybe the first A/C, with all the maturity pbs it may induce...

E.
 
akelley728
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RE: Thai Air Orders 3 More A346

Wed Sep 21, 2005 2:14 am

Quoting Solnabo (Reply 9):
Then whattabout ETOPS if they´re to go with 773-ER/2-LR? (HKG-JFK)

Micke//SE

What about it? CO does just fine running a 772er on EWR-HKG
 
Arniepie
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RE: Thai Air Orders 3 More A346

Wed Sep 21, 2005 2:18 am

Quoting Zeke (Reply 16):
Being one of the few that fly them, I do like them.

What do you mean, do you fly the A346 or do you fly the A346 for CX ?
(just out of curiousity)
[edit post]
 
gigneil
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RE: Thai Air Orders 3 More A346

Wed Sep 21, 2005 2:20 am

Quoting A319114 (Reply 11):
All the newer A346 have new, lighter wings.

Only CX, SA, and VS operate the ones with the heavy wings.

Quoting Kappel (Reply 12):
IIRC all currently produced a346 have the lighter wing, and from Qatar on, all will be the HGW version.

Well, only if the customer orders the 380t option.

Quoting GARPD (Reply 13):
And CX are still unconvinced.

According to who?

N
 
JMJAirways
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RE: Thai Air Orders 3 More A346

Wed Sep 21, 2005 2:26 am

I also like flying them.

As a pax thoght!

Best regards
I am willing to pay extra for a A346 flight !
 
Thorben
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RE: Thai Air Orders 3 More A346

Wed Sep 21, 2005 2:34 am

I don't think this pilot report is that bad, after all. The trouble with the wings should be fixed on newer ones, CX has some of the first and they had too heavy wings (and were sold with discount). Besides, the galley ovens or the entertainment systems are not essential parts of the aircraft and they are probably build by a supplier, not by Airbus itself. So blame the suppliers.
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kappel
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RE: Thai Air Orders 3 More A346

Wed Sep 21, 2005 2:38 am

Quoting Gigneil (Reply 20):
Well, only if the customer orders the 380t option

OK, I thought it would be standard from the Qatar deliveries onward.
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cloudyapple
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RE: Thai Air Orders 3 More A346

Wed Sep 21, 2005 2:43 am

Think CPA's repeat order for the A346 are second hand B744s from SIA!
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RE: Thai Air Orders 3 More A346

Wed Sep 21, 2005 2:55 am

Quoting Gigneil (Reply 20):
Well, only if the customer orders the 380t option.

Actually no. The A340-600 (380t) will become standard after Qatar starts to receive theirs.

Quoting Kappel (Reply 23):
OK, I thought it would be standard from the Qatar deliveries onward.

It is my understanding that they will be.

Regards,
Wings
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egnr
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RE: Thai Air Orders 3 More A346

Wed Sep 21, 2005 3:04 am

Quoting Kappel (Reply 23):
OK, I thought it would be standard from the Qatar deliveries onward.

As others have mentioned, this is true. In fact, there are only 2 more wingsets to be produced that are not HGW wings, and both of these non-HGW sets will be produced by the end of 2005. All subsequent A340-500/A340-600 wings produced after this will be HGW sets.

Wing production has been a mixture of HGW and non-HGW for some time now.
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RE: Thai Air Orders 3 More A346

Wed Sep 21, 2005 3:12 am

Quoting Cloudyapple (Reply 24):
Think CPA's repeat order for the A346 are second hand B744s from SIA!

That may or may not be a reliable indicator of CX's satisfaction (or lack thereof) with the A340-600. It may be that they just got a good price on SQ's B747-400s, or they were immediately available. I'm sure one must wait to get an A340-600 at a reasonable price. I wouldn't count the A340-600 out at CX just yet. We'll have to wait and see.
 
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RE: Thai Air Orders 3 More A346

Wed Sep 21, 2005 3:37 am

Sorry if this is a stupid question, but what exactly is a heavy wing from the perspective of a pilot.  blockhead 

Is it a wing that is actually too weighty and can't be fully loaded with fuel for long duration flights?

Is it a wing that feels sluggish and reacts slowly to the pilot’s inputs?

Is it a wing that is a poor aerodynamic performer?

What did Airbus do to the A346’s wings to improve them and make them lighter?

Redesign with less material? Substitute aluminum with carbon fiber? Redesign the cross sectional shape?

Thanks,

e-m-b.
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A342
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RE: Thai Air Orders 3 More A346

Wed Sep 21, 2005 4:01 am

Wait. Initially, TG ordered 5 A346 together with 3 A345. Then they placed a repeat order for another one more of each type. With the new order of 3 A346 that would make 9 A346 together with 4 A345, right ?
Exceptions confirm the rule.
 
cloudyapple
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RE: Thai Air Orders 3 More A346

Wed Sep 21, 2005 4:09 am

Quoting Eatmybologna (Reply 28):
Is it a wing that is actually too weighty and can't be fully loaded with fuel for long duration flights?

