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WN: Why Not The 738 And/or 739?  
User currently offline777fan From United States of America, joined Jan 2006, 2524 posts, RR: 2
Posted (4 years 5 months 5 days 5 hours ago) and read 8128 times:

This has probably been beat to death but after driving past BWI this afternoon and watching the endless parade of WN's 737-700s arrive and depart, I couldn't help but wonder how they'd fare with the -800 and -900 variants both in terms of capacity and range.

Discuss...


777fan


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46 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlineKELPkid From United States of America, joined Nov 2005, 6428 posts, RR: 3
Reply 1, posted (4 years 5 months 5 days 5 hours ago) and read 8124 times:

There is a rumor that WN is interested in the 738, for the sole purpose of using LGA slots more effeciently...  


Celebrating the birth of KELPkidJR on August 5, 2009 :-)
User currently offlinetonymctigue From Ireland, joined Feb 2006, 1961 posts, RR: 9
Reply 2, posted (4 years 5 months 5 days 5 hours ago) and read 8067 times:
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I found it quite surprising to learn that WN do not have B738's as WN's Irish cousin (Ryanair) using nothing but B738's. All 200 odd aircraft in their fleet are B738's and FR's original business model is lifted straight out of the WN text book.


Next Flights: CX178 MEL-HKG; CX257 HKG-LHR; EI387 LHR-SNN; EI384 SNN-LHR; CX250 LHR-HKG; CX135 HKG-MEL
User currently offlineDfwRevolution From United States of America, joined Jan 2010, 1001 posts, RR: 51
Reply 3, posted (4 years 5 months 5 days 5 hours ago) and read 8058 times:

Quoting 777fan (Thread starter):
This has probably been beat to death but after driving past BWI this afternoon and watching the endless parade of WN's 737-700s arrive and depart, I couldn't help but wonder how they'd fare with the -800 and -900 variants both in terms of capacity and range.

1. Inter-operability with their 737-300 in terms of crew scheduling, ticket booking. There's no logistic issues swapping two aircraft if needed.

2. Traditionally low load factors at WN, there's no point flying empty seats.

3. Larger aircraft would be less flexible in WN's route network as they often send mainline aircraft to small markets where competitors often fly RJs.

The 737-700 out-ranges the -800 and -900ER anyway. There's no advantage there.


User currently offlineTUSdawg23 From United States of America, joined May 2010, 148 posts, RR: 0
Reply 4, posted (4 years 5 months 5 days 5 hours ago) and read 8043 times:

Well I know for one thing, labor costs would go up because the -300, -500 and -700 series WN have now only require 3 FA's while adding the -800 and -900 would require an additional flight attendant. In addition, the -800 and -900 would have longer turn around times which Southwest prides itself on having some of the fastest turn around times in the industry and is key to their business model. I think they would be straying away from their business model by adding these variants and up until this point, WN has decided the additional capacity a -800 or -900 can add isn't justified at this point.

User currently offlinetonymctigue From Ireland, joined Feb 2006, 1961 posts, RR: 9
Reply 5, posted (4 years 5 months 5 days 5 hours ago) and read 7994 times:
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Quoting TUSdawg23 (Reply 4):
Well I know for one thing, labor costs would go up because the -300, -500 and -700 series WN have now only require 3 FA's while adding the -800 and -900 would require an additional flight attendant. In addition, the -800 and -900 would have longer turn around times which Southwest prides itself on having some of the fastest turn around times in the industry and is key to their business model. I think they would be straying away from their business model by adding these variants and up until this point, WN has decided the additional capacity a -800 or -900 can add isn't justified at this point.

I suppose in FR's situation, when they switched over to B738's, they did so very quickly and completely phased out their other B737 variants very quickly, so there was only a very short period when they used to operate multiple different B737 variants. However, in terms of turnaround times, I cannot see where the B738 is at a significant disadvantage as FR turns aircraft around in similar times to WN (about 25 to 30 minutes). You can make the age old argument about turnaround times but reality check. An additional 5 to 10 minutes per rotation is not going to make very much difference.



Next Flights: CX178 MEL-HKG; CX257 HKG-LHR; EI387 LHR-SNN; EI384 SNN-LHR; CX250 LHR-HKG; CX135 HKG-MEL
User currently onlineAntoniemey From United States of America, joined Dec 2005, 1607 posts, RR: 4
Reply 6, posted (4 years 5 months 5 days 5 hours ago) and read 7955 times:

Quoting tonymctigue (Reply 5):
An additional 5 to 10 minutes per rotation is not going to make very much difference.

