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Ex-AirTran 717s A Good Fit For Delta?  
User currently offlinemplsjefe From United States of America, joined Mar 2011, 106 posts, RR: 0
Posted (2 years 11 months 3 weeks 2 days 19 hours ago) and read 12366 times:
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Since it looks like Southwest is going to give its ex-AirTran 717s back to Boeing much sooner than when the leases expire, would these be a good option for Delta?

http://travel.usatoday.com/flights/p...1/08/southwest-boeing-717/545260/1

Delta has been buying up used MD90s, and with the recent 737-900 orders they are still in need of a smaller dc-9, old md-80 and a319 replacement; Delta is very well acquainted with the DC9/MD80 family and this would seem to be a good fit.

Also, this would possibly be a huge cost saver and the planes would be available at a discount and also likely sooner than an order for other 100 seat aircraft like the Bombardier CSeries (as often predicted as a replacement by other Anetters).

These airframes are not that old and would be viable for many years to come, Like the MD90, would Delta be wiling to buy these at a discount and forgo an order for newer and more efficient replacements?

Thoughts?

39 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offline1337Delta764 From United States of America, joined Oct 2005, 6470 posts, RR: 2
Reply 1, posted (2 years 11 months 3 weeks 2 days 19 hours ago) and read 12356 times:

I actually think the 717 would be a good fit for Delta, and it would open up the opportunity to acquire the Saudia MD-90s as well due to common cockpit.


The Pink Delta 767-400ER - The most beautiful aircraft in the sky
User currently offlinen901wa From United States of America, joined Oct 2009, 457 posts, RR: 0
Reply 2, posted (2 years 11 months 3 weeks 2 days 19 hours ago) and read 12287 times:

That would be Cool. I think the 717 would be a good fit for Delta.

User currently offlineslclaxkixkhh From United States of America, joined Dec 2006, 83 posts, RR: 0
Reply 3, posted (2 years 11 months 3 weeks 2 days 18 hours ago) and read 12166 times:

IIRC Air Tran's 717s use Rolls Royce engines. If so, DL might not be thrilled to add an additional engine type that they would need to maintain. But then again, they also operate a fleet of seven 777-200ERs with a distinct engine type (RR Trents).


I'm not anti-social. I'm just not user friendly.
User currently offlineFlyASAGuy2005 From United States of America, joined Sep 2007, 7004 posts, RR: 11
Reply 4, posted (2 years 11 months 3 weeks 2 days 18 hours ago) and read 12164 times:

I do not see Delta picking up the 717s unless they rethink their entire strategy that's pretty much laid out through 2020. Here are a few reasons.

They are not in the position of adding capacity and this is straight from RA in an employee Q&A following the 739 order. They flat out said those frames are not meant to be a direct replacement to a specific seating segment hence why they said they will be backfilling for 757s, 320s, and 767s (yes they even included the 76Qs). They made it quite clear that even with the new orders, they want the overall fleet to remain flat-a/c exit and more come on-overtime.

Second to that is if they are to keep that strategy, they will have to start getting rid on 88s sooner than the current timeframe of 2017/18ish. Can they do this? Sure but it will go against their whole balancing act of age/ownership/operating costs. I can tell you right now that although the 717 may be more fuel efficient than an MD88, they can make up the cost through more seats. This is just the way the company thinkgs now and there's nothing wrong with that. DL's standard capacity on their 88s will be 16FC 133 YC. They essentially added like 9 "virtual a/c" as they call it with the added seats when everything is complete.

Third. They already have an answer to the lost DC9 capacity and those are the MD90s which you already stated but let's go to Delta's thinking again. They've added seats from their original config when the fleet only stood at 16 frames. Cap. is 16FC 144YC, the exact same as their 738s. So in their eyes, although overall fleet count is down, they are trying to maintainavailable seats in a very cheap way. Nothing wrong with this and makes good business sense. They also have a HUGE large RJ fleet (E170s/175s, CR7s/9s) that they use to their full advantage.

Off my soapbox but I don't see them moving for these frames. With the way DL runs the fleet now, I think they will look at the cost to operate vs. available seats AND make a comparisson to say the MD88 and say no thank you   . I do believe WN has essentially done the same thing.



What gets measured gets done.
User currently onlineseabosdca From United States of America, joined Sep 2007, 5378 posts, RR: 4
Reply 5, posted (2 years 11 months 3 weeks 2 days 18 hours ago) and read 12152 times:

Delta recently has expressed a strong preference for buying aircraft to hold for the long term (just look at Anderson's remarks, the buyouts of leased 752s and 763s, etc.) I think the only way this could possibly happen is if Boeing (are they the lessor on all the frames?) decided to sell the frames to Delta at a very steep discount. The 717, between higher maintenance costs and low seat count, doesn't seem as attractive for Delta as the MD-90. Honestly, an order of new C100s seems like a better proposition, at least unless the GTFs turn out to be maintenance-intensive.

