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Topic: A321 - Why Did It Take So Long?
Username: cjpmaestro
Posted 2013-09-09 18:40:40 and read 19516 times.

It was just a few years ago that US was the only domestic carrier operating the A321 and as they approach 85 in service, it seems like everyone is adding to their fleets. Hawaiian, Jet Blue, Delta and AA are adding to their fleets. It seems like it took awhile for the A321 to catch-on - anyone know why? Will the A321 be the 757 replacement?

Topic: RE: A321 - Why Did It Take So Long?
Username: CX747
Posted 2013-09-09 18:49:30 and read 19506 times.

It took a while for airlines to have their 757s begin to wear out. Airbus has truly hit the ball out of the proverbial park with the A321. I know the 757 struggled for sales in the early 2000s but one has to wonder if Boeing isn't kicking themselves a little bit for shutting down the production line. One thing that allowed to A321 to hang around longer than the 757 is that it rolls down the same production line as the A318, A319 and A320. If there were not any orders, that doesn't meant the line was dormant.

Topic: RE: A321 - Why Did It Take So Long?
Username: seabosdca
Posted 2013-09-09 18:56:13 and read 19418 times.

Quoting CX747 (Reply 1):
one has to wonder if Boeing isn't kicking themselves a little bit for shutting down the production line.

No, they're not. First, the 757 would never sell today; the reason A321s are replacing it is because they are far cheaper to fly and maintain. Second, they used that line to build many times more 737s than they could have possibly built 757s. Third, when they shut the line down, there were literally no more orders to be had -- it would have sat idle.

Topic: RE: A321 - Why Did It Take So Long?
Username: speedbird2263
Posted 2013-09-09 19:07:05 and read 19323 times.

Quoting cjpmaestro (Thread starter):

Don't forget NK. They were also an early A321 operator and after a reduction are also significantly adding to their fleet.

-2263

Topic: RE: A321 - Why Did It Take So Long?
Username: jr
Posted 2013-09-09 19:14:07 and read 19263 times.

Quoting seabosdca (Reply 2):
First, the 757 would never sell today

Are you assuming here that it would have been sold under the same format as before with no improvements? I would imagine that if it was still in production there would be at least some sort of an NG version that is a lot improved.

That said, Boeing would have only regretted that move had they not been able to sell 737s like they have.

Topic: RE: A321 - Why Did It Take So Long?
Username: seabosdca
Posted 2013-09-09 19:31:06 and read 19162 times.

Quoting jr (Reply 4):
Are you assuming here that it would have been sold under the same format as before with no improvements? I would imagine that if it was still in production there would be at least some sort of an NG version that is a lot improved.

Even an NG 757 would struggle to compete against the A321. It's just too big and heavy for most of what it does.

Also, it's hard to imagine who would have developed an engine for it -- an engine in a thrust class no other frame needs which would have sold only 200 or 300 copies at best.

To actually stay on topic, the A321 is taking over for three reasons: 1) the 757 fleet is wearing out, making the maintenance cost difference even more pronounced; 2) we are in an era of sustained high (and likely getting higher) fuel prices, which obviously favors the more efficient aircraft, and 3) the A321 has gradually grown more and more capable, and the newest sharklet A321s are finally capable of performing just about every U.S. mission except Hawaii without compromises.

Topic: RE: A321 - Why Did It Take So Long?
Username: delta777jet
Posted 2013-09-09 22:12:36 and read 18734 times.

I was wondering if a B-757-800NG would make sense.

New lighter structure, new enhanced wings, a size between the -200 and the -300, new fuel efficient engines and a 787 Cockpit.

Max range of 6000 miles and United would be first to be in I would guess.

Topic: RE: A321 - Why Did It Take So Long?
Username: hoMsar
Posted 2013-09-09 23:01:28 and read 18456 times.

Quoting delta777jet (Reply 6):
I was wondering if a B-757-800NG would make sense.

New lighter structure, new enhanced wings, a size between the -200 and the -300, new fuel efficient engines and a 787 Cockpit.

Max range of 6000 miles and United would be first to be in I would guess.

Probably not. You're essentially designing an all-new airplane with engines that don't exist (hence, all-new engines, meaning an engine manufacturer would have to be willing to spend billions to develop one), that would have very limited family potential. Any larger, and you're in 787 territory, any smaller, and you're in 737 territory.

Some day, far into the future, Boeing may build a 200-seat jet. But it won't be based on the 757, nor will it be called the 757-anything. It will probably be part of a clean-sheet design for a family of planes replacing the 737-Max.

