9844 From United States of America, joined Nov 2001, 199 posts, RR: 0 Posted (11 years 1 month 2 weeks 5 days 15 hours ago) and read 4482 times:
Northwest To Ground 18% Of DC-9 Fleet, Cut Mechanics
03/18/2005 09:03:40 AM
By Steven Lott
Northwest plans to ground 24 DC-9s in addition to the six already targeted to stop flying this year, causing the loss of as many as 900 mechanic jobs in its hometown.
The airline told employees that its decision is due to record-high fuel prices, U.S. domestic overcapacity and fare competition. As of Feb. 14, NW was operating 166 DC-9s, according to the Airclaims fleet database, and most had an average age of about 35 years. The aircraft, all owned, have been reliable but are inefficient gas-guzzlers.
Because it plans to ground about 18% of the DC-9 fleet, NW will close one heavy maintenance check line at Minneapolis/St. Paul, eliminating 130 mechanic jobs by May. The decision also will result in the closing of two maintenance lines operated by San Antonio Aerospace.
While the timing is still being worked out, NW warned that about 700-800 additional Minneapolis-based mechanic jobs could be cut.
Aviation Week, a division of The McGraw-Hill Companies.
DAL767400ER From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 4, posted (11 years 1 month 2 weeks 5 days 15 hours ago) and read 4317 times:
Quoting Elwood64151 (Reply 1): PLEASE DO NOT TURN THIS INTO A NW DC-9 REPLACEMENT THREAD!!!
No need to do so anyway, as this news release indicates that for most of them there won't be a replacement at all .
Not that surprising that NW is retiring DC-9s. Sure they are well-maintained and paid for, but at the same time NW has overcapacity and the DC-9s are fuel guzzlers, so it's perfect sense to retire them.
PHLBOS From United States of America, joined Mar 2004, 7634 posts, RR: 21
Reply 7, posted (11 years 1 month 2 weeks 5 days 15 hours ago) and read 4252 times:
Quoting Elwood64151 (Reply 1): I'm betting that the smallest, oldest DC-9s are the ones being grounded.
I believe the DC-9-10s (a.k.a. Baby 9s) have already been retired; which leaves NW's current DC-9 fleet consisting of a mixture of -30/40/50s. That being said, it will probably be the oldest ones of the fleet (regardless of type) being grounded/retired.
"TransEastern! You'll feel like you've never left the ground because we treat you like dirt!" SNL Parady ad circa 1981
A350 From Germany, joined Nov 2004, 1133 posts, RR: 22
Reply 8, posted (11 years 1 month 2 weeks 5 days 15 hours ago) and read 4251 times:
It is a step to finish the paradox situation that the USA aviation market has huge overcapacities on one hand but sees operations of extremely old a/c like the 35 years old DC-9 on the other hand. It's just normal. However, I'm sorry for the people who lose their jobs.
LTBEWR From United States of America, joined Jan 2004, 13842 posts, RR: 17
Reply 9, posted (11 years 1 month 2 weeks 5 days 14 hours ago) and read 4229 times:
From this press release, it seems that their schedule of ending the use of the DC-9's has been speeded up not just to high fuel usage, but also to cut out the specific mechanics and facilities needed to maintain them. I am quite sure these DC-9's require more frequent maintainence than their much younger RJ's, A-319's and better fit the pax demands. I would also suspect that higher fuel costs and maintaince of them vs. the RJ's has be figured by the bean counters to tip the balance into removing them from the fleet. While I am sad to see these proud birds grounded, business reality has done them in. I just hope this ends the NW DC-9 threads
Elwood64151 From United States of America, joined Feb 2002, 2477 posts, RR: 5
Reply 12, posted (11 years 1 month 2 weeks 5 days 14 hours ago) and read 4127 times:
Quoting A350 (Reply 8): It is a step to finish the paradox situation that the USA aviation market has huge overcapacities on one hand but sees operations of extremely old a/c like the 35 years old DC-9 on the other hand
It's not a paradox. Those aircraft are paid for. NW didn't need to spend money to replace them because they worked well enough. Sure they were gas-guzzlers, but they weren't mortgaged like their new aircraft almost certainly are. That allowed NW to keep cash in its pockets at a time of deep financial stress.
Quoting Flaps (Reply 10): It will be the maintenence schedule that makes that decision. Those coming due for heavy maintenance checks will be the first out.
I hadn't thought of that, but you are likely correct.
