Re: A330 vs. B767

Date:         31 Dec 99 02:09:17 
From:         "Russell Short" <>
Organization: The Internet Group (Sydney)
References:   1 2 3
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Robert Wright <> wrote ...
> Of course, the A330 has a lot more room for cargo and fuel, so it will
> always have a capacity and range adcantage.

We should clarify which A330 version we are talking about. The A330-200 has
a belly volume of 4,803 cu ft. The B767-400ER has a belly volume of 4,905 cu
ft, or 2.12% more volume. This 2.12% difference is roughly equal to one LD-2
container. Of course the longer A330-300 has room for 6 more LD-3 sized
containers compared to the A330-200.

If we work with Airbus and Boeing configurations for their respective
A330-200 and B767-400ER models, we find the following:

First class passenger on airplane 5.4 cu ft of baggage space
Business class passenger on airplane 5.4 cu ft of baggage space
Economy class passenger on airplane 3.6 cu ft of baggage space

Airbus A330-200. 253 3-class pax (12/36/205).
12 First = 64.8 cu ft
36 Business = 194.4 cu ft
205 Economy = 738 cu ft
TOTAL = 997.2 cu ft = 7 LD-3 containers (rounding up)

Each LD-3 container has 153 cu ft internal volume.

This means that the A330-200 is capable of carrying a maximum of six pallets
with a full three-class passenger load. The remaining volume is limited to 2
LD-3 containers and bulk.

Boeing B767-400ER. 245 3-class pax (20/50/175).
20 First  = 108 cu ft
50 Business = 270 cu ft
175 Economy = 630 cu ft
TOTAL  = 1008 cu ft = 9 LD-2 containers (rounding up)

Each LD-2 container has 124 cu ft internal volume.

This means that the B767-400ER is capable of carrying its maximum of five
pallets with a full three-class passenger load. The remaining volume is
limited to 9 LD-3 containers and bulk. For any comparable two-class load
comparison of the A330-200 v B767-400ER, the cargo capability of the
airframes differs even less. The A330-200 is limited to five pallets with a
two-class interior (and full pax); and the B767-400ER is able to carry its
maximum of five pallets in any realistic two-class configuration involving
2-2-2 business seating and 2-3-2 economy seating.

Of course, this sort of capacity is irrelevant if you are trying to achieve
a maximum range for passengers scenario. Obviously the larger 36,750
(139,100 L) fuel capacity of the A330-200 compared to 24,140 USG (91,370 L)
for the B767-400ER goes a long way to it have a longer range. As such the
A330-200 has a 52% higher fuel capacity, but burns more fuel due to higher
thrust engines, greater frontal drag and heavier weights as outlined by
Robert. Not many people in the world are game enough to claim that the
A330-200 has both lower trip and direct operating costs compared to the
B767-400ER over any range. Of course, the perceived advantage of the
A330-200 is its side-by-side LD-3 capability and ultimately wider
payload/range scenarios.

Boeing is, of course, considering further fuel capacity and MTOW increases
to the B767-400ER to help combat this problem. Two methods will be
approached: (a) the use of two LD-2 positions for removeable fuel storage -
an event that does not significantly reduce cargo capacity with
three-classes over 6,000nm+ ranges; and (b) the use of the tailplane and
outer wing for fuel storage.

And, not to be left out, the B767-400ER has a 27ft wingspan advantage. No,
I'm not trying to sell this airplane, I'm trying to casually point out with
simple arithmetic that perceptions aren't always beneficial. For instance,
Airbus calculates the 6,400nm range of the A330-200 based on a Mach cruise
speed of 0.80, but markets the airplane as 0.82 capable (which it is, but
with a fuel burn increase).

> The 767 is about as stretched as it's
> going to get, and there's not much extra range to be had either.  So, as
> usual, the choice comes down to the specifics of the airline's needs.  If you
> want very tight control of seat/mile costs and don't need extreme range you
> go with the 767. If, however, you are looking for the same size (passenger
> count) airplane but need every bit of range you can get, you go for the A330.

This seems like a fair analogy to me. Of course this is complicated by fleet
commonalities, politics and dealer's bargains.

> >BA going for A330 would reduce their pilot training costs by a factor of
> >80% if the pilots would come from the A320 fleet, so that would be one
> >reason.

They say that 72% of statistics are made up on the spot. Surely this is one
of those times?

> I'm not sure where this figure comes from.  80% compared to what?  Do
> you mean BA could spend 80% less training pilots next year if they bought
> A330s, or that they could spend 80% less training A330 pilots than they
> would training 767 pilots?  Will the 767-400 not have commonality with the
> other 767s in this regard, or have so little commonality than transition
> from 767-300 to 767-400 would cost fives times as much as transitioning from
> A320 to A330?  That doesn't make sense to me.  Of course, you can't get a
> 767-400 with RR engines right now....

Not only this, but BA, although removing three dozen B757s from its fleet,
still plans on operating the airframe for another ten years. BA only ordered
their last two B757s in August 1998. The B757/767 are, of course, common
type rated.

And, to make matters even more interesting, the B767-400ER can be delivered
with a B777 cockpit layout and philosophy, which would enhance mixed fleet
flying for BA widebody types (B764/777/744). Pilots can be dual-type rated
for Boeings same as they can for Airbusses, it just takes a day or two
longer in the simulator for pilots to earn the qualification. At a major
international airline, the sort of narrowbody/widebody separation for pilots
would no doubt prove handy in contract negotiations and keeping short and
long-haul pilots in separate parts of the company.