Topic: RE: A321 - Why Did It Take So Long?
Username: newbief1yer
Posted 2013-09-09 23:35:58 and read 18238 times.

It may have already been answered, but isn't the 737-9 similar to the A321? If so, why don't the current 757 customers switch to 737-9 instead of an Airbus metal?

Topic: RE: A321 - Why Did It Take So Long?
Username: XFSUgimpLB41X
Posted 2013-09-10 00:09:58 and read 17964 times.

Quoting newbief1yer (Reply 8):

It may have already been answered, but isn't the 737-9 similar to the A321? If so, why don't the current 757 customers switch to 737-9 instead of an Airbus metal?

About 20,000 pounds extra max gross weight and 10,000 lbs more thrust.... The A321 is wayyy beefier plane than the 739.

Topic: RE: A321 - Why Did It Take So Long?
Username: newbief1yer
Posted 2013-09-10 00:30:06 and read 17808 times.

Quoting XFSUgimpLB41X (Reply 10):
About 20,000 pounds extra

...Oh Wow, didn't know that it was that much beefier, thanks for the info. Yes, then I agree that Boeing might have missed a trick...Interesting times..
I personally like the A321, one of my favourites Airbus, apart from the 'Whale'

Topic: RE: A321 - Why Did It Take So Long?
Username: migair54
Posted 2013-09-10 00:55:23 and read 17658 times.

I think Airbus has done a superb job with the A321 and A330 improvements, they will never match the performance of the b757 but I dont think anyone will ever do, but the cabin size of the A321 allows airlines to offer a cabin great product and transcon range due to the reduce weight.

I was also waiting for Delta to order quite a few to start replacing B757's but they start getting 739, who knows maybe they are waiting for AA to start operatijg them and after they can have more data to decide, but I really think it can be a great addition.

Quoting delta777jet (Reply 6):
I was wondering if a B-757-800NG would make sense.

New lighter structure, new enhanced wings, a size between the -200 and the -300, new fuel efficient engines and a 787 Cockpit.

Max range of 6000 miles and United would be first to be in I would guess.

That's a whole new plane and it'd be so expensive to develop and certified that it makes no much sense.

Topic: RE: A321 - Why Did It Take So Long?
Username: francoflier
Posted 2013-09-10 02:29:55 and read 17328 times.

It's probably a combination of factors, among which is the fact that the A321 has progressed quite nicely performance wise.
I would also say that, generally speaking, the market has moved towards larger airplane in each respective size category.

Whereas the main sellers in the A320 family used to be the A319 and A320, that seems to have translated towards the A320 and A321. The 737 seems to be favored in its increasingly bigger versions as well.
So is the A330, the 777, and I'm seeing the A350 and 787 going that way again. Both will, in my opinion, have very successful stretches, whereas their smaller versions will end up being moderate sellers...

Topic: RE: A321 - Why Did It Take So Long?
Username: RyanairGuru
Posted 2013-09-10 02:34:20 and read 17290 times.

Quoting migair54 (Reply 12):
I was also waiting for Delta to order quite a few to start replacing B757's but they start getting 739, who knows maybe they are waiting for AA to start operatijg them and after they can have more data to decide

I guess you missed last weeks announcement then  Delta Orders A330s, A321s Part 2 (by wilco737 Sep 4 2013 in Civil Aviation)

Topic: RE: A321 - Why Did It Take So Long?
Username: migair54
Posted 2013-09-10 03:52:42 and read 16900 times.

Quoting RyanairGuru (Reply 14):
I guess you missed last weeks announcement then  Delta Orders A330s, A321s Part 2 (by wilco737 Sep 4 2013 in Civil Aviation)

Actually I did miss that one, 30 is not a bad number, I'm sure they will add more in the future, they need to replace more than 150 b757.   

Topic: RE: A321 - Why Did It Take So Long?
Username: hibtastic
Posted 2013-09-10 04:23:42 and read 16661 times.

The A321 is a great looking aircraft. I think she looks alot better than the A320 which in turn is a vast improvement on the A319 which in my opinion looks a little stumpy. Its a similar story with the 737 IMHO - the larger versions are better looking.

I flew on a BA A321 between LHR and EDI recently and thoroughly enjoyed the experience. The BA shuttles between LHR and EDI/GLA seem to be a varied mix of A319, A320, A321 and B767 with the occasional 777 thrown in when something goes wrong so its nice to have a bit of variety.