It will after the aircraft has made 5 flights.



Make something Idiot-proof, and the Universe will make a more inept idiot.
User currently offline777fan From United States of America, joined Jan 2006, 2524 posts, RR: 2
Reply 7, posted (4 years 5 months 5 days 5 hours ago) and read 7955 times:

I'd argue the point about load factors; practically every WN flight I've been on over the past few years (typically involving BWI and/or MDW) has been full. Additionally, as tonymctigue pointed out, the addition turn time is likely to have a minimal affect on WN's overall schedule. Considering this, how did they work the TZ 738s into their schedule?

777fan



DC-8 61/63/71 DC-9-30/50 MD-80/82/83 DC-10-10/30 MD-11 717 721/2 732/3/4/5/G/8/9 741/2/4 752 762/3 777 A306/319/20/33 AT
User currently offlinetonymctigue From Ireland, joined Feb 2006, 1961 posts, RR: 9
Reply 8, posted (4 years 5 months 5 days 5 hours ago) and read 7922 times:
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Quoting Antoniemey (Reply 6):
It will after the aircraft has made 5 flights.

5 flights = 2x25 = 50 minutes (assuming two rotations per round trip flight). You will not get an extra flight out of that aircraft on any given day just by taking five minutes extra per rotation to turn the plane around and the extra revenue from the additional passengers you carry on a single flight will more than cover the cost of the extra few minutes on the ground.



Next Flights: CX178 MEL-HKG; CX257 HKG-LHR; EI387 LHR-SNN; EI384 SNN-LHR; CX250 LHR-HKG; CX135 HKG-MEL
User currently offlinebaw716 From United States of America, joined Nov 2003, 2028 posts, RR: 27
Reply 9, posted (4 years 5 months 5 days 4 hours ago) and read 7813 times:

WN crew costs will go up with the 738, so they will have to weigh that against the benefits of the extra capacity going into LGA (really the only place where slot constraints are really critical).

I can't imagine them adding additional variants since their stage lengths are reasonably short on most of their flights. To get them for a single route or for transcon just doesn't make sense for them. IMHO.

baw716



David L. Lamb, fmr Area Mgr Alitalia SFO 1998-2002, fmr Regional Analyst SFO-UAL 1992-1998
User currently offlineWNTex From United States of America, joined Jun 2008, 72 posts, RR: 0
Reply 10, posted (4 years 5 months 5 days 3 hours ago) and read 7667 times:

Quoting DfwRevolution (Reply 3):
2. Traditionally low load factors at WN, there's no point flying empty seats.

Low? If you think an average LF of 75% is low...then maybe.

Quoting 777fan (Reply 7):
Considering this, how did they work the TZ 738s into their schedule?

They were never responsible for scheduling TZ's 738s AFAIK, nor were they ever part of WN's fleet.

WNTex



"The chief cause of failure and unhappiness is trading what you want most for what you want now." -Zig Ziglar
User currently offlinedl767captain From United States of America, joined Mar 2007, 2539 posts, RR: 0
Reply 11, posted (4 years 5 months 5 days 3 hours ago) and read 7650 times:

I guess it started with compatibility with the existing 737 fleet and it just doesn't make sense for them to start adding the -800 to the mix when they are doing just fine with the -700.

User currently offlineWNTex From United States of America, joined Jun 2008, 72 posts, RR: 0
Reply 12, posted (4 years 5 months 5 days 3 hours ago) and read 7615 times:

Quoting 777fan (Thread starter):
This has probably been beat to death but after driving past BWI this afternoon and watching the endless parade of WN's 737-700s arrive and depart, I couldn't help but wonder how they'd fare with the -800 and -900 variants both in terms of capacity and range.

Discuss...

oops, forgot to give my two cents on the topic at hand....

...yes, it's been absolutely beat to death. Judging by WN's actions, apparently the -800s etc... don't fit in their business plans, or else you can be sure that they would've had them by now. And for a company that has been profitable for over 30+ straight years, I think they know what's best for them. Really, simple as that.

WNTex



"The chief cause of failure and unhappiness is trading what you want most for what you want now." -Zig Ziglar
User currently offlinethegreatRDU From United States of America, joined Mar 2006, 2311 posts, RR: 4
Reply 13, posted (4 years 5 months 5 days 2 hours ago) and read 7488 times:

I don't think it would be wise especially now that they are venturing into new destinations like ECP and GSP...

Quoting tonymctigue (Reply 5):
An additional 5 to 10 minutes per rotation is not going to make very much difference.

