IslandHopper From United States of America, joined Feb 2003, 327 posts, RR: 2 Posted (12 years 6 months 1 week 6 days 15 hours ago) and read 8264 times:
I was reading the history of PSA and came across thier ordering L1011s in the early 70s. Fuel was cheap back then and the plan was to fly pax within California in widebody luxury. 2-4-2 seating and an underfloor lounge decked out in bright orange 70's glory! Groovvvy Baby!!!
However, the first fuel crisis hit just as the planes were delivered. They were used for a few months and parked in the desert for years before being used again by other airlines. Today the notion of flying widebodies intra-state is laughable.
Any other examples of airliners that were purchased that were either too big or too small for their needs, or oddballs in the fleet? Planes they later regretted purchasing?
Canadi>n From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 3, posted (12 years 6 months 1 week 6 days 15 hours ago) and read 8186 times:
Pacific Western purchased a pair of 767-200's back in the early eighties and used them on milk runs across Western Canada in an all-Y config. I think the typical routings were YVR-(YYC or YEG)-(YXE or YYR)-YWG. They quickly realized they had more plane than they needed and the two 767's ended up at Air Canada.
At one point Boeing had ads in Maclean's magazine boasting that all three of Canada's biggest airlines (AC, CP, PW) had ordered the 767.
Capital146 From United Kingdom, joined Jun 2003, 2125 posts, RR: 40
Reply 4, posted (12 years 6 months 1 week 6 days 15 hours ago) and read 8135 times:
Air Europe (UK) springs to mind this side of the pond. They ordered MD11's with Rolls-Royce engines (yes, US readers, its true) but went out of business in 1991 before they were delivered. At the time, AE had a policy of only operating aircraft under 5 years old (which in todays marketplace is ludicras) so by now they would probably have been parked up as odd-ball MD11's in the mojave.
I'm sure I could think of better examples of bad aircraft orders given time. The only other is BA's RR powered 767's even though personally I see this as an excellent order. As proud as I am as an englishman to see these aircraft, most of the world thinks they are rather strange, except our good old friends at Qantas.
Ikarus From United Kingdom, joined Jan 2001, 3524 posts, RR: 2
Reply 5, posted (12 years 6 months 1 week 6 days 15 hours ago) and read 8077 times:
Wardair Canada ordering a large number of Fokker 100s, MD80s and Airbus 310s comes to mind. They went bankrupt (or, well, nearly did but got gobbled up by Canadian just in time) due to their overexpansion.
Did they ever take delivery of the MD 80s? I have a photo of one flying around in Wardair livery, but I've never seen any other pics...
Modesto2 From United States of America, joined Jul 2000, 2890 posts, RR: 5
Reply 7, posted (12 years 6 months 1 week 6 days 15 hours ago) and read 8009 times:
AA wasn't particularly fond of its MD-11's. Not necessarily a foolish decision, but the type lasted no more than 10 years with the airline. Airlines (such as AA, DL) soon realized that the 777 exceeded the MD-11 in many ways and ditched them. What a shame...a great looking aircraft.
Vimanav From India, joined Jul 2003, 1536 posts, RR: 13
Reply 10, posted (12 years 6 months 1 week 6 days 14 hours ago) and read 7914 times:
There have been some thought provoking ones in this category. Any airline fleet with a multitude of types is seriously asking for trouble. Its really difficult to justify the costs associated with spares, engineering expertise, crew training etc. when you have various complementary types of aircraft in the fleet.
I think the AF fleet is a prime example: Could hardly understand why they needed the A330-300 / A340 / B777 in their fleet instead of standardizing on one type/manufacturer and opting for different marques. Also their fleet of B737s & A320 family in peaceful coexistence is quite striking.
LH has a similar situation, but they justify it by citing that a multitude of types actually gives Lufthansa Technik the technical expertise on these types and therefore attracts 3rd party business. Logical, until we realize that LH Technik is now a separate business entity from the main Passenger business. Anyways, LH is slowly getting rid of the Boeing types in favour of Airbuses.
TG also has a strange fleet composition, long/medium haul has B744 / MD11 / B777-200/300 / A330. I am surprised they keep declaring profits every year.
KU similarly has just 17 aircraft and five different types (B777 / A340 / A300 / A310 / A320). The number / types go higher if we include the B747-400 which is part of their Amiri fleet and another 742 in storage.
There are many others, these are just a few examples. In perspective, such fleets are a recipe for high costs place a heavy financial burden on the carrier - net net, they look foolish!
Sarfaroshi kii tamannaa ab hamaare dil mein hai, Dekhnaa hai zor kitnaa baazu-e-qaatil mein hai
JETSTAR From United States of America, joined May 2003, 1737 posts, RR: 10
Reply 11, posted (12 years 6 months 1 week 6 days 14 hours ago) and read 7874 times:
In the mid 1990's, America West used leased 747's for PHX/HNL service in a somewhat ill advised expansion, I believe these 747's were ex KLM.
I was returning from HNL to STL on a TW 747 which was cancelled because of a maintenance problem. Parked next to us was an America West 747 that also had a cancellation due to a maintenance problem. Needless to say there was a lot of scrambling around by TW and HP trying to find another carrier out of HNL for their stranded passengers.