Topic: RE: A321 - Why Did It Take So Long?
Username: blueshamu330s
Posted 2013-09-10 04:34:10 and read 16487 times.

Quoting cjpmaestro (Thread starter):
It seems like it took awhile for the A321 to catch-on - anyone know why?

People draw comparisons and make conclusions whilst looking at the individual aircraft in isolation, which produces skewed reasoning. You also have to follow the history and timeline of each frame to fully understand why a particular variant was successful at the time.

Tortugamon gives a nice basis on how to answer your question in the Lufthansa order thread:

Quoting tortugamon (Reply 78):
However, if all else is equal I think there is a preference for European airlines is to chose Airbus. Likewise, I think in the US the situation is reversed. DL, UA, WN, AS, and AA fleets are heavily Boeing based. US and B6 are exceptions not unlike FR and KLM. But so are the aircraft. Boeing's focus on the 757-200, 767-200 and the 777-200 while Airbus maximizing the A321 and A300/A330 are indicative of regional interests. Boeing usually stresses range because it was important to NA customers while Airbus has been about efficiency/lower cost because range is less important in the smaller continent. Even the 787 is geared toward US 767 operators and connecting Asia with the US (Europe does not need the range).

The A321 was initially perceived and designed around the need to move a greater number of people between points in Europe. Looking at FRA and CDG, for example, the maximum endurance required was approximately 3 1/2 hours. A relatively simple stretch, and the same wingspan as the A320 made it a relatively cheap stretch, but offered outstanding economics on the missions it was planned for. I recall when the A321 was a relatively new introduction, getting off a British Airways B732 at Zurich and connecting on to a brand new Swissair A321. The difference was mind-blowing. Economically, on intra-Europe missions, it blew the B757 out of the water. European carriers were happy.

On the other hand, as Tortugamon correctly states, Boeing met the needs of North American carriers with the B757 by way of outstanding performance to operate out of airports the B727 had operated from and that all important transcon range. Boeing delivered and US carriers were happy. Also happy were UK charter operators who were able to stuff 235 passengers plus bags, plus some mail and freight and carry it all on 6 hours sectors which previously had required a tech stop or a wide body.

Whilst the B757 is no longer in production, the A321 has constantly been updated, PIPed and made more lean, to the extent it can now also please the charter carriers and fly the missions they previously had to use the B757 on.

As the gap between the B757's capabilities and those of the A321 has narrowed, so the appeal of the A321 to US carriers has increased. The result is now that the A321 is a comfortable, cost effective and modern transcon frame, far removed from the original A321s which rolled off the production line.

It's clearly not over yet for the A321 either. I am hearing very encouraging noises about a further 300nm range for the 321neo as a result of further aerodynamic tweaking, which puts in tantalisingly close to being a year-round transatlantic frame; United anyone?   

Interestingly, whilst you could say there is but a hair's breadth between the B738 and the A320, the difference is significantly more marked when you compare the B739ER to the A321, and potentially, I can only see the gap getting wider.

Rgds

[Edited 2013-09-10 05:07:49]

Topic: RE: A321 - Why Did It Take So Long?
Username: United_fan
Posted 2013-09-10 04:39:04 and read 16402 times.

And I remember when B6 was asking Airbus to look into an A320 1/2 ,as the 321 was too big. How things have changed.

Topic: RE: A321 - Why Did It Take So Long?
Username: jfk777
Posted 2013-09-10 05:02:05 and read 15821 times.

Quoting seabosdca (Reply 2):
No, they're not. First, the 757 would never sell today; the reason A321s are replacing it is because they are far cheaper to fly and maintain. Second, they used that line to build many times more 737s than they could have possibly built 757s. Third, when they shut the line down, there were literally no more orders to be had -- it would have sat idle.
Quoting seabosdca (Reply 5):
It's just too big and heavy for most of what it does

The 757 is much heavier then the A321. Boeing's growth of the 737-800 & -900ER moved the 737 into 757 missions. The 737-900ER carries about 10 people less with 737 efficiency. When Boeing made the 757 they allowed for growth, that allowed the 757 to fly up to 4,000 miles which allowed it to fly to Europe from the US east coast. The 757 became too much airplane for short haul domestic trips. Its great for Hawaii and 5 to 6 hour flights but Delta must hate its economics on all those flights out of Atlanta.

Topic: RE: A321 - Why Did It Take So Long?
Username: RayChuang
Posted 2013-09-10 05:09:11 and read 15663 times.