I think the 717s will end up with an operator somewhere like Russia, India, or Indonesia, where funds are tight, traffic is growing quickly, and new market entrants have a better shot at success.

[Edited 2011-09-01 17:59:23]

User currently offlinegigneil From United States of America, joined Nov 2002, 16347 posts, RR: 85
Reply 6, posted (2 years 11 months 3 weeks 2 days 18 hours ago) and read 12130 times:

They WILL be acquiring a 100 seat aircraft. And they are in fact 100 seat aircraft.

But I am not sure they are competitive with the E195 or CSeries.

NS


User currently offlineFlyASAGuy2005 From United States of America, joined Sep 2007, 7004 posts, RR: 11
Reply 7, posted (2 years 11 months 3 weeks 2 days 18 hours ago) and read 12047 times:

Quoting seabosdca (Reply 5):

Exactly.

Quoting gigneil (Reply 6):

I know for a fact I'm in the minority but I don't see Delta making a move for that market but that's just my opinion. Just based on their philosophies as of late and I don't mean what I read on here or the net but from what I see and brief from the company personally on a near daily basis. Of course this can change in the future with new leadership but with Ed set to take the wheel when RA retires, I'm not too sure of this.

With that said, my personal feelings is that they won't be taking on anything smaller than the 88 and the closest thing will be the largest version on the C-Series.



What gets measured gets done.
User currently offlinemplsjefe From United States of America, joined Mar 2011, 106 posts, RR: 0
Reply 8, posted (2 years 11 months 3 weeks 2 days 17 hours ago) and read 11693 times:
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Will delta just ignore the 100+ seat market itself and continue to use its smaller contractors (i.e. comair, mesaba, etc) to fill that need. Is that more cost effective?

I will say that I think it is odd to think that a 150 seat MD-90 would replace a 100-130 seat DC9 . . . especially in the DC9 routes that this forum seems to believe that delta is promoting or going to discontinue.

If truly these routes could sustain 50% more passengers, why not upgrade those planes to older 757s or others many years before?


User currently offlinegigneil From United States of America, joined Nov 2002, 16347 posts, RR: 85
Reply 9, posted (2 years 11 months 3 weeks 2 days 17 hours ago) and read 11677 times:

Quoting FlyASAGuy2005 (Reply 7):
I know for a fact I'm in the minority but I don't see Delta making a move for that market but that's just my opinion.

Hey I feel you. They always seemed to go for bigger.

NS


User currently offlineFlyASAGuy2005 From United States of America, joined Sep 2007, 7004 posts, RR: 11
Reply 10, posted (2 years 11 months 3 weeks 2 days 16 hours ago) and read 11595 times:

Quoting mplsjefe (Reply 8):
Will delta just ignore the 100+ seat market itself and continue to use its smaller contractors (i.e. comair, mesaba, etc) to fill that need. Is that more cost effective?

They aren't. I'm just saying that I don't see Delta going that small. And a/c the size of the 717 or CS100 that is. IMHO, their 100+ seat market is more along the lines of an a/c the size of the MD80s. They allow far greater flexibility as far as rotue applications.

Quoting mplsjefe (Reply 8):
I will say that I think it is odd to think that a 150 seat MD-90 would replace a 100-130 seat DC9 . . . especially in the DC9 routes that this forum seems to believe that delta is promoting or going to discontinue.

Again, I think folks are missing the mark here. The MD90s are not intended to be a direct replacement for the now gone 30s/40s and soon to be 50s. To think that an a/c with the exact same seating capacity as a 738 will be direct replacement for an a/c that had a max capacity that is less than 25 pax less than the MD90/738 (and that's on the high end i.e. the 50s) is a little too straight and narrow.

Quoting mplsjefe (Reply 8):
If truly these routes could sustain 50% more passengers, why not upgrade those planes to older 757s or others many years before?

I don't see Delta flying 757s between Atlanta and Greer much less DTW and some of the smaller markets that now see a mix of 50s and CR7s/9s. This is about flexibility and growing your fleet at neglibible costs. The money spend on the MD90s is several million a peice from what I hear and on top of that they are adding more seats. So it's the same scenario were they are growing the fleet through aquisitions of physical frames plus the added seating capacity. Don't look at this as a direct replacement for anything.



