mia305
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Why Wasn't The A340/A330 Successful In The US

Tue Jul 30, 2013 10:53 pm

I know the A340/A330 are popular amongst foreign carriers but why
didnt they sell well and be a success with US carriers?

Aside from the DL/NW merger and US no other US airline invested
in the A330. Why is that?
 
Viscount724
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RE: Why Wasn't The A340/A330 Successful In The US

Tue Jul 30, 2013 11:17 pm

The U.S. carriers were almost all in financial trouble. If memory correct TWA had ordered the A330 or A340 (forget which) but the orders lapsed with TWA's bankruptcy.

You're also overlooking US Airways. They operate 18 A330s, 9 -200s and 9 -300s.
 
azjubilee
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RE: Why Wasn't The A340/A330 Successful In The US

Tue Jul 30, 2013 11:26 pm

Ummm... Hawaiian Airlines, a US carrier operates 13 330s with 9 more on order.
 
rwy04lga
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RE: Why Wasn't The A340/A330 Successful In The US

Tue Jul 30, 2013 11:28 pm

Quoting mia305 (Thread starter):
Aside from the DL/NW merger and US
Quoting Viscount724 (Reply 1):
You're also overlooking US Airways.

You're overlooking that he didn't overlook it.
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MIflyer12
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RE: Why Wasn't The A340/A330 Successful In The US

Tue Jul 30, 2013 11:29 pm

Quoting mia305 (Thread starter):
Aside from the DL/NW merger and US no other US airline invested
in the A330. Why is that?

To how many U.S. carriers would you have expected Airbus to sell A330s? What would you define as success?

Or, change up the question: why did some European carriers buy 777s?
 
Viscount724
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RE: Why Wasn't The A340/A330 Successful In The US

Tue Jul 30, 2013 11:30 pm

Quoting rwy04lga (Reply 3):
Quoting mia305 (Thread starter):
Aside from the DL/NW merger and US
Quoting Viscount724 (Reply 1):
You're also overlooking US Airways.

You're overlooking that he didn't overlook it.

Yes I missed that.
 
steex
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RE: Why Wasn't The A340/A330 Successful In The US

Tue Jul 30, 2013 11:37 pm

Once US/AA merge, there will be four carriers based in the USA offering significant scheduled passenger service on widebody aircraft (AA, DL, HA, UA). Of those four carriers, three will operate the 330.
 
boeing773er
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RE: Why Wasn't The A340/A330 Successful In The US

Tue Jul 30, 2013 11:39 pm

At the end of Lorenzo's term he ordered 20 A330s and 20 A340s. Obviously they got canceled, probably got a better offer from Boeing. But I'm not sure if that's the entire reason the order was canceled.
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Independence76
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RE: Why Wasn't The A340/A330 Successful In The US

Tue Jul 30, 2013 11:42 pm

It took a while for the A330 to gain traction in the US. US Airways ordered their A330-300's in the late 1990's and the A330-200's in the mid-2000's. Northwest ordered their A330-200's and -300's in 2001.

The A340 never garnered much attention in the US due to mostly the same factors it didn't reach to the same successes as the A330 (4-engines, range beyond requirements). Continental Airlines ordered a number of A340's (whether it was the -200's or -300's is up for debate), but cancelled the orders due to finding out more information about the 777 (as many other carriers did).

Airbus tried to talk to AA about replacing their MD-11's with A340-300's, but the deal and talks never went beyond a very rare wood model of an A340 in AA's colors given as a gift to the airline's management. AA, like UA and CO, went on to buy the 777.

The lack of success for the program in the US initially was not only due to the product not being the best fit, but the focus on US manufacturers McDonnell-Douglas and Boeing providing the MD-11 and 777 around the same time. The A330 being marketed as a regional widebody didn't do well for it initially. The A340 was of course disregarded in favor of the twin-engine 777 by many.

Quoting Viscount724 (Reply 1):
If memory correct TWA had ordered the A330 or A340 (forget which) but the orders lapsed with TWA's bankruptcy.
http://www.tulsaworld.com/article.as...s_to_buy_40_jets_from_Airbus/18115

20 A330-300's with 20 options. Half of those orders and options were available for the A340-300 if desired.

A shame they never saw service. Icahn's reign of complete incompetency ensured they would never be apart of a bankruptcy restructuring plan, especially with rising fuel prices. An interesting piece in that article is the mentioning of "West Germany."
 
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seabosdca
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RE: Why Wasn't The A340/A330 Successful In The US

Tue Jul 30, 2013 11:44 pm

Quoting mia305 (Thread starter):
why didnt they sell well and be a success with US carriers?

The 330 did sell well to US carriers. The 340 was mostly a victim of poor market timing; when it was the market leader, US airlines were in no shape to buy airframes, and by the time they were buying again the superior 777-200ER was in the market.

But those carriers that didn't buy A330s mostly didn't buy because they had large and relatively new (at the time the 330 was being considered) 767 fleets.
 
mia305
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RE: Why Wasn't The A340/A330 Successful In The US

Tue Jul 30, 2013 11:44 pm

I know there are a few US carriers that have the 330s.

