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LH May 'homogenize' The Fleet  
User currently offlineN79969 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Posted (11 years 1 month 1 week 23 hours ago) and read 2530 times:

I read this as a possible "Tchuss" or "nicht auf wiedersehen" for Boeing 737 airplanes in the short-term and perhaps 744 in the longer term:



http://biz.yahoo.com/djus/030606/1018000396_2.html

14 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlineNa From Germany, joined Dec 1999, 10583 posts, RR: 10
Reply 1, posted (11 years 1 month 1 week 23 hours ago) and read 2445 times:

Well, certainly the 737s will have to go quite soon unless LH chooses to buy the 737NG to replace them. But the 744? Certainly not a part in this fleet plan. That´ll be sometime next decade for sure, not earlier. The first batch of 89-92 might leave when the A380s come though, and expect the Combis to be converted to Freighters or LH even ordering 744ERFs. Before that the A300, A310s, RJ85 will all be gone for long already, so I bet that LH is talking about these 3 types in the first place. Just so you know: Almost all A300/A310s of LH were built before the first 744 came into their fleet!

One other note: Don´t forget Condor. That they fly 757s and 767s doesn´t make sense if LH wants to reduce the number of aircraft types. Guess some action here as well. Why no A330 order to dump the A300, B767s and 753s completely? And A321s for the 752s. A bit simple, but that´s whats behind reduction, right?


User currently offlineLuv2fly From United States of America, joined May 2003, 12090 posts, RR: 49
Reply 2, posted (11 years 1 month 1 week 23 hours ago) and read 2435 times:

It does make sense to have fewer aircraft types in your overall fleet. You have to carry fewer parts for repairs and such, less training for your employees are just a couple of savings I can think of.


You can cut the irony with a knife
User currently offlineKaitak From Ireland, joined Aug 1999, 12395 posts, RR: 37
Reply 3, posted (11 years 1 month 1 week 23 hours ago) and read 2399 times:

I think this is quite likely; it's arguable that LH already operates too many types.

The A340-600 and A380-700 (if this comes to pass) will eventually bridge the gap between the standard A340-300 and the A380-800, thus replacing the 744 (although I think the 744 will still figure in LH's fleet for at least another decade).

The A340 and A330-300 are (from a crew rating perspective) the same aircraft and so count as one. The A300-600 and A310 will be replaced by these and the A321 will account for any flights too large for the 320.

I see the 319 replacing the 733 and 735, BUT I see most 319s going to German Wings, with a smaller type, perhaps the Embraer 190/195 being based at FRA, to operate hub flights. The airline is well aware of the lo-co threat and this is why it will build up its German Wings fleet, with new aircraft and more bases, gradually reducing mainline short haul to hub operations from FRA and MUC.


User currently offlineYyz717 From Canada, joined Sep 2001, 16239 posts, RR: 56
Reply 4, posted (11 years 1 month 1 week 22 hours ago) and read 2334 times:

Well, certainly the 737s will have to go quite soon

Why is this the case? The 733/735 is barely into middle-age. Perhaps LH's profit margin & operating income would improve if it didn't roll it's fleet so often (and so unnecessarily). The most profitable airline in Europe (Ryanair) still flies 732's.




Panam, TWA, Ansett, Eastern.......AC next? Might be good for Canada.
User currently offlineN79969 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 5, posted (11 years 1 month 1 week 22 hours ago) and read 2328 times:

I agree with Kaitak's post. I think the LH 737 fleet had their fate sealed when LH started operating A320-series airplanes with both CFM56 and V2500 engines. Secondly, I think LH would sacrifice the flexibility of the 744 as a plug between the 346 and 380 if eliminating the type would reduce costs enough.

User currently offlineSvenvdm From Germany, joined Dec 2000, 209 posts, RR: 0
Reply 6, posted (11 years 1 month 1 week 22 hours ago) and read 2267 times:

@Na: LH doesn't operate 744 Combis anymore for some time now. They were converted to all pax. Naturally they still have the side cargo door so they do make a good choice as freighters.

I think that the main problem LH is facing is the lack of replacement options for its A300/A310. The gap between A321 and A330-200 is simply too big. And if I remember correctly Airbus discontinued R&D on the shorter A330-500.


