workhorse
Topic Author
Posts: 655
Joined: Sun Jul 10, 2005 11:35 pm

Lhassa Gonggar: why no A320s, B738s?

Fri Dec 08, 2017 12:42 pm

Watching the operations at Lhassa Gonggar airoprt (LXA), I have noticed that of the whole A320 family only the A319 can be seen operating there: no 320s, no 321s (the 318 is out of the question since there's none in China).

Of the Boeing 737 family, only 737-700s can be seen, no 738s, no 739s...

Are there limitations that prevent larger members of the narrowbody families from landing / taking off from LXA?

That would be strange, because the A330-200 doesn't seem to have a problem: plenty of them flying there with pictures on a.net to prove...
 
trent768
Posts: 128
Joined: Wed Feb 03, 2016 5:32 pm

Re: Lhassa Gonggar: why no A320s, B738s?

Fri Dec 08, 2017 1:06 pm

As I recall, Lhasa is a hot and high airport. So the 73G/319/332 probably have a better take off performance in that condition than their bigger siblings. They have the same thrust rating with the bigger one, but they were significantly lighter.
 
airbazar
Posts: 9818
Joined: Wed Sep 10, 2003 11:12 pm

Re: Lhassa Gonggar: why no A320s, B738s?

Fri Dec 08, 2017 1:06 pm

At nearly 12,000ft of altitude, I'd say that's a pretty big limitation :) It's probably also not a very high volume destination.
What's interesting is if we look at the highest airports (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_highest_airports), it seems to be common practices at Chinese/Tibetan airports to use only A319/B73-7. But in South America, we see the occasional A320. However it's worth noting that Avianca only puts 150 seats in their A320's. That might be the reason why they can operate at high altitude.
 
raylee67
Posts: 730
Joined: Mon Oct 24, 2011 11:06 pm

Re: Lhassa Gonggar: why no A320s, B738s?

Fri Dec 08, 2017 1:19 pm

757-200 was the usual equipment for Lhasa before the A319 was introduced. And 757 is famous for its take-off performance.
319/20/21 332/33 342/43/45 359/51 388 707 717 732/36/3G/38/39 74R/42/43/44/4E/48 757 762/63 772/7L/73/7W 788/89 D10 M80 135/40/45 175/90 DH1/4 CRJ/R7 L10
AY LH OU SR BA FI
AA DL UA NW AC CP WS FL NK PD
CI NH SQ KA CX JL BR OZ TG KE CA CZ NZ JQ RS
 
workhorse
Topic Author
Posts: 655
Joined: Sun Jul 10, 2005 11:35 pm

Re: Lhassa Gonggar: why no A320s, B738s?

Fri Dec 08, 2017 1:21 pm

airbazar wrote:
At nearly 12,000ft of altitude, I'd say that's a pretty big limitation :) It's probably also not a very high volume destination.


But there are A330-200s flying there, so at least sometimes, there is volume. Is the 332 so much better than the 320 and 738, performance-wise?
 
Okcflyer
Posts: 569
Joined: Sat May 23, 2015 11:10 pm

Re: Lhassa Gonggar: why no A320s, B738s?

Fri Dec 08, 2017 1:57 pm

A 332 on a short mission is a rocket ship! Most likely the 332 is used due to belly cargo. Generally, mountain travel of freight in developing areas is painfully slow and can be risky for high value cargo.
 
workhorse
Topic Author
Posts: 655
Joined: Sun Jul 10, 2005 11:35 pm

Re: Lhassa Gonggar: why no A320s, B738s?

Fri Dec 08, 2017 2:33 pm

I see, thanks to all for your replies.

By the way, looks like we have a business case here for the A319neo and the B737-7MAX, don't we? If an airline has a high altitude airport in its network, they will need at least a couple of "high performers" like that in their fleet. And that necessity can influence the choice of the whole narrowbody fleet for commonality reasons. Losing an order for 100 A320neos just because you don't have a 319neo (or losing an order for 100 7M8s because you don't have a 7M7) would not be nice...
 
Chaostheory
Posts: 1134
Joined: Wed Mar 06, 2013 2:09 am

Re: Lhassa Gonggar: why no A320s, B738s?