But why didn't AA DL (pre merger) UA (pre merger) or CO (pre merger)
invest in those aircraft types and for those that did why wasn't it a bigger
seller? Didn't those type aircraft have the range and pax that the airlines
were looking for?

I had a feeling boeing beat them to it with the 777. But at the time the 340s and 330s
came around weren't the airlines in a better shape to invest in aircraft better than what
they are today.

[Edited 2013-07-30 16:48:58]
 
IADCA
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RE: Why Wasn't The A340/A330 Successful In The US

Tue Jul 30, 2013 11:47 pm

The A340 didn't sell to US carriers for a variety of reasons, among them the carriers' financial troubles over the relatively narrow time window in which the 340 was a major player in the market, the general lack of need for US carriers to have 4-engine aircraft in light of more ETOPS-capable planes in the same time period, the lack of runway performance needs that played role in some carriers' orders, and then just competition from other aircraft, ironically including the A330. In short, the same reasons it wasn't a big success elsewhere, plus a few. Seeing AC not love the type probably didn't help either.

As for the 330, when NW merged with DL it was the type's largest operator. DL's still tied for 3rd. US has the same number of 330s, 18, as the largest operator in the EU (LH, which, yes, does operate 340s as well). HA has a sizeable fleet too, with more on the way. I'd call that a decent success.
 
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RE: Why Wasn't The A340/A330 Successful In The US

Tue Jul 30, 2013 11:50 pm

A couple reasons: UA, AA, and DL were largely Boeing outfits at that time and they needed something to cross the Pacific which was not as easily done on the first versions of the A330 as it is with today's much improved versions.

Quoting MIflyer12 (Reply 4):
why did some European carriers buy 777s?

Why does a European airline buying a 777 have any relevance on why a US company would not buy an A330?

tortugamon
 
mia305
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RE: Why Wasn't The A340/A330 Successful In The US

Tue Jul 30, 2013 11:52 pm

Quoting IADCA (Reply 11):

I ment why didn't it sell pre merger with the airlines post merger.

I know that NW, US & HA had the 330s.
 
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RE: Why Wasn't The A340/A330 Successful In The US

Tue Jul 30, 2013 11:55 pm

Quoting steex (Reply 6):
Once US/AA merge, there will be four carriers based in the USA offering significant scheduled passenger service on widebody aircraft (AA, DL, HA, UA). Of those four carriers, three will operate the 330.

Should also keep in mind that 3 U.S.-based leasing companies have ordered 145 A330s (per current Airbus orders/deliveries data), so while they don't operate the aircraft, they're still U.S.-based owners of the A330. LAX-based ILFC is by far the largest A330 customer with 98.
 
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RE: Why Wasn't The A340/A330 Successful In The US

Tue Jul 30, 2013 11:57 pm

Note that had Boeing said no to the 764ER, we likely would have seen DL and CO order A330s to replace their L-1011s and DC-10s, respectively. Both wanted a near exact replacement for their aging widebody trijets, and neither the 763ER nor the 772(ER) were considered appropriate for that role in the eyes of DL and CO, so the only option was the A332 unless Boeing came up with a more similarly-sized aircraft, which Boeing gave them in the form of the 764ER.
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RE: Why Wasn't The A340/A330 Successful In The US

Wed Jul 31, 2013 12:02 am

Quoting mia305 (Thread starter):
Aside from the DL/NW merger and US no other US airline invested

Delta is the third largest operator of A330s in the world.

Quoting Independence76 (Reply 8):
The A330 being marketed as a regional widebody didn't do well for it initially.

At the time of the A330 the US majors were still flying DC-10s and L1011s by the boatload, and had already invested in the 767 program. Most of them still had plenty of service life left in them, too. The economy in the early 1990's wasn't much to write home about, so by time it was necessary and feasible to replace the trijets, market demands in the States were pushing regional routes to narrowbodies like the 757 and A320/737NG, Delta/CO wanted the 764, and the 777 was blowing the A340/330 combo out of the water on long haul. Early A330s weren't as capable either, with the 767-300ER bettering the early versions of the A330 in range, with a much lighter airframe.

[Edited 2013-07-30 17:03:21]
 
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RE: Why Wasn't The A340/A330 Successful In The US

Wed Jul 31, 2013 12:04 am

In short, what hurt A330 sales in the USA was the arrival of the 777, especially the 777-200ER, which had the range to fly the long routes AA and UA wanted but without excess capacity.
 
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RE: Why Wasn't The A340/A330 Successful In The US

Wed Jul 31, 2013 12:11 am

Quoting tortugamon (Reply 12):
A couple reasons: UA, AA, and DL were largely Boeing outfits at that time and they needed something to cross the Pacific which was not as easily done on the first versions of the A330 as it is with today's much improved versions

In 1990 AA and Delta were MD-11 airlines, UA had placed an order for 777 so there was no room for A330's. Northwest, Continetal and TWA did order A330 and A340's but with Bankruptcy all those orders were cancelled or in NW case postponed. More recently with USairways and Hawaiian A330's have sold well in the USA since the 767 is too small and old, the 777 is just too big.

