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AA At LAX. Only 5 MD-80 Departures A Day?  
User currently offlineAmerican 767 From United States of America, joined May 1999, 3741 posts, RR: 12
Posted (1 year 10 months 1 week 6 days 5 hours ago) and read 15212 times:
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Anyone who works for American or flies American to LAX often noticed this?

American has only 5 MD-80 departures a day out of LAX, that is less than 10pc of all AA mainline (not Eagle) departures a day out of LAX. I know the MD-80 phase out has already begun but American still has a massive fleet of those, that's why I am surprised to see fewer MD-80 departures out of LAX where American is pretty strong. I believe that until recently American still had over 10 MD-80 departures a day out of LAX.

AFAIK, the 5 daily MD-80 departures are as follows: 3 to STL (3 flights a day LAX-STL) and 2 to LAS (5 flights a day LAX-LAS, the other 3 are 737s). What surprises me the most is LAX-DFW sees no more Super 80, because DFW is Super 80 heaven. If anyone has to add something or correct something, please do so, because again that is as far as I know.

Slightly off topic, three weeks ago I flew on a 737 from ORD to LGA. I was expecting an MD-80.

Ben Soriano


Ben Soriano
53 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlinespiritair97 From United States of America, joined Jan 2011, 1231 posts, RR: 0
Reply 1, posted (1 year 10 months 1 week 6 days 5 hours ago) and read 15221 times:

Quoting American 767 (Thread starter):
AFAIK, the 5 daily MD-80 departures are as follows: 3 to STL (3 flights a day LAX-STL) and 2 to LAS (5 flights a day LAX-LAS, the other 3 are 737s). What surprises me the most is LAX-DFW sees no more Super 80, because DFW is Super 80 heaven. If anyone has to add something or correct something, please do so, because again that is as far as I know.

I am surprised LAX-DFW doesn't have them anymore.

Quoting American 767 (Thread starter):
Slightly off topic, three weeks ago I flew on a 737 from ORD to LGA. I was expecting an MD-80.

They have a heaping helping of flights on the ORD-LGA/LGA-ORD route, consisting of a vast variety of 738s and MD80s. Was your flight scheduled as an MD80? Because otherwise their really isn;t any reason to be surprised and if you want, you can still fly an MD80 from ORD-LGA about 6-7x daily.


User currently offline4engines4lnghll From United States of America, joined Aug 2010, 64 posts, RR: 0
Reply 2, posted (1 year 10 months 1 week 6 days 5 hours ago) and read 15130 times:

Theres a few more like AUS, SJD , etc. but not much.


4engines4lnghll
User currently offlineAmerican 767 From United States of America, joined May 1999, 3741 posts, RR: 12
Reply 3, posted (1 year 10 months 1 week 6 days 5 hours ago) and read 15049 times:
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FORUM MODERATOR

No it was not scheduled as MD-80, I was already unpleasantly surprised when I saw it was a 737 upon booking on aa.com
I booked the flight a few days before, I thought most ORD-LGA flights were MD-80s as it always was since the mid 90s (1994 or so). I was quite disappointed.
However, I flew about a week ago EWR-DFW-EWR roundtrip, both flights were MD-80s.

4engines4longhaul, you are partially right.

AUS-LAX that's MD-80 equipment 3x daily, but SJD-LAX is now 737 equipment 2x daily. So that s 8 MD-80 departures a day out of LAX.

[Edited 2012-09-20 20:36:28]


Ben Soriano
User currently offlineqqflyboy From United States of America, joined Oct 2003, 2266 posts, RR: 13
Reply 4, posted (1 year 10 months 1 week 6 days 5 hours ago) and read 14977 times:

Quoting 4engines4lnghll (Reply 2):
Theres a few more like AUS, SJD , etc. but not much.

LAX-SJD is now a 738 too. But yes, the one LAX-AUS flight is an S80, and the 115am redeye from LAX to DFW is still an MD-80. But it's the only LAX-DFW flight that's still an MD-80. Just like when AA starting pulling down the 727 fleet, they left the west coast first. We're beginning to see the same with the MD-80 fleet.

FYI, AA now has 185 738 a/c in service, and 196 MD-80s. AA will be taking three 738s a month through the end of the year, with many more to follow for the foreseeable future. With that information, AA's 738 fleet will be near 200 a/c by the end of year, and finally match or surpasse the MD-80 in fleet size.



The views expressed are mine alone and do not necessarily reflect my employer’s views.
User currently offlineLAXintl From United States of America, joined May 2000, 24884 posts, RR: 46
Reply 5, posted (1 year 10 months 1 week 6 days 4 hours ago) and read 14923 times:

If you remember back several years, AA optimized its schedule and isolated fleets and tried to minimize equipment variation at stations.

While LAX is a big station, same thing happened here - much of the MD80 flying turned into 738s.

You want to see something more interesting look at MIA -- out of 220 or so mainline departures - 0 are normally planned on the MD-80.



From the desert to the sea, to all of Southern California
User currently offlineLonghornmaniac From United States of America, joined Jun 2005, 3278 posts, RR: 45
Reply 6, posted (1 year 10 months 1 week 6 days 4 hours ago) and read 14801 times:

Quoting qqflyboy (Reply 4):
one LAX-AUS flight is an S80

LAX-AUS is 3x, all S80.

Cheers,
Cameron


User currently offlinePSU.DTW.SCE From United States of America, joined Jan 2002, 7529 posts, RR: 28
Reply 7, posted (1 year 10 months 1 week 6 days 4 hours ago) and read 14751 times:

As AA has acquired more 738s, they have attempted to pull the MD-80s off the longer routes as much a possible. Primarily for fuel efficiency reasons.

User currently offlineBDL757 From United States of America, joined Apr 2012, 149 posts, RR: 0
Reply 8, posted (1 year 10 months 1 week 6 days 1 hour ago) and read 14380 times:

Quoting qqflyboy (Reply 4):
FYI, AA now has 185 738 a/c in service, and 196 MD-80s. AA will be taking three 738s a month through the end of the year, with many more to follow for the foreseeable future. With that information, AA's 738 fleet will be near 200 a/c by the end of year, and finally match or surpasse the MD-80 in fleet size.

Off topic but I have a question about AA's 738s; I was chatting with an AA employee the other day and he said that American was going to configure their -800s with 150 seats instead of the 160 seat most other carriers use. I had to go meet my flight and couldn't ask anymore questions but I was wondering why they would be doing this? My only thought was for the new Main Cabin Extra but pulling out 10 seats seemed like a lot.


User currently offlineN1120A From United States of America, joined Dec 2003, 26376 posts, RR: 76
Reply 9, posted (1 year 10 months 1 week 6 days 1 hour ago) and read 14295 times:

The MD80 makes less sense at LAX because of its location. You can hit anywhere in the Lower 48 and basically any mainline Canadian or Mexican destination with an MD80 from DFW or ORD. You can't do that at LAX.

Quoting spiritair97 (Reply 1):
I am surprised LAX-DFW doesn't have them anymore.

I'm not surprised that there is only one LAX-DFW running the MD80. They need more capacity on that route most of the time.

Quoting LAXintl (Reply 5):
If you remember back several years, AA optimized its schedule and isolated fleets and tried to minimize equipment variation at stations.

That plan was drawn down quite a bit as more 737s came into the fleet.

Quoting PSU.DTW.SCE (Reply 7):
As AA has acquired more 738s, they have attempted to pull the MD-80s off the longer routes as much a possible. Primarily for fuel efficiency reasons.

Not really fuel efficiency. More than anything, its simply an issue of the MD80 not having even close to the range of the 738. Within its range band, the MD80 is still reasonably efficient because of its low weight.

