|Quoting QFA001 (Reply 75):|
Also, the A346 is generally regarded to be in competition with the B773
You always seem to compare a 550 seat aircraft (773ER) to a 440 seat (A346). They are not in the same market, you cannot do the full 773ER load with a A346, however if you have a A346 load, the A346 will do that trip cheaper than a 773ER will do it as its being used closer to its optimum design than the 773ER.
The 773ER is seen to be a replacement for the 744, the A346 a replacement for the 743.
The Q network needs A380, 744, 773/773ER, A346, A330, 738/A320. It also desperately needs to retire all the fuel hungry 734, 767's, and 743's.
The 773/773ER is needed as a feeder for the 380 in the Asian hubs, and for direct flights to northern China and India and other parts of Asia that the 743 is used for. The A346 is needed on the network where a 773ER is too big for some of its longer thin routes, and would open up ports that they pulled out of like Rome and Paris where the 744 is too expensive.
Australia has only a small population (20 million area) throwing excess capacity onto a network does not mean you will be able to utilise all that capacity. It is obvious that flying around with excess unused capacity does not return dividends to the shareholders, when does not lead to bonuses for board members or senior management.
The 330 is a default winner for some routes, nothing is around today that can do the 250-300 seat market as efficiently as the 330, the long term plan, 5-10 years away, the 787/350 will come into play. However a fix is needed now for the 767.
For example SQ
operates 3x777 services a day to BNE
, whilst QF
will operate one A333. SQ
will on average take 400-500 pax and 60 t of freight over its three daily services, QF
300 pax an 20 t of freight on one service. QF
's yield is much higher on the route than SQ
needs the flights to give its frequency it needs for on carriage in and out of SIN
, their main hub is SIN
, they have connecting flight leaving all the time, however they don’t have a smaller aircraft than 772 on the route.
don’t need the frequency, as all flights from Australia to Singapore arrive within an hour or two of each other, and passengers transferred onto the other QF
, or QF
codeshare flight onwards out of SIN
to Europe that leave around the same time.
As for the skybeds issue, what skybed has been fitted to a 737, 767, 743 ?
My understanding is that the skybed was always designed with a 744 cabin footprint, marketing in their "wisdom" wanted to extend them to the 330 but not the 767. This is for a common look and feel for their onward journey if transferring to an European service from an Asian hub. The sector lengths on the A333 are not like the 744 onto Europe or USA.
As for the 330 order configuration, Airbus supplied the product specified by the client (QF). The people in QF
who ordered the configuration that did not meet QF
needs got their bonuses and left QF
. The mess has been left with others to fix up.
Galley configurations are not made by Airbus, the same people who make the 767 galley make the A330 one at QF
could have had a 767 galley in the 330 if they had ordered and paid for it.
IFE configurations are not made by Airbus, the same people who make the 744 IFE make the A330 one for QF
, however the A330 is different, more advanced, it has movies on demand, and more features, whereas the 744 is fixed time slots I think its 2.5 hrs a loop, then they get rewound.
Cabin crew complain about the internal lighting controls on the A330, the one supplied to QF
is they one they ordered, other airlines like CX
chose a different configuration that has mood lighting. QF
could always upgrade if they wanted to, its not seen as a real issue.
As for ETOPS statistics mentioned above, the FAA does not do ETOPS statistics for any Australian airline. ETOPS statistics are three fold, one involved the engine variant worldwide, e.g. CFM56 installations on A320/737/A340/KC135/E3/DC8, about 160 million flight hours, and then the engine airframe combination say 738 18 million flight hours, and then the operator QF
The three levels are there to look at the worldwide core reliability of the engine, the worldwide engine airframe combination, and thirdly the operator. The operator statistics are there to see if local operating techniques, operation areas, ordered configuration, or maintenance procedures warrant an increase or decrees in the ETOPS approval or any approval at all.
If the engine, airframe/engine, and operator meet the requirements the local authority, this case CASA will issue the ETOPS approval. It has nothing to do with the FAA.
Instead of debating what airframe can do what, QF
fleet planning will first get marketing to look at its network, what are its yields over different routes, what are the loads, what is the anticipated growth.
Marketing will look to see what seating configurations they will suit them for the routes and yields, e.g. the seating configuration for the USA routes are different to the European routes. These are translated into loads and used by the operations people.
At the same time as looking at the seating configurations, fleet planning will be getting the operations people to run dummy flight plans through the flight planning computer with book minus 1%-2% fuel burns, utilizing loads supplied fleet planning, as the loads will effect the fuel burn also. This will give the planning people know what the real costs (route and landing and parking charges) for the airframe on the network, and what the real fuel loads will be meeting the Australian requirements, and QF
fuel policy requirements in terms of suitable alternate aerodromes, depressurisation, and one engine inoperative critical legs, and average seasonal hold fuel for destinations.
Quite often for long haul flying the flight fuel for a say a 10 hour leg is less than the fuel required to say get half way, depressurise, and then fly to a QF
approved emergency aerodrome. The 773ER poses a number of new issues as the high tire pressures make it unsuitable for operating into most Australian airports at max weight, and significantly limits what emergency aerodromes are available that meet the Australian regulations.
You may remember that AF
has been caught out at some of its aerodromes with the tire pressure issue on the 773ER.
The manufacturers web sites normally don’t take into account realistic requirements like a depressurised diversion to an emergency aerodrome when they specify the range of their aircraft, however an airline must take this into account for every flight.
Fleet planning will also call for and receive submission from manufacturers for the supply of equipment, with basic and optional costs, and contract terms.
Commercial risk will also be assessed, with both manufactures not in the good books at the moment. Boeing unable to deliver 737 and 777 airframes timely, and Airbus with A380 delays. The commercial consider will be how will this relate to expected delivery dates in 2007.
Once that is done then a complex recommendation is made to the board with all the inputs to the matrix.
Above is a simplistic summary of the process, all it is doing is seeking what tool is best suited for the job for the next 5-10 years. Anything beyond that is just guess work.
Most of the debate on this site is ill informed and misdirected. No point arguing what aircraft can do what, when you don’t know what the aircraft needs to do for the client. I guess in simple terms the horse pulls the cart, the cart cannot pull the horse.