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cheese man

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07 Apr 2010
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  Topic: Emirates replacments - Sent 24 Aug 9:35

Are emirates replacing the a340-500s for 77Ws on EK407 and EK435 to AKL.

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FLX

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  Topic: Emirates replacments - Sent 24 Aug 10:54

Medium-Longer term: Yes, retire completely fm the fleet
Near-term re EK407/435: Don't know. For that kind of detail, U can always check by reservation on EK's website to find out. I used the same method recently to find out exactly which date EK changes its aircraft type on its route to/fm my home base.

Ever since oil went above US$60 per barrel and EK started taking delivery of vast numbers of 77Ls/77Ws a few yrs ago, it has been pretty clear that the days of 345s @ EK are numbered even though all are under 7yrs old. Recent EK statement said all 340 family, 332s and older 772As will start to retire fm EK fleet beginning Feb2011. I'm guessing EK 345s will be completely gone by 2013.


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Freshbrook

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  Topic: Emirates replacments - Sent 24 Aug 12:29

We know that Emirates prefers to operate younger aircraft - my concern is that if the other VERY rich airlines such as Etihad and Qatar do the same, and this becomes a trend, there will be a large number of rather expensive second hand aircraft on the market. 7 year old A345s sitting in the desert, alongside redundant 772s and A330s?

Will it be the opposite - Airbus & Boeing orders flagging because of the availability of nearly new, previously enjoyed, aircraft at knock-down prices?

What's the experts view on this?


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CPH

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  Topic: Emirates replacments - Sent 24 Aug 18:40

They could easily become a major player in the leasing industry, those planes are still worth a lot for not so rich airlines.


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Mabel

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  Topic: Emirates replacments - Sent 24 Aug 18:44

I'm anything but an expert, but if EK does decide to unload its 345s I reckon they'll be snatched up fairly quickly. Arik Air in Nigeria operates 345s on flights to the USA and London and is agressively expanding, so I'd expect them to make a bid for any 345s EK disposes of. Another possibility is US Airways, who tried to acquire 343s to begin flights to PEK. The 345s would be very well suited for long-haul ops out of PHX, which is too hot and high for their 332, 333 and 762s.


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FLX

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  Topic: Emirates replacments - Sent 25 Aug 10:26

Freshbrook:
Re <7 year old A345s sitting in the desert>, actually not exactly. I expect these to start leaving EK fleet later than all 772As, 343s and the oldest 332s, around 2012-13. So these 345s would hv about 9-10yrs career with EK by then.

Of course, that's still relatively young since most modern airframes are designed to last 15+yrs @ reasonable maintenance costs. However, 345 is a special case and there are unique reasons why major airlines, not just EK, seem to be getting rid of it relatively quicker than other types. In EK's case, 77L essentially rendered the 345 redundant in terms of size+capability while achieveing better fuel burn even though both types are basically fm the same tech gen. In the used mkt, 345 is expensive in absolute terms but definitely not so among similarly young designs/airframe age out there.

In contrast, EK's 772A has been around since 96. Nex yr, all 3 of them will be 15yrs old - far fm elderly but definitely within the normal retirement time frame of many major airlines. Similar story re all 8 of EK's 772ERs which entered EK fleet 97-98. 772A doesn't do well in the used mkt<CX has been trying to get rid of theirs for yrs without success> mainly due to lack of intercon payload/range but 772ERs are hot in the used mkt largely because most original owners hv no immediate plans to retire them....lack of used supply.

The 8units of 343 @ EK hv an interesting history. Originally built & delivered to SQ in 96-98, Boeing got them as trade-ins as SQ started to receive 777s fm 01. Later, all ended up serving EK fm 04 till now<THIS ALONE COMPLETELY SHATTERED THE MYTH/PRECONCEIVED NOTION THAT EK ALWAYS PREFER TO OPERATE NEWER/YOUNGER EQUIPEMENTS....IF IT DOES, THAT PREFERENCE IS FORMED VERY VERY RECENTLY>. Like the 772A/ER, they will be 15yrs old starting nex yr. Used mkt for 343 has been a lot more liquid than 772ER. They tend to change hands a lot more often<EK's 343s is a perfect example> so there are more supplies @ any given moment.

All 29units of 332 joined EK in 99-03. I expect they'll be the last to go along with the 345s....probably starting 2014, just in time when EK's 358<Slightly larger than 332> may start to arrive if no serious delay to the 350 program. Thx mainly to 788< the closest thing to a 332, more so than 358> unavailability for most of this DECADE<Now till around 2018>, used mkt for 332 is red-hot today and will remain so for a long time. This is the smallest widebody with <true> intercon capability+reasonable payload/range econ available in the mkt today.....the lowest possible risk proposition for any operator launching any new intercon route. Used 332 mkt is probably the biggest/most liquid among all pax widebodies. If I'm a used widebodies trader, I would only work with 332....it's as close to cash as U get in the world of widebody aircraft trading.