Quoting BDL757 (Reply 8):
Off topic but I have a question about AA's 738s; I was chatting with an AA employee the other day and he said that American was going to configure their -800s with 150 seats instead of the 160 seat most other carriers use. I had to go meet my flight and couldn't ask anymore questions but I was wondering why they would be doing this? My only thought was for the new Main Cabin Extra but pulling out 10 seats seemed like a lot.

MCE is definitely the reason for this, and it allows AA to staff with one fewer FA in addition to monetizing MCE and giving an elite perk. Remember that AA already has sub-150 seat 738s flying around, the ones without the "sliding" seats in Y.



Mangeons les French fries, mais surtout pratiquons avec fierte le French kiss
User currently offlineRWA380 From United States of America, joined Feb 2005, 3129 posts, RR: 5
Reply 10, posted (1 year 10 months 1 week 5 days 22 hours ago) and read 14142 times:

Quoting PSU.DTW.SCE (Reply 7):
As AA has acquired more 738s, they have attempted to pull the MD-80s off the longer routes as much a possible. Primarily for fuel efficiency reasons.

Still see them at PDX & SEA all the time, that's 4 hours or so on the M80, oddly the same trip on an A319 was half an hour shorter on average than the M80 has been for me in the past. Difference was I am generally in F when flying with AA.  



AA-AC-AQ-AS-BN-BD-CO-CS-DL-EA-EZ-HA-HP-KL-KN-MP-MW-NK-NW-OO-OZ-PA-PS-QX-RC-RH-RW-SA-TG-TW-UA-US-VS-WA-WC-WN
User currently offlineAmericanAirFan From United States of America, joined Jun 2004, 408 posts, RR: 3
Reply 11, posted (1 year 10 months 1 week 5 days 19 hours ago) and read 13704 times:

SFO actually went to having ZERO MD-80s, and I'm not %100 sure, but I heard they went back to 1X daily into SFO. It's a new age in aviation sadly. On the plus side, DL is keeping their DC-9 series aircraft around and even acquiring the 717. Also the MD-80/87 are currently G4's bread and butter. So they will still be around for a little while, but they're definitely becoming a more scarce sight.


"American 1881 Cleared For Takeoff One Seven Left"
User currently offlineBobloblaw From United States of America, joined Jan 2012, 1642 posts, RR: 1
Reply 12, posted (1 year 10 months 1 week 5 days 19 hours ago) and read 13557 times:
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The MD80 has high operating costs and low ownership costs. So it makes sense to keep them on shorter routes where they will have lots of idle time. Since idle time is less expensive on a M80 than on a 738. This is a good move by AA.

User currently offlineAAR90 From United States of America, joined Jan 2000, 3466 posts, RR: 47
Reply 13, posted (1 year 10 months 1 week 5 days 19 hours ago) and read 13455 times:

Quoting BDL757 (Reply 8):
Off topic but I have a question about AA's 738s; I was chatting with an AA employee the other day and he said that American was going to configure their -800s with 150 seats instead of the 160 seat most other carriers use. I had to go meet my flight and couldn't ask anymore questions but I was wondering why they would be doing this? My only thought was for the new Main Cabin Extra but pulling out 10 seats seemed like a lot.

AA will have 4 different configurations for 738s... at least for a while. Today's fleet count shows 30 acft remaining w/148 seats and 152 acft with 160 seats. Main Cabin Extra original plan was to remove a row from coach (154 seats) but I don't see any acft listed as configured that way. Recently employees were informed the "revised" MCE configuration would be 150 seats (two rows having a "desk" between the seats) providing an extra "selling point" (and reducing FAR required F/A manning to 3). Again, I don't see any configured that way at the moment.

Quoting N1120A (Reply 9):
Not really fuel efficiency. More than anything, its simply an issue of the MD80 not having even close to the range of the 738. Within its range band, the MD80 is still reasonably efficient because of its low weight.

Fuel efficiency is absolutely the reason. The longer the flight, the less "efficient" the MD80s are compared to the 738s. The shorter the flight, the less economic difference there is and the less pressure to change equipment type. Hence, MD80s are slowly being replaced on flights to the west coast (market-by-market decisions).



*NO CARRIER* -- A Naval Aviator's worst nightmare!
User currently offlinesw733 From United States of America, joined Feb 2004, 6304 posts, RR: 9
Reply 14, posted (1 year 10 months 1 week 5 days 18 hours ago) and read 13423 times:

Quoting AmericanAirFan (Reply 11):
SFO actually went to having ZERO MD-80s, and I'm not %100 sure, but I heard they went back to 1X daily into SFO.

Yesterday and today, at least, were:

LAX - All 738
DFW - All 738 except for 1x 763
ORD - All 738
MIA - All 757 and 763
JFK - All 762 except for 1x 763

Again, this is all just today and yesterday, but no AA MD80s seem to have made regularly scheduled flights to SFO.


User currently offlinemhkansan From United States of America, joined Jan 2010, 672 posts, RR: 1
Reply 15, posted (1 year 10 months 1 week 5 days 18 hours ago) and read 13238 times:

The M80s are best used now for short-haul flying as they should be. I think that's where we'll see the last of them in 2017 - flying short-haul routes in and out of DFW and ORD to places like STL, SAT, OKC, AUS, IAH, LIT, XNA, ABQ, BHM - etc. The nature of the West Coast flying is longer block times, It is natural/obvious/smart that they draw down flying on those longer flights. I think the next routes to lose the S80 are the long haul West Coast routes ex-DFW, like YYC, SEA, and PDX. Then we'll see them infill the S80 flights to BWI, PHL, BDL, etc unless AA wants to rid each hub of them one by one. LAX and ORD are certainly more competitive than DFW for AA, so it might make sense to draw down S80 flying in those hubs first. Personally I think they keep a few S80s around for awhile and use some of the new 737s for new flying, especially for international flights to Central and South America. Its a good airplane for MIA/DFW-Central America. DFW-BOG anyone?

User currently offlinelightsaber From United States of America, joined Jan 2005, 12903 posts, RR: 100
Reply 16, posted (1 year 10 months 1 week 5 days 18 hours ago) and read 13110 times:
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Quoting American 767 (Thread starter):
What surprises me the most is LAX-DFW sees no more Super 80

Yea!    Sitting in the back next to those loud engines (even if Pratts...) is no fun. It is good to see AA has enough 738s to make this happen now.

Quoting Bobloblaw (Reply 12):
The MD80 has high operating costs and low ownership costs. So it makes sense to keep them on shorter routes where they will have lots of idle time. Since idle time is less expensive on a M80 than on a 738. This is a good move by AA.

Exactly. Get it off long routes where the fuel burn advantage of the 738 makes it cheaper to fly *and* it carries more people. As the A319s enter the fleet, I expect the MD-80 operating radius to drop sharply.

Quoting mhkansan (Reply 15):
I think the next routes to lose the S80 are the long haul West Coast routes ex-DFW, like YYC, SEA, and PDX.

If that hasn't already been done, it should be.

Quoting mhkansan (Reply 15):
Personally I think they keep a few S80s around

AMR is not set up to economically operate a small number of a type. Other airlines could, but not AA. Not with their current labor relations. I think you'll see a push to buy "88 seats" ASAP to ensure the MD-80s are retired on schedule.

Lightsaber



Societies that achieve a critical mass of ideas achieve self sustaining growth; others stagnate.
User currently offlineB747forever From Sweden, joined May 2007, 17056 posts, RR: 10
Reply 17, posted (1 year 10 months 1 week 5 days 18 hours ago) and read 12907 times:

Quoting lightsaber (Reply 16):
Sitting in the back next to those loud engines (even if Pratts...) is no fun.

Tell me about it! I flew on the MD80 LAX-ORD redeye this past summer and sitting close to the engines made it really hard to get any sleep.

So no more AA MD80s between LAX-ORD?