Fri Dec 08, 2017 2:38 pm

workhorse wrote:
airbazar wrote:
At nearly 12,000ft of altitude, I'd say that's a pretty big limitation :) It's probably also not a very high volume destination.


But there are A330-200s flying there, so at least sometimes, there is volume. Is the 332 so much better than the 320 and 738, performance-wise?


Yes.

The A330 has better climb performance than both the A320 and 738.

As you say, it will be interesting to see what replaces the 319 and -700 in the years to come.
 
zakuivcustom
Posts: 2895
Joined: Sat Jun 10, 2017 3:32 am

Re: Lhassa Gonggar: why no A320s, B738s?

Fri Dec 08, 2017 3:15 pm

raylee67 wrote:
757-200 was the usual equipment for Lhasa before the A319 was introduced. And 757 is famous for its take-off performance.


Indeed, back when there was still China Southwest Airlines (now merged into Air China), those 752s pretty much do most of the CTU-LXA and CKG-LXA flying (along with a few A343 that they had).

As for A319 - something to keep in mind, also, is that most of the A319 going into LXA used the 27k lbf thrust CFM56-5B7. Most A319 operating in non-highland condition used lower thrust engines like -5B6 (23.5k lbf) instead (just to save fuel). At 27k thrust (same as an A320), the thrust-to-weight ratio just work a lot better in its favor.

A319neo doesn't have a high thrust version, though (at least not yet). Max thrust on that is 24k lbf I believed.
Free Hong Kong! Free China!
 
raylee67
Posts: 730
Joined: Mon Oct 24, 2011 11:06 pm

Re: Lhassa Gonggar: why no A320s, B738s?

Fri Dec 08, 2017 3:21 pm

zakuivcustom wrote:

A319neo doesn't have a high thrust version, though (at least not yet). Max thrust on that is 24k lbf I believed.

May be the C919 will replace the A319 in Tibet airports then. The C919 uses engines with 31k lbf max thrust. If China can deploy the C919 safely to Lhasa routes, it would be a major political triumph too. I can totally see CAAC try to certify C919 for Lhasa operations. From the point of view of business, seeing C919 operating normally at such challenging airport would give overseas buyers some additional comfort and confidence too.
319/20/21 332/33 342/43/45 359/51 388 707 717 732/36/3G/38/39 74R/42/43/44/4E/48 757 762/63 772/7L/73/7W 788/89 D10 M80 135/40/45 175/90 DH1/4 CRJ/R7 L10
AY LH OU SR BA FI
AA DL UA NW AC CP WS FL NK PD
CI NH SQ KA CX JL BR OZ TG KE CA CZ NZ JQ RS
 
zrh177
Posts: 22
Joined: Thu Jun 16, 2016 9:32 am

Re: Lhassa Gonggar: why no A320s, B738s?

Fri Dec 08, 2017 3:38 pm

Speaking from personal experience, the approach to Lhasa is weird. The altimeter on my watch (which is fairly reliable and works off of atmospheric pressure) actually had cabin pressure going down as we descended to Tibet! Also, there is a fairly significant military presence at the airport. I recall several Flanker-style aircraft towards the end of the runway as well as an il-76 the day we left.
 
zakuivcustom
Posts: 2895
Joined: Sat Jun 10, 2017 3:32 am

Re: Lhassa Gonggar: why no A320s, B738s?

Fri Dec 08, 2017 3:45 pm

raylee67 wrote:
zakuivcustom wrote:

A319neo doesn't have a high thrust version, though (at least not yet). Max thrust on that is 24k lbf I believed.

May be the C919 will replace the A319 in Tibet airports then. The C919 uses engines with 31k lbf max thrust. If China can deploy the C919 safely to Lhasa routes, it would be a major political triumph too. I can totally see CAAC try to certify C919 for Lhasa operations. From the point of view of business, seeing C919 operating normally at such challenging airport would give overseas buyers some additional comfort and confidence too.


I can see that myself (I'm actually more surprised at the fact that C919 has a lower MTOW than an A319 but with much higher thrust). I believe they're also trying to certify the ARJ21 for "highland operation", but it's not quite there yet.
Free Hong Kong! Free China!
 
raylee67
Posts: 730
Joined: Mon Oct 24, 2011 11:06 pm

Re: Lhassa Gonggar: why no A320s, B738s?