User currently offlineYyz717 From Canada, joined Sep 2001, 16239 posts, RR: 56
Reply 7, posted (11 years 1 month 1 week 21 hours ago) and read 2201 times:

I think that the main problem LH is facing is the lack of replacement options for its A300/A310. The gap between A321 and A330-200 is simply too big. And if I remember correctly Airbus discontinued R&D on the shorter A330-500.

LH would be an ideal 7E7 candidate then.



Panam, TWA, Ansett, Eastern.......AC next? Might be good for Canada.
User currently offlineRIX From United States of America, joined Aug 2000, 1787 posts, RR: 1
Reply 8, posted (11 years 1 month 1 week 20 hours ago) and read 2083 times:

737s look to go - not soon but eventually since they are in the same market as 320s. But 747 is the only one of 400+ capacity, and didn't LH ask Boeing about 450 seats version? Which would perfectly fill the gap between 340/777 and 380 (just 340 and 380 for LH). As for 7E7 - quite possible if it is a replacement of 310 but so far it looks to be closer to 330 (correct me if I'm wrong). Of course, if ever built...

User currently offlineJtdieffen From United States of America, joined Jan 2001, 179 posts, RR: 0
Reply 9, posted (11 years 1 month 1 week 12 hours ago) and read 1880 times:

I'm up in the air on this point myself. I can see the benefit of operating fewer types, but there's also a loss in seating flexibility at stake. Lufthansa is probably the most seat conscious airline I know, swapping one type out for another on any particular route if the volume changes. I live in Boston, and I've seen them do it for years. Even just this past month, they substituted a 744 for and A343 to bridge the gap between the lower volume winter service and the increased-volume summer service. We can see it as well with the leased A330s and 767s in BOS, ATL, and PHL service. No, I think Lufthansa would indeed lose efficiency, as well and good standing with Boeing if they were to expunge the -400s from the fleet. Lufthansa has more at stake than a few bottom line dollars.

I do, however, agree that there will be some standardizing in the narrow-body fleet. Though I believe Air France takes first prize for most diverse fleet, Lufthansa does operate a number of different types in the lower end.

So though I have no doubt that LH executive planners are already considering options for phasing out the 744, I am of the opinion that it is more of a long-term eventuality than a short-term consolidation. Most major airlines are probably already considering ten-year strategies (as with most corporations), and given the age of the 744 design, I'm sure it's on the long-term chopping block. It's only a matter of time before we see whether the 773, A346, and A387 can fill the seating demands, or if another Boeing stretch will be introduced to give further life to the 747 program.

Regards,
Dief



Regards! JDief
User currently offlineRayChuang From United States of America, joined Jun 2000, 7965 posts, RR: 5
Reply 10, posted (11 years 1 month 1 week 11 hours ago) and read 1835 times:

I don't think LH will phase out the 747-400 until at least 2012. On many longer routes the A340-600 that LH will soon get is still too small a plane in terms of passenger capacity (e.g., FRA-SFO-FRA, a route very popular with German tourists and businessmen year-round).

I see LH primarily flying MUC-SFO-MUC with the A346 and LH will switch to the A380-800 on the FRA-SFO-FRA route by the fall of 2007.


User currently offlineJj From Algeria, joined Jun 2001, 1227 posts, RR: 2
Reply 11, posted (11 years 1 month 1 week 11 hours ago) and read 1834 times:

What some here seem to misunderstand is that the 737's are not odd aircraft in the fleet. Replacing them? Too costly. Even with A320's, that means getting about 80 new planes, and at this time, the airline is a bit hurt. Why should they be replaced? They give profits, they are not so old yet. My bet is they'll have them for another 10 years or so. Same goes for the 747. The type most likely to go now? Yup, the RJ 85's.

As to the Condor fleet, I think they'll still fly what they have for some time now. I understand that the 757 is the best plane for charters? And the 767 has comonality, so I don't think they will go too soon.


