Egyptair Becomes A340-600 Launch Customer
27 January 1998
Egyptair has become the latest airline to sign a contract for Airbus Industrie's largest aircraft, the A340- 600, with a firm order for two aircraft and a further two options. It thus becomes one of a select group of airlines to benefit from being a launch customer for the latest member of the A330/A340 family.
The contract reaffirms the commitment to the A340-600 announced by Egyptair in November last year, and calls for a first delivery in 2003. In Egyptair's first, business and economy layout, the A340-600 will seat almost 400 passengers.
"In launching the A340-600, Airbus Industrie has broken a 30-year monopoly to give us a choice of very large aircraft for the very first time," said Egyptair Chairman Eng. Mohammed Fahim Rayan. "With less up-front investment, better economy, and valuable commonality with our other Airbus aircraft, the A340-600 is by far the most suitable choice for our large aircraft needs," he adds.
Egyptair has been an A340 operator since 1995, currently has three in service, and also has a large fleet of A320s, A321s and A300s. It was one of the first airlines in Middle East to fly Airbus aircraft, and remains the largest customer for them in the region.
"Success in the aviation business demands long-term commitments, and we now share a new one with Egyptair in the A340-600, which we believe will go far," Airbus Industrie Managing Director Jean Pierson said.
The A340-600 is a stretched version of the A340-300 already in widespread airline service, challenging the monopoly of the Boeing 747 by offering a more economical alternative on ranges of up to 7,500 naut. mi./13,900 km. It will be powered by Rolls-Royce Trent 500 engines.
Airbus Industrie won full program go-ahead of the ultra long-haul 313 seat A340-500 and 380-seat A340-600 in December last year, and has already booked around 100 commitments worth $13 billion from seven customers. The A330/A340 program is still the market leader in its class, with 431 firm orders from 48 customers to date.
I geuss it's a little less than I thought, but much more than many other A346 airlines like LH and SR. Expect China Eastern's A346's to be pretty high capacity too.