Not an issue.

Quoting Eatmybologna (Reply 28):
Is it a wing that feels sluggish and reacts slowly to the pilot’s inputs?

Partly. It's not just the weight of the wings. Handling characteristics changes when the AIRCRAFT weight is different, and the distribution of the weight components (changes AC/CG).

Quoting Eatmybologna (Reply 28):
Is it a wing that is a poor aerodynamic performer?

Maybe/maybe not. Depends on the distribution of the extra weight on the wing, depends on how the stiffness is affected by the weight change, that implies the flex and any aeroelasticity changes. If the stiffness/flex/shape/profile of the wing is exactly the same before and after, weight alone does not affect aerodynamics.

Quoting Eatmybologna (Reply 28):
What did Airbus do to the A346’s wings to improve them and make them lighter?

Cant really tell unless you are the designer or you know one who's willing to divulge company secrets or you buy 2 A346 and take the wings apart to look at them. So many different things you can do. Redesign some components to reduce material volume, redesign to use fewer fasteners, use different materials etc... as long as the external shape remains the same on the ground and in the air as before the modifications, empty or loaded.

Anyhow a supplementary cert is required.
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gigneil
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RE: Thai Air Orders 3 More A346

Wed Sep 21, 2005 4:29 am

Quoting Eatmybologna (Reply 28):
Is it a wing that is actually too weighty and can't be fully loaded with fuel for long duration flights?

It weighs too much. It makes the plane heavier, which increases fuel burn.

Quoting Eatmybologna (Reply 28):
Is it a wing that feels sluggish and reacts slowly to the pilot’s inputs?

No. All reports are that its a dream to fly.

Quoting Eatmybologna (Reply 28):
Is it a wing that is a poor aerodynamic performer?

Nope.

Quoting Eatmybologna (Reply 28):
What did Airbus do to the A346’s wings to improve them and make them lighter?

A variety of the control surfaces have been redesigned in carbon fiber, and the structure of the wing has been lightened with a variety of changes.



I was clearly wrong about the 380t wing configuration not being the standard moving forward. My apologies.

N
 
A360
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RE: Thai Air Orders 3 More A346

Wed Sep 21, 2005 5:24 am

Quoting WINGS (Reply 25):
Quoting Gigneil (Reply 20):
Actually no. The A340-600 (380t) will become standard after Qatar starts to receive theirs.

It is my understanding that they will be.

Regards,
Wings

Do you know when will Qatar going to receibe their first 346 HGW?
At the moment, there are 115 346's on order, an 48 delivered... there are still alot of them to be delivered... so we should see many 346hgw's in the future.  Smile


The 346HGW will have 60.000 lb thrust engines (acording to airbus site)!
Well... nobody can say that it's underpowered (240.000 lb)!! It's going to be even more powerfull than the 773ER(230.000lb) which is a twin!... In one engine out operation, it will be ALOT more powerfull.

PS: I don't want to start a war in here... i'm just king of sick of hearing many people saying that the 340's are underpowered.
That's true for the 342/343 versions, but absolutely wrong for teh 345/346 versions.
 
Thorben
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RE: Thai Air Orders 3 More A346

Wed Sep 21, 2005 5:26 am

Quoting A342 (Reply 29):
Wait. Initially, TG ordered 5 A346 together with 3 A345. Then they placed a repeat order for another one more of each type. With the new order of 3 A346 that would make 9 A346 together with 4 A345, right ?

5+1 A346 and 3+1 A345. Makes ten in my opinion.
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flyinghippo
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RE: Thai Air Orders 3 More A346

Wed Sep 21, 2005 5:33 am

Quoting A360 (Reply 32):
PS: I don't want to start a war in here... i'm just king of sick of hearing many people saying that the 340's are underpowered.
That's true for the 342/343 versions, but absolutely wrong for teh 345/346 versions.

I agree with you, the A343 is a bit weak in the power department, but 345/6 is defintely a powerful plane. I might have a chance to fly CX's A346 soon, nerver flew on 340s except 343s, so I'm hoping it is as pleasant of a ride as A343s.
 
AMSSFO
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RE: Thai Air Orders 3 More A346

Wed Sep 21, 2005 5:41 am

Quoting A342 (Reply 29):
With the new order of 3 A346 that would make 9 A346

Read the link provided in reply 1:

Quoting Heavierthanair (Reply 1):
http://www.thaiair.com/About_Thai/Newsroom/Press_Release/Press_Year_2005/press0905-wu306.htm
Seems there are no news really

There is no new order!!
 
