OMAAbound
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Last VS A340

Fri Mar 08, 2019 9:56 am

The last Virgin Atlantic A340 scheduled service will arrive into LHR on 1st November 2019, 2 A340’s will be kept on as ‘Spares’ for a further few months, operating select routes on an adhoc basis.

How’s your chance to get out and see these beautiful French ladies for one final time. I’ll be said to see them go.

OMAA
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jimmy9irons
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Re: Last VS A340

Fri Mar 08, 2019 1:36 pm

What was their total fleet and how many remain?
 
SQ317
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Re: Last VS A340

Fri Mar 08, 2019 1:45 pm

jimmy9irons wrote:
What was their total fleet and how many remain?


The peak A340-600 fleet was 19, down to just 6 now. If i recall correctly, they planned to take as many as 25 -600s.
They also had 10 A340-300s, the last of which left the fleet in 2015.
 
Bricktop
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Re: Last VS A340

Fri Mar 08, 2019 2:30 pm

:( I love the elegant look of the A346, even if it is perhaps just a smidge too long. SA's is my favorite, but VS is very nice too. It even made the old MU look classy. I will be sad to see the end of them.
 
azz767
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Re: Last VS A340

Fri Mar 08, 2019 3:10 pm

Presumably to coincide with the re-introduction of G-VBOW and V-NEW both of which have been parked at LHR since last summer. And the delivery of the first A350 which is due this year.
 
EmoticonsAllDay
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Re: Last VS A340

Fri Mar 08, 2019 3:18 pm

Is the last A340 to be retired the one recently 'brought back from the dead' due to the B787 engine problems?
 
Arion640
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Re: Last VS A340

Fri Mar 08, 2019 4:21 pm

Surprised the 747 has made it longer than what the A340’s have at VS.
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george77300
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Re: Last VS A340

Fri Mar 08, 2019 4:27 pm

Arion640 wrote:
Surprised the 747 has made it longer than what the A340’s have at VS.


That is the capacity for you. The 747s have 455 seats in a 14J/66W/375Y configuration. For the high capacity routes this isn't as easy to replace as the A340, which has a similar configuration to the much more efficient 787s and also the A350s coming. The 747s will end up going when the rest of the A350s come no doubt.
 
EddieDude
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Re: Last VS A340

Fri Mar 08, 2019 5:11 pm

Bricktop wrote:
:( I love the elegant look of the A346, even if it is perhaps just a smidge too long. SA's is my favorite, but VS is very nice too. It even made the old MU look classy. I will be sad to see the end of them.

Luckily IB and LH still have plenty of A346s!
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JamesCousins
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Re: Last VS A340

Fri Mar 08, 2019 5:27 pm

Wow that's a much faster phase out than I had expected, VS must have quite the fleet slack once the 2 787s return. When is the first A350 due, and how many will they take before November 1st?
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Peterwk146
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Re: Last VS A340

Fri Mar 08, 2019 5:49 pm

OMAAbound wrote:
The last Virgin Atlantic A340 scheduled service will arrive into LHR on 1st November 2019, 2 A340’s will be kept on as ‘Spares’ for a further few months, operating select routes on an adhoc basis.

How’s your chance to get out and see these beautiful French ladies for one final time. I’ll be said to see them go.

OMAA


Strictly speaking, they're beautiful European ladies!
 
jimmy9irons
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Re: Last VS A340

Fri Mar 08, 2019 5:50 pm

13 A346s have already been retired? Where did they end up - scrap?
 
skipness1E
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Re: Last VS A340

Fri Mar 08, 2019 5:59 pm

 
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readytotaxi
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Re: Last VS A340

Fri Mar 08, 2019 6:51 pm

Gasp! Virgin had a B767 in 1996, I missed that.
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airlinereporter
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Re: Last VS A340

Fri Mar 08, 2019 6:59 pm

I'm actually seeing the last flight as Oct 27, LOS-LH, arriving 4:55p local.
 
george77300
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Re: Last VS A340

Fri Mar 08, 2019 7:14 pm

JamesCousins wrote:
Wow that's a much faster phase out than I had expected, VS must have quite the fleet slack once the 2 787s return. When is the first A350 due, and how many will they take before November 1st?


I can see at least 4 on the list. Possibly a fifth being one of the test frames? Could be more too. 4-6 would be my guess.
 
