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Posts: 648
Joined: Thu Sep 07, 2000 9:52 pm

Why The A330 & A340?

Sun Nov 26, 2000 9:36 pm

Why are Airbus selling the a340 and the a330? At the moment all of the varients are the same size, so why not just market the a340 as a fuel efficient medium haul and a long haul aircraft. Surely it could save fuel? I know they are bringing out newer versions of the a340 to compete with the 747 but why are the smaller ones the same as the a330?

Also, will they introduce smaller versions of the a330 to compete with the 767, and replace the a300/310?

Thanks, I look forward to your contributions.
Posts: 2115
Joined: Tue May 18, 1999 3:49 am

RE: Why The A330 & A340?

Sun Nov 26, 2000 10:20 pm


This is only to give an overview of the very long and complex story which Airbus to the production of the A330/A340:

The first task for Airbus was to produce the TA-11, a very-long-range aircraft with a smaller capacity than that of the 747 to allow more non-stop flights with more frequencies.

But the initial forecasts (around 1985) for the market was for only 200 aircraft, which was too few to make the project profitable. And the forecasts for aircraft targetting missions of medium-range routes was for about 600 units.

Producing the A330 alone wouldn't have been profitable as well, because there were some costly development to be made like the wings.
By producing two aircraft aiming at two different ranges of missions, later completed by derivatives such as the A330-200 or A340-300E, Airbus made economis of scale and proposed a better offer than one of the two aircraft alone.

There are other factors than the number of engines which make the A330 different from the A340: the MTOW is lower on the A330 because the aircraft aims at shorter operations.

The current project, as replacement for the A300/A310, is the A330-500.

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