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Old fella
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#1 Post by Old fella » Fri Jan 03, 2014 11:33 pm

I know they have been out of your fleet for some time,was the A340 nice aircraft to fly.............
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Les Lavoie
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Re: Question

#2 Post by Les Lavoie » Tue Jan 07, 2014 10:31 am

An unequivocally YES, for the the 340-500 and a '' you betcha '' for the 340-300. Airbus build '' thinking man '' airplanes and the 340-500 has all the best Airbus had to offer when it came into being. The one drawback was a non negligible glitch in the fuel distribution system that brought about an important SOP change during it's tenure with AC.

The 500 was and is like the 330-300, a beautifull and elegant aircraft on serious steroids, mega power even at all up weight and able to cruise at fl 350 from an all up weight t/o with no levelling off to burn fuel. The only regrets are that, now retired, I cannot get to fly one again nor fly their 350-1000 that should be, knowing Airbus, THE STANDARD that the other major airplane builders will be trying to emulate for years to come, Boeing been the first one off the blocks with their 777X.

Les Lavoie, retired
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Last edited by Les Lavoie on Wed Jan 08, 2014 10:40 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Question

#3 Post by Old fella » Tue Jan 07, 2014 3:04 pm

Yes, elegant aircraft for sure as I noted when one flew over us in a turn departing St. Maarten when we were on a 2005 Princess Caribbean cruise an were in port for a day - nice island. This AF 340 was probably at 1000 ft or less and appeared graceful in it's turn if one can use such description referencing airplanes from a non-airline retired pilot. Been in a good many Air Canada's fleet(North Star, Super Connie, Viscount, Vanguard, DC-9, DC-8, L-1011, B767, B777) but would have loved a trip in your A340.

Care to speculate why the A340 was withdrawn from Air Canada service....... :)
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Re: Question

#4 Post by GRK » Wed Jan 08, 2014 11:28 am

Yup…short answer…4 engines burn too much gas…cheers!
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Les Lavoie
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Re: Question

#5 Post by Les Lavoie » Wed Jan 08, 2014 11:42 am

As you write, the following is only speculation as I was never party to '' inner sanctum '' secrets but I did hear, more than once, some off the cuff comments from members from the head shed and the one that seemed to irk AC a lot was that they had to leave pax bags behind when using the 340-300 on ultra long haul flights such as DEL-YYZ, causing extra expenses, because of the lack of lift of the 340-300 but not the 340-500. Also, we had only two 340-500 in the fleet and had no economy of scale for parts. The fuel glitch in the 500 was taken care of by the revised SOP, so was less of a factor, IMO, in parting company with the 340 per say. Also 4 engines vs 2 for ultra long haul was less and less of a problem with the increase in ETOPS from 180 minutes for a twin such as the 777-200 on some polar flights, the 4 engine metal having no restrictions on ETOPS.

AC also unloaded the 340 more or less during a serious downturn in the economy so the quantity of Jet A used also was headed in the same direction with the advent of 2 engines on ultra long haul. And as with all big corporations, there were and are always preferences with whom you do business with so I could speculate that certain segments of the head shed could have disliked EADS, to put it mildly. Not to forget also that the 787 was on the drawing board, consequently there could have been certains '' incentives '' for both parties to do business together, the 340 being one of the casualties, far fetched but plausible.
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Re: Question

#6 Post by complexintentions » Thu Jan 09, 2014 1:13 pm

Hmmm. I don't really see the B777X having much to do with the A350. If anything, the A350 was conceived to compete with - one might even say emulate - another composite, high-tech new generation aircraft, the B787. Which, even with all its issues, is actually flying in service, whereas the delivery date of the A350 is what, mid-2014 (maybe)?

As for the A340-300, I know EK hasn't been able to sell their last 4, at any price. Hell they can't give them away. And in spite of having some of the best revenue managers on the planet, EK has been unable to make money with the A340-500…ever. This candid admission straight from our senior management. It was simply obsolete the day Boeing introduced the B777LR with the same or better range and payload on half the engines.

I do think the 345 is a handsome aircraft (the 343, not so much with the little engines). And my colleagues on it love flying it. But commercially successful? Not for many years, if ever. Maybe when fuel was dirt cheap.
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Re: Question

#7 Post by Eric Janson » Fri Jan 10, 2014 6:34 am

I don't work for AC.

I make my living flying the A340-300. Been flying it for 5 years.

It's a fantastic aircraft. Cockpit is quiet and comfortable (important on 12 hour flights). It flies very nicely and I prefer it over the A330.

My company is an ACMI operator so fuel is paid for by the client. My company doesn't have any problem finding work for the A340 fleet. I think they are adding another one this year.
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Re: Question

#8 Post by rooster » Mon Jan 13, 2014 3:36 am

Why did AC acquire the -500's for such a short period of time? It was no secret then that the 4 engine fuel burns vs the modern twins was sustainable. I sure did love the look of the 340 with the RR engines in the -500 and -600 variants. Lufthansa still operates them to YVR I believe
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Re: Question

#9 Post by Eric Janson » Tue Jan 14, 2014 1:40 am

A great Youtube video featuring the A340.

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Re: Question

#10 Post by Old fella » Tue Jan 14, 2014 2:31 am

Clever video - very well done. Never heard of that airline, sounds like South Pacific location.

:partyman: :drinkers:
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Re: Question

#11 Post by Joe Blow Schmo » Wed Jan 15, 2014 2:51 am

Nice video! But I've flown on Tahiti Nui's A340s. There's a reason there are no internal cabin shots on that video.
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Re: Question

#12 Post by Les Lavoie » Wed Jan 15, 2014 11:04 am

Old fella wrote:Clever video - very well done. Never heard of that airline, sounds like South Pacific location.

:partyman: :drinkers:
The airline flies out of CDG, is based there and the front end crew is mostly based in France. Do not have any info on back end crews.
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Re: Question

#13 Post by Joe Blow Schmo » Thu Jan 16, 2014 12:54 am

Les Lavoie wrote:
Old fella wrote:Clever video - very well done. Never heard of that airline, sounds like South Pacific location.

:partyman: :drinkers:
The airline flies out of CDG, is based there and the front end crew is mostly based in France. Do not have any info on back end crews.
Air Tahiti Nui is the national airline of French Polynesia and is based in PPT.
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Re: Question

#14 Post by duranium » Tue Jan 21, 2014 9:05 pm

Joe Blow Schmo wrote:
Les Lavoie wrote:
Old fella wrote:Clever video - very well done. Never heard of that airline, sounds like South Pacific location.

:partyman: :drinkers:
The airline flies out of CDG, is based there and the front end crew is mostly based in France. Do not have any info on back end crews.
Air Tahiti Nui is the national airline of French Polynesia and is based in PPT.

If I may impart a correction or two or three

Air Tahiti Nui
Airline company Air Tahiti Nui is a French airline and is French Polynesia's flag carrier airline with its head office in the Immeuble Dexter in Papeete, Tahiti. It operates international services for the low and high-end leisure travel markets. Wikipedia

Founded: 1996
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Re: Question

#15 Post by Thirteentennorth » Thu Mar 13, 2014 8:49 pm

Spent the last 2 years of my career flying the A340/A330. My esteemed old colleague, Les Lavoie, has given some good replies to Old Fella. Regarding the A340-300 I would merely like to add what an old friend of mine from BeeWee (BWIA International, now Caribbean Airlines) said about the -300. "Best 5 APU aircraft in the skies." :lol: :rolleyes:
The A340-500 was a beauty.
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