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ZK-NBT
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Re: Why did the Airbus a340 outsell the MD-11?

Fri Aug 28, 2020 7:32 am

filipinoavgeek wrote:
ZK-NBT wrote:
Jalap wrote:
Commonality with the A330 wouldn't have played much of a role because the 330 initially wasn't a big success. Can't immediately think of airlines that operated both 330's and 340's in the mid '90's.
The 340 was simply the best plane in the market. Although it got overtaken pretty quickly. Perhaps Airbus didn't anticipate the ETOPS possibilities of twins soon enough.


CX for one. They were a solid A340 operator and one of the largest A330 operators.

There may be 1 or 2 others I can’t think of.


PR?


That’s another yes. Interesting CX leased the 342 before they Went to PR and CX got their 343s.
 
mxaxai
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Re: Why did the Airbus a340 outsell the MD-11?

Fri Aug 28, 2020 11:26 am

Several airlines replaced the MD-11 with A340 later.

SR originally ordered A340-600 in 1997, though LX eventually changed the order to receive the A340-300 in 2003. They also were one of the first A330-200 operators in 1998. The A346 was originally intended to replace both the 743 and MD-11 ... as we all know LX now operates the 77W instead. 19+ A346 orders would've given the program a major boost.

AY got the A340-300 in 2007-08
SW received their A340-300 in 2005
CI bought both A330- and A340-300 in 2005 and 2001, respectively
MU operated the A340 and MD-11 alongside each other, though Boeing eventually managed to replace both with the 777
 
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aemoreira1981
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Re: Why did the Airbus a340 outsell the MD-11?

Sat Aug 29, 2020 2:53 pm

ZK-NBT wrote:
filipinoavgeek wrote:
ZK-NBT wrote:

CX for one. They were a solid A340 operator and one of the largest A330 operators.

There may be 1 or 2 others I can’t think of.


PR?


That’s another yes. Interesting CX leased the 342 before they Went to PR and CX got their 343s.


What about LX (plus WK)? They operated the A332 and A343 alongside each other, and now the A333 and A343. (The A332s were inherited from SR.) Also, AF operated both models alongside each other (A332 and A343). The A332 was used to launch CDG-GIG nonstop.
 
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CrewBunk
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Re: Why did the Airbus a340 outsell the MD-11?

Sat Aug 29, 2020 4:47 pm

ZK-NBT wrote:

CX for one. They were a solid A340 operator and one of the largest A330 operators.

There may be 1 or 2 others I can’t think of.


Air Canada
Canada 3000 Airlines
Lufthansa
 
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SEPilot
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Re: Why did the Airbus a340 outsell the MD-11?

Sat Aug 29, 2020 4:50 pm

aemoreira1981 wrote:
jfk777 wrote:
The A340 always gets the "dog" treatment because it sold terribly and has four engines. Its twin, the A330, sold very well and is still in production as the A330-900. Airbus sold over 1,000 A330's. Why do people always separate the two when they were launch together, so the two programs are successful if looked at in that light.

It was the A330 that killed the A340, by being more capable as later versions were made the A330-300 could do all but the longest A340-300 missions. Sadly the A340-500/600 sold poorly. Airbus got their revenge on the 77W with the A350-1000, the new 77W.


If Airbus hadn't handicapped the early A330 (the 242t A333 can do virtually any A343 mission, and the upcoming 251t A339 can outperform the A343), I would say that the A340 would have sold even less. The A345 was a bad answer to the B77L (with the A346 being an answer to the B77W). It took until the A349/A35K to provide a worthy competitor.

I have to wonder what if the A345 was available as a freighter from the start.

You have it backwards. The 77W was the answer to the A346, and the 77L was the answer to the A345. Had the 77W not outperformed everyone’s expectations (including Boeing’s) the A346 would have done much better. Had the 77W come first, Airbus would have probably realized early on that the A346 couldn’t compete and abandoned it.

In contrast, the A343 was not as badly outclassed by the 77E as the A346 was by the 77W.
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airbazar
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Re: Why did the Airbus a340 outsell the MD-11?

Sat Aug 29, 2020 7:28 pm

Jalap wrote:
Anonz263x wrote:
Im aware that the MD-11 had initial issues with range, not being able to reach its advertised range I believe, but why did the Airbus a340, an aircraft with 4 engines, one more engine outsell it? I mean not massively, but enough, was the a340 a better seller due its commonality being with a330, or is there more to it?

Commonality with the A330 wouldn't have played much of a role because the 330 initially wasn't a big success. Can't immediately think of airlines that operated both 330's and 340's in the mid '90's.
The 340 was simply the best plane in the market. Although it got overtaken pretty quickly. Perhaps Airbus didn't anticipate the ETOPS possibilities of twins soon enough.

Humm, I'm going by memory here but I think that for the first 8 years or so the A332 was the best selling model of the A330/A340 line.
 
ZK-NBT
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Re: Why did the Airbus a340 outsell the MD-11?

Sun Aug 30, 2020 12:59 am

aemoreira1981 wrote:
ZK-NBT wrote:
filipinoavgeek wrote:

PR?


That’s another yes. Interesting CX leased the 342 before they Went to PR and CX got their 343s.


What about LX (plus WK)? They operated the A332 and A343 alongside each other, and now the A333 and A343. (The A332s were inherited from SR.) Also, AF operated both models alongside each other (A332 and A343). The A332 was used to launch CDG-GIG nonstop.


Commonality has totally been A common reason for A330/340 operators probably in the last 15-20 years, more those first few years in the 1990s, maybe airlines didn’t need new aircraft at the time or delivery slots weren’t available but in the initial years there didn’t seem to be to many takers of both A330/340 together?

When did SK get their first of each?

