UA857
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Why Didn't Swissair and Sabena order The 747-400?

Fri Nov 29, 2019 7:09 pm

They've operated the 747-100/200/300 But Why Didn't they order The -400 varient?
 
VSMUT
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Re: Why Didn't Swissair and Sabena order The 747-400?

Fri Nov 29, 2019 7:24 pm

My guess, they got 747s at the time because it (and the DC-10) were the only game in town for long haul flying. They got it for its range, not capacity. When the 767, A310, MD-11, A330 and A340 came around, airlines could get long haulers with just the capacity they required.
 
Bongodog49
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Re: Why Didn't Swissair and Sabena order The 747-400?

Fri Nov 29, 2019 7:27 pm

By the time the 744 came along there were more economical alternatives for smaller flag carriers who wanted a long range aircraft.
In any event neither were ever big operators of the 747, and having ordered 743's already had new aircraft when the 744 came along.
 
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FlyRow
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Re: Why Didn't Swissair and Sabena order The 747-400?

Fri Nov 29, 2019 8:19 pm

Lack of money, smaller demand from BRU.

Sabena was mainly aimed at Africa and the USA, the 744's range wasn't needed.
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Someone83
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Re: Why Didn't Swissair and Sabena order The 747-400?

Fri Nov 29, 2019 8:20 pm

Did they ever need the capacity of the 747 classics?
 
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American 767
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Re: Why Didn't Swissair and Sabena order The 747-400?

Fri Nov 29, 2019 8:24 pm

Because they decided to move forward with the A340 instead. Swissair wasn't very loyal to Boeing, other than being the launch customer for the 747-300. The Classic 747 is the only Boeing (if you don't count McDD) model Swissair has ever bought. Sabena was, for a long time, a Boeing customer since the 707 came out in 1960, but in the end they became a lot more loyal to Airbus than Boeing.
Another one that has flown the 747-300 but not the 400 is Egypt Air. They also chose the A340.
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Bhoy
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Re: Why Didn't Swissair and Sabena order The 747-400?

Fri Nov 29, 2019 8:58 pm

Swissair operated a total of 7 Boeing Aircraft in their whole history. 2 747-200B’s from 1971 to 1984, when they were introduced, their whole Longhaul fleet was DC-8s and CV990s. DC-10s joined the fleet in the mid 70s as the Coronados were retired.
In 1983, Swissair took delivery of their first 747-300. This fleet grew to comprise 2 747-300s, and 3 747-300M Combis.

Looking at that, it doesn't Appear they needed the Capacity beyond a few routes, but the cargo capacity was welcome.

The 747-400 was introduced only a few years later (first delivery 1989), at which point, Swissair was ordering the MD-11 to replace the DC-10, and had that met McDonnell Douglas’ specifications, Swissair would have had no need for extra long haul capacity, as the A310-200/-300 had taken over the ‘smaller’ capacity requirements in their fleet.

The A330-200 didn’t join Swissair’s fleet until 1998, and Swissair never operated an A340 (they had ordered the A340-600 as an MD-11 replacement towards the end of the 90’s, but they went bust before delivery, and Swiss changed the order to A340-300s to better suit their fleet size). The A330-300 first appeared with Swiss in 2009.
 
MIflyer12
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Re: Why Didn't Swissair and Sabena order The 747-400?

Fri Nov 29, 2019 9:03 pm

FlyRow wrote:
Lack of money, smaller demand from BRU.

Sabena was mainly aimed at Africa and the USA, the 744's range wasn't needed.


Within a couple years of the end Sabena was flying 747-(347s?), MD-11s, 342s, 343s, 332s, and 333s.
 
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s.p.a.s.
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Re: Why Didn't Swissair and Sabena order The 747-400?

Fri Nov 29, 2019 9:05 pm

American 767 wrote:
Because they decided to move forward with the A340 instead. Swissair wasn't very loyal to Boeing, other than being the launch customer for the 747-300. The Classic 747 is the only Boeing (if you don't count McDD) model Swissair has ever bought. Sabena was, for a long time, a Boeing customer since the 707 came out in 1960, but in the end, they became a lot more loyal to Airbus than Boeing.
Another one that has flown the 747-300 but not the 400 is Egypt Air. They also chose the A340.


