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Is Really Commonality That Important?  
User currently offlineTavong From Colombia, joined Jul 2001, 835 posts, RR: 4
Posted (9 years 4 months 1 week 5 days 5 hours ago) and read 2575 times:

First of all Hello and thanks for taking you time reading and answering this post.

Second i really wouldn't like to see this thread become and A vs B thread (but most of you know that it's higly likely that it will do *lol*)

And now to the point, you see Airbus almost always making a lot of advertise of their product claiming the commonality issue between their products, Boeing at the otrher side is entering this issue in the last days BUT in these days where you see a lot of Airlines (specially US but some European airlines too) struggling for survive and making profits in an every day highly competitive area my question is that Commonality of planes/parts/crews are THT important to the business? is not more important the management, union issues, contracts More important for an airline that if they use and specific type of plane than the other? Is really the advantages of the planes A or B claims the most important thing on an airline management and business?

Thanks again for the answers, hope my poor english is well understood.

Gus
SKBO


Colombian coffee, the best...take a cup and you will see how delicious it is.
31 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlineGigneil From United States of America, joined Nov 2002, 16347 posts, RR: 85
Reply 1, posted (9 years 4 months 1 week 5 days 5 hours ago) and read 2565 times:

Parts and crew training account for many, many millions of dollars a year.

Many.

N


User currently offlineSanjet From Canada, joined Mar 2005, 180 posts, RR: 0
Reply 2, posted (9 years 4 months 1 week 5 days 4 hours ago) and read 2518 times:

Hey Gus,

It starts off with how many aircraft you have in your fleet. If you are a small carrier, definitely having one common fleet will save you money in terms of training, crew coordination, spare parts, etc. It is vital to small carriers and will save you $$$.
Not to sure for larger carriers though, I think it's best to have a varied fleet and to not solely rely one fleet. Imagine if one model was to be grounded because of mandatory inspection, all that savings of training and spare parts would be lost in a matter of days as they would not be generating revenue. At least you would be able to fly the other fleet and replace some routes quickly therefore reducing that loss. I'm not a bean counter so I can't tell you the exact numbers but I hope others can enlighten you.

Cheers



Will Fly For Food!
User currently offlineAvek00 From United States of America, joined Oct 2004, 4350 posts, RR: 19
Reply 3, posted (9 years 4 months 1 week 5 days 4 hours ago) and read 2505 times:

Commonality is overhyped bigtime among a.netters. At the micro level (e.g., a 20-plane fleet), fleet and engine commonality can yield signficant savings. However, on the macro level (e.g., a 200-plane fleet), the cost differential of running one type vs. two is minimial.


Live life to the fullest.
User currently offlineElwood64151 From United States of America, joined Feb 2002, 2477 posts, RR: 6
Reply 4, posted (9 years 4 months 1 week 5 days 4 hours ago) and read 2493 times:

It depends on the type of airline you're operating. If you operate a short-haul, domestic-only fleet, having one and only one fleet type is probably a good idea (re: Southwest). If you're operating a long-range airline, some variety to match aircraft with demand is probably a good idea (re: Virgin Atlantic). If you're operating an airline that has service both short-haul and long-haul to a multitude of destinations, significant variances in your fleet type are probably a good idea (re: American, British Airways, etc).

The principle factors are overlap and economies of scale. First, you don't want two fleet types that do the same job (such as 737NGs and A320s). This is wasteful both in terms of crew training and parts/equipment. Second, you don't want to have just a few of any fleet type. For example, a regional airline in the Southeast US wants to start service to the west coast. It already has dozens of short-haul aircraft, and it will need aircraft designed to travel trans-continental distances. If it can only justify five or ten of the new aircraft type, it may be wiser to open up a new hub/focus city in the midwest than to operate a whole new fleet type; but if it can operate two or three dozen, then it can justify the purchasing of new ground/inflight equipment and warehousing of replacement parts, as well as the cost of training personel on the new aircraft.

So I guess the best answer is: "It depends."