DobboDobbo
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Re: Last VS A340

Sat Mar 09, 2019 1:10 am

Sad to see them go, I thought they’d stick around for a bit to provide additional lift post B744. That they aren’t perhaps signals the B789 issues becoming less of a problem, as well as what appears to be a relatively quick lead in period to bringing the A35K into revenue service.

The S20 plans should be out soon, and that should shed some light on where VS are headed (particularly in light of the recent Connect Airways and DL/AF/KL changes).
 
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bluefltspecial
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Re: Last VS A340

Sat Mar 09, 2019 3:16 am

readytotaxi wrote:
Gasp! Virgin had a B767 in 1996, I missed that.


Same! I'm blown away that I didn't know this!
Save a horse, ride a Fly-boy....
 
smi0006
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Re: Last VS A340

Sat Mar 09, 2019 3:24 am

OMAAbound wrote:
The last Virgin Atlantic A340 scheduled service will arrive into LHR on 1st November 2019, 2 A340’s will be kept on as ‘Spares’ for a further few months, operating select routes on an adhoc basis.

How’s your chance to get out and see these beautiful French ladies for one final time. I’ll be said to see them go.

OMAA


How do spares work for tech crew rostering? Are there a few 340 tech crew kept on standby, gardening leave? Or are they cross trained and keep their 340 endorsement as a back up?

Shame they are leaving they look fantastic in Ava’s livery, never knew their fleet was so large!
 
amc737
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Re: Last VS A340

Sat Mar 09, 2019 7:01 am

Virgin leased Martinair 767-300 PH-MCG to operate Manchester Orlando in lieu of an A340 over autumn/winter 1996/7. I’m not sure if this did turn up on occasion at Gatwick my memory is hazy. It was nearly in full colours - the tail was painted and it had titles but retained Martinairs natural metal belly.

I actually remember when Virgin got their first A340, although by this point Virgin was mainly a Heathrow airline with just Boston, Miami and Orlando at Gatwick they where delivered to Gatwick and flew to Boston - the initial order was 4 300’s which I think where Northwest ntu.

amc737
 
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cv990Coronado
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Re: Last VS A340

Sat Mar 09, 2019 10:56 am

OMAAbound wrote:
The last Virgin Atlantic A340 scheduled service will arrive into LHR on 1st November 2019, 2 A340’s will be kept on as ‘Spares’ for a further few months, operating select routes on an adhoc basis.

How’s your chance to get out and see these beautiful French ladies for one final time. I’ll be said to see them go.

OMAA


Strictly speaking, they're beautiful European ladies!

Well with British wings and engines I would say they are more British than anything.
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clipperlondon
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Re: Last VS A340

Sat Mar 09, 2019 11:48 am

cv990Coronado wrote:
OMAAbound wrote:
The last Virgin Atlantic A340 scheduled service will arrive into LHR on 1st November 2019, 2 A340’s will be kept on as ‘Spares’ for a further few months, operating select routes on an adhoc basis.

How’s your chance to get out and see these beautiful French ladies for one final time. I’ll be said to see them go.

OMAA


Strictly speaking, they're beautiful European ladies!

Well with British wings and engines I would say they are more British than anything.


And you could possibly say that about any Airbus model :stirthepot:
 
KingOrGod
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Re: Last VS A340

Sat Mar 09, 2019 11:59 am

cv990Coronado wrote:
OMAAbound wrote:
The last Virgin Atlantic A340 scheduled service will arrive into LHR on 1st November 2019, 2 A340’s will be kept on as ‘Spares’ for a further few months, operating select routes on an adhoc basis.

How’s your chance to get out and see these beautiful French ladies for one final time. I’ll be said to see them go.

OMAA


Strictly speaking, they're beautiful European ladies!

Well with British wings and engines I would say they are more British than anything.


One doesn't often see just wings and engines flying around - there"s plenty of Europe in each and every Airbus. You cannot deny it's heritage, no matter how you want to spin it...
And one could argue it is those very engines that partially led to it's early demise...
 
deltalaw
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Re: Last VS A340

Sat Mar 09, 2019 1:17 pm

Just flew on one last night, JFK-LHR on VS10. Definitely showing their wear in the cabin. The AVOD is beyond ancient, but nice and smooth ride. Very quiet with a slow climb-out. All the trademarks of an A340.
 