Those who fail to learn history are doomed to repeat it in summer school.
PVD757 From United States of America, joined Aug 2003, 3476 posts, RR: 16
Reply 13, posted (11 years 1 month 2 weeks 5 days 14 hours ago) and read 4091 times:
As of last summer NW had 8 DC9-14/15's (none parked), 113 DC9-31/32 (10 parked and 11 are leased), 12 DC9-41 (none parked, only 1 leased) and 35 DC9-51 (all owned with 3 parked). I'm sure the -10's and anything parked or leased will be part of this retirement (that would only equal 23), whereas some of the oldest remaining ships or ones due up for heavy mx will account for the rest.
A350 From Germany, joined Nov 2004, 1133 posts, RR: 22
Reply 15, posted (11 years 1 month 2 weeks 5 days 11 hours ago) and read 3831 times:
Quoting Elwood64151 (Reply 12): It's not a paradox. Those aircraft are paid for. NW didn't need to spend money to replace them because they worked well enough
I was speaking about the macro-economical situation, not about the micro-economical one. It IS paradox when DC-9s are operated and A320s sit in the dessert. However, it was very wise from NW not to order too many planes during the boom but to order them NOW, after the boom. The result, however, is still that the old birds are going to the dessert and the A320s, T7s etc. come back.
PSU.DTW.SCE From United States of America, joined Jan 2002, 8121 posts, RR: 26
Reply 20, posted (11 years 1 month 2 weeks 5 days 7 hours ago) and read 3585 times:
All the remaining DC-9-10's, 8 of them, were retired in January when the new RVSM regulations went into effect. A few -30's were retired then. The current active DC-9 fleet count is 151, with about 6-7 in storage in MZJ. These aircraft were to return to service this year, but will now be retired.
The 24 aircraft will not all be parked at once, it will be phased across the year as they become due for maintenance. Several will go by June, then more at the end of the busy summer season and throughout the fall. The problematic aircraft, ones that become due for maintenance, damaged a/c will go first.
There will not be a large-scale conversion of routes over to the Airlinks. NW can still maintain most of its narrowbody flying by increasing utilization of its existing aircraft. There has been slack in the DC-9 fleet for a while now, and there is room to increase Airbus utilization too. I believe 6 new A319/A320 are coming online this year. Along with another 18 or CRJ's to be delivered by fall. You won't likely see any city lose mainline flying, but certain frequencies throughout the day will be adjusted to match capacity with demand. Thus some CRJ's & Avro's may show up in some places.
Hmm, coincidence on the timing, TIMCO over in Singapore has been used for years to maintain the DC-10 fleet, why now is it suddenly a problem?
This is going to be an all out war between these two sides, the gloves have already come off.
Not a good week for NW, first the JD Powers b.s. survey, then the capacity reductions, and now AMFA attempting to scare the public.....
Redtailmsp From United States of America, joined Feb 2004, 208 posts, RR: 1
Reply 22, posted (11 years 1 month 2 weeks 5 days 2 hours ago) and read 3325 times:
As PSU, etc says, the number of aircraft being taken out of service per NWA's recent press release involves a gradual reduction as DC9s come up on heavy maint checks. There are currently several spare aircraft in the fleet being used as back-ups, so come the Fall, there will be less spares in DTW/MSP. There will be a seasonal reduction in flying in the Fall, so this is a logical time to take aircraft out of service. Look for a couple of 747-200s to be parked too as well as perhaps up to 6 total DC10's - although this number seems to fluctuate up and down frequently. Arrivals for this year are 3 A330-300s in May/July/Oct and I think 2 more A319s (there were already 2 new ones delivered in Feb 05). I think the timing of this announcement may well be a shot across the bows of AMFA - all the airlines seeking concessions drop hints or veiled threats about cutbacks, and NWA is no saint in this regard.
AviatorTJ From United States of America, joined Jul 2003, 1838 posts, RR: 6
Reply 23, posted (11 years 1 month 2 weeks 5 days 1 hour ago) and read 3274 times:
Whatever happened to Dick getting rid of the DC-9-50s. In the middle of 2003, he was working to get those ones out of the fleet for whatever reason. It is quite obvious that it never went through, but what were the reasons for switching that around? Is it possible that Doug could have some tricks up his sleeve for future fleet planning, including removing a series of the nines such as a 40 (per reply 17) or a 50 since Dick had wanted to before?