The A321 as originally produced was NOT the plane airlines in the USA wanted--for one thing, it couldn't even fly transcontinental routes. US got the A321 to fly transcon routes from PHL to the US West Coast--barely.

What makes the A321 vastly more attractive now is new A321neo version, powered by either the CFM International LEAP-1 or Pratt & Whitney PW1000G series engines with much lower fuel burn than the current A321 engines. The A321neo easily has the range to fly USA transcon routes year-round or USA West Coast to Hawaii; indeed, HA will use the A321neo to fly to a number of Pacific islands from HNL in the future.

Topic: RE: A321 - Why Did It Take So Long?
Username: blueshamu330s
Posted 2013-09-10 05:09:23 and read 15667 times.

Quoting jfk777 (Reply 19):
The 757 became too much airplane for short haul domestic trips. Its great for Hawaii

...as now is the A321. Airframe evolution at its best.   

Rgds

Topic: RE: A321 - Why Did It Take So Long?
Username: parapente
Posted 2013-09-10 05:21:11 and read 15406 times.

Well - engine revolution at its best?

If the geared fan can do what some rumour that it will you really are looking at a 757 aircraft. It's not just about TATL range - in fact it is more about it's general Transcon ability and loads in all conditions. It is an interesting aircraft as it bridges the huge gap between (say) a 739 size and the 788. Thats a huge leap (particularly in cost) so there is a tasty market there - no doubt about it. And with both A&B heating up 'old soup' in terms of 737 and 320 there is nothing on the horizon to challange it.
They need IMHO to continue adding little benefits like additional overwing exits to go with the slimline galley/loos and slim backed seats etc.

Topic: RE: A321 - Why Did It Take So Long?
Username: jfklganyc
Posted 2013-09-10 05:23:02 and read 15371 times.

A321 growth is all at the expense of Boeing... specifically the lack of aircraft to replace the 757s.

The fact that this plane never sold in the US despite its long existence, and now is selling like hotcakes should give Boeing pause.

Topic: RE: A321 - Why Did It Take So Long?
Username: gilesdavies
Posted 2013-09-10 05:41:05 and read 15007 times.

I agree with many points above...

The A321 was never meant to match the 757 like for like, and as the A320 had already been developed, creating an extended version was a natural a cheap progression for Airbus as opposed to making a brand new aircraft.

Many people harp on about how the A321 is not as versatile, and does not have the range of the 757, but Boeing developed a brand new aircraft to carry out these requirements, while the A321 was designed to just offer additional payload over the A320.

The A321 has just naturally evolved over time and gradually begun to tick many of the boxes of what the 757 can do.

For the people out there who go on about the need for a new long range narrow body to replace the 757 carriers who optimise the aircraft on longer sectors like USA to Europe and USA to Hawaii, you need to bear in mind, there cannot be anymore than about fifty aircraft (?) flying these sort of routes and no manufacturer (unless they are mad) is going to build a specific aircraft for such a small sector.

Topic: RE: A321 - Why Did It Take So Long?
Username: divemaster08
Posted 2013-09-10 06:26:24 and read 14046 times.

On question I think is going to be interesting, but with US airlines now using the B757 more across the Atlantic now, what is going to happen to these routes when the 757 is done? There isnt really an aircraft that can replace the 757 for these routes, no? A321/B739 still lacks the range and performance that the B757 has, and the NEOs/MAX I think still fall short.

Topic: RE: A321 - Why Did It Take So Long?
Username: LHCVG
Posted 2013-09-10 06:41:45 and read 14435 times.

Quoting migair54 (Reply 11):
That's a whole new plane and it'd be so expensive to develop and certified that it makes no much sense.
Quoting divemaster08 (Reply 24):
On question I think is going to be interesting, but with US airlines now using the B757 more across the Atlantic now, what is going to happen to these routes when the 757 is done? There isnt really an aircraft that can replace the 757 for these routes, no? A321/B739 still lacks the range and performance that the B757 has, and the NEOs/MAX I think still fall short.

I think the economics of the market today will dictate that such a plane will be some form of beefed-up 320/737. The problem, as stated above and in many other threads, is that the market currently served by TATL 757s (roughly 170-200 seat international config with TATL range) is currently stuck between larger and smaller models offered by both A and B.