Work Hard, Fly Right
User currently offlineJAAlbert From United States of America, joined Jan 2006, 1556 posts, RR: 1
Reply 18, posted (1 year 10 months 1 week 5 days 18 hours ago) and read 12876 times:

Quoting lightsaber (Reply 16):
Yea! Sitting in the back next to those loud engines (even if Pratts...) is no fun. It is good to see AA has enough 738s to make this happen now.

Usually the airlines and flights I fly use the reliable but oh-so-common 737. So I was excited when I was able to fly a Delta MD-80 awhile back. It was a pleasant ride up front, but I was stunned at how noisy it was in the back. The entire cabin seemed to vibrate and rattle. I couldn't imagine riding in the back for 3-4 flight in one of them. Was the 727 as noisy? I don't ever recall rear-engined planes making quite so much a racket, but perhaps I wasn't paying attention back then.


User currently offlinemhkansan From United States of America, joined Jan 2010, 672 posts, RR: 1
Reply 19, posted (1 year 10 months 1 week 5 days 18 hours ago) and read 12677 times:

Quoting lightsaber (Reply 16):
AMR is not set up to economically operate a small number of a type. Other airlines could, but not AA. Not with their current labor relations. I think you'll see a push to buy "88 seats" ASAP to ensure the MD-80s are retired on schedule.

The ownership costs are low on the S80s now. The ones they keep will be the ones they own, are relatively new, and will likely fly them until their cycles run them up to a D-Check. As you know, some of the S80s are newer than the oldest 737s. AA has a lot of spare parts for S80s and a healthy, small fleet of 'em in DFW is something I AA will find prudent. Its a card they should take from DL. Perhaps as more 319s come online, we'll see them in smaller markets like AMA, LBB, SHV, etc. where there is very little mainline competition and they can park it overnight.

Don't get me wrong the S80s are definitely on their way out. I don't think AA will let a good airframe waste in the desert if they can fly them cheaply on short hops around the South and use up the rest of their lifetime cycles.

Also, quick look at some long S80 markets ex-DFW to the West Coast for next Sunday.

DFW-PDX 4x
DFW-YYC 2x
DFW-FAT 2x
DFW-SJC 5x
DFW-RNO 2x
DFW-SAN 6x
DFW-SMF 4x
DFW-DFW-SJD 2x
DFW-PSP 2x
DFW-PVR 1x
DFW-GDL 1x

As far as ORD goes they used to send them ORD-PSP and still fly a few ORD-LAS (kind of W.C.) but everything else is 738. That, and AA doesn't do a lot of ORD-W.C. compared to UA. AA ORD is a better Midwest-to-Northeast hub.

[Edited 2012-09-21 07:42:08]

User currently offlineTan Flyr From United States of America, joined Aug 2000, 1904 posts, RR: 0
Reply 20, posted (1 year 10 months 1 week 5 days 17 hours ago) and read 12530 times:

Quoting PSU.DTW.SCE (Reply 7):
As AA has acquired more 738s, they have attempted to pull the MD-80s off the longer routes as much a possible. Primarily for fuel efficiency reasons.
Quoting mhkansan (Reply 19):
The ownership costs are low on the S80s now. The ones they keep will be the ones they own, are relatively new, and will likely fly them until their cycles run them up to a D-Check. As you know, some of the S80s are newer than the oldest 737s. AA has a lot of spare parts for S80s and a healthy, small fleet of 'em in DFW is something I AA will find prudent. Its a card they should take from DL. Perhaps as more 319s come online, we'll see them in smaller markets like AMA, LBB, SHV, etc. where there is very little mainline competition and they can park it overnight.

Don't get me wrong the S80s are definitely on their way out. I don't think AA will let a good airframe waste in the desert if they can fly them cheaply on short hops around the South and use up the rest of their lifetime cycles.

Also, quick look at some long S80 markets ex-DFW to the West Coast for next Sunday.

DFW-PDX 4x
DFW-YYC 2x
DFW-FAT 2x
DFW-SJC 5x
DFW-RNO 2x
DFW-SAN 6x
DFW-SMF 4x
DFW-DFW-SJD 2x
DFW-PSP 2x
DFW-PVR 1x
DFW-GDL 1x

As far as ORD goes they used to send them ORD-PSP and still fly a few ORD-LAS (kind of W.C.) but everything else is 738. That, and AA doesn't do a lot of ORD-W.C. compared to UA. AA ORD is a better Midwest-to-Northeast hub.

Following up from these two responses...late last spring I was told by agents at FAT and several crews on DFW- FAT flights that FAT was due to go to 738's by mid summer or so. Tht was part of a plan to reduce MD-80s at the coasts from DFW for several reasons: stage length (keep them closer home as indicated above) and higher fuel costs on both coasts. So LAX having only a few MD 80's now makes perfect sense since they are used on shorter hauls, less fuel load needed.

I'm hoping someone in AA knows when FAT will see the change to 738's? or are we on the list far down the road for 319's? Since the laods in the morning in particular are almost 100% I believe they could easily sell teh extra seats a 738 over the 80 any day. Just my 2 cents! any info is welcome.


User currently offlineckfred From United States of America, joined Apr 2001, 5181 posts, RR: 1
Reply 21, posted (1 year 10 months 1 week 5 days 16 hours ago) and read 11777 times:

Quoting AAR90 (Reply 13):
AA will have 4 different configurations for 738s... at least for a while. Today's fleet count shows 30 acft remaining w/148 seats and 152 acft with 160 seats. Main Cabin Extra original plan was to remove a row from coach (154 seats) but I don't see any acft listed as configured that way. Recently employees were informed the "revised" MCE configuration would be 150 seats (two rows having a "desk" between the seats) providing an extra "selling point" (and reducing FAR required F/A manning to 3). Again, I don't see any configured that way at the moment.

If so many of the 738s now have 160 seats, why do seating charts on AA.com still show the old seating chart with 148 seats? It makes it hard to pick a seat in coach, ahead of the wing, if you want to avoid the row(s) that don't have windows.


User currently offlineTUSdawg23 From United States of America, joined May 2010, 110 posts, RR: 0
Reply 22, posted (1 year 10 months 1 week 5 days 16 hours ago) and read 11753 times:

Quoting PSU.DTW.SCE (Reply 7):
As AA has acquired more 738s, they have attempted to pull the MD-80s off the longer routes as much a possible. Primarily for fuel efficiency reasons.

If that's the case, then why is AA using them on routes like ORD-PHX and ORD-TUS regularly? The ORD-TUS flight I've flown numerous times and I know it's about 3 hours gate to gate. I know the ORD-PHX will mix in 738's, but why not the TUS flights I wonder?


User currently offlineTan Flyr From United States of America, joined Aug 2000, 1904 posts, RR: 0
Reply 23, posted (1 year 10 months 1 week 5 days 16 hours ago) and read 11367 times:

Quoting TUSdawg23 (Reply 22):
I know the ORD-PHX will mix in 738's, but why not the TUS flights I wonder?

One of the things as I understand it is having spare parts, etc on hand. Also training of ground crews..so until they can perhaps schedule all that, then it is just as easy to keep the Mad Dogs...just like FAT.


User currently offlinelightsaber From United States of America, joined Jan 2005, 12903 posts, RR: 100
Reply 24, posted (1 year 10 months 1 week 5 days 16 hours ago) and read 11250 times:
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Quoting JAAlbert (Reply 18):
It was a pleasant ride up front, but I was stunned at how noisy it was in the back. The entire cabin seemed to vibrate and rattle. I couldn't imagine riding in the back for 3-4 flight in one of them. Was the 727 as noisy? I don't ever recall rear-engined planes making quite so much a racket, but perhaps I wasn't paying attention back then.

