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A340 fleet achieves record operational reliability

Last post 05-06-2004, 4:28 AM by Ghibli. 14 replies.
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  •  09-20-2002, 1:54 AM 1850

    A340 fleet achieves record operational reliability


    It said Airbus A340 has quad engined design, so airlines can always use the most direct route between the 2 destinations, rather than indirect route with no ETOPS no-go zone en route used by twinjets like B777. It also said A340 has much lower diversion rate, about 2-3 times better than the competitor (B777), thus greatly reducing chances for delay and hence much lower cost, as well as unexpected stopovers.

    Not only this, A340 has dispatch reliablity of 98.5% from Jan 2002 to Jun 2002, better than the competitor (B777), despite of long daily utilization of 13 hours per day (only 7 hours per day for a typical jet in network carriers).

    So it is concluded that Airbus A340 is the best long range aircarft choice.
  •  09-22-2002, 9:22 PM 1855 in reply to 1850

    Re: A340 fleet achieves record operational reliability

    Sorry to burst your bubble, but the 777 has always had and still has the highest reliability rate, which is currently at 99 percent. As for your argument that a quad engine design is "better" than a twin like the 777, how about this: the A330 (twin-engined) has always held a higher reliability rate than the A340. And of course, the 777 has an even higher rate. So, thus, your argument is invalid.

    I'm sorry, but thus, you cannot conclude that the A340 is the "best long range aircraft choice." Both the A340 and Boeing 777 are great aircraft, each with its own advantages and disadvantages, and I enjoy flying on both. However, I feel that I must defend the 777 on this forum, where a few select people seem to enjoy bashing the 777 with subjective opinions and false arguments.
  •  09-23-2002, 6:17 AM 1856 in reply to 1855

    Re: A340 fleet achieves record operational reliability

    You should be noted that twinjets like B777 are subjected to ETOPS constraint, so they cannot fly over remote areas with ETOPS no-go zones, like the poles, southern hemisphere oceans. So twinjets have to use much longer routing rather than shortest great circle route used by quadjets like A340.

    Thus my comparison between B777 & A340 is not fales and subjective. Instead it is real and objective.
  •  09-23-2002, 10:52 PM 1857 in reply to 1856

    Re: A340 fleet achieves record operational reliability

    Unfortunately, there are very few routes that involve ETOPS restricted zones or the poles. The only areas where the A340-500 may have an advantage over the 777-200LR are routes near the West coast of South America and trans-Antarctic routes. It should also be noted that on most other routes, the 777 outperforms the A340- for instance, CI was unhappy that their A343 was unable to make JFK to TPE nonstop, so it has to make a stop in Anchorage. One reason why CI was contemplating buying 777's and having Boeing buy back their A340s was that the 777 does have the range capability to do JFK-TPE nonstop.

    And I highly doubt that anyone who has read any of your previous posts will agree that your "comparisons" between A340 and the 777 are "objective."
  •  10-09-2002, 6:24 AM 1995 in reply to 1857

    Re: A340 fleet achieves record operational reliability

    Then why Cathay Pacific refused to introduce B777-200ER and then serve routes like Hong Kong - Toronto / New York? Because Cathay Pacific knows passengers want reliable service, and B777 is unable to perform this, and passengers have to land at extremely cold airports in Arctic when one engine of B777 is failed.

    So it is totally a suicide action for China Airlines of poor maintenance to introduce B777, as there would be lots of flight diversion for China Airlines B777 over the Arctic, thus killing many passengers because of extreme cold and lack of faclilities for passengers like medical systems, clothing for sub-zero temperatures.

