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Smallest Fleet Size For A Given Type?  
User currently offlinefaro From Egypt, joined Aug 2007, 1576 posts, RR: 0
Posted (3 years 9 months 3 weeks 4 days 21 hours ago) and read 7083 times:

Recently we had this thread discussing AA's decision to purchase two 77W's:

AA Orders 2 77W; FY2010 $471 Million Loss (by realsim Jan 19 2011 in Civil Aviation)

My question is how small a fleet for a given type can an airline efficiently operate. Two 77W's seems terribly mean...is it enough to justify in-house training/maintenance/support/etc or does AA have to incur the surcharges associated with subcontracting out these services for these 77W's?

Faro


The chalice not my son
51 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlineBMIFlyer From UK - England, joined Feb 2004, 8810 posts, RR: 58
Reply 1, posted (3 years 9 months 3 weeks 4 days 21 hours ago) and read 7088 times:

Well, BA operate 2 A318's......  


Sometimes You Can't Make It On Your Own
User currently offlinekaitak From Ireland, joined Aug 1999, 12562 posts, RR: 35
Reply 2, posted (3 years 9 months 3 weeks 4 days 21 hours ago) and read 7034 times:

AA's ultimate 77W fleet will be considerably more than two. However, you need to appreciate that the aircraft can be operated by the same crew and maintenance personnel, so it's not a fleet on its own, but more of a sub-fleet. Of course, there'll need to be separate facilities for the engine, but no doubt GE can help them with that.

Assuming that the aircraft will be operated to Asia (say, JFK-NRT or ORD-PVG), two aircraft is sufficient for only one daily long haul service, so it's almost definite that they will want more; both will be operating from the same base, be it ORD, DFW or JFK.

As to how many aircraft constitutes a minimum, for economies of scale etc, it's one of those "how long is a piece of string" questions; it'll vary from airline to airline, depending on their cost base, the kind of routes they operate etc.


User currently onlinePSU.DTW.SCE From United States of America, joined Jan 2002, 7696 posts, RR: 27
Reply 3, posted (3 years 9 months 3 weeks 4 days 21 hours ago) and read 7033 times:

A few things.
1) Is the future size of the fleet, it may be 2 to start but the airline likely has future plans for more
2) Commonality with other fleet types negates some of the inefficiencies of a small fleet


As for the smallest fleet types:
AA operated 2 747SPs for several years
DL operated 8 777s for many years before growing the fleet further


User currently offlinetymnbalewne From Bermuda, joined Mar 2005, 953 posts, RR: 1
Reply 4, posted (3 years 9 months 3 weeks 4 days 21 hours ago) and read 7026 times:

BA had 7 SSC's....AF had, I think, 6 operational?


Dewmanair...begins with Dew
User currently offlinecafedelmar From Spain, joined Jan 2011, 14 posts, RR: 0
Reply 5, posted (3 years 9 months 3 weeks 4 days 21 hours ago) and read 7004 times:

Looking to biggest operators in the world

China Southern operates 2 747 on 354 aircraft
http://www.airfleets.net/flottecie/China%20Southern%20Airlines.htm

China Eastern operates 3 767 on 258 planes
http://www.airfleets.net/flottecie/China%20Eastern%20Airlines.htm

TAM operates 4 777 on 146 planes
http://www.airfleets.net/flottecie/TAM.htm

So a lot of similar situation in the world.


User currently offlineBoeingGuy From United States of America, joined Dec 2010, 3208 posts, RR: 7
Reply 6, posted (3 years 9 months 3 weeks 4 days 21 hours ago) and read 7003 times:

AS had one each CV880 and CV990 at one time. There have been cases of an airline leasing a single airplane of a particular model. I've seen a photo of an LH DC-8, for example.

User currently offlineburnsie28 From United States of America, joined Aug 2004, 7557 posts, RR: 8
Reply 7, posted (3 years 9 months 3 weeks 4 days 21 hours ago) and read 6955 times:

I wouldn't consider the 777-300 different fleet type really from the 772, since it its just a stretched 772. At DL currently the smallest fleet is the 747 with 16.