The market is relatively small for this niche -- 200-300 frames is what I've seen bandied about here as the potential replacement demand. That said, I do think the market is one that is viable as a derivative of the future 737/320 programs. IMHO this will end up being an A350-1000 situation where the TATL models will have significantly more capability at the expense of some commonality in order to get that true TATL range (somewhere around 5,000 miles) -- probably in the form of double-bogey MLG (320-series already has a provision for this) to support increased MTOW, further thrust increase, and some moderate aerodynamic tweaks as well. The last will obviously be where the real expense is, so a new wing is out of the question, but they will probably have to do something to give it sufficient range/payload performance.

Just my 2 cents

Topic: RE: A321 - Why Did It Take So Long?
Username: seabosdca
Posted 2013-09-10 07:17:37 and read 13709 times.

Quoting LHCVG (Reply 25):
I think the economics of the market today will dictate that such a plane will be some form of beefed-up 320/737.
Quoting LHCVG (Reply 25):
The market is relatively small for this niche -- 200-300 frames is what I've seen bandied about here as the potential replacement demand. That said, I do think the market is one that is viable as a derivative of the future 737/320 programs.

  

A higher-weight neo/MAX with a bit more thrust and a bit better SFC from the engines ought to do the trick.

Quoting RayChuang (Reply 19):
What makes the A321 vastly more attractive now is new A321neo version

Not just the neo. The ceo has had enough improvements over time that it is now, in the latest sharklet iteration, perfectly comfortable flying US transcon routes. Hawaii will have to wait for the neo, though.

Topic: RE: A321 - Why Did It Take So Long?
Username: maxpower1954
Posted 2013-09-10 07:18:51 and read 14135 times.

Quoting RayChuang (Reply 19):
US got the A321 to fly transcon routes from PHL to the US West Coast--barely.

All US 321s have the ACT tanks, which gives it 6 hours plus endurance with a maximum payload. In ten years of flying it I've never had to stop for fuel, even with 130 knot headwinds all the way PHL to LAX/SFO. This is not my definition of "barely".

Just my personal experience actually flying the thing as captain, rather than A-netter uninformed opinion.

The A320 is the one with the issue - the lack of the ACT on our aircraft does call for an occasional West-bound fuel stop. But
you wouldn't know it from the comments I read here.

Topic: RE: A321 - Why Did It Take So Long?
Username: Cactus105
Posted 2013-09-10 07:23:08 and read 13988 times.

The A321 is a great aircraft. It may be a bit disproportional in stature, but i think part of the reason it is so successful right now is that concept of fleet commonality. US Airways is the largest A321 operator in the world (not to mention largest Airbus operator) but they got their start with the A321 by having 320s and 319s. Some would argue that the 739 would have this same characteristic of fleet commonality , which it does, but with less power, and less useful load.

As i said, I do believe the A321 is a great airplane, I hear lots of good things from my dad about what a nice airplane it is to fly. That being said, I think part of the reason it was slow to catch on is the fact that it has all the same dimensions (except for of course fuselage length, and extra fairings/flap panels). To me, thats like putting a 739 fuselage on an aircraft with the tail, wings, and stab of a 733. Doesn't seem very smart, at least that was my first impression of the 321. But with the same tail and wingspan as even the 318, it actually results in some positive flight characteristics. It's smooth. I personally think its smoother thru chop than the 75' is. The wings soak up a lot of the bumps with the extra weight of the airplane, as opposed to say the 318 or 319 which IMO tends to get tossed around a bit more (think about, it's a LOT lighter). With V2533-A5's or 56-5B3's the airplane is powerful enough, despite having 'small' wings, etc.

I can definitely see why this airplane took some time to catch on, because let's face it, its not exactly the most aesthetically pleasing airplane out there, but it does the job.

Topic: RE: A321 - Why Did It Take So Long?
Username: YULWinterSkies
Posted 2013-09-10 08:53:13 and read 12066 times.

Quoting divemaster08 (Reply 24):
On question I think is going to be interesting, but with US airlines now using the B757 more across the Atlantic now, what is going to happen to these routes when the 757 is done? There isnt really an aircraft that can replace the 757 for these routes, no? A321/B739 still lacks the range and performance that the B757 has, and the NEOs/MAX I think still fall short.

You stand correct about lack of ideal replacement.
Two things however:
1. despite being a fuel-guzzler remnant of the 80s, the 757 performs really well on these routes and generates money (yes the 757 has been improved but it remains old for today's fuel efficiency standards)
2. larger aircraft that are available are the 767-300. It was designed together with the 757 at the same time, read comment above re fuel efficiency. Then there is the 767-400 or the A330. Much more efficient than the 763, but also larger in size, much more expensive to buy, and harder to fill up to a profitable capacity on these thin hub-to-point or point-to-point routes.

