Friday, 4 January 2008

US Airways Says No Thanks to ex-Maxjet Airways Boeing 767s But Looks to Acquire Some A340s

Where will the all-business-configured Boeing 767s flown by now-defunct Maxjet Airways end up? Well, one thing’s for sure - they won’t be flying under US Airways’ banner.

Flight International's ACAS database shows Maxjet had four 767-200ERs and a single 767-200 in its fleet.

Asked by an employee if US Airways is interested in acquiring Maxjet’s 767s, the carrier's senior VP of schedule planning and alliances Andrew Nocella reports the carrier does not have any interest in the aircraft at this time.

“We understand them to be of a similar age as our 767s and we are happy with the financial performance of the 757s to Hawaii and Europe. With 17 new A330-200s entering the fleet in the next few years we have lots of wide-body long range planes coming soon," says Nocella.

There is no doubt that US Airways has quite a bit of widebody lift coming its way. What it needs, however, is an aircraft capable of flying from Philadelphia to Beijing after last week receiving final DOT approval to initiate the service in 2009 (the same China rights that Maxjet tried to snag after US Airways complained about gate space at Philly…ouch).

It’s no secret that US Airways intends to operate Airbus A340s on the route. The carrier this week reiterated this plan to me. And, if all previous statements hold true, the aircraft will be an A340-300.

Let’s look back at those previous statements, shall we? In July 2007, I wrote that US Airways is looking at adding up to five A340s to its fleet. The article ran on Flight International magazine’s premium service Air Transport Intelligence. Here it is for your consumption:

US Airways considers adding up to five A340s
Mary Kirby, Philadelphia (27Jul07, 16:56 GMT, 204 words)

US Airways may add up to five Airbus A340s to its fleet to support future long-haul markets, the carrier has revealed.

“We are currently exploring used A340 options and expect that we could have four or five units in the fleet overtime,” says senior VP of schedule planning and alliances Andrew Nocella in the carrier’s latest employee newsletter.

ATI this week revealed that US Airways intends to use A340-300 aircraft on service from Philadelphia to Beijing in 2009, if it receives US DOT authority on the route.

The carrier holds rights to convert its 10-strong Airbus A330-200 order to A340s, but is also sourcing aircraft on the open market. These widebodies will be considered interim lift until US Airways’ Airbus A350 aircraft are delivered.

Nocella says a detailed review was done of the A340-300 and A340-500 for China and other future US Airways markets.

“While we would not completely dismiss adding this A340-500 to the fleet, we have found that it is more airplane than we require for Beijing service which we plan to operate with the -300 model in a 269-seat configuration,” he says.

The US Airways executive also notes that “very few -500s have been produced so they are hard to find”.

Source: Air Transport Intelligence news

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