Those who fail to learn history are doomed to repeat it in summer school.
User currently offlineDokken10 From United States of America, joined Mar 2005, 290 posts, RR: 0
Reply 5, posted (9 years 4 months 1 week 5 days 4 hours ago) and read 2487 times:

As an A/P technician I would like to say that one big reason Southwest and Airtran continue making money is sticking with one type of A/C. Many articles have been written about this. Training techs on one type of saves a lot of money. Time saved in the hangar and on the line reduces delays because most problems have been seen many times. Manuals,blueprints,non-routine engineering orders,tooling,equipment,stocking of hardware and parts etc. cost big money. Most techs totally agreed with Airtrans buying 717 to replace the DC-9s, not much difference between them. I strongly believe that NWA is in better shape than other legacy carriers because of their decision to overhaul DC-9s in the early 90s instead of buying new A/C. I could not believe that they went with the 319 instead of the 717. NWA had DC-9 maintenance down to a science. NWA has said many times that they only look a year or so into the future when they project earnings and cost. The 319 initial cost was low but from what I seen on older Airbuses the maintenance cost down the road will bit them in the rear.

User currently offlineYeggerman From Canada, joined Mar 2005, 143 posts, RR: 0
Reply 6, posted (9 years 4 months 1 week 5 days 2 hours ago) and read 2433 times:

Quoting Dokken10 (Reply 5):
Southwest and Airtran continue making money is sticking with one type of A/C.

I agree 100%, its the same up here in Canada with WS, they have all 737 and the cost for mtc and training (F/A's , captains, Ground Crew, CSA's, mtc staff) take all those into consideration its a huge money saver. WS is retiring all their 737-200 and replacing it with 737-700 -800 -600 now think of the cost savings in not having to retrain all these people onto a new type of aircraft. There is still some recurrent stuff with the new models, but same basic design and aircraft.



"All great things must come to an end"
User currently offlineNYC777 From United States of America, joined Jun 2004, 5737 posts, RR: 47
Reply 7, posted (9 years 4 months 1 week 5 days 2 hours ago) and read 2402 times:

Quoting Gigneil (Reply 1):
Parts and crew training account for many, many millions of dollars a year.

Many.

N

Really, then how is it that AF which operates different types (i.e. 777-200 and A340) but still pull a profit? The commanality aspect is waaaay over-rated and is not going to help an airline to profitability. Lower oil prices and lower employee wages (the two largest cost for an airline) will.



That which does not kill me makes me stronger.
User currently offlineMandala499 From Indonesia, joined Aug 2001, 6770 posts, RR: 75
Reply 8, posted (9 years 4 months 1 week 5 days 1 hour ago) and read 2365 times:

Suitability of an aircraft for your route makes money...
Commonality saves money.

Lack of suitable aircraft for the route profiles they are assigned for costs money...
Lack of commonality costs money...

It's just a balancing act.
However, I do think that commonality is overhyped sometimes... Commonality helps, lack of commonality doesn't kill you... not having suitable planes do...

Mandala499



When losing situational awareness, pray Cumulus Granitus isn't nearby !
User currently offlineN60659 From United States of America, joined Mar 2005, 654 posts, RR: 25
Reply 9, posted (9 years 4 months 1 week 5 days 1 hour ago) and read 2352 times:

Quoting Avek00 (Reply 3):
Commonality is overhyped bigtime among a.netters. At the micro level (e.g., a 20-plane fleet), fleet and engine commonality can yield signficant savings. However, on the macro level (e.g., a 200-plane fleet), the cost differential of running one type vs. two is minimial.

This is my understanding as well (as has been stated several times on various topics on this forum). But as I asked the following question on another concurrent thread ( http://www.airliners.net/discussions...eneral_aviation/read.main/2019960/ (Reply 21)):

Why would an airline as small as Biman split their order between two manufacturers?
Will they be selecting powerplants from the same manufacturer?



Nec Dextrorsum Nec Sinistrorsum
User currently offlineDfwRevolution From United States of America, joined Jan 2010, 962 posts, RR: 51
Reply 10, posted (9 years 4 months 1 week 5 days 1 hour ago) and read 2330 times:

Quoting N60659 (Reply 9):
Why would an airline as small as Biman split their order between two manufacturers?

