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Hamlet69
Posts: 2541
Joined: Thu Mar 09, 2000 2:45 am

RE: Cathay Pacific Looking Into 747-400QLR

Wed Nov 20, 2002 7:12 am

N79969,

I have been aware of CX's conservatism for some time, however, I would not be the one to ask as to the reasoning. Indeed, Cx flyboy's comments indicate an attitude that is even more deeply entrenched than I had assumed.


Cx flyboy,

Speaking of such, I find you're comments very surprising considering you fly twins (note: not judging, just genuinely surprised). Having flown numerous ETOPS flights as a passenger, I have not noticed any anxiety from fellow passengers about twin-engine operations. Of course, there will always be those who are afraid of flying to begin with, but my experience indicates this has nothing to do with number of engines.

Of course, that is coming from a North American perspective, not an Asian one. However, as I stated previously, if ANA and JAL are both open to the idea of flying twins (777) across the Pacific, I can envision CX coming around as well. Indeed, if LROPS are ever adopted, I can't see the benefits of operating quads at all except for the super-jumbos.

Regards,

Hamlet69
All gave some. Some gave all.
 
CX Flyboy
Posts: 6148
Joined: Sun Dec 26, 1999 6:10 pm

RE: Cathay Pacific Looking Into 747-400QLR

Wed Nov 20, 2002 11:11 am

I know that the chances of both engines failing due to independant reasons are next to none, but tell me that if you are flying in the middle of the Pacific, 3 hours away from the nearest airport on a dark turbulent stormy night and one of the engines goes bang, leaving the other engine working at absolute maximum with the prospect of thrashing that engine for the next 3 hours to land somewhere on a snowy icy crosswind short-field landing somewhere like Shemya when you are dead tired already does not concern you in the slightest, because it scares the hell out of me, and believe me there are plenty of nights just like that!

Also remember though, that Cathay has not operated twins for that long, and we have not operated real ETOPS for long either. We hardly fly any ETOPS routes at the moment, the only ones the 777 does being BKK-CMB, where it is just beyond the 60mins for a very short time only, and the Middle East routes, which need not even be ETOPS, it's just that Cathay didn't examine all the enroute airfields as suitable alternates, so they made it ETOPS. So we only have one 777 route where we are outside of 60mins for 30mins tops. This shows how cautious we are to the whole thing.
 
Boeing Nut
Posts: 5078
Joined: Fri Feb 23, 2001 2:42 am

RE: Cathay Pacific Looking Into 747-400QLR

Wed Nov 20, 2002 11:31 am

Cx Flyboy,

Is Cathay considering the A345 at all?
I'm not a real aeronautical engineer, I just play one on Airliners.net.
 
Rai
Posts: 1697
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RE: Cathay Pacific Looking Into 747-400QLR

Wed Nov 20, 2002 11:32 am

You guys never answered my question about where CX plans to fly this plane if they get it...
 
jupiter2
Posts: 1739
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RE: Cathay Pacific Looking Into 747-400QLR

Wed Nov 20, 2002 12:47 pm

They would probably use it to LHR/LAX/JFK, the current routes thay have where a little bit of extra capacity would help, passenger wise, but where the extra payload range would be of most benefit, just as QF is doing and going to do with the 400ER, use it on the current long stages that are payload restricted.
RL
 
CX Flyboy
Posts: 6148
Joined: Sun Dec 26, 1999 6:10 pm

RE: Cathay Pacific Looking Into 747-400QLR

Wed Nov 20, 2002 1:06 pm

Boeing_nut,

I have not heard anything about us being interested in the A340-500, but I am guessing that we have looked at it thoroughly and would not be surprised if we announced and order for it, but do not know enough about the aircraft compared to the -600 to make a comment.
 
gigneil
Posts: 14133
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RE: Cathay Pacific Looking Into 747-400QLR

Wed Nov 20, 2002 3:27 pm

cx_flyboy,

The A340-500 is about 4 meters longer than the A340-300, and has a typical range of 8,650nm with full pax load. They say it carries 313 passengers. Obviously with less than 313 pax it should be able to go much farther than 8,650nm.

The A340-600 is more like a 20 frame stretch, about 12 meters longer, and has a 7,500nm range. It's a "380" passenger plane, although I am dubious of many airlines putting that many seats on. You never know.

N
 
ZK-NBT
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RE: Cathay Pacific Looking Into 747-400QLR

Wed Nov 20, 2002 6:00 pm

It is strange how they use the A333 to SYD and MEL now rather than the A343 then, is it only because of the new J class cabins?

I heard once that CX was thinking about using 773's to AKL, they flew to MEL for a short time in the late 1990's! AKL does need a larger aircraft really, although services were just increased to 10x weekly. 744's are coming for a short while soon!
 