The rear of even the L1011 was loud. But back then, life was louder. Remember how *little* noise insulation cars had back then? Do you recall what a 'step-change' in automotive noise the Lexus LS-400 was? Ever ride in a VW beattle pre-super beatle? They are *not* quiet inside. Heck, Honda is getting bad reviews for cars with road noise yet they are far quieter than the Hondas from the 1980s.

For years I avoided AA due to the MD-80 noise (in the aft cabin). I'm happy to see it is a non-issue. I rode an AA MD-80 in February (right at the engines) and that was enough to remind me why I dislike the type. Since then, I've picked the 738, 752, or 767 (not sure if it was 762 or 763...) flights.

Quoting mhkansan (Reply 19):
The ownership costs are low on the S80s now. The ones they keep will be the ones they own, are relatively new, and will likely fly them until their cycles run them up to a D-Check.

Let's break it down. For longer missions, the ownership costs are about 15% of the cost of flying, fuel is going to be 30% to 35%. However, the MD-80s have a maintenance issue and fewer seats than the 738 (160 now).
1. The JT-8Ds are very dependable for their 8,000 cycles. Compare that to 20,000 for a CFM-56-7. Even though a JT8D overhaual is much lower cost than a CFM-56-7 (last I looked, about 60%), 2.5X * 60%=150% of the total maintenance bill.
2. The MD-80s have zero predictive maintenance capability. In other words, they will always have more last minute (flight delay) maintenance items. It is one reason the current AA pilot action is being so effective. I know the CFM-56-7s have some predictive maintenance. I'm not sure how much the 738 has, but it is more than the MD-80.   
3. Many of the MD-80s need new avionics. Why spend the retrofit money on an airframe to be replaced?

MD-80s are being retired. No longer will other airlines share the costs of buying parts/engineering for the MD-80:


While I agree with your theory, the reality is that the added costs of operating an MD-80 (fuel, maintenance, and less revenue due to fewer seats) is why their resale is so poor. They burn 25% more fuel than a 738 or, for a short flight, 5% to 6% of the costs (recall, the lease is at most 15% and will be *far* less on the A319s). If the route fills an A319, there is the advantage of:
1. Additional savings of 5% to 8% on maintenance
2. paperless cockpit? (returns about 2 hours of the day back to the pilots personal life)
3. New airplanes (maintenance holiday)

For the first few years, the A319s should have a 1% or so *lower* cost per flight than the newest MD-80s. Why pay to keep the old planes around? e.g., flight training (different pilot pool), pay to train F/As on one more type, etc.

For those short missions, why not fly a lighter 88 (or less) seat aircraft? CASM will be about the same and the per flight costs far less. Too many 'close to DFW' missions are boarderline to fill a MD-80 but are too 'thick' for a 50-seat RJ (e.g., ICT).

I agree AA should milk out the MD-80 life. But they should have stopped D-checks 18 months ago. (Does anyone know?) If not, they should have for 2012. This puts a 2019 cap (maybe 2020) on the MD-80 fleet. By 2017, when the MD-80s should be retired, there will not be enough left with D-check life.

In fact, the economics of the MD-80 really do not pay for a C-check! There is no ROI versus using the money for a new A319.    Thus, I expect in mid to late 2015 for AA to stop even performing C-checks on the MD-80s. Stop paying the staff to maintain an run the simulators after early 2017...

Quoting mhkansan (Reply 19):
AA has a lot of spare parts for S80s and a healthy, small fleet of 'em in DFW is something I AA will find prudent.

But there is no ROI on a C or D-check. Better to bring in A319s, E-jets or MRJs. Please recall we're talking a transition in 2015 to 2017. The A319 will have a 90k cycle life then (low maintenance costs on short haul). I fail to see how AA would pay to keep a type in service with no defined economic mission.

Also realize that the AMR MD-80 retirement will only temporarily cut the costs of MD-80 parts. It will also push vendors out of the business of supplying some MD-80 parts. Thus by 2020 or so, part costs will actually increase. AMR is just not set up to efficiently manage a small subfleet. Republic or any of the other RJ vendors could. Cut the expense.

Keeping the MD-80s would also curtail AA's in terminal advertisements on how they'll have the youngest fleet.  

Note: I have a different opinion for airlines with proven strategies for low utilization (e.g. Allegiant). But AMR is not set up for 3X/week operation of an aircraft.

Lightsaber



Societies that achieve a critical mass of ideas achieve self sustaining growth; others stagnate.
User currently offlinelaca773 From United States of America, joined Nov 2004, 4002 posts, RR: 2
Reply 25, posted (1 year 10 months 1 week 5 days 15 hours ago) and read 11295 times:
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Quoting TUSdawg23 (Reply 22):

If that's the case, then why is AA using them on routes like ORD-PHX and ORD-TUS regularly? The ORD-TUS flight I've flown numerous times and I know it's about 3 hours gate to gate. I know the ORD-PHX will mix in 738's, but why not the TUS flights I wonder?

I've wondered about this as well. It would seem routes such as these as well as DFW-SEA/PDX/SJC/FAT/ONT would be flown with the 738s now. Is it possibly because of the F cabin, and the amount of paid F or demand for upgrades is less/more?

In regards to LAX, I can see the last route or two being LAX-LAS, since they can continue on to DFW, or do turns all day. They could do the same with LAX-SFO, but don't some of those flights continue eastbound, hence the reason for them being changed, upgauged to the 738?

How much longer will LAX-AUS and LAX-STL be flown with M80s? I remember LAX-STL having one or two 757s in the schedule previously. I wouldn't be surprised if this route slowly disappears.


User currently offlineN737AA From United States of America, joined Aug 2008, 270 posts, RR: 0
Reply 26, posted (1 year 10 months 1 week 5 days 12 hours ago) and read 9583 times:

I'm always amazed at all of the experts on this board.......Armchair experts that is...

BTW....the "D" Check type maintenance program went away long ago....MSG3 Heavy C Check is the correct terminology, i.e HC6.

Most of what I've read here is really amazingly entertaining with the exception of the facts that QQflyboy and AAR90 have cited......lightsaber...wow you have an imagination....are you even in the airline business...just sayin'

N737AA


User currently offlineripcordd From United States of America, joined Apr 2000, 1149 posts, RR: 1
Reply 27, posted (1 year 10 months 1 week 5 days 12 hours ago) and read 9445 times:

Well I think AA switchs over to a 738 based on the length the longer the better vs 80 and the yeild of the route markets like TUS AA prob gets a higher yeild to off set a 80 on the route vs 738. And of course you now see them on ord-lga route and I think this is just to fill in the downtime gaps on the 738

User currently offlineN1120A From United States of America, joined Dec 2003, 26376 posts, RR: 76
Reply 28, posted (1 year 10 months 1 week 5 days 9 hours ago) and read 8207 times:

Quoting AAR90 (Reply 13):
The longer the flight, the less "efficient" the MD80s are compared to the 738s.

Of course.

Quoting mhkansan (Reply 15):
The M80s are best used now for short-haul flying as they should be. I think that's where we'll see the last of them in 2017 - flying short-haul routes in and out of DFW and ORD to places like STL, SAT, OKC, AUS, IAH, LIT, XNA, ABQ, BHM - etc.

Exactly. This will be their mission more and more. That and some bridge turns. That's really the reason the MD80 still hits LAX as it is.

Quoting lightsaber (Reply 16):
Sitting in the back next to those loud engines (even if Pratts...) is no fun. It is good to see AA has enough 738s to make this happen now.

On the contrary, MD80s are actually nicer for premium passengers. The forward cabin is significantly quieter than the 737.

Quoting N737AA (Reply 26):
lightsaber...wow you have an imagination....are you even in the airline business...just sayin'

Its attacks like that that chase people away from this site. Lightsaber knows as much or more about airplane fuel burn, engines, etc. than just about anyone, as he works/worked at P&W building the things.

