Since airplane design has converged a lot in the last few decades, fewer and fewer unique airplane types are being flown by airlines. There were Quad, Tri-Jet, Twin, T-Tails, etc... Now, most airlines operate the similar types, such as the 777 and A330. Soon, there will be A350 and 787 everywhere dominating the sky.
Few weeks ago, China Airlines retired their A340-300 fleets, who were one of the few remaining operators of this type. I am sure A340-300 will largely disappear from the sky within the next 5-10 years once more A350 were delivered.
I have recently found this series of picture from my cold archive which was a flight report I wrote back in 2007 when a 'tech stop' at Anchorage was still a thing... and A340 were used for what it was intended, long-haul flights.
CX828 has been the second longest flight offered by Cathay Pacific until it was replaced by CX 811 to Boston in 2015. CX828 was branded as 'direct flight' to Toronto as an alternative to transiting at Vancouver. However, the only available type at the time was the A340-300, it does not have sufficient range to reach the East Coast in Summer without strong Jet Stream, a tech stop for re-fueling at Anchorage was almost mandatory.
Non-stop service was a luxury back then, Cathay Pacific was a little behind at that time since Air Canada has been offering non-stop flight on the same route with their A340-500 and charge a premium for it. Cathay Pacific was still heavily rely on the older, less capable A340-300 until late 2007 when the first 77W arrived, freeing up the 3*A340-600 which were used on the New York route to substitute the A340-300 on CX828.
2007 was the last year before CX828 becoming non-stop, I was very fortunate to be able to catch it before it became history, like the 747 and MD11
Here is the flight report from 10 years ago, on board CX828.
Flight: Cathay Pacific CX 828
Origin: Hong Kong International Airport
Destination: Toronto Pearson International Airport (YYZ/CYYZ)
Stop(s): Ted Stevens Anchorage International Airport (ANC/PANC)
Departure: 20 July 2007, 1620 HKT
Arrival: 20 July 2007, 2130 EDT (Roughly)
Aircraft Type: Airbus A340-300 (reg: B-HXC, 10.9 years Old (at the time))
Seat: 56A Economy Class
Old Style Boarding Pass,
I believe Cathay has changed their design 3 times in the last 3 years already.
Economy Class, Business Class and First Class each has their own template,
Economy being Green, Business being blue and First being Red.
Now they have combined the designs to save money.
B-HXC, she wasn't sparkling new at the time, being just shy of 11 years old. Certainly not the oldest jet I have taken, even if I get the opportunity to fly her today.
I must admit I have a soft spot for 4 engines jet, despite those CFM engines being mocked as hair dryer or 5 APU.
The infamous gate 21 at HKG with its signature long jet bridge.
One closer look at one of the CFM56 engine, The A340-300 fleet was one of the very few non-RR engine planes at CX at the time expect the newly arrived second-hand 747-400 from Singapore Airlines.
Mandatory legroom shot.
People used to say about the good old days of flying, perhaps things hasn't declined much in the last 10 years, the legroom was about 31-32", not much better than today's standard if not worse. Seats were less optimised, being much thicker, not as well shaped and a almost useless foot rest in the way. (Foot rests were removed at some point to save weight before they introduced the infamous fixed shell Long haul economy seat)
Pardon me my sandals, I was quite young back then... At least I didn't wear socks with them.
The overhead panel has a reserved sport for reading light in case the Airlines ops for 3-3-3 layout.
Pushing back, went pass a Dragonair (now Cathay Dargon) A330-300
If I remember correctly, B-HKD was the first non-RR engined 747-400s in the fleet, joining Cathay from Singapore Airlines in 2004. It was followed by a few more ex-Singapore Airlines 744, some turned into BCF, some remained in passenger service with Cathay until 2016.
Interesting (or may I say, depressing) fact, this aircraft is still currently siting (rotting) outside of the HAECO hanger since 2016 as the current owner Orient Thai cannot not afford the maintenance bill. The plane was held 'hostage' there as the result.
It has somehow become a landmark of HKG...
Flaps deployed, I am always a fan of Airbus's clean, single slot flaps design.
and other 747-400
B-HUJ, one of the last 744 to exit Cathay's fleet.
I was lucky enough to catch her 9 years later, before she retires in 2016.
And yes, I wrote a trip report for that.
[Cathay Pacific 542, Boeing 747-400, Economy Class, HKG-HND]
Another 747-400 behind us...
The good old days when 4 engine planes rule.
Taking off from 25L
The infamous 5 APUs take off.
In her defense, the climbing performance of a A343 is not as bad as most people claim.
Remember when they used to give out amenity kit to economy Class passengers?
I don't think any airlines still do this today.
The menu, Sorry for covering the english portion..
Peanut and drink before meal.
It hasn't changed much.
Sun set as meal being served
In flight entertainment...
First meal. The wooden tray! I don't remember the last time I saw them.
First sun set... and yes, there will be a second one...
The nightmare. It was quite out of date even back in the days since Air Canada has been offering AVOD since 2005 on their A340-500. I had taken it but I was way too young to have it recorded.
Safety card, the design hasn't changed much.
2nd meal before our fuel stop at ANC
descending into Ted Stevens Anchorage International Airport,
speed break deployed.
JAL Cargo 747-400BCF and EVA AIR MD11F
Good old days indeed.
I don't remember when they had started to request all passengers to go through CBP when the plane is refueling. A transit card is given to passenger as they wait in the lounge and to be collected when re-boarding the plane.
Finally a good glance of the beauty.
Also noted there was a Southern Air 747-200F in the background...
Another Southern Air 747-200F and Cathay Pacific's 747-400BCF sliver bullet!
Closer look at the Southern Air 747-200F as we taxi
Air China 747-400F
Good old Dash
The immortal DC3...
Douglas C-133, only 50 were built
N199AB was flown by the State of Alaska and it was flown for the last time to Jimmy Doolittle Air & Space Museum in August 2008, a year after this picture was taken.
Taking off once again. This time the aircraft is a lot lighter.
Baggage claim at Pearson T3
I haven't used T3 for a really long time, I think it still look roughly the same,
perhaps they have updated the lighting a little bit.
That's the end
Thank you so much for reading!
More to come soon, including some standalone reports and a brand new 4 parts series. Hopefully I can find some old trip reports like this one from my archive too!
Past Trip Reports:
[American Eagle 4217, ERJ-145LR, Economy Class, JFK-YUL]
[JAL Japan Airlines 6, Boeing 777-300ER, Economy Class, NRT-JFK]
[Air Canada Rouge 1984+1985, A319, Slaveship Class]
[Cathay Pacific 542, Boeing 747-400, Economy Class, HKG-HND]
[JAL Japan Airlines 735, Boeing 767-300ER, Economy Class, NRT-HKG]
[JAL Japan Airlines 9, Boeing 777-300ER, Economy Class, ORD-NRT]
[American Eagle 2936, CRJ-200ER, Economy Class, YUL-ORD]
[Air Canada 464, Boeing 767-300ER, Business Class, YYZ-YOW]
[KLM Royal Dutch Airlines 692, MD11, Economy Class, YYZ-AMS]
[Air Canada 444, ERJ190, Business Class, YYZ-YUL-YOW]