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How Important Is Fleet Commonality?  
User currently offlineYV136C From Venezuela, joined Mar 2003, 198 posts, RR: 0
Posted (10 years 3 months 3 weeks 5 days 5 hours ago) and read 6120 times:

Hi guys,

I was just wondering how really important it is for an airline to have fleet commonality, I mean we´ve heard a zillion times here that, for example, X and Y airline couldn´t possibly merge because of commonality issues and type ratings etc etc.
For example, UA has lots of Boeings and Airbuses on their fleet, is it uncommon for pilots to have a A320 rating and have a 735 rating as well?
How about Aeroflot, where they have Boeings, Airbuses AND Ilyushins? Can some pilots fly each one?
May be they´re all stupid questions, but stupid is as stupid does!  Big thumbs up


Luis


Proud to work for Embraer FLL!
10 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlineRuslan From United States of America, joined Feb 2000, 108 posts, RR: 0
Reply 1, posted (10 years 3 months 3 weeks 5 days 5 hours ago) and read 6091 times:

Hey YV136C,
I'm not sure of the details surrounding your specific airlines, but I can speak for BWIA of Trinidad and Tobago..They've undergone a fleet renewal program and I knew a pilot who was reassigned from the Dash 8 to the 737-700 (that's when they had 9Y-TJI back in 1999)..I thought that was a huge switch but I understand that it is possible due to the retraining programs that many airlines have..for those like BW without flight simulators, we get the pleasure of watching the airplanes do repeated touch and goes, overshoots etc...as the pilots build up their number of contact hours with the new type of aircraft..

On a different note, some airlines want fleet commanality so that they won't have to hire as many pilots as they could make the transition without the extra training and money it'd require..If I'm not mistaken, I think the MD-90 had the "problem" that some of its features like cockpit layout(?) was different from the -80 series so airlines would have a slight problem should they have a mixed fleet....

so all in all, I guess fleet commonality is really important these days especially when so many airlines find it necessary to cut costs in all arenas in order to return to the black..so one way in which they're doing this is to standardize on a few aircraft models...
Ruslan


User currently offlineInnocuousFox From United States of America, joined Dec 2003, 2805 posts, RR: 15
Reply 2, posted (10 years 3 months 3 weeks 5 days 4 hours ago) and read 6076 times:

Not only pilot certification but maintanence. The more types you have - especially across manufacturers - the more "stuff" you have to have laying around your maint. facilities. It's not efficient at all.


Dave Mark - Intrinsic Algorithm - Reducing the world to mathematical equations!
User currently offlineFoxBravo From United States of America, joined Nov 2003, 2948 posts, RR: 5
Reply 3, posted (10 years 3 months 3 weeks 5 days 4 hours ago) and read 6063 times:

This is all true, however I would point out that it actually becomes less important the larger the fleet is. For example, at an airline the size of United, the A32X and 737 fleets are each large enough that the airline still sees plenty of economies of scale and other benefits from commonality. Beyond a certain point, it really doesn't matter much.

At a smaller airline the size of Aeroflot, however, it would definitely be inefficient to keep operating 737s alongside the A32xs. And it would make no sense at all for an airline the size of BWIA to operate more than one narrowbody family.



Common sense is not so common. -Voltaire
User currently offlineWorldtraveler From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 4, posted (10 years 3 months 3 weeks 5 days 4 hours ago) and read 6024 times:

Keep in mind that commonality often goes out the window when new generation equipment is used to replace old generation eqpt. FoxBravo is right that the number of fleet types is not as important as the size of each type and the fleet size relative to the total fleet size. also, many airlines like LH and DL (among others) mitigate the effects of fleet diversity by insourcing. DL maintains and trains for other carrier's Airbus widebodies even though DL doesn't operate any.

User currently offlineYV136C From Venezuela, joined Mar 2003, 198 posts, RR: 0
Reply 5, posted (10 years 3 months 3 weeks 5 days 3 hours ago) and read 5977 times:


I understand what Innocuous Fox says, I mean isn´t there an economical advantage of having an all Boeing or all Airbus fleet? AA for example seems to be shooting for an all Boeing fleet as the Fokkers are being phased out, leaving the A300´s as the oddball in the fleet.
Also, as Fox Bravo says that after a certain number of planes commonality doesn´t much matter, is there a way to calculate this point of equilibrium? I mean, how many are good enough? I´m an accountant and I find these financial/economic breakdowns fascinating.

Luis




Proud to work for Embraer FLL!
User currently offlineAZMD80 From Italy, joined Nov 2003, 290 posts, RR: 0
Reply 6, posted (10 years 3 months 3 weeks 5 days 3 hours ago) and read 5945 times:

Some times ago airlines seems to find the right aircraft for every route: Alitalia for exemple had at the same time:
B747 200
B767 300
Md 11
A 300
A 321
A 320
Md 80
Ba 146
Fokker 70
Atr 42
Atr 72

Of course the saving of using always (sic) the right aircraft were vanished by the cost of so many lines.

i think that the best things the main airlines have learned from the low costs is the importance of having only few tipes; in the future the alitalia fleet will be:
B777 200
B 767 300
A 320 family
Emb 175
Emb 145
And in my opinion they are too many planes also this.


User currently offlineInnocuousFox From United States of America, joined Dec 2003, 2805 posts, RR: 15
Reply 7, posted (10 years 3 months 3 weeks 5 days 2 hours ago) and read 5887 times:

I just happened to stumble across something in one of my reference books I'm using the research for the game. It was discussing the benefits of comonality. We mentioned the pilot training stuff and the maintenance stuff, but another issue is proceedures for everything from cleaning to catering to refueling. Toss that in there as well.


Dave Mark - Intrinsic Algorithm - Reducing the world to mathematical equations!
User currently offlineSlamclick From United States of America, joined Nov 2003, 10062 posts, RR: 68
Reply 8, posted (10 years 3 months 3 weeks 5 days 2 hours ago) and read 5861 times:

Add passenger related considerations. Unless you do open (stampede) seating you have seat map issues.

2-2 RJ's
2-3 MD-80 etc.
3-3 B-737 Airbus etc.
2-3-2 or 3-3-3 for various widebodies.

Add minimum cabin crew issues. If you must make an aircraft substitution at a non-crewbase city, do you have enough qualified to make up a crew?

Should be noted that airlines are required to have "differences" training even for minor differences between the same type/subtype. Even something as minor as whether or not the transponder is wired through the squat switch and the crews have to be "trained" on it. Might only amount to a memo but it must be addressed and it must be documented.




Happiness is not seeing another trite Ste. Maarten photo all week long.
User currently offlineBeltwaybandit From United States of America, joined Mar 2003, 495 posts, RR: 0
Reply 9, posted (10 years 3 months 3 weeks 5 days 1 hour ago) and read 5789 times:

It never makes sense to have two aircraft types that perform the same function (e.g. 737 and A320), or even MD80s and 737/320s. When you have two distinct missions (short-haul/long-haul) then two types are unavoidable. However, then you need to think about whether you can attain commonality in parts or cockpits (to reduce maintenance and training). That's why there are "Pratt & Whitney" airlines versus "Rolls Royce" or others.

User currently offlineConcordeBoy From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 10, posted (10 years 3 months 3 weeks 5 days 1 hour ago) and read 5762 times:

It never makes sense to have two aircraft types that perform the same function (e.g. 737 and A320)

Not true.

CX and AF are perfect examples of this... having adjusted their business models to play the strengths and weaknesses of their respective A333/772A and A343/772ER fleet types against each other for maximum benefit.


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