Part of it has to do with the fact that the A330 and 777 cover different mission profiles. One in a medium-range twin, the other a long-range twin.

Quoting NYC777 (Reply 7):
Really, then how is it that AF which operates different types (i.e. 777-200 and A340) but still pull a profit?

Because the A330 and A340 share a good deal of mechanical commonality and training, so they aren't black sheep

Quoting NYC777 (Reply 7):
The commanality aspect is waaaay over-rated and is not going to help an airline to profitability.

That's a grossly ignorant statement. Commonality isn't the panacea it's sometimes made out to be, but it can mean significant savings, in the tens/hundreds of millions of dollars. Overcapacity nonwithstanding, AA found that they could eliminate 8 fleet types in 2001-2002, and doing so greatly improved their economics.


User currently offlineDokken10 From United States of America, joined Mar 2005, 290 posts, RR: 0
Reply 11, posted (9 years 4 months 1 week 5 days 1 hour ago) and read 2327 times:

Quoting NYC777 (Reply 7):
Really, then how is it that AF which operates different types (i.e. 777-200 and A340) but still pull a profit? The commanality aspect is waaaay over-rated and is not going to help an airline to profitability. Lower oil prices and lower employee wages (the two largest cost for an airline) will.

You are kidding right?? I guess AF management has done a better job and not got themselves in to the debt situation like the US airlines have. AF is probably charging more than it actually cost to fly a route. AF is probably not dropping prices just to knock the other guy out of the picture no matter what the cost. AF probably has increased prices to cover high fuel. Do you work in aviation? I ask because you are the 1st person I have heard say that having different types of A/C does not cost a lot more money than 1 type A/C that actually works in aviation. There are plenty of other threads dealing with fuel,wages and the state of airlines. BTW its a little to late in the game for the airlines to do the commonality on A/C anyway.


User currently offlineBlatantEcho From United States of America, joined Sep 2000, 1903 posts, RR: 1
Reply 12, posted (9 years 4 months 1 week 5 days 1 hour ago) and read 2313 times:

fwiw: AirTran currently operates a fleet of both 717s, and 737NGs.


They're not handing trophies out today
User currently offlineDokken10 From United States of America, joined Mar 2005, 290 posts, RR: 0
Reply 13, posted (9 years 4 months 1 week 5 days ago) and read 2305 times:

[quote=BlatantEcho,reply=12]fwiw: AirTran currently operates a fleet of both 717s, and 737NGs.[/quote I think that some 737 were acquired during the merger. Also with the ending of the production of the 717 probably has something to do with the 737s.

User currently offlineDfwRevolution From United States of America, joined Jan 2010, 962 posts, RR: 51
Reply 14, posted (9 years 4 months 1 week 5 days ago) and read 2299 times:

Quoting Dokken10 (Reply 13):
that some 737 were acquired during the merger

The 737NG were ordered recently in 2002 or 2003, prior to the conclusion of the 717 program.

Quoting BlatantEcho (Reply 12):
fwiw: AirTran currently operates a fleet of both 717s, and 737NGs.

Two aircraft with two different mission profiles.... you can't have a single homogenous fleet if you are going to cover several niches, but thats a far cry from DL having a pleathora of narrow-body types.


User currently offlineBrons2 From United States of America, joined Sep 2001, 3007 posts, RR: 4
Reply 15, posted (9 years 4 months 1 week 5 days ago) and read 2289 times:

Quoting Dokken10 (Reply 13):
[quote=BlatantEcho,reply=12]fwiw: AirTran currently operates a fleet of both 717s, and 737NGs.[/quote I think that some 737 were acquired during the merger. Also with the ending of the production of the 717 probably has something to do with the 737s.

Airtran ordered 50 737NG not too long ago and deliveries are just now commencing.

Hope this helps.