Mabel:
TG has been trying to offload all 4 of its 345s ever since oil price has gone through the roof a few yrs ago without success. I'm sure Arik Air has been approached and if both sides are desparate enough, a sale would hv been made already. Unless EK fire-sale its 345s @ a very keen price, I just can't see 345s being <snatched up fairly quickly> by anyone.

As for US, I can only see PHL as its only hub that can generate sufficient <critical mass> to launch PEK, not PHX. However, it's tough to run TransPcf on 343 mainly due to fuel burn issues<Relative to the popular 772ER and the notorious winter headwind in N.Pcf>....notice how rare it is to find 343 operators actually deploying 343 on TransPcf routes. CX is just about the only 1 doing it consistently on YVR-HKG.


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Mabel

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  Topic: Emirates replacments - Sent 26 Aug 18:04

A 345 would be ideal for US to launch PHX-Europe, e.g. LHR, CDG, FRA, and maybe even TLV to tap into the very large Israeli community in Arizona and southern California. These flights could draw pax to/from Arizona, Nevada and California. The 345 has the range to do long-haul from ''hot and high'' PHX and it has the right amount of pax capacity (220-250) for the market. I do think PHX-NRT, PEK and/or PVG could work as well since Phoenix is one of the fastest growing cities in the USA and PHX is a much easier airport to transit through than LAX or SFO. Such flights could draw pax to/from Arizona, Nevada, Texas, Colorado, New Mexico and Oklahoma.


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FLX

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  Topic: Emirates replacments - Sent 27 Aug 7:50

345 is the 2nd longest range airliner today. It's particularly good @ dealing with hot & hi takeoff @ full payload - better than 77L. Airbus spec stated 345 in typical 3-class carries about 325seats or roughly 10% more cabin floor space than 333/343....firmly in the mid-size widebody category. 250seats in 3-class is considered small-size by today's std and interestingly, that's exactly the config for the commercially unsuccessful 342<Again, outstanding performer in range+hot & hi takeoff but dismal fuel burn per seat, even worse than 343>.

As U're no doubt a lot more familiar than me about potential intercon demand on S.West U.S.<->N.E.Asia/EU mkt, I'll take your word for it. Also, thx to to its bigger size, 345 does hv better econ per seat than any 340 members except 346. However, it's still a bit of a gas-guzzler relative to twins of similar size+tech gen so we tend to see 345 ops today being more premium seats heavy than other types to keep them commercially viable. As examples, 345 @ TG and EK are a lot more premium heavy than nearly everything else in their fleets and SQ's 345 has gone all the way to 100% premium<No other SQ type comes remotely close to this ratio>. ArikAir is a special case and with all due respect, if I'm the CFO of this airline, I'll hate to look @ the costs there<No complaint re Rev$ growth though>....it's just not yet a mature outfit capable to seriously plan structural costs/long term investments<By comparison, GA is a lot more mature in these aspects even though ArikAir and Garuda are both owned by developing, oil-exporter countries>.

The point is, for US to make 345 intercon ops viable to/fm PHX, U need both a) and b):
a) A whole lot more than 250 customers per flight but that will possibly mean less than daily frequency.
b) Each flight to be filled by a higher premium vs Y pax ratio than typical but biz traffic needs @ least daily frequency<Otherwise, they connect @ SFO/LAX/DFW/ORD instead>.

It's a mkt dilemma.

Don't get me wrong, I believe S.West U.S. is a fast-growing intercon travel mkt like U've pointed out.....and best yet, a largely untapped nonstop intercon mkt that will reach critical mass in this decade. If US will still be around, intercon flights fm PHX will happen. However, I predict it'll be in about 7yrs, on US's brandnew 358, not in 3-4yrs on ex-EK 345s<Unless EK let US hv them for a song therefore nex to zero capital costs>.


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FLX

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  Topic: Emirates replacments - Sent 27 Aug 11:13

Correction:
345 typical 3-class layout has 313 seats<Airbus figure>.

Also did a bit of research on the pair of 345s @ Arik Air. Originally ordered by/built for KingFisher<New longhaul player fm India now relying totally on the much smaller/more efficient 332s for intercon ops>, these 345s were never taken by the airline<Most likely due to faulty demand forecast+fuel burn projection by KingFisher> and later picked-up by Portugese wet-lease specialist HiFly. They ended up long-term chartered to Arik Air<Operated by HiFly>. These 345s are a bit of an odd-ball. At 1st glance, their premium to Y seat ratio looks typical. However, detailed cabin config shows nearly half of the cabin floor area is devoted to biz class thx to a whopping 76inch seat pitch<60inch is typical> and a full-size bar complete with stools+sofas....talk about squandering of space. No wonder each carries less than 240pax even though a 345 is designed for 300+ seats! In practice, this is yet another premium heavy 345 config.

http://www.hifly.aero/fleetA340.aspx


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