Quoting laca773 (Reply 25):
How much longer will LAX-AUS and LAX-STL be flown with M80s? I remember LAX-STL having one or two 757s in the schedule previously. I wouldn't be surprised if this route slowly disappears.

LAX-STL is 3X daily and heavily utilized. The reason it is an MD80, from what I can see, is that they often bridge MD80s over STL between ORD/DFW and LAX. STL-LAX is within the still useful range band for the MD80 and this allows some movement around the system. Once there are more 738s, or perhaps once the A319s come into service, you will probably see those move in.



Mangeons les French fries, mais surtout pratiquons avec fierte le French kiss
User currently offlinelightsaber From United States of America, joined Jan 2005, 12903 posts, RR: 100
Reply 29, posted (1 year 10 months 1 week 5 days 8 hours ago) and read 7548 times:
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Quoting N1120A (Reply 28):
On the contrary, MD80s are actually nicer for premium passengers. The forward cabin is significantly quieter than the 737.

As I noted "in the back" the MD80s are too loud. My company won't pay for the forward cabin for me, thus as far as I'm concerned those seats do not exist.

Quoting N737AA (Reply 26):
lightsaber...wow you have an imagination....are you even in the airline business...just sayin'

Provide facts, not a flyby. I'm not in the airline business, but in the AIR VEHICLE business.   So I used an outdated term. Please provide a link if you think my estimates are off. I did good 'rule of thumb' estimates.

We know an MD-80 burns about 25% more fuel than a 738.
We know fuel prices are very high. Note: For the MD-80, high starts at $35/bbl!
We know the seat count is less for the MD-80 than the 738.
We know the maintenance bill is climbing for older planes.
We know interest rates are right now *very* low.

I know engine cycle lives. But that is a different story.

The above have shifted the 'hold old' versus buy new for those airlines that are able to secure financing as AA has done on 738s and A319s.

I expect an early retirement of the MD-80s. Maybe not 2017... But I read the annual reports of airlines to see where the costs are allocated.

Please point out where I was wrong. I'm curious. Other than a switch in terms that is still used for accounting if not operations. Just sayin' Because what matters at the end is money. How much would it cost to replace the MD-80 versus keep it. By 2017, it will not be worth putting a MD-80 through a C-check.

And AA is replacing them with 738s, A319s, and eventually a "88 seat or less" RJ.


Lightsaber



Societies that achieve a critical mass of ideas achieve self sustaining growth; others stagnate.
User currently offlineN1120A From United States of America, joined Dec 2003, 26376 posts, RR: 76
Reply 30, posted (1 year 10 months 1 week 5 days 8 hours ago) and read 7473 times:

Quoting lightsaber (Reply 29):
As I noted "in the back" the MD80s are too loud. My company won't pay for the forward cabin for me, thus as far as I'm concerned those seats do not exist.

Upgrades baby!



Mangeons les French fries, mais surtout pratiquons avec fierte le French kiss
User currently offlineAAR90 From United States of America, joined Jan 2000, 3466 posts, RR: 47
Reply 31, posted (1 year 10 months 1 week 5 days 8 hours ago) and read 7372 times:

Quoting ckfred (Reply 21):
If so many of the 738s now have 160 seats, why do seating charts on AA.com still show the old seating chart with 148 seats? It makes it hard to pick a seat in coach, ahead of the wing, if you want to avoid the row(s) that don't have windows.

You've hit upon my personal "problem" with AA management. It isn't the decisions but rather the lack of execution (especially the speed). Can't tell if the decisions were good or bad until you've executed those decisions and for at least the last decade AA operationally hasn't executed very well (if at all). OTOH, the first week Horton took over the EVP-Ops "decided" to "retire" (executive office speak = he was "let go"). IMHO, we are starting to see some execution on all these management plans ["starting" is the operative word].

Why the 148 seat maps? I haven't got a clue. My guess (and it is just a guess) is that nobody wants to spend the time/money/effort to update the web pages when the entire fleet will be reconfigured yet again.

Quoting TUSdawg23 (Reply 22):
If that's the case, then why is AA using them on routes like ORD-PHX and ORD-TUS regularly?

Two sides of the economics equation: Costs AND Revenue. ORD-PHX was flown by 738s... for a while. Then it just went away (again). My guess is the planes could generate more profit elsewhere. TUS has never seen 738s and I suspect it will be pretty low on the changeover list (due to revenue).

Quoting lightsaber (Reply 24):
2. paperless cockpit? (returns about 2 hours of the day back to the pilots personal life)

Someone is dreaming. FAA still requires a tree limb of paper on every flight. We finally got FAA approval to accept the Captain's signature electronically (dispatchers have been doing that for... decades). Stations were very happy to stop collecting and saving (for 3+ years) the signed paper copies.

AA is going all iPad for terminal charts (hopefully by year end) and manuals, but that still doesn't get rid of the FAA required paperwork or the massive amounts of ACARS printouts.

Quoting lightsaber (Reply 24):
For the first few years, the A319s should have a 1% or so *lower* cost per flight than the newest MD-80s.

Management has been consistently saying that every new plane will be cheaper to operate than every "old" plane it replaces. Even with the first 230 aircraft being leased, the monthly operating costs will go down.



*NO CARRIER* -- A Naval Aviator's worst nightmare!
User currently offlinepenguins From United States of America, joined Mar 2010, 280 posts, RR: 0
Reply 32, posted (1 year 10 months 1 week 5 days 7 hours ago) and read 6822 times:

Two years ago I flew S80 LAX-SFO. The route was only S80 at that time (or just about).

User currently offlineViscount724 From Switzerland, joined Oct 2006, 24906 posts, RR: 22
Reply 33, posted (1 year 10 months 1 week 5 days 6 hours ago) and read 6366 times:

Quoting lightsaber (Reply 29):
Quoting N1120A (Reply 28):
On the contrary, MD80s are actually nicer for premium passengers. The forward cabin is significantly quieter than the 737.

As I noted "in the back" the MD80s are too loud. My company won't pay for the forward cabin for me, thus as far as I'm concerned those seats do not exist.

I expect the reference to "forward cabin" was not meant to refer to first class, but to the entire forward part of the cabin, meaning all except the last few rows near the engines. Many Y class rows on MD-80s are also very quiet, like all rear-engined aircraft. I never even found the last few rows on MD-80s and 727s etc. that bad. They were quieter than the last few rows on 707s, DC-8s and 737-200s in my experience.


User currently offlineqqflyboy From United States of America, joined Oct 2003, 2266 posts, RR: 13
Reply 34, posted (1 year 10 months 1 week 5 days 3 hours ago) and read 5674 times:

Quoting AAR90 (Reply 13):
Recently employees were informed the "revised" MCE configuration would be 150 seats (two rows having a "desk" between the seats) providing an extra "selling point" (and reducing FAR required F/A manning to 3). Again, I don't see any configured that way at the moment.

Which is interesting because the company is seeking a waiver from the FAA to exclude those "blocked" seats so they can reduce the FA headcount to three on that a/c. However, the FAA has not previously granted a waiver for a similar situation, and the APFA is taking the company to task and fighting the waiver. There is no guarantee the FAA will go along with the desk thing, so I wonder what the company will do then. Keep the fourth F/A, or remove four more seats? We'll see.



The views expressed are mine alone and do not necessarily reflect my employer’s views.
User currently offlineTrijetsRMissed From United States of America, joined Oct 2006, 2331 posts, RR: 7
Reply 35, posted (1 year 10 months 1 week 5 days 2 hours ago) and read 5632 times:

Quoting TUSdawg23 (Reply 22):
ORD-PHX and ORD-TUS regularly? The ORD-TUS flight I've flown numerous times and I know it's about 3 hours gate to gate. I know the ORD-PHX

ORD-TUS will likely become the longest standing 3+ HR MD-80 route with AA. Also, while ORD-PHX sees a mixture with the 738 for parts of the year, it is majority MD-80. Through EOY, it looks to be a single 738 daily, with the remainder being M82/83s.



