washingtonian
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CX A-346 Fleet--Payload Restrictions?

Sun Dec 25, 2011 7:44 pm

A few questions about CX's history with the A-340-600. When did they enter the fleet and when were they put on HKG-JFK nonstop? When were they replaced on HKG-JFK by the 77W?

While they were on HKG-JFK, did it regularly have payload restrictions? If so, approximately how much?

Finally, what happened to their A-346s? Where are they today?
 
imiakhtar
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RE: CX A-346 Fleet--Payload Restrictions?

Sun Dec 25, 2011 8:34 pm

Quoting washingtonian (Thread starter):
When did they enter the fleet

November/December 2002.

Quoting washingtonian (Thread starter):
While they were on HKG-JFK, did it regularly have payload restrictions?

The initial A346s were overweight. On a 15hr sector like HKG-JFK, they probably did.

Quoting washingtonian (Thread starter):
when were they put on HKG-JFK nonstop?

IIRC Summer 2004.

Quoting washingtonian (Thread starter):
Finally, what happened to their A-346s?

They were returned to ILFC at the end of the lease.

Quoting washingtonian (Thread starter):
Where are they today?

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mickey90
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RE: CX A-346 Fleet--Payload Restrictions?

Sun Dec 25, 2011 9:01 pm

IIRC CX ceased operation with the a346 in 2008.

CX decided as many others to acquire the 77W as fuel prices went up.
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dennys
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RE: CX A-346 Fleet--Payload Restrictions?

Sun Dec 25, 2011 9:40 pm

The A346 also flew HKG LHR for a while . It is rather strange that CX only flew Three of this type . It seems that CX made more profit with their A343s .
 
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zeke
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RE: CX A-346 Fleet--Payload Restrictions?

Sun Dec 25, 2011 9:59 pm

Quoting washingtonian (Thread starter):

While they were on HKG-JFK, did it regularly have payload restrictions? If so, approximately how much?

They did on a long sector like that the aircraft would be MTOW limited, depending on the aircraft maintenance status, enroute weather, route, and destinations weather would change the amount of fuel needed. Nothing has changed with the 77W, it is also payload restricted on that sector, and I think basically all aircraft currently in production would be.
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AirNovaBAe146
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RE: CX A-346 Fleet--Payload Restrictions?

Mon Dec 26, 2011 2:23 am

Quoting dennys (Reply 3):
The A346 also flew HKG LHR for a while . It is rather strange that CX only flew Three of this type . It seems that CX made more profit with their A343s .

I think they pretty quickly realized that the A346 was not meeting performance expectations within their route network. I believe this is why they didn't take any more.

There were a few other airlines around that timeframe that nixed A346 orders because the airplane was not meeting specs. EK was one. I think AC may have done the same, although not certain.
 
FlyboyOz
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RE: CX A-346 Fleet--Payload Restrictions?

Mon Dec 26, 2011 2:29 am

It also flew to SYD as well...but switch aircraft in the last minute.
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flythere
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RE: CX A-346 Fleet--Payload Restrictions?

Mon Dec 26, 2011 8:09 am

CX was wise to lease only 3 of 346 from ILFC before they could get their own 77W metal. After 77W came, those 3 346 were returned with no messy job behind. Unlike there are many airlines in the world, where they bought a dozens of 342/345/346 without carefully looking into them, now they dont have much resale value and have no other option but stick with these oil monsters.
 
AustrianZRH
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RE: CX A-346 Fleet--Payload Restrictions?

Mon Dec 26, 2011 12:12 pm

Quoting flythere (Reply 7):
Unlike there are many airlines in the world, where they bought a dozens of 342/345/346 without carefully looking into them, now they dont have much resale value and have no other option but stick with these oil monsters.

Yawn... A.net wisdom at its best. Just because the 77W beat the A346 to pulp doesn't mean the plane is necessarily useless. At the time it came out the 346 was the most efficient long haul plane available. CX would do well to do away with their oil monster 744 following your logic.
WARNING! The post above should be taken with a grain of salt! Furthermore, it may be slightly biased towards A.
 
TheSonntag
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RE: CX A-346 Fleet--Payload Restrictions?

Mon Dec 26, 2011 12:43 pm

Quoting flythere (Reply 7):
Unlike there are many airlines in the world, where they bought a dozens of 342/345/346 without carefully looking into them, now they dont have much resale value and have no other option but stick with these oil monsters.

And strangely, being profitable (like LH). LH replaced the 747-200 by the A346, a huge efficiency gain. At that time, no 777ER was available, so there was no alternative for LH.
 
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Stitch
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RE: CX A-346 Fleet--Payload Restrictions?

Mon Dec 26, 2011 12:48 pm

Quoting AustrianZRH (Reply 8):
Yawn... A.net wisdom at its best. Just because the 77W beat the A346 to pulp doesn't mean the plane is necessarily useless. At the time it came out the 346 was the most efficient long haul plane available. CX would do well to do away with their oil monster 744 following your logic.