CXCPA
Posts: 356
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RE: Cathay Pacific Looking Into 747-400QLR

Wed Nov 20, 2002 11:45 pm

CX Flyboy,
If CX managements hate Airbus, why CX have so many Airbus fleets? And Cathay will have Airbus 340-600 soon. It is quite strange. A330-300 can be replaced by B777-200. I cannot observe any evident to show that CX do not like Airbus.
 
CX Flyboy
Posts: 6148
Joined: Sun Dec 26, 1999 6:10 pm

RE: Cathay Pacific Looking Into 747-400QLR

Thu Nov 21, 2002 12:08 am

CXCPA,

If you had read what I said, you would see that I said our CEO does not personally like Airbuses. Our management like Airbuses, their operating costs (excluding the maintenance nightmares) and purchase prices are cheap, and fleet commonality are a bonus. The A330 and A340 suit our short and long range routes, and yes, the A346 will soon be here although that seems to have some problems. I personally don't like Mercedes cars much, but if I were to buy a fleet of hotel cars or something I would seriously consider them. Any decent airline manager should not let his/her personal feelings cloud what makes the best economic or strategic sense.
 
gigneil
Posts: 14133
Joined: Fri Nov 08, 2002 10:25 am

RE: Cathay Pacific Looking Into 747-400QLR

Thu Nov 21, 2002 8:09 am

cx_flyboy,

What problems with the A346 are you referring to?

N
 
CX Flyboy
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Joined: Sun Dec 26, 1999 6:10 pm

RE: Cathay Pacific Looking Into 747-400QLR

Thu Nov 21, 2002 10:11 am

Well I am not an Airbus pilot and I was told by my friend who is one, although he had not fully heard what was going on, but as he understood it, there have been some flight control issues with the A340-600 where a couple of times the pilot has had to manually takeover from the autopilot. Cathay are aware of this (or whatever the controllability problem is) and are rostering extra training for pilots on top of what they originally planned as a result. Might be related to controlability differences in the landing phase. He was not sure, so take all this with a pinch of salt, but there are problems anyway.
 
ConcordeBoy
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RE: Cathay Pacific Looking Into 747-400QLR

Thu Nov 21, 2002 10:25 am

... that, and while the A346 can fly HKG-NYC with as much (and somewhat more) payload than the 772ER which currently flies that run; it can NOT however perform that route to its maximum payload capability either. Neither can the 773ER, 744ER, etc. Cathay is having to do some soul-searching as well as whip the two major manufacturers around in order to find a plane which fits that [among other] routes while maximizing its tote capabilities.
Faire du ciel le plus bel endroit de la terre c'est impossible sans Concorde!
 
Boeing Nut
Posts: 5078
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RE: Cathay Pacific Looking Into 747-400QLR

Thu Nov 21, 2002 11:47 am

... that, and while the A346 can fly HKG-NYC with as much (and somewhat more) payload than the 772ER which currently flies that run; it can NOT however perform that route to its maximum payload capability either. Neither can the 773ER, 744ER, etc. Cathay is having to do some soul-searching as well as whip the two major manufacturers around in order to find a plane which fits that [among other] routes while maximizing its tote capabilities.

Which is probably why Cathay is interested in the QLR. More range, or payload with the 744 range. And another reason for Cathay to consider the A345. According to Airbus, the A345 can go around 7,200 nm with 313 pax and nearly 22 tons of cargo.
I'm not a real aeronautical engineer, I just play one on Airliners.net.
 
Guest

RE: Cathay Pacific Looking Into 747-400QLR

Thu Nov 21, 2002 1:34 pm

Another reason CX might go for either the A340-500 or 747-400QLR is because they can be ordered with Rolls Royce engines.
 
gigneil
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RE: Cathay Pacific Looking Into 747-400QLR

Thu Nov 21, 2002 4:22 pm

Wait, I thought RR had been publically disgusted with Boeing because Boeing was refusing to offer the QLR with RR engines?

Didn't they release something to the effect of "Rolls Royce still hopeful" for the 747-400QLR?

The Boeing 747-400 QLR website only lists GE engines as being available, and has both Pratt and RR as "study".

N
 
Guest

RE: Cathay Pacific Looking Into 747-400QLR

Thu Nov 21, 2002 6:12 pm

Who knows what is going on between Rolls Royce and Boeing? Maybe they can offer the Trent 600 series as an option on the 747-400QLR?
 