There's nothing quite like a tri-jet.
User currently offlineTrijetsRMissed From United States of America, joined Oct 2006, 2331 posts, RR: 7
Reply 36, posted (1 year 10 months 1 week 5 days 2 hours ago) and read 5605 times:

Quoting lightsaber (Reply 24):
However, the MD-80s have a maintenance issue
Quoting lightsaber (Reply 24):
Many of the MD-80s need new avionics.

Respectfully, I think both of these points are factually incorrect. There is no outstanding MX issue or AD/mod required on the MD-80, and the lack of an EFIS flight-deck on most of the fleet has ZERO impact on the SG&A for the type.

Quoting lightsaber (Reply 29):
I expect an early retirement of the MD-80s. Maybe not 2017... But I read the annual reports of airlines to see where the costs are allocated.

Like visions of high-speed trains from the '08 campaign... These prompt phaseout/renewals are a lot easier to complete when you're not significantly in the red.

I'm thinking end of decade, unless AA's P&L improves significantly or there is a large RIF in the operations.



There's nothing quite like a tri-jet.
User currently offlineTrijetsRMissed From United States of America, joined Oct 2006, 2331 posts, RR: 7
Reply 37, posted (1 year 10 months 1 week 5 days 1 hour ago) and read 5581 times:

Quoting lightsaber (Reply 29):
By 2017, it will not be worth putting a MD-80 through a C-check.

Perhaps for AA, but they would phase the fleet out today if they could. I remember way back in the fall of 1997, when AA first announced intent to phaseout the MD-80 fleet and replace with the 737NG.

Regarding C-checks, DL may think differently.... They're not in the process of acquiring the SK fleet for parts, just to retire 117 frames in 4+ years... The key is paid in-full ownership, which DL has on the majority of the fleet, and low lease rates on the other frames to boot.



There's nothing quite like a tri-jet.
User currently offlineRWA380 From United States of America, joined Feb 2005, 3129 posts, RR: 5
Reply 38, posted (1 year 10 months 1 week 4 days 21 hours ago) and read 5476 times:

Quoting B747forever (Reply 17):
Tell me about it! I flew on the MD80 LAX-ORD redeye this past summer and sitting close to the engines made it really hard to get any sleep.

As stated above, the joys of engines mounted to the fuselage aircraft, 727's, DC-9's, even L-1011's, DC-10's, I still miss them all, I've been in that same seat on a late evening ORD-PDX flight, 4+ hours with the engine noise in my left ear.

Quoting mhkansan (Reply 19):
DFW-PDX 4x

I thought PDX was going to get a 738 once in a while, guess this is the longest distance M80 route AA is now still flying?

Quoting laca773 (Reply 25):

I've wondered about this as well. It would seem routes such as these as well as DFW-SEA/PDX/SJC/FAT/ONT would be flown with the 738s now. Is it possibly because of the F cabin, and the amount of paid F or demand for upgrades is less/more?

In the case of SEA and PDX, AA has never done much here in the Pacific Northwest, EUG & BOI are no longer served, PDX does not have a direct link on AA to ORD only AS codeshare. SEA had the NRT service, with the minimal connecting options to JFK, MIA, BNA, DFW and ORD, nothing but M80's at PDX for a long time now, we used to get a seasonal upgauge to STL on a 757, and a 738 to DFW.

Quoting TrijetsRMissed (Reply 35):
ORD-TUS will likely become the longest standing 3+ HR MD-80 route with AA.

I expect PDX would give TUS a run for that award. PDX service started before the M80's arrived and was served by 727's, I remember taking a 727-100 between PDX & EUG around 83 or 84, the M80's were sent to the Northwest shortly after they started arriving into the AA fleet, I expect with 4x daily M80's currently it will be one of the last to be changed to 738's.



AA-AC-AQ-AS-BN-BD-CO-CS-DL-EA-EZ-HA-HP-KL-KN-MP-MW-NK-NW-OO-OZ-PA-PS-QX-RC-RH-RW-SA-TG-TW-UA-US-VS-WA-WC-WN
User currently offlineTan Flyr From United States of America, joined Aug 2000, 1904 posts, RR: 0
Reply 39, posted (1 year 10 months 1 week 4 days 17 hours ago) and read 5292 times:

Quoting RWA380 (Reply 38):
I expect PDX would give TUS a run for that award. PDX service started before the M80's arrived and was served by 727's, I remember taking a 727-100 between PDX & EUG around 83 or 84, the M80's were sent to the Northwest shortly after they started arriving into the AA fleet, I expect with 4x daily M80's currently it will be one of the last to be changed to 738's.

Westbound DFW-FAT is usually right at 3 to 3hr and a handful.Winter time can easily run 3 hr and 15-20 min. East bound usually right at 2hr 38-45 min, unless traffic slows it up.

FAT also started with 727-023's in June of 1990, went to 223's about 94 or 95-, the MD80's about 98 or 99..Pretty sure it was before 2000. ( Maybe FATflyer remembers exactly)

Was hoping someone out there might have any clue as to when FAT will go 738's...Anyone?


User currently offlineSuper80DFW From United States of America, joined Oct 2007, 1690 posts, RR: 11
Reply 40, posted (1 year 10 months 1 week 4 days 17 hours ago) and read 5283 times:

Quoting ckfred (Reply 21):
If so many of the 738s now have 160 seats, why do seating charts on AA.com still show the old seating chart with 148 seats? It makes it hard to pick a seat in coach, ahead of the wing, if you want to avoid the row(s) that don't have windows.

You just haven't been paying attention. At DFW, all 738 flights are scheduled with the F16/Y144 birds, so you'll always find the proper map. I'll give you the benefit of the doubt and say that you're flying out of ORD. Let's check ORD's most 738 heavy route; ORD-LAX! Looks like the first flight of day is a F16/Y144 bird, and the seat map reflects that. If you check another 738 route like ORD-SAN, you'll see it's properly loaded with the F16/Y132 map.

Simply a case of you not paying attention to what you're looking at. Easy way to tell, 148 seat planes end at row 28, and 160 seat planes end at row 30.

Quoting AAR90 (Reply 31):
You've hit upon my personal "problem" with AA management. It isn't the decisions but rather the lack of execution (especially the speed). Can't tell if the decisions were good or bad until you've executed those decisions and for at least the last decade AA operationally hasn't executed very well (if at all). OTOH, the first week Horton took over the EVP-Ops "decided" to "retire" (executive office speak = he was "let go"). IMHO, we are starting to see some execution on all these management plans ["starting" is the operative word].

Why the 148 seat maps? I haven't got a clue. My guess (and it is just a guess) is that nobody wants to spend the time/money/effort to update the web pages when the entire fleet will be reconfigured yet again.

Nice job of relating your personal "beef" with management and a correctly loaded seat map. What else do you have for us today?



"Things change, friends leave, life doesn't stop for anybody." -- EAT'EM UP EAT'EM UP KSU!!
User currently offlineAAR90 From United States of America, joined Jan 2000, 3466 posts, RR: 47
Reply 41, posted (1 year 10 months 1 week 4 days 16 hours ago) and read 5218 times:

Quoting Super80DFW (Reply 40):
Nice job of relating your personal "beef" with management and a correctly loaded seat map. What else do you have for us today?

As my kids like to say: "looks like someone needs to take a chill-pill."   



