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737/77(8)7 Or A320/A33(5)0 Airline; Could It Work?  
User currently offlineJakeOrion From United States of America, joined Oct 2005, 1255 posts, RR: 3
Posted (3 years 10 months 1 week 4 days 8 hours ago) and read 2341 times:

Looking at today's economy, airliners are unquestionably having difficulty making money. Obviously, Southwest and other airliners operating a single type fleet are doing well since their maintenance costs are down and are virtually "no frills" airlines, get you to point A or B with a can of soda and/or peanuts. Compared to say United Airlines operating everything from 737s, A320s, 757s, 767s, 747s and 777s maintenance costs are undoubtedly a nightmare.

Which brings me to my thread: could an airline operating just two types (such as 737/77[8]7 or A320/A33[5]0) be feasible? An airline having a 737/A320 for the bulk of the fleet, handing much of the domestic routes while the larger birds handle the overseas destinations.

[Edited 2011-02-17 14:50:44]


Every problem has a simple solution; finding the simple solution is the difficult problem.
11 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlineStitch From United States of America, joined Jul 2005, 31433 posts, RR: 85
Reply 1, posted (3 years 10 months 1 week 4 days 8 hours ago) and read 2336 times:
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If you can secure enough slots to maintain the frequencies you need to move enough traffic to make a profit, I don't see why it would not.

User currently offlineflyorski From United States of America, joined Dec 2004, 997 posts, RR: 1
Reply 2, posted (3 years 10 months 1 week 4 days 8 hours ago) and read 2297 times:

Quoting JakeOrion (Thread starter):
737s, A320s, 757s, 767s, 747s and 777s maintenance costs are undoubtedly a nightmare.

Actually after an airline flies a certain amount of a new type, its maintenance costs are also lowered. An airline flying 100 A320s and 100 737s has only a negligible difference in maintenance costs compared to an airline that flies 200 737. Economies of scale is gained and some markets can better served with multiple fleet types. This is one reason that WN will not rush to phase out the 717. Also flying multiple fleet types allows airlines to push for better deals from both Boeing and Airbus. It is one reason LH has so often stated they do not want to depend on only one manufacturer.



"None are more hopelessly enslaved, than those who falsly believe they are free" -Goethe
User currently offlineJakeOrion From United States of America, joined Oct 2005, 1255 posts, RR: 3
Reply 3, posted (3 years 10 months 1 week 4 days 8 hours ago) and read 2297 times:

Would it be beneficial to the airline though? Is having a mix fleet of say 4 aircraft really necessary, especially today?


Every problem has a simple solution; finding the simple solution is the difficult problem.
User currently offlineJakeOrion From United States of America, joined Oct 2005, 1255 posts, RR: 3
Reply 4, posted (3 years 10 months 1 week 4 days 8 hours ago) and read 2279 times:

By the way, it doesn't have to be an all Boeing fleet. It could be a combination of 737/A330 fleet or whichever you prefer. I was just curious if an airline with just two types could survive in the current environment.


Every problem has a simple solution; finding the simple solution is the difficult problem.
User currently offline328JET From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 5, posted (3 years 10 months 1 week 4 days 7 hours ago) and read 2198 times:

Quoting flyorski (Reply 2):
It is one reason LH has so often stated they do not want to depend on only one manufacturer.

And that is a good procedure!


Lufthansa has stated several times, that they need at least 15 aircrafts of a single type to operate them economically.


I doubt, that an airline which operates 200 B737s or A320s makes more profit, than an airline which runs 100 of each.

Sometimes it makes more sense to have a more diverse fleet, especially on longhaul, to have more optimised aircrafts for specific city pairs.


User currently offlinesancho99504 From United States of America, joined Dec 2005, 576 posts, RR: 0
Reply 6, posted (3 years 10 months 1 week 4 days 7 hours ago) and read 2167 times:

Quoting JakeOrion (Reply 3):

I think so, yes, especially with an airline that flies a lot of long haul. DL has been blessed with the 744/A330 combo inherited from the merger with NW. Each aircraft has its strengths, as well as its weaknesses. DL has the ability to operate a 4000nm route with a 763, 764, A332/3, 77E/L, or 744. Depending on LF and cargo, 763/4 and a332/3 are the better options because they're more efficient on the shorter stage lengths compared to a 77 vs A332 on a 6400nm trip. So a mixed fleet works very well especially when you can have economies of scale that DL has. SQ has been replacing 77E's on shorter sectors with A333's because they're more efficient on the sub-4000nm routes.



kill 'em all and let God sort 'em out-USMC
User currently offlinemsypi7185 From United States of America, joined Oct 2007, 711 posts, RR: 0
Reply 7, posted (3 years 10 months 1 week 4 days 1 hour ago) and read 1920 times:

It certainly can work. US long term plans are to have A320 series a/c for
Domestic/Carribean/Latin American services and A330's/A350's for longhaul. Eventually the 767's
will be replaced by A330's or A350's. The 757's will be the oddball
as there is not a replacement A/C at this time. I hope to see what the
A320NEO program produces. Maybe this program could lead to the
Development of an A321 that can replace the 757. I am certain US
would jump on that immediately.

MD


User currently offlineBurkhard From Germany, joined Nov 2006, 4409 posts, RR: 2
Reply 8, posted (3 years 10 months 1 week 3 days 22 hours ago) and read 1790 times:

Quoting flyorski (Reply 2):
By the way, it doesn't have to be an all Boeing fleet. It could be a combination of 737/A330 fleet or whichever you prefer. I was just curious if an airline with just two types could survive in the current environment.