    If China Airlines really introduce B777, then it would go bankrupt within 2 years after the introduction and purchased by other airlines for just TWD$1 (US$0.03), because of very unreliable service and lots of passenger death!!
  •  02-20-2003, 8:06 PM 2161 in reply to 1995

    Re: A340 fleet achieves record operational reliability

    Cathay Pacific does not have any ER or IGW versions of the B777-200. Their B777's are all what Boeing used to call "A-market" aircraft. Although emergency landings in the arctic are important to consider, this has nothing to do with why CX does not use the B777 on the Toronto and New York routes.
  •  02-21-2003, 1:56 AM 2162 in reply to 2161

    Re: A340 fleet achieves record operational reliability

    Then can anyone tell the reason why Cathay Pacific refuses to introduce B777-200ER and go for A340-300 instead?
  •  02-26-2003, 9:25 PM 2169 in reply to 2162

    Re: A340 fleet achieves record operational reliability

    Well, it could be that CX had already been operating the A340 for some time before the first B777 was built. And since they already have A340's and B747-400's, they don't need to add yet another long-haul type to their fleet. Obviously, many factors go into an airline's fleet decisions. Why did Air France choose the B777-200LR over the A340-500? And why has Singapore decided to operate both the B777-200ER and the A340-500?
  •  02-27-2003, 12:59 AM 2170 in reply to 2169

    Re: A340 fleet achieves record operational reliability

    What? B777 is first delivered in 1995, and Cathay Pacific operates A330/A340 only since 1996 (though B777-200ER entered the market since 1998.)

    Air France uses nothing other than GE engines and CFM engines, which is a 50 / 50 joint venture between GE and Snecma of France. But there is no GE engine option on A340-500/-600, and GE engine is the sole engine of B777-200LR/-300ER, so Air France goes for B777-200LR/-300ER instead of A340-500/-600.

    Even so, some airlines that use mainly GE engines on its aircarfts, like Iberia, China Eastern, go for A340-500/-600 instead of B777-200LR/-300ER, but there is NO airline uses mainly Rolls Royce engines goes for B777-200LR/-300ER. This proves the quad-engine design of A340-500/-600 is better suited for long haul routes, especially the routes over the extreme areas.

    If there is GE engine option for A340-500/-600, then Air France would certainly go for A340-500/-600 instead of B777-200LR/-300ER.

    Singapore Airlines does not use GE engines, and uses only Rolls Royce engines on its B777, and there is Rolls Royce engine option for B777-200ER. So Singapore Airlines goes for B777-200ER. But there is no Rolls Royce engine option for B777-200LR/-300ER, so Singapore Airlines goes for A340-500 instead of B777-200LR.

    If there is Rolls Royce engine option for B777-200LR/-300ER, then Singapore Airlines may go for B777-200LR instead of A340-500.

    All these shows how engine options of an aircraft governs the fleet selection so much!

    If there is Rolls Royce engine option on DC-10, then Cathay Pacific would go for DC-10 of much larger capacity, longer range and better economy instead of very poorly designed L-1011, which Rolls Royce is its sole power!
  •  03-11-2003, 10:41 PM 2194 in reply to 2170

    Re: A340 fleet achieves record operational reliability

    Actually, Cathay Pacific started service with the A340-211 in 1994. Their first A330 was delivered in February, 1995, and their first 777 was delivered in May, 1996.

    Why do you say that Air France would certainly go for the A340-500/-600 instead of the B77-200LR/-300ER if the Airbus offered a GE option? They seem to be quite happy operating both the A340-300 and the 777-200ER. I actually agree that a four-engine plane is a better idea when flying long routes over areas with extreme conditions, but there are very few possible routes out of Paris that go over such areas that Air France hasn't already flown over with 767's or A310's.

    Also, what makes you think that Cathay Pacific was unhappy with their TriStars? After they took delivery of the two TriStar 100's they bought new, they went on to buy 17 used TriStar 1's. Their first RR-powered 747 didn't arrive until five years after the first TriStar was delivered, so they didn't have a major commitment to the RB211 at that time. Was their experience with the GE-powered Convair 880's and PW-powered 707's so bad that they would only consider planes with RR engines? They also don't seem to have needed higher weight capacity or longer range since they didn't convert their planes to Tristar 200's or 250's as Delta and TWA did.
  •  03-24-2003, 4:12 AM 2208 in reply to 2194

    What? Cathay Pacific operated A340-200?

    What? Cathay Pacific NEVER operated A340-200, and operated only A340-300.

