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SpaceshipDC10
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European Aviation plans to have a fleet of A340 cargo

Sun Jul 05, 2020 12:14 am

By the end of the year they plan to have 10 -600s converted to freighter, however no large cargo door will be installed. Its founder is also "confident that demand for cargo flights will continue to outpace supply even as passenger flights resume."

Stoddart says that with the seats removed, the A340-600 can carry 40,000kg (80,400lb) of freight in the passenger cabin in addition to 52,000kg or 14 PMC containers in the belly. However, because the cargo carried in the main cabin comprises mostly light boxes, “we bulk out before we weight out”.


https://www.aircargonews.net/freighters ... rgo-fleet/

Who would have imagined that just a few years ago, seeing A346s making a come back in the cargo business?
 
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FLALEFTY
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Re: European Aviation plans to have a fleet of A340 cargo

Sun Jul 05, 2020 12:48 am

It is great to see these A346's find a second life as freighters, but I wonder why they would go to all the trouble to obtain a conversion STC and not install a large cargo door for the main deck? Is this because of the lack of strength of the floor support beams (similar to the B772)?
 
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smithbs
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Re: European Aviation plans to have a fleet of A340 cargo

Sun Jul 05, 2020 12:52 am

Sounds very inconvenient to go through this trouble without a main cargo door. That's a big cabin to be loading through regular pax doors. Is it because A346's are that cheap right now?
 
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leleko747
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Re: European Aviation plans to have a fleet of A340 cargo

Sun Jul 05, 2020 12:59 am

so many 747s being fired from airlines and they want to invest in cargo A340-600s with no cargo doors? lolwut.
I wonder when people will understand:
Embraer 190 or simply E190, not ERJ-190. E-Jets are NOT ERJs!
Boeing 747-8, not Boeing 747-800. Same goes for 787.
Airbus A320, not Airbus 320.
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UA444
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Re: European Aviation plans to have a fleet of A340 cargo

Sun Jul 05, 2020 1:23 am

Someone man up and start an B772F conversion program.
 
argentinevol98
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Re: European Aviation plans to have a fleet of A340 cargo

Sun Jul 05, 2020 1:31 am

Sounds expensive to get an STC for frames that I can't see anyone possibly wanting as any kind of a long-term solution. I probably wouldn't bother with converting an A346 to start with but I definitely wouldn't bother to get the STC without a cargo door. I know it isn't precisely this simple but shouldn't an A330 cargo door fit without much complication? Would it cost much more than what it already costs to cut a door an A330?

Even if you are just moving packages having a cargo door is much more efficient. You don't see FX and 5X flying without proper cargo doors.
"He sospechado alguna vez que la única cosa sin misterio es la felicidad, porque se justifica por sí sola"-Jorge Luis Borges
 
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Polot
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Re: European Aviation plans to have a fleet of A340 cargo

Sun Jul 05, 2020 1:40 am

European Aviation bought up a lot of -600s (and some -500s) preCovid, with the idea of leasing them out. Covid has obviously killed that market though, and with many airlines retiring their remaining A346s the scrap value of the planes is rapidly decreasing too. Hence now this cargo idea, because this is honestly the only way they can hope to get any ROI from the planes.
 
trex8
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Re: European Aviation plans to have a fleet of A340 cargo

Sun Jul 05, 2020 2:15 am

Why dont they use the Airbus conversion?
https://www.flightglobal.com/air-transp ... 61.article
 
MIflyer12
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Re: European Aviation plans to have a fleet of A340 cargo

Sun Jul 05, 2020 2:26 am

Polot wrote:
European Aviation bought up a lot of -600s (and some -500s) preCovid, with the idea of leasing them out. Covid has obviously killed that market though, and with many airlines retiring their remaining A346s the scrap value of the planes is rapidly decreasing too. Hence now this cargo idea, because this is honestly the only way they can hope to get any ROI from the planes.


So, it's not a considered decision, it's made out of desperation. Got it.
 
LCDFlight
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Re: European Aviation plans to have a fleet of A340 cargo

Sun Jul 05, 2020 2:33 am

UA444 wrote:
Someone man up and start an B772F conversion program.


True. Recent events have made this the right time. Seems obvious this needs to happen.
 
JohnAudiR18
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Re: European Aviation plans to have a fleet of A340 cargo

Sun Jul 05, 2020 2:41 am

Wait, European Aviation, like Paul Stoddart European Aviation, the guy who ran Minardi F1???? They still exist????
 
eamondzhang
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Re: European Aviation plans to have a fleet of A340 cargo

Sun Jul 05, 2020 2:53 am

leleko747 wrote:
so many 747s being fired from airlines and they want to invest in cargo A340-600s with no cargo doors? lolwut.

