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Would DL Have Been Better Keeping Their MD-11s  
User currently offlineRobertS975 From United States of America, joined Aug 2005, 955 posts, RR: 0
Posted (8 years 5 months 2 weeks 2 days 15 hours ago) and read 5729 times:
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The last revenue flight of the MD11 for DL was 1/1/04. Most of the fleet was sold to Fedex. Now, it seems that DL is scrambling for long range international aircraft to meet the needs of its internal expansion plans. With 20/20 hindsight, would DL have been in a better position if it had kept its MD11 fleet in service?

24 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offline727LOVER From United States of America, joined Oct 2001, 6637 posts, RR: 21
Reply 1, posted (8 years 5 months 2 weeks 2 days 15 hours ago) and read 5721 times:

I'm still confused why DL could not take the original order of 777.


I feel woozy....what did you put in that Pudding Pop?
User currently offlineMalpensaSFO From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 2, posted (8 years 5 months 2 weeks 2 days 15 hours ago) and read 5704 times:

Delta Airlines did not envision bankruptcy or a broad international expansion in 04 as they are embroiled in today. Routes that would be prime candidates if Delta had the equipment today would most likely include:

LAX-(JFK-CAI (Flown in the past))
LAX-(JFK-TLV (Flown in the past))
LAX-SLC-LGW
LAX-SLC-CDG

MCO-ATL-KIX
MCO-(JFK-TLV (Flown in the past))

ATL-CVG-NRT
ATL-JFK-NRT (Flown in the past)
ATL-(JFK-DXB (Flown in the past via CAI))
ATL-SLC-NRT
ATL-LAX-HKG (Flown in the past)
ATL-SLC-HKG


User currently offlineBucky707 From United States of America, joined Aug 2000, 1028 posts, RR: 3
Reply 3, posted (8 years 5 months 2 weeks 2 days 15 hours ago) and read 5664 times:

Quoting 727LOVER (Reply 1):
I'm still confused why DL could not take the original order of 777.

Delta is still in the process of taking the original 777 order. The original order was for 10, with options on another 20. The last two of the ten firm orders will be delivered in early 08. I am hearing rumors it might be sooner.


to answer your original question, yes I think it was a huge mistake to get rid of the MD-11s. With the big international expansion now there are many routes would could use them on.

[Edited 2006-07-16 16:14:32]

User currently offlineDAL767400ER From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 4, posted (8 years 5 months 2 weeks 2 days 15 hours ago) and read 5645 times:

Well, the decision to retire the MD-11 was made by a certain guy named Mullin, who only cared about setting up his Golden Parachute, so...

User currently offlineEMBQA From United States of America, joined Oct 2003, 9364 posts, RR: 11
Reply 5, posted (8 years 5 months 2 weeks 2 days 15 hours ago) and read 5645 times:

Bucky707 how the heck are you..?? Yea missing your RONs in BGR..?? LoL.. I moved away in 1999 and don't miss the winters one second.

The MD-11 is still just a DC-10 with one less cockpit member. It didn't live up to several of it's selling points. Delta, as with most carriers were wise to dump them.

[Edited 2006-07-16 16:24:28]


"It's not the size of the dog in the fight, but the size of the fight in the dog"
User currently offlinePilot21 From Ireland, joined Oct 1999, 1386 posts, RR: 2
Reply 6, posted (8 years 5 months 2 weeks 2 days 15 hours ago) and read 5614 times:

Quoting 727LOVER (Reply 1):
I'm still confused why DL could not take the original order of 777.

I believe the original order wasn't fully delivered, and the existing fleet was considered for sale because Delta and it's Pilots couldn't come to an agreement on salary for the Pilots who would fly them. At the time of the original delivery, Delta pilots wanted much higher amounts then other airlines where paying their B777 pilots, so after no agreement was reached, the remain deliveries were suspended. I'm not sure at what stage an agreement was finally reached to allow the fleet remain, but as far as I am aware, the original factor in the B777 saga with Delta was money.



Aircraft I've flown: A300/A310/A320/A321/A330/A340/B727/B732/B733/B734/B735/B738/B741/B742/B744/DC10/MD80/IL62/Bae146/AR
User currently offlineBucky707 From United States of America, joined Aug 2000, 1028 posts, RR: 3
Reply 7, posted (8 years 5 months 2 weeks 2 days 15 hours ago) and read 5578 times:

Quoting EMBQA (Reply 5):
Bucky707 how the heck are you..?? Yea missing your RONs in BGR..

actually, I used to enjoy the BGR layover!


User currently offlineAlitalia744 From United States of America, joined Mar 2000, 4764 posts, RR: 44
Reply 8, posted (8 years 5 months 2 weeks 2 days 13 hours ago) and read 5437 times:

Quoting Bucky707 (Reply 7):
actually, I used to enjoy the BGR layover!

Bucky - what birds you flying these days?



Some see lines, others see between the lines.
User currently offlineAirCop From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 9, posted (8 years 5 months 2 weeks 2 days 13 hours ago) and read 5416 times:

Quoting RobertS975 (Thread starter):
With 20/20 hindsight, would DL have been in a better position if it had kept its MD11 fleet in service?