SR weren’t particularly early, I don’t think they got there first A330 until 1998 but then LX got A343s in 2003.
 
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Re: Why did the Airbus a340 outsell the MD-11?

Sun Aug 30, 2020 1:03 am

CrewBunk wrote:
ZK-NBT wrote:

CX for one. They were a solid A340 operator and one of the largest A330 operators.

There may be 1 or 2 others I can’t think of.


Air Canada
Canada 3000 Airlines
Lufthansa


True on AC they must have been a fairly early operator of both together.

I had to check C3 operated an A340 very briefly in 2001 to launch India flights, barely qualifying imo.

Lufthansa had early A340s but didn’t get it’s first A330 until 2002, they leased 5 332s until 2006 and replaced them with A333s.
 
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aemoreira1981
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Re: Why did the Airbus a340 outsell the MD-11?

Sun Aug 30, 2020 3:02 am

ZK-NBT wrote:
aemoreira1981 wrote:
ZK-NBT wrote:

That’s another yes. Interesting CX leased the 342 before they Went to PR and CX got their 343s.


What about LX (plus WK)? They operated the A332 and A343 alongside each other, and now the A333 and A343. (The A332s were inherited from SR.) Also, AF operated both models alongside each other (A332 and A343). The A332 was used to launch CDG-GIG nonstop.


Commonality has totally been A common reason for A330/340 operators probably in the last 15-20 years, more those first few years in the 1990s, maybe airlines didn’t need new aircraft at the time or delivery slots weren’t available but in the initial years there didn’t seem to be to many takers of both A330/340 together?

When did SK get their first of each?

SR weren’t particularly early, I don’t think they got there first A330 until 1998 but then LX got A343s in 2003.


Also, AC got A333s and A343s together (the 8 legacy A333s are 230t variants). AC also ended up with two A345s for YYZ-HKG that they didn't really want. AC ordered 22 frames (12 A343s, 8 A333s, and 2 A345s). The B77L and B77W killed the A345s after just 3 years, and AC leased them to JJ instead.

SK also ordered the A333 and A343 at the same time, with an initial order of 7 A343s and 4 A333s.
 
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Re: Why did the Airbus a340 outsell the MD-11?

Sun Aug 30, 2020 10:11 am

mxaxai wrote:
MU operated the A340 and MD-11 alongside each other, though Boeing eventually managed to replace both with the 777

Not really when MD-11 (pax model) went out of the door ages before 777 comes in - in fact the last MD-11 was converted more than 10 years before 77W came into service with MU.

For MU MD-11 was replaced by A340-600.

Michael
 
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Re: Why did the Airbus a340 outsell the MD-11?

Sun Aug 30, 2020 11:53 am

DeltaMD95 wrote:
The reason is simple. It’s because the MD-11 was offered for only 7 years after EIS (1991-98) and the A340 was offered for 28 years after EIS (1993-2011).
Apologies if it has already been corrected, but 1993-2011 is not "28 years" (try 18!) :lol:

Another curiosity is that the MD-11 order book was closed even before the final frames were started, Boeing slammed the door firmly shut on any possible late orders.

Whereas Airbus kept the door open as long as possible, praying for more orders, even though there were none. IIRC the final delivery (in 2011 to Iberia) was merely the conversion of an "option" dating back to an order originally placed in 2003! :o New orders had been thin on the ground for some years already.
{technically, the very last sale was re-allocating two white-tails left behind when Kingfisher Airlines went bankrupt before taking delivery}

Also add European nationalism that guaranteed the A340 orders from the likes of LH, AF, IB, etc
As opposed to US nationalism that guaranteed orders from..... :roll:

MAGA is not a new concept; it's been in play since 1776!
The A340 sold all around the world.....except one place (¹). No prizes for guessing the answer
(¹) three places if you count Australia/NZ
{I tire of both "sides" viewing nationalism as a fault that only applies to the other}

DeltaMD95 wrote:
Despite a production run that was twice as long, today a higher percentage of MD-11s are active than A340s (55% vs 33%), from their respective production runs.

<cough> MD-11F <cough>
And post-Covid, I would even query the 33% of A340s. :cry:
There are only 8 in the sky right now, versus 25 MD-11s (every one an "F")
Nothing to see here; move along please.
 
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CrewBunk
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Re: Why did the Airbus a340 outsell the MD-11?

Sun Aug 30, 2020 12:07 pm

aemoreira1981 wrote:

Also, AC got A333s and A343s together (the 8 legacy A333s are 230t variants). AC also ended up with two A345s for YYZ-HKG that they didn't really want. AC ordered 22 frames (12 A343s, 8 A333s, and 2 A345s). The B77L and B77W killed the A345s after just 3 years, and AC leased them to JJ instead.
.

Air Canada was also one of the first to order the A340-600. This order was deferred during bankruptcy/CCAA in 2003, then cancelled with the 777/787 order.

Cockpit commonality was one of the reasons for the Airbus order. One crew compliment flew the A330/340 (including the -500) while it was a “quick” course to and from the A320.
 
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aemoreira1981
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Re: Why did the Airbus a340 outsell the MD-11?

Sun Aug 30, 2020 12:44 pm

eamondzhang wrote:
mxaxai wrote:
MU operated the A340 and MD-11 alongside each other, though Boeing eventually managed to replace both with the 777

Not really when MD-11 (pax model) went out of the door ages before 777 comes in - in fact the last MD-11 was converted more than 10 years before 77W came into service with MU.

For MU MD-11 was replaced by A340-600.

Michael


Other than YYZ and JFK, where was the A346 really used at MU on intercontinental missions? Near the end, those were the last international destinations.
 
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Re: Why did the Airbus a340 outsell the MD-11?