Exactly. Per CX's own numbers their A340-600 fleet burned 20% less fuel on average than their 747-400.

Those airlines that replaced 747s with A340-600s are likely laughing all the way to the bank with the money they're saving on fuel.

You can argue Boeing had to make the 777-300ER so good because the A340-600 was so much better than the 747-400 (better range, better economy and higher total payload weight). Together with the A380-800, they could have become the hammer and anvil that would have beat the 747-400 to a pulp and ended Boeing's dominance of the large long-haul aircraft market.
 
airbazar
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RE: CX A-346 Fleet--Payload Restrictions?

Mon Dec 26, 2011 2:15 pm

Quoting AirNovaBAe146 (Reply 5):
I think they pretty quickly realized that the A346 was not meeting performance expectations within their route network. I believe this is why they didn't take any more.

The A346 were brought in specifically for the HKG-JFK route because it was the only aircraft at the time that could fly the route non-stop in both directions, year round, and with the least amount of restrictions on "bad" days. No other aircraft available at the time could meet the A346's performance on that route, for CX. All indications are that CX loved the A346 and it's performance. Obviously 5 years later a better plane came along and they were smart to replace the A346.
 
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RE: CX A-346 Fleet--Payload Restrictions?

Mon Dec 26, 2011 4:16 pm

Quoting AustrianZRH (Reply 8):
CX would do well to do away with their oil monster 744 following your logic.

Not really- the B747's are all paid off, so flying a plane which only needs to be maintained and refueled can be extremely profitable, even if it is a gas guzzler. When it's maintenance and fuel bill begin to cost too much and they have a replacement, that's when to retire them. Which is exactly what they are doing with the influx of incoming 777-300ERs.

Quoting airbazar (Reply 11):
No other aircraft available at the time could meet the A346's performance on that route, for CX. All indications are that CX loved the A346 and it's performance

This is exactly right. The A340-600 was the only aircraft available at the time that could fly the route. It did exactly what it said on the box, and CX very much liked the A346 because it opened up JFK, a new very profitable route with extremely high yields. When the 777-300ER became available and CX took delivery of them a few years later, the A346 leases expired and they were returned as planned.
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AustrianZRH
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RE: CX A-346 Fleet--Payload Restrictions?

Mon Dec 26, 2011 4:38 pm

Quoting Airbus_A340 (Reply 12):
Not really- the B747's are all paid off, so flying a plane which only needs to be maintained and refueled can be extremely profitable, even if it is a gas guzzler.

Don't understand me wrong, I know that several factors play into the profitability of a plane aside from fuel cost. Dumping three A346 for a sizeable fleet of 77W's was most probably exactly the right decision for CX at that time. What I wanted to dispute with my post was more the point that "many airlines bought A342/345/346 without looking too closely and now are stuck with those oil monsters". At the EIS of the A346, it was the most efficient plane out there for long haul missions, and the airlines which bought it almost certainly looked very closely at the product before forking out 200M USD apiece. Even later, when the 77W was available, for some of those airlines buying more 346 made more financial sense than switching to 77W, especially if there were other Airbus long haul models in the fleet, because of maintenance savings and only needing one pilot pool instead of two.

What I wanted to point out is that while the 77W is more efficient than the Airbus model, that doesn't automatically mean that the Airbus A340-600 is an "oil monster" or "gas guzzler". The only three pax planes in service more efficient per pax than the A340-600 are the A380-800, the Boeing 777-300ER, and the Boeing 787-8 IIRC.
WARNING! The post above should be taken with a grain of salt! Furthermore, it may be slightly biased towards A.
 
sunrisevalley
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RE: CX A-346 Fleet--Payload Restrictions?

Mon Dec 26, 2011 4:57 pm

Quoting zeke (Reply 4):
. Nothing has changed with the 77W, it is also payload restricted on that sector, and I think basically all aircraft currently in production would be.

Zeke, based on about 16hrs gate to gate and/or about 7700nm ESAD the load/range chart for the 77W suggests a ZFW of about 208t . I wonder how close this is in real life?
Probably the 77L is the only current aircraft that would do the route at MZFW although this is probably dependent on the belly cargo density.

[Edited 2011-12-26 08:58:46]
 
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Stitch
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RE: CX A-346 Fleet--Payload Restrictions?

Mon Dec 26, 2011 4:57 pm

Quoting airbazar (Reply 11):
The A346 were brought in specifically for the HKG-JFK route because it was the only aircraft at the time that could fly the route non-stop in both directions, year round, and with the least amount of restrictions on "bad" days. No other aircraft available at the time could meet the A346's performance on that route, for CX.

The 747-400ER, which was in final development and entered service in late 2002, offered about 500nm greater range (at MZFW with a similar payload) then the A340-600. I've read that CX did consider the 747-400ER, but in the end decided that the extra range was not necessary enough of the time to add the type.
 
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RE: CX A-346 Fleet--Payload Restrictions?

