OptionsCLE From United States of America, joined Jun 2004, 467 posts, RR: 0
Reply 5, posted (9 years 3 months 3 weeks 3 days 15 hours ago) and read 10304 times:
I'd like to hear an opinion from someone who knows more on this topic than I do, but I don't see this as a very good move. First of all, would ATA be buying or leasing these aircraft? I just can't grasp the financial justification for paying lease rates for maintinence intensive, inefficient aircraft. This is especially true in the climate of today's oil market. Anyone care to comment?
LTBEWR From United States of America, joined Jan 2004, 13493 posts, RR: 17
Reply 7, posted (9 years 3 months 3 weeks 3 days 14 hours ago) and read 10060 times:
I love it that ATA seems to be the home of the 3-holers. I am quite sure those NW DC-10 have a lot of hours (and cycles), but were well mainatined and still would have a lot of life. Would they be retained as pax only or split with some going to freight conversions? Also, would there be a few other interested in those NW DC-10's as freighters (FedEx, UPS, others?)
474218 From United States of America, joined Oct 2005, 6340 posts, RR: 9
Reply 11, posted (9 years 3 months 3 weeks 3 days 12 hours ago) and read 9864 times:
Quoting MajorNelson (Reply 10): Maybe someone should tell the new brains of ATA that they already had DC10s before. And one burned up at ORD - bad omen, maybe.
They only had one (1) DC-10 and it burned. With the insurance settlement they bought their first L-1011. I can't see them getting rid of the L-1011's after they just ran them through C-Checks at Gamco, but airlines are not known for doing things that make sense.
Dutchjet From Netherlands, joined Oct 2000, 7864 posts, RR: 56
Reply 21, posted (9 years 3 months 3 weeks 2 days 18 hours ago) and read 5902 times:
I just dont see ATA acquiring DC10s at this point in time - replacingone 30 year old type with another 30 year old type? I just does not make sense, especially when considering the 3 person cockpit and the very high price of fuel. The 763ER is the right aircraft for the ATA mission....I realize that good examples of the type are hard to come by on the second hand market at the moment, but there are possibilities in the coming years. So much depends on what happens at DL, GulfAir is looking at renewing its 763 fleet, etc etc.
Early on, ATA said what they would really prefer is RR powered 763ERs....meaning aircraft from BA or the BA birds now with Qantas (there is also a Chinese carrier with a few RR 763ERs)......with QF having signed up the 787, in the medium term future, their 763 fleet should become available, but is the timing something that ATA could live with?
I am surprised that ATA does not order new builds in connection with a leasing company.....Boeing is still happily accepting orders for the 767 (LAN ordered a good number last week) and the ATA charter/military business is a good one, regardless of the future of ATA's scheduled system, the charter/military biz will remain and produce good money to pay for leases for new aircraft.
This wouldn't be a reasonable thing to do given that aircraft dedicated to charter service generally have a substantially-lower utilization rate than do aircraft in scheduled service, making the capital cost issue very important. Those used 767 aircraft that they decided NOT to take would have cost them LESS in capital cost than new build aircraft that you mention.
ChiGB1973 From United States of America, joined Mar 2004, 1624 posts, RR: 1
Reply 23, posted (9 years 3 months 3 weeks 2 days 13 hours ago) and read 5172 times:
Some Thoughts about Military Flying and DC-10's
From Doug Frankwich, MEC Safety & Health Chair
From the Editor: ATA has been looking at the possibility of leasing several DC-10's. Nothing has of yet been finalized.
Here are some thoughts from airliner.net chat page that make good points.
(1) As said, the 767-300 is the aircraft that ATA probably should want. It gets reimbursed at a higher per-mile rate than a DC10 or MD11. It has the right number of seats and good range. It's the same type rating as the 757-200 and 757-300, so the pilots just need differences training. It's reliable. Etc. It's also unavailable to ATA at a decent price, although NAO just picked up one more and has another coming later this year.
(2) The 767's will be coming available as the 787's come on line at certain carriers. However, if fuel prices stay up, they'll also be in demand as freighters. A 767-200 burns slightly less fuel than a 727, has one fewer engine and one fewer cockpit member than a 727, has an enormous amount more capacity, and thus makes a very desirable freighter if it can be had at an appropriate price. The freighter conversion demand will keep used 767's in demand for a long time.
(3) Omni presently does a very nice military business with DC10's. Reliability is likely an issue for them, but they get it done. So anybody who says that it's an inappropriate aircraft for military (which is what ATA wants to use it for) is really off base. Is it optimal? No. But it's also an airframe that is widely available, widely-known, has lots of parts available for it and places around the world that know how to maintain it. Is it superior in all these regards to the L1011? Heck, yes. (Is it a superior aircraft to the L1011? No. But, like the Betamax, the superior design can nevertheless, through atrophy, be simply impractical.)
(4) If ATA can run a decent military charter business using non-optimal 757-300's and challenging-to-keep-flying L1011's, the DC10's will be an improvement.
(5) The comment about the military paying for fuel isn't quite right. It's not an ACMI lease, where the client actually does pay for the fuel directly. In fact, if you run a more fuel-efficient aircraft than the next guy, you save money under the military system. You get paid a uniform rate based upon the class of aircraft. MD11, DC10, L1011 are all reimbursed at the same per-seat-mile rate, although they each are calculated to have a different fixed number of seats. The 767-300 and 767-200 are in the same class of aircraft for the military, and are reimbursed at a higher per-seat-mile rate than the DC10 class. What the military does give you a hedge against is an increase in the price of fuel. They recalculate on a regular basis what the average price per gallon is, and redo their per-seat-mile rate based upon that change in fuel price. So if fuel goes up, you will get a higher per-seat-mile payment, but it's the same whether you are using the more-fuel-efficient or less-fuel-efficient aircraft. So, your basic cost inputs are capital (lease) cost, crew cost, maintenance cost, and fuel cost. A 767 will have lower crew, maint and fuel cost, but a higher capital cost. A DC10 will have higher crew (one more), maint (another engine) and fuel cost, but a lower capital cost. Bottom line is that these aircraft have no significant demand outside of certain charter and some limited freight applications after NW removes them from service, so their capital cost may be way low, and that may help offset the higher other costs. Also, if you're looking at keeping them for 5 years or so, the low capital cost makes them desirable in that they don't cost you much money when they're sitting around waiting for business. The bad part, however, is that they have very limited demand in charter applications outside of military, so when the military doesn't need them they will likely be mostly sitting around.
So there you have it. Those are the factors that ATA faced, and rather than pass up the opportunity for additional military business, rather than face having to D-check two more L1011s in a year or so, rather than rely on a fleet of only 4 widebodies, they now will have a pool from which they can draw to reestablish themselves as a formidable military carrier. If they decide to go for it