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Topic: MD80: AA Vs DL
Username: einsteinboricua
Posted 2013-07-27 10:15:17 and read 13132 times.

Perhaps this has already been addressed, but why is AA so keen on getting rid of its MD80s ASAP while DL still holds on to them?

Capacity wise, their MD80s can carry the same number of passengers so let's assume for now that they're equal. They have about the same range and from the looks of it they don't even use them for long travel.

I realize the only difference there was the number: AA had 200+ while DL remained below that number. Is the number of MD80s then the factor on why AA wants to replace them so quick?

Topic: RE: MD80: AA Vs DL
Username: apodino
Posted 2013-07-27 10:19:49 and read 13136 times.

I believe the AA fleet is older than the DL fleet. That being said, I was on an MD-90 jumpseat recently. The plane could not get above 30000 feet that day, and we encountered bad turbulence the whole way....and we could not get over it because the plane literally could not climb any higher, and we couldn't get around it. They might have bigger engines, but they don't have a wing to go with the bigger engines according to the Captain.

Needless to say, I am not a big fan of the series. But the DL route structure is set up in a way where the MD 80s are at least somewhat economical, plus they are newer planes than most of the AA fleet. Consequently, the AA fleet is near the end of its lifetime, and thus AA is replacing them. Even Allegiant is getting newer equipment (A320 family).

Topic: RE: MD80: AA Vs DL
Username: finnishway
Posted 2013-07-27 10:36:08 and read 13009 times.

Why is AA getting rid of them?

Because they want newer and more economical fleet. That is one part of their "New American" program.

Why Delta don't get rid of them so fast? They have many aircraft, own maintenance company and they can even scrap some planes for spare parts. This works well for Delta at least for now.

Airlines just can't get new planes fast enough nowadays, because backlogs are so long. Only way to get newer aircraft fast is to buy used planes.

Topic: RE: MD80: AA Vs DL
Username: questions
Posted 2013-07-27 10:39:29 and read 13005 times.

It's a fleet management strategy.

Do you want to spend a lot of money on a new car that gets better gas mileage... or spend a lot less money on a pre-owned car that get worse gas mileage, paint the exterior and put in a new stereo system? And, most family members will not be able to tell the difference as long as it's clean and don't care as long as it's safe and reliable.

Said another way, it's all about the choices of where, when, and how the airline wants to spend its money.

[Edited 2013-07-27 10:40:16]

[Edited 2013-07-27 10:41:38]

Topic: RE: MD80: AA Vs DL
Username: MIflyer12
Posted 2013-07-27 10:53:54 and read 12898 times.

Quoting einsteinboricua (Thread starter):
from the looks of it they don't even use them for long travel.

That is one of the keys to successful use. DL tries to keep its MD-88s on shorter segments/lower daily utilization where the fuel penalty vs. a 738 or A320 is smaller.

Generally, DL's MD-88s were delivered later than AA's MD-80/83s. DL deliveries were '87-'93; AA's came in as early as 1981 (with some from TWA) and the last 'AA original' by 1992. About 40 of AA's newest came via TWA '96-'99.

Topic: RE: MD80: AA Vs DL
Username: rivervisual
Posted 2013-07-27 11:01:37 and read 12857 times.

Quoting apodino (Reply 1):
I believe the AA fleet is older than the DL fleet. That being said, I was on an MD-90 jumpseat recently. The plane could not get above 30000 feet that day, and we encountered bad turbulence the whole way....and we could not get over it because the plane literally could not climb any higher, and we couldn't get around it. They might have bigger engines, but they don't have a wing to go with the bigger engines according to the Captain.

Unless there was a specific MEL issue with that aircraft or the WX above 30000 feet to the service ceiling was worse there is no reason a MD-90 cannot fly above 30000 feet. I routinely fly the MD-90 and it has one of the better rides during bad weather. It may have it's issues but in the end it's a more fuel efficient MD-88 with more seats.

Topic: RE: MD80: AA Vs DL
Username: ckfred
Posted 2013-07-27 11:05:31 and read 12824 times.

Quoting MIflyer12 (Reply 4):
That is one of the keys to successful use. DL tries to keep its MD-88s on shorter segments/lower daily utilization where the fuel penalty vs. a 738 or A320 is smaller.

Generally, DL's MD-88s were delivered later than AA's MD-80/83s. DL deliveries were '87-'93; AA's came in as early as 1981 (with some from TWA) and the last 'AA original' by 1992. About 40 of AA's newest came via TWA '96-'99.

I would suspect that while AA will retire its orginal MD-80s as quickly as possible, the former TWA aircraft will be the last to retire.

While the fact that longer flights are now costlier for MD-80s, with the higher fuel consumption, the fact that AA still has MD-80s is due, in part, to AA flying them on longer routes for some time.

Before the early 1990s, the MD-80 was a workhorse on short and medium-haul routes. But, when AA decided to retire a number of DC-10s, the MD-80s started flying longer routes. Out of ORD, they flew to every city in the Pacific Time Zone, except SNA, as well as PHX and TUS. The longer flights meant fewer cycles.

Topic: RE: MD80: AA Vs DL
Username: EA CO AS
Posted 2013-07-27 11:14:25 and read 12757 times.

Quoting einsteinboricua (Thread starter):
AA had 200+

Actually, 300+ at one point.

Topic: RE: MD80: AA Vs DL
Username: Deltal1011man
Posted 2013-07-27 11:26:23 and read 12689 times.

Quoting einsteinboricua (Thread starter):

Route network.
AA's hit most markets and did (do?) routes like ORD-SEA. Delta generally keeps them east of the mississippi now, flying up and down the east coast.

The MD90 has replaced nearly all of the long haul 88 flying from ATL. Cities like DEN/ELP/ABQ use to be 88s and are now 90s.

Topic: RE: MD80: AA Vs DL
Username: TheRedBaron
Posted 2013-07-27 11:31:06 and read 12667 times.

I love Dc 9 platform !!! they are very nice in turbulence and provided I am not seated behind the wing (those pesky engines are torture!) is a very nice comfortable airplane... used to love the AM Md 83 they used on MEX-LAX route...


Delta doesnt like capital expenditure, hence they will milk those Md´s as long as they can...
TRB

Topic: RE: MD80: AA Vs DL
Username: Flighty
Posted 2013-07-27 12:12:36 and read 12498 times.