I remember reading when they started the London service, they wished they had kept a couple of their 747's instead of using the L-1011. In short, situations change, hindsight is great, but as with everyone Delta has to deal with what they have now.


User currently offlineSLCUT2777 From United States of America, joined Dec 2005, 4138 posts, RR: 9
Reply 10, posted (8 years 5 months 2 weeks 2 days 13 hours ago) and read 5381 times:

Quoting MalpensaSFO (Reply 2):

LAX-SLC-LGW
LAX-SLC-CDG
ATL-SLC-NRT
ATL-SLC-HKG

I sincerely doubt that DL had ANY INTERNATIONAL flight plans for SLC under Leo Mullin or his predecessor Robert Allen. In fact many speculate that Mullin was leaning towards dumping SLC as a hub entirely.
As for taking on the 777 as a replacement, the big sticking point was pilot pay since DL pilots wanted an arm, a leg and the first born from the company payroll as Pilot21 sums up:

Quoting Pilot21 (Reply 6):
I believe the original order wasn't fully delivered, and the existing fleet was considered for sale because Delta and it's Pilots couldn't come to an agreement on salary for the Pilots who would fly them. At the time of the original delivery, Delta pilots wanted much higher amounts then other airlines where paying their B777 pilots, so after no agreement was reached, the remain deliveries were suspended. I'm not sure at what stage an agreement was finally reached to allow the fleet remain, but as far as I am aware, the original factor in the B777 saga with Delta was money

Taking delivery of the first 8 772ERs was perhaps the smartest move that DL made during the 1999-2003 debacle that was part of the Mullin era. As for dumping the MD-11:

Quoting EMBQA (Reply 5):
The MD-11 is still just a DC-10 with one less cockpit member. It didn't live up to several of it's selling points. Delta, as with most carriers were wise to dump them.

And I must second this. I think procuring the MD-11 was a big mistake in the first place, and DL PERHAPS should have signed on with UA as being a launch customer for the 777.  twocents 



DELTA Air Lines; The Only Way To Fly from Salt Lake City; Let the Western Heritage always be with Delta!
User currently offlineBucky707 From United States of America, joined Aug 2000, 1028 posts, RR: 3
Reply 11, posted (8 years 5 months 2 weeks 2 days 12 hours ago) and read 5371 times:

Quoting Alitalia744 (Reply 8):
what birds you flying these days?

Back on the MD88.

[Edited 2006-07-16 18:37:56]

User currently offlineRobertS975 From United States of America, joined Aug 2005, 955 posts, RR: 0
Reply 12, posted (8 years 5 months 2 weeks 2 days 12 hours ago) and read 5371 times:
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Quoting EMBQA (Reply 5):
The MD-11 is still just a DC-10 with one less cockpit member. It didn't live up to several of it's selling points. Delta, as with most carriers were wise to dump them.

The MD11 always had its ineffciencies especially in terms of fuel consumption but nonetheless, it seems to be that DL could sure use the long range capacity right now as it opens up routes to Africa and India. The very fact that they were not parked or scrapped but converted to freighters indicates that even in this high cost of fuel environment, those planes can still be flown for a profit.


User currently offlineAlitalia744 From United States of America, joined Mar 2000, 4764 posts, RR: 44
Reply 13, posted (8 years 5 months 2 weeks 2 days 12 hours ago) and read 5307 times:

Quoting Bucky707 (Reply 11):
Back on the MD88.

Ever fly outta LGA? Flying to CVG for the day on business on Weds on the 6:30am! (UGH).



Some see lines, others see between the lines.
User currently offlineBucky707 From United States of America, joined Aug 2000, 1028 posts, RR: 3
Reply 14, posted (8 years 5 months 2 weeks 2 days 12 hours ago) and read 5286 times:

Yep, all the time. Just last week got caught up in the storms that went through that area. Long night. Great bunch of pax though. They all were on their phones to folks at home before we left ATL and knew about the weather, so they were very patient and understanding.

User currently offlineAvConsultant From United States of America, joined Feb 2006, 1360 posts, RR: 2
Reply 15, posted (8 years 5 months 2 weeks 2 days 6 hours ago) and read 5034 times:

Quoting AirCop (Reply 9):
I remember reading when they started the London service, they wished they had kept a couple of their 747's instead of using the L-1011.

YEars ago someone told when DL started London service they substituted the DC-8's for the L-1011's or until they received the -500. Is this true?


User currently offlineKarlB737 From United States of America, joined Mar 2004, 3145 posts, RR: 10
Reply 16, posted (8 years 5 months 2 weeks 2 days 6 hours ago) and read 4986 times:

Quoting RobertS975 (Thread starter):
would DL have been in a better position if it had kept its MD11 fleet in service?

Or their L-1011s.................?

What characteristics of the L-1011 pushed it out of the fleet and/or could its services be used now for this international aircraft problem.


