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Topic: Why Did AL Purchase The 328 Jet?
Username: Cubsrule
Posted 2006-12-31 05:46:05 and read 3273 times.

I love the 328, but at a time when it seems every other foray into operating RJs was with Canadair or Embraer products, why did AL buy the 328? If there were long term growth plans in place, why not the Embraer 135?

Topic: RE: Why Did AL Purchase The 328 Jet?
Username: ScottB
Posted 2006-12-31 08:34:37 and read 3190 times.

Quoting Cubsrule (Thread starter):
why did AL buy the 328? If there were long term growth plans in place, why not the Embraer 135?

Well, if memory serves, at the time they ordered the 328JET, Fairchild-Dornier had a number of larger versions planned; again, if I recall correctly, Skyway actually had orders for either a 428JET or 528JET. The 728JET, which made it just to the unveiling of the prototype before the company failed, was a significantly different airframe.

To some degree, they (and Midwest Holdings) benefited from Fairchild-Dornier being unable to deliver on the larger derivative in that they received a fairly significant sum as compensation from the bankruptcy estate.

Topic: RE: Why Did AL Purchase The 328 Jet?
Username: Planemaker
Posted 2006-12-31 12:05:10 and read 3090 times.

Quoting ScottB (Reply 1):
Well, if memory serves, at the time they ordered the 328JET, Fairchild-Dornier had a number of larger versions planned; again, if I recall correctly, Skyway actually had orders for either a 428JET or 528JET. The 728JET, which made it just to the unveiling of the prototype before the company failed, was a significantly different airframe.

With all the problems that FD was going through it was a pretty fluid situation regarding models. At one time they did have the 42/44-seat 428Jet planned (with EIS in 2003) but dropped it before 9/11 for a couple of reasons.... EMB and BBD were not only already firmly entrenched in the 50-seat RJ market but also the 44-seat market. Plus, FD decided to "leap frog" the smaller RJ segment and focus on developing the 70-pax 728 (they really didn't think that EMB was going to develop a 70-seater), followed by the 928 and, for a short while, the 528 (based on the 728 -- not the 328). And they couldn't line up any industrial partners.

Midwest (Skyways) only had 4 428Jets ordered but had plans to order more, and were serious about ordering the 928 and 728. You are right about the compensation which was two 328JETs for free and around $30 million in cash. They originally wanted FD to take back their 8 328Jets. Midwest really were unfortuante in that the 717 was also cancelled fairly soon afterwards... talk about companies pulling the rug out from under your fleet renewal plans!!

Topic: RE: Why Did AL Purchase The 328 Jet?
Username: Knope2001
Posted 2006-12-31 14:40:36 and read 3020 times.

A few other things that went into th Fairchild Dornier 328 / 428 order:

(1) At the time the only RJ's were 50-seaters. Midwest's "gap" was between the 19-seat Beech and the 60-seat DC9. The RJ's were not at the time planned to widely replace mainline but to upgrade and expand Skyway.

(2) Midwest was s l o w to pull the trigger on ordering RJ's, and at the time they ordered FRJ's there was a several-years-long backlog for both the CRJ and the ERJ. The FRJ got them RJs more quickly.

Topic: RE: Why Did AL Purchase The 328 Jet?
Username: Cubsrule
Posted 2006-12-31 17:44:29 and read 2916 times.

Quoting Knope2001 (Reply 3):
(2) Midwest was s l o w to pull the trigger on ordering RJ's, and at the time they ordered FRJ's there was a several-years-long backlog for both the CRJ and the ERJ. The FRJ got them RJs more quickly.

When did they place the order? First delivery, IIRC, was September, 1999.

Topic: RE: Why Did AL Purchase The 328 Jet?
Username: Srbmod
Posted 2006-12-31 18:02:06 and read 2893 times.

Quoting Planemaker (Reply 2):
Midwest really were unfortuante in that the 717 was also cancelled fairly soon afterwards... talk about companies pulling the rug out from under your fleet renewal plans!!

The original order was for 20 a/c with 30 options. The finalized order was for 25 a/c with 25 options. The DC-9 fleet was only 20 a/c at the time of the finalized order and were replaced on pretty much a one-to-one basis with the 717. The 5 additional a/c were to help expand the route network, so the cancellation of the 717 program really didn't affect their fleet renewal plans as they never exercised any of their 25 options (Many airlines don't firm up some of all or their options. AirTran swapped most of their options for the bulk of the ex-TWA 717 fleet, and didn't exercise many of their remaining options as a result.).

Topic: RE: Why Did AL Purchase The 328 Jet?
Username: Knope2001
Posted 2006-12-31 21:39:14 and read 2803 times.

Quoting Cubsrule (Reply 4):
When did they place the order? First delivery, IIRC, was September, 1999.

I think the order was announced in May of 1998 and the first revenue service was 11/1/98.

Just to give an idea of how backed up orders were, as of 11/21/97 the order backlog on the CRJ was 307 aircraft. At the time they were making 58 per year, with production increases planned in 1999 to 67 per year. At that rate it would have been late 2002 before Skyway got their first RJ. The ERJ's backlog was similar. One of the reasons Midwest was able to get the FRJ so quickly for Skyway was that the launch customer for the 328Jet, Aspen Mountain Air, wasn't around to make good on their order.

Just to put a little more context on the massive RJ demand-over-supply issue in the late 90's, it's in that environment that the BAe 146 was relaunched as an RJ (Avro 70, 85 & 100). And the Fokker 100 was sold as the shortened Fokker 70 to help meet the RJ market as well. If the RJ backlog wasn't so big I doubt either of those would have sold.

Topic: RE: Why Did AL Purchase The 328 Jet?
Username: Cubsrule
Posted 2007-01-01 01:16:44 and read 2711 times.

Quoting Knope2001 (Reply 6):
I think the order was announced in May of 1998 and the first revenue service was 11/1/98.

Was it that early? D-BALL (the fifth bird built, and I thought the first delivered to AL) was still flying around with that registration in the summer of '99.


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Topic: RE: Why Did AL Purchase The 328 Jet?
Username: SkyexRamper
Posted 2007-01-01 01:28:40 and read 2696 times.

Quoting Cubsrule (Thread starter):
If there were long term growth plans in place, why not the Embraer 135?

It was to be the ERJ-140 or nothing.

Quoting Cubsrule (Thread starter):
why did AL buy the 328?

Cause they were dirt cheap and could have them when they wanted.

Topic: RE: Why Did AL Purchase The 328 Jet?
Username: Knope2001
Posted 2007-01-01 01:31:41 and read 2690 times.

Quoting Cubsrule (Reply 7):
Quoting Knope2001 (Reply 6):
I think the order was announced in May of 1998 and the first revenue service was 11/1/98.

Was it that early? D-BALL (the fifth bird built, and I thought the first delivered to AL) was still flying around with that registration in the summer of '99.

I meant to say first revenue service 11/1/99, not 98. Sorry!

Topic: RE: Why Did AL Purchase The 328 Jet?
Username: Cubsrule
Posted 2007-01-01 02:13:28 and read 2659 times.

Quoting Knope2001 (Reply 9):
I meant to say first revenue service 11/1/99, not 98. Sorry!

 checkmark  Makes much more sense...

Quoting SkyexRamper (Reply 8):
It was to be the ERJ-140 or nothing.

Why the 140? Was scope a problem?


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