QANTAS747-438 From United States of America, joined Jan 2001, 1800 posts, RR: 2 Posted (2 years 10 months 3 weeks 6 days 4 hours ago) and read 17360 times:
There has been some fairly strong rumors going around the Company that Southwest may aquire 737-800s sometime soon. Though this rumor is one of the top 3 rumors that come and go at Southwest, recent talks with WN Directors have shed some interesting light on it.
Highlights of the rumor:
- Re-skinning issues with our -300s (cracks appearing in the re-skin)
- Boeing to offer Southwest "killer" deal on -800s
- WN DAL Directors have mentioned the possibility at recent Station meetings
Lowlights of the rumor:
- DAL measuring hangar to see if -800s will fit (An -800 is only 20 feet longer, are hangars THAT tight?).
- WN to buy Sun Country (for Caribbean routes and -800s)
Other things to consider:
- WN is doing dual FMCs on -300s (why, if WN will dump them?)
- WN planning on installing glass cockpit in -300s
- Having a 4th flight attendant, though this really isn't THAT difficult of a scheduling issue.
Could all of this hint at some sort of large expansion at WN? New cities outside of the US? Hawaii? How would WN benefit from using an -800?
My posts/replies are strictly my opinion and not that of any company, organization, or Southwest Airlines.
???????? They have 8 737-800's plus 3 737-700's, and they are all leased. What Caribbean routes???, They fly to San Juan, from MSP in the winter. They did do sub service for Caribbean Airlines last year, but that about it. Maybe you are thinking Spirit, but they fly Airbus.
Interesting rumor. The 737-800 offers much better CASM. IIRC it is almost 15% better than the 737-700. So that might be temptin for WN. However, others have noted that contrary to Ryanair and esayJet, their business modell allow for a lower loadfactor. So it may not makesense for Southwest to add cost of sceduling an airplane with 4 flight attenants.
Dream no small dream; it lacks magic. Dream large, then go make that dream real - Donald Douglas
XT6Wagon From United States of America, joined Feb 2007, 3128 posts, RR: 4 Reply 5, posted (2 years 10 months 3 weeks 6 days 3 hours ago) and read 17208 times:
Quoting thefuture (Reply 4): Surely 739's would suit better than 738's into some of the congested U.S. airports ?
738 would allow 149Y with a larger entry way and generous seat pitch. 198Y in a 739ER would have long turn times and I'm not sure its possible with WN's seat pitch.
problem is the 738, and 739ER are new types as far as parts go. Which means they are a new type as far as WN goes since they would have to buy millions in new parts, train mechanics, ensure both are properly setup for any route with the new planes.
Airbus didn't stop Southwest from trying to buy Frontier Airlines.
I think the biggest deciding factor that had WN looking at 738's was due to LGA. Flights are full all of the time out of LGA, and WN wants to add flights. As we know this is not possible without adding slots. Adding the 738 allows more seats to be sold without adjusting the flight schedules.
Good things come to those who wait, better things come to those who go AFTER it!
par13del From Bahamas, joined Dec 2005, 5894 posts, RR: 8 Reply 9, posted (2 years 10 months 3 weeks 6 days ago) and read 16830 times:
Why are we going to the -800 if WN is having problems with the -300, can Boeing not produce additional -700's? If the -300's are wearing out sooner than expected something has to be done, if an alternative is availabe physically which does not signifcantly affect WN's operation that would be the first option.
If they do get some -800 I'm looking for an increase in pitch as I do not believe that they will be looking to "pack em in", they may not be able to eliminate the additional f/a which is the biggest stumbling block. A sub fleet to serve a few specific routes / airports would then be in the making, not sure they would like that but if the -800 was the only a/c available..........
thefuture From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR: Reply 10, posted (2 years 10 months 3 weeks 6 days ago) and read 16817 times:
Quoting atrude777 (Reply 8): I think the biggest deciding factor that had WN looking at 738's was due to LGA. Flights are full all of the time out of LGA, and WN wants to add flights. As we know this is not possible without adding slots. Adding the 738 allows more seats to be sold without adjusting the flight schedules.
Better still with a 739 !!!
What's absolute max seating on a 739 with max overwing exits ?
Could they board through front & back doors at LGA?
MEA-707 From Netherlands, joined Nov 1999, 4117 posts, RR: 37 Reply 12, posted (2 years 10 months 3 weeks 5 days 23 hours ago) and read 16621 times:
149Y would be a waste of floorspace on a 738.