I expect that later in time, down the road, thanks to its great fuel efficiency, the 787-8 may be able to generate some good profit on these 757 routes while carrying a full 757 load in terms of pax and cargo. Obviously then, any extra seat sold of cargo box carried is extra revenue that the airline cannot rely upon today. Worse case scenario, one could see a frequency drop from daily to 5-6 weekly on some routes (which is not that bad, and not uncommon on many long-haul routes anyway). You probably won't see it soon as airlines will want to use it first on their longer or more commercially important routes, but it might eventually be the best replacement for the 757 workhorse.
I also expect that the last 757s in service will be doing t-atl missions with all of DL, UA, AA/US. They are replaceable for any other missions such as Hawaii or transcons, thanks to the A320/321 NEO (and even classic) or 739ER.

Topic: RE: A321 - Why Did It Take So Long?
Username: kgaiflyer
Posted 2013-09-10 09:17:23 and read 11541 times.

Quoting maxpower1954 (Reply 27):
Quoting RayChuang (Reply 19):US got the A321 to fly transcon routes from PHL to the US West Coast--barely.

All US 321s have the ACT tanks, which gives it 6 hours plus endurance with a maximum payload. In ten years of flying it I've never had to stop for fuel, even with 130 knot headwinds all the way PHL to LAX/SFO. This is not my definition of "barely".

As I recall the urban legend, B6 used some algorithm to add 'just enough' fuel to their transcons. After this produced midwinter tech stops, Airbus unworthiness ran through this forum like wildfire.

I've flown US 320s and 321s both CLT-SFO and PHL-SFO and can't ever remember a tech stop.

In addition, I flown B6, UA, US, and VX 319s and 320s BWI/DCA/IAD to LAX/LGB/SFO/SAN with no tech stops.

[Edited 2013-09-10 09:28:01]

Topic: RE: A321 - Why Did It Take So Long?
Username: laca773
Posted 2013-09-10 10:05:07 and read 10443 times.

Quoting seabosdca (Reply 5):
Even an NG 757 would struggle to compete against the A321. It's just too big and heavy for most of what it does.

There will always be a misconception about the 757 versus the A321. This will never change. The bottom line is, they are very different aircraft. No commonality except for passenger capacity.

Quoting RayChuang (Reply 19):
The A321 as originally produced was NOT the plane airlines in the USA wanted--for one thing, it couldn't even fly transcontinental routes. US got the A321 to fly transcon routes from PHL to the US West Coast--barely.
Quoting RayChuang (Reply 19):
What makes the A321 vastly more attractive now is new A321neo version, powered by either the CFM International LEAP-1 or Pratt & Whitney PW1000G series engines with much lower fuel burn than the current A321 engines. The A321neo easily has the range to fly USA transcon routes year-round or USA West Coast to Hawaii; indeed, HA will use the A321neo to fly to a number of Pacific islands from HNL in the future.

  

The A321 has had it struggles too. It has come a long ways. It has done remarkably better in the EU than the 757 as the routes are shorter and don't need the power, payload and range of the 757s. You'll notice those who flew the 757s in Europe have flown them on their longer range EU point to point routes that demand a heavier a/c. Finnair, TUI, Thomson, Monarch, Iberia. The A321 was more suitable for airlines in the EU than the 757s, while the 757 played a much bigger role in the US.

Topic: RE: A321 - Why Did It Take So Long?
Username: ChicagoFlyer
Posted 2013-09-10 10:58:51 and read 9386 times.

Quoting newbief1yer (Reply 8):
It may have already been answered, but isn't the 737-9 similar to the A321? If so, why don't the current 757 customers switch to 737-9 instead of an Airbus metal?

This is a very big question. Here's a short answer that is still quite long:

- 737-900ER generally has superior economics to A321ceo
* 737 is significantly lighter and burns less fuel
* A321 needs to have 2 aux tanks (wingtip fences) or 1 tank (Sharklets) to consistently make transcon, which adds even more weight. Of course in Europe there is no need for aux tanks as distances are shorter
* The CFM56 engines on 737-900ER cost significantly less to maintain than the V2500 engines on A321 (there are not too many CFM powered A321s because fuel consumption and takeoff performance are worse than for the V engine)
* 737 has a better optimized cabin. The 2 sets of full-size exit doors take too much space on A321. 737 has a plugged exit door mid-rear cabin (that is not needed for a 2-class configuration evac certification) allowing for more space
* 737 is cheaper to buy

The larger size, better takeoff performance and wider seats/better passenger comfort of A321 generally do not outweigh the advantages above. You have to be an A320 family but not 737NG operator to opt for A321 in the fleet today. Pre-merger United would have probably bought it, but post-merger it made little sense and they ordered 50 more 737-900ERs. On the other hand, US Air had no NGs and A321 was a natural fit for them.