Quoting apodino (Reply 1):
I was on an MD-90 jumpseat recently. The plane could not get above 30000 feet that day

Really! IIRC I have been to 39k on DC-9 on MSP-ORD. This could be wrong but I do recall it.

M90 might struggle with very heavy fuel loads.

Topic: RE: MD80: AA Vs DL
Username: nutsaboutplanes
Posted 2013-07-27 12:37:51 and read 12387 times.

Quoting MIflyer12 (Reply 4):
That is one of the keys to successful use. DL tries to keep its MD-88s on shorter segments/lower daily utilization where the fuel penalty vs. a 738 or A320 is smaller.

I seem to recall a discussion on a net a while back where it was identified the the MD80 actually does as well or better than the 738 on short segments under 500 miles. I don't know if that was somebody's opinion or if it was factual but the way that DL uses them would seem to support that.

AA used the MD80 on much longer stage lengths like DFW-SEA and ORD-PDX where there was most certainly a disadvantage vs. a 738.

Topic: RE: MD80: AA Vs DL
Username: Viscount724
Posted 2013-07-27 12:46:22 and read 12354 times.

Quoting EA CO AS (Reply 7):
Quoting einsteinboricua (Thread starter):
AA had 200+

Actually, 300+ at one point.

AA took delivery of 260 new MD-80s between 1983 and 1992, plus those inherited from TWA and any other sources.

Topic: RE: MD80: AA Vs DL
Username: AA737-823
Posted 2013-07-27 12:49:01 and read 12340 times.

Quoting Flighty (Reply 10):
Really! IIRC I have been to 39k on DC-9 on MSP-ORD. This could be wrong but I do recall it.

MSP-ORD is a very different scenario (not to mention the dozen other variables that neither of you have told us) than what apodino may have been on.
The MD-90 has the exact same wing as the MD-80, therefor, the FACT is that if all other conditions are the same, it will perform/climb/cruise worse/slower/lower than an MD-80, which was already not a stellar altitude champ, compared to the 737NG and A320 which are newer and more capable.

The MD is still a fantastic airplane, and there are lots of things about the birds that I like better than the 737/320 series, but let's be honest about her shortcomings.

Topic: RE: MD80: AA Vs DL
Username: threeifbyair
Posted 2013-07-27 12:57:14 and read 12314 times.

Quoting rivervisual (Reply 5):
Unless there was a specific MEL issue with that aircraft or the WX above 30000 feet to the service ceiling was worse there is no reason a MD-90 cannot fly above 30000 feet. I routinely fly the MD-90 and it has one of the better rides during bad weather. It may have it's issues but in the end it's a more fuel efficient MD-88 with more seats.

My understanding was that the MD-90 at MTOW can't climb above FL300 because it is simply too heavy. I had a SEA-MSP leg where we were at FL300 for most of the flight. Every seat was taken, lots of baggage, and not much of a tailwind that day.

Topic: RE: MD80: AA Vs DL
Username: AA737-823
Posted 2013-07-27 12:58:40 and read 12296 times.

Quoting Flighty (Reply 10):
Really! IIRC I have been to 39k on DC-9 on MSP-ORD.

By the way, I looked it up; the max certificated cruise altitude of the MD-90 is 37,000, so you weren't at 39,000.

I can't imagine the MD-80 would be appreciably better. AA states the "typical" cruise is 33,000, though I don't know what max is.
I've cruised all the way from DFW to SMF at 28,000 feet. Fun ride.... ugh!

Back on topic, Delta invested in the MD-88 fleet a bit, with cabin refurbs and whatnot. AA (as usual) really let them go, only bothering to install more seats and take seats out as the MRTC program came and went.
So, I'm sure there are many other reasons, but Delta's MD-80's seem like they are up to the task of serving for a few more years, whereas AA's just sorta seem..... old.

Topic: RE: MD80: AA Vs DL
Username: Wingtips56
Posted 2013-07-27 15:08:19 and read 11974 times.

Quoting AA737-823 (Reply 15):
I can't imagine the MD-80 would be appreciably better. AA states the "typical" cruise is 33,000, though I don't know what max is.
I've cruised all the way from DFW to SMF at 28,000 feet. Fun ride.... ugh!

I commuted (as a passenger) on that route weekly for 4 1/2 years, and later again for another 9 months. We were usually between 33,000 and 37,000, but there were occasions when we were lower for weather. Those flights were always full, so many times we cruised initially at 28,000 for an hour or so before climbing after burning off some weight. Fortunately SMF is only 27 feet above sea level, or we'd have had regular weight restrictions. (When we did have one, it was primarily due to extra fuel for DFW weather.)

I had read a couple of years ago that the MD-80 was the right economics for the DFW-West Coast runs (perhaps with the exception of SEA/YVR), so that SMF might be one of the last ones to see the 738. That may not be true, but the route is still scheduled only with the MD-80 through to next June.

Topic: RE: MD80: AA Vs DL
Username: Acey559
Posted 2013-07-27 15:56:46 and read 11676 times.

I've been commuting DFW-ORD a lot recently (though not for much longer, thankfully) and I'm ALWAYS in the jumpseat. They typically tanker a lot of gas up to ORD because gas is cheaper at DFW and the flights are full all day every day. I don't think we've ever been above FL330 because the airplane is always restricted. I didn't think anything of it at first but I figured it was an airplane shortcoming after a while. Heavy pax and bags plus lots of fuel doesn't bode well for the MD-80 but it's a pretty short flight so it's never really an issue. I've always enjoyed the DC-9 series. A forward seat on the 2 side is one of the best seats around, in my opinion.

Topic: RE: MD80: AA Vs DL
Username: NWAROOSTER
Posted 2013-07-27 16:49:24 and read 11247 times.

If I am not mistaken, Delta Air Lines has bought a few retired American Airlines MD-80s for parts.   

Topic: RE: MD80: AA Vs DL
Username: luckyone
Posted 2013-07-27 17:23:23 and read 10944 times.

Quoting TheRedBaron (Reply 9):
I love Dc 9 platform !!! they are very nice in turbulence and provided I am not seated behind the wing

Behind the wing of a DC-9/Maddog is the only place I consistently get a queasy stomach on an aircraft, regardless of turbulence.