Sun Aug 30, 2020 12:49 pm

SheikhDjibouti wrote:
The A340 sold all around the world.....except one place (¹). No prizes for guessing the answer
(¹) three places if you count Australia/NZ


It almost happened. Ansett had a fleet of A320's and at one point they were in discussions with SQ to take some of their A340's. In the end Ansett folded and some of the A340's ended up with CX and the rest went to Boeing.
 
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Re: Why did the Airbus a340 outsell the MD-11?

Sun Aug 30, 2020 12:56 pm

aemoreira1981 wrote:
eamondzhang wrote:
mxaxai wrote:
MU operated the A340 and MD-11 alongside each other, though Boeing eventually managed to replace both with the 777

Not really when MD-11 (pax model) went out of the door ages before 777 comes in - in fact the last MD-11 was converted more than 10 years before 77W came into service with MU.

For MU MD-11 was replaced by A340-600.

Michael


Other than YYZ and JFK, where was the A346 really used at MU on intercontinental missions? Near the end, those were the last international destinations.

LAX - I actually don't believe they used A346s on YYZ route but I could be wrong. Original routes were MU583/4 PVG-LAX and MU587/8 PVG-JFK return.

They were also used ad-hoc to Australia (both SYD and MEL have seen these birds here). In addition there's also regional missions to HKG, NRT & SIN but I believe these are rare except NRT.

Michael
 
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Re: Why did the Airbus a340 outsell the MD-11?

Sun Aug 30, 2020 2:57 pm

eamondzhang wrote:
LAX - I actually don't believe they used A346s on YYZ route but I could be wrong. Original routes were MU583/4 PVG-LAX and MU587/8 PVG-JFK return.

They were also used ad-hoc to Australia (both SYD and MEL have seen these birds here). In addition there's also regional missions to HKG, NRT & SIN but I believe these are rare except NRT.



We used to see them a lot in YYZ.

 
AirwayBill
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Re: Why did the Airbus a340 outsell the MD-11?

Sun Aug 30, 2020 4:08 pm

aemoreira1981 wrote:

Other than YYZ and JFK, where was the A346 really used at MU on intercontinental missions? Near the end, those were the last international destinations.


MU 346s were also regular visitors in Paris for the CDG-PVG route in the late 2000s/early 2010s.
 
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Re: Why did the Airbus a340 outsell the MD-11?

Sun Aug 30, 2020 5:11 pm

Quick question (not sure it's worthy of its own thread), why does the A330-200 have the taller tail, but the A340-200 not?
 
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Re: Why did the Airbus a340 outsell the MD-11?

Sun Aug 30, 2020 6:01 pm

MrHMSH wrote:
Quick question (not sure it's worthy of its own thread), why does the A330-200 have the taller tail, but the A340-200 not?

Some general suggestions:
1) A330 needs a bigger tail because when it has one engine out it loses half its thrust thus has a lot more yaw, A340 loses only a quarter of its thrust
2) Shorter aircraft need more tail area because the fuselage is shorter so tail provides less torque to counteract yaw

First one definitely applies, not sure about 2nd since I don't know the relative fuselage lengths.
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Re: Why did the Airbus a340 outsell the MD-11?

Sun Aug 30, 2020 6:47 pm

Revelation wrote:
MrHMSH wrote:
Quick question (not sure it's worthy of its own thread), why does the A330-200 have the taller tail, but the A340-200 not?

Some general suggestions:
1) A330 needs a bigger tail because when it has one engine out it loses half its thrust thus has a lot more yaw, A340 loses only a quarter of its thrust
2) Shorter aircraft need more tail area because the fuselage is shorter so tail provides less torque to counteract yaw

First one definitely applies, not sure about 2nd since I don't know the relative fuselage lengths.


193' vs 195'. So basically identical on length
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aemoreira1981
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Re: Why did the Airbus a340 outsell the MD-11?

Sun Aug 30, 2020 9:58 pm

Another question on door arrangement: why did the A332 not have the same door profile as the A342? On the A342, the exits are more or less evenly spaced, while doors 1 and 2 are much closer on the A332.
 
DeltaMD95
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Re: Why did the Airbus a340 outsell the MD-11?

Sun Aug 30, 2020 10:12 pm

ZK-NBT wrote:
DeltaMD95 wrote:
The reason is simple. It’s because the MD-11 was offered for only 7 years after EIS (1991-98) and the A340 was offered for 28 years after EIS (1993-2011). Also add European nationalism that guaranteed the A340 orders from the likes of LH, AF, IB, etc.

Despite a production run that was twice as long, today a higher percentage of MD-11s are active than A340s (55% vs 33%), from their respective production runs.


The question is more why was the MD11 only in production for 7 years after ETS, it was more like 11 1990-2001, but I think by 1998 when Boeing took over MCD they quickly announced the line would close.

Plenty have already answered why, reality is the MD11 fell short of promised performance.


We know the reason why. It’s because Boeing terminated production to sell more 744Fs.

As I stated, “offered for only 7 years after EIS.” To add, the MD-11’s deliveries in its final years (up to 2000) outpaced that of the A340 from 2007-2012. Meanwhile the Airbus quad was available for purchase for five more years. These are facts that are not open to interpretation. What is open to interpretation is the perceived performance superiority of a 1996 A343X vs a 1996 MD-11ER.

A better question is, with four different capacity variants, unlimited government subsidies, and a production run that was twice as long, how did the A340 only outsell the MD-11 by 175 aircraft? That’s not even a 2:1.
Last edited by DeltaMD95 on Sun Aug 30, 2020 10:19 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Did you know that a Boeing 717-200 is really a McDonnell Douglas MD95-30? ;-)
 
mxaxai
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Re: Why did the Airbus a340 outsell the MD-11?