The A340 with swissair came much later than the B747-400. The mainstay of the long-haul fleet was supposed to be the MD11, and later the proposed three-engined MD12. As this did not come to be, the options were the A340-600 and the B777-300, by the time the non-ER -300. After some performance studies, the -300 was discarded as it had not enough single-engine performance to perform the engine out SID out of ZRH with MTOW and high temperatures, leading to the order of nine A340-600. Unfortunately, swissair went belly-up before they could be delivered and the confirmed ordered frames (5) went to SAA (3) and Iberia (2) instead.
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ikramerica
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Re: Why Didn't Swissair and Sabena order The 747-400?

Sat Nov 30, 2019 1:40 am

Thanks to Sabena I got to fly on the 743. Never flew on a Combi, but was a pax on 741, 742, SP, 743, 744D, 744, 744ER. Only missed out on the SR. Hopefully I’ll get a flight on the -8 one day.
Of all the things to worry about... the Wookie has no pants.
 
B-HOP
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Re: Why Didn't Swissair and Sabena order The 747-400?

Sat Nov 30, 2019 1:40 am

Both didn't need the 744 as they were not big in Asia. In the late 90's, SN uses their 747-300 Combi to JNB and NRT, in fact SN took the last -300 combi in 1990, NRT was dropped in 2001 just before SN folded,
SR to several US Cities like ATL, BOS (non daily), Mumbai and Hong Kong, they don't need the range of -400 to US and the HKG flights were later upgrade to all MD-11, US routes to 332, the route that justify 747-400 combi is NRT/SIN/HKG and maybe JFK, too small to justify a seperate fleet, esp MD-12 (MD-11 stretch is on the pipeline).
S Air Group was then formed and ordered a large number of Airbus aircraft, with an aim for the member's fleet to be exclusively Airbus FBW aircraft, 5 (I thought it was 8) A346 was ordered for Swissair and 2 was ordered for SN, the SN order wasn't built I think and SN took 2 new 340-313X and replaced a pair of -200, that pair later went to Air Tahiti Nui, joining a pair from AOM in France

Kev
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TheWorm123
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Re: Why Didn't Swissair and Sabena order The 747-400?

Sat Nov 30, 2019 1:46 am

Bhoy wrote:
Swissair operated a total of 7 Boeing Aircraft in their whole history. 2 747-200B’s from 1971 to 1984, when they were introduced, their whole Longhaul fleet was DC-8s and CV990s. DC-10s joined the fleet in the mid 70s as the Coronados were retired.
In 1983, Swissair took delivery of their first 747-300. This fleet grew to comprise 2 747-300s, and 3 747-300M Combis.

Looking at that, it doesn't Appear they needed the Capacity beyond a few routes, but the cargo capacity was welcome.

The 747-400 was introduced only a few years later (first delivery 1989), at which point, Swissair was ordering the MD-11 to replace the DC-10, and had that met McDonnell Douglas’ specifications, Swissair would have had no need for extra long haul capacity, as the A310-200/-300 had taken over the ‘smaller’ capacity requirements in their fleet.

The A330-200 didn’t join Swissair’s fleet until 1998, and Swissair never operated an A340 (they had ordered the A340-600 as an MD-11 replacement towards the end of the 90’s, but they went bust before delivery, and Swiss changed the order to A340-300s to better suit their fleet size). The A330-300 first appeared with Swiss in 2009.


On the topic of MD-11 replacements, were Swissair looking so early because of Flight 111 or was it because they didn’t offer the performance that McDonnell Douglas promised (like SQ)?
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jfk777
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Re: Why Didn't Swissair and Sabena order The 747-400?

Sat Nov 30, 2019 1:51 am

Swissair did look into the 744 but at the time they felt Boeing wanted too rich a price for them. Maybe Boeing wouldn't take the old 747-300 in trade. Swissair did fly their 743 fleet for over 20 years until they went belly up. Great looking planes, the current SWISS 777 looks great too.
 
GalebG4
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Re: Why Didn't Swissair and Sabena order The 747-400?

Sat Nov 30, 2019 2:07 am

UA857 wrote:
They've operated the 747-100/200/300 But Why Didn't they order The -400 varient?