CXCPA
Posts: 356
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RE: Cathay Pacific Looking Into 747-400QLR

Thu Nov 21, 2002 6:51 pm

CX flyboy,
It is very strange. Why do you know CX management personally hate Airbus? I think it is just your personal opinions, right?
 
hkgspotter1
Posts: 5750
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RE: Cathay Pacific Looking Into 747-400QLR

Thu Nov 21, 2002 6:54 pm

CXCPA,

I think you are very strange, how the hell do you know where Cx_flyboy got this info from ??

Stop posting silly messages.
 
CX Flyboy
Posts: 6148
Joined: Sun Dec 26, 1999 6:10 pm

RE: Cathay Pacific Looking Into 747-400QLR

Thu Nov 21, 2002 6:55 pm

CXCPA,

Please read what I write before you post. It is not my personal opinion. I know that our CEO does not like Airbuses, but it does not mean that our management board does not like Airbuses. Our purchasing department likes Airbuses and that is why we have them. It is not my personal opinion.
 
kaitak
Posts: 9957
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RE: Cathay Pacific Looking Into 747-400QLR

Thu Nov 21, 2002 6:58 pm

This week's Flight International has a piece referring to plans by Boeing to offer a completely new version of the 747, the -800X, which will be "more than just a -400QXLR". The article suggests that airlines have been pretty cold towards the new -QXLR variant.

I think one of CX's concerns has been the range of the -600 and I understand (it may have been in one of the previous posts under this topic) that the -600ER, currently being discussed by Airbus with EK, is also attracting CX's interest.

 
gigneil
Posts: 14133
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RE: Cathay Pacific Looking Into 747-400QLR

Thu Nov 21, 2002 7:06 pm

With only 286 seats on their -600, why not order -500s? I think they could likely fit 286 seats on in relative comfort... maybe not.

Is it a cargo thing? Its been mentioned a few times that the -600 can't carry its full payload on HKG-JFK, but a -500 surely could.

HKG-JFK is 7014nm. That seems far less than the stated range goals of either airplane...

N
 
CXCPA
Posts: 356
Joined: Sat May 27, 2000 11:14 pm

RE: Cathay Pacific Looking Into 747-400QLR

Thu Nov 21, 2002 8:11 pm

Purchasing aircraft is an important job. CEO should involve in this job. I don't know why the CEO do not pursuade the relative departments stop purchase Airbus is CEO do not like Airbus or think Airbus is not good enough. What the CEO are doing? Or they just think how to minimize the amount of staff?
 
CX Flyboy
Posts: 6148
Joined: Sun Dec 26, 1999 6:10 pm

RE: Cathay Pacific Looking Into 747-400QLR

Thu Nov 21, 2002 9:13 pm

CXCPA,

The CEO should rightly not let his personal feelings into something as important as an aircraft purchase. I like Tristars, but if I become CEO I am not going to force Cathay to sell all our Airbuses and Boeings and buy a fleet or 130 Tristars!!! Please think.
 
hkgspotter1
Posts: 5750
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RE: Cathay Pacific Looking Into 747-400QLR

Thu Nov 21, 2002 9:15 pm

I like the Global Express so if I was CEO Cathay would have about 800 of them !!  Nuts
 
B-HOP
Posts: 830
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RE: Cathay Pacific Looking Into 747-400QLR

Thu Nov 21, 2002 9:42 pm

CEO of KMB (Kowloon Motor Bus) also like Volvo, but we have Dennis, Man, Neoplan.

Regards
Kev
Live life to max!!!
 
Klaus
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Cx_flyboy

Thu Nov 21, 2002 10:17 pm

Interesting to read that at least some pilots see ETOPS with a little more reservation that some accounting departments do...

On another point: I´m still waiting for some plausible evidence that Airbuses are "a maintenance nightmare". I would expect that any type whose maintenance issues reached "nightmarish" proportions would seriously hurt the operator´s bottom line. As it appears, that doesn´t seem to be the case, so far.

So unless somebody can actually present some evidence, I must take that statement as an expression of a subjective personal preference (for whatever reasons) with no foundation in actual fact.
 
User avatar
RayChuang
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RE: Cathay Pacific Looking Into 747-400QLR

Thu Nov 21, 2002 10:29 pm

If CX wants the 747-400QLR, there's only one route where this makes sense: HKG-JFK. It certainly doesn't make sense for HKG-SFO or HKG-LAX, where the 747-400's CX currently flies can make it easily.
 
