US AIRWAYS SAYS SEARCH FOR A340S EXACERBATED BY 787 DELAY
US Airways says a dearth in availability of Airbus A340s - partly as a knock-on effect of the Boeing 787 delay - has created a "logistical challenge" to its planned launch of services between Philadelphia and Beijing.
The airline has been "unable to locate airplanes that suit our needs", as 787 customers snatch up available capacity to offset that programme's delay, and Asian and Middle Eastern carriers seek to renew their fleets.
The 787 delay "definitely made the problem worse", said US Airways senior vice-president, schedule planning and alliances, Andrew Nocella, during the carrier's annual media day in Tempe, Arizona.
Although the airline has rights to convert some of its 25 A330-200 orders to A340s, it no longer has time to make that change to support the March 2009 launch of Beijing services, says Nocella. The A330 would not be an ideal aircraft for the Beijing launch, he adds.
With a large batch of new widebodies due for delivery in the near term, US Airways is focusing on international growth for 2009-2011. Expansion from Phoenix to Europe and Asia is "being considered but unlikely prior to 2010", says Nocella, adding that the A330s and A350 XWBs it has on order will "unlock that door".
Source - Flight