Sun Aug 30, 2020 10:18 pm

aemoreira1981 wrote:
Another question on door arrangement: why did the A332 not have the same door profile as the A342? On the A342, the exits are more or less evenly spaced, while doors 1 and 2 are much closer on the A332.

My guess would be that the heavier engines of the A330, as well as the desire to maximise the distance between wing and tailplane, made it easier to take out frames ahead of the wing rather than behind it. AFAIK the A332 was more a shortened A333 than a twin-engined A342 derivative.
 
DeltaMD95
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Re: Why did the Airbus a340 outsell the MD-11?

Sun Aug 30, 2020 10:32 pm

SheikhDjibouti wrote:

Another curiosity is that the MD-11 order book was closed even before the final frames were started, Boeing slammed the door firmly shut on any possible late orders.
I
Whereas Airbus kept the door open as long as possible, praying for more orders, even though there were none. IIRC the final delivery (in 2011 to Iberia) was merely the conversion of an "option" dating back to an order originally placed in 2003! :o New orders had been thin on the ground for some years already.


You are proving my point exactly with this reply.


SheikhDjibouti wrote:
As opposed to US nationalism that guaranteed orders from..... :roll:

MAGA is not a new concept; it's been in play since 1776!
The A340 sold all around the world.....except one place (¹). No prizes for guessing the answer
(¹) three places if you count Australia/NZ
{I tire of both "sides" viewing nationalism as a fault that only applies to the other}.


Respectfully, this is a childish reply. I’m afraid your sensitivity is clouding your judgment. Would you argue that LH, AF, and IB selecting the Airbus (when two other options were available on the market) was not driven by nationalism?
Would you also argue that DL and AA selecting the MD-11 (when no competing options were available on the market) was nationalism?

I did not state that the EU operators and governments should not be allowed to be nationalistic or that it is even wrong. (I believe AZ should order the 787 for this very reason, among other operational factors). But to dismiss this benefit that the A340 had over the MD-11 is simply dishonest.
Did you know that a Boeing 717-200 is really a McDonnell Douglas MD95-30? ;-)
 
mxaxai
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Re: Why did the Airbus a340 outsell the MD-11?

Sun Aug 30, 2020 10:34 pm

DeltaMD95 wrote:
A better question is, with four different capacity variants, unlimited government subsidies, and a production run that was twice as long, how did the A340 only outsell the MD-11 by 175 aircraft? That’s not even a 2:1.

Because Airbus eventually offered an improved A330 that could do 90% of A340 missions at lower cost and with full crew and maintenance compatibility. After the 233t A333 (in 1999) and the A332 (in 1998) were available, only few airlines had networks that required the A343. The later increase to 238t, and eventually 242t, made the A343 fully redundant in Airbus' lineup and they dropped it accordingly.

Not to mention that the A340-200/300 outsold the pax MD-11 by 246 : 136, or almost 2:1. What "saved" the MD-11 was the freighter but a pure MD-11F line wasn't profitable for Boeing.
 
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Re: Why did the Airbus a340 outsell the MD-11?

Sun Aug 30, 2020 11:36 pm

mxaxai wrote:
DeltaMD95 wrote:
A better question is, with four different capacity variants, unlimited government subsidies, and a production run that was twice as long, how did the A340 only outsell the MD-11 by 175 aircraft? That’s not even a 2:1.

Because Airbus eventually offered an improved A330 that could do 90% of A340 missions at lower cost and with full crew and maintenance compatibility. After the 233t A333 (in 1999) and the A332 (in 1998) were available, only few airlines had networks that required the A343. The later increase to 238t, and eventually 242t, made the A343 fully redundant in Airbus' lineup and they dropped it accordingly.

Not to mention that the A340-200/300 outsold the pax MD-11 by 246 : 136, or almost 2:1. What "saved" the MD-11 was the freighter but a pure MD-11F line wasn't profitable for Boeing.


To put it more bluntly, neither the a340 nor the MD11 were the best options available on the market for most of that time.

The 777 and a330 wiped out the quad/trijet market. And, as you mentioned, with the launch of the 233t a333 and a332 and also the 77E in 1998, the a340 was rendered obsolete a few short years after EIS. The MD11 was an underperforming mess, so it's failure had more to do with it than the market leaving the type behind (like the a340).
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Re: Why did the Airbus a340 outsell the MD-11?

Sun Aug 30, 2020 11:48 pm

How many years after the MD 11 EIS did the severe corrosion issues start appearing? Is that why AA rushed to dump them?
xx
 
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Re: Why did the Airbus a340 outsell the MD-11?

Mon Aug 31, 2020 12:59 am

usxguy wrote:
How many years after the MD 11 EIS did the severe corrosion issues start appearing? Is that why AA rushed to dump them?


AA dumped them because they bought them for specific routes such as DFW-NRT and these aircraft didn't perform. There wasn't anything else available at the time smaller than a 747 but capable of the distance, the a340 and 777 entered service years later.

The MD11s fell well short of the performance and range they were marketed at. By the time the PIPs rolled in, AA was disillusioned and looking at the 777.
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Re: Why did the Airbus a340 outsell the MD-11?

Mon Aug 31, 2020 2:13 am

filipinoavgeek wrote:
ZK-NBT wrote:
Jalap wrote:
Commonality with the A330 wouldn't have played much of a role because the 330 initially wasn't a big success. Can't immediately think of airlines that operated both 330's and 340's in the mid '90's.
The 340 was simply the best plane in the market. Although it got overtaken pretty quickly. Perhaps Airbus didn't anticipate the ETOPS possibilities of twins soon enough.


CX for one. They were a solid A340 operator and one of the largest A330 operators.

There may be 1 or 2 others I can’t think of.