*NO CARRIER* -- A Naval Aviator's worst nightmare!
User currently offlineTrijetsRMissed From United States of America, joined Oct 2006, 2331 posts, RR: 7
Reply 42, posted (1 year 10 months 1 week 4 days 4 hours ago) and read 4922 times:

Quoting RWA380 (Reply 38):
Quoting TrijetsRMissed (Reply 35):
ORD-TUS will likely become the longest standing 3+ HR MD-80 route with AA.

I expect PDX would give TUS a run for that award.

   For DFW, I would agree; PDX will win that award.

Back when AA was still successful, (3-4 years ago), I recall ORD had 4 MD-83s daily to PDX. As a native Chicagoan, I can say, ORD-PDX M83 service lasted for 20 years, ~ 1988-2008. In fact, ORD-PDX was one of the first routes flown by the initial MD-83 deliveries. Up to that time, the previous 100+ S80s from McDonnell Douglas were of MD-82 variant, which were inadequate on the route due headwinds.

All that said, back to my point:

I say with confidence, ORD-TUS will be the final 3+ HR M80 service out of ORD, and quite possibly company wide. Due to flight time, I see DFW-PDX (4 hours), moving to 738. Between future deliveries and fuel costs, the 738 is inevitable.

Company wide, I estimate AA will likely have an active fleet of M80 into 2020. Thus, in comparison to more notable routes, TUS will remain M80 service from ORD, as 738s and A319s are placed elsewhere. The 738 has yet to take PHX, which is only once daily from ORD, and the rest M80s.

Furthermore, TanFlyr made an excellent point when he referring to ORD-TUS:

Quoting Tan Flyr (Reply 23):

One of the things as I understand it is having spare parts, etc on hand. Also training of ground crews..so until they can perhaps schedule all that, then it is just as easy to keep the Mad Dogs.

Lastly, for personal reasons, I have flown ORD-TUS-ORD, twice-yearly, for the past 20+ years. Always AA. Of the 160+ flights, not a SINGLE ONE was something other than an MD-80.



There's nothing quite like a tri-jet.
User currently offlinemhkansan From United States of America, joined Jan 2010, 672 posts, RR: 1
Reply 43, posted (1 year 10 months 1 week 4 days 3 hours ago) and read 4904 times:

Quoting TrijetsRMissed (Reply 42):
I say with confidence, ORD-TUS will be the final 3+ HR M80 service out of ORD, and quite possibly company wide. Due to flight time, I see DFW-PDX (4 hours), moving to 738. Between future deliveries and fuel costs, the 738 is inevitable.

DFW-PDX is the longest S80 flight systemwide. Until very recently, AA had a scheduled S80 on the ORD-SJD flight but that has since gone to a 737.

ORD-PHX is just three nm longer than ORD-TUS (1437 nm great circle). TUS will likely be the last long S80 flight ex-ORD unless SJD goes back to the S80. DFW-YYC is still longer (1523) and DFW-SMF and DFW-SJC are both very close to ORD-TUS length (1438,31 nm)

SJC already sees the 737 from ORD. SMF will likely stay a S80 for some time, similar to FAT.

In my list, I forgot AA flies DFW-ONT on the S80 5-6x daily.


User currently offlineTrijetsRMissed From United States of America, joined Oct 2006, 2331 posts, RR: 7
Reply 44, posted (1 year 10 months 1 week 4 days 2 hours ago) and read 4820 times:

Quoting mhkansan (Reply 43):
DFW-PDX is the longest S80 flight systemwide.

   Exactly why a 738, sooner rather than later, is inevitable on DFW-PDX.

Quoting mhkansan (Reply 43):
TUS will likely be the last long S80 flight ex-ORD unless SJD goes back to the S80

As I said; so you agree...

Quoting mhkansan (Reply 43):
DFW-YYC is still longer (1523)

I can see DFW-YYC going to AE before the MD-80 is removed from ORD-TUS. If loads drop, 3 CR7s may make sense on DFW-YYC. Or, if AE acquire larger regional jets in the future.

Quoting mhkansan (Reply 43):
In my list, I forgot AA flies DFW-ONT on the S80 5-6x daily.

Side-note: At one time, ORD-ONT was also M83 5x daily. Circa 1990 through early/mid 2000s, consecutively.



There's nothing quite like a tri-jet.
User currently offlineRWA380 From United States of America, joined Feb 2005, 3129 posts, RR: 5
Reply 45, posted (1 year 10 months 1 week 4 days ago) and read 4742 times:

Quoting TrijetsRMissed (Reply 42):
Back when AA was still successful, (3-4 years ago), I recall ORD had 4 MD-83s daily to PDX. As a native Chicagoan, I can say, ORD-PDX M83 service lasted for 20 years, ~ 1988-2008. In fact, ORD-PDX was one of the first routes flown by the initial MD-83 deliveries. Up to that time, the previous 100+ S80s from McDonnell Douglas were of MD-82 variant, which were inadequate on the route due headwinds.

Having lived in Portland a good chunk of my life, and an AA gold member for several of those years, I do remember many an M80 flight to ORD, DFW & STL I never remember PDX-ORD being 4x daily, I remember mostly 2x daily, seasonally a red-eye operated eastbound from PDX, and a late morning departure westbound, at first those flights were routed via SEA. I once was the only passenger in F PDX-SEA-ORD flying on a dark Christmas night. I also remember the 727-100's and 200's flying here since the early 80's. With tags PDX-EUG and PDX-SEA.



AA-AC-AQ-AS-BN-BD-CO-CS-DL-EA-EZ-HA-HP-KL-KN-MP-MW-NK-NW-OO-OZ-PA-PS-QX-RC-RH-RW-SA-TG-TW-UA-US-VS-WA-WC-WN
User currently offlinelightsaber From United States of America, joined Jan 2005, 12903 posts, RR: 100
Reply 46, posted (1 year 10 months 1 week 3 days 17 hours ago) and read 4572 times:
Support Airliners.net - become a First Class Member!

Quoting N1120A (Reply 30):
Upgrades baby!

   Alas, I'm saving my miles for vacations.  
Quoting AAR90 (Reply 31):
Management has been consistently saying that every new plane will be cheaper to operate than every "old" plane it replaces. Even with the first 230 aircraft being leased, the monthly operating costs will go down.

   I'm sure there were other savings I didn't put it. e.g., the A319 could fly DFW-LAX-OOG while the MD-80 couldn't be blocked for Hawaii.

Quoting Viscount724 (Reply 33):
I never even found the last few rows on MD-80s and 727s etc. that bad.

I've stuffed tissue in my ears to survive MD-80 flights in the back. I still have excellent high frequency hearing (rare in my profession). I think we have different standards. Which is fine.

Quoting TrijetsRMissed (Reply 37):
Regarding C-checks, DL may think differently....

DL is heavy on keeping cost of capitol low right now. Why I might not agree, the reality is their strategy has some merit. AA seems to have bought the A319s during a small window when deals were a little better skewing towards fleet replacement.

It will also depend on the routes flown. DL also has the ability to maintain smaller fleets more economically than AA. I don't know why, but somehow the culture at DL is enough different to shift the cost basis. However, eventually the fuel bill will hit DL too. But I agree they will keep the MD-80 longer.

Quoting TrijetsRMissed (Reply 37):
Perhaps for AA, but they would phase the fleet out today if they could. I remember way back in the fall of 1997, when AA first announced intent to phaseout the MD-80 fleet and replace with the 737NG.

AA had to wait until the right time to secure the deal. I'm impressed with the A319 deal and I'm sure Boeing's offer wasn't far behind (except for possibly when the delivery slots would happen).