What gets measured gets done.
User currently offlinegigneil From United States of America, joined Nov 2002, 16347 posts, RR: 85
Reply 11, posted (2 years 11 months 3 weeks 2 days 16 hours ago) and read 11558 times:

I don't understand why people always think an aircraft must be directly replaced.

NS


User currently offlineFlyASAGuy2005 From United States of America, joined Sep 2007, 7004 posts, RR: 11
Reply 12, posted (2 years 11 months 3 weeks 2 days 16 hours ago) and read 11536 times:

Quoting gigneil (Reply 9):
Hey I feel you. They always seemed to go for bigger.

I truly think that if the CS300 lives up to what BBD projects, it may have a bright future with the likes of AA/DL/UA, AA and UA especially because current scope requirments. I say UA because i'm not sure what the future of their large RJs will be with UA and CO pilots taking a hard line on the issue.



What gets measured gets done.
User currently offlinecatiii From United States of America, joined Mar 2008, 3029 posts, RR: 4
Reply 13, posted (2 years 11 months 3 weeks 2 days 16 hours ago) and read 11506 times:

This may be the Machiavellian in me, but why would FL/WN hand back aircraft to a lessor to allow them to be snapped up by what is becoming their chief competitor and used against them? Is there any precedent for lesse returns with conditions on follow on leases or sales by the lessor? I mean, if I were WN and I knew Boeing really wanted my business in the future, I might try and create those conditions.

User currently offlinelightsaber From United States of America, joined Jan 2005, 12981 posts, RR: 100
Reply 14, posted (2 years 11 months 3 weeks 2 days 16 hours ago) and read 11472 times:
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Quoting seabosdca (Reply 5):
The 717, between higher maintenance costs and low seat count, doesn't seem as attractive for Delta as the MD-90. Honestly, an order of new C100s seems like a better proposition, at least unless the GTFs turn out to be maintenance-intensive.

I 100% agree with this logic.

Although I suspect the CS300 would be a better fit for DL.

Quoting gigneil (Reply 11):
I don't understand why people always think an aircraft must be directly replaced.

Ditto.

Quoting catiii (Reply 13):
if I were WN and I knew Boeing really wanted my business in the future, I might try and create those conditions.

Why would WN/FL care if Boeing sold or leased the less economical aircraft to a competitor? I would think WN/FL would chuckle in glee! It isn't as if DL couldn't buy new aircraft easily. Compared to the C-series, unless Bombardier misses promise, the 717 just won't be competitive.

My thought is why would DL buy more old generation aircraft right before the new engines arrive? But I'm such an engine nut that I might be biased...

Lightsaber



Societies that achieve a critical mass of ideas achieve self sustaining growth; others stagnate.
User currently offlinemplsjefe From United States of America, joined Mar 2011, 106 posts, RR: 0
Reply 15, posted (2 years 11 months 3 weeks 2 days 16 hours ago) and read 11411 times:
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The very strong arguments here for Delta to buy new, more efficient aircraft, all make sense . . .

but the fact that they are acquiring used MD-90s and are opting for the now 'old" engine 737-900s makes those same arguments complicated. If they are replacing old md80s, a320s and dc9s, the MD90 is bigger and there is no guarantee that those extra seats will be filled. Also, without buying a320neos or the Boeing equivalent for the next fleet refit, does Delta really care so much about upfront costs or more for long-term bottom line? especially when they can dump the discounted and used jets once orders for the neo, etc open up?

Just being the Devil's advocate here . . .


User currently offlinegigneil From United States of America, joined Nov 2002, 16347 posts, RR: 85
Reply 16, posted (2 years 11 months 3 weeks 2 days 16 hours ago) and read 11385 times:

The MD90 is only moderately bigger than the A320, and it does have the benefit of a newer engine than really most (all?) of Delta's A320s and A319s.

I thought it was quite short sighted of NW to continue to take A320s with an inferior engine and even convince Airbus to hang it on the A319. Its not like IAE continued to offer the V2500-A1.

NS


User currently offlinecatiii From United States of America, joined Mar 2008, 3029 posts, RR: 4
Reply 17, posted (2 years 11 months 3 weeks 2 days 16 hours ago) and read 11385 times:

Quoting lightsaber (Reply 14):
Why would WN/FL care if Boeing sold or leased the less economical aircraft to a competitor? I would think WN/FL would chuckle in glee! It isn't as if DL couldn't buy new aircraft easily. Compared to the C-series, unless Bombardier misses promise, the 717 just won't be competitive.

My thought is why would DL buy more old generation aircraft right before the new engines arrive? But I'm such an engine nut that I might be biased...