AS the MD-11 proved to be a dog, the 777 found a home at AA and Delta plus Continental. By the late 1990 the A340 had a checkered history and the A330-300 of that time s not the one of today in capabilty.
 
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RE: Why Wasn't The A340/A330 Successful In The US

Wed Jul 31, 2013 12:11 am

Quoting tortugamon (Reply 12):
Why does a European airline buying a 777 have any relevance on why a US company would not buy an A330?

I think MIflyer12 was taking the protectionist train of thought. Or was at least mentioning that train of thought.
 
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RE: Why Wasn't The A340/A330 Successful In The US

Wed Jul 31, 2013 12:26 am

I would say in particular, the competitor for A330 was B767. US airlines were flush with cash in the 1990s, before the A330 was a leader. At that time, 767 was king.

A332 finally arrived in significant numbers in 99-2000.

The only 2 customers in the market between 2000 and 2010 were NW (having DC-10-30s and missed the 767 boat entirely, by some madness) and US. US lacked a longhaul fleet and was if anything 2 steps behind peers. This led to the A330 being a contender for them.

NW accepted a very nice A330 fleet, and US and HA continue to take A332 deliveries today. So the A330 hasn't been snubbed by the USA. The USA had a (huge) glut of 777 and 767 capacity. What little capacity was needed 2000-2010 did go to the A330, quite often.
 
koruman
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RE: Why Wasn't The A340/A330 Successful In The US

Wed Jul 31, 2013 12:47 am

My take is considerably less charitable.

The absurd decision to go with antiquated and inefficient 767 tankers rather than 330s basically eloquently summarises how in the USA self-harming decisions can sometimes be made for reasons which shouldn't even be factored into the equation.

Worse still, US civil aviation exists in a horribly distorted anti-competitve bubble. Bankruptcy laws in most advanced countries see failed companies liquidated, but in the USA their weird bankruptcy laws not only encourage airline executives to believe in reincarnation, but they also permit the executives who preside over corporate failure not only to stay out of jail but to be able to steal their employees' earned entitlements and to continue to lead the airline they drove into bankruptcy.

And there is no real competition. DFW = AA. ATL = DL. EWR = UA.

This anti-competitive model promotes bad decision making, indeed rewards bad decision making.

So you end up with a market where legacy airline service standards on flights 2-9 hours are the worst in the advanced world, where in spite of a vast market there is a "one-size fits all" crappy coach product regardless of your "choice" of legacy carrier. American aviation is like a 21st century USSR. Every economy cabin on a legacy carrier looks the same, and the product is the same. They even have surly and inattentive flight attendants, because US service industry service standards appear to be dependent upon tipping.

So in 2013 in the USA, 757 and 767 antiques do the work that more efficient A332 and A321 aircraft do in countries which promote genuine competition, and where failure does not equate to reincarnation.

There are simply not enough consequences for bad management, and there is not enough incentive to retire dinosaurs like the 747, 757 and 767. Hawaiian Airlines is probably the only airline recognisable to those of us in the rest of the advanced world as a properly-run airline, and, surprise, they are replacing their 763s with A330s. Plus, of course, they have a CEO with airline experience outside the USA, whereas I cannot name a single other US airline executive who would be employable outside North America.
 
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RE: Why Wasn't The A340/A330 Successful In The US

Wed Jul 31, 2013 12:55 am

Didn't someone tell me a while ago that NW had 340s on order but soon cancelled them in favor of more 330s?
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RE: Why Wasn't The A340/A330 Successful In The US

Wed Jul 31, 2013 1:03 am

Quoting luckyone (Reply 16):
Delta is the third largest operator of A330s in the world.

Don't be shocked if the DL A330 fleet gets larger...
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RE: Why Wasn't The A340/A330 Successful In The US

Wed Jul 31, 2013 1:15 am

Quoting koruman (Reply 21):
My take is considerably less charitable.

And makes even less sense.

Quoting koruman (Reply 21):
So you end up with a market where legacy airline service standards on flights 2-9 hours are the worst in the advanced world

What, specifically, is worse about a US domestic flight than a European domestic flight? You have more food service options in the US. You have better IFE on most long flights in the US. In F, you generally have better seats in the US.

Quoting koruman (Reply 21):
Every economy cabin on a legacy carrier looks the same, and the product is the same.

Yep. That's exactly right. A new DL 739ER cabin is exactly the same as a pre-refurb AA 752 cabin.   

Quoting koruman (Reply 21):
They even have surly and inattentive flight attendants

Better that than rampant and widely accepted discrimination in hiring and retention which occurs at every one of the Asian airlines I suspect you are holding up as models.

Quoting koruman (Reply 21):
there is not enough incentive to retire dinosaurs like the 747, 757 and 767

Have you noticed that every US major is currently in the process of replacing the portion of its 757 fleet that does domestic work, or are you just not paying attention?