This depends on a lot of things to consider, and the optimum outcome will be different dpending on the mission of your buisiness.

Quoting flyorski (Reply 2):
It is one reason LH has so often stated they do not want to depend on only one manufacturer.

Since LH technic maintains all current (western) airliners anyways for many other airlines, LH can afford smaller sub fleets easily. That helps.


As others have stated, it depends on the fleet size. If your airline covers an area/airport that can fill 30 short range and 10 long range, you are well of with 30 type A and 10 type B´- far better then taking 5 of each.

On the other hand, every route has an optimum aircraft. If you cannot fill all seats of a 738 on some of your routes, you start to consider sub-types - it can be that at the end of the calculation the 30 type A end to be 20 B738 and 10 B73G. Makes planning a bit more complex, but in the end you save by not flying around unused seats and air.

Then there is the question of type rating of your crew. One of the big advantages of the A330 is, that the type rating from A320 to A320 is cheaper than a completely new type. So our said airline may be optimum with 10 A319, 20 A320, 10 A332, and a pool of pilots than can fly all types. This makes the entry into the long range sector for newcomers like Air Asia or Kingfisher easier.

Or do you have some connections that ask for more short range capacity, and some thick long range (TATL as example) connections that do not need A332 range, and we are at 10 A319, 12 A320, 8A321, 5 A332 and 5 A333, making more money than the first model.

Next question: do you lease or purchase your planes? If you purchase, is your intention to use them long term, invest into them to personalize the aircraft to your needs? If your financial situation is stable enough and you can afford to buy the aircraft, you will use them for 20 years maybe - the last years when they are paid for they use to make most money.

But if your intention is to fly the above A332/3 for 20 years, and after ten years you see you need another 10 aircraft, it is unlikely you order the same again - there may be better offers. So a certain fleet mix will happen over time. That is where most non newcomer airlines are in now.

Then it is a really complex calculation. What is better for you. What does a unification to less types cost? What does it save? And there are many parameters in this depending on your mission.

Then there are more things: Do you operate into slot restricted airports, and want to grow there? If, then you may need larger aircraft. Do you want feed from smaller airport, do you want others to provide you with this feed ( like Republic and all its airlines ) or do you want to set up a regional carrier yourself, or do you want to have this aircraft example E170 in your own airline? Now labor law and labor contracts and all such things come into the calculation.

Lets go to the extreme, if I'm not wrong LH currently flies ( Hansaline: CRJ2, CRJ7, CRJ9, E190, Avro RJ85, RJ100, E190, E195), B735, B733, A319, A320, A320, A333, A343, A346, B744 and A388 plus MD11 for cargo - and they doo this succesfull. It even turned out that keeping the B733 for a decade parallel to the same size A319 made sense - they were paid for and making money.

But as example Hawaiian could do all they do with their 717 and A332. A merged Alaska/Hawaian could do everything with B737s and A332 - but would it really be profitable to replace the inter Hawaiian 717s by 73G?

Just to say, yes, it could work if your mission does not require more. Not every mission can be accomplished with two types only.


User currently offlineKFlyer From Sri Lanka, joined Mar 2007, 1233 posts, RR: 0
Reply 9, posted (3 years 10 months 1 week 3 days 21 hours ago) and read 1744 times:

The best fleet is 737/787/777or 320/330/350. Depending on how the 797 will be shaped and whether 787-10 gets launched, this could change. EK for example is looking at an 350/77W-NG/380 fleet.


The opinions above are solely my own and do not express those of my employers or clients.
User currently offlineTK787 From United States of America, joined Jan 2006, 4478 posts, RR: 12
Reply 10, posted (3 years 10 months 1 week 3 days 18 hours ago) and read 1603 times:

Quoting KFlyer (Reply 9):
The best fleet is 737/787/777

I like this one! My favorite combo!

Quoting KFlyer (Reply 9):
The best fleet is 737/787/777or 320/330/350.

This one is even better. TK might have this fleet in the future,
As of now,
TK has 734, 738, 739, 77W and 310F, 319, 320, 321, 332, 333 343 and a couple of ATRs.
In all honesty, TK might order 787, 350 and the 380 in the next few years.

Also to be profitable TK can substitute planes on a daily basis.
So, on IST-LHR you can get a 738, 321, 332, 343, 77W even your itinerary says 321. That sucks for some pax but profitable for TK just by shuffling some frames around.


User currently offlinejoost From Netherlands, joined Apr 2005, 3188 posts, RR: 4
Reply 11, posted (3 years 10 months 1 week 3 days 15 hours ago) and read 1492 times:

Quoting JakeOrion (Thread starter):
Which brings me to my thread: could an airline operating just two types (such as 737/77[8]7 or A320/A33[5]0) be feasible?

Oh yes. When you don't include regional affiliates, there are airlines with A320/A340, or A320/A330/A340-only fleet. And as the A350 is set to (eventually) replace both the 330 and the 340, it's well possible. And when you consider A330/A340 "single" (for crew scheduling, they are, and there is much mx commonaility too), there are plenty of European examples:


IB: 319, 320, 321, 343, 346
TP: 319, 320, 321, 332, 343
EI: 320, 321, 332, 333
LX: 319, 320, 321, 332, 333, 343

On their way:
AY: 319, 320, 321, 333, 343 (757s to be replaced with new 321s)


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