Belgians and Swiss had a drink of more so decided to order something less “glamorous”!!!
Changes of world market, consolidation in US, fall of iron curtain, free skies and more competition made their life more complicated so half empty big birds didn’t make a lot of economic sense! Believe me people like everything big!!! As bigger as better for ego!!!
 
blacksoviet
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Re: Why Didn't Swissair and Sabena order The 747-400?

Sat Nov 30, 2019 3:26 am

B-HOP wrote:
Both didn't need the 744 as they were not big in Asia. In the late 90's, SN uses their 747-300 Combi to JNB and NRT, in fact SN took the last -300 combi in 1990, NRT was dropped in 2001 just before SN folded,
SR to several US Cities like ATL, BOS (non daily), Mumbai and Hong Kong, they don't need the range of -400 to US and the HKG flights were later upgrade to all MD-11, US routes to 332, the route that justify 747-400 combi is NRT/SIN/HKG and maybe JFK, too small to justify a seperate fleet, esp MD-12 (MD-11 stretch is on the pipeline).
S Air Group was then formed and ordered a large number of Airbus aircraft, with an aim for the member's fleet to be exclusively Airbus FBW aircraft, 5 (I thought it was 8) A346 was ordered for Swissair and 2 was ordered for SN, the SN order wasn't built I think and SN took 2 new 340-313X and replaced a pair of -200, that pair later went to Air Tahiti Nui, joining a pair from AOM in France

Kev

Did the -300 Combi aircraft have First Class and Business Class?
 
B-HOP
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Re: Why Didn't Swissair and Sabena order The 747-400?

Sat Nov 30, 2019 4:12 am

blacksoviet wrote:
B-HOP wrote:
Both didn't need the 744 as they were not big in Asia. In the late 90's, SN uses their 747-300 Combi to JNB and NRT, in fact SN took the last -300 combi in 1990, NRT was dropped in 2001 just before SN folded,
SR to several US Cities like ATL, BOS (non daily), Mumbai and Hong Kong, they don't need the range of -400 to US and the HKG flights were later upgrade to all MD-11, US routes to 332, the route that justify 747-400 combi is NRT/SIN/HKG and maybe JFK, too small to justify a seperate fleet, esp MD-12 (MD-11 stretch is on the pipeline).
S Air Group was then formed and ordered a large number of Airbus aircraft, with an aim for the member's fleet to be exclusively Airbus FBW aircraft, 5 (I thought it was 8) A346 was ordered for Swissair and 2 was ordered for SN, the SN order wasn't built I think and SN took 2 new 340-313X and replaced a pair of -200, that pair later went to Air Tahiti Nui, joining a pair from AOM in France

Kev

Did the -300 Combi aircraft have First Class and Business Class?



SR-Yes, SN, I am not sure
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Tabito
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Re: Why Didn't Swissair and Sabena order The 747-400?

Sat Nov 30, 2019 5:14 am

blacksoviet wrote:
B-HOP wrote:
Both didn't need the 744 as they were not big in Asia. In the late 90's, SN uses their 747-300 Combi to JNB and NRT, in fact SN took the last -300 combi in 1990, NRT was dropped in 2001 just before SN folded,
SR to several US Cities like ATL, BOS (non daily), Mumbai and Hong Kong, they don't need the range of -400 to US and the HKG flights were later upgrade to all MD-11, US routes to 332, the route that justify 747-400 combi is NRT/SIN/HKG and maybe JFK, too small to justify a seperate fleet, esp MD-12 (MD-11 stretch is on the pipeline).
S Air Group was then formed and ordered a large number of Airbus aircraft, with an aim for the member's fleet to be exclusively Airbus FBW aircraft, 5 (I thought it was 8) A346 was ordered for Swissair and 2 was ordered for SN, the SN order wasn't built I think and SN took 2 new 340-313X and replaced a pair of -200, that pair later went to Air Tahiti Nui, joining a pair from AOM in France

Kev

Did the -300 Combi aircraft have First Class and Business Class?


IIRC, SN has F in nose, C in main and upper deck for BRU-NRT in the 90's.
 
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mercure1
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Re: Why Didn't Swissair and Sabena order The 747-400?

Sat Nov 30, 2019 5:42 am

Not sure either SR or SN needed the capacity.

Keep in mind 3 of 5 SR -300s we combis while both SN ones were combi also.
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Jetty
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Re: Why Didn't Swissair and Sabena order The 747-400?

