FlyingNanook From United States of America, joined Jan 2004, 830 posts, RR: 13 Posted (6 years 11 months 1 week 1 day 1 hour ago) and read 2394 times:
This summer I've noticed an odd trend with Alaska Airlines at FAI. For some reason, they've brought 5 daily MD-80's up here (That's 1/3 of the AS flights up here). It used to be that the MD-80 was uncommon up here, maybe one daily in summer and none in the winter. I'm used to seeing a good mix of Alaska's 737's, but this many MD-80's is odd to me.
Anybody know why Alaska decided to send so many MD-80's up here? I know some of it has to do with retiring the 732 and sending the 734 off to get redone into combis, but that shouldn't be whole reason.
HikesWithEyes From United States of America, joined Jan 2004, 816 posts, RR: 8 Reply 3, posted (6 years 11 months 1 week 22 hours ago) and read 2216 times:
Because the MDs have a lower reliability rate, the decision was made
to restrict them to a certain number of stations to improve the operation
during the hectic summer schedule.
That way (in theory) you can keep more spare parts on hand in those stations
for when the aircraft has a mechanical problem.
You typically wont see the MD in FAI during the winter because of de-icing
hassles...takes longer to do them than the 737 family.
HikesWithEyes From United States of America, joined Jan 2004, 816 posts, RR: 8 Reply 4, posted (6 years 11 months 1 week 22 hours ago) and read 2202 times:
Quoting AirframeAS (Reply 2): Using the M83 more in the State of Alaska is a good move.
I am not in agreement with that. The SEA/ANC and SEA/FAI flights have
really full passenger loads, and they take a lot of bags. The 737 can carry
more. Also, of 26 MD80s, several have lower takeoff weights (149.5K lbs)
and 5 have auxiliary fuel tanks, which limit the amount of bags that can be
loaded, so bags end up getting left behind.
FlyingNanook From United States of America, joined Jan 2004, 830 posts, RR: 13 Reply 5, posted (6 years 11 months 1 week 20 hours ago) and read 2139 times:
Quoting HikesWithEyes (Reply 3): Because the MDs have a lower reliability rate, the decision was made
to restrict them to a certain number of stations
Well, I guess this shows what Alaskans knew all along: AS really doesn't care about us. (Before anybody flames me, I'm being sarcastic)
One other thing that I noticed is that ANC isn't seeing the same buildup of MD-80's because nearly all of theirs are on the FAI-ANC-SEA route. The other ANC-SEA routes are on 737's and mostly not originating in FAI.
One other observation from my flight up here a couple weeks ago. Because of the addition of MD-80's to FAI, a lot of pilots are making their way up to Alaska for the first time. I heard the captain commenting about that in the terminal, and in flight, we took a scenic route around Denali because it was the first officer's first trip to Alaska and Denali was surprisingly cloud free. That was the first time I flew to the east of Denali, then circled back around to fly up to the west of it too. Come to think of it, it's the first time I ever flew to the west of Denali.