Tell that to Spirit Airlines...



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User currently onlinePlanesNTrains From United States of America, joined Feb 2005, 5793 posts, RR: 28
Reply 14, posted (4 years 5 months 5 days 2 hours ago) and read 7426 times:

Quoting tonymctigue (Reply 8):
5 flights = 2x25 = 50 minutes (assuming two rotations per round trip flight). You will not get an extra flight out of that aircraft on any given day just by taking five minutes extra per rotation to turn the plane around and the extra revenue from the additional passengers you carry on a single flight will more than cover the cost of the extra few minutes on the ground.

Without arguing a specific example, I would respectfully disagree in principle. 50 minutes/day x 30 (let's assume) -800's = 25 hours, or about 2 to 2 1/2 planes' worth of flying per day. While you might argue that they wouldn't schedule a plane at the end of the day in those last minutes, I don't think it matters. The productivity of the asset will be reduced in the hours/day respect, tying up the equivalent of about $60-$80 million in assets over what they otherwise would do (a rough guess of what WN pays for the plane/engine/fittings for 2 1/2 planes).

Would the extra passenger capacity balance that out? I have my doubts.

Quoting WNTex (Reply 10):
Quoting DfwRevolution (Reply 3):
2. Traditionally low load factors at WN, there's no point flying empty seats.

Low? If you think an average LF of 75% is low...then maybe.

Well, "traditionally" they have been the lowest of the majors, and relatively speaking that still seems to be true.

-Dave



Next Trip: SEA-ABQ-SEA on Alaska
User currently onlineAntoniemey From United States of America, joined Dec 2005, 1607 posts, RR: 4
Reply 15, posted (4 years 5 months 5 days 1 hour ago) and read 7319 times:

Quoting tonymctigue (Reply 8):
You will not get an extra flight out of that aircraft on any given day just by taking five minutes extra per rotation to turn the plane around and the extra revenue from the additional passengers you carry on a single flight will more than cover the cost of the extra few minutes on the ground.

Depending on the city pairs you were flying, you COULD get an extra flight out of that.

Of course, what we need to look at to figure this out is WN's specific utilization rate... how many hours a day is each aircraft in the air, on average... how many flights does it make each day, what's the average flight length, and how long is the average turn. (Yes, I know WN is famous for the 20 minute turn, but they're not all that short.)

Anyone have access to that information, or at least decent estimates?



Make something Idiot-proof, and the Universe will make a more inept idiot.
User currently offlineCALPSAFltSkeds From United States of America, joined Dec 2006, 2728 posts, RR: 9
Reply 16, posted (4 years 5 months 4 days 21 hours ago) and read 7031 times:

It may take an extra 5 minutes to turn the 738.

But, there may be a couple of ways to look at the 738 flying for WN that could benefit from added capacity.

Many WN routes have 5 or more roundtrips. If the 738 gave them 25 extra seats, that would result in 972 seats on 6 flights where 7 73G flights now offer 959 seats. The extra cost of the 738 fuel and 4th FA would be easily eclipsed by the reduction of one flight. Knowing WN like frequency, this reduction would probably work well on markets with 6 or more daily flights and allow 5-10 extra turn times. The more flights in the market, the more opportunity for frequency reduction without leaving holes in the schedule.

Another way would be to set the 738 at 150 seats (3 FAs) and offer something like 35-36 inch pitch throughout the cabin. That would allow 13 more seats to be sold with only the added fuel per flight and purchase cost amortized over the life of the aircraft. the added pitch could show more value for customers and probably aid the turn time by just plain having more space to move in and out of each row.

I don't think WN flies any routes where the slightly extra range or the 73G vs. 738 would be needed. It looks like SEA-BWI and SAN-BWI are the longest flights. CO flies the heavier 738 EWR-SEA/SFO, IAH-ANC, LAX-HNL/OGG (ETOPS fuel needed).


User currently offlinetonymctigue From Ireland, joined Feb 2006, 1961 posts, RR: 9
Reply 17, posted (4 years 5 months 4 days 15 hours ago) and read 6824 times:
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I have one word to disprove all the above claims about the suitability of the B738 for LCC operations. Ryanair, Europe's biggest, most successful and most profitable LCC, who pride themselves on the 25 minute turnaround using the B738.