Sat Nov 30, 2019 5:49 am

mercure1 wrote:
Not sure either SR or SN needed the capacity.

Keep in mind 3 of 5 SR -300s we combis while both SN ones were combi also.

I’m sure SN didn’t. They made a profit one year in their entire history. It was a Belgian prestige project funded by the Belgian taxpayer. BRU could sustain a decent sized hub but when other aircraft could provide the same range a 744 capacity plane would never have been needed.
 
oschkosch
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Re: Why Didn't Swissair and Sabena order The 747-400?

Sat Nov 30, 2019 8:13 am

Does it really matter why some now vanished airline did or did not do whatever back then?
 
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FlyRow
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Re: Why Didn't Swissair and Sabena order The 747-400?

Sat Nov 30, 2019 10:07 am

MIflyer12 wrote:
FlyRow wrote:
Lack of money, smaller demand from BRU.

Sabena was mainly aimed at Africa and the USA, the 744's range wasn't needed.


Within a couple years of the end Sabena was flying 747-(347s?), MD-11s, 342s, 343s, 332s, and 333s.


And look what happened, they where ordering left and right like a headless chicken and went bust in the end with a highly inefficient fleet.
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FlyRow
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Re: Why Didn't Swissair and Sabena order The 747-400?

Sat Nov 30, 2019 10:10 am

oschkosch wrote:
Does it really matter why some now vanished airline did or did not do whatever back then?


This whole civ.aviation forum is based on "what if's ", it is it's soul and purpose.
Better threads like this then the zillionth 757MAX thread or who will buy a A380, or terrible TK-Thanksgiving jokes.
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Scorpio
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Re: Why Didn't Swissair and Sabena order The 747-400?

Sat Nov 30, 2019 10:19 am

ikramerica wrote:
Thanks to Sabena I got to fly on the 743. Never flew on a Combi, but was a pax on 741, 742, SP, 743, 744D, 744, 744ER. Only missed out on the SR. Hopefully I’ll get a flight on the -8 one day.

Actually, SN's 743s were Combis, so you did fly on a Combi.
 
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Re: Why Didn't Swissair and Sabena order The 747-400?

Sat Nov 30, 2019 10:21 am

jfk777 wrote:
Swissair did fly their 743 fleet for over 20 years until they went belly up.


Twice wrong. For them to do so, it would mean they had received their first 743 as early as 1980, whereas it only arrived in March 1983. Also, they didn't keep them until their end. The last two left the fleet in September 2000, that is a good year before the airline went belly up.
 
Scorpio
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Re: Why Didn't Swissair and Sabena order The 747-400?

Sat Nov 30, 2019 10:22 am

B-HOP wrote:
S Air Group was then formed and ordered a large number of Airbus aircraft, with an aim for the member's fleet to be exclusively Airbus FBW aircraft, 5 (I thought it was 8) A346 was ordered for Swissair and 2 was ordered for SN, the SN order wasn't built I think and SN took 2 new 340-313X and replaced a pair of -200, that pair later went to Air Tahiti Nui, joining a pair from AOM in France

Kev

No A346 were ever ordered or planned for SN. SN did order 4 new A340-313X to replace the existing A340s (2 -200s and 2 -300s), but the company went bankrupt before they were delivered.
 
Scorpio
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Re: Why Didn't Swissair and Sabena order The 747-400?

Sat Nov 30, 2019 10:26 am

jfk777 wrote:
Swissair did look into the 744 but at the time they felt Boeing wanted too rich a price for them. Maybe Boeing wouldn't take the old 747-300 in trade. Swissair did fly their 743 fleet for over 20 years until they went belly up. Great looking planes, the current SWISS 777 looks great too.

Swissair's first 743s was delivered in 1983, and the company went bankrupt 18 years later, in 2001. By then, the 743s had already left. They left the fleet in 1999 -2000, and were replaced with A332s and four second-hand former LTU MD-11s.
 
DouglasDC10
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Re: Why Didn't Swissair and Sabena order The 747-400?

Sat Nov 30, 2019 10:33 am

MIflyer12 wrote:
FlyRow wrote:
Lack of money, smaller demand from BRU.

Sabena was mainly aimed at Africa and the USA, the 744's range wasn't needed.


Within a couple years of the end Sabena was flying 747-(347s?), MD-11s, 342s, 343s, 332s, and 333s.