Topic: RE: MD80: AA Vs DL
Username: TrnsWrld
Posted 2013-07-27 18:14:07 and read 10523 times.

To the guy above who stated he has been to FL390 in a DC9....I'm not so sure about that. I have never once seen ANY DC9/MD80/MD90 variant above FL370. And even 370 is relatively rare for some of the MD80s. I'm a controller in Chicago and most DC9s that we still work usually cruise along at FL330 or FL340.

As for AA's MD80s, don't forget they also received most of the newest and last built MD series aircraft acquired from TWA. Infact in another thread I remember some people saying some of TWAs newest MD83s are newer than some of AA's 737-800 aircraft. So yes even though I would imagine Delta's MD88 fleet is overall younger, AA still has the newest ones out there.
I think they are all cool planes and its nice to see something still out there besides your typical one engine on each wing and conventional tail kinda plane.

Topic: RE: MD80: AA Vs DL
Username: asqx
Posted 2013-07-27 19:13:28 and read 10130 times.

Quoting NWAROOSTER (Reply 18):
If I am not mistaken, Delta Air Lines has bought a few retired American Airlines MD-80s for parts.

So far there are two, N9302B and N9304C, both 1987 vintage TWA MD-83s. The rest of Delta's parts planes are ex-SAS MD-80s (mostly MD-82s with one MD-87) and two ex-Lion Air MD-90s.

Topic: RE: MD80: AA Vs DL
Username: tb727
Posted 2013-07-27 20:16:02 and read 9608 times.

Quoting Flighty (Reply 10):
Really! IIRC I have been to 39k on DC-9 on MSP-ORD. This could be wrong but I do recall it.
Quoting TrnsWrld (Reply 20):
To the guy above who stated he has been to FL390 in a DC9....I'm not so sure about that. I have never once seen ANY DC9/MD80/MD90 variant above FL370.

The DC9 service ceiling is FL350. Not sure if that includes the 80's.

Topic: RE: MD80: AA Vs DL
Username: pdx
Posted 2013-07-27 20:20:51 and read 9575 times.

AA has flown M80's PDX-DFW since (at least) 1986 and PDX-ORD since (at least) 1985 until they ceased ORD nonstop service years a go. Great to see them back in the ORD market twice a day with 738's! They show no signs of ending the M80 service to DFW. They're going strong with five M80 nonstops to DFW this summer. Would be nice to get some newer planes however.

Topic: RE: MD80: AA Vs DL
Username: lightsaber
Posted 2013-07-28 00:51:34 and read 8509 times.

Does anyone have stats on the JT8D? In particular engine operation hours per year (month/quarter would be great!) in chart form.

Quoting MIflyer12 (Reply 4):
DL tries to keep its MD-88s on shorter segments/lower daily utilization where the fuel penalty vs. a 738 or A320 is smaller.

   Lower utilization also to only fly them at peak demand times/days. If an aircraft is going to sit, they must be depreciated. DL is pursuing a very G4 like strategy where the aircraft are parked.

The issue for DL is that the flying cost of an MD-80 is now bettered by a used A319 or A320 in that strategy. I'm aware DL's A319 CASM isn't so hot, but that is lease costs and configuration.

The other downside is the cost/revenue benefit is partially due to low utilization. If the economy improves quickly, DL will be at a disadvantage due to high variable costs. In some ways, that is the bet AA made.

The other bet AA made was thinking about what the MD-80 maintenance costs would be like if the economies of scale became poor. In effect, a reality DL will see in a few years. For example, as JT8D overhauls decline, there will initially be a reduction in overhaul costs (more used parts available), but then prices will rise as there will be no longer be shops dedicated to JT8D overhaul and the amazing efficiency that produces. So that will be high per cycle costs.

We're not there yet... but give it a few years.

Quoting finnishway (Reply 2):
Why Delta don't get rid of them so fast? They have many aircraft, own maintenance company and they can even scrap some planes for spare parts. This works well for Delta at least for now.

DL is also trying to control capitol costs. Why so tight? I have no idea, perhaps it is to maintain bond ratings. But even Allegiant is seeing used A319s/A320s have lower costs due to fuel savings. As the economy improves and demand grows enough, DL will start replacing the MD-80s.

I'm not betting on a big drop in oil prices as that reduces the incentive to frack which will drive up the prices pretty quick.

Lightsaber

Topic: RE: MD80: AA Vs DL
Username: Grisee08
Posted 2013-07-28 01:47:34 and read 8908 times.

Quoting AA737-823 (Reply 15):
the max certificated cruise altitude of the MD-90 is 37,000

Same with the Boeing 717... Although most of the flights I've been on have cruised between FL310 and FL330

I remember reading somewhere how NW's DC9-10s were restricted to a certain altitude because of some equipment that had not (and would not be, due to close retirement) been upgraded. It's been so long, but I read this somewhere.

Topic: RE: MD80: AA Vs DL
Username: FlyASAGuy2005
Posted 2013-07-28 07:00:23 and read 7742 times.

Quoting MIflyer12 (Reply 4):
DL tries to keep its MD-88s on shorter segments/lower daily utilization where the fuel penalty vs. a 738 or A320 is smaller.
Quoting lightsaber (Reply 24):
Lower utilization also to only fly them at peak demand times/days. If an aircraft is going to sit, they must be depreciated. DL is pursuing a very G4 like strategy where the aircraft are parked.

Shorter segments, yes. Lower daily utilization, definately not. The 88s average 5 segments a day which is the very top of the scale right now for the narrowbody fleet. Because they are flying such short segments, most to all under 2 hours, they're being run to the ground cycles wise. We're talking trips like DCA-ATL, ATL-VPS, VPS-ATL, ATL-MSP-, MSP-BOS. Many doing 6 segments a day which is the max the system will schedule an a/c unless it picks up an unscheduled trip which will put it to 7 but it happens often.

Topic: RE: MD80: AA Vs DL
Username: wedgetail737
Posted 2013-07-28 07:55:24 and read 7532 times.

Quoting Deltal1011man (Reply 8):
AA's hit most markets and did (do?) routes like ORD-SEA. Delta generally keeps them east of the mississippi now, flying up and down the east coast.

I'm sure you all remember that DL used the MD-88's extensively between DFW and the smaller cities along the west coast like DFW-OAK, DFW-SJC, etc. before they closed the DFW hub.