I always wondered why they didn't take a substantial 738 of 739 fleet (say 50 to 100) to begin with. They only have to hire one girl extra (say 25K annual wage) and pay slightly more fuel and acquisition costs and they can sell 40-50 seats more, enough to cover for that !
I imagine they'd put around 170Y seats in a 738 or 190 in a 739.
nobody has ever died from hard work, but why take the risk?
spartanmjf From United States of America, joined Nov 2005, 462 posts, RR: 0 Reply 13, posted (2 years 10 months 3 weeks 5 days 23 hours ago) and read 16573 times:
Quoting MEA-707 (Reply 12): They only have to hire one girl extra (say 25K annual wage)
Oh dear, where do I go?
In terms of salary, I believe that the average WN wage for a flight attendant is approximately $50,000 per year or just over that.
On 'one girl extra', it is, well, apparent to anyone who flies Southwest on a regular basis that both men and women are represented in the ranks among WN cabin crew. I find WN flight crews - both cockpit and cabin - to be generally friendly, personable, and professional - 'girll' in this context is not what I would call them.
DfwRevolution From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR: Reply 14, posted (2 years 10 months 3 weeks 5 days 23 hours ago) and read 16563 times:
Quoting thefuture (Reply 10): What's absolute max seating on a 739 with max overwing exits ?
Up to 215 in a maximum density configuration. Southwest would never do that however, they are pretty generous about seat pitch. If they were to take the 739ER, 192-198 seats would be more reasonable.
Quoting oykie (Reply 2): Interesting rumor. The 737-800 offers much better CASM. IIRC it is almost 15% better than the 737-700. So that might be temptin for WN.
Well like the OP said, it's been a "tempting" rumor for the better part of a decade, especially around 2005-2006. I can see a few additional reasons why the larger 738 or 739ER could be attractive in the near future...
1. If Southwest is worried about a competitor acquiring the C-Series or A320 NEO before they have a new-generation aircraft in operation, the lower CASM of the bigger aircraft would help them stay competitive on certain routes. The old "if the seats are filled" caveat applies.
2. With the perimeter rule established by the Wright Amendment set to expire in 2014, WN is certainly looking to grow from DAL. The gate restrictions in the new agreement would probably cap WN at around 200 flights per day even with excellent (and complete) gate utilization. Putting some 738 or 739ER on some of the intra-Texas shuttle flights could free some departures for other destinations, even if it only meant 20 dailys between DAL-HOU.
The persistent consideration of the larger 737 variants is another reason I don't see Southwest themselves taking the C-Series. During the 90s, Herb even went as far as to negotiate prices with Boeing for the 757-200. There's just a lot of good reasons for a larger aircraft than the 73G, though the pros have never been able to outweigh the cons. With cost pressure only to increase in the next decade, the time could finally come for something bigger than 137 seats. If that were to happen, I think Southwest would much rather move-up to something in the family than add a unique fleet type.
Ltbewr From United States of America, joined Jan 2004, 12329 posts, RR: 12 Reply 17, posted (2 years 10 months 3 weeks 5 days 22 hours ago) and read 16167 times:
Yes, it might be a good choice for WN to go for larger capacity 737's for selected routes, but how do you consistantly fill it up to max profits? Don't you have to cut fares to keep it filled? Then your competitors will cut or match your fares, resulting in less profits (or greater losses) for all. You could cut frequencies or only use them as certain slot restricted airports (like LAX, LGA, MDW). Further issues could be much higher fuel prices in the future that may reduce overall flight demand and less need for larger aircraft. This has to be carefully thought out, probably why they are taking time, the accounting people calculating it to last penny before going for larger a/c models.
Seatback From United States of America, joined Mar 2002, 581 posts, RR: 0 Reply 18, posted (2 years 10 months 3 weeks 5 days 22 hours ago) and read 16169 times:
From my understanding, Sun Country has a pretty loyal following in the twin cities, plus their terminal space could make it somewhat attractive for Southwest. I can't imagine Sun Country would cost too much--might be worth it.
Revelation From United States of America, joined Feb 2005, 10443 posts, RR: 20 Reply 19, posted (2 years 10 months 3 weeks 5 days 22 hours ago) and read 16097 times:
Quoting XT6Wagon (Reply 3): I think the window closed for the 738 when WN paused thier delivery of 737, and the wait for the 737RS.
That's going to be a long wait. Boeing isn't planning to announce anything this year. If they announce in 2011, it'd be 3-5 years (without slips!) before anything would be available.