Next Flights: CX178 MEL-HKG; CX257 HKG-LHR; EI387 LHR-SNN; EI384 SNN-LHR; CX250 LHR-HKG; CX135 HKG-MEL
User currently onlinePlanesNTrains From United States of America, joined Feb 2005, 5793 posts, RR: 28
Reply 18, posted (4 years 5 months 4 days 13 hours ago) and read 6689 times:

Quoting tonymctigue (Reply 17):
I have one word to disprove all the above claims about the suitability of the B738 for LCC operations. Ryanair, Europe's biggest, most successful and most profitable LCC, who pride themselves on the 25 minute turnaround using the B738.

To be fair, I'm not saying it couldn't work or wouldn't work, but I think there are considerations that may tip the balance in the other direction. It depends on the carrier, and WN is not the same as every carrier. I guess the reverse argument could be made: If WN is so successful with the -700, why doesn't Ryanair fly it?

-Dave



Next Trip: SEA-ABQ-SEA on Alaska
User currently offlineSEPilot From United States of America, joined Dec 2006, 7144 posts, RR: 46
Reply 19, posted (4 years 5 months 4 days 13 hours ago) and read 6678 times:

I think that the big reason is flexibility; having all of their planes the same size means that any crew and any aircraft can fill any hole in the schedule. To those who haven't had to manage a schedule, this may seem like a small thing, but it significantly reduces the need for spare aircraft and crews, and makes utilization much more efficient. Since they started with the 772, when the Classics came along the natural choice was the 773, as it was the same size. So when the NG's came out, it likewise made more sense to go with the 73G rather than the 738, as it would fit seamlessly. Perhaps if they had made the decision at that point to switch to the 738 it would have worked out for them, but it would have likely meant that the 733's would have had to be phased out much faster. But the main point is that WN has been consistently profitable whereas no other legacy airline has been, and it is awfully hard to argue convincingly with success. If they do choose to add larger planes to deal with slot restrictions, it will only be done after very careful analysis. Personally, I think they will choose not to mess with what has brought them success.


The problem with making things foolproof is that fools are so doggone ingenious...Dan Keebler
User currently offlineCitationJet From United States of America, joined Mar 2003, 2469 posts, RR: 3
Reply 20, posted (4 years 5 months 4 days 12 hours ago) and read 6585 times:

Quoting SEPilot (Reply 19):
Since they started with the 772, when the Classics came along the natural choice was the 773, as it was the same size.

I think you mean the 732 and the 733. I don't think WN has jumped to the 777-200 and 777-300 yet. You will get everyone on a.net going crazy with that one......

 



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User currently offlineSEPilot From United States of America, joined Dec 2006, 7144 posts, RR: 46
Reply 21, posted (4 years 5 months 4 days 11 hours ago) and read 6478 times:

Quoting CitationJet (Reply 20):
I think you mean the 732 and the 733. I don't think WN has jumped to the 777-200 and 777-300 yet. You will get everyone on a.net going crazy with that one......

Oops, you got me.    Of course, had WN been flying the 772 in the 70's that would REALLY spark some discussion...



The problem with making things foolproof is that fools are so doggone ingenious...Dan Keebler
User currently offlineFlight209 From United States of America, joined May 2006, 78 posts, RR: 0
Reply 22, posted (4 years 5 months 4 days 10 hours ago) and read 6356 times:

My question is a bit different: why has WN never bothered with the 736? WN still flies the 735, and the 736 could be a more fuel-efficient replacement for the 735, just as the 735 was a more fuel-efficient successor to the 732 on routes thought to have too little pax demand for the 733 or, later, the 73G.


I may question your opinion, but I'll never question your right to it.
User currently offlineScottB From United States of America, joined Jul 2000, 6826 posts, RR: 32
Reply 23, posted (4 years 5 months 4 days 10 hours ago) and read 6345 times:

Quoting tonymctigue (Reply 17):
Ryanair, Europe's biggest, most successful and most profitable LCC, who pride themselves on the 25 minute turnaround using the B738.

Southwest's business model is not the same as Ryanair's.

Quoting Antoniemey (Reply 15):
how many flights does it make each day, what's the average flight length, and how long is the average turn. (Yes, I know WN is famous for the 20 minute turn, but they're not all that short.)

Historically, Southwest's 737's did about 8 flights per day but that's down to 6.5 now as the average stage length has gone up a bit.

Quoting tonymctigue (Reply 8):
5 flights = 2x25 = 50 minutes (assuming two rotations per round trip flight). You will not get an extra flight out of that aircraft on any given day just by taking five minutes extra per rotation to turn the plane around and the extra revenue from the additional passengers you carry on a single flight will more than cover the cost of the extra few minutes on the ground.

