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Aircraft Asset Assessment

March 15, 2021

Market Presence. The A340-500 offered much when proposed but the mistake lay in maintaining a flawed philosophy. The four engines seemingly provided reliability and safety but it was already evident that two engines would also satisfy the same objective. The A340-500 may have been the cheaper option to develop but in the long run, it was the more expensive. The aircraft seemed to fulfil a much-needed role in the market, providing an alternative to the B747 as well as allowing existing A340-300 operators an upgrade path. The use of four engines also alleviated any concern over ETOPs which places additional burdens on the operator, pilot and aircraft. However, the problems with not effecting a mature product on service entry, the failure to appreciate the significant economy of twin engines, a smaller fuselage diameter to the B777, the continual need to increase the MTOW of the aircraft to compensate for a higher empty weight, the reluctance of operators to match brochure capacity all combined to make for difficult market conditions for the type. The B777-200LR also proved to be a formidable competitor, not only in terms of offering twin engined economics, but also in meeting original design requirements and being a mature product on service entry.

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