777236ER
Posts: 12213
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RE: Cathay Pacific Looking Into 747-400QLR

Thu Nov 21, 2002 10:53 pm

Lol, it's great how someone who actually works in the company is branded as someone with subjective personal preferences (read: liar) just because what they said isn't liked by some people.
Your bone's got a little machine
 
CXCPA
Posts: 356
Joined: Sat May 27, 2000 11:14 pm

RE: Cathay Pacific Looking Into 747-400QLR

Thu Nov 21, 2002 11:01 pm

B-HOP,
You are wrong! Volvo double-decker buses actually are Leyland, a British Company which was bought by Volvo few years ago. And the CEO of KMB do not hate other brands, but according to CX flyboy, the CEO of CX hate Airbuses. So this example cannot prove CX flyboy statement is correct
 
N79969
Posts: 6605
Joined: Tue Jan 29, 2002 1:43 am

RE: Cathay Pacific Looking Into 747-400QLR

Thu Nov 21, 2002 11:05 pm

Ray,

I think the extra cargo lift capability of the QLR would be useful on any of the routes you mention that are served by 744s.

CX_Flyboy,

A couple of questions:

In a 4-engine jet, if you have a single IFSD--what is the procedure? Do you divert to an alternate immediately, proceed to destination if possible, or ...?

Also, some of the more ardent Airbus supporters were offended upon hearing that Airbus (in CX's fleet at least) have more maintenance issues that Boeings? I believe you because you have no reason to make up such a thing. Would you elaborate for the skeptics?
 
Klaus
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777236ER

Thu Nov 21, 2002 11:44 pm

777236ER: Lol, it's great how someone who actually works in the company is branded as someone with subjective personal preferences (read: liar) just because what they said isn't liked by some people.

Liar? Hardly. Having subjective preferences has got nothing to do with lying. Although people usually tend to exaggerate from there...  Wink/being sarcastic I would voice my doubts just as well if such a vague and general damnation was issued against Boeing, by the way.

It just looks a little inconsistent that Airbus still continues to win orders (from Cathay, among others) while "nightmarish" maintenance problems would surely have become general knowledge in the industry by now.

So asking for some concrete evidence is quite a bit different from blindly accusing someone of "lying". It could have been anything between personal bad experiences (anecdotal as they may be), being annoyed about "having to learn new ways of doing things", just "hating" any new gear that "was forced on us", or even political or cultural preferences (wouldn´t be the first time).

Or there could really be serious quality problems throughout the product range - In that case, however, there would have to be some statistically significant evidence (frequency and severity of maintenance events, for instance).

The problem is that unsubstantiated allegations (especially when taken out of context as in this case) have often helped forming myths that keep popping up in the unlikeliest places... So I just try to either give them actual substance or to help dissolving them.

 
N79969
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RE: Cathay Pacific Looking Into 747-400QLR

Fri Nov 22, 2002 1:00 am

Klaus,

Cathay's Airbus aircraft might be maintenance pigs and they could sensibly still order them. Airbus has a reputation for very good customer service and support so that might explain why Cathay continues to buy Airbus in spite of maintenance/reliability issues. (I'm sure none of you Airbus fans will demand proof for this statement of mine) Further, the pricing is good on Airbus.

 
ConcordeBoy
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Joined: Thu Feb 01, 2001 8:04 am

RE: Cathay Pacific Looking Into 747-400QLR

Fri Nov 22, 2002 4:27 am

It could just be that a few of Cathay's Airbuses are lemons... and nothing more.

Remember the incident where EK and SQ were delivered Trent892s which continually shred their fan blades due to high-vortex resettlement problems? That wasnt the greatest thing for EK, and caused ABSOLUTE NIGHTMARES for SQ. Neither abandoned RR or the Trent800... though EK is said to consider standardizing its entire 777 fleet with GE90 should they order the 773ER.
Faire du ciel le plus bel endroit de la terre c'est impossible sans Concorde!
 
Hamlet69
Posts: 2541
Joined: Thu Mar 09, 2000 2:45 am

RE: Cathay Pacific Looking Into 747-400QLR

Fri Nov 22, 2002 4:33 am

Cx flyboy,

I can see where you're coming from. OTOH, a nightmare of mine is being in the middle of the Pacific, 3-4 hours away from the nearest diversion field, and having a fire break out in the cargo hold, or a problem in the fuel system, and knowing that the quad I'm on (be it 747, A340, etc.) does not have as many redundancies or as much fire suppression as the twin I could be flying on that has such systems because of ETOPS.

Leaving these "scare stories" aside, there's also the statistical fact that tri- and quad-jets have more instances of diversions that ETOPS-qualified twins, which increases the chance you'll be delayed in getting to your destination.


Klaus,

"Interesting to read that at least some pilots see ETOPS with a little more reservation that some accounting departments do..."

"So unless somebody can actually present some evidence, I must take that statement as an expression of a subjective personal preference (for whatever reasons) with no foundation in actual fact."

Would it have been better for you if Cx flyboy had said "some Airbus aircraft had nightmarish maintenance records"? After all, you seem to take his word for one thing, but not the other. . .