ZRH
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RE: Thai Air Orders 3 More A346

Wed Sep 21, 2005 5:46 am

Quoting A360 (Reply 32):
PS: I don't want to start a war in here... i'm just king of sick of hearing many people saying that the 340's are underpowered.
That's true for the 342/343 versions, but absolutely wrong for teh 345/346 versions.

I always think that the word "underpowered" is wrong. Of course the the A 340-200/300 are very slow climbers because of the rather small engines. But they are actually not underpowered because they have enough power to do their duties very well and fly economically. The 340-500/600 have of course much more power.
 
pilot21
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RE: Thai Air Orders 3 More A346

Wed Sep 21, 2005 1:08 pm

If CX got rid of the A340-600, it would be a pity IMO. Having flown the JFK-HKG route back in March with CX in Business, I must say it was a pleasure to do such a long journey in this aircraft. It ws quiet, all the equipment worked (video-on-demand etc) and I grabbed some much needed sleep, having done JFK-HKG-JFK in 5 days. I know they only operate 3 of these aircraft, so what the future holds will be interesting, but it must not make $$ sense to operate such a small fleet.(but please keep them and expand the fleet!!)

On a semi-related question, the JFK-HKG flight was 16.5hrs, whereas I read the Dubai-JFK flight operated by EK was only 14.5hrs, so why is CX operating an A340-600 on the longer route, when EK can only use an A340-500, do the head winds on the west-bound route make that much of a difference for the EK flight? (or was the aircraft choice something else for EK?)
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WINGS
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RE: Thai Air Orders 3 More A346

Wed Sep 21, 2005 4:45 pm

Quoting A360 (Reply 32):
Do you know when will Qatar going to receibe their first 346 HGW?

Qatar should start to receive their first A340-600HGW towards the end of 2006

Regards,
Wings
Aviation Is A Passion.
 
Thorben
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RE: Thai Air Orders 3 More A346

Wed Sep 21, 2005 5:01 pm

Quoting Pilot21 (Reply 37):
I know they only operate 3 of these aircraft, so what the future holds will be interesting, but it must not make $$ sense to operate such a small fleet.(but please keep them and expand the fleet!!)

They also have a lot of A343s and A333s, so there is some fleet commonality, at least for pilots.

Quoting WINGS (Reply 38):
Qatar should start to receive their first A340-600HGW towards the end of 2006

Some sources speak of the end of 2006, some of the summer of 2006. Which ones are correct?
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flyingexpat
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RE: Thai Air Orders 3 More A346

Wed Sep 21, 2005 5:27 pm

Having flown both CX HKG-JFK-HKG (346)and CO EWR-HKG-EWR (77X) multiple times, I must say that the ride quality on the 346 seemed better in terms of cabin noise, climate and vibrations/etc... This was also most probably due tot he fact that CX service is top notch however, not necessarily an a/c differece. The 777 does feel a lot more stable on takeoff/landing though, but that may be just me.
 
kappel
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RE: Thai Air Orders 3 More A346

Thu Sep 22, 2005 3:53 am

Does anybody know what the break-even on the a345-6 project is? The have sold 25 a345 and 115 (about IIRC) a346. Is that enough? Hopefully the 380t version will attract some buyers, but it seems the a345 is done  Sad
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A342
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RE: Thai Air Orders 3 More A346

Thu Sep 22, 2005 4:11 am

Quoting Thorben (Reply 33):
5+1 A346 and 3+1 A345. Makes ten in my opinion.

Of course it does. Sorry, I didn´t see that there is no new order.
But why does TG say "...completing an order of 5 aicraft of this type." ?
Altogether they ordered six, right? Is the repeat order for one arcraft not included in this statement ?
Exceptions confirm the rule.
 
AMSSFO
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RE: Thai Air Orders 3 More A346

Thu Sep 22, 2005 6:09 am

Quoting A342 (Reply 42):
But why does TG say "...completing an order of 5 aicraft of this type." ?
Altogether they ordered six, right? Is the repeat order for one arcraft not included in this statement ?

They state:

Quote:
Based on a previously made order for five A340-600 aircraft from Airbus Industrie, Thai Airways International Public Company Limited (THAI) announced that two out of five of the A340-600 aircraft have entered the company's fleet.

THAI [...] will receive another three aircraft of this model from Airbus by the end of the year 2005, which will complete the order for five aircraft under the A340-600 aircraft type.

"Previously made order" and "complete the order" (NOT a order) all suggest that they are talking about the first order only, to be delivered in 2005. Strangly, nowhere they mention the follow-up order (delivery 2007-8).
 