PR?

SABENA?
 
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Re: Why did the Airbus a340 outsell the MD-11?

Mon Aug 31, 2020 2:28 am

Antarius wrote:
I think Airbus got caught up thinking the 4 engine solution would last longer than it did and that carriers would buy in to that by fear mongering the twins. They were still pushing the "4 engine for long haul" mantra into the 2000s. So they seemed to focus more on offering a 4 engine option long haul and a 2 engine regionally than a long haul twin.

I can't imagine it was anything but a strategic blunder, as they launched the a332 in 1998 which was a major success. In addition, they pioneered the twin widebody with the a300, so they were at one point ahead of the times by decades.


There was another issue. In 1993, Airbus was still a relatively new name in the business, only having existed since the 1970s and with only three models under their belt. By contrast, both McD and Boeing had existed since the dawn of aviation. They'd managed to get the relatively large engines made for the A300 and A310 models as derivatives of engines already being employed on the 747 and DC-10.

So when Boeing went to PW, GE, and RR and said: "We want you to make an enormous engine in the 80-90klbf range, completely from scratch" the engine OEMs took that seriously. By contrast, Airbus didn't have that kind of pull, although they got RR/IAE to agree to make the superfan...which they couldn't do and so Airbus had to default to CFM.

So at the time, I don't think Airbus could have gotten an OEM to make an engine big enough to make a twin-engine A340. Even the much larger engines on the A330 were derivatives of existing platforms, with the exception of the Trent 700 (which, it could be argued, was an RB-211 derivative).

In time, Airbus became a more formidable force in the market, capturing approximately half of the global large airliner market. These days, OEMs take Airbus very seriously, although Airbus seems to have a sort of relationship with RR, while Boeing has one with GE.

The other issue, to get back to the original question in the thread, is that when an MD-11's no. 2 engine goes tech at some outstation, it's waaaay up there and it's a challenge to fix. When an A340's no. 2 engine goes tech at some outstation, it's conveniently located under the wing.
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LAX772LR
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Re: Why did the Airbus a340 outsell the MD-11?

Mon Aug 31, 2020 8:04 am

jfk777 wrote:
Airbus got their revenge on the 77W with the A350-1000, the new 77W.

How exactly, when the overwhelming majority of 77Ws are not only still flying, and had more or less completed their production run before the A35K was in service?


aemoreira1981 wrote:
I have to wonder what if the A345 was available as a freighter from the start.

It probably would've sold as dirt-poorly as the pax version, considering that it carried soooo much deadweight from (1) the stretch and (2) structure for C-market ops.
I myself, suspect a more prosaic motive... ~Thranduil
 
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Re: Why did the Airbus a340 outsell the MD-11?

Mon Aug 31, 2020 9:01 am

DeltaMD95 wrote:
ZK-NBT wrote:
DeltaMD95 wrote:
The reason is simple. It’s because the MD-11 was offered for only 7 years after EIS (1991-98) and the A340 was offered for 28 years after EIS (1993-2011). Also add European nationalism that guaranteed the A340 orders from the likes of LH, AF, IB, etc.

Despite a production run that was twice as long, today a higher percentage of MD-11s are active than A340s (55% vs 33%), from their respective production runs.


The question is more why was the MD11 only in production for 7 years after ETS, it was more like 11 1990-2001, but I think by 1998 when Boeing took over MCD they quickly announced the line would close.

Plenty have already answered why, reality is the MD11 fell short of promised performance.


We know the reason why. It’s because Boeing terminated production to sell more 744Fs.

As I stated, “offered for only 7 years after EIS.” To add, the MD-11’s deliveries in its final years (up to 2000) outpaced that of the A340 from 2007-2012. Meanwhile the Airbus quad was available for purchase for five more years. These are facts that are not open to interpretation. What is open to interpretation is the perceived performance superiority of a 1996 A343X vs a 1996 MD-11ER.

A better question is, with four different capacity variants, unlimited government subsidies, and a production run that was twice as long, how did the A340 only outsell the MD-11 by 175 aircraft? That’s not even a 2:1.


Maybe the MD11 was just not what was expected of it then, SQ cancelled on favour of A343s. Others also canceled and most were pretty quick do get rid of it as a pax aircraft who did operate it. Quite a few of the MD11s were built as Freighters so pax wise the A340 outsold it closer 3:1.

As others said the A340 lost out to an improved A330 and the 777. The A340 shared Many parts with the A330 and wouldn’t have been that expensive to produce. The MD11 while there was still some interest from existing mainly freight operators wasn’t seen as viable to keep the line open. Sure Boeing wanted to sell more 744Fs but maybe Boeing also knew Pax carriers were dropping MD11s by then which could be converted to Freighters.
 
VSMUT
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Re: Why did the Airbus a340 outsell the MD-11?

Mon Aug 31, 2020 10:46 am

Antarius wrote:
The 777 and a330 wiped out the quad/trijet market. And, as you mentioned, with the launch of the 233t a333 and a332 and also the 77E in 1998, the a340 was rendered obsolete a few short years after EIS.


The 777-200ER not so much. The A340-300 actually burns a bit less fuel than the 777-200ER. It landed more sales campaigns than the 777-200ER, while the 777-200ER landed more of the really big operators. Production runs ran for 15 years for the A340-300 and 16 years for the 777-200ER, but that includes one year where no 777-200ERs were delivered. Another point worth mentioning is that the final years of 777-200ER production pretty much ran on top-ups for British Airways, ANA and Continental Airlines. An A340-300 operator who wanted to top up with more would obviously buy the A330-300, given how similar the two are.