Once in the blue moon, DL will send a MD-88 on the MSP-SEA run in lieu of a MD-90...when the MD-90 is scheduled on the route.

Topic: RE: MD80: AA Vs DL
Username: brilondon
Posted 2013-07-28 10:16:35 and read 6595 times.

Quoting TrnsWrld (Reply 20):
Infact in another thread I remember some people saying some of TWAs newest MD83s are newer than some of AA's 737-800 aircraft.

I have seen that as well. Looking on airfleets.net would show that the first 737-800 was delivered back in 1999 and the youngest MD 80 was delivered back in 2001.

I don't think so. I believe that the last MD-83 was delivered in 1989 and the first 737-800 delivered to AA was in 1999

Quoting Grisee08 (Reply 25):
I remember reading somewhere how NW's DC9-10s were restricted to a certain altitude because of some equipment that had not (and would not be, due to close retirement) been upgraded. It's been so long, but I read this somewhere.

I have read that not only the DC9-10s, but the DC9-32s were also restricted to flying mainly in the Eastern United because they could not fly above the mountains in the West due to their altitude restrictions.

Topic: RE: MD80: AA Vs DL
Username: SESGDL
Posted 2013-07-28 10:52:52 and read 6505 times.

Quoting brilondon (Reply 28):
I don't think so. I believe that the last MD-83 was delivered in 1989 and the first 737-800 delivered to AA was in 1999

That is incorrect. The last MD-83 was indeed delivered to TW in 1999. And while nearly all AA 737-800s are newer than their MD-83s, there are a few that are actually older.

Jeremy

Topic: RE: MD80: AA Vs DL
Username: brilondon
Posted 2013-07-28 11:38:42 and read 6397 times.

Quoting brilondon (Reply 28):
I don't think so. I believe that the last MD-83 was delivered in 1989 and the first 737-800 delivered to AA was in 1999

This statement was incorrect on my part, as I had been travelling too much and actually not meant to post that.

Topic: RE: MD80: AA Vs DL
Username: msp747
Posted 2013-07-28 11:52:41 and read 6369 times.

Quoting brilondon (Reply 28):

I have read that not only the DC9-10s, but the DC9-32s were also restricted to flying mainly in the Eastern United because they could not fly above the mountains in the West due to their altitude restrictions.

Back in the 90's, NW used to run its DC9-30's out west all of the time from MSP. BOI and BIL are two airports I recall seeing them at, and I know you had to go over the mountains to get to BOI. Eventually BOI was upgauged to 727's and then A320's

Topic: RE: MD80: AA Vs DL
Username: Viscount724
Posted 2013-07-28 13:01:27 and read 6194 times.

Quoting msp747 (Reply 31):
Quoting brilondon (Reply 28):

I have read that not only the DC9-10s, but the DC9-32s were also restricted to flying mainly in the Eastern United because they could not fly above the mountains in the West due to their altitude restrictions.

Back in the 90's, NW used to run its DC9-30's out west all of the time from MSP. BOI and BIL are two airports I recall seeing them at, and I know you had to go over the mountains to get to BOI. Eventually BOI was upgauged to 727's and then A320's

AC operated their large fleet of DC-9-32s (and their 6 original DC-14s operated temporarily pending delivery of the -32s) extensively on routes that crossed the Rockies, for example YYC-YVR, YEG-YVR, YWG-YVR etc.

Topic: RE: MD80: AA Vs DL
Username: Flighty
Posted 2013-07-28 15:09:30 and read 5940 times.

Quoting AA737-823 (Reply 15):
By the way, I looked it up; the max certificated cruise altitude of the MD-90 is 37,000, so you weren't at 39,000.

But, the MD80 certification was originally 41k according to a.net posters. Then it was changed...


The 727-200 was certified to 42k....    maybe that was the ride in question.

Quoting Grisee08 (Reply 25):
I remember reading somewhere how NW's DC9-10s were restricted to a certain altitude because of some equipment that had not (and would not be, due to close retirement) been upgraded. It's been so long, but I read this somewhere.

They were restricted under 29k or 30k because of RVSM equipment NW declined to invest in at the end of their service lives.

Topic: RE: MD80: AA Vs DL
Username: brilondon
Posted 2013-07-28 15:32:13 and read 5830 times.

Quoting msp747 (Reply 31):
Back in the 90's, NW used to run its DC9-30's out west all of the time from MSP. BOI and BIL are two airports I recall seeing them at, and I know you had to go over the mountains to get to BOI. Eventually BOI was upgauged to 727's and then A320's

I was speaking about before they were retired from the DL fleet a few years ago not last century, I have no idea about now or in the distant past.

Topic: RE: MD80: AA Vs DL
Username: PSU.DTW.SCE
Posted 2013-07-28 20:05:32 and read 5463 times.

AA has had a much larger and much older MD80 fleet than DL. Is AA going to retire their MD80 fleet much if any earlier than DL? Indications are that majority of DLs MD88s will be around until 2018-2019. DL's strategy has been stop doing HMVs and then burn cycles on the aircraft until they time-out for their next HMV.

Quoting FlyASAGuy2005 (Reply 26):
Shorter segments, yes. Lower daily utilization, definately not. The 88s average 5 segments a day which is the very top of the scale right now for the narrowbody fleet. Because they are flying such short segments, most to all under 2 hours, they're being run to the ground cycles wise. We're talking trips like DCA-ATL, ATL-VPS, VPS-ATL, ATL-MSP-, MSP-BOS. Many doing 6 segments a day which is the max the system will schedule an a/c unless it picks up an unscheduled trip which will put it to 7 but it happens often.

Believe it or not, the remaining DC-9-50s are doing 6-8 cycles per day this summer. Look at what N780NC flew in two-day period last week:

7/24 BHM-ATL-DAY-ATL-HSV-ATL-HSV-ATL-LIT
7/25 LIT-ATL-BMH-ATL-HSV-ATL-BNA-DTW-BNA

On 7/15 it did 9 !!!! segments in a day.
AGS-ATL-BMH-ATL-GSO-ATL-TUL-ATL-PNS-ATL

Who says the DC-9 still isn't a workhorse.

