Re: Singapore Airlines The A340 vs 777 saga continues

Date:         07 Aug 99 01:22:36 
From:         H Andrew Chuang <chuanga@cris.com>
Organization: Concentric Internet Services
References:   1 2
Followups:    1
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Niels Sampath wrote:
>
> James Matthew Weber wrote in message ...
> >It's been reported that the aircraft is currently 6.5 metric tonnes
> >overweight, which puts it about 400nm short of the range requirement.
> >The problem may well be worse than that. The A340-500 has a new
> >engine, the RR Trent 500, and industry experience is that new engines
> >rarely make fuel guarantees 'out of the box'.
>
> You mean `rumoured'  not reported as fact.

So, do you mean Flight International is not credible?  ;-)
Well, I actually have heard this from the customer's side.  I don't
always believe everything I read in Flight International or Aviation
Week & Space Technology.  However, in this case, since I have heard
it from other sources, I think the report is credible.

> If the Airbus retort to these rumours  this week is true...
> that the 6.5 tonne overweight rumour stems merely from future
> development version projections of the 340  and is -not- related
> to the -500, -600 `as is' programme,
> then the rumour is a red herring.
> It is a Sporty Game tho isn't it?<g>

What Airbus is doing is called damage control. Airbus has always
been quite good at not leaking development problems to the media,
partly because it's not a publicly listed company.  Tell me, other
than from what I told you in these forums, how often have you
heard about the A340-300E payload/range problems that Airbus had
to increase the certified MTOW from 267 metric tons to the current
275 tons?  8 tons translate roughly to 80 passengers!  It's not an
insignificant increase of TOW.  (Also, the two MTOW numbers that I
quoted are easily verifiable.)  It seems history is repeating
itself in less than 5 years.

> Meanwhile,  objective reports say that AA, UAL, BA, and CX
> have all expressed much displeasure at the GE exclusivity deal
> on the 777X.

Hmmm... Now, you think FI is credible.  ;-)  In the FI report,
I believe BA was reportedly to be concerned not displeased.
(Quote: "... the airline has not yet formulated a view on the
likely impact of the exclusivity deal on its own fleet planning
strategy...")  UA's protest is quite meaningless because UA's
preferred engine supplier, P&W, would offer a whole new engine.
Thus, no matter what, UA would not have engine commonality if
they choose to order the B777X.

No doubt airlines don't like sole source.  However, what does
Boeing's competitor has to offer?  An A340-500/600 with a
sole-source engine supplier, too (at least for the time being)!
Ask yourself, what's more expensive to operate: two different
fleets with similar engine or same type of fleet with two
different engines?

Also, if you have read AW&ST, some airlines said they were more
concerned with payload/range capabilities than what engines are
offered on the 777X.