Date: 16 Oct 97 11:59:50 From: Chuanga@cris.com (H Andrew Chuang) Organization: Concentric Internet Services Followups: 1
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In early 1990's, China Aviation Supplies Corp (CASC) ordered six A340-300s for China Southern Airlines (CZ). However, CZ, which currently has six B777s in operation, refused to accept the A340-300s. Last year, CASC was able to assign three of the A340s to Air China and the rest to China Eastern (MU), which had ordered five A340s on its own. MU started operating the A340-300s in 1996 and was reported to be unhappy with the performance of the aircraft. In fact, MU pulled the A340-300 out of the trans-Pacific routes and redeployed the MD-11 on these routes. MU put the A340-300 on less demanding routes between China and Europe. (Someone in this newsgroup previously suggested the switch was due to higher yield on the European routes, but I don't think that's the case.) MU has also decided not to take the additional three A340-300s from CASC. Now, China Southwestern (SZ) will take the three A340s that both CZ and MU don't want. SZ's A340-300 will probably be the first high-density A340-300 with 370 seats. Oddly, SZ will use the long-range aircraft for domestic operations. Perhaps, SZ thinks the four-engine plane is appropriate for high-altitude operations out of Lhasa, Tibet.