Thorben
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RE: Thai Air Orders 3 More A346

Thu Sep 22, 2005 7:03 am

Quoting A342 (Reply 42):
Of course it does. Sorry, I didn´t see that there is no new order.
But why does TG say "...completing an order of 5 aicraft of this type." ?
Altogether they ordered six, right? Is the repeat order for one arcraft not included in this statement ?

Actually, I'm sorry, I didn't see that you still thought that there was an new order.

I don't know about this completing the order thing, it must have to do with the follow-up order of one A345 and one A346. I'm pretty sure, they operate two of each at present and are going to get another four A346 and another two A345.

Quoting Kappel (Reply 41):
Hopefully the 380t version will attract some buyers, but it seems the a345 is done

It's just a plane for a very small niche of the market. IIRC Airbus wanted to produce only the A346, but Singi asked them to make it shorter for ultra-long flights. That's how the -500 came to life. So it is somehow shares the fate of other shortened long-range planes like the A342 and 747SP, which didn't sell too many frames, either.
France 1789; Eastern Germany 1989; Tunisia 2011; Egypt 2011
 
karan69
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Joined: Mon Oct 04, 2004 7:57 pm

RE: Thai Air Orders 3 More A346

Thu Sep 22, 2005 8:14 pm

Quoting Thorben (Reply 44):
It's just a plane for a very small niche of the market. IIRC Airbus wanted to produce only the A346, but Singi asked them to make it shorter for ultra-long flights. That's how the -500 came to life

Agree with you mate, but atleast the good thing for the A345 was that it made it in the records book with the longest commercial segment flow on SQ EWR-SIN.

Coming to the topic on the 346, how many aircrafts would they actually have to sell to break even, i sincerely hope we see more than the current 115 orders of the A346.
 
Thorben
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RE: Thai Air Orders 3 More A346

Thu Sep 22, 2005 8:56 pm

Quoting Karan69 (Reply 45):
Agree with you mate, but atleast the good thing for the A345 was that it made it in the records book with the longest commercial segment flow on SQ EWR-SIN.

Emirates uses it to ZRH, not really a long distance route. I don't know if they do it because of lack of aircraft, or because of capacity needs. Anyway, I think many carriers could use it as a stretched A343 or A333, on routes between 7,000 and 10,000km. So that A332, A343/A333, and A345 would be used as a family like A319, A320, and A321, where they shift aircraft because of capacity needs.

Quoting Karan69 (Reply 45):
Coming to the topic on the 346, how many aircrafts would they actually have to sell to break even, i sincerely hope we see more than the current 115 orders of the A346.

Let's see how the HGW plays out. Airbus knows the 777-300ER now, they should know what they have to beat.

I think there will be more orders.
France 1789; Eastern Germany 1989; Tunisia 2011; Egypt 2011
 
WINGS
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RE: Thai Air Orders 3 More A346

Thu Sep 22, 2005 9:01 pm

Quoting Thorben (Reply 46):

Let's see how the HGW plays out. Airbus knows the 777-300ER now, they should know what they have to beat.

I think there will be more orders.

Exactly Thorben. Airbus knows what they are working towards. They are still in time to do some last minute work to further improve on those figures.

The B777 family has become a major threat on the future of the A340 family.

Regards,
Wings
Aviation Is A Passion.
 
Thorben
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Joined: Fri Sep 09, 2005 10:29 pm

RE: Thai Air Orders 3 More A346

Thu Sep 22, 2005 10:55 pm

Quoting WINGS (Reply 47):
Exactly Thorben. Airbus knows what they are working towards. They are still in time to do some last minute work to further improve on those figures.

Yep, that's why I always say that Airbus needs Boeing.

Quoting WINGS (Reply 47):
The B777 family has become a major threat on the future of the A340 family.

Well, a lot of possible Airbus A342 and A343 orders have been turned into A332 and A333 orders, and with the A350 coming there won't be much more orders for the smaller A340s.

The A345 is a mainly a niche plane, but the A346 has a future in my opinion. Especially if experience from the A380 can be used for the HGW version.
France 1789; Eastern Germany 1989; Tunisia 2011; Egypt 2011
 
karan69
Posts: 2699
Joined: Mon Oct 04, 2004 7:57 pm

RE: Thai Air Orders 3 More A346

Fri Sep 23, 2005 1:10 am

Quoting Thorben (Reply 46):
Emirates uses it to ZRH, not really a long distance route. I don't know if they do it because of lack of aircraft, or because of capacity needs.

Thats a simple reason, a certain swiss firm have booked EKs entire first class cabin for the next 36 months or so, as their First Class suite on those aircrafts were much better than any other private carrier.
Infact about a month or two ago there was a thread on this topic do a search i am sure you will find it interesting to read.