User currently offlineNa From Germany, joined Dec 1999, 10583 posts, RR: 10
Reply 12, posted (11 years 1 month 1 week 6 hours ago) and read 1718 times:

No surprise if there are arguments for all types LH (and Condor) operates. But if they want to reduce types, then certainly there where two types share the same market/have the same size or the type is old or inefficient. That leaves the main candidates for slashing: A300/A310 ("oldies" of the fleet although just 2/3 through their average service life), B737, B757, B767. And not to forget the 747 Classic freighters (with newer 744 freighters/SFs being the only alternative).
The A330 in its variants alone could replace the A300s (I fly with them often and they are mostly packed so a bigger airplane would make sense, don´t see LH´s problem here at all) and the 753s as well as the 767s of Condor.


User currently offlineJohnnybgoode From Germany, joined Jan 2001, 2187 posts, RR: 6
Reply 13, posted (11 years 1 month 1 week 4 hours ago) and read 1647 times:

i´m glad everyone seems to know what is happening in the future...  Wink/being sarcastic

except for the AVROs, which will leave the fleet in the next 3-5 years, or even earlier, has anyone thought about the idea that homogenizing the fleet could also refer to the regional fleets of EW, CLH and the TeamLH partners?
those are not directly operated by LH, but LH would like to have them operate under one umbrella, also reducing types at those feeder airlines and in turn, that would lead to major cost savings.
just look at the fleets, ATR 42 and 72s, BAe 146s, Dash 8 of all kinds, even some Do 328s, ERJ 145s, CRJs...

and although the A300s are often packed, i´d wait and see what LH´s project about the future of their continental network and product will bring.
there is currently no replacement for the A300/310s, and i wouldn´t be surprised if they´d leave the fleet in a couple of years without being replaced.
BA and AF are heading the same way. They´ve greatly reduced flying around widebodies to european destinations.

and as someone correctly stated, LH´s has been pushing Boeing for a bigger 747 derivative seating about 450 pax for a long time.
and although it could be feasible to operate a fleet with a larger gap between the A346 and A380, we should not forget that LH only configures the A346 with a two-class layout. althoug the A346 will have roughly the same overall capacity as the 744, it does not offer first class. and although they´ll increase offering dedicated two-class service on many routes in the next years, First Class will not disappear and so, they do need an aircraft of the same capacity, albeit with F Class.

there´s been discussion and confirmation of a joint order of SAS, AUA, Air Canada and LH for up to 100 + 100 aircraft. although there has not been any definite word on those types, Bombardier´s CRJ and Boeing´s 717 seem to be the frontrunners (this big order could eventually include two manufacturers, as stated by the German media yesterday). the joint order is looking for aircraft of about 70-120 seats which clearly cannot be provided by one single manufacturer. thus, and since the 717 would be a suitable replacement for the 737 (Boeing is being courted by those airlines to built a 717-300), i doubt that we´d see a reduction of fleet types when comes to LH aircraft covering 100-150 seats.
it seems that the 737s will be on their way out in a couple of years, granted, although it is way too early to know for sure, but the A320s will go nowhere.
and why shouldn´t LH have two different fleet types in that size?

take a look at the 737s. they´re flying mostly those routes with low cargo volume. the 737s don´t hold as much a cargo as the A320 and cargo cannot be unloaded as fast as with the A320 since it doesn´t hold containers.
however, on routes with low cargo volume, the A32X might prove too big, flying around unused space which could be deployed somewhere else more profitably.
certainly, i could be wrong, but i´d put all my money that LH benefits from operating those two different types. and the 717 fits into the picture as a possible replacement for the 737s so nicely.

if those birds, if ever, will be eventually operated by LH mainline or by CLH for example, remains to be seen. perhaps the LH mainline fleet will be homogenized by phasing out all 737s and keeping only the A320s, but in the LH group, concerning aircraft covering 100-150 seats, i´m sure we will continue to see two types for many, many years to come.

just my two cents,
enjoy your week-end

daniel



If only pure sweetness was offered, why's this bitter taste left in my mouth.
User currently offlineNa From Germany, joined Dec 1999, 10583 posts, RR: 10
Reply 14, posted (11 years 1 month 1 week 3 hours ago) and read 1589 times:

Re. inner-european widebody-flights: Its true that AF and BA reduced that considerably. But for me operating a widebody like the A330 compared to the narrow A321 for example is an argument FOR the airline doing so, a plus in comfort. If I fly from FRA to Madrid, I try to fly LanChile for instance. Its just one flight a day, but the LanChile A340 is world´s ahead of the A320s flying for LH or IB.

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