B777-400 and A340-500HGW

Date:         28 Aug 97 02:30:37 
From:         Marc Schaeffer <marcmsc@geocities.com>
Organization: None
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I just read this interesting news in the web edition of AW&ST :

<< AW&ST
Boeing may have grabbed the lead in satisfying Singapore Airlines'
performance criteria for an 8,800-naut.-mi. transport to provide nonstop
services between Los Angeles and Singapore. SIA's requirement is for a
206-passenger aircraft with normal fuel reserves, which Boeing can meet
with a version industry sources are calling the 777-400, a 777-200X with
an auxiliary fuel tank in the belly. Airbus has countered with a
365-ton, high-growth version of the A340-500. It would be certified with
53,000-lb.-thrust Rolls Royce Trent 500s but would be able to take up to
a 60,000-lb.-thrust growth version of the engine.

Boeing's proposal is based on the Trent 8104 with 102,000-lb. thrust.
Malaysia Airlines has placed a letter of intent for 15 777-400s.

On the other hand, Cathay Pacific, interested in a 7,600-naut.-mi.,
extra-long-haul capacity to serve flights from its Hong Kong base to
Toronto or New York, is looking at the larger 382-seat capacity of the


As you can see the Airbus - Boeing battle is getting very tough. The
8800 nmi for the -400 are lower than what was announced last Sunday in
the Seattle Times (10000 nmi), but they seem much more realistic.

The A340-500HGW at 365 t will be a huge jump from todays 271 t for the
A340-300E, which will also explain the 2.5 B$ development costs. It will
get very close to the B747-400 at 397 t.

I think that both the B777-400 and A340-500/600 will be officially
launched before the end of the year. The Asian air show (in Singapore ?)
should be appropriate. Singapore Airlines and Malaysia Airlines going
for the -400 and Cathay Pacific for the -600. Cathay always put a lot of
importance on the 'safer aspect' of 4 jet-engines, but nevertheless
operates B777. It would not be surprising if Singapore Airlines would
choose a mix of A340-500 and B777-400, they are already operating both
types. Airbus and Boeing should get each at least 40 orders before the
end of the year, which with the existing LOI from Malaysian, Virgin and
Air Canada shouldn't be difficult.

Marc Schaeffer, Luxembourg // mailto:marcmsc@geocities.com
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