And? Can you reliably deliver even one 747 converted freighter by end of 2020? Most of the BCF lines are already dead and A340 can just carry as much in lower belly of course. Also think A340 burns less fuel than any 747 would.

Michael
 
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afterburner
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Re: European Aviation plans to have a fleet of A340 cargo

Sun Jul 05, 2020 2:54 am

leleko747 wrote:
so many 747s being fired from airlines and they want to invest in cargo A340-600s with no cargo doors? lolwut.

Those pax 747s don't have cargo doors either.
 
325i
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Re: European Aviation plans to have a fleet of A340 cargo

Sun Jul 05, 2020 3:06 am

Greetings Folks,
With regards to Paul Stoddart formerly owning Minardi he was also behind an unsuccessful foray with OZJet Down Under.
He is without doubt a survivor in the business world.
Cheers 325i.
 
code176
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Re: European Aviation plans to have a fleet of A340 cargo

Sun Jul 05, 2020 3:15 am

Well it's been done before: viewtopic.php?t=751835
 
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lightsaber
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Re: European Aviation plans to have a fleet of A340 cargo

Sun Jul 05, 2020 3:29 am

First, a fascinating link. the 4 hours to load and unload is only acceptable during these trying times. That long load/unload time is the cost of not having the large cargo doors.

I'm not aware of any fundamental reason the A346 couldn't have the doors, it is more the economics of fuel and maintaining the 4 engines. For once we're back to normal cargo demand and cargo supply, I do not think the A346 would be in demand. In particular now that 777-300ERs have dropped so much in value and their is a a 777-300ERSF in work.

But for the next few years, these fill a high demand need and will make good money.

Lightsaber
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marcelh
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Re: European Aviation plans to have a fleet of A340 cargo

Sun Jul 05, 2020 8:45 am

MIflyer12 wrote:
Polot wrote:
European Aviation bought up a lot of -600s (and some -500s) preCovid, with the idea of leasing them out. Covid has obviously killed that market though, and with many airlines retiring their remaining A346s the scrap value of the planes is rapidly decreasing too. Hence now this cargo idea, because this is honestly the only way they can hope to get any ROI from the planes.


So, it's not a considered decision, it's made out of desperation. Got it.


Well, they are trying to get some lemonade out of the lemons. And IMHO there are a lot of airlines more desperate than European Aviation....
 
AAMDanny
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Re: European Aviation plans to have a fleet of A340 cargo

Sun Jul 05, 2020 9:20 am

It's been discussed before, the main issue with the A340-600 is floor structure and strength. Hand loaded bulk cargo such as boxes of PPE wouldn't surpass cabin floor limitations but ULD's would. But as mentioned, this takes a lot of time and manpower to do so.

Also the A340 (like the A330) cabin floor isn't 'flat' when parked. The A330-200F's have a nose gear mod at the manufacturing stage which alleviates this. The ex-Passenger DHL A330-300's that have been converted to Freighters have had several modifications inside and a ULD moving system to help move the ULD'd aft. Although this technology might be adaptable for the 340-600's is the market really there when similar sized twins such as the B777-300ER's coming on to the market and being converted to Freighters?


As much as I absolutely love the A340 family, in particular the 600's, it looks like they are clutching at straws to find niche uses for them.
 
TC957
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Re: European Aviation plans to have a fleet of A340 cargo

Sun Jul 05, 2020 10:21 am

Why all the negativity here ? I for one say Kudos to European Aviation for some blue sky thinking. At 92 tonnes capacity, the A346 falls neatly between what the MD-11F and 777F can carry, and should be cheaper to purchase and operate than any 747BCF. Not to mention it will outrange anything except the 777F. I hope European Aviation do well with this venture and make hay whilst the sun shines.
 
smartplane
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Re: European Aviation plans to have a fleet of A340 cargo

Sun Jul 05, 2020 10:44 am

Polot wrote:
European Aviation bought up a lot of -600s (and some -500s) preCovid, with the idea of leasing them out. Covid has obviously killed that market though, and with many airlines retiring their remaining A346s the scrap value of the planes is rapidly decreasing too. Hence now this cargo idea, because this is honestly the only way they can hope to get any ROI from the planes.

Bought or leased? Aren't they an Airbus used aircraft partner?
 
VSMUT
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Re: European Aviation plans to have a fleet of A340 cargo

Sun Jul 05, 2020 10:48 am

UA444 wrote:
Someone man up and start an B772F conversion program.