Quoting TrijetsRMissed (Reply 36):
There is no outstanding MX issue or AD/mod required on the MD-80

I had quantified in terms of maintenance costs as the issue. I should have been more clear in that sentence you quoted. The MD-80 issues are:
1. Low cycle life of the engine. Yes, the JT8D were super-durable in their days. But 8k cycles in a world where the CFM-56 does 20k? There time has some and gone.
2. Just age on the airframes on average. While the MD-80s cost curve is better than many airframes of a similar age (e.g., the A320), the reality is older aircraft need more work. The rule of thumb is the costs go up 20% every D-check interval. It doesn't matter if they are all heavy C's, that rule applies to different extents on different airframes. The MD-80 might be at 15% (the 757 has a high multiple).
3. No PIPs. Who would pay to engineer them?
4. Number of joints. The reality is that the number of joints to inspect has gone down with every generation of aircraft. This is just an artifact of the MD-80s design time frame. Each joint costs about the same to inspect/lubricate.

The MD-80 is a great plane. Its time has come. There is a reason so many are stored:http://www.airfleets.net/listing/md80-1.htm

Going through that list, it looks like the bulk of the AA active fleet was delivered in 1987 through 1992. I also see that the 1985 MD-80s are stored as well as most 1986 deliveries. This implies an excellent ~26 economic life for the MD-80. The issue is that after 1992 deliveries, AMR has too small of a sub-fleet of newer MD-80s. And the bulk of the 'new' are 1999 deliveries. In other words, 13 years old. So those AMR could put through their 2nd D-check. That is a few dozen aircraft. The issue is AMR isn't set up to opperate such a small subfleet.

I'm excited for AMR to begin receiving the A32X next year. Does anyone have a more detailed delivery schedule? How many per month and how many are A319s vs. A321s? Since they picked two different engines, the engine delivery should impact their airframe delivery distribution.

I'm still amazed at the deal AA negotiated:
https://www.aa.com/i18n/amrcorp/newsroom/fp_amr_fleet_agreement.jsp

American will take delivery of 130 current-generation Airbus aircraft beginning in 2013. Beginning in 2017 American will begin taking delivery of 130 aircraft from the A320neo (New Engine Option) Family featuring next-generation engine technology. The new aircraft are approximately 15 percent more fuel efficient than today's models. American will be the first network airline in the U.S. to deploy this new-technology aircraft.
Now, the A319/A321OEOs will continue for through 2018 or 2019 (there is some overlap), but that is 130 aircraft very quickly plus a hundred more 738s!

The only thing keeping the MD-80s possibly going longer is the question of the 757 retirement schedule.

Lightsaber



Societies that achieve a critical mass of ideas achieve self sustaining growth; others stagnate.
User currently offlineTrijetsRMissed From United States of America, joined Oct 2006, 2331 posts, RR: 7
Reply 47, posted (1 year 10 months 1 week 3 days 7 hours ago) and read 4332 times:

Quoting RWA380 (Reply 45):
I never remember PDX-ORD being 4x daily, I remember mostly 2x daily,

Maybe the daily flights decreased before falling off altogether. Perhaps you can speak better to the number of daily flights during the routes' tenure. I only flew ORD-PDX once on AA, summer of 2005, and at that particular time it was 4x daily M83.



Quoting lightsaber (Reply 46):
I've stuffed tissue in my ears to survive MD-80 flights in the back.

I have only gotten stuck next to the engine once, of literally hundreds of MD-80 flights. Of course, last minute travel will get you on that. Thankfully, I had ear plugs on me, which got me through it. But no bones about it, sitting next to the engine is not a pleasant experience.

Quoting lightsaber (Reply 46):
Going through that list, it looks like the bulk of the AA active fleet was delivered in 1987 through 1992. I also see that the 1985 MD-80s are stored as well as most 1986 deliveries. This implies an excellent ~26 economic life for the MD-80.

I think 26 years is unique to AA's situation. Naturally, with a phaseout, it makes sense to start with the oldest frames and/or MX prone. DL's oldest MD-88's will be turning 26 next year, but they're not going to the desert for a few more years.

Quoting lightsaber (Reply 46):

The issue is that after 1992 deliveries, AMR has too small of a sub-fleet of newer MD-80s. And the bulk of the 'new' are 1999 deliveries. In other words, 13 years old. So those AMR could put through their 2nd D-check. That is a few dozen aircraft. The issue is AMR isn't set up to opperate such a small subfleet

The 40 MD-83s built between 1997-99 would be very attractive on the used market for current MD-80 operators, which plan to continue operating the type. I would venture a guess that these frames are around the 20k cycle mark, and thus only 1/3rd the way through their service lives. As I noted in a related DL thread, these aircraft were built to MD-88 spec plus aux fuel tanks. Virtually an MD-88ER.



There's nothing quite like a tri-jet.
User currently offlinelaca773 From United States of America, joined Nov 2004, 4002 posts, RR: 2
Reply 48, posted (1 year 10 months 1 week 2 days 15 hours ago) and read 4071 times:
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Does the M80 fleet have a lot of mechanical delays at this point in their lifespan? I know when a/c get up there in years, they start having mechanicals much more often.

User currently offlineBeardown91737 From United States of America, joined Jun 2011, 510 posts, RR: 0
Reply 49, posted (1 year 10 months 1 week 2 days 3 hours ago) and read 3876 times:

Quoting TrijetsRMissed (Reply 42):
In my list, I forgot AA flies DFW-ONT on the S80 5-6x daily

4x. It is a little under 3 hours eastbound.

Quoting TrijetsRMissed (Reply 42):
Lastly, for personal reasons, I have flown ORD-TUS-ORD, twice-yearly, for the past 20+ years. Always AA. Of the 160+ flights, not a SINGLE ONE was something other than an MD-80.

I think my daughter took that trip in a F100 in 2002.



135 hrs PIC (mostly PA-28) - not current. Landings at MDW, PIA, JAN.
User currently offlineTrijetsRMissed From United States of America, joined Oct 2006, 2331 posts, RR: 7
Reply 50, posted (1 year 10 months 1 week 1 day 3 hours ago) and read 3634 times:

Quoting Beardown91737 (Reply 49):

Quoting TrijetsRMissed (Reply 42):
In my list, I forgot AA flies DFW-ONT on the S80 5-6x daily

4x. It is a little under 3 hours eastbound.

This quote was from mhkansan.

Quoting Beardown91737 (Reply 49):
I think my daughter took that trip in a F100 in 2002.

I suppose it's possible there was a one-off, but doubtful. A few reasons why:

The route is within 75 nm of the F100's max range. (1249 vs 1323). Going into the wind, it surely would have taken a penalty. It's also unlikely AA had to sub a F100 on the route; AA never had more MD-80's at their disposal than in 2002. (~350 M80s / 75 F100s). In 2002, the 738 was not operating out of ORD. As such, MD-80 resources were further increased at ORD. Odds are it was a Mad Dog.



There's nothing quite like a tri-jet.
User currently offlineN737AA From United States of America, joined Aug 2008, 270 posts, RR: 0
Reply 51, posted (1 year 10 months 1 week 20 hours ago) and read 3551 times:

Quoting Beardown91737 (Reply 49):
I think my daughter took that trip in a F100 in 2002.

Nope the AA F100 never operated that route, didn't have the range.

N737AA


User currently offlineAAR90 From United States of America, joined Jan 2000, 3466 posts, RR: 47
Reply 52, posted (1 year 10 months 1 week 9 hours ago) and read 3366 times:

Quoting N737AA (Reply 51):

Nope the AA F100 never operated that route, didn't have the range.[/quote]IIRC, the farthest west we flew F100 was COS. We didn't have single-engine drift down performance data for Rocky Mtn flights.



*NO CARRIER* -- A Naval Aviator's worst nightmare!
User currently offlineLV From United States of America, joined Jun 2001, 1993 posts, RR: 0
Reply 53, posted (1 year 10 months 1 day 9 hours ago) and read 2986 times:

I know flight 1843 from LAX to LAS is still and MD-80 every day. I caught it last week.... http://youtu.be/QdxsIvHL6b4

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