They're not scheduling a single aircraft, they're scheduling 540 aircraft, and 5 extra minutes per flight works out to 17 additional aircraft across the schedule of 3300+ daily flights (assuming an average duty day of about 16 hours).

Quoting WNTex (Reply 10):
Low? If you think an average LF of 75% is low...then maybe.

WN has traditionally had one of the lowest load factors among the majors -- made up for by the fact that they've generally had the highest percentage of full-fare customers.

Quoting CALPSAFltSkeds (Reply 16):
Many WN routes have 5 or more roundtrips. If the 738 gave them 25 extra seats, that would result in 972 seats on 6 flights where 7 73G flights now offer 959 seats. The extra cost of the 738 fuel and 4th FA would be easily eclipsed by the reduction of one flight. Knowing WN like frequency, this reduction would probably work well on markets with 6 or more daily flights and allow 5-10 extra turn times. The more flights in the market, the more opportunity for frequency reduction without leaving holes in the schedule.

There is, however, a potential for reduced revenue when customers might choose a competitor with a more attractively-timed flight. WN gets a revenue premium over competitors in a number of short-haul markets due in part to their more frequent schedules.


User currently offline413X3 From United States of America, joined Jul 2008, 1983 posts, RR: 0
Reply 24, posted (4 years 5 months 4 days 10 hours ago) and read 6326 times:

Quoting tonymctigue (Reply 17):
I have one word to disprove all the above claims about the suitability of the B738 for LCC operations. Ryanair, Europe's biggest, most successful and most profitable LCC, who pride themselves on the 25 minute turnaround using the B738.

most airports served by Ryanair are lower traveled airports usually away from a busy area. For example Southwest has only 2 airports that I can think of that are away from a main city hub, Midway and Dallas Love. Everywhere else they fly into the main airport like LAX or LAS. Ryanair can fly into a less used airport which helps their turnaround time.


25 canyonblue17 : I have been told there is a technical reason why WN will not be getting the -800s. According to several pilots, because of their additional weight and
26 John : The 738 has excellent short field performance, so I don't think MDW limitations would be much of an issue, at least no more than it does for a -700. I
27 seabosdca : The 736 is actually less fuel-efficient than the 735 under most circumstances because it's so much heavier. That's why it sold so poorly. There is pr
28 Burkhard : A little tiny detail: Ryanair never boards through jetways, but over the tarmac using both doors even on airports that have jetways like Stansted. If
29 Post contains images UAL747DEN : Anyone remember the WN 757's.... I agree with you 100% on this one. Nope.
30 SEPilot : Why is the 736 so much heavier than the 735?
31 Cubsrule : TZ flew 738s to the west coast and SJU (on and off) for several years. To my knowledge, they never had runway performance issues.
32 ScottB : Actually, it is true; they just get more full-fare passengers because their "full fare" is lower than the refundable fares other airlines tend to off
33 413X3 : The technical reason for not ordering a 739 is because of short field performance issues. Not the 738
34 Post contains images chrisair : I like your thinking.
35 Viscount724 : The much larger 737NG wing must be a factor. 736 wingspan is almost 18 ft. greater than the 735, and the wing area is 18% larger. The tail is also 3
36 XT6Wagon : No, Some of WN's flights are extremely tightly timed so they can get in an extra leg. Also realise that a plane may start in the north west, make a s
37 WNCrew : Maybe we could have full-sized galleys with more storage, garbage space and even a SECOND Aft-Lavatory! YAY!
38 Cubsrule : What pitch are you thinking? A 738 at all 30 inch pitch seats 189. and one at 32 inches seats 175.
39 seabosdca : Everything Viscount724 listed, plus the extra structure needed to support all that additional MTOW and range. The optimum 737 Classic was the 737-300
40 XT6Wagon : WN runs 33-34" seat pitch.
41 rj777 : Plus, let's not forget that WN is an all-coach class airline....unless they decide to introduce a business class on these big birds.
42 Silver1SWA : Didn't we just have this discussion?! Anyway, the 738 has been a rumor since I got hired 6 years ago. However, it's become a little more convincing as
43 Hagerstrom : AS uses KDCA RWY 01/19 which is 6869 feet long. True, RWY 04/22 is 4911 feet, but it would never be selected for a transcon departure.
44 Cubsrule : Correct, which would be somewhere in the 160-170 seat range, not 149.
45 DfwRevolution : The 737-800 targets the larger market as there has always been more demand for 150-175 seat narrowbodies than any other segment. With the NG series,
46 western727 : In the context of WN I believe this is a moot point. As many of us know, WN some time ago tried transcons on a relatively large scale and shelved the
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