Quoting lightsaber (Reply 24):
DL is also trying to control capitol costs. Why so tight? I have no idea, perhaps it is to maintain bond ratings. But even Allegiant is seeing used A319s/A320s have lower costs due to fuel savings. As the economy improves and demand grows enough, DL will start replacing the MD-80s.

DL is trying to pay down yet and return dividends to their shareholders. Plus they want to keep a portion of their fleet as flexible/variable capacity. Specifically they want to have a portion of aircraft where they can flex utilization and/or park as conditions warrent. The DC-9, MD88, 757, and 763ER fleet fit this profile.

Topic: RE: MD80: AA Vs DL
Username: TrijetsRMissed
Posted 2013-07-28 21:19:43 and read 5355 times.

DL’s MD-88 fleet is generally superior in performance and operating costs, when compared to AA. The MD-88s have all of the final upgrades that were offered by McDonnell Douglas through the life of the MD-80 program.

This includes:

-JT8D-219s
-reduced drag screwdriver tail-cone
-low-drag flap hinge fairings & pylon fairings
-EFIS digital glass cockpit
-upgraded interior/wider aisle
-composite materials

Seventy-one aircraft are owned-outright; the remainder are on favorable lease agreements which were restructured during bankruptcy. These reasons and more factor into why DL is investing in the flight-deck mod, building spare inventory, and positioning itself for continued operation post 2020.

Topic: RE: MD80: AA Vs DL
Username: 727forever
Posted 2013-07-28 21:24:15 and read 5334 times.

Quoting rivervisual (Reply 5):
Unless there was a specific MEL issue with that aircraft or the WX above 30000 feet to the service ceiling was worse there is no reason a MD-90 cannot fly above 30000 feet. I routinely fly the MD-90 and it has one of the better rides during bad weather. It may have it's issues but in the end it's a more fuel efficient MD-88 with more seats.

I'm sorry to say, FL300 is a typical max altitude for the MD-90 if fuel and carrying extra fuel. Even the MD-80 if fuel and topped off will be limited to FL300-FL320 initially, but will burn into a higher max altitude fairly quickly. The MD-90 may not for the entire flight.

Quoting Flighty (Reply 10):
Really! IIRC I have been to 39k on DC-9 on MSP-ORD. This could be wrong but I do recall it.

M90 might struggle with very heavy fuel loads.

Someone else responded but I will add. The DC-9 was limited to FL350 and the MD-80/90 are FL370. That said, this number is an airframe limitation, but they are often performance restricted much lower.

Quoting Grisee08 (Reply 25):
Same with the Boeing 717... Although most of the flights I've been on have cruised between FL310 and FL330

The 717 is also limited to FL370, but is often too heavy for the wing to have a safe margin that high. The structural limitation is due to pressurization as the MD series has a 7.86:1 normal differential which is lower than Boeing and Airbus. The 717 has the same wing as the DC-9-34 which is a lot smaller than the MD-80/90 wing, but has the same problems with the lighter weight airframe.

727forever

Topic: RE: MD80: AA Vs DL
Username: TrijetsRMissed
Posted 2013-07-28 21:35:09 and read 5303 times.

Quoting PSU.DTW.SCE (Reply 35):
AA has had a much larger and much older MD80 fleet than DL.

Not anymore. DL's fleet is 2/3rds the size of AA and about equal if you include the MD-90s. A far cry from when AA nearly tripled DL.

As for age, AA have 61 frames built pre-1990; DL have 46. AA have 39 MD-83s built between 1997-1999; DL have ZERO MD-88s built after 1993. In another year, AA's fleet will likely be younger than DL's...

Quoting Flighty (Reply 33):
But, the MD80 certification was originally 41k according to a.net posters.

This is false. Originally, the DC-9-81 was certified for a service ceiling of 37,000 ft. At the time, (1980), this was the highest certified ceiling for any subsonic, narrow-body airliner.

Topic: RE: MD80: AA Vs DL
Username: Grisee08
Posted 2013-07-29 03:31:02 and read 5108 times.

Quoting Flighty (Reply 33):
They were restricted under 29k or 30k because of RVSM equipment NW declined to invest in at the end of their service lives.

Yep, That's it.. Thank you!

Quoting 727forever (Reply 37):
The 717 has the same wing as the DC-9-34 which is a lot smaller than the MD-80/90 wing

What is the difference between a DC9-34 wing and DC9-32 wing? I never understood that, and wondered why they didn't just say DC9-30 series wing.

Topic: RE: MD80: AA Vs DL
Username: Viscount724
Posted 2013-07-29 11:34:37 and read 4727 times.

Quoting Grisee08 (Reply 39):
What is the difference between a DC9-34 wing and DC9-32 wing? I never understood that, and wondered why they didn't just say DC9-30 series wing.

The wings are the same size, but (if Wikipedia is correct) the DC-9-33 and -34 had the "wing incidence increased 1.25 degrees to reduce cruise drag."

Topic: RE: MD80: AA Vs DL
Username: LAXintl
Posted 2013-07-29 14:02:00 and read 4537 times.

Regarding the utilization levels, both AA and DL fly their MD-80s for almost identical hours annually.

2012 DOT Form 41 shows utilization levels.

DL averages 8.6 block hours and 4.5 cycles daily on their MD-80s. AA had 8.7 hours but lower daily cycles of 3.6 on theirs.

The cycle variance is due to average stage lengths where DL does 593miles on average, while AA does 811.

Topic: RE: MD80: AA Vs DL
Username: NWAROOSTER
Posted 2013-07-29 14:13:29 and read 4538 times.

Quoting 727forever (Reply 37):
The 717 has the same wing as the DC-9-34 which is a lot smaller than the MD-80/90 wing.

The 717 is basically the same size as a DC-9-40 which is shorter than the MD-80 or MD-90. Therefore it doe not need as large a wing as the MD80/90.   

Topic: RE: MD80: AA Vs DL
Username: 727forever
Posted 2013-07-29 20:12:01 and read 4186 times.

Quoting NWAROOSTER (Reply 42):
The 717 is basically the same size as a DC-9-40 which is shorter than the MD-80 or MD-90. Therefore it doe not need as large a wing as the MD80/90.

While true the 717 is basically the size of the -40, the larger wing wouldn't have hurt except for that pesky additional weight. Imagine how efficient those BMW engines would be if they were allowed to push the airplane up to 370 all the time like the MD-87. I'm sure the analysis was done by folks with better knowledge than any of us.