As for the 767, with winglets and interior upgrades it is fully competitive with the A330-200 on the routes it is flying. There is nothing "dinosaur" about it whatsoever from either the passenger or the economic perspective.

The picture you paint is laughable because the US domestic market is one of the most difficult in the world to compete in. Stage lengths are long, average ticket prices are staggeringly low, and labor costs are high (even for LCCs and post-bankruptcy legacies). Asian carriers who rely on a premium image and high numbers of upper-class travelers wouldn't have a hope of competing. The only Asian carriers that could possibly have the chops to compete in the US market are South and Southeast Asian LCCs.
 
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RE: Why Wasn't The A340/A330 Successful In The US

Wed Jul 31, 2013 1:17 am

Quoting PHX787 (Reply 22):
Didn't someone tell me a while ago that NW had 340s on order but soon cancelled them in favor of more 330s?

I don't know what anyone told you, but NW had orders for both the A330 and A340 way back in the 1980s (see article here).

Those wound up being cancelled, and the A330s perpetually deferred. Evenutally, NW took new A330s as a replacement for their deferred A330 order from 1987.

Had the economy not tanked around 1990/1991, lots of A330s and A340s would have been flying in the US throughout the decade. Instead, the airlines wound up fighting for their own survival. Other than UA, the only airlines in a position to order new widebodies were also airlines that had signed single-supplier agreements with Boeing for new planes.
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koruman
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RE: Why Wasn't The A340/A330 Successful In The US

Wed Jul 31, 2013 1:26 am

Quoting seabosdca (Reply 24):
What, specifically, is worse about a US domestic flight than a European domestic flight? You have more food service options in the US. You have better IFE on most long flights in the US. In F, you generally have better seats in the US.

Except in Russia, all European domestic flights are less than 90 minutes long.

But sectors like ORD-HNL, and all flights to Alaska and Hawaii are many, many hours long, yet Economy passengers don't even get fed or IFE.

Here in Australia, which is the same size as the continental USA, the full-service carrier (Qantas) includes meals and IFE on all jet services, but even the "less" full-service carrier Virgin is now moving to that on all flights over 2 hours.

Because of geographical size, the only valid comparisons for US domestic aviation are to Australia and South Africa. And the service standards (and fleets) of Qantas, Virgin, SAA and BA/Comair make every American carrier look ridiculous.
 
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RE: Why Wasn't The A340/A330 Successful In The US

Wed Jul 31, 2013 1:33 am

Quoting koruman (Reply 21):
So in 2013 in the USA, 757 and 767 antiques do the work that more efficient A332 and A321 aircraft do in countries which promote genuine competition, and where failure does not equate to reincarnation.

The USA needed such capacity before the A332 or A321 first flew. They were literally born too late.

A notion that other places are more competitive is colorful, and debate is good, but that's a little hard to follow. Europe is (predictably) 10-15 years behind the US in its competitive landscape, nothing less, or more. Having deregulated 25 years later than the US.

China... that's the market to rival or surpass the competitiveness of the US.

Australia is too small to compare, in terms of viable airlines (you have.. 2 or so?) It's a very impressive country but... really. And South Africa has an economy the size of Vermont(edit: Massachusetts).

[Edited 2013-07-30 18:40:04]
 
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RE: Why Wasn't The A340/A330 Successful In The US

Wed Jul 31, 2013 1:36 am

Quoting koruman (Reply 21):

You forgot to insult the US educational system in there somewhere, but other than that, quite the anti-US rant.
If you look again above, there are several posts that very clearly discuss and accurately convey the actual issues of economics and timing that worked against the A330 over here. That won't change your bias, but there it is anyway.
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luckyone
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RE: Why Wasn't The A340/A330 Successful In The US

Wed Jul 31, 2013 1:37 am

Quoting koruman (Reply 26):
Except in Russia, all European domestic flights are less than 90 minutes long.

That is simply not correct. All intra EU flights are considered domestic, and are serviced as such. Having traveled through European airports I'm sure you're well aware of the Schengen zone.
 
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RE: Why Wasn't The A340/A330 Successful In The US

Wed Jul 31, 2013 1:46 am

Quoting koruman (Reply 21):
The absurd decision to go with antiquated and inefficient 767 tankers rather than 330s

As a tax payer I am glad they chose the cheaper product that met the job requirements that also supported US jobs at the same time.

Quoting koruman (Reply 21):
Bankruptcy laws in most advanced countries see failed companies liquidated

You are right that BK props up companies at the expense of shareholders. It does preserve value though and in an industry like airlines with steep barriers to entry, it does protect consumers in some way. I agree though that it is not a perfect system.

Quoting koruman (Reply 21):
And there is no real competition. DFW = AA. ATL = DL. EWR = UA.

B6, WN, and AS (#7, #3, and #8 in US in terms of traffic) do help to break it up. If you don't like UA at EWR then you can do AA, DL and B6 at JFK or DL in LGA. ATL has a small amount of O&D.