Honestly, though, bad maintenance records does not mean that it will affect the airline's bottom line. 1) Airbus could have put certain performance (including maintenance) garuantees into the contract, and anything over that would be paid for by the manufacturer. 2) the intial acquisition costs can make up for higher maintenance prices, which would lead to continued orders from that manufacturer.

"Having subjective preferences has got nothing to do with lying."

Very true. However, he did not state "I believe Airbuses are costing alot in maintence," he said, "they are." Therefore, you are calling him a liar. I agree, that statistical evidence would be helpful, but often that information is company-protected, and I doubt he's willing to risk his job in order to satisfy your claim, which I tend to think you wouldn't believe anyway. Am I right?

Regards,

Hamlet69
All gave some. Some gave all.
 
N79969
Posts: 6605
Joined: Tue Jan 29, 2002 1:43 am

RE: Cathay Pacific Looking Into 747-400QLR

Fri Nov 22, 2002 4:44 am

ConcordeBoy,

It is statistically unlikely that Cathay would have disproportionately high mx problems relative to other operators although it is certainly possible. I wonder what would explain that is in fact the case. I am intrigued by the problems that EK and SQ are having with their Trent engines. AA, BA, MH, and several other large Trent-powered 777 operators have not had nearly as many (reported?) IFSD. Do you know why SQ and EK are having such a terrible time?

Hamlet69,

Performance guarantees are what I was talking about when referring to Airbus service and support. Thanks for the example.


 
F4N
Posts: 507
Joined: Fri Mar 17, 2000 11:37 pm

RE: Cathay Pacific Looking Into 747-400QLR

Fri Nov 22, 2002 5:25 am

To all:

This post is really getting to be a hoot. First off, a participant who actually flies commercial liners for a respected international carrier makes a statement regarding some of the a/c in his employers' fleet and he gets taken to task by the flag-wavers for that particular frame-maker who want to discredit his statements because he hasn't provided "evidence". I would expect that as a pilot, CXflyboy probably is in position to discuss these sorts of things with other pilots, maintenance people, supervisors, managers, ect. If not in person, at least in a casual or second-hand manner. Perhaps we should look at these types of statements as informed opinion. Unless, of course, someone
out there with similar connections at CX or any other major can present statistically significant, irrefutable, concrete evidence that cannot be misconstrued as subjective preference can come forward with a better set of credentials to make statements about commercial a/c.

Unreal...


F4N
 
N79969
Posts: 6605
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RE: Cathay Pacific Looking Into 747-400QLR

Fri Nov 22, 2002 5:31 am

F4N:

Agreed...my sentiments exactly.
 
ConcordeBoy
Posts: 16852
Joined: Thu Feb 01, 2001 8:04 am

RE: Cathay Pacific Looking Into 747-400QLR

Fri Nov 22, 2002 6:28 am

N79969,

Trent800 engines, though by far the optimum choice for the 777A market ships... does not stand up to the high centrifugal forces of the high90K/100K pound-of-thrust area. Their engine core lacks much of the stability built into the GE90 (the primary reason that GE was chosen as the exclusive power source of the longer ranged 777s) but as a result, bears the low weight and quick response to the throttle that LowerTOW 777 operators so adore. Trent800 engines have been successfully run-up well beyond 100K lbs of thrust, but they cannot sustain such output to the point of being certifiable for commercial use. The poor-selling Trent895 was originally designed to operate between 102-104K lbs of thrust, but it probably would be out of production had BA not felt a sudden urge of "buy-British" pride... with a little political smack on the bum to go with it  Big grin

That all said:
in the case of EK and SQ, it was determined that the fan blades on Trent800 engines that produce greater than 90K lbs of thrust, had a tendency to unseat themselves from their anchoring wells (which nearly all types of fan blades are designed to do) due to centrifugal force, yet not return to their original position. This problem was found to be specific to the Trent892 engine... which power SQ's 772ERs and both SQ's and EK's 773As. More than thirty engines were found to be affected. As a result, these two carriers suffered severe maintenance issues until the root of the problem was found: i.e., RR had failed to coat the fan blades with a particular adhesive which aids in their resettlement. Working with Boeing, they created a zinc-based compound dubbed "Metco 58"... which aided in the cohesion between fan blade and anchor well.

SQ has since stuck with RR as the primary provider of its engines. So has EK, but it's been highly speculated that they are keen on switching their fleet to GE-powered aircraft.

Faire du ciel le plus bel endroit de la terre c'est impossible sans Concorde!
 