    I agree that Paris - Japan / Korea / Beijing routes are the only routes of Air France flying over extreme area (Siberia), but I don't think this is a reason for Air France to fly both B777-200LR/-300ER and A340-500/-600 if there is GE engine option on A340-500/-600. It costs much less costly to operate only either A330/A340 or B777 instead of both types.

    BTW, why you know so much inside things of Cathay Pacific? Do you or anyone you know work for Cathay Pacific? That's great!
  •  04-07-2003, 3:45 PM 2239 in reply to 2208

    Re: What? Cathay Pacific operated A340-200?

    Airliners.net has 16 gorgeous photos of the A340-200 in Cathay Pacific colors, which tends to disprove your assertion that they never operated that type.
  •  04-11-2003, 5:04 AM 2259 in reply to 2239

    China Eastern A340's

    Can anybody tell me what type of A340 China Eastern operates? I used to live in Shanghai when i was still in high school and i can remember flying from there to Beijing to Belgium (I'm Dutch) in A340's and it would be interesting for me to know what type they flew. It was fun flying with them because they were usually halfull or empty so you had 4 seats in the middle as your own personal bed :-).


  •  07-31-2003, 6:27 AM 2312 in reply to 2194

    Re: A340 fleet achieves record operational reliability

    I think you are a bit biased towards the A340. There is no need to be. Because it is already a great aircraft. But some things i would like to point out.

    1) SQ choice of aircraft is not engine confined. A few years back they were operating an almost all PW-powered fleet (B744 and A313). Yet they ordered the A343 and the B777 which are non PW powered. Other airlines might have different policies though.

    2) A343 are efficient and cheap to operate. But they have their problems. They are underpowered compared to 744 and 777. SQ couldn't get them to take off quickly and assume cruising attitude fast enough. Sometimes a Sin-Paris 343 has to fly at FT 28 for a long stretch of distance because of its inability to power up quickly.

    3) A343 cruises at 0.82M and the newer A345 and A346 cruises at 0.83. These speeds are slower than the 777 which cruises at 0.84M. This difference is considerable esp when compared between the 777 and A343. Air France uses a 777 for Sin-Paris which takes off later than SQ's 343 and yet arriving earlier (much to SQ's embarrasement of course).

    4) Have you been into the cabins of the A340 and the B777 yourself? I have. The A340 has a 'normal' cabin. Cosy, quiet, and not too bad. But the 777 experience was much better. You may have your facts from Airbus.com. But the 777 ceiling is so much higher and much more elegant and stylish. Of course Airbus claims more headspace but thats only when the 777 overhead bins are open. How long are bins open on a typical flight? And things dun fall out easily as you feared. Try a 777 and you will see what I mean. In addition, there is more space per seat for a 3-3-3 layout in a 777 than the 2-4-2 in the A340. I took a window seat on the A340 and it was cramped close to the wall which curves in as if it was enveloping the passenger. The 777 walls are almost straight and there is more space between the wall and the wondow seat pax. The seats were also slightly wider.

    5) As for ETOPS and routes which the 777 couldn't fly, that is true. But most of the long haul heavy traffic (e.g. cross Atlantic, cross Pacific, Europe- South east Asia) can be and already are operated with 777s. Actually, simple probability theory will tell you that the likelihood of one engine failing in two is lower than one failing in four. Of course probability aside, its the anxiety when the engine really fails.

    6) Why different airlines buy a certain aircraft type is prompted by many undisclosed factors other than the performance we see on paper. One big factor is maintenance and the price of the aircraft. My father works in the maintenance line and he is sure that the 777 is much easier to maintain. But if the A340 is much cheaper in the first place, it may pip the 777 in a proposal.

    Hope you would have a chance to travel on these two aircraft, if you haven't already. I like the 777 experience better, no doubt because of its spendid interior designing, even though it was more noisy. But ultimately, I love flying the 744 best. :))
  •  05-06-2004, 4:28 AM 2487 in reply to 2312

    Re: A340 fleet achieves record operational reliability

    China Airlines actually wanted the 777, but was forced to select the A340-300 instead because of pressure from the governent.
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