Quoting par13del (Reply 9): If the -300's are wearing out sooner than expected something has to be done, if an alternative is availabe physically which does not signifcantly affect WN's operation that would be the first option.
Agreed. It seems from this rumor there is a desire to act sooner rather than later.
Quoting DfwRevolution (Reply 14): With the perimeter rule established by the Wright Amendment set to expire in 2014
Quoting DfwRevolution (Reply 14): There's just a lot of good reasons for a larger aircraft than the 73G, though the pros have never been able to outweigh the cons. With cost pressure only to increase in the next decade, the time could finally come for something bigger than 137 seats. If that were to happen, I think Southwest would much rather move-up to something in the family than add a unique fleet type.
Between your point about DAL and the earlier point about LGA, we are seeing WN's business model shift to accomodate operations under new constraints.
Most of the recent new WN cities have not been underused outlying airports with little competition, like the old days.
It seems that well has run dry and WN is having to go into much more constrained situations to try to make more money.
I think a fleet of 737-900ERs could be made to work quite well in WN's network.
jake712 From United States of America, joined Jan 2010, 21 posts, RR: 0 Reply 20, posted (2 years 10 months 3 weeks 5 days 22 hours ago) and read 15951 times:
I can't honestly see why WN would want to change much right now. They've been going great for years, and, in my opinion, that's largely due to having high densities of passengers on smaller 737s. I think the -800 or the -900 would interfere with that.
KC135TopBoom From United States of America, joined Jan 2005, 11705 posts, RR: 52 Reply 21, posted (2 years 10 months 3 weeks 5 days 22 hours ago) and read 15839 times:
WN had a chance to get the B-737-800 (already equipped with blended wingtips) before, and did not bite. They essentially "owned" TZ for a while, and could have gotten the TZ B-738s when that airline folded. That was in early 2009, not that long ago. They did take the TZ gates at MDW and LGA, and many of the TZ flights from DFW and other places were code share with WN.
You mean, Dominican Republic? That almost sounds like it's in North Korea (Democratic People's Republic...)
I think WN would benefit from adding a few 738s in its fleet, but so far it has proven that the 737 is a good plane to make up the bulk of its workhorse. If FR has an all 738 fleet, I think WN could afford to add maybe 20-30 738s.
"You haven't seen a tree until you've seen its shadow from the sky."
LHCVG From United States of America, joined May 2009, 1367 posts, RR: 1 Reply 24, posted (2 years 10 months 3 weeks 5 days 20 hours ago) and read 14453 times:
Quoting QANTAS747-438 (Thread starter): - Having a 4th flight attendant, though this really isn't THAT difficult of a scheduling issue.
I always thought the FA issue was more cost related than scheduling. I agree that scheduling shouldn't be too big a deal anyway.
Quoting thefuture (Reply 6): would have thought a 737-700 & 738 had a lot of commonality ?
They do, but we're talking WN here, the company that had special software put into their 73G's to mimic the layout of the 733 flight deck. Since they emphasize standardization, to them adding 738s would create situations where you have a plane go tech at an outstation in just such a way that an on-site stock of 73G parts would not cover, thus lowering their dispatch reliability and increasing costs of having to deal with stranded or delayed pax. I personally think it would be a great addition to their business, but I think they are very risk-averse in this regard (e.g., the ongoing conversations about whether WN will ever offer Caribbean service, Hawaii, get a sub-fleet like G4 did for certain routes, etc.).
25 413X3: wouldn't a 739 have trouble going to somewhere like DAL or MDW with shorter runways?
26 Cubsrule: I'd look for either 175 (TZ's configuration, IIRC) or 169. There's no way they'll do 149.
27 yyz717: WN could restrict a 738 or 739 subfleet to just a small segment of the network that requires the larger aircraft, which would ease training, parts and
28 FX1816: April of 2008 to be exact but I thought someone posted on here that the lease rates on the TZ 738's was too high?? I could be wrong but who knows. FX
29 bjorn14: So how long is WN going to hold on to their -300s? The youngest is at least 11 years old or about 30,000 cycles.