It was effectively the A330-300 range/weight improvements and the 777-300ER with its fantastic CASM that took care of the A340-300 (and 777-200ER at the same time). The A340-300 and 777-200ER died out at roughly the same time.
 
tommy1808
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Re: Why did the Airbus a340 outsell the MD-11?

Mon Aug 31, 2020 11:31 am

LAX772LR wrote:
jfk777 wrote:
Airbus got their revenge on the 77W with the A350-1000, the new 77W.

How exactly, when the overwhelming majority of 77Ws are not only still flying, and had more or less completed their production run before the A35K was in service?


Would there have been a 77X without the A351?

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ltbewr
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Re: Why did the Airbus a340 outsell the MD-11?

Mon Aug 31, 2020 12:23 pm

I think there are several factors that led to the A340 sales success vs. the MD-11.

The A-340 was Airbus' first real 'jumbo' or large aircraft and many airlines, especially in the EC were already using Airbus brand aircraft and wanted to keep fleet brand commonality. By the early 1990's. Unless an airline had other MD model aircraft, it made sense to go with an Airbus.

By the time of first deliveries of the MD-11, MD itself was losing market share, it only had 2 models of civilian aircraft, nothing in the 'middle' like the A300, A310 or B767.

As others have noted, the MD-11 was overweight, had a clumsy placed 3rd engine, quirks as to its handling that led to hull losses, based on a much older model aircraft, early versions with limited range.

Ironically, a higher percentage of production of MD-11's (about 117) albeit all as freighters are flying vs. A340's (about 113 as of mid-2020)
 
airbazar
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Re: Why did the Airbus a340 outsell the MD-11?

Mon Aug 31, 2020 12:32 pm

DeltaMD95 wrote:
Respectfully, this is a childish reply. I’m afraid your sensitivity is clouding your judgment. Would you argue that LH, AF, and IB selecting the Airbus (when two other options were available on the market) was not driven by nationalism?

Hummm...lets see. 777 didn't exist yet. 767 was too small and couldn't handle containerized cargo in the same way. MD-11 old tech and heavy. Choosing the best aircraft at the time must have been driven by nationalism, for sure :rotfl: :rotfl: :rotfl:
If you told me politics had an influence I would agree that it did play some role in it although at that time the A340 was still the best aircraft available. I'm not sure this should be even a point of discussion. We're not talking about A320 vs. 737 here. In the mid-80's the A340 was revolutionary. So much so that at least one U.S. airline actually committed to it even if it didn't end up buying it. There's a big difference between nationalism and politics tho. I could go into the details as to why those airlines ended up with the A340 but this has been discussed adnauseam on this forum and all you have to do is a simple search to find the answers. Hint: the 4 years between the A340 launch and the 777 launch made a huge difference. Also, while ETOPS 180 was a huge driver for TPAC routes, European airlines didn't really need ETOPS 180.
 
Antarius
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Re: Why did the Airbus a340 outsell the MD-11?

Mon Aug 31, 2020 3:26 pm

VSMUT wrote:
Antarius wrote:
The 777 and a330 wiped out the quad/trijet market. And, as you mentioned, with the launch of the 233t a333 and a332 and also the 77E in 1998, the a340 was rendered obsolete a few short years after EIS.


The 777-200ER not so much. The A340-300 actually burns a bit less fuel than the 777-200ER. It landed more sales campaigns than the 777-200ER, while the 777-200ER landed more of the really big operators. Production runs ran for 15 years for the A340-300 and 16 years for the 777-200ER, but that includes one year where no 777-200ERs were delivered. Another point worth mentioning is that the final years of 777-200ER production pretty much ran on top-ups for British Airways, ANA and Continental Airlines. An A340-300 operator who wanted to top up with more would obviously buy the A330-300, given how similar the two are.

It was effectively the A330-300 range/weight improvements and the 777-300ER with its fantastic CASM that took care of the A340-300 (and 777-200ER at the same time). The A340-300 and 777-200ER died out at roughly the same time.


The 77E sold 422 copies, twice that of the a343. (Base 772 was another 88) It's hard to call that less successful. If the a343 was a slam dunk in terms of fuel consumption, why would the large operators buy so many 77Es?

Of course the 77W was more successful later and resulted in assisting in killing off the a343 and also the a345, a346, 744, 748, a380. However the 77W EIS was 12 years after the a343 and the 77E actually outsold the entire a340 program.
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VSMUT
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Re: Why did the Airbus a340 outsell the MD-11?

Mon Aug 31, 2020 4:23 pm

Antarius wrote:
The 77E sold 422 copies, twice that of the a343. (Base 772 was another 88) It's hard to call that less successful.


But as I pointed out, less customers, a metric that is all too often overlooked. More airlines found that the 4-engined aircraft was better than the twin.

Something else worth considering is that the 777-200ERs lead in total sales could have been completely swayed in favour of the A340-300, if just a pair of major customers had made a different selection. It almost happened too. Continental Airlines had the A340 on order until they were forced through bankruptcy. Singapore Airlines, if Boeing hadn't been creative. Swap those two around, and the A340-300 and 777-200ER would only have been 90 sales apart (not even counting the airlines that took the ex-Singapore aircraft, who would have had to order new A340s instead).


Antarius wrote:
If the a343 was a slam dunk in terms of fuel consumption, why would the large operators buy so many 77Es?


I am not completely sure what this slam dunk basketball term means, but the difference was small and easily offset by better offers on pricing by one manufacturer vs the other. The British Airways selection of the 777-200 was heavily influenced by the possibility of converting outstanding 747 orders, something they obviously couldn't do for an Airbus product.

The reality is that very few A340-300s or 777-200ERs were replaced by each other, most notably the Singapore Airlines thing, which had nothing to do with the aircraft.
 
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Re: Why did the Airbus a340 outsell the MD-11?

