ORDagent From United States of America, joined Dec 2003, 823 posts, RR: 1 Posted (9 years 8 months 2 weeks 4 days 19 hours ago) and read 4144 times:
There already is a topic about European operators of the md-80. I was wondering what AA could do? I kept this in a new topic for clarity.
I think the most logical choice would be the next generation of Boeing narrow bodies that are not yet announced. Which current narrow body has similar capacity? The MD-80 fleet is obviously getting long in the tooth. Is swapping new engines an option?
Right now, nothing. AA has 337 MD80s in operation, the largest single MD80 fleet of any airline in the world. The aircraft make up almost half of the entire AA mainline fleet, and they are the single most important aircraft in the fleet, performing the mantle of American's domestic schedule role.
These planes are aging, but they are still good planes, and they are not going anywhere anytime soon.
Quoting ORDagent (Thread starter): I think the most logical choice would be the next generation of Boeing narrow bodies that are not yet announced.
That is what many have prognosticated. As Boeing is apparently looking at launching the 737-sized, 787-type aircraft around the turn of the decade, this might well coincide with AA's refusal to purchase new planes until they can afford them and justify them.
The planes are old, that's true. But, the MD80 has actually aged very well relative to other aircraft of its size. While the MD80s are certainly not as efficient or reliable as the newer, more modern NG737s or A320s, the planes are still quite useful aircraft, and still do an indespensable job for AA, even if some are more than 20 years old.
Is it theoretically possible? Yes. Would it be econically viable? Probably not. IINM, an MD80 re-engining program around the 717-type BR715 engine has been developed, but AA's interest is probably limited at best. Remember -- it is going to be very difficult to financially justify re-engining 337 pairs of engines. That's almost 700 engines! (without spares).