Quoting koruman (Reply 21):
So in 2013 in the USA, 757 and 767 antiques do the work that more efficient A332 and A321 aircraft

Airlines are not making significant profit preventing fleet renewal. Also, maintenance standards are of the highest in the world meaning that the aircraft can be utilized longer.

Quoting koruman (Reply 21):
Hawaiian Airlines is probably the only airline recognisable to those of us in the rest of the advanced world as a properly-run airline

HA has been having their lunch eaten for years.

tortugamon
 
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RE: Why Wasn't The A340/A330 Successful In The US

Wed Jul 31, 2013 1:51 am

Quoting mia305 (Thread starter):
I know the A340/A330 are popular amongst foreign carriers but why
didnt they sell well and be a success with US carriers?

There are some good answers in this old thread:

Why Do No U.S. Carriers Have A340's? (by thomfly757 Jun 25 2011 in Civil Aviation)

I wonder if UA still owns the A330s they leased to AC?
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opethfan
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RE: Why Wasn't The A340/A330 Successful In The US

Wed Jul 31, 2013 2:16 am

Quoting koruman (Reply 26):
Because of geographical size, the only valid comparisons for US domestic aviation are to Australia and South Africa.

Eh?
 
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RE: Why Wasn't The A340/A330 Successful In The US

Wed Jul 31, 2013 2:20 am

I hope I'm okay with asking this here, but why did US purchase the A330s? I know they were taking A320 airframes around the same time -- the reasons for those vs 737s were already discussed to excessive length. Was the A330 purchase in a similar fashion?

I am not at all suggesting they should've bought 777s or larger 767s; I'm just asking...
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RE: Why Wasn't The A340/A330 Successful In The US

Wed Jul 31, 2013 2:24 am

Quoting steeler83 (Reply 33):
I hope I'm okay with asking this here, but why did US purchase the A330s?

They felt it was the right plane for their east coast to Europe routes.
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RE: Why Wasn't The A340/A330 Successful In The US

Wed Jul 31, 2013 2:44 am

Quoting koruman (Reply 26):
Because of geographical size, the only valid comparisons for US domestic aviation are to Australia and South Africa.

It appears you have never heard of Canada.
 
tristan7977
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RE: Why Wasn't The A340/A330 Successful In The US

Wed Jul 31, 2013 2:54 am

Quoting Independence76 (Reply 8):

Imagine if AA had both A340's and A330's, although there will be A330's once the AA/US merger is complete.
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koruman
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RE: Why Wasn't The A340/A330 Successful In The US

Wed Jul 31, 2013 2:54 am

Quoting koruman (Reply 26):
Because of geographical size, the only valid comparisons for US domestic aviation are to Australia and South Africa
Quoting opethfan (Reply 32):
Eh?

Simple really.

I exempted Canada because in terms of aviation it is so close to the USA that the norms have largely translated over.

But Australia and South Africa are markets with comparable distances to the US domestic market and a number of routes ( e.g. MEL-SYD, CPT-JNB) with similar traffic volumes to major US domestic sectors.

In terms of Australia, the flights between the main markets (Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Cairns, Adelaide and Perth) are similar in length and volume to many US mainline flights, and the smaller airports like Canberra, Gold Coast, Newcastle et al are like secondary US stations.

The same is true in South Africa, where the Cape Town/Johannesburg/Durban triangle is similar in length and volume to many US markets.

But there the similarity ends.

In the USA, every legacy carrier basically delivers a cloned copy of its "competitors'" (sic) service standards. And those standards are conspicuously lower than those of Qantas, Virgin Australia, SAA and BA/Comair.

It's a funny "market" in a huge economy which produces identical products from every vendor. All of which have gone bankrupt within little more than a decade, which suggests that the clones are working to a very, very flawed model.

And returning to the issue of 330 and 340 aircraft, if the US aviation market was a competitve one we would obviously see more variety in what was on offer.

The Audi end of the market would fly 738/320 and 777/330 aircraft domestically with full-service, including meals, IFE and bags, just as Qantas and SAA do.

The Volkswagen end of the market would also fly 738/330 aircraft, but with some passengers on the cheapest Economy Saver fares able to opt out of meals and baggage on flights shorter than 2 hours, just as Virgin Australia does.

And the second-hand General Motors/Ford end of the market would operate narrowbody aircraft, and possibly 767s, with food and baggage charged separately and no IFE, just as Ryanair does.

The weird thing in America is that in spite of having the world's biggest market, the anti-competitive model forces every domestic economy passenger to endure the second-hand Ford model. Even the airlines which own the equivalent of Audis and BMWs effectively take out the seats and the stereo and make everyone sit on the floor of the car.

When you're doing that to every passenger, and when there are no consequences for economic failure other than corporate reincarnation by deleting your employees' pensions, there is no real incentive to replace the 744s with A380 and 77W aircraft or to replace domestic 757s with 321s or domestic 767s with 330s.
 
tristan7977
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RE: Why Wasn't The A340/A330 Successful In The US

Wed Jul 31, 2013 2:58 am

American Airlines A330 in new livery! Little off topic but just thought I'd share.
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opethfan
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RE: Why Wasn't The A340/A330 Successful In The US

Wed Jul 31, 2013 3:13 am

Quoting koruman (Reply 37):
I exempted Canada because in terms of aviation it is so close to the USA that the norms have largely translated over.