727forever

Topic: RE: MD80: AA Vs DL
Username: threeifbyair
Posted 2013-07-29 20:56:21 and read 4108 times.

Quoting TrijetsRMissed (Reply 38):
As for age, AA have 61 frames built pre-1990; DL have 46. AA have 39 MD-83s built between 1997-1999; DL have ZERO MD-88s built after 1993. In another year, AA's fleet will likely be younger than DL's...

At which point we'll start having the bimonthly "When will DL retire the MD-88?" threads...    

On a related note, why did AA (or was it TW - whichever airline ordered that last batch) not order the -88? Commonality? MD offering -83s at a more attractive price?

Topic: RE: MD80: AA Vs DL
Username: PSU.DTW.SCE
Posted 2013-07-30 05:01:59 and read 3862 times.

Quoting 727forever (Reply 43):
While true the 717 is basically the size of the -40, the larger wing wouldn't have hurt except for that pesky additional weight. Imagine how efficient those BMW engines would be if they were allowed to push the airplane up to 370 all the time like the MD-87. I'm sure the analysis was done by folks with better knowledge than any of us.

Trade-off of optimizing the aircraft for shorter flights versus longer flights. With much of the shorter routes, the aircraft never needs to go that high.

Topic: RE: MD80: AA Vs DL
Username: MIflyer12
Posted 2013-07-30 05:47:39 and read 3810 times.

Quoting LAXintl (Reply 41):
Regarding the utilization levels, both AA and DL fly their MD-80s for almost identical hours annually.

2012 DOT Form 41 shows utilization levels.

My contention on utlization isn't that AA uses MD-80s less than DL uses MD-88s, but that DL uses MD-88s daily less than it does 738s. The MD-88s get more short routes and spend more time on the ground; the more efficient planes spend more time at cruise.

Topic: RE: MD80: AA Vs DL
Username: maxpower1954
Posted 2013-07-30 06:48:43 and read 3735 times.

Quoting TrijetsRMissed (Reply 38):
This is false. Originally, the DC-9-81 was certified for a service ceiling of 37,000 ft. At the time, (1980), this was the highest certified ceiling for any subsonic, narrow-body airliner.

Well, that's incorrect as well. The 707-320 series and all DC-8s were certified to 42,000 ft. I flew them both well before 1980.

Topic: RE: MD80: AA Vs DL
Username: tb727
Posted 2013-07-30 07:51:25 and read 3658 times.

Quoting TrijetsRMissed (Reply 38):
This is false. Originally, the DC-9-81 was certified for a service ceiling of 37,000 ft. At the time, (1980), this was the highest certified ceiling for any subsonic, narrow-body airliner.
Quoting maxpower1954 (Reply 47):
Well, that's incorrect as well. The 707-320 series and all DC-8s were certified to 42,000 ft. I flew them both well before 1980.

The 727 is certified to 42,000 as well, you won't catch me going up there in one, but it is certified to it.

I am surprised at the lack of performance (most likely contributed to the wing) I have learned about in this thread about the MD-90. I've been looking at some flights on flightaware and a lot of them are planned to start off at FL260 for a while before bumping up to FL300 or maybe 320 down the line on flights to the West Coast. Yikes. Even one of my anemic -9 powered 72's isn't that bad on long legs.

DL must be getting a heck of a deal on the 90's, they are good at that.

[Edited 2013-07-30 07:52:10]

Topic: RE: MD80: AA Vs DL
Username: AT
Posted 2013-07-30 08:32:19 and read 3579 times.

I will be sad to see the MD80 series leave American, and then Delta.
I love them for shorter hops, and the 3 x 2 (or 2 x 3 in AA) allows for great seating flexibility.

One thing I have often wondered is does the asymmetric seating do anything to the center of gravity of the plane since one side will be slightly heavier?

Topic: RE: MD80: AA Vs DL
Username: LAXintl
Posted 2013-07-30 12:44:20 and read 3365 times.

Quoting MIflyer12 (Reply 46):
My contention on utlization isn't that AA uses MD-80s less than DL uses MD-88s, but that DL uses MD-88s daily less than it does 738s.

That statement is true for both AA and DL. 738s were utilized significantly more versus the M80.

Topic: RE: MD80: AA Vs DL
Username: maxpower1954
Posted 2013-07-30 18:41:01 and read 3091 times.

Quoting AT (Reply 49):
One thing I have often wondered is does the asymmetric seating do anything to the center of gravity of the plane since one side will be slightly heavier?

No. The arm (distance from the center line to the seats) is very short. The effect on lateral balance is inconsequential.

Now if you moved those rows of three seats out to the wing tip it would be a different situation. And very breezy as well!

Topic: RE: MD80: AA Vs DL
Username: Flighty
Posted 2013-07-30 18:48:15 and read 3068 times.

Quoting LAXintl (Reply 50):
That statement is true for both AA and DL. 738s were utilized significantly more versus the M80.

Note, turn times are not included in utilization. In a "15 hour day," the 737 will get more flight hours on it because of longer trips, fewer turns. That's before we consider true decision-based utilization, and finally red-eyes, which MDs are less capable of.
  

Topic: RE: MD80: AA Vs DL
Username: tommy767
Posted 2013-07-30 18:49:26 and read 3080 times.

M80: AA has nicer seats and F class, DL has nicer ambiance (cabin lights, bathrooms, etc.)

Topic: RE: MD80: AA Vs DL
Username: American 767
Posted 2013-07-30 19:51:22 and read 2976 times.

Quoting TrijetsRMissed (Reply 38):
Not anymore. DL's fleet is 2/3rds the size of AA and about equal if you include the MD-90s.

And if you add to that the 717s that are coming up, don't know how many but quite a few for sure, the combined DC-9/MD-80 derivatives fleet at DL will be larger than the current MD-80 fleet at AA. DL will be the only airline flying the 717 and the MD-90.

Ben Soriano

Topic: RE: MD80: AA Vs DL
Username: lightsaber
Posted 2013-07-30 21:16:08 and read 2881 times.

Is Wikipedia correct in that the average age of the MD-80 fleet at delta is 22 years?