Fri Dec 08, 2017 4:09 pm

zakuivcustom wrote:
raylee67 wrote:
zakuivcustom wrote:

A319neo doesn't have a high thrust version, though (at least not yet). Max thrust on that is 24k lbf I believed.

May be the C919 will replace the A319 in Tibet airports then. The C919 uses engines with 31k lbf max thrust. If China can deploy the C919 safely to Lhasa routes, it would be a major political triumph too. I can totally see CAAC try to certify C919 for Lhasa operations. From the point of view of business, seeing C919 operating normally at such challenging airport would give overseas buyers some additional comfort and confidence too.


I can see that myself (I'm actually more surprised at the fact that C919 has a lower MTOW than an A319 but with much higher thrust). I believe they're also trying to certify the ARJ21 for "highland operation", but it's not quite there yet.

The ARJ21 is not quite anywhere yet. I almost feel that they have given up on it.
319/20/21 332/33 342/43/45 359/51 388 707 717 732/36/3G/38/39 74R/42/43/44/4E/48 757 762/63 772/7L/73/7W 788/89 D10 M80 135/40/45 175/90 DH1/4 CRJ/R7 L10
AY LH OU SR BA FI
AA DL UA NW AC CP WS FL NK PD
CI NH SQ KA CX JL BR OZ TG KE CA CZ NZ JQ RS
 
Pacific
Posts: 1145
Joined: Fri Mar 10, 2000 2:46 pm

Re: Lhassa Gonggar: why no A320s, B738s?

Fri Dec 08, 2017 4:11 pm

zrh177 wrote:
Speaking from personal experience, the approach to Lhasa is weird. The altimeter on my watch (which is fairly reliable and works off of atmospheric pressure) actually had cabin pressure going down as we descended to Tibet! Also, there is a fairly significant military presence at the airport. I recall several Flanker-style aircraft towards the end of the runway as well as an il-76 the day we left.


An aircraft is pressurised to 6000-9000ft usually so gradually equalizing with the 12,000ft field in order to open the doors on the ground seems normal. I remember reading on here a long time ago that the pilots have to enable some kind of mode on the aircraft, or else the oxygen masks will drop down upon arrival!
 
workhorse
Topic Author
Posts: 655
Joined: Sun Jul 10, 2005 11:35 pm

Re: Lhassa Gonggar: why no A320s, B738s?

Fri Dec 08, 2017 5:34 pm

What about the 318? Is there an airport (other than London City) where it is the only member of the 320 family to be able to operate?
 
jmchevallier
Posts: 126
Joined: Sat Feb 21, 2015 7:17 am

Re: Lhassa Gonggar: why no A320s, B738s?

Fri Dec 08, 2017 5:48 pm

The issue at Lhassa is not only take-off capacity of a given plane, but also its ability to cruise with one engine off over pretty high altitude ground !
 
zakuivcustom
Posts: 2895
Joined: Sat Jun 10, 2017 3:32 am

Re: Lhassa Gonggar: why no A320s, B738s?

Fri Dec 08, 2017 11:56 pm

Just on a side note on the topic.

http://www.caac.gov.cn/ZTZL/RDZT/XJSYY/ ... 294102.pdf

A319 are overall the workhorse for the whole SW China region anyway. Not just LXA, but nothing other than 319 fly to a few of those high elevation airports.

One example would be JZH, during busy season (summer), you are basically talking about a bunch of A319 flying shuttles from CTU.

To add on, Druk Air (of Bhutan) picked A319 for a reason. The alternative? 737-700.
Free Hong Kong! Free China!
 
User avatar
lightsaber
Moderator
Posts: 18405
Joined: Wed Jan 19, 2005 10:55 pm

Re: Lhassa Gonggar: why no A320s, B738s?

Sat Dec 09, 2017 8:29 pm

workhorse wrote:
I see, thanks to all for your replies.

By the way, looks like we have a business case here for the A319neo and the B737-7MAX, don't we? If an airline has a high altitude airport in its network, they will need at least a couple of "high performers" like that in their fleet. And that necessity can influence the choice of the whole narrowbody fleet for commonality reasons. Losing an order for 100 A320neos just because you don't have a 319neo (or losing an order for 100 7M8s because you don't have a 7M7) would not be nice...