You say that, then you list things that US carriers do that Canadian ones don't.

WS and AC both have IFE on all mainline narrowbodies.
WS offer a free checked bag; AC do not on some North American ones, but do on others, plus all transcon.
Both offer free soft drinks and buy-on-board food on NA route, and a meal on transcon AC.

I don't see how these are close. If I fly WS to YYZ, I get a free checked bag, satellite TV and enough free cola to keep me satisfied. All on a pretty new 737. With AC I get the same, except it's an older A320 (sometimes an A330 or 777 on YVR-YYZ) with VOD instead of satellite.
 
koruman
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RE: Why Wasn't The A340/A330 Successful In The US

Wed Jul 31, 2013 4:03 am

Quoting opethfan (Reply 39):
You say that, then you list things that US carriers do that Canadian ones don't.

WS and AC both have IFE on all mainline narrowbodies.
WS offer a free checked bag; AC do not on some North American ones, but do on others, plus all transcon.
Both offer free soft drinks and buy-on-board food on NA route, and a meal on transcon AC.

I don't see how these are close. If I fly WS to YYZ, I get a free checked bag, satellite TV and enough free cola to keep me satisfied. All on a pretty new 737. With AC I get the same, except it's an older A320 (sometimes an A330 or 777 on YVR-YYZ) with VOD instead of satellite.

That being the case, my original thesis seems to be reinforced.

We can now say "the three countries whose domestic routes bear the strongest similarity to the USA - Australia, Canada and South Africa - each have both higher levels of service on legacy carriers and a wider range of economy class products than is the case in the USA".

Ultimately, the US aviation market is conspicuously different from other advanced countries in that the fleet workhorses are significantly older and less efficient and the product delivered by legacy carriers to the vast majority of paying customers is inferior and has fewer inclusions than is the case in other similar markets.

I fly a lot in the USA: in the last month I have taken 2 Economy and 4 First Class flights. And what is most obvious is that First Class delivers what the America's peers consider to be Economy Class service to people in big but obsolete seats while Economy class delivers an LCC product plus soda.

And it's mainly done in narrowbody aircraft and a few obsolete and inefficient 767s.

Here in Australia, Virgin Australia has only been able to compete with Qantas for yields on transcontinental services by upping its service standards, including hot meals, personal IFE and drinks, in A330s. Passengers won't tolerate 737 or A320 aircraft on flights longer than 2 hours. Whereas in the USA, that is often all that any airline offers on some major routes.
 
tortugamon
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RE: Why Wasn't The A340/A330 Successful In The US

Wed Jul 31, 2013 4:06 am

Quoting koruman (Reply 26):
Because of geographical size, the only valid comparisons for US domestic aviation are to Australia and South Africa.

Really? If you add up all of the aircraft in Oceania you don't get the size of the fifth largest airline in the US.

30 of the 50 busiest airports (movements) in the world are in the US; 1 of 50 is in Australia (Sydney #40).

There are 16 cities in Australia with greater than 100,000 people; The US has at least 289.

Not sure if geographical size should be a metric for comparison.


tortugamon
 
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hOMSaR
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RE: Why Wasn't The A340/A330 Successful In The US

Wed Jul 31, 2013 4:30 am

Quoting koruman (Reply 37):
The same is true in South Africa, where the Cape Town/Johannesburg/Durban triangle is similar in length and volume to many US markets.

Okay, so you have a couple of routes the length of Chicago to New York, and a route the length of, basically, New York to Boston. And that makes South Africa comparable to the USA for aviation markets?

Quoting koruman (Reply 37):
But there the similarity ends.

Got that right. The US has a far more developed, far busier, high-demand airline network than South Africa or Australia.

Quoting koruman (Reply 37):
It's a funny "market" in a huge economy which produces identical products from every vendor.

Actually, that's how most commodity markets work. When's the last time you bought gasoline (or is it called petrol)?

In the end, the market decided that air travel was going to be a commodity.

Quoting koruman (Reply 37):
And returning to the issue of 330 and 340 aircraft, if the US aviation market was a competitve one we would obviously see more variety in what was on offer.

The Audi end of the market would fly 738/320 and 777/330 aircraft domestically with full-service, including meals, IFE and bags, just as Qantas and SAA do.

The Volkswagen end of the market would also fly 738/330 aircraft, but with some passengers on the cheapest Economy Saver fares able to opt out of meals and baggage on flights shorter than 2 hours, just as Virgin Australia does.

And the second-hand General Motors/Ford end of the market would operate narrowbody aircraft, and possibly 767s, with food and baggage charged separately and no IFE, just as Ryanair does.