JamesCousins
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Re: Last VS A340

Sat Mar 09, 2019 1:59 pm

deltalaw wrote:
Just flew on one last night, JFK-LHR on VS10. Definitely showing their wear in the cabin. The AVOD is beyond ancient, but nice and smooth ride. Very quiet with a slow climb-out. All the trademarks of an A340.


To be fair to Virgin they should have a pretty consistent product across the fleet once the 340s are gone. Explains the refit of seating and AVOD to the 747s a few years back and not to the 340s.
Q400, A320-200, A321-200, 737-500, 737-800, 747-400, 757-200, 787-9 // FCA, TOM, TUI, MON, MT, BA, VS, DL, BE, X9, OLY
 
JamesCousins
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Re: Last VS A340

Sat Mar 09, 2019 2:01 pm

DobboDobbo wrote:
...as well as what appears to be a relatively quick lead in period to bringing the A35K into revenue service.


I imagine Delta's expertise on the A350 type (albeit the -900) will help Virgin a good deal with EIS. Wouldn't be surprised to see Delta do the engine maintence on their fleet either, some nice extra revenue for DL there
Q400, A320-200, A321-200, 737-500, 737-800, 747-400, 757-200, 787-9 // FCA, TOM, TUI, MON, MT, BA, VS, DL, BE, X9, OLY
 
akelley728
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Re: Last VS A340

Sat Mar 09, 2019 4:19 pm

So the A340-600 has been an elusive type on my flight log.

I am flying to LHR in September. Based on the experience of those who regularly fly Virgin, how solid is the schedule from now to then? I would like to purchase my tickets now, but I don’t want to take a chance of buying a ticket if the aircraft type isn’t the one I selected when buying the ticket.

Out of JFK, right now VS 25/26 seem to be my only options. Should I buy or wait?
 
airxliban
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Re: Last VS A340

Sat Mar 09, 2019 4:31 pm

smi0006 wrote:
OMAAbound wrote:
The last Virgin Atlantic A340 scheduled service will arrive into LHR on 1st November 2019, 2 A340’s will be kept on as ‘Spares’ for a further few months, operating select routes on an adhoc basis.

How’s your chance to get out and see these beautiful French ladies for one final time. I’ll be said to see them go.

OMAA


How do spares work for tech crew rostering? Are there a few 340 tech crew kept on standby, gardening leave? Or are they cross trained and keep their 340 endorsement as a back up?

Shame they are leaving they look fantastic in Ava’s livery, never knew their fleet was so large!


I had the same question...is there are a couple of 346s hanging around as spares, what are those pilots doing? Would have to be incredibly inefficient unless the 340 crew also fly the 330. Does anyone know the answer to that one?
PARIS, FRANCE...THE BEIRUT OF EUROPE.
 
B-HOP
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Re: Last VS A340

Sat Mar 09, 2019 4:46 pm

smi0006 wrote:
OMAAbound wrote:
The last Virgin Atlantic A340 scheduled service will arrive into LHR on 1st November 2019, 2 A340’s will be kept on as ‘Spares’ for a further few months, operating select routes on an adhoc basis.

How’s your chance to get out and see these beautiful French ladies for one final time. I’ll be said to see them go.

OMAA


How do spares work for tech crew rostering? Are there a few 340 tech crew kept on standby, gardening leave? Or are they cross trained and keep their 340 endorsement as a back up?

Shame they are leaving they look fantastic in Ava’s livery, never knew their fleet was so large!


I believe their crew already CCQ on A330 and would be kept busy with the A330 fleet with 4 -200 added earlier, they might even do CCQ onto A350 too.
Live life to max!!!
 
eamondzhang
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Re: Last VS A340

Sat Mar 09, 2019 9:01 pm

EddieDude wrote:
Bricktop wrote:
:( I love the elegant look of the A346, even if it is perhaps just a smidge too long. SA's is my favorite, but VS is very nice too. It even made the old MU look classy. I will be sad to see the end of them.

Luckily IB and LH still have plenty of A346s!

Not with LH which is also drawing down their A346 fleet and FA rumours are MUC A346 fleet are going by end of year 2019.

Michael
 
Bricktop
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Re: Last VS A340

Sat Mar 09, 2019 9:51 pm

eamondzhang wrote:
EddieDude wrote:
Bricktop wrote:
:( I love the elegant look of the A346, even if it is perhaps just a smidge too long. SA's is my favorite, but VS is very nice too. It even made the old MU look classy. I will be sad to see the end of them.