DL's smallest to largest fleets as of JAN 1:

747- 16
777- 18
M90- 19
764- 21
330- 32
DC9- 34
763- 73
737- 83
M88- 117
319/320- 126
757- 154



"Some People Just Know How To Fly"- Best slogan ever, RIP NW 1926-2009
User currently offlineEGTESkyGod From United Kingdom, joined Jun 2005, 1712 posts, RR: 12
Reply 8, posted (3 years 9 months 3 weeks 4 days 21 hours ago) and read 6903 times:
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Quoting tymnbalewne (Reply 4):
BA had 7 SSC's....AF had, I think, 6 operational?

At the end it was even less... British Airways had 5 Concordes servicable after the modifications in 2001 resulting from the Paris accident, and Air France only had 4 back in service after this. Both airlines had 7 at their peak, Air France scrapped F-BVFD in 1994 and lost F-BTSC in 2000.



I came, I saw, I Concorde! RIP Michael Jackson
User currently offlineBoeingGuy From United States of America, joined Dec 2010, 3208 posts, RR: 7
Reply 9, posted (3 years 9 months 3 weeks 4 days 21 hours ago) and read 6888 times:

America West had one 737-100 for awhile that was used for Phoenix Suns charters.

AS currently has one 737-400F.


User currently offlinefaro From Egypt, joined Aug 2007, 1576 posts, RR: 0
Reply 10, posted (3 years 9 months 3 weeks 4 days 20 hours ago) and read 6865 times:

Quoting burnsie28 (Reply 7):
I wouldn't consider the 777-300 different fleet type really from the 772, since it its just a stretched 772.

True; I overlooked that point. For argument's sake however, if it were another, different aircraft, would two airframes justify in-house mx/training/admin support/etc or would you be forced to outsource?

Faro



The chalice not my son
User currently offlinesunking737 From United States of America, joined Feb 2005, 2057 posts, RR: 9
Reply 11, posted (3 years 9 months 3 weeks 4 days 20 hours ago) and read 6771 times:

Sun Country has 3 737-700 and IIRC 6 737-800. I am sure you will find some smaller carriers with under 10 planes.


Just an MSPAVGEEK
User currently offlinefpetrutiu From United States of America, joined Aug 2007, 901 posts, RR: 0
Reply 12, posted (3 years 9 months 3 weeks 4 days 19 hours ago) and read 6737 times:

RO (Tarom) has 2 A310's of which only 1 as an airliner (charter only I believe) and the 2nd as the Romanian equivalent of Air Force One.

RO also has 2 ATR72-500's but have 7 ATR42-500 if that counts


User currently offlineSEPilot From United States of America, joined Dec 2006, 7012 posts, RR: 46
Reply 13, posted (3 years 9 months 3 weeks 4 days 19 hours ago) and read 6724 times:

Quoting burnsie28 (Reply 7):
757- 154

Wow; I never realized that DL's biggest fleet was the 757.

Don't forget Braniff for many years had 1 747. It was bright orange, and flew daily from Dallas to Honolulu. One day the controller asked the pilot if all of their 747's were that color; the pilot (Len Morgan-he wrote this story in Flying Magazine many years ago) replied simply "Yes."



The problem with making things foolproof is that fools are so doggone ingenious...Dan Keebler
User currently offlineViscount724 From Switzerland, joined Oct 2006, 25838 posts, RR: 22
Reply 14, posted (3 years 9 months 3 weeks 4 days 18 hours ago) and read 6553 times:

Quoting faro (Thread starter):
Two 77W's seems terribly mean...is it enough to justify in-house training/maintenance/support/etc
Quoting BMIFlyer (Reply 1):
Well, BA operate 2 A318's....

Training and support etc. is minimal whey you already operate large fleets of the same aircraft family, i.e. AA's 47 777-200ERs and BA's 80 or more A319/320/321s. KL only operates 4 777-300ERs but they have 15 777-200ERs. AC operated a fleet of 2 A340-500s for several years, alongside a larger fleet of A340-300s.

Quoting PSU.DTW.SCE (Reply 3):
As for the smallest fleet types:
AA operated 2 747SPs for several years

And 2 of those 3 were ex-TWA which only operated those 3 747SPs.


User currently offlinefpetrutiu From United States of America, joined Aug 2007, 901 posts, RR: 0
Reply 15, posted (3 years 9 months 3 weeks 4 days 18 hours ago) and read 6511 times:

Quoting sunking737 (Reply 11):
Sun Country has 3 737-700 and IIRC 6 737-800. I am sure you will find some smaller carriers with under 10 planes.