These will be niche orders.
1. The A320NEO with the sharp kit or a -7 MAX.
2. The C-series has excellent performance at these conditions
3. The MRJ will make all NEO and MAX look like runway hogs.

Airbus will sell A319NEOs in the hope of such an order. But why not buy the SHARP kit with it's incredible field performance?


There are new options...

Lightsaber
IM messages to mods on warnings and bans will be ignored and nasty ones will result in a ban.
 
User avatar
lightsaber
Moderator
Posts: 18405
Joined: Wed Jan 19, 2005 10:55 pm

Re: Lhassa Gonggar: why no A320s, B738s?

Sat Dec 09, 2017 8:37 pm

raylee67 wrote:
zakuivcustom wrote:
raylee67 wrote:
May be the C919 will replace the A319 in Tibet airports then. The C919 uses engines with 31k lbf max thrust. If China can deploy the C919 safely to Lhasa routes, it would be a major political triumph too. I can totally see CAAC try to certify C919 for Lhasa operations. From the point of view of business, seeing C919 operating normally at such challenging airport would give overseas buyers some additional comfort and confidence too.


I can see that myself (I'm actually more surprised at the fact that C919 has a lower MTOW than an A319 but with much higher thrust). I believe they're also trying to certify the ARJ21 for "highland operation", but it's not quite there yet.

The ARJ21 is not quite anywhere yet. I almost feel that they have given up on it.

The ARJ-21 is not a commercial success. It takes 3 aircraft to fly 4 short flights per day (6 to 8 should be normal for each aircraft).

China develops aircraft that do not fly very long. They need to figure out what is wrong in their development process. Is the ARJ the third or 4th attempt? I include the MA-60 as none flew through a heavy maintenance cycle before they we're unsafe to fly. They simply do not develop for the customer, but instead for the party.

It is really easy to screw up a design and ruin a concept.

Lightsaber
IM messages to mods on warnings and bans will be ignored and nasty ones will result in a ban.
 
User avatar
BawliBooch
Posts: 1373
Joined: Mon Nov 28, 2016 4:24 am

Re: Lhassa Gonggar: why no A320s, B738s?

Sun Dec 10, 2017 2:30 am

Air India deploys the A319 and Jet Airways deploys 737-700's to Leh Airport IXL/VILH which is also 10700ft ASL. LCC GoAir deploys the A320 (they have no A319's) on the route. But A320's are load restricted out of IXL upto 40 seats for departures after 10am.
Mr.Kapoor's favorite poodle!
 
raylee67
Posts: 730
Joined: Mon Oct 24, 2011 11:06 pm

Re: Lhassa Gonggar: why no A320s, B738s?

Sun Dec 10, 2017 9:26 am

lightsaber wrote:
raylee67 wrote:
zakuivcustom wrote:

I can see that myself (I'm actually more surprised at the fact that C919 has a lower MTOW than an A319 but with much higher thrust). I believe they're also trying to certify the ARJ21 for "highland operation", but it's not quite there yet.

The ARJ21 is not quite anywhere yet. I almost feel that they have given up on it.

The ARJ-21 is not a commercial success. It takes 3 aircraft to fly 4 short flights per day (6 to 8 should be normal for each aircraft).

China develops aircraft that do not fly very long. They need to figure out what is wrong in their development process. Is the ARJ the third or 4th attempt? I include the MA-60 as none flew through a heavy maintenance cycle before they we're unsafe to fly. They simply do not develop for the customer, but instead for the party.

It is really easy to screw up a design and ruin a concept.

Lightsaber

Yep, so far all the aircraft were designed and built for the Party. Actually everything in China is built for the Party. The Party believes that everyone lives for the Party too. The Party's goal is to get it built and get it to fly. Everyone went to the photo-ops, cut the ribbon, and the people working in the project get promoted for the "achievement". The goal never included getting it to fly 5 years after delivery, and the people involved in the project has been promoted already anyway. Who cares if it still works?
319/20/21 332/33 342/43/45 359/51 388 707 717 732/36/3G/38/39 74R/42/43/44/4E/48 757 762/63 772/7L/73/7W 788/89 D10 M80 135/40/45 175/90 DH1/4 CRJ/R7 L10
AY LH OU SR BA FI
AA DL UA NW AC CP WS FL NK PD
CI NH SQ KA CX JL BR OZ TG KE CA CZ NZ JQ RS
 
Chaostheory
Posts: 1134
Joined: Wed Mar 06, 2013 2:09 am

Re: Lhassa Gonggar: why no A320s, B738s?