Luckily IB and LH still have plenty of A346s!

Not with LH which is also drawing down their A346 fleet and FA rumours are MUC A346 fleet are going by end of year 2019.

Michael

Yep. The A346 is already gone at EWR. Happily for me I now get to see their A359 which even their new livery can’t ruin. IB has already switched their earlier flight into JFK likewise, but at least for now both they and LH send the A346 into Kennedy. As does SA of course. That beauty will be around a while I am sure.
 
Armodeen
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Re: Last VS A340

Sat Mar 09, 2019 10:33 pm

akelley728 wrote:
So the A340-600 has been an elusive type on my flight log.

I am flying to LHR in September. Based on the experience of those who regularly fly Virgin, how solid is the schedule from now to then? I would like to purchase my tickets now, but I don’t want to take a chance of buying a ticket if the aircraft type isn’t the one I selected when buying the ticket.

Out of JFK, right now VS 25/26 seem to be my only options. Should I buy or wait?


Maybe consider a quick overnight to Madrid on the IB 340 flight to make sure. Although when I tried it I got equipment swapped to an A333 on the outbound and A343 (right before retirement) on the return!

It is usually a 346 though.
 
CRJ900
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Re: Last VS A340

Sun Mar 10, 2019 12:42 am

VS never considered reconfiguring the A346 into 420-450-seat B744 replacements, then? The A346 is supposedly more fuel efficient than the B744...
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DobboDobbo
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Re: Last VS A340

Sun Mar 10, 2019 1:39 am

CRJ900 wrote:
VS never considered reconfiguring the A346 into 420-450-seat B744 replacements, then? The A346 is supposedly more fuel efficient than the B744...


That’s broadly what I thought they’d do for a handful of frames to be used on the MCO run (on the basis they are newer and more fuel efficient than the B744s, larger than the A330s, and cheaper than the B789 / A35Ks).

I’m sure there are good reasons why they aren’t doing just that, and I’m sure those reasons will emerge in due course.
 
MSPNWA
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Re: Last VS A340

Sun Mar 10, 2019 1:45 am

Sad to hear they're retiring even sooner than I expected. They are a great ride. Some dated parts inside, but quiet, comfortabl, and of course unique.
 
akelley728
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Re: Last VS A340

Wed Mar 13, 2019 8:53 pm

Armodeen wrote:
Maybe consider a quick overnight to Madrid on the IB 340 flight to make sure. Although when I tried it I got equipment swapped to an A333 on the outbound and A343 (right before retirement) on the return!

It is usually a 346 though.


Hopefully there isn't an equipment swap! My main question is how solid is VS's schedule six months out?
 
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Narfish641
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Re: Last VS A340

Tue Mar 19, 2019 3:28 pm

Don't want to look like a person who hits the nail on the coffin, but is there any source towards this information?
I know VS is pulling their A340 away from ATL-LHR route and replacing with the A333 at the end of next month. But out of EWR? That's definitely a sign.
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BostonBeau
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Re: Last VS A340

Tue Mar 19, 2019 3:42 pm

I took an early trip on a VS 340-300 from Boston to Gatwick the week they replaced the "Spirit of Sir Freddie" B747-100 that usually served Boston. It still had that "new plane" smell...haha. It did seem to take forever to take off compared to the Freddie, but it was a very nice plane. The only complaint I had was the toilets in Premium (still "mid-class" at the time). They were on the outside wall, and with the nearly circular cross-section of the fuselage, I bumped my head on the curved ceiling trying to use the toilet (I'm over 6 ft).
 
Kadish
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Re: Last VS A340

Tue Mar 19, 2019 7:24 pm

cv990Coronado wrote:
OMAAbound wrote:
The last Virgin Atlantic A340 scheduled service will arrive into LHR on 1st November 2019, 2 A340’s will be kept on as ‘Spares’ for a further few months, operating select routes on an adhoc basis.

How’s your chance to get out and see these beautiful French ladies for one final time. I’ll be said to see them go.

OMAA


Strictly speaking, they're beautiful European ladies!

Well with British wings and engines I would say they are more British than anything.


Sure, more british than anything, they were made and designed in the very centre of london.
How daring and petulant is the ignorance.
 
TC957
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Re: Last VS A340

Tue Mar 19, 2019 7:41 pm

azz767 wrote:
Presumably to coincide with the re-introduction of G-VBOW and V-NEW both of which have been parked at LHR since last summer. And the delivery of the first A350 which is due this year.