Hamlet69
Posts: 2541
Joined: Thu Mar 09, 2000 2:45 am

RE: Cathay Pacific Looking Into 747-400QLR

Fri Nov 22, 2002 6:35 am

ConcordeBoy,

While there may have been periphery influences on BA's decision to go with RR for their last batch of 777s, the primary reason is their contract with RR. BA had already bought RB211s to power their outstanding 747-400 order. When they chose to convert that order into 777-200ERs, it wasn't a problem on the Boeing side, as it was a matter of a simple conversion. However, on the engine side, it meant cancelling the RB211 order (probably with heavy fines) and ordering more GE90s, or converting the RB211 order into Trent 800s. They obviously chose the latter, probably with financial incentives from RR for helping launch the 895.

Regards,

Hamlet69
All gave some. Some gave all.
 
gigneil
Posts: 14133
Joined: Fri Nov 08, 2002 10:25 am

RE: Cathay Pacific Looking Into 747-400QLR

Fri Nov 22, 2002 7:47 am

Speaking of Trent operators and shutdown rates... Thai is withdrawing their 777-300s from ETOPS service due to a SD too close to the ETOPS limits... read it in Airways News Online...

Just an FYI.

I'm on cx_flyboy's side... I'm sure some people at CX have personal preferences, and that the CEO's might be Boeing. I'm also sure that as a pilot at a non-American carrier (read in nothing to this other than they don't have 1000s of planes to fly, so they don't have 10,000 pilots) he is in a position to hear on good authority the likes and dislikes of management, maintenance, and pilots alike.

It also shows the character of the company that they've set their personal preferences aside and have ordered planes that best fit Cathay's specific needs.

N

P.S. I'm an Airbus flag waver too... but I'm also a realist. Both Boeing and Airbus have problems, at some times bad problems. I don't think those problems effectively reduce either company's effectiveness to compete. I drive a Mercedes now, and I've driven one in the past that had tons of problems. Hasn't turned me off to the overall quality of the products they make. (The state of the economy may force me to be turned off soon, OTOH)
 
CX Flyboy
Posts: 6148
Joined: Sun Dec 26, 1999 6:10 pm

RE: Cathay Pacific Looking Into 747-400QLR

Fri Nov 22, 2002 10:01 am

Wow, go to sleep at night and by the morning this thread has got interesting hasn't it!

OK first of all, N79969,

Copied from our manual regarding engine failure:

12.2 CPA Requirements 3 and 4 engined aircraft.

The prime requirement folling an engine shutdown in-flight is the continued safety of the aircraft and its occupants. In deciding whether to land at the nearest suitable airport or continue, the following factors should be taken into consideration:

A. The nature of the failure, and the possible mechanical, electrical or aerodynamic difficulties that may occur.
B. The weather conditions enroute and at possible diversion airports.
C. Air traffic congestion or known air traffic deficiencies.

With the prime directive satisfied, consideration should be given to the engineering and commercial aspects when deciding on an ultimate destination. Every effort should be made to contact IOC Hong Kong who will provide information which may assist with this decision. Spare engine availability and facilities will normally be the deciding factor.

12.3 CPA Policy 3 and 4 engined aircraft

Should an engine fail or be shutdown in-flight the aircraft may continue to any suitable airport, rather than land at the nearest suitable airport, provided the following requirements are met:

A. The commander considers in all respects is it as safe to continue to that airport.
B. The weather at that airport is forecast to meet alternate airport planning minima for 1/2 an hour before to 2 hours after ETA.
C. Fuel on board is sufficient for one engine inoperative LRC (Long Range Cruise) to that airport plus 5% contingency, plus a fixed reserve of 30 minutes.
D. Capability exists with one engine inoperative to clear all obstacles by at least 2,000 FT within 10 NM either side of intended track to that airport.
E. From any point on the intended route, fuel on board is sufficient for two engine inoperative LRC to the nearest suitable airport plus a fixed reserve of 30 minutes.
F. From any point on the intended route fuel is sufficient for depressurized flight to the nearest suitable airport plus a fixed reserve of 30 minutes.

NOTE: If the planned fuel on arrival at the suitable airport will permit diversion to an alternate, then the forecast weather at the suitable airport need only need the applicable runway landing minima for 1/2 an hour before to 2 hours after ETA.
 
CX Flyboy
Posts: 6148
Joined: Sun Dec 26, 1999 6:10 pm

RE: Cathay Pacific Looking Into 747-400QLR

Fri Nov 22, 2002 10:14 am

As for the Airbus maintenance thing, I don't have any figures and have no proof of anything. You may choose to take my word for it or ignore me completely, as with any of my posts. However, it is fact that Cathay launched a "Get Well Program" for the Airbus last year (or was it the year before?) in an aim to reduce the maintenance problems associated with the aircraft and the resulting dispatch unreliability. I am not too sure what the program involved, but having spare aircraft at the ready was one of them.