Sun Dec 10, 2017 11:42 am

lightsaber wrote:
workhorse wrote:
I see, thanks to all for your replies.

By the way, looks like we have a business case here for the A319neo and the B737-7MAX, don't we? If an airline has a high altitude airport in its network, they will need at least a couple of "high performers" like that in their fleet. And that necessity can influence the choice of the whole narrowbody fleet for commonality reasons. Losing an order for 100 A320neos just because you don't have a 319neo (or losing an order for 100 7M8s because you don't have a 7M7) would not be nice...

These will be niche orders.
1. The A320NEO with the sharp kit or a -7 MAX.
2. The C-series has excellent performance at these conditions
3. The MRJ will make all NEO and MAX look like runway hogs.

Airbus will sell A319NEOs in the hope of such an order. But why not buy the SHARP kit with it's incredible field performance?

Lightsaber


Field and climb performance don't always go hand in hand.

Tell me, how is the sfp/sharp package relevant to engine out ceilings? The airport in question is at 12000ft elevation and from memory, the msa exceeds 6000m/20000ft. The 4 or 5t extra carried by the 320 is effectively dead weight and will kill your performance. Throw in above isa temps and/or the need for anti-ice and you'll be quaking in your boots.
 
User avatar
speedygonzales
Posts: 646
Joined: Thu Sep 13, 2007 5:01 pm

Re: Lhassa Gonggar: why no A320s, B738s?

Tue Dec 12, 2017 9:27 am

Chaostheory wrote:
lightsaber wrote:
workhorse wrote:
I see, thanks to all for your replies.

By the way, looks like we have a business case here for the A319neo and the B737-7MAX, don't we? If an airline has a high altitude airport in its network, they will need at least a couple of "high performers" like that in their fleet. And that necessity can influence the choice of the whole narrowbody fleet for commonality reasons. Losing an order for 100 A320neos just because you don't have a 319neo (or losing an order for 100 7M8s because you don't have a 7M7) would not be nice...

These will be niche orders.
1. The A320NEO with the sharp kit or a -7 MAX.
2. The C-series has excellent performance at these conditions
3. The MRJ will make all NEO and MAX look like runway hogs.

Airbus will sell A319NEOs in the hope of such an order. But why not buy the SHARP kit with it's incredible field performance?

Lightsaber


Field and climb performance don't always go hand in hand.

Tell me, how is the sfp/sharp package relevant to engine out ceilings? The airport in question is at 12000ft elevation and from memory, the msa exceeds 6000m/20000ft. The 4 or 5t extra carried by the 320 is effectively dead weight and will kill your performance. Throw in above isa temps and/or the need for anti-ice and you'll be quaking in your boots.

:checkmark: The problem with Lhasa is not only its high altitude, but also that it's at the same time at the bottom of a valley surrounded by peaks well over 5000m. Add in temperatures up to 30C, and you have really challenging conditions.
Ignorance kills. :tombstone:

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: hongkongflyer and 44 guests

Popular Searches On Airliners.net

Top Photos of Last:   24 Hours  •  48 Hours  •  7 Days  •  30 Days  •  180 Days  •  365 Days  •  All Time

Military Aircraft Every type from fighters to helicopters from air forces around the globe

Classic Airliners Props and jets from the good old days

Flight Decks Views from inside the cockpit

Aircraft Cabins Passenger cabin shots showing seat arrangements as well as cargo aircraft interior

Cargo Aircraft Pictures of great freighter aircraft

Government Aircraft Aircraft flying government officials

Helicopters Our large helicopter section. Both military and civil versions

Blimps / Airships Everything from the Goodyear blimp to the Zeppelin

Night Photos Beautiful shots taken while the sun is below the horizon

Accidents Accident, incident and crash related photos

Air to Air Photos taken by airborne photographers of airborne aircraft

Special Paint Schemes Aircraft painted in beautiful and original liveries

Airport Overviews Airport overviews from the air or ground

Tails and Winglets Tail and Winglet closeups with beautiful airline logos