Again ROT (RO - Tarom) has 3 737-800 although they have almost 30 airframes in the fleet.


User currently offlineBoeingGuy From United States of America, joined Dec 2010, 3208 posts, RR: 7
Reply 16, posted (3 years 9 months 3 weeks 4 days 18 hours ago) and read 6441 times:

Quoting SEPilot (Reply 13):
Wow; I never realized that DL's biggest fleet was the 757.

Think DL's biggest fleet used to be the 767, but they got a lot of 757s from NW also. DL used to have the biggest 767 fleet and AA had the biggest 757 fleet in the industry (although NH maybe have had more 767s at one time for a non-US carrier). But like I said that changed when DL inherited NW's 757s.


User currently offlineBasilFawlty From Netherlands, joined Jun 2009, 1331 posts, RR: 1
Reply 17, posted (3 years 9 months 3 weeks 4 days 17 hours ago) and read 6334 times:

As long as the airline already operates other types of the same aircraft family it's no big deal to have an additional type of the same family.


'Every year donkeys and mules kill more people than plane crashes'
User currently offlineSEPilot From United States of America, joined Dec 2006, 7012 posts, RR: 46
Reply 18, posted (3 years 9 months 3 weeks 4 days 17 hours ago) and read 6322 times:

I still think Braniff is the all-time champion for a major airline operating only 1 of a type on a regular daily schedule with nothing even remotely close in capacity to it anywhere in the fleet. That they did it successfully for several years is amazing.


The problem with making things foolproof is that fools are so doggone ingenious...Dan Keebler
User currently offlinekanban From United States of America, joined Jan 2008, 3727 posts, RR: 27
Reply 19, posted (3 years 9 months 3 weeks 4 days 13 hours ago) and read 6077 times:
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as I recall Pluna operated 1 737-200 in a fleet of prop jobs for some time before buying some 737-200 ADV's. , and operates a lone 757

User currently offlineIADCA From United States of America, joined Feb 2007, 1346 posts, RR: 8
Reply 20, posted (3 years 9 months 3 weeks 4 days 11 hours ago) and read 5993 times:

Quoting BasilFawlty (Reply 17):
As long as the airline already operates other types of the same aircraft family it's no big deal to have an additional type of the same family.

Exactly. A current example of this is VN, which has 66 planes, 10 of which are A330s: 9 -200s and a single -300. On the other hand, the 2 F70s they have are more anomalous. They're up there with SK for most diverse fleet: 7 types from 5 families, all in 66 frames.


User currently offlineKFlyer From Sri Lanka, joined Mar 2007, 1230 posts, RR: 0
Reply 21, posted (3 years 9 months 3 weeks 4 days 11 hours ago) and read 5956 times:

SriLankan for a long time had only one A320 and the number again fell down to one after the 2001 terrorist attack at Colombo airport. Up until late 2010 they had only three A320s ( no other 32S aircraft ). But they're the South Asia's highest reputed A320 MRO with contracts for many Indian LCCs. Hence on some cases, having a small fleet may not be a cost burden to an airline at all as they have the economies of scale. But if we're talking of an airline with three aircraft including one A320, one 737 and a DC8, there's something wrong. In AA's case, 77W is simply another 777 with just GE engines for a change. Many airlines operate multiple engine types ( UL has three IAE 320s and one CFM 320 - but their MRO services both types ) and AA is most likely going to have many GE90s soon.


The opinions above are solely my own and do not express those of my employers or clients.
User currently onlinemayor From United States of America, joined Mar 2008, 10585 posts, RR: 14
Reply 22, posted (3 years 9 months 3 weeks 4 days 11 hours ago) and read 5917 times:

When DL had their 747s in the 70s, they had 5 out of a total a/c fleet of 173......same with the original DC-10s they had.


"A committee is a group of the unprepared, appointed by the unwilling, to do the unnecessary"----Fred Allen
User currently offlineRamblinMan From United States of America, joined Oct 2010, 1138 posts, RR: 1
Reply 23, posted (3 years 9 months 3 weeks 4 days 10 hours ago) and read 5842 times:

Most extreme example I can think of is Air Vanuatu with a single 738. This bird constitutes the entire international "fleet" and is responsible for the majority of travel in and out of that country.