Even now, speaking to the engineers when we fly to outports, we often hear comments like "Oh, I am glad you're a 777 today and not an Airbus". In Bangkok we often get more than one CX aircraft on the ground at once.
The other day the engineer sat in our cockpit during a turnaround with his feet up just chatting, looking bored. I asked him if he was bored (We were completely serviceable) and when he said 'yes' I said 'but aren't there other Cathay aircraft here?' to which he replied "yes, but it's an Airbus and I don't want to go anywhere near it, the other engineers can have that one'. The same engineer thinks Airbuses are very 'plasticy'. Our 777s don't fly around with many outstanding MEL items (Unserviceable, but permitted to fly with conditions), whereas the Airbus often does have a list of these things.

As for the maintenance, I cannot give figures, but I know maintenance costs a lot more and happens a lot more often with the Airbus fleet. However, I guess with their cheap prices, fuel economy, and fleet commonality, it makes sense to fly them. Also, we have many routes which don't need the increases MTOW of the 777, so as a result we save money by putting an Airbus on those routes in terms of over flight, ATC and landing fee charges which are normally based on MTOW of that aircraft. No point in paying for a higher MTWO aircraft when you are not even flying it full!
 
gigneil
Posts: 14133
Joined: Fri Nov 08, 2002 10:25 am

RE: Cathay Pacific Looking Into 747-400QLR

Fri Nov 22, 2002 10:37 am

I wonder if all airlines that operate A330s and A340s encounter the same issues? This really is the first I've heard of them having such major operational difficulties.

I'm also not sure that the reduced costs of ownership you mentioned such as landing fees outweigh the costs and bad karma of operating unreliable aircraft... and I'm not sure many of the world's major airlines would stand for it.

I wonder if its a Cathay Pacific-specific (heh) problem?

That might warrant a separate topic...

N
 
CXCPA
Posts: 356
Joined: Sat May 27, 2000 11:14 pm

RE: Cathay Pacific Looking Into 747-400QLR

Fri Nov 22, 2002 10:55 am

If the cost of maintenance is very high, how so many airlines order so many Airbuse? Do they want to waste money? Airbuses may be cheaper, but the cost of maintenance is higher and have more problem. So the average cost for operating Airbuses are still high. It is very interesting to discuss why those problemetic Airbuses are so popular? Maybe political reason?

I want to know what the CX management will do if they knows which CX pilot say CX management hate Airbus personally. These kind of comments may have unexcept consequence, just like the comments about the merge of the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology and the Chinese University of Hong Kong by Arthur Li. The comment by him is just his personal dream, but he comment this, then it become the government's order. Let think about the consequence of that staff if the relations between CX and Airbus become worse because of his comment.

And there is a very interesing question, why CX nearly all CX aircraft (except A340) are equipped with RR engines?
 
CXCPA
Posts: 356
Joined: Sat May 27, 2000 11:14 pm

RE: Cathay Pacific Looking Into 747-400QLR

Fri Nov 22, 2002 11:00 am

If the cost of maintenance is very high, how so many airlines order so many Airbuse? Do they want to waste money? Airbuses may be cheaper, but the cost of maintenance is higher and have more problem. So the average cost for operating Airbuses are still high. It is very interesting to discuss why those problemetic Airbuses are so popular? Maybe political reason?

I want to know what the CX management will do if they knows which CX pilot say CX management hate Airbus personally. These kind of comments may have unexcept consequence, just like the comments about the merge of the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology and the Chinese University of Hong Kong by Arthur Li. The comment by him is just his personal dream, but he comment this, then it become the government's order. Let think about the consequence of that staff if the relations between CX and Airbus become worse because of his comment.

And there is a very interesing question, why CX nearly all CX aircraft (except A340) are equipped with RR engines?
 
n949wp
Posts: 1398
Joined: Thu Feb 03, 2000 3:45 pm

RE: Cathay Pacific Looking Into 747-400QLR

Fri Nov 22, 2002 12:03 pm

Let (sic) think about the consequence of that staff if the relations between CX and Airbus become worse because of his comment.

This is the most senseless statement I've seen in a while. A comment by one of the many staff of a company carries as much weight as that from a company CEO? Airbus trashing their relationship with one of their best customers just for the sake of a few words? Gimme a break!!

If one wants to pursue his own personal vendetta against CX flyboy, one could at least try to preserve his reputation and integrity by hiding behind sensible arguments, instead of as blatantly as this.

'949
 
gigneil
Posts: 14133
Joined: Fri Nov 08, 2002 10:25 am

RE: Cathay Pacific Looking Into 747-400QLR

Fri Nov 22, 2002 12:18 pm

I'm pretty sure Cathay and RR co-own an aircraft service center in HK, similar to the one in Singapore that's co-owned by Singapore Airlines and RR.

i think that has something to do with their choice and reliance on RR engines. Plus for years there was the British influence and all...