It's just handloaded pallets strapped to the floor, not a true conversion. I am almost positively certain that someone already does the same on 777-200s. I know for certain that some 777-300ERs (Emirates and KLM) are already doing the same. In fact, here is Austrian Airlines' 777-200 version of the same, and the link notes that El Al also did it on its 777s:
https://simpleflying.com/austrian-boeing-777-freighter/
 
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Polot
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Re: European Aviation plans to have a fleet of A340 cargo

Sun Jul 05, 2020 10:51 am

smartplane wrote:
Polot wrote:
European Aviation bought up a lot of -600s (and some -500s) preCovid, with the idea of leasing them out. Covid has obviously killed that market though, and with many airlines retiring their remaining A346s the scrap value of the planes is rapidly decreasing too. Hence now this cargo idea, because this is honestly the only way they can hope to get any ROI from the planes.

Bought or leased? Aren't they an Airbus used aircraft partner?

Bought or lease it doesn’t matter the fact is they have a bunch of A346s that they need to find a way to make money off of.
 
noviorbis77
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Re: European Aviation plans to have a fleet of A340 cargo

Sun Jul 05, 2020 11:02 am

Great to see some variety continue in the sky.
 
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zeke
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Re: European Aviation plans to have a fleet of A340 cargo

Sun Jul 05, 2020 11:20 am

FLALEFTY wrote:
It is great to see these A346's find a second life as freighters, but I wonder why they would go to all the trouble to obtain a conversion STC and not install a large cargo door for the main deck? Is this because of the lack of strength of the floor support beams (similar to the B772)?


Time is the issue cutting a door in. The engineering side of things have basically been done with the A300/ A310/A330.

All they would be doing here is removing seats and using the seat rails to tie down the cargo bags.
Human rights lawyers are "ambulance chasers of the very worst kind.'" - Sky News
 
fcogafa
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Re: European Aviation plans to have a fleet of A340 cargo

Sun Jul 05, 2020 11:31 am

Once the scheduled traffic picks up again the need for these extra freighters will diminish significantly. Heathrow is the UK's 2nd biggest port in normal times with minimal pure freighters
 
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Polot
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Re: European Aviation plans to have a fleet of A340 cargo

Sun Jul 05, 2020 11:43 am

zeke wrote:
FLALEFTY wrote:
It is great to see these A346's find a second life as freighters, but I wonder why they would go to all the trouble to obtain a conversion STC and not install a large cargo door for the main deck? Is this because of the lack of strength of the floor support beams (similar to the B772)?


Time is the issue cutting a door in. The engineering side of things have basically been done with the A300/ A310/A330.

All they would be doing here is removing seats and using the seat rails to tie down the cargo bags.

There would still be quite a bit of A340-600 specific engineering that would have to be done to make sure the structure is still properly supported with a giant hole in the fuselage, then there is all the certification that must be done.

But yes, time and money are why they are not even exploring adding a cargo door.
 
A321200
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Re: European Aviation plans to have a fleet of A340 cargo

Sun Jul 05, 2020 12:44 pm

Interesting, I'm guessing due to the titles they carry, they're being used for medical supply runs to the UK right now. I wouldn't have thought that would be sustainable on a daily basis for much longer - especially not with 10 on the go. I wonder what else they'll use them for? And is it all going into BOH?
 
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zeke
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Re: European Aviation plans to have a fleet of A340 cargo

Sun Jul 05, 2020 1:05 pm

Polot wrote:
There would still be quite a bit of A340-600 specific engineering that would have to be done to make sure the structure is still properly supported with a giant hole in the fuselage, then there is all the certification that must be done.

But yes, time and money are why they are not even exploring adding a cargo door.


Not really, same applies with windows and cabin doors, the normal loads are carried in the door frame.
Human rights lawyers are "ambulance chasers of the very worst kind.'" - Sky News
 
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Spacepope
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Re: European Aviation plans to have a fleet of A340 cargo

Sun Jul 05, 2020 2:07 pm

Polot wrote:
smartplane wrote:
Polot wrote:
European Aviation bought up a lot of -600s (and some -500s) preCovid, with the idea of leasing them out. Covid has obviously killed that market though, and with many airlines retiring their remaining A346s the scrap value of the planes is rapidly decreasing too. Hence now this cargo idea, because this is honestly the only way they can hope to get any ROI from the planes.

Bought or leased? Aren't they an Airbus used aircraft partner?

Bought or lease it doesn’t matter the fact is they have a bunch of A346s that they need to find a way to make money off of.


Indeed, they are stuck with that fleet no matter what, and revenue is revenue.

