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Bournemouth-5

Old 24th Feb 2024, 17:55
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European

Anyone know what's going on with European Cargo? They seemed to stop going to Chengdu a while back and instead have been doing sporadic rotations to Kashgar. This seemed to stop over Chinese new year week as you would expect. However with that now over they've not exactly sprung back into action and one of the two active aircraft seems to have gone down to Johannesburg where at least two others are already - I think they might do heavy maintenance down there?

Anyway that seems to leave them with just one serviceable aircraft. Has the original Chengdu contract ended or is something else going on?

I know from working on the maritime shipping fringes that global logistics is in a rather sticky place so far this year but thought e-commerce related flows would be less affected?
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Old 25th Feb 2024, 07:51
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I think European could have well thought of putting the Seats and IFE back in the A340's, hiring some Cabin Crew and offering their services for ACMI work of which there is plenty around.

P&O Cruises have just ditched their LGW/MAN to BGI/ANU Contracts with Maleth Aero (which were a debacle) and are not renewing,
so that long haul work for next winter season would have seen 2 a/c busy, plus TUI often struggle to meet P&O's demands for the other flights.
Plus this summer no doubt will have plenty of other work around.

Just a thought....
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Old 25th Feb 2024, 07:59
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Of the aircraft currently in Johannesburg, 2 are already converted cargo & the other is undergoing a conversion.
Currently in BOH are 3x A340-600 which havenít moved in a while, 1x A340-500 and an already converted cargo A340-600.

Allegedly European have a number of ex Iberian A340-600s in Madrid too.

I canít imagine any of the already converted/ undergoing freight conversion A340s will be reconfigured to passenger carrying.
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Old 25th Feb 2024, 11:23
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Originally Posted by rog747
I think European could have well thought of putting the Seats and IFE back in the A340's, hiring some Cabin Crew and offering their services for ACMI work of which there is plenty around.

P&O Cruises have just ditched their LGW/MAN to BGI/ANU Contracts with Maleth Aero (which were a debacle) and are not renewing,
so that long haul work for next winter season would have seen 2 a/c busy, plus TUI often struggle to meet P&O's demands for the other flights.
Plus this summer no doubt will have plenty of other work around.

Just a thought....
If there is indeed lots of ACMI work available this year, it is still price sensitive. 4 big engines on a stretched A340 is a lot of aircraft to hope across to the Caribbean when all previous aircraft have been twins. Does the A340-600's length also give some manoeuvring/parking challenges at smaller destinations?
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Old 25th Feb 2024, 12:00
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Originally Posted by AircraftOperations
If there is indeed lots of ACMI work available this year, it is still price sensitive. 4 big engines on a stretched A340 is a lot of aircraft to hope across to the Caribbean when all previous aircraft have been twins. Does the A340-600's length also give some manoeuvring/parking challenges at smaller destinations?
G-ECLF the 340-500 is still configured with the Etihad F/JY seating and is available for lease. It has the advantage of UK register for UK ACMI work and, before anyone jumps in with fuel efficiency, the lease costs are a fraction of the twin engine alternatives. For relatively low annual hours perhaps 20% of whatís needed to cover the cost of an A350 - It costs great deal to buy/lease a very efficient aircraft which have to fly 4000 hrs+ each year to recover the ownership costs. Thereís a good chance youíll see LF flying pax this year. The 600ís are all planned as freighters/spares I believe.
FF
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Old 25th Feb 2024, 13:05
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Originally Posted by AircraftOperations
If there is indeed lots of ACMI work available this year, it is still price sensitive. 4 big engines on a stretched A340 is a lot of aircraft to hope across to the Caribbean when all previous aircraft have been twins. Does the A340-600's length also give some manoeuvring/parking challenges at smaller destinations?
Yes - the runway turning circles at Antigua and especially St Lucia don't work for the 340-600. Barbados is OK apart from the limitations that you have on alternates with the 340-600 due to the issues. The 346 would be a non-starter for the P&O flying which is mostly Barbados but has some other flying involved.
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Old 25th Feb 2024, 13:12
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I was of the impression that they are already configuring at least 2 a/c for pax ACMI having originally intended to begin ops last summer.
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Old 25th Feb 2024, 13:28
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Originally Posted by Flightrider
Yes - the runway turning circles at Antigua and especially St Lucia don't work for the 340-600. Barbados is OK apart from the limitations that you have on alternates with the 340-600 due to the issues. The 346 would be a non-starter for the P&O flying which is mostly Barbados but has some other flying involved.
Ah yes, many thanks for that info.
I knew the -300 series was OK to the islands but the -600 is a super long heavy.

OK back to the drawing board....

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Old 25th Feb 2024, 15:04
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Chinese New year

Originally Posted by Boebus_1
Of the aircraft currently in Johannesburg, 2 are already converted cargo & the other is undergoing a conversion.
Currently in BOH are 3x A340-600 which havenít moved in a while, 1x A340-500 and an already converted cargo A340-600.

Allegedly European have a number of ex Iberian A340-600s in Madrid too.