I could be off my gourd here...

N
 
Klaus
Posts: 21599
Joined: Wed Jul 11, 2001 7:41 am

Hamlet69

Fri Nov 22, 2002 12:30 pm

Hamlet69: I can see where you're coming from. OTOH, a nightmare of mine is being in the middle of the Pacific, 3-4 hours away from the nearest diversion field, and having a fire break out in the cargo hold, or a problem in the fuel system, and knowing that the quad I'm on (be it 747, A340, etc.) does not have as many redundancies or as much fire suppression as the twin I could be flying on that has such systems because of ETOPS.

Question is, are the 340s and 747s really still that far behind the ETOPS-certified twins as they might have been at the beginning of the ETOPS initiative? I wouldn´t be too surprised if most of the ETOPS improvements had come to the quads as well.


Hamlet69: Leaving these "scare stories" aside, there's also the statistical fact that tri- and quad-jets have more instances of diversions that ETOPS-qualified twins, which increases the chance you'll be delayed in getting to your destination.

Diversions and all-engine-out scenarios are two very different issues:

The diversion rate depends (among other things) on the combined probability of a failure in at least one of the engines. Which is almost (but not exactly) double that of a twin for a quad, statistically (based on identical individual failure rates). As far as I know (and as I understand Cx_flyboys interesting information above), the diversion decision is taken still more conservatively for a twin ("always divert" as opposed to "maybe divert" for a quad) so the factor might shrink a bit more; But still, the diversion rate remains higher for a quad.

A catastrophic failure, however, is a completely different type of event (still only thinking of inflight engine shutdowns). Thank god that we don´t have any actual experience with that (as far as I know), but in this case, the probability of all engines of a quad shutting down independently is by a very large factor more improbable than for a twin (which is still almost astronomically small). In the simplest theoretical model, it´s the twin´s all-engine-out probability squared.

Of course ETOPS twins are very safe. I´ve flown on them on transatlantic routes and I wouldn´t really lose sleep over doing it again. I would just say that a quad that´s built and maintained to a comparable standard will still be safer - even if it may be slightly more inconvenient due to a somewhat higher diversion probability. Which is not a contradiction, as much as it might appear to be on first glance. Statistic math is like that.


Hamlet69: Honestly, though, bad maintenance records does not mean that it will affect the airline's bottom line.

Probably not if the difference is marginal. It may be just me, but when I hear "nightmarish" I think of extra shifts, inexplicable and repeated failures in all areas and, more importantly, delayed or cancelled flights and missed connections. We don´t need to get all religious about it; But "nightmarish" is a pretty strong word, when out of context. It´s basically the last stop short of "won´t work at all under any circumstance" as far as maintenance goes... No way of making money that way...  Wink/being sarcastic


Hamlet69: Very true. However, he did not state "I believe Airbuses are costing alot in maintence," he said, "they are." Therefore, you are calling him a liar.

If I do actually suspect someone of evil intent, trust me in saying it aloud. And since I explicitly rejected your allegation to that effect, you can rest assured that I meant precisely what I wrote. Sorry, no flame war here. Big grin
 
Klaus
Posts: 21599
Joined: Wed Jul 11, 2001 7:41 am

Cx Flyboy

Fri Nov 22, 2002 1:09 pm

Cx flyboy: Even now, speaking to the engineers when we fly to outports, we often hear comments like "Oh, I am glad you're a 777 today and not an Airbus".

Thanks for adding a little context to your earlier remark. Within that context, things look a bit less dramatic...  Wink/being sarcastic

I don´t doubt that the sentiments you´ve described are real. Still no clear picture, however, of how exactly that came about.

I´m a little curious why outstanding MEL items would be more frequent than on the Boeings. Do these bugs really pop up more often? Are they more difficult to find? Are there differences in the spares management between the two families?

I´m really interested to know... Earlier remarks directly from maintenance engineers with experience on both kinds seemed to be more in the middle of the road in their final judgment. You´ve probably got other stuff to do, so I would appreciate any direct maintenance input, if available.

It´s my job (among other things) to find and exterminate bugs and to try designing (non-aviation) systems so they will be reliable and error-resistant. So it´s almost a reflex that I´m interested in why things are going wrong. Even when it´s not about my own line of work...  Wink/being sarcastic

I´m well aware that this is merely a minor side topic, not a "real" problem in any way.  Smile I´ve always appreciated any insight and information coming from you and from others (such as the quote above). So let´s just keep this in perspective.


I´m offline for two days now.

Peace!  Big thumbs up

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