30 Barney Captain: I think you're referring to the cockpit displays - that has all changed (it was only a software mod - no different "parts" per se). We now use the mo
31 DualQual: Short answer, yes. The 900s are runway hogs due to the limited tail clearance.
32 DfwRevolution: I wouldn't go so far as to call it "special," because WN wasn't the only airline who used that software option. DAL has an 8,800 ft runway, not nearl
33 CO777DAL: I hear people on here say how short the runways are at DAL and it would be hard for larger aircraft to fly there. Have any of you actually flow out o
34 bobnwa: Since Sun Country only has 11 aircraft, if Southwest wanted to start up Caribbean service why would they not just start it on their own? What would t
35 KC135TopBoom: Thanks for correcting the date for me when TZ went out of business. But, I had thought TZ had leased the B-737-800s, B-757-200/-300s directly from Bo
36 LHCVG: Very true. I was just trying to make the point that WN seems like they want to simplify as much as possible, even if we can agree that say adding 738
37 XT6Wagon: Nope, landing gear alone is very different. Different hubs, wheels, brakes, and other major parts. The legs and retract mechanisms are likely the sam
38 FX1816: Thanks for the info but I really wasn't making any kind of statement about TZ's demise, just the fact that I was under the impression that TZ did not
39 Cubsrule: Let's play with these numbers, going from 149 to 175. That's a jump of 26 seats. Let's say that, on average, ten of them are full. What's the average
40 DfwRevolution: WN has said in the past that 25 units is the minimum number they would order for a given sub-type to make sense. Seems like they are okay with their
41 Antoniemey: I believe the FAA requires 1 FA for every 50 INSTALLED seats, regardless of the aircraft's certified capacity.
42 WNCrew: You can have your galleys and their placement configured however you want them (with limitations of course). There are minimums for the various clear
43 Cubsrule: ...and those limitations are what I'm curious about. I **THINK** the forward bulkhead (i.e. the front of the passenger cabin) is always pretty much i
44 Web: This may be somewhat far-fetched, but how feasible would it be for WN to pick up some secondhand 734s? They provide commonality with the 733/735, and
45 WNCrew: I have some of it printed somewhere from an FAA class I took, but I can't locate it. As an example, there is a certain clearance that has to be maint
46 chrisair: I think it's a joke.... They had the ATA gates in MDW long, long, long before ATA went under. I also recall an ATA gate at MDW that boarded using air
47 413X3: 762 has a lot of power, and I bet it stops somewhere else as well close by so not much fuel. What 747s have landed?
48 cschleic: Last WN flight I took, all three FA's were men.
49 737tanker: The basis for the rumor of WN getting -800s is the problem with the classic 737s. Since it looks like WN wants to replace the classics, as well as ad
50 WNCrew: Oh really? I've never heard this! Where'd this come from? Do you have a source... even a rumor source?
51 flyingclrs727: How much runway does a 739 require? DAL has an 8800' runway which was previously used by Braniff 707's and 747-100's for flights to HNL.
52 ScottB: In the context of DAL, BN operated the 747-100 from DAL to HNL back before DFW opened. I suspect it's LGA and some of the longer flights that are con
53 CO777DAL: I fly CO out of DAL and it faces the east ramp area where there is always different planes parked. It's like Christmas every time I fly out of DAL, b
54 777STL: I'm going to call BS on this one. I don't see WN changing one of the fundamentals of their business model after it's been successful for so many year
55 ALSF 2: I have also heard this rumor around campus lately. The guy I was flying with was CONVINCED the 800 were coming. Here is what he said about the rumor;
56 CO777DAL: Well the rumor might be believable except this is statement is completely false. CO needs the planes up in Seattle. Continental can't take them becau
57 Antoniemey: I'm pretty sure that the only 737's CO has waiting for delivery are only waiting because there's been an issue with the certification of the seats in
58 BMI727: Southwest could get ETOPS certification for their 737-700s and use those to fly to Hawaii if they wanted. Using a -800 to fly there provides a purely
59 United1: Why would Boeing care if it was a -700 or -800 series aircraft? I'm not saying that its not possible that there could be some sort of warranty issue
60 tdscanuck: How heavy are you trying to fly it and which engines are you putting on? 8800' would be fine for most missions with the big engines. If they're ready
61 413X3: But most of those look like positioning flights, not fully loaded and fully fueled flights. Even a 747 classic to HNL would barely take half a tank o
62 chrisair: Economics aside, I've heard from more than one reliable source that WN doesn't want to create a sub fleet of ETOPS 73Gs. They'd likely have to be bas
63 BMI727: Unless I'm mistaken I don't think that all of AS's 73Hs are ETOPS certified. But I don't doubt that they don't want to have a 73G subfleet, but that
64 413X3: Probably why they would be interested in buying an airline with existing ETOPS airplanes, like Sun Country
65 AirframeAS: I agree. I think that ship had sailed long ago on the 738.
66 Burkhard: Yes. Even 186Y is not as bad, 174Y would be good.