Mon Aug 31, 2020 4:32 pm

tommy1808 wrote:
LAX772LR wrote:
jfk777 wrote:
Airbus got their revenge on the 77W with the A350-1000, the new 77W.

How exactly, when the overwhelming majority of 77Ws are not only still flying, and had more or less completed their production run before the A35K was in service?


Would there have been a 77X without the A351?

That's a question without a (publicly-discernible) answer.

A decision to launch is always a confluence of factors (money/demand/competition/etc), and no one here would have sufficient data to accurately make a claim in either direction as to how much the A35K played a part in that.

My own personal speculation is that of course it played a role, but (I'm guessing) not as big of one as the realization that the A380 has zilch appeal on the secondhand market, and thus wouldn't likely remain in service anywhere near as long as Airbus would've initially hoped.
Last edited by LAX772LR on Mon Aug 31, 2020 4:38 pm, edited 1 time in total.
I myself, suspect a more prosaic motive... ~Thranduil
 
Antarius
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Re: Why did the Airbus a340 outsell the MD-11?

Mon Aug 31, 2020 4:37 pm

VSMUT wrote:
Antarius wrote:
The 77E sold 422 copies, twice that of the a343. (Base 772 was another 88) It's hard to call that less successful.


But as I pointed out, less customers, a metric that is all too often overlooked. More airlines found that the 4-engined aircraft was better than the twin.

Something else worth considering is that the 777-200ERs lead in total sales could have been completely swayed in favour of the A340-300, if just a pair of major customers had made a different selection. It almost happened too. Continental Airlines had the A340 on order until they were forced through bankruptcy. Singapore Airlines, if Boeing hadn't been creative. Swap those two around, and the A340-300 and 777-200ER would only have been 90 sales apart (not even counting the airlines that took the ex-Singapore aircraft, who would have had to order new A340s instead).


Antarius wrote:
If the a343 was a slam dunk in terms of fuel consumption, why would the large operators buy so many 77Es?


I am not completely sure what this slam dunk basketball term means, but the difference was small and easily offset by better offers on pricing by one manufacturer vs the other. The British Airways selection of the 777-200 was heavily influenced by the possibility of converting outstanding 747 orders, something they obviously couldn't do for an Airbus product.

The reality is that very few A340-300s or 777-200ERs were replaced by each other, most notably the Singapore Airlines thing, which had nothing to do with the aircraft.


IMO, that's an irrelevant metric. Because 100 airlines ordering 1 frame each still means you only sold 100 aircraft. It's creative marketing, for sure, but doesn't explain how a single variant of the 777 line (77E) outsold the entire a340 line, including the 342,343,345 and 346.

More than 50% of the a343 orders came in the 5 years before the 77E entered service. In the 14 years after, the remainder. Of course, the higher MTOW a333 and the a332 launching at the same time as the 77E helped a lot to cannibalize sales, but I think it's disingenuous to paint the a340 as successful on the back of "more customers but far less orders".

The a340 served a place between 1993 and 1998 where it's only competition was the large 744 and the underperforming MD11. Anyone who wanted anything smaller than a 744 could get an a340 as it was the only and best long haul option. But come 1998, it was replaced.

No matter how many discrete customers one has, a 250 deep order book across 18 years is pretty poor. Especially when, during the same period, the a330 and 777 sold thousands.
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DUSdude
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Re: Why did the Airbus a340 outsell the MD-11?

Mon Aug 31, 2020 5:11 pm

Antarius wrote:
They were still pushing the "4 engine for long haul" mantra into the 2000s.


That was actually a Virgin Atlantic slogan, not an Airbus "mantra".

 
mxaxai
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Re: Why did the Airbus a340 outsell the MD-11?

Mon Aug 31, 2020 5:15 pm

Antarius wrote:
Especially when, during the same period, the a330 ... sold thousands.

That's the point. An existing 772 or 77E customer who wanted more medium sized aircraft would obviously order more 77E. But an A343 customer had the option of switching to the A333 which offered greater efficiency and 99% commonality. Obviously you can't say that the A340 was a great aircraft just because its brother, the A330, sold thousands but it's also wrong to say that the 77E "killed" the A343. If Airbus hadn't offered the high MTOW A330, they probably would've sold more A340s (though less than the number of A330 that were sold in reality).
 
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Re: Why did the Airbus a340 outsell the MD-11?

Mon Aug 31, 2020 5:37 pm

DUSdude wrote:
Antarius wrote:
They were still pushing the "4 engine for long haul" mantra into the 2000s.


That was actually a Virgin Atlantic slogan, not an Airbus "mantra".


You are right. I mixed the two up.

However, Airbus did have sections of their website extolling the virtues of 4 engine aircraft. When they launched the a350, it disappeared. 4 engines was a big part of their push for the a340, albeit not in the phrase above which was VS.
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airbazar
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Re: Why did the Airbus a340 outsell the MD-11?

Mon Aug 31, 2020 5:55 pm

Antarius wrote:
The 77E sold 422 copies, twice that of the a343. (Base 772 was another 88) It's hard to call that less successful. If the a343 was a slam dunk in terms of fuel consumption, why would the large operators buy so many 77Es?

I thought we were done with the A340 vs. 772 arguments, like 10 years ago :D
Fuel consumption is only 1 factor. And I'll leave it at that.
 
DUSdude
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Re: Why did the Airbus a340 outsell the MD-11?

Mon Aug 31, 2020 6:02 pm

airbazar wrote:
Antarius wrote:
The 77E sold 422 copies, twice that of the a343. (Base 772 was another 88) It's hard to call that less successful. If the a343 was a slam dunk in terms of fuel consumption, why would the large operators buy so many 77Es?