VBOW has been fixed and returned to service 2nd March.
 
33lspotter
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Re: Last VS A340

Tue Mar 19, 2019 8:44 pm

So much for “4 Engines 4 Long Haul”! :stirthepot: :duck:
 
EarlyLateORD
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Re: Last VS A340

Tue Mar 19, 2019 9:04 pm

I rode onboard A340-600 G-VWIN operating as VS 138 last week, returning on VS27 operated by a 747-400 G-VROY. The A340-600 was actually a substitute for the A330 I was booked on. Enjoyed the opportunity to fly on it. Seats were a bit uncomfortable and the AVOD was limited but overall enjoyed the short 5:50 flight JFK-LHR. The 747 on the return was a real treat, taking off into London's extreme winds within the relative safety of such a beastly plane was soo comforting. The FINNAIR A350 I had landed in took quite a beating. I rode in the "bubble" upstairs on the 747 and it was one of the finest economy flights I've ever had.

Adam
Last edited by EarlyLateORD on Tue Mar 19, 2019 9:05 pm, edited 1 time in total.
 
RobertPhoenix
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Re: Last VS A340

Tue Mar 19, 2019 9:04 pm

33lspotter wrote:
So much for “4 Engines 4 Long Haul”! :stirthepot: :duck:


Interesting, in view of current events, that Airbus didn't believe that the FAA would certify 2 engines planes for extended ETOPS, As I understand it, and paraphrasing someone else's statement, Boeing won, with the B777 given long ETOPS approval based mostly on statistical analysis with zero operational experience, which made the B777 the dominant long-haul aircraft for a time.

Let's hope the FAA was right, given that we all have little choice now, but to fly on two engine planes,
 
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Narfish641
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Re: Last VS A340

Sat Apr 20, 2019 12:24 am

G-VBUG was retired a month ago. Lady Bird is biting the dust.

https://flightaware.com/live/flight/GVBUG
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LAX772LR
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Re: Last VS A340

Sat Apr 20, 2019 5:14 am

EddieDude wrote:
Luckily IB and LH still have plenty of A346s!

Though probably for not as long as they would've originally liked/planned back in the day.

As fewer and fewer airlines operate the type, the cost to maintain is going to steadily increase. With both airlines already operating its in-house replacement, I'd be surprised if the next economic shock doesn't induce them to hasten the departure of the A346 (despite guarantees by Airbus, which can also play to that effect) .
I myself, suspect a more prosaic motive... ~Thranduil
 
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mr02
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Re: Last VS A340

Sat Apr 20, 2019 6:50 am

I'm assuming the A35K will replace the A340s
 
eamondzhang
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Re: Last VS A340

Sat Apr 20, 2019 9:25 am

LAX772LR wrote:
EddieDude wrote:
Luckily IB and LH still have plenty of A346s!

Though probably for not as long as they would've originally liked/planned back in the day.

As fewer and fewer airlines operate the type, the cost to maintain is going to steadily increase. With both airlines already operating its in-house replacement, I'd be surprised if the next economic shock doesn't induce them to hasten the departure of the A346 (despite guarantees by Airbus, which can also play to that effect) .

Not for IB apparently as their A350s are for growth (however granted it can replace A340 at any time). LH is indeed replacing their A346s with A359s.

Michael
 
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SEPilot
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Re: Last VS A340

Sat Apr 20, 2019 10:12 am

Does engine maintenance have anything to do with A346s being retired before 744s?
The problem with making things foolproof is that fools are so doggone ingenious...Dan Keebler
 
BrianDromey
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Re: Last VS A340

Sat Apr 20, 2019 10:48 am

The A340s were kept longer due to 787 delays and engine trouble, I think. The 747s are pretty young (they were cancelled Alitalia orders in 2001/2). The 747s have a dedicated role from LGW/MAN/GLA/BFS to Orlando, mainly. They are very Y heavy and have very small Upper Class cabins. I guess paid-down 747s with huge Y cabins work better than expensive A350s/787s
 
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Channex757
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Re: Last VS A340

Sat Apr 20, 2019 11:41 am

SEPilot wrote:
Does engine maintenance have anything to do with A346s being retired before 744s?

It will be a factor, but VS went down the GE path with the 744 thanks to some sweetheart deals on offer at the time. Still easy enough to get those worked on outside of manufacturer shops too.

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