Quoting FlyASAGuy2005 (Reply 26):
Shorter segments, yes. Lower daily utilization, definately not. The 88s average 5 segments a day which is the very top of the scale right now for the narrowbody fleet. Because they are flying such short segments, most to all under 2 hours, they're being run to the ground cycles wise. We're talking trips like DCA-ATL, ATL-VPS, VPS-ATL, ATL-MSP-, MSP-BOS. Many doing 6 segments a day which is the max the system will schedule an a/c unless it picks up an unscheduled trip which will put it to 7 but it happens often.

Still lower than B6's utilization.   Ok, you have a valid point. That is higher utilization than I anticipated. But that high of utilization would have lower CASM with an A319. Since those are available used... I wonder what DL's strategy is.

Unless this is true:

Quoting PSU.DTW.SCE (Reply 35):
DL's strategy has been stop doing HMVs and then burn cycles on the aircraft until they time-out for their next HMV.

If no heavy maintenance, that reduces the variable cost of the MD-80s as the per cycle wear costs less. If there is no heavy maintenance, we're definitely on the end run. But that would have MD-80s being retired and the 2013 MD-80 fleet is the same size as the 2010 MD-80 fleet at DL per Wikipedia. So that implies DL is still performing heavy MX. If you have other information, I'm all ears...

Quoting PSU.DTW.SCE (Reply 35):
Specifically they want to have a portion of aircraft where they can flex utilization and/or park as conditions warrent. The DC-9, MD88, 757, and 763ER fleet fit this profile.

Now that I understand. Nothing wrong with using amortized fleets on a partial utilization (as I noted, as per G4). That to me makes sense. Need an aircraft on only Monday, Thursday, Friday, and Saturday? One doesn't use the one with a high lease rate. But that works only for the last D-check interval. Otherwise, one is paying for too much maintenance for too few passenger miles once the bill comes due.

Lightsaber

Topic: RE: MD80: AA Vs DL
Username: TrijetsRMissed
Posted 2013-07-30 21:35:53 and read 2841 times.

Quoting Viscount724 (Reply 40):
the DC-9-33 and -34 had the "wing incidence increased 1.25 degrees to reduce cruise drag."

   That's correct; as they were developed after the DC-9-40, which has the same wing incidence. A DC-9-34 is basically a DC-9-32 with the DC-9-40's aerodynamic improvements, but without the stretch. (The -33 is the cargo variant). Furthermore, the 717's -34 wing also has a new wing/body fairing and the new style flap hinges with the prongs.

Quoting threeifbyair (Reply 44):
On a related note, why did AA (or was it TW - whichever airline ordered that last batch) not order the -88? Commonality? MD offering -83s at a more attractive price?

Good question. The short answer is the range of the MD-83. The long answer: Boeing was happy to sell the remaining MD inventory on hand in LGB. TW received favorable terms and options for the MD-80's platform, carrying over a strategy MDC implemented in the mid '90s. More or less, all aircraft from late 1995 had every MD-80 improvement, minus whatever the client requested be omitted. For example, TW omitted the autobrakes. The final 39 aircraft were basically "MD-88ERs" for TW.

Quoting tb727 (Reply 48):

Quoting maxpower1954 (Reply 47):
Well, that's incorrect as well. The 707-320 series and all DC-8s were certified to 42,000 ft. I flew them both well before 1980.

The 727 is certified to 42,000 as well, you won't catch me going up there in one, but it is certified to it.

Thank you both; I stand corrected. Admittedly the 707/KC-135 was before my time. But if I'm accurate, commercial passenger operators in the western world were not operating above FL370, when the MD-80 entered service in 1980. I can't recall ever flying at FL390 in 727, for example; even if it was certified for it.

Topic: RE: MD80: AA Vs DL
Username: TrijetsRMissed
Posted 2013-07-30 22:20:53 and read 2817 times.

Quoting tb727 (Reply 48):
I am surprised at the lack of performance (most likely contributed to the wing) I have learned about in this thread about the MD-90.

I consulted closely with MDC during the time of the MD-90's development. Mgmt's goal for the MD-90 was to get the best ROIC by the most efficient means possible. With the resources given, engineering felt they could make it work without a new wing, given the airfoil's better than average aerodynamics, and the old wing's superiority over previous competing models, such as the 727, 737 classic, and Fokker 100. Also worth adding, the primary clients (DL, SK, AS), were not asking for a new wing when LOI's were signed.

Looking at operating cost and fuel efficiency, the MD-90 does stack up well with the A320. It's lack of range is largely due to the smaller fuel tank. That said, it's hard not to argue that a new, larger wing would have brought a new life to the MD-90 program.

Quoting tb727 (Reply 48):
DL must be getting a heck of a deal on the 90's, they are good at that.

They're paid-off by the time they finish mods and enter service. I'd say it's a pretty good deal.  
Quoting American 767 (Reply 54):
the combined DC-9/MD-80 derivatives fleet at DL will be larger than the current MD-80 fleet at AA. DL will be the only airline flying the 717 and the MD-90.

It would not shock me to see DL operate over 300 MD variants at some point.

At the very least, we can expect:
- 117 MD-88s
- 76 MD-90s
- 88 717s

Total: 281 aircraft

For the MD-90 and 717, another 15 years of operation is not unlikely. Older 717s may even be retired before any MD-90s... at least they will approach their cycle limits much earlier.

Quoting lightsaber (Reply 55):
Quoting PSU.DTW.SCE (Reply 35):
DL's strategy has been stop doing HMVs and then burn cycles on the aircraft until they time-out for their next HMV.

If no heavy maintenance, that reduces the variable cost of the MD-80s as the per cycle wear costs less. If there is no heavy maintenance, we're definitely on the end run.

I believe the "no HMV" strategy is only being applied to specific aircraft types in DL's fleet. Right now, D95s and 752s are under the gun. Soon it will be the domestic 763s and probably the older A320s.

The MD-88s are unique in that they will benefit from the life extension program. Ships 904 and 905 and others are well beyond the original certified limit of 50k cycles, yet these aircraft have no immediate plans for retirement. Of course everything is fluid with the price of oil.

It's possible DL could extend the life of the A320s, however given the types' history, (or lack thereof compared to the DC-9), it will be a more laborious process.

Topic: RE: MD80: AA Vs DL
Username: Deltal1011man
Posted 2013-07-30 23:04:00 and read 2777 times.