Sabena's Boeing customer code was 29, so they were 747-329s (47 was Western Air Lines). The plan was to have an al Airbus fleet with a single flight deck by the end of the 1990s, so four more A340s were on order. Two of them to replace the 747-300s and two of them to replace the MD-11s. It should also be noted that the MD-11s were wetleased from another Belgian Airline, CityBird (the Air Belgium of the 1990s...), and not operated by Sabena itself.
 
Scorpio
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Re: Why Didn't Swissair and Sabena order The 747-400?

Sat Nov 30, 2019 1:05 pm

DouglasDC10 wrote:

Sabena's Boeing customer code was 29, so they were 747-329s (47 was Western Air Lines). The plan was to have an al Airbus fleet with a single flight deck by the end of the 1990s, so four more A340s were on order. Two of them to replace the 747-300s and two of them to replace the MD-11s. It should also be noted that the MD-11s were wetleased from another Belgian Airline, CityBird (the Air Belgium of the 1990s...), and not operated by Sabena itself.

This is not correct. The four new A340s were ordered as replacements for the existing four A340s. The 747s were replaced with A330s, and left the fleet in late 1999 and early 2000. There was never a plan to replace the MD-11s with A340s.
 
jfk777
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Re: Why Didn't Swissair and Sabena order The 747-400?

Sat Nov 30, 2019 9:51 pm

SpaceshipDC10 wrote:
jfk777 wrote:
Swissair did fly their 743 fleet for over 20 years until they went belly up.


Twice wrong. For them to do so, it would mean they had received their first 743 as early as 1980, whereas it only arrived in March 1983. Also, they didn't keep them until their end. The last two left the fleet in September 2000, that is a good year before the airline went belly up.


Spaceship Dc-10, thank-you for pointing out that Swissair took delivery in 1983, considering they kept them until 1999,2000. Wouldn't 1983 to 2000 generally be considered " 20 years " ? Is that really such a great difference or do you split hair ?
 
SpaceshipDC10
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Re: Why Didn't Swissair and Sabena order The 747-400?

Sun Dec 01, 2019 1:37 am

jfk777 wrote:
Wouldn't 1983 to 2000 generally be considered " 20 years " ? Is that really such a great difference or do you split hair ?


Not only have I never heard of 18 years being generally considered as 20, (except if one say something akin to approximately, roughly, about) but it comes after you claimed they had them for more than 20 years. Based on what ? I don't know. And then you ask whether I'm spliting hair...
A fact is a fact. Is it such a great difference? Yes, especially for an airline that is operating, leasing and maintaining aircraft.
 
brubiac
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Re: Why Didn't Swissair and Sabena order The 747-400?

Sun Dec 01, 2019 8:24 am

Boeing proposed Sabena to have their 2nd 747-300 delivered as a 747-400 instead. I tought OOSGD was the last -300 being build. (1989 if i’m not mistaken)
But due to a other cockpit then the -300 the proposal was denied by Sabena for the -400 series.
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brubiac
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Re: Why Didn't Swissair and Sabena order The 747-400?

Sun Dec 01, 2019 8:37 am

UA857 wrote:
They've operated the 747-100/200/300 But Why Didn't they order The -400 varient?


Sabena never operated -200 of themself. The -200 that flew for them where leased from AF and other companys also but don’t remember them. Believe UTA was also one of them.
OOSGA and OOSGB where 747-129(SCD)
OOSGC and OOSGD where 747-329 (SCD)

Just for info
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American 767
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Re: Why Didn't Swissair and Sabena order The 747-400?

Sun Dec 01, 2019 10:12 pm

brubiac wrote:
Boeing proposed Sabena to have their 2nd 747-300 delivered as a 747-400 instead. I thought OOSGD was the last -300 being build. (1989 if i’m not mistaken)
But due to a other cockpit then the -300 the proposal was denied by Sabena for the -400 series.


Yes OO-SGD, a 747-329, was the last 300 built. This was 1990. Not only that, it was also the last of all the Classic 747s to be built. I can understand that Sabena didn't want that one to be built as a 400, this was to share cockpit and parts commonality with the other three 747s then in service with the airline, because operating only one 400 with three other Classics wouldn't make a lot of sense. If Sabena was in a position to buy two more 747s or three, then maybe they would have considered the 400.
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