Actually, the reason you don't see A340s cris-crossing the US domestic market is specifically because the US aviation market is a competitive one. Plenty of airlines have tried to gain an advantage by "being different," and every one of them lost money. Midwest Express tried offering a premium coach product a step above everyone else. They lasted as long as they could, but in the end cheap fares won out, and they died. AA tried offering more legroom with their "More Room Throughout Coach" promotion, but in the end cheap fares won out, and they had to go back. Virgin America is trying to offer a premium experience, and as far as anyone can tell, they're losing their shirts. They probably won't last long either.

If airlines could constantly fill widebody jets at profitable fares on domestic routes, they'd offer them. But with very few exceptions, they can't. Most business travelers prefer frequency, and a route that sustains hourly 737 service probably wouldn't sustain hourly A330 service. If it could, then that means the route would be large enough that other airlines would want to get in on it, and they'd start offering their own service, taking passengers away from the airline offering widebody service until it was no longer profitable for that airline to fly widebodies.

And that's only covering competition on nonstop flights. If you bring connections into play, you could wind up with seven or eight different choices between city pairs (UA, AA, DL, US, WN, B6, F9, VX, etc.). Name one domestic Australian or South African route with that much competition. I'd say the reason things are different in the US vs. Australia isn't because of the lack of competition in the US, it's because there's a lot more competition in the US.

As for your different "levels" of airline service (Audi, Volkswagen, GM), in a way, you already have that in the US, but it's differentiated by frequent flyer elite status and/or fare class rather than different airlines. If you want a meal included in your ticket, you can buy a domestic F ticket. Otherwise, you can buy something from the buy-on-board offering. Don't want to pay for a checked bag? Elite status gives free checked bags for travelers, or get the airline credit card (or maybe buying full-fare Y tickets might do that as well), or fly Southwest. Want more legroom? Buy economy plus. Want the cheapest, bottom-of-the-barrel fares, fly Spirit or Allegiant, or even one of the majors if you get a good sale. Want IFE? Fly one of the airlines that offers IFE.

Want super-extreme luxury and top-notch service? Fly a private jet (or one of the premium services on the NYC-California routes discussed in other threads on here), as there isn't quite enough demand (except for NYC-LAX and NYC-SFO) to offer that kind of service on a regular basis on any other route.
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A321neoLR is also unnecessary. It's simply A321LR.
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koruman
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RE: Why Wasn't The A340/A330 Successful In The US

Wed Jul 31, 2013 4:43 am

Quoting tortugamon (Reply 41):
Not sure if geographical size should be a metric for comparison

Perth-Sydney, 2000 miles, 2 million pax
Cape Town-Johannesburg, 800 miles, 4.4 million pax
Sydney-Melbourne, 440 miles, 8 million pax

Los Angeles - New York, 2500 miles, 4 million pax
New York- Miami, 1000 miles, 8 million pax
Los Angeles - San Francisco, 400 miles, 6 million pax

My point is that these are comparable city pairs in terms of distance and in terms of large passenger volumes.

But the service standards are so different in the USA that it takes the breath away.

Fly 2 hours Cape Town to Johannesburg on a legacy carrier in Economy class and you get fed and watered and your baggage flies free.
Fly 2 hours New York to Miami and you get a soda, period.

Fly 5 hours Perth-Sydney and you fly on an A330, your baggage is included on one major airline, and in Economy Class both legacy carriers have AVOD, serve a hot meal to every passenger and then a couple of hours later give every passenger an ice cream.
Fly 5 hours LAX-NYC in Economy and you won't get any of that.

Yes, I'm emphasising the entire product. But the metal is a major part of that: Virgin Australia commanded junk yields in their 738s on Transcontinental flights, and had to buy a fleet of A330s to compete with Qantas for higher-yielding customers.

And so, returning to the original subject, there aren't that many A330s flying in the USA because passengers can and will settle for much, much less.
 
GRUIAD
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RE: Why Wasn't The A340/A330 Successful In The US

Wed Jul 31, 2013 4:51 am

Koruman

If you look closer the US market has very little in common with Australia due to the sheer size and multitude of cities with scheduled airline service. I would argue that Australia's market resembles more Canada. So while you extol the virtues of QANTAS and their high service standards, you ignore the fact that QANTAS competes with usually only one or two carriers in domestic city pair markets, where the US two competitors and oftentimes 3 or 4 competitors are on most sizable city pairs. Quite simply this gives QANTAS more pricing power and that pricing power still permits them to serve meals and offer entertainment. The US industry realized tat while you can spend a lot of money offering these perks in the end it comes down to price.

If I use Chicago - Los Angeles and Adelaide - Perth examples:

CHI-LAX (8 competitors price)

UA
WN
AA
NK
VX
F9 Conx
DL Conx
US Conx

ADL-PER

QF
JQ
VA
TT

My question is would QANTAS service be the same with 2-3 additional competitors on ADL-PER?

I think Brazil is a more apt comparison to the US with similar geographic size and population. The service standards of flights there are largely similar to US. Employment regulations also influence US service levels. We don't hire on temporary contracts and don't terminate staff based on age.
 