They would care if those aircraft were synergized by a competitor into a network that made them economical. Anderson has stated that "we're not buying shiny new objects," that at the end of the day the goal is to improve P&L and if an existing airframe can meet those goals at the fraction of the cost (i.e. used MD-90s over new 738s) that diminishes the attractivness of a re-engined aircraft.

As FlightGlobal has repeatedly (and I think correctly) pointed out, Delta puts much more weight on ownership cost in aircraft purchases than on promised efficiency improvements.


User currently offlinetullamarine From Australia, joined Aug 1999, 1547 posts, RR: 0
Reply 18, posted (2 years 11 months 3 weeks 2 days 16 hours ago) and read 11329 times:

Why is it that Americans seem to think that they only airline who could possible be interested in an aircraft such as these 717s are other American airlines? We have this conversation every time a US airline changes its fleet.

Aircraft are easily relocated anywhere on the planet. It's incredibly unlikely that DL would be interested in the 717. Those that will be interested are probably existing 717 customers around the globe and that is who the lessors will be calling first when WN is able to return these aircraft.



717,721/2,732/3/4/5/7/8/9,742/3/4,752/3,762/3,772,W,A310,320,321,332,333,388,DC9,DC10,F28,F100,142,143,E90,CR2,D82/3/4,S
User currently offlinecatiii From United States of America, joined Mar 2008, 3029 posts, RR: 4
Reply 19, posted (2 years 11 months 3 weeks 2 days 15 hours ago) and read 11306 times:

Quoting tullamarine (Reply 18):
Aircraft are easily relocated anywhere on the planet. It's incredibly unlikely that DL would be interested in the 717. Those that will be interested are probably existing 717 customers around the globe and that is who the lessors will be calling first when WN is able to return these aircraft.

All 3 operators outside the United States operating a total of 27 of them?   In all seriousness, are any of them increasing their capacity that much to want the 88 that FL has? And if they did, why haven't they already gone after the 20 or so of them in storage at VCV?


User currently offlinelightsaber From United States of America, joined Jan 2005, 12981 posts, RR: 100
Reply 20, posted (2 years 11 months 3 weeks 2 days 15 hours ago) and read 11221 times:
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Quoting catiii (Reply 17):
As FlightGlobal has repeatedly (and I think correctly) pointed out, Delta puts much more weight on ownership cost in aircraft purchases than on promised efficiency improvements.

NW was bitten hard not buying those 'promised efficiency improvements.' There is a reason it is now part of DL...

Buying cheap, but not the latest efficiency improvements, works best for aircraft that are kept a short time. Long term there is a risk of further rises in the price of oil.

The 717 is a great aircraft, but the engines require cold hard cash to keep flying. Those 'promised efficiency improvements' by Bombardier would pay for the CS300 in about 8 years. So unless Bombardier misses target of DL only keeps the 717 a short time frame... DL would do better buying new.

And buying new might be 73Gs. I could see that business case (even with CFM-56s). I do not see the business case for DL and the 717. I cannot make the annual cost of flying a 717 lower than a 73G for DL. A 73G doesn't cost much more than a 717 per block hour. With the latest CFM-56-7 PIP, they probably will have the same cost per block hour.

So the question is, could the 717 be discounted enough to make up for the 20 fewer seats? Financing should only be 10% to 15% of the block hour costs. So even a free 717 will have trouble versus the current 73G. Good luck versus the 737MAX. In particular on any mission over 700nm.

Quoting tullamarine (Reply 18):
Why is it that Americans seem to think that they only airline who could possible be interested in an aircraft such as these 717s are other American airlines?

It is more interesting to speculate in a single buyer. Most non-US operators of large fleets utilize newer aircraft.

Or as noted:

Quoting catiii (Reply 19):
All 3 operators outside the United States operating a total of 27 of them?

   Although there are rumors that the VCV fleet is going to Russia.

Boeing had trouble placing 20. What are they going to do with 88 unless they 'make a deal' with one large airline? If all 88 are grounded it would butcher the economics of the other 717 operators; mostly due to a halt in the production of spare parts.

If WN does drop the 717, Boeing has few hopes to place the type. For Boeing, DL makes sense.

Lightsaber



Societies that achieve a critical mass of ideas achieve self sustaining growth; others stagnate.
User currently offlinecatiii From United States of America, joined Mar 2008, 3029 posts, RR: 4
Reply 21, posted (2 years 11 months 3 weeks 2 days 15 hours ago) and read 11187 times:

Quoting lightsaber (Reply 20):
NW was bitten hard not buying those 'promised efficiency improvements.' There is a reason it is now part of DL...