I thought we were done with the A340 vs. 772 arguments, like 10 years ago :D
Fuel consumption is only 1 factor. And I'll leave it at that.


...and on sectors beyond a certain length, the A343 actually has better fuel consumption than the 772.

Another thing to note is that among those carriers who had the A343 or the 772 prior to COVID-19, many 772s have been early retired (e.g. BA, DL), while A343 operators are continuing to rely on the A343 as the backbone of their longhaul operations (LH, LX), even though they have other (in some cases newer) twinjet options in their fleets. It certainly says something about the utility and relative costs of operating the A343.
Last edited by DUSdude on Mon Aug 31, 2020 6:04 pm, edited 1 time in total.
 
VSMUT
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Re: Why did the Airbus a340 outsell the MD-11?

Mon Aug 31, 2020 6:02 pm

Antarius wrote:
IMO, that's an irrelevant metric.


No it isn't, because I just demonstrated why a direct comparison of total sales is a useless way to compare the two.


Antarius wrote:
More than 50% of the a343 orders came in the 5 years before the 77E entered service. In the 14 years after, the remainder.


The A340-300 had a production run of 16 years, not 19.


Antarius wrote:
but I think it's disingenuous to paint the a340 as successful on the back of "more customers but far less orders".


What is really disingenuous is to paint the A340-300 as a failure because a handful of airlines ordered massive numbers of the 777-200ER, and then begin to throw the A340-500 and -600 into the mix afterwards (because those two were actually abject failures).


Antarius wrote:
The a340 served a place between 1993 and 1998 where it's only competition was the large 744 and the underperforming MD11. Anyone who wanted anything smaller than a 744 could get an a340 as it was the only and best long haul option. But come 1998, it was replaced.


Ah yes, I forgot, completely replaced by 1998. SAS, Finnair, Olympic Airways, Air China, Swiss, Philippine Airlines, Aerolineas Argentinas, South African Airways, Air Tahiti Nui, China Airlines and LAN Chile, clearly figments of my imagination.


Antarius wrote:
No matter how many discrete customers one has, a 250 deep order book across 18 years is pretty poor.


18, 19 , 250? :confused: It was 218 over 16 years.


Antarius wrote:
Especially when, during the same period, the a330 and 777 sold thousands.


Not the 777-200ER. It sold 422.
 
Antarius
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Re: Why did the Airbus a340 outsell the MD-11?

Mon Aug 31, 2020 6:10 pm

mxaxai wrote:
Antarius wrote:
Especially when, during the same period, the a330 ... sold thousands.

That's the point. An existing 772 or 77E customer who wanted more medium sized aircraft would obviously order more 77E. But an A343 customer had the option of switching to the A333 which offered greater efficiency and 99% commonality. Obviously you can't say that the A340 was a great aircraft just because its brother, the A330, sold thousands but it's also wrong to say that the 77E "killed" the A343. If Airbus hadn't offered the high MTOW A330, they probably would've sold more A340s (though less than the number of A330 that were sold in reality).


That's fair. And to be clear im not staying that the 777 killed off the a340 alone. The a333 and a332 did as well. And while, the newer a333 offered a viable alternative to buying the a343, the 77E was also an option that was competitive. Otherwise it wouldn't have sold 420+ units.

IMO, it is fair to say that after the first 5 years of EIS where the a340 was top dog compared to the MD11, it was left behind by the twins from both manufacturers. And that's why the bulk of the a343 orders and deliveries were before the a333 higher MTOW, the a332 and the 77E.
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Antarius
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Re: Why did the Airbus a340 outsell the MD-11?

Mon Aug 31, 2020 6:15 pm

VSMUT wrote:
Antarius wrote:
Especially when, during the same period, the a330 and 777 sold thousands.


Not the 777-200ER. It sold 422.


422 > 218. If you ask either manufacturer which they prefer, the answer is 422. Everything else is PR like the 747-8 being marketed as the longest plane in the world - technically true, but useless.

The rest is ticky tacky arguments designed to obfuscate a simple fact. 218 over 16 years isn't successful either compared to either the a333 or 77E. It is more successful than the underperforming MD11, which is crux of the thread. 50% of the deliveries were in the first 5 years. The remaining ELEVEN were the remainder (fixed it). Doesn't make it successful.

I'm not sure why this is such an emotional topic. The math says it clearly.
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VSMUT
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Re: Why did the Airbus a340 outsell the MD-11?

Mon Aug 31, 2020 6:30 pm

Antarius wrote:
422 > 218. If you ask either manufacturer which they prefer, the answer is 422. Everything else is PR like the 747-8 being marketed as the longest plane in the world - technically true, but useless.


Your claim was that the 777-200ER made the A340-300 obsolete and wiped it out. At least 10 airlines signed up for the A340-300 after the 777-200ER was introduced. Several of those still fly it today. The type remained in production for a decade after the 777-200ER entered service.
 
Antarius
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Re: Why did the Airbus a340 outsell the MD-11?

Mon Aug 31, 2020 6:38 pm

VSMUT wrote:
Antarius wrote:
422 > 218. If you ask either manufacturer which they prefer, the answer is 422. Everything else is PR like the 747-8 being marketed as the longest plane in the world - technically true, but useless.


Your claim was that the 777-200ER made the A340-300 obsolete and wiped it out. At least 10 airlines signed up for the A340-300 after the 777-200ER was introduced. Several of those still fly it today. The type remained in production for a decade after the 777-200ER entered service.


No. I said the 77E contributed to the death of the a343, not that it was solely responsible. The a333 and a332 did as well.

My exact point was that the a340 was the best plane on the market when it was launched as it vastly surpassed the MD11. However 5 years later, the a333, a332, and 77E were available and they led to the demise of the a340 which is reflected in the order book.
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