User currently offlineBurkhard From Germany, joined Nov 2006, 4405 posts, RR: 2
Reply 24, posted (3 years 9 months 3 weeks 4 days 7 hours ago) and read 5731 times:

Quoting faro (Reply 10):
For argument's sake however, if it were another, different aircraft, would two airframes justify in-house mx/training/admin support/etc or would you be forced to outsource?

In this case you better outsource, or if you do it yourself get an additional mx contract for further aircraft. I don't know if AA already makes 77W maintenance for other airlines, would not be astonished if they did.

LH as example has no 777 at all, but LH Technik maintains lots of them. So if LH would need a few, they could easily integrate them, but I think they think they have the better plane.


25 CitationJet : I agree. Braniff had one 747-100 that operated daily from DAL to HNL, then from DFW to HNL after DFW opened. This was done for several years. The nex
26 QatarA340 : Qatar operates 2 A319s of 90 aircraft.
27 bjorn14 : And I believe those are the LR models.
28 PHLBOS : Back in the 60s, NE leased one CV-990 for a period; it was called Flagship Rita. Note: there are no photos in A.net's database of this particular pla
29 kmot : Great Lakes Airlines (ZK) operates a fleet of 6 EMB-120's. I hear they have lots of issues with reliability with this fleet.
30 Post contains links and images mayor : Maybe this will help:
31 Post contains images PHLBOS : Thanks. I actually have a t-shirt that displays those plane profiles and Yellowbird image (from Sky Shirts).[Edited 2011-02-01 09:53:52]
32 AirNZ : It's really a question can just cannot be anywhere near accurately answered on here, simply because there are far too many variables to consider. Equ
33 CanadianNorth : Airline up here their jet fleet is two 737-200Adv, one 737-200C/Adv, one 737-400 and one 737-500. At first it looks aweful to have to fly and maintain
34 Post contains links eastbay : Mesa Airlines (Desert Sun), for America West Express, operated 2 F-70s for a short while, N528YV and N537YV. http://www.airliners.net/photo/Ameri...d=
35 cf6ppe : As noted in the quoted statement, EAL leased 3 PanAm B747's - per lease provisions, PanAm provided just about everything including maintenance but, e
36 DeltaRules : Didn't Air Canada operate a handful of A340-500s for a few years before bringing in the 777s?
37 Post contains images timpdx : PSA (yep, I am old) flew either 1 or 2 L1011s on the one hour jump between LA and SF. I got to go on one once as a kid. First WB I ever flew. I also g
38 BasilFawlty : Yes, AC operated 2 A345's for a very short period.
39 EddieDude : VW has only one or two CRJs now (not sure which model), as part of an otherwise all ATR-42 fleet. AM has only four (in theory five soon) 777-200ERs as
40 deltal1011man : At its peak Delta(pre-merger) had 138 757s(all 200s) 122 767s. (200s/300s/300ER/400ER)
41 Centre : Not that small, but SQ with their 5 all J A345.
42 FRAspotter : How often did that flight go tech? Was this route even profitable with only 1 aircraft?
43 FlyASAGuy2005 : For those flights to Asia, you'll need two a/c. If something every goes wrong with one, you're SOL and they'll have to pull a 77E to make up the miss
44 trex8 : The CEO of SQ was quoted a few years ago saying the smallest viable fleet size in their operations was about 6 planes.
45 VirginFlyer : Qantas used to operate two 747SPs (which were rare for SPs in aging Rolls Royce engines). V/F
46 PRFlyer : Philippine Airlines has a small fleet of 5 B744 servicing MNL-LAX, MNL-SFO and 2 B77W that will introduced for the MNL-YVR route.
47 PHLBOS : Another one to add: HP had four (at least according to A.net's database) 747s at one time.
48 Post contains links CitationJet : I believe that is correct. They were 747-200s used for Japan and Hawaii service, which ended September 1992. Here is a link to the detailed aircraft
49 ZRH : In the 1970ies Swissair operated only two 747-200 for the ZRH(GVA)-JFK flights.
50 BoeingGuy : They had 2 of them.
51 Post contains links CitationJet : Here was a recent thread with great photos of the PSA 1011's. http://www.airliners.net/aviation-fo...al_aviation/read.main/4954604/1/#1 .
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