Re: Singapore Airlines The A340 vs 777 saga continues

Date:         22 Jul 99 23:30:21 
From:         Russell Short <>
Organization: PLANESMART >
References:   1 2
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Pardave Lehry wrote:
> Even if SIA were to refuse delivery, I'm sure there are other airlines out
> there that would take those airplanes faster than Boeing's surplus of
> cancelled orders from Asian carriers sitting in Phoenix.  Speaking of Asian
> carriers, I'm just curious why they have cancelled their Boeing orders and
> not their Airbus orders.  Korean Airlines is the only airline that has
> cancelled all of their orders.

Airbus and Boeing orders have been cancelled, with Boeing the hardest
hit because the largest airplanes, the 747-400 and 777-200/300 have
taken a beating.

Korean has NOT cancelled all their orders. Most have just been deferred.

> The blame of headroom and more space in the cabin should not be placed on
> Airbus.  When an airline orders an aircraft from Airbus or for that matter,
> Boeing, they specify what the interior should be like.

An airline has no control over the radius of the fuselage. It is here
that the Airbus machine has a couple of inches less head room due to the
greater curvature of the wall compared to the 777. The 777 head room
down the aisles is also greater, as is under the overhead bins. Most
airlines have the same overhead bins. To increase the height of the A340
headroom one must effectively remove space from the overhead bins.

> The A340 has a maximum cruising altitude of 39,000 feet.

At what weight? The 747 and 777 can get to their optimum cruise altitudes
faster, which is the point of the argument.

> So whether the A340 will clear the bad weather or not is cause for concern.

SQ must be imagining it...

> Why Airbus seemed to go with CFMI's CFM-56 engines for
> the A340 is still unclear to me.  Those engines have a thrust rating of
> something like 34,000 pounds, which is why it takes forever for the A340 to
> climb to cruise altitude and then get to its destination.  It would be a
> wise decision on behalf of Airbus to go with a much more powerful engine,
> something like the PW4000 series, which is the same engine found on the
> 767's.

Which would not only ruin engine commonality at airlines, but also
increase maintenance, fuel and overhead expenditure, virtually
surrendering the market to the 777.