Totally agree with you. The "one airline's trash is another airline's treasure" philosophy to fleet planning is I think a short-term, short-sighted view that doesn't take into account things that we can presume will happen (continued upward pressure on energy costs because of increased global consumption and instability in energy producing countries, carbon tax regimes around the world penalizing older airframe/engine technologies). In the near term DL may return more value to their shareholder but in the long term I'm not so sure they're going to be well positioned.


User currently offlinestratosphere From United States of America, joined Sep 2007, 1651 posts, RR: 4
Reply 22, posted (2 years 11 months 3 weeks 2 days 15 hours ago) and read 11187 times:

Quoting 1337Delta764 (Reply 1):
I actually think the 717 would be a good fit for Delta, and it would open up the opportunity to acquire the Saudia MD-90s as well due to common cockpit.

Actually the cockpit is no where near common..The MD-90 cockpit is more in line with the MD-88 not to mention the 717 has Rolls Royce engines and a cockpit more in line with an MD-11. I love the 717 don't get me wrong but I don't see DL picking it up.



NWA THE TRUE EVIL EMPIRE
User currently offlineFlyASAGuy2005 From United States of America, joined Sep 2007, 7004 posts, RR: 11
Reply 23, posted (2 years 11 months 3 weeks 2 days 15 hours ago) and read 11137 times:

Quoting stratosphere (Reply 22):
Actually the cockpit is no where near common..The MD-90 cockpit is more in line with the MD-88 not to mention the 717 has Rolls Royce engines and a cockpit more in line with an MD-11. I love the 717 don't get me wrong but I don't see DL picking it up.

The SV MD90s he was referring to actually are the only glass MD90s. CRTs actually, not LCD but glass none-the-less. All other MD90s share a common layout to the MD88s with EFIS. That's why he was saying it may open the possibility of DL picking up the SV birds but I don't see either (the SV 90s or the 717s) coming on with Detla.



What gets measured gets done.
User currently offlinemplsjefe From United States of America, joined Mar 2011, 106 posts, RR: 0
Reply 24, posted (2 years 11 months 3 weeks 2 days 14 hours ago) and read 11081 times:
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All great points . . . but did anyone really see the used MD-90s coming into Delta's fleet 3 years ago? The purchase of used MD90 airframes didn't' seem to make sense then, but now Anetters are saying it was a good replacement for DC9s etc. . . . how is the 717 any different? It would fill an important niche until new aircraft can be purchased and available and may be get a really good deal i.e. they would own them at likely a significant discount and can then see how the market, oil costs, etc.

25 FlyASAGuy2005 : Actually, the "DL wants all MD90s" rumor had been around for quite a long time now. However, I think every situation and specific need is different..
26 ZKNCL : Possibly, well DL is in discussion of a 100 seater which the 717 is a 100 seater. DL wants 100 more aircraft and the 717 fleet in AirTran is 88 plus t
27 bonusonus : Absolutely. And based on the order book for the CS right now, DL should still be able to get them relatively soon (2015 most likely). If DL waits on
28 KarlB737 : To stick to their business plan which is with one aircraft type. Except that they cost more money. Since these "New Engine Option" and New 737s are f
29 richierich : I dont think DL has any interest in these aircraft unless they were offered dirt cheap, and there is no reason to think that is the case. I don't know
30 KarlB737 : It could be said that the B717s provide WN with the "regional jet" that they have needed for a long time now for smaller markets but have never had a
31 Post contains images seabosdca : And only if Boeing is selling them outright. DL would have less than zero interest in leasing old birds of this nature. But I expect Boeing wants to
32 richierich : As WN has said, the B717 doesn't represent enough of a reduction in size versus the B737 to warrant a secondary fleet type. And the use of "regional
33 FLALEFTY : One of the issues with the B717 are the RR BR700 engines. This engine family was designed with the luxury business jet market in mind (G-V, 550, 650 a
34 Post contains images NWAROOSTER : I do NOT think Boeing would allow any restrictions as to who Boeing would lease or sell the 717s to, that WN returns. It would not make good business
35 jc2354 : Didn't AA try to do this with Boeing when they were getting rid of the F-100s? My way of thinking, which is usually warped, is that Delta (or any air
36 Dalmd88 : Someone at DL did. If I recall DL first inspected the China MD90's at least five years ago. I do remember a crew meeting back in 2004 where the fleet
37 Post contains images NWAROOSTER : Boeing might be willing to help Delta obtain the necessary approvals to overhaul the engines from the FEDS to get the 717s off the market. Delta poss
38 rlwynn : Airtran BR715 engines are overhauled in Montreal.
39 Dalmd88 : I doubt we would really want to add that line. There just isn't a big enough insource market I believe. Just about everything we add to do inhouse ha
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