- However, the A321neo improves more vs A321ceo that 737-9 MAX improves vs 737-900:
* The performance improvement on the engines is likely slightly higher (larger diameters, GTF architecture, LEAP getting carbon fans that CFM had on 737s but not on Airbuses)
* 737 MAX adds more weight due to additional modifications (forward LG, tailcone) vs baseline aircraft than A321 does
* With more fuel efficiency, A321 loses need for weighty aux tanks
* The engine maintenance cost difference shrinks (LEAP pushes conventional architecture to its thermal limits; GTF vs LEAP should have much narrower gap, if any; and if 737 and A321 both have LEAP, there should be little difference)
* The Delta 190 pax configuration likely involves adding the STC for plugged door option for A321, optimizing the cabin
* This is only applying to engine choice; LEAP would be a relatively less mature (and thus risky) program than GTF--at the same time GTF has a lot of performance improvements "runway" ahead

Add to it that you still have takeoff performance gap and better pax comfort, and it's really clear that the value of A321neo is significantly higher than that of 737-9 MAX. It becomes a pricing game (both on aircraft and also on engine maintenance) that an airline will play with an OEM before making a choice.

Topic: RE: A321 - Why Did It Take So Long?
Username: lightsaber
Posted 2013-09-10 12:27:32 and read 7889 times.

Quoting seabosdca (Reply 5):
Even an NG 757 would struggle to compete against the A321. It's just too big and heavy for most of what it does.

   With the added range, in particular with the 'sharklets,' the A321 has matured nicely.

Quoting blueshamu330s (Reply 17):
As the gap between the B757's capabilities and those of the A321 has narrowed, so the appeal of the A321 to US carriers has increased. The result is now that the A321 is a comfortable, cost effective and modern transcon frame, far removed from the original A321s which rolled off the production line.

   Today's A321s, in particular the V2500 powered ones, are not yesterdays...

Quoting RayChuang (Reply 20):
What makes the A321 vastly more attractive now is new A321neo version, powered by either the CFM International LEAP-1 or Pratt & Whitney PW1000G series engines with much lower fuel burn than the current A321 engines.

As already noted, it isn't just the NEO. The Sharklets let the fuel carried drop enough to improve economics.

Quoting seabosdca (Reply 26):
Hawaii will have to wait for the neo

But then it will be easy with 3,650nm range (and if Pratt does deliver the 4% fuel burn improvement, 3,800nm!).

Quoting kgaiflyer (Reply 30):
As I recall the urban legend, B6 used some algorithm to add 'just enough' fuel to their transcons.

They also started with a 165 passenger cabin and seats that are comfy, but not light.

Quoting ChicagoFlyer (Reply 32):
there are not too many CFM powered A321s because fuel consumption and takeoff performance are worse than for the V engine

First, nice summary. Fro this,   

Quoting ChicagoFlyer (Reply 32):
The CFM56 engines on 737-900ER cost significantly less to maintain than the V2500 engines on A321

Yep. One turbine row means overhauls cost less and the CFM has less 'day to day' work.

Quoting ChicagoFlyer (Reply 32):
- However, the A321neo improves more vs A321ceo that 737-9 MAX improves vs 737-900:

   Yep. In some ways the A321NEO proposal drew attention to the A321CEO.

FWIW, I don't like CEO as an airframe term, but we're stuck with it.

Lightsaber

Topic: RE: A321 - Why Did It Take So Long?
Username: FlyASAGuy2005
Posted 2013-09-10 12:29:01 and read 7861 times.

Quoting migair54 (Reply 14):
Actually I did miss that one, 30 is not a bad number, I'm sure they will add more in the future, they need to replace more than 150 b757.



Don't forget however the 100 739ERs on order. I can see a small top-off order of 321s in the future but nothing huge.

Quoting jfk777 (Reply 18):
The 757 became too much airplane for short haul domestic trips. Its great for Hawaii and 5 to 6 hour flights but Delta must hate its economics on all those flights out of Atlanta.
Quoting RayChuang (Reply 19):
What makes the A321 vastly more attractive now is new A321neo version



Yes that plus all the improvements made on the original 32Xs. Its not the same a/c as what rolled off the line so many years ago.