Quoting lightsaber (Reply 24):
The other bet AA made was thinking about what the MD-80 maintenance costs would be like if the economies of scale became poor. In effect, a reality DL will see in a few years. For example, as JT8D overhauls decline, there will initially be a reduction in overhaul costs (more used parts available), but then prices will rise as there will be no longer be shops dedicated to JT8D overhaul and the amazing efficiency that produces. So that will be high per cycle costs.

but this risk is reduced by Delta because, generally, the bulk of the 219s and its respectable parts are done in house. IIRC TechOps doesn't have any 219 MRO engines anymore. I believe they are all Delta engines now. (and thus Delta components)
This could be an issue for the airframe side, but i don't know if AM does anyone other than Delta's HMVs.

Quoting threeifbyair (Reply 44):

On a related note, why did AA (or was it TW - whichever airline ordered that last batch) not order the -88? Commonality? MD offering -83s at a more attractive price?

IIRC the last batch of 83s are basically 88s but have the 82/83 cockpits. I believe they have the tailcone, 219s and the composites of the 88s.

Quoting lightsaber (Reply 55):

If no heavy maintenance, that reduces the variable cost of the MD-80s as the per cycle wear costs less. If there is no heavy maintenance, we're definitely on the end run. But that would have MD-80s being retired and the 2013 MD-80 fleet is the same size as the 2010 MD-80 fleet at DL per Wikipedia. So that implies DL is still performing heavy MX. If you have other information, I'm all ears...

88s are still getting HMVs done (by AM in Mexico   )

Quoting TrijetsRMissed (Reply 57):

I believe the "no HMV" strategy is only being applied to specific aircraft types in DL's fleet. Right now, D95s and 752s are under the gun. Soon it will be the domestic 763s and probably the older A320s.

and even then it depends on the the ship. Younger 57s that will be around are still getting HMVs.
But generally they won't go beyond (IIRC) HMV-4 maybe 5

Topic: RE: MD80: AA Vs DL
Username: TrijetsRMissed
Posted 2013-07-30 23:25:12 and read 2767 times.

Quoting Deltal1011man (Reply 58):
IIRC the last batch of 83s are basically 88s but have the 82/83 cockpits.

The late-build MD-83s do have the MD-88's EFIS flight-deck. They are MD-88ERs, through-in-through.


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Photo © Peter Spence

Topic: RE: MD80: AA Vs DL
Username: maxpower1954
Posted 2013-07-31 08:31:56 and read 2541 times.

Quoting TrijetsRMissed (Reply 56):
Thank you both; I stand corrected. Admittedly the 707/KC-135 was before my time. But if I'm accurate, commercial passenger operators in the western world were not operating above FL370, when the MD-80 entered service in 1980. I can't recall ever flying at FL390 in 727, for example; even if it was certified for it.

If it's certified for 42.000, it's certified for 42,000 regardless of passenger, cargo or operator. I routinely flew the DC-8-62 at 390 on South American routes during that era. (after burning off 3-4 hours of fuel). The Boeing 720B was able to climb to 410 at near maximum weight; my friends that flew it called it "Boeing's hot-rod". I never flew the 727-100, but I did fly the -200, and the early -7 powered wouldn't make 390 empty. But I can assure you airlines operated above routinely above FL370 from the beginning of the jet age.

Topic: RE: MD80: AA Vs DL
Username: Dalmd88
Posted 2013-07-31 09:55:19 and read 2461 times.

Quoting lightsaber (Reply 55):
If no heavy maintenance, that reduces the variable cost of the MD-80s as the per cycle wear costs less. If there is no heavy maintenance, we're definitely on the end run. But that would have MD-80s being retired and the 2013 MD-80 fleet is the same size as the 2010 MD-80 fleet at DL per Wikipedia. So that implies DL is still performing heavy MX. If you have other information, I'm all ears...

As others have stated the DL MD88 fleet is still getting HMV's I don't think there are many lines in work during this summer season, but that should change come fall. I think in the fall we do the prototype for the cockpit upgrade. that includes a much needed FMS upgrade. The system is pretty much out of memory space. The database for nav info is just getting too large. Without the upgrade the planes would be limited to a specific region of the country per the database upload.

As far as other fleets in the no HMV strategy only the oldest 757 aircraft are not getting another round of HMV's and of course the DC9 fleet.

Topic: RE: MD80: AA Vs DL
Username: LAXintl
Posted 2013-07-31 13:51:24 and read 2266 times.

Quoting Flighty (Reply 52):
Note, turn times are not included in utilization.

And when did anyone say it was?

Utilization = block hours.

Topic: RE: MD80: AA Vs DL
Username: tb727
Posted 2013-07-31 14:03:06 and read 2227 times.

Quoting TrijetsRMissed (Reply 57):
They're paid-off by the time they finish mods and enter service. I'd say it's a pretty good deal.  

I love it. That's the way I like to see airlines operate. Now if they would just call me...   

Topic: RE: MD80: AA Vs DL
Username: TheRedBaron
Posted 2013-07-31 15:13:15 and read 2143 times.

Quoting Deltal1011man (Reply 58):
88s are still getting HMVs done (by AM in Mexico   )

Dont know why the sad face? AM had a very large fleet of MD´s and they had them for 3 decades, so they know MX very well.... and surely it must be cheaper..

TRB

Topic: RE: MD80: AA Vs DL
Username: mia305
Posted 2013-07-31 19:58:52 and read 1927 times.

I've always wondered why DL kept thers longer than AA. It would
be nice to see AA keep there's as long as DL. It would also be nice
to see fly them regularly back to MIA like DL does and use the
738s on more profitable routes.

Topic: RE: MD80: AA Vs DL
Username: tommy767
Posted 2013-07-31 20:16:38 and read 1891 times.

Quoting mia305 (Reply 65):

DL negotiated the M88 leases when they were in BK in the mid 2000s.

Don't forget, DL has the -88's which can operate profitably on short sectors (like ATL-BNA) and they have only over 100 of them left. AA had over 300 of older -82 and -83 just a few years ago and flew them on mid cons from the ORD, which don't strike me as nearly as profitable as operating a newer 738 on the route. The exceptions are the ex-TW -83's which are newer, delivered between 1996-1999. The future of those A/C I'm sure are in jeopardy as well.


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