USAirALB
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RE: Why Wasn't The A340/A330 Successful In The US

Wed Jul 31, 2013 4:54 am

Quoting steeler83 (Reply 33):


I hope I'm okay with asking this here, but why did US purchase the A330s? I know they were taking A320 airframes around the same time -- the reasons for those vs 737s were already discussed to excessive length. Was the A330 purchase in a similar fashion?

I am not at all suggesting they should've bought 777s or larger 767s; I'm just asking...

Multiple reasons.

1. US Airways wasn't on very good terms with Boeing at the time, and they still are not on good terms today. (Not going to go in depth with this one, there are plenty of threads on this subject. But basically US blamed for flight 429 and Boeing blamed US, I think US and Boeing went to court, and US also cancelled a number of 757 orders at this time.)
2. A 777 would have been too much for CLT/PIT/PHL-Europe at the time. It was too large of an aircraft. US had no plans to expand into Asia at the time, doing so would have been suicide.
3. The company already had a large order for Airbus, and Airbus had a product to fit US's needs that Boeing didn't have. Airbus was particularly "friendly" with US's first Airbus orders, I've heard accounts that Airbus practically gave US their first batch of A321s for almost free just to get a US operator.

Anyway, US came very close back before the economy turned sour to receiving A343s.
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koruman
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RE: Why Wasn't The A340/A330 Successful In The US

Wed Jul 31, 2013 5:19 am

Quoting hOmSAr (Reply 43):
As for your different "levels" of airline service (Audi, Volkswagen, GM), in a way, you already have that in the US, but it's differentiated by frequent flyer elite status and/or fare class rather than different airlines. If you want a meal included in your ticket, you can buy a domestic F ticket. Otherwise, you can buy something from the buy-on-board offering. Don't want to pay for a checked bag? Elite status gives free checked bags for travelers, or get the airline credit card (or maybe buying full-fare Y tickets might do that as well), or fly Southwest. Want more legroom? Buy economy plus. Want the cheapest, bottom-of-the-barrel fares, fly Spirit or Allegiant, or even one of the majors if you get a good sale. Want IFE? Fly one of the airlines that offers IFE.

Thanks for that, but I actually have elite status with two of the alliances.

Here in Australia, if I want to fly 2000 miles Perth-Sydney return these are my choices:

jetstar: A320, LCC product, $460 return
Virgin Economy: A330, IFE, food, drinks but baggage for purchase, $530 return,
Qantas Economy: A330, IFE, food, drinks and baggage included, $550 return
Virgin Business Class: as economy but better food, bigger seat, $2000 return
Qantas Business Class: as per Virgin, $2500 return.

For the similar US market, you are telling me that the "choice" is:

Legacy Economy class: LCC product plus soda, US$480=A$531
Legacy First Class: $3086.

So you are effectively saying:

'Yes, there's lots of choice in the USA. You can have an LCC+soda experience or else you can pay an extra $2000+ to have a meal included."
 
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hOMSaR
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RE: Why Wasn't The A340/A330 Successful In The US

Wed Jul 31, 2013 5:19 am

Quoting koruman (Reply 44):

Fly 2 hours Cape Town to Johannesburg on a legacy carrier in Economy class and you get fed and watered and your baggage flies free.
Fly 2 hours New York to Miami and you get a soda, period.

Fly 5 hours Perth-Sydney and you fly on an A330, your baggage is included on one major airline, and in Economy Class both legacy carriers have AVOD, serve a hot meal to every passenger and then a couple of hours later give every passenger an ice cream.
Fly 5 hours LAX-NYC in Economy and you won't get any of that.

All of that was found in the US several decades ago (with the exception of AVOD, which didn't exist back then), but then deregulation resulted in lots more competition, and, over the years, the services declined with price being the main driver.
The plural of Airbus is Airbuses. Airbii is not a word.
There is no 787-800, nor 787-900 or 747-800. It's 787-8, 787-9, and 747-8.
A321neoLR is also unnecessary. It's simply A321LR.
Airplanes don't have isles, they have aisles.
 
koruman
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RE: Why Wasn't The A340/A330 Successful In The US

Wed Jul 31, 2013 5:30 am

Quoting hOmSAr (Reply 48):
All of that was found in the US several decades ago (with the exception of AVOD, which didn't exist back then), but then deregulation resulted in lots more competition, and, over the years, the services declined with price being the main driver.

We have REAL competition in Australia: 100% foreign-owned airlines can and do enter the market.

Virgin is currently roughly 80% foreign-owned, as is Tiger.

Deregulation without competition is just the starting pistol for a race to the bottom.

As the US aviation market proves.
 
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ODwyerPW
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RE: Why Wasn't The A340/A330 Successful In The US

Wed Jul 31, 2013 5:40 am

Quoting koruman (Reply 47):
Thanks for that, but I actually have elite status with two of the alliances.

Who cares. Stop your prejudicial over generalisations of US Domestic Travel and Go Back Down Under.

You insistance on arguing a point that has absolutely nothing to do with the OP's title is dragging the entire thread under.
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