Firings, if well done, are good for employee morale.
User currently offlineContnlEliteCMH From United States of America, joined Mar 2005, 1455 posts, RR: 44
Reply 16, posted (9 years 4 months 1 week 5 days ago) and read 2263 times:

Quoting Dokken10 (Reply 5):
Airtran continue making money is sticking with one type of A/C.

Uhhhh... might want to check out AirTran's fleet again.



Christianity. Islam. Hinduism. Anthropogenic Global Warming. All are matters of faith!
User currently offlineDokken10 From United States of America, joined Mar 2005, 290 posts, RR: 0
Reply 17, posted (9 years 4 months 1 week 5 days ago) and read 2256 times:

Quoting ContnlEliteCMH (Reply 16):
Uhhhh... might want to check out AirTran's fleet again.

Thx. I was corrected earlier.


User currently offlineMariner From New Zealand, joined Nov 2001, 25019 posts, RR: 85
Reply 18, posted (9 years 4 months 1 week 4 days 23 hours ago) and read 2231 times:
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NYC777:

Quoting NYC777 (Reply 7):
Really, then how is it that AF which operates different types (i.e. 777-200 and A340) but still pull a profit?

Several airlines with mixed fleets will report a profit, including Qantas.

But this does not negate what Gigneil said. Frontier will save a minimum of $11 million a year on it's 45 aircraft fleet because they are gone to a single type.

http://money.excite.com/jsp/nw/nwdt_...82120050324&feed=dji&date=20050324

$11 million is not a lot in great scheme of things, but it is better than a poke in the eye with a burnt stick.

$11 million would represent the difference between profit and loss for Frontier for a couple of quarters.

Of course, lower fuel prices would help as well, but you cannot simply say that commonality is blah.

cheers

mariner



aeternum nauta
User currently offlineTavong From Colombia, joined Jul 2001, 835 posts, RR: 4
Reply 19, posted (9 years 4 months 1 week 4 days 23 hours ago) and read 2220 times:

thanks for the answers.....everyday you learn something new Big grinD

Gus
SKBO



Colombian coffee, the best...take a cup and you will see how delicious it is.
User currently offlineIowa744Fan From United States of America, joined Apr 2004, 931 posts, RR: 1
Reply 20, posted (9 years 4 months 1 week 4 days 23 hours ago) and read 2199 times:

Quoting Dokken10 (Reply 13):
I think that some 737 were acquired during the merger

You are thinking about the 73S model. They got something like a dozen of those when Valujet took over Air Tran.


I agree that commonality is definitely an over-hyped topic. Suppose that we have airline that can purchase aircraft types X and Y (not going to use A and B for obvious reasons!) The airline may be able to order just one type, X or Y, that would perform all of its routes and jobs, but the aircraft may operate well at one type of route and not as well for the other routes. You would save money with one type, but you would be losing on efficiency. Many airlines today are realizing this and realizing that having a mixed fleet can be beneficial. For instance, take the 777 and the A330 families. Both of these are good aircraft and many airlines have shown that the two can work really well together. The 772ER model is a great long-range aircraft that has proven ideal for many airlines on long haul markets. However, in the shorter markets, the extreme weight has proven burdensome. Yes, the A model is available, but the 333 has really proven itself in regional and mid-range work with airlines like CX. Hence, by using both types, you can maximize the efficiency in both types of markets, which in many cases will provided substantial economic benefit that will outweigh the costs of operating both types of aircraft.


User currently offlineN60659 From United States of America, joined Mar 2005, 654 posts, RR: 25
Reply 21, posted (9 years 4 months 1 week 4 days 23 hours ago) and read 2190 times:

Quoting DfwRevolution (Reply 10):
Part of it has to do with the fact that the A330 and 777 cover different mission profiles. One in a medium-range twin, the other a long-range twin.

Agreed. I have no argument there. But we are talking of a fleet which is under 20 aircraft. The question remains:
Would it be better to operate a single aircraft type on some routes that may be outside the optimal mission profile and have more streamlined maintenance and flight training structures?
or
Would you fly routes with diverse aircraft that are optimized to their respective mission profiles and expend more on the maintenance and flight training aspects?
This is in the context of a small airline like Biman. Not being in the industry, I'm trying to get an understanding. Thanks.