Still too small of an available feedstock to do a proper freighter conversion though, the engineering and certification costs can't be spread out enough.
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JFKalumni
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Re: European Aviation plans to have a fleet of A340 cargo

Sun Jul 05, 2020 2:23 pm

I’m Skeptical about their claims of being able to turn that plane around in 4 hours. Even if you have a fleet of high lift catering trucks converted into freight delivery and utilize the 8 doors onboard the 346, it still takes time to break down those positions inside the main cabin, move it off the plane, switch trucks from inbound to outbound, and reload.

You have 14 PMC positions in the cargo bay. If you have a 4 man crew with one can loader you can turn that flight in 90 minutes downstairs with a good crew.

That main cabin is going to take much longer.
 
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aemoreira1981
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Re: European Aviation plans to have a fleet of A340 cargo

Sun Jul 05, 2020 3:20 pm

I honestly cannot see an A340 permanent freighter configuration coming---very insufficient feedstock. Only about 125 A345/A346s were built, and many have been scrapped or are derelict. (The A343 had sufficient feedstock, but most of those are being flown until absolute end of life or close to it.) By contrast, over 800 B77Ws have/will be built, ensuring very sufficient feedstock for about 15-20 years of conversions. Had the A340-500 been offered as a freighter from the start, that would likely have ensured more stock and a longer life.
 
smartplane
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Re: European Aviation plans to have a fleet of A340 cargo

Sun Jul 05, 2020 7:07 pm

Polot wrote:
smartplane wrote:
Bought or leased? Aren't they an Airbus used aircraft partner?

Bought or lease it doesn’t matter the fact is they have a bunch of A346s that they need to find a way to make money off of.

Not so much if they are on the same Fly By Hour template as the HiFly A380, also an Airbus used aircraft partner.
 
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Polot
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Re: European Aviation plans to have a fleet of A340 cargo

Sun Jul 05, 2020 7:24 pm

smartplane wrote:
Polot wrote:
smartplane wrote:
Bought or leased? Aren't they an Airbus used aircraft partner?

Bought or lease it doesn’t matter the fact is they have a bunch of A346s that they need to find a way to make money off of.

Not so much if they are on the same Fly By Hour template as the HiFly A380, also an Airbus used aircraft partner.

A majority, if not all, were bought, not leased. An example of one of their purchases: https://www.avipeo.com/en/news/airlines ... s-ten-a340

They have also taken on many of VS’s frames.


Also it is not like European Aviation has a large and diverse fleet. The A340-600 and classic 737s have been their main specialty; other than the A340NGs they have a late 90s vintage A343 and a pair of 733s. If the A340NGs are getting no business (sale, lease, or parts) than the company’s revenue is essentially grinding to a halt.

This isn’t a company that came up with a brilliant new idea and then selected the A346 for the job, this is a company that realized ‘oh crap we have a bunch of now basically worthless A346s so let’s find a way to use them’.
 
Flymetothemoono
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Re: European Aviation plans to have a fleet of A340 cargo

Mon Jul 06, 2020 3:47 am

With all the cutbacks & airline closures, you'd think there would be demand for such aircraft in high seasons at least. From memory European bought half dozen or so ba 742s & jammed many seats into them & used them for all sorts of charters from soccer fans to long haul
 
airsmiles
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Re: European Aviation plans to have a fleet of A340 cargo

Mon Jul 06, 2020 5:42 am

European isn’t just an airline, but a diverse business covering spares, conversion, maintenance and resprays. It’s been going over 30 years and operates in a particular niche that few others could make work.
 
mxaxai
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Re: European Aviation plans to have a fleet of A340 cargo

Mon Jul 06, 2020 10:42 am

JFKalumni wrote:
I’m Skeptical about their claims of being able to turn that plane around in 4 hours. Even if you have a fleet of high lift catering trucks converted into freight delivery and utilize the 8 doors onboard the 346, it still takes time to break down those positions inside the main cabin, move it off the plane, switch trucks from inbound to outbound, and reload.

You have 14 PMC positions in the cargo bay. If you have a 4 man crew with one can loader you can turn that flight in 90 minutes downstairs with a good crew.

That main cabin is going to take much longer.

It's all a function of manpower. Looking at some videos/photos of the recent PPE cargo flights, they've had a team of 10-20 people carrying boxes up the stairs, placing the boxes in the cabin and securing them to the rails. This works for such high yield, lightweight cargo but I can't see it as a viable option for regular parcels or any sort of heavy cargo.

What could work is to pack cargo on small pallets (e. g. Euro-pallets) and load them with a pallet jack. These should fit through the doors. I'm not sure if that's allowed, though.
 
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JerseyFlyer
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Re: European Aviation plans to have a fleet of A340 cargo

Mon Jul 06, 2020 11:38 am

I wonder if Airbus is taking some of the risk in this - the A346's may be some of their guaranteed buyback frames.

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