Mon Dec 26, 2011 5:01 pm

Quoting AustrianZRH (Reply 8):
Yawn... A.net wisdom at its best. Just because the 77W beat the A346 to pulp doesn't mean the plane is necessarily useless. At the time it came out the 346 was the most efficient long haul plane available. CX would do well to do away with their oil monster 744 following your logic.

  
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RE: CX A-346 Fleet--Payload Restrictions?

Mon Dec 26, 2011 5:37 pm

Quoting AirNovaBAe146 (Reply 5):
There were a few other airlines around that timeframe that nixed A346 orders because the airplane was not meeting specs. EK was one. I think AC may have done the same, although not certain.

AC's initial experience was the A340-500 doing YYZ-HKG. They were having trouble making money with that variant, which trades payload for range, and has a relatively weighty 'skeleton' + four engines . By the time the A340-600s were due to arrive at AC, the 77W was available, so sensing a window of opportunity, the scrapped plans for the -600s and went with Boeing. The 777 probably gives them better flexibility for efficiently handling both transatlantic and transpacific ops.
 
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RE: CX A-346 Fleet--Payload Restrictions?

Mon Dec 26, 2011 5:52 pm

I'll bet used 340s will be a plane of choice for the next batch of zillionairres. What's not to like.
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Stitch
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RE: CX A-346 Fleet--Payload Restrictions?

Mon Dec 26, 2011 7:08 pm

Quoting frmrcapcadet (Reply 18):
I'll bet used 340s will be a plane of choice for the next batch of zillionairres. What's not to like.

I expect (hope) most passenger A340-500s end up as bizjets.
 
airbazar
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RE: CX A-346 Fleet--Payload Restrictions?

Tue Dec 27, 2011 1:38 pm

Quoting Stitch (Reply 15):
The 747-400ER, which was in final development and entered service in late 2002, offered about 500nm greater range (at MZFW with a similar payload) then the A340-600. I've read that CX did consider the 747-400ER, but in the end decided that the extra range was not necessary enough of the time to add the type.

No doubt the decision having a lot to do with the fact that both the A346 and later the 77W have greater cargo capability than the 744ER.
 
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Stitch
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RE: CX A-346 Fleet--Payload Restrictions?

Tue Dec 27, 2011 3:08 pm

Quoting airbazar (Reply 20):
o doubt the decision having a lot to do with the fact that both the A346 and later the 77W have greater cargo capability than the 744ER.

They certainly have a higher total capacity and total payload weight, but when operating out at the far end of the payload-range curve, the 747-400ER might have the edge in the latter category. CX operated the 747-400, but they all had RR power and that option was not available on the 747-400ER, so maybe having to add a small GE or PW sub-fleet was not economically justifiable (though CX cargo did eventually add the 747-400ERF with PW power).
 
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RE: CX A-346 Fleet--Payload Restrictions?

Tue Dec 27, 2011 4:15 pm

Quoting flythere (Reply 7):
Unlike there are many airlines in the world, where they bought a dozens of 342/345/346 without carefully looking into them, now they dont have much resale value and have no other option but stick with these oil monsters.

The A330/A340 were launched in the late 1980s, as a way for Airbus to tap into the L1011, DC-10 and 747-100/-200 replacement market. The A340, as the longhaul variant, was up against the MD-11 and the 747-400. The MD-11 struggled to meet its promised targets at launch, and the 777 took a little time to develop into the success it has. If you didn't have the 77W, an A346 would be more than a match for a 77E on many routes.

Many airlines buy aircraft and operate them for their full service lives. Not all airlines operate where they can roll over their fleet after 10 years to get the latest model! To say airlines bought A340s without looking into them is like saying AA and DL bought dozens of MD-80s without carefully looking into them - who expected oil at $100 a barrel in the 1980s when those fleet decisions were being made?

CX, as I recall, took the three A346s on lease from ILFC to test the water with them. They liked what they saw it seems, but those early aircraft were a bit overweight. Then when a decision came to be made as to whether to get a fleet circumstances had changed and the 77W was available. As I recall at the time, many on here were saying CX would never order the 77W because of the GE exclusivity clause (same was said of AA as I also recall!). Boeing might have got 77W orders sooner from some airlines if a RR engine option had been available, but in the end the operating economics of the 77W in the climate of today won through for many airlines.
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sunrisevalley
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RE: CX A-346 Fleet--Payload Restrictions?

Tue Dec 27, 2011 10:26 pm

Quoting Stitch (Reply 21):
CX operated the 747-400, but they all had RR power and that option was not available on the 747-400ER, so maybe having to add a small GE or PW sub-fleet was not economically justifiable

Yet the ACAP sheets for the -400ER show performance data with RR and PW engines. Whether that is the same as offering the option I don't know.
 
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Stitch
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RE: CX A-346 Fleet--Payload Restrictions?

Tue Dec 27, 2011 10:37 pm

Quoting sunrisevalley (Reply 23):
Yet the ACAP sheets for the -400ER show performance data with RR and PW engines. Whether that is the same as offering the option I don't know.

Hmm. I hit Boeing's site because the ACAP wasn't handy and it shows only GE and PW power.