Re: Airbus 300, 310 market failure

From:         David Ecale <>
Date:         09 Dec 1997 15:41:48 -0500
Organization: Cray Research a division of Silicon Graphics, Inc.
References:   1 2 3
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H Andrew Chuang wrote:
> ...  When KLM switched from the A310 to the B767, one of the
> major factors was KLM did not need the cargo capacity of the A310.

Indeed, this is the case.  I flew one of the last A310 KLM flights a few
years ago & there was an article in the seat pocket that identified the
(then) planned changes in the KLM fleet.  The Airbus A310s were being
traded to Middle-Eastern airlines & KLM was repositioning its
Intra-European aircraft away from dual passenger-cargo capabilities to
straight passenger.  Smaller aircraft aimed at passengers were going to be
acquired.  The next 2 Intra-European flights that I had on KLM birds were
both Boeing 737 (-300 & -400) aircraft.  Zipping through four customs
barriers in as many hundred miles dramatically changed the economics of
surface shipment in Intra-European commerce.  KLM was just following the
change in business needs as Intra-European carco air shipment dwindled.

The best part of *why* KLM changed aircraft was that the fall in
Intra-European customs barriers had greatly reduced the time delays on
truck shipment of goods.  Yes, the trucking industry was able to compete
with the airline industry on a time-delay vs. cost-of- transport basis!
(PS.  The next time you take a Rhine River cruise and look at those
picturesque castles, just remember that every one of them was built as a

> ...However, in Asia and the Middle East, the A300/310 rules.

I suspect that the fact that you can't run trucks on Autoroute & Autobahn
quality highways in the Middle East is still a reason for the A300 &
A310's popularity in the ME & Asia.

David Ecale                                  
"The difference between a wolf pup and a German Shepard pup is that a
wolf pup is quite happy teething on the leg of a stag that it's parents
brought down in a hunt while the German Shepard pup prefers to teeth 
on remote controls and high end graphing calculators...."