We were lucky and got some of the last seats out on a AA DC-10 to LAX.
After HP realized they could not make money on the Hawaii flights, they returned the 747's and dropped the mainland to Hawaii flights.
These 747's wound up in the desert and were scrapped.
747buff From United States of America, joined Jan 2001, 761 posts, RR: 0
Reply 15, posted (12 years 6 months 1 week 6 days 13 hours ago) and read 7770 times:
Pan Am bought a fleet of 12 L1011-500s in the late 1970s and early 80s, for routes which needed a widebody aircraft, but couldn't fill up a 747. Unfortunately, around the time PA received their first L10s, they purchased National Airlines, which had a large fleet of DC10s. This was cited as one reason that the NA merger was a mistake. PA now had a fleet of every type of widebody aircraft on the market at that time, increasing their expenses, which only increased their financial losses. IMHO, PA would've been better off purchasing DC10-30s. Half of their L1011 fleet was sold in 1984 and 1985 (with most going to Delta, I believe), and the remaining six went to United in early 1986 as part of the Pacific route sale.
Fanofjets From United States of America, joined Apr 2000, 2135 posts, RR: 3
Reply 17, posted (12 years 6 months 1 week 6 days 13 hours ago) and read 7762 times:
The all-time bad purchase was United buying up all the initial-production Boeing 247s, trying to gain a monopoly with the new low-wing monoplane, forcing other airlines to look elsewhere. TWA worked with Douglas to produce the DC-2, which was followed by the DC-3, clearly outclassing the Boeing product.
Elwood64151 From United States of America, joined exactly 14 years ago today! , 2477 posts, RR: 5
Reply 19, posted (12 years 6 months 1 week 6 days 13 hours ago) and read 7679 times:
NJ originally operated 737-300s, then dumped them for 737-200s. Most of the 732s were older model aircraft that were severely limited in their range. It took four years to get rid of all the really bad 732s, and we were still flying six of more 732s at the end. The MD-80s were a huge improvement. Now if we'd just gotten just a few more just a bit faster...
Those who fail to learn history are doomed to repeat it in summer school.
TriStar500 From Germany, joined Nov 1999, 4706 posts, RR: 39
Reply 23, posted (12 years 6 months 1 week 6 days 13 hours ago) and read 7600 times:
German charter airline LTU pursued a rather questionable replacement strategy for their fleet of ten L1011's in the late 80's. Not only did they order about 5 or 6 A330, but also 4 or 5 MD-11, both with an option for more. At the same time. LTU's fleet also consisted of B757 and 767.
Therefore, during a period between 1991, when the first MD-11 was delivered, and 1996, when the last TriStar left the fleet, LTU's modest fleet of about 30 aircraft consisted of 5 types from four manufacturers with four different cockpits.
The ensuing troubles to keep such a chequered fleet in profitable operation were further increased when it turned out that the MD-11, which were supposed to fly on long-haul routes (the virtually equal-sized A330 were scheduled on medium haul routes), offered just too many seats for the longhaul leisure destinations LTU served. Instead, the 767 proved to be the ideal aircraft, both in terms of performance and capacity on most of the routes.
In order to standardize its hotchpotch fleet, LTU decided to withdraw the MD-11 by late 1998. At this time, some longhaul routes demanded higher capacities than the 767 could provide. Thus longhaul flying with the A330-300 was started, and further examples of the type added. As this wasn't the high-gross weight version of the -300, and the -200 was still a few years away, LTU had to operate the A330 with reduced seating; about 1/4 of the seats had to be left vacant on longhaul flights. Hardly a profit-making decision on low-yiedling charter routes!
To cut a long story short, the situation at LTU has somewhat imrpved over recent years after bankcruptcy was narrowly averted with a much-discussed state loan in 2001.
Nowadays, the MD-11, 757 and 767 have left the fleet as have some of the A330-300. Instead, further A330-200 were added plus A320/321 as replacement for the 757. Today LTU operated a single-cockpit fleet of just two types from a single manufacturer - A320/321 and A330-200/-300, increasing the economic turnover greatly.
In hindsight, acquring the MD-11 was a very bad decision, since the aircraft proved to be too big on longhauls and wasn't as economical to operate on medium hauls like the similar sized fleet sister, the A330-300.
But the hotchpotch fleet was just one incredibly obvious dumb decision of the inept LTU management of the 1990's.
Homer: Facts are meaningless. You could use facts to prove anything that's even remotely true!
Canadi>nBoy From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 24, posted (12 years 6 months 1 week 6 days 12 hours ago) and read 7560 times:
That photo of the PSA L-1011 at the start of this topic does bring back memories. My old employer and now defunct carrier, Worldways Canada Ltd.,
purchased 2 of PSA's L-1011's (complete with the lower lounges) I worked many a flight on those 2 birds.
: When did DL dump its last L-1011s? I remember flying one DFW-FLL circa 1995.
: "Did they (Wardair) ever take delivery of the MD 80s?" No. PWA Corp purchased Wardair shortly after the WD order for the MD-80's were placed.
: The HP 747's were for the HNL market that continued on to Japan as well! It was not NRT I believe it was OSA? Short lived tho I will say this the plan