User currently offline1337Delta764 From United States of America, joined Oct 2005, 6651 posts, RR: 2
Reply 17, posted (8 years 5 months 2 weeks 2 days 5 hours ago) and read 4929 times:

Quoting KarlB737 (Reply 16):
What characteristics of the L-1011 pushed it out of the fleet and/or could its services be used now for this international aircraft problem.

How many L-1011s did Delta have before the first 767-400ER entered service? The 767-400ER was intended to replace the L-1011, and Delta has 21 of them. 8 are being converted to international routes. That leaves them with 13 767-400ERs for domestic routes. BTW, Delta still has options for 767-400ERs, and could order more as a stopgap until the 787 enters service.



The Pink Delta 767-400ER - The most beautiful aircraft in the sky
User currently offlineUSPIT10L From United States of America, joined Mar 2006, 3295 posts, RR: 7
Reply 18, posted (8 years 5 months 2 weeks 2 days 5 hours ago) and read 4918 times:

Quoting SLCUT2777 (Reply 10):
I sincerely doubt that DL had ANY INTERNATIONAL flight plans for SLC under Leo Mullin or his predecessor Robert Allen.

It was Ronald W. Allen.



It's a Great Day for Hockey!
User currently offline1011 From United States of America, joined Feb 2001, 315 posts, RR: 0
Reply 19, posted (8 years 5 months 2 weeks 2 days 5 hours ago) and read 4885 times:

Quoting KarlB737 (Reply 16):
What characteristics of the L-1011 pushed it out of the fleet and/or could its services be used now for this international aircraft problem.

The L10s were paid for. But they were a older aircraft that was safe but required more maintenance than new types. They also used three cockpit crews and used a bit more gas than a 76, and had three engines. I'd still fly on that rather than anything new now. DL had the same problem with the 727 too. Three cockpit, three engines, used more gas, but most were paid for.

If I remember right DL had around 75 L10s total. Some -100,250s, and 500s. In the late 90s they had around 50 L10s. It was sad to see them and the 72s go rot and get broken up


User currently offlineSLCUT2777 From United States of America, joined Dec 2005, 4138 posts, RR: 9
Reply 20, posted (8 years 5 months 2 weeks 2 days 3 hours ago) and read 4773 times:

Quoting USPIT10L (Reply 18):
It was Ronald W. Allen.

Oooops! Similar name (starts with "R"), my mistake.

Quoting 1011 (Reply 19):
The L10s were paid for. But they were a older aircraft that was safe but required more maintenance than new types. They also used three cockpit crews and used a bit more gas than a 76, and had three engines. I'd still fly on that rather than anything new now. DL had the same problem with the 727 too. Three cockpit, three engines, used more gas, but most were paid for.

Keep in mind that there gets to be a point where even if an a/c is paid for just like your car, it will start costing you more in MX and fuel inefficiency than paying for something newer. By the time most planes hit 20-25 years it is just the same as a car that is past 7-8 years when purchased new.



DELTA Air Lines; The Only Way To Fly from Salt Lake City; Let the Western Heritage always be with Delta!
User currently offline474218 From United States of America, joined Oct 2005, 6340 posts, RR: 9
Reply 21, posted (8 years 5 months 2 weeks 2 days 3 hours ago) and read 4737 times:

Quoting AvConsultant (Reply 15):
YEars ago someone told when DL started London service they substituted the DC-8's for the L-1011's or until they received the -500. Is this true?

Not true. Delta leased two TWA L-1011-100's to fly the ATL-LGW route before they took delivery of there L-1011-500's

Quoting 1011 (Reply 19):
The L10s were paid for. But they were a older aircraft that was safe but required more maintenance than new types.

I remember reading a 2003 Atlanta Journal Constitution article on Delta. In the article it noted that Delta's maintenance costs increased almost 50% in 2002 over 2001. Which I thought that was very interesting because they stopped flying the expensive to maintain L-1011's in August 2001.

[Edited 2006-07-17 04:04:35]

User currently offlineDAL767400ER From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 22, posted (8 years 5 months 2 weeks 1 day 21 hours ago) and read 4575 times:

Quoting 1011 (Reply 19):
If I remember right DL had around 75 L10s total.

78 total, though never at the same time, to be precise, out of 250 built. Bought new from Lockheed or bought/leased from TWA, AC, PA and EA.


User currently offlineMalpensaSFO From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 23, posted (8 years 5 months 2 weeks 1 day 13 hours ago) and read 4399 times:

Quoting SLCUT2777 (Reply 10):
I sincerely doubt that DL had ANY INTERNATIONAL flight plans for SLC under Leo Mullin or his predecessor Robert Allen.

The reference was to where Delta Airlines could have used the birds today..


User currently offlineDLSLC From United States of America, joined Jan 2005, 88 posts, RR: 1
Reply 24, posted (8 years 5 months 2 weeks 1 day 12 hours ago) and read 4306 times:

Quoting DAL767400ER (Reply 4):
Well, the decision to retire the MD-11 was made by a certain guy named Mullin, who only cared about setting up his Golden Parachute,

You took the words right out of my mouth.. thanks DAL767400ER!  Wink

Plus DL would have been better keeping their MD-11s for all of us to keep watching and photagraphing!  banghead 

Devin B.


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