Nec Dextrorsum Nec Sinistrorsum
User currently offlineSWISSER From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 22, posted (9 years 4 months 1 week 4 days 22 hours ago) and read 2178 times:

Quoting Iowa744Fan (Reply 20):
You are thinking about the 73S model. They got something like a dozen of those when Valujet took over Air Tran.


I agree that commonality is definitely an over-hyped topic. Suppose that we have airline that can purchase aircraft types X and Y (not going to use A and B for obvious reasons!) The airline may be able to order just one type, X or Y, that would perform all of its routes and jobs, but the aircraft may operate well at one type of route and not as well for the other routes. You would save money with one type, but you would be losing on efficiency. Many airlines today are realizing this and realizing that having a mixed fleet can be beneficial. For instance, take the 777 and the A330 families. Both of these are good aircraft and many airlines have shown that the two can work really well together. The 772ER model is a great long-range aircraft that has proven ideal for many airlines on long haul markets. However, in the shorter markets, the extreme weight has proven burdensome. Yes, the A model is available, but the 333 has really proven itself in regional and mid-range work with airlines like CX. Hence, by using both types, you can maximize the efficiency in both types of markets, which in many cases will provided substantial economic benefit that will outweigh the costs of operating both types of aircraft.

agreed!
I think it all depends on how you operate your fleet,
Southwest has other goals than Biman for example!

One thing that is another example on the shorthaulmarket is easyjet,
I believe they operate now a mixed fleet of A319 and 737 classic and NG?
Anyone knows something about that operation right now?


User currently offlineTavong From Colombia, joined Jul 2001, 835 posts, RR: 4
Reply 23, posted (9 years 4 months 1 week 4 days 22 hours ago) and read 2151 times:

Quoting SWISSER (Reply 22):
One thing that is another example on the shorthaulmarket is easyjet,
I believe they operate now a mixed fleet of A319 and 737 classic and NG?
Anyone knows something about that operation right now?

I think that in this case the main case is that Easyjet have a "huge" number of both planes so the cost saving cames from this concept, in fact yu have two types but a high number of these planes so you can achieve "mass" economy. And well you also have to take account that the deal of Easyjet with Airbus was extremely competitive and in a very high advantage for Easyjet and thus the calculations of earnings/profits are positive for Easyjet.

Gus
SKBO



Colombian coffee, the best...take a cup and you will see how delicious it is.
User currently offlineStarlionblue From Greenland, joined Feb 2004, 17003 posts, RR: 67
Reply 24, posted (9 years 4 months 1 week 4 days 21 hours ago) and read 2127 times:

Engines. Commonality is not only about aircraft as a whole but about engines. As I understand it from many threads about AF they are standardized on one engine manufacturer for long haul. Or something.

Tired and clueless at PHL...  Wink



"There are no stupid questions, but there are a lot of inquisitive idiots."
25 Post contains images Lightsaber : We constantly have airline executives noting how they will "misuse" an oversize A380(Emirates, Cathay), 777(AA), and even a A320 (B6), etc. rather th
26 Starlionblue : Note that the 757s have two different engine types (RR and PW). This in itself makes them 1½ types. The PWs cannot be used for certain airports for
27 Carpethead : With the exception of DL's numerous narrow-body fleet, US airlines' fleet are pretty good on standarization. Its the revenue and expenses balancing th
28 HAWK21M : Money saved is Money Earned. Especially if its in Thousands. Crew training,Stores Inventory all cost money. regds MEL
29 Gigneil : The thing is this... a 767/777 fleet has zero commonality, whereas an A340/A330 fleet has over 90%. N
30 B-HOP : Lightsaber : - 'We constantly have airline executives noting how they will "misuse" an oversize A380(Emirates, Cathay), 777(AA), and even a A320 (B6),
31 RJ111 : That explains why every now and then, words have been spoken about why CX want to dump their 346 (different engines, gears, manuals), even though they
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