I canít imagine any of the already converted/ undergoing freight conversion A340s will be reconfigured to passenger carrying.
Ö..and factories in China close for about 10 days for Lunar New Year holidays, freight traffic drops right back for a couple of weeks as a result over mid February. Chengdu back operating again today.
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Old 25th Feb 2024, 21:21
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I canít imagine any of the already converted/ undergoing freight conversion A340s will be reconfigured to passenger carrying.
Please correct me if I'm wrong, but I don't think any of them actually have a main deck freight door - or is that planned?
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Old 26th Feb 2024, 04:17
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Originally Posted by Wycombe
Please correct me if I'm wrong, but I don't think any of them actually have a main deck freight door - or is that planned?
Correct, currently no main deck freight doors.

Not sure whether it is planned to have them installed. I cannot say Iíve ever seen an A340 with one to be honest. Iím not sure whether any conversion to that level have ever been made.
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Old 26th Feb 2024, 07:15
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Originally Posted by Boebus_1
Correct, currently no main deck freight doors.

Not sure whether it is planned to have them installed. I cannot say Iíve ever seen an A340 with one to be honest. Iím not sure whether any conversion to that level have ever been made.
Thanks. According to their website, the "converted" freighters can carry up to 40.5t upstairs. That must take a lot of manual loading, with long turnarounds.
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Old 27th Feb 2024, 07:29
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From my understanding, quick turnarounds, because the upper deck cargo is all palletised, enters via the lower deck lift/elevator and raised to the upper deck, then rolled into position.
I would have thought prospects are good for cargo operations. Huge delays through Panama are unlikely to get resolved any time soon, and Suez, well that's anyones guess.
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Old 27th Feb 2024, 08:28
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Not sure that's how it's done on the A340s. There often seems to be big catering type trucks at the main deck rear pax doors when I drive past. I hadn't heard of lifts being installed. I think the cargo is loaded into roller stillages that are wheeled into position and lashed down. A friend's son does 10 hour shifts sorting cargo in the old Channex cargo shed.
We used to be able to carry 15 tonnes in the belly holds of an A300 so I would think the A340 could carry around 25 to 30 tonnes down below.
There is a link to some info at post #613.
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Old 27th Feb 2024, 09:35
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Thanks for that dixi. I must have been relying on plans of another conversion company, LCF from Seattle, which showed they were offering the conversion with front/rear internal lifts, or both. Reported in Flight Global at the time.
I suppose I was assuming this was the current system used on the European conversions, but if you've noted them using external lifts at Bournemouth you are no doubt right.
They still seem to achieve a quick turnaround at Bournemouth, with the aircraft on its way back to China within a few hours
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Old 27th Feb 2024, 11:44
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The information is all out there:

https://european.aero

who developed and certified with CAA and EASA their own freighter conversion (no main deck freight door).

and Avensis https://www.avensisaviation.com
who have converted A330 for TAP and Maleth, with a reversible solution (no freight door) and who offer the internal elevator system and freight door conversion for 340, which the new German carrier USC has ordered.
FF
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Old 27th Feb 2024, 18:06
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Not quite sure if this is the right place to post this, but a satisfactory and safe conclusion, an scenario that is practised regularly in the SIM but fortunately a rare event.

https://www.bournemouthecho.co.uk/ne...twick-airport/

Last edited by annakm; 27th Feb 2024 at 19:40.
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Old 11th Mar 2024, 14:13
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New cargo route

Originally Posted by ShedDriver
Anyone know what's going on with European Cargo? They seemed to stop going to Chengdu a while back and instead have been doing sporadic rotations to Kashgar. This seemed to stop over Chinese new year week as you would expect. However with that now over they've not exactly sprung back into action and one of the two active aircraft seems to have gone down to Johannesburg where at least two others are already - I think they might do heavy maintenance down there?

Anyway that seems to leave them with just one serviceable aircraft. Has the original Chengdu contract ended or is something else going on?

I know from working on the maritime shipping fringes that global logistics is in a rather sticky place so far this year but thought e-commerce related flows would be less affected?
A new cargo route has started to HAK (Haikou on Hainan) 3 times per week. Alongside the 6 weekly service to Chengdu and 3 times weekly service from Billund - which connects from Hangzhou.
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Old 18th Mar 2024, 17:23
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Bournemouth handled 43,720 passengers in January 2024 which was up by 11% on January 2023. Big growth on Krakow and Wroclaw. Reasonable growth in other areas. Barbados showing 0 compared to over 850 in January 2023 so not sure what happened there as Bournemouth did have flights to/from Barbados in January.

Year to date now standing at 954,000, so getting closer to that 1m marker last seen in 2008.
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Old 19th Mar 2024, 00:04
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A new cargo route has started to HAK (Haikou on Hainan) 3 times per week. Alongside the 6 weekly service to Chengdu and 3 times weekly service from Billund - which connects from Hangzhou.
The Haikou route started on March 8th and has so far operated Friday, Monday and Wednesday, returning Sunday, Wednesday and Friday.
The Chengdu route is currently only operating 3 times a week departing Sunday, Tuesday, Thursday, returning Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday. Hopefully this will increase to 6 weekly when a 3rd aircraft is back in service.
The twice weekly Billund route normally operates on a Monday and Wednesday although it didn't run last Monday and today's flight was cancelled.

Barbados showing 0 compared to over 850 in January 2023 so not sure what happened there as Bournemouth did have flights to/from Barbados in January.
I believe the CAA figures for January are correct with no Barbados flights. I think the only TOM B787 movement was for maintenance at Gama.
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