Quoting kgaiflyer (Reply 30):
I've flown US 320s and 321s both CLT-SFO and PHL-SFO and can't ever remember a tech stop.

In addition, I flown B6, UA, US, and VX 319s and 320s BWI/DCA/IAD to LAX/LGB/SFO/SAN with no tech stops.



It's rubbish. It comes down to how the airline uses the a/c. Believe it or not, DL usually takes a payload hit on its ATL-PDX and JFK-West Coast flights that utilize the 738. However, the passenger usually won't even know due to sublte pax caps, restricting cargo, etc. Currently, LGA-DEN on a 320) usually has a hard time and does have a pax cap in place but this is due to T/O weight and LGA's short runway.

Topic: RE: A321 - Why Did It Take So Long?
Username: RayChuang
Posted 2013-09-10 15:57:25 and read 5146 times.

In the end, the A321neo has essentially become the real replacement for the 757-200 for a number of US-based airlines. It now has enough range to fly even US West Coast to Hawaii safely, something HA wants.

I do think, though that Airbus may be studying the idea of an A321neo with more powerful engines so it could operate out of PHX, LAS, SLC and DEN on longer distance flights during the summer. US and DL wouldn't be the only airlines interested in such a plane; I see airlines that fly to western China and Middle Eastern airlines wanting something like this, too.

Topic: RE: A321 - Why Did It Take So Long?
Username: hoMsar
Posted 2013-09-10 18:35:42 and read 3644 times.

Quoting ChicagoFlyer (Reply 32):
You have to be an A320 family but not 737NG operator to opt for A321 in the fleet today.

DL thinks otherwise. They just bought A321s a few days ago, despite having a very large 737NG fleet (with 737-900ERs on order).

Topic: RE: A321 - Why Did It Take So Long?
Username: gigneil
Posted 2013-09-10 19:38:09 and read 3379 times.

Quoting ChicagoFlyer (Reply 32):
- 737-900ER generally has superior economics to A321ceo

Does it?

NS

Topic: RE: A321 - Why Did It Take So Long?
Username: TW870
Posted 2013-09-10 19:46:26 and read 3360 times.

Quoting seabosdca (Reply 26):
Hawaii will have to wait for the neo, though.

Is that true? LAX-HNL is only 75 miles further than JFK-LAX. BOS-SFO is 130 miles further than LAX-HNL. As I understand it, the current version of the A321 w/sharklets could do Hawaii. I am not sure if winter winds are worse going west to HNL than they are over the continent.

But from my days at United I believe our BOS-SFO block times were scheduled longer than any Hawaii block times. And we flew a V2500 powered A320 on BOS-SFO (though certainly with our share of SLC stops in the winter...)

Topic: RE: A321 - Why Did It Take So Long?
Username: MD-90
Posted 2013-09-10 20:12:22 and read 3279 times.

Quoting hoMsar (Reply 36):
DL thinks otherwise. They just bought A321s a few days ago, despite having a very large 737NG fleet (with 737-900ERs on order).

How many operators other than Delta have such large 737 & A320 fleets, though? They're the exception, not the rule.

Topic: RE: A321 - Why Did It Take So Long?
Username: gigneil
Posted 2013-09-10 20:12:43 and read 3291 times.

A current A321 could operate the route no problem at all, and so could an A319 and an A320.

Just nobody has ever done it, does not mean it can't be done. Obviously requires tanks and ETOPS.

NS

Topic: RE: A321 - Why Did It Take So Long?
Username: gemuser
Posted 2013-09-10 22:13:54 and read 3052 times.

Quoting MD-90 (Reply 39):

How many operators other than Delta have such large 737 & A320 fleets, though?

UA & QF, to name two, & US? and AA's current orders.

Gemuser

Topic: RE: A321 - Why Did It Take So Long?
Username: Raventech
Posted 2013-09-11 00:32:09 and read 2840 times.

Quoting TW870 (Reply 38):
Is that true? LAX-HNL is only 75 miles further than JFK-LAX. BOS-SFO is 130 miles further than LAX-HNL. As I understand it, the current version of the A321 w/sharklets could do Hawaii. I am not sure if winter winds are worse going west to HNL than they are over the continent.

Got to remember ETOPS, They typically need more fuel in reserve so fuel available for the route is reduced.


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