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How Is Aircraft Retirement Decided?  
User currently offlineXJETFlyer From United States of America, joined Apr 2007, 326 posts, RR: 0
Posted (6 years 4 months 1 week 2 days 8 hours ago) and read 5522 times:

I have flown with many airlines. Some have a newer and nice fleet. Some have plain junk and are just plain scary! I was just wondering from some of the people who may have insight in to the commercial industry. I can't imagine age is anywhere at the top, even though I would like to believe it. I'm guessing hours of flight and use???

13 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlineEXAAUADL From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 1, posted (6 years 4 months 1 week 2 days 8 hours ago) and read 5527 times:

yeah, and if the plane has high cycles and is headed for HMV. Sometimes an entire fleet is retired

User currently offlineCommavia From United States of America, joined Apr 2005, 11423 posts, RR: 61
Reply 2, posted (6 years 4 months 1 week 2 days 8 hours ago) and read 5513 times:



Quoting XJETFlyer (Thread starter):
I'm guessing hours of flight and use?

It depends.

Generally, age is a major factor, but retirement is not always based solely on the number of cycles and the aircraft's age. Sometimes, other considerations come into play.

For example, back around 2002-2003, when AA was parking about 30 MD80s, they didn't necessarily pick the 30 oldest or highest-cycle MD80s they had in their fleet. Instead, they parked the aircraft that were about to come due for heavy overhauls. The reason is obvious: an overhaul of an aircraft takes weeks and millions of dollars in equipment, labor and facility utilization. As such, AA was all too happy to keep flying a high-cycle MD80 that didn't need a heavy overhaul for five years versus a newer, lower-cycle plane that was coming due for an overhaul in six weeks.


User currently offlineORDagent From United States of America, joined Dec 2003, 823 posts, RR: 1
Reply 3, posted (6 years 4 months 1 week 2 days 7 hours ago) and read 5422 times:

We all are aware of the running joke about the NW DC-9s around here. They are paid for and fit the needs of NW despite the higher maintenance and fuel costs associated with those birds. SQ on the other hand sells off entire fleets young before they can even start to consider serious age associated costs. However I think part of the SQ philosophy is also a prestige issue about always having the latest and greatest.

User currently offlineLXA340 From Switzerland, joined Nov 2006, 2122 posts, RR: 4
Reply 4, posted (6 years 4 months 1 week 2 days 7 hours ago) and read 5399 times:

It probably also depends on the financial condtion of airlines. If they can't afford to replace aircraft too often they would fly them as long as they can. Nevertheless this is often in long run not always the most economical solution.

Quoting ORDagent (Reply 3):
However I think part of the SQ philosophy is also a prestige issue about always having the latest and greatest.

Regarding SQ I would assume that this has to do with it. For instance premium airlines like LH or BA keep aircraft much longer in their fleets and they could afford tehoretically to replace aircraft types earlier.


User currently offlineXJETFlyer From United States of America, joined Apr 2007, 326 posts, RR: 0
Reply 5, posted (6 years 4 months 1 week 2 days 3 hours ago) and read 5345 times:

It just seems the age does not mean that much to the airlines. I can see where the over hauls where a issue. I thought if an aircraft was having more repair cost it would be a reason for retirement!

User currently offlineFlynavy From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 6, posted (6 years 4 months 1 week 2 days ago) and read 5303 times:



Quoting XJETFlyer (Reply 5):
It just seems the age does not mean that much to the airlines.

Quality over quantity. I'd rather fly in a well-maintained 737-200 over a poorly maintained thrid-world "newer" aircraft.

Quoting XJETFlyer (Thread starter):
Some have plain junk and are just plain scary!

Such as?  Yeah sure


User currently offlinePilotboi From United States of America, joined Sep 2007, 2366 posts, RR: 9
Reply 7, posted (6 years 4 months 1 week 1 day 22 hours ago) and read 5294 times:



Quoting XJETFlyer (Reply 5):
I thought if an aircraft was having more repair cost it would be a reason for retirement!

That's usually the best way to determine it. Age doesn't matter, as long as they are still making a profit. But as soon as they get old enough (which changes per type and even individual aircraft), and they start causing more costs (to do heavy checkS) then they can make, that means it's time to do something with that aircraft (ie get rid of it).


User currently offlineAirPortugal310 From Palau, joined Apr 2004, 3582 posts, RR: 2
Reply 8, posted (6 years 4 months 1 week 1 day 4 hours ago) and read 5216 times:



Quoting Flynavy (Reply 6):
Such as? Yeah sure

Poor african nations and asian LCC's to name a few...

whats with your eye roll on every post you make?



I sell airplanes and airplane accessories
User currently offlineFlynavy From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 9, posted (6 years 4 months 1 week 1 day 3 hours ago) and read 5210 times:



Quoting AirPortugal310 (Reply 8):
Poor african nations and asian LCC's to name a few...

whats with your eye roll on every post you make?

I asked the original poster, not you. I'm curious if he's talking about an American carrier or not.


User currently offlinePhilSquares From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 10, posted (6 years 4 months 1 week 1 day 2 hours ago) and read 5197 times:



Quoting AirPortugal310 (Reply 8):
asian LCC's to name a few...

Don't you think that's a pretty all encompassing statement? There are carriers like Tiger, JetStar and Air Asia that have fleets younger than all US legacy carriers. Perhaps the LCC carriers I mentioned should look at selling some of their aircraft to the US legacy carriers when it comes time to replace them.


User currently offlineAirPortugal310 From Palau, joined Apr 2004, 3582 posts, RR: 2
Reply 11, posted (6 years 4 months 1 week 23 hours ago) and read 5160 times:



Quoting PhilSquares (Reply 10):
Don't you think that's a pretty all encompassing statement? There are carriers like Tiger, JetStar and Air Asia that have fleets younger than all US legacy carriers. Perhaps the LCC carriers I mentioned should look at selling some of their aircraft to the US legacy carriers when it comes time to replace them.

Probably. Should probably have thrown in the word "certain"  half 

I think in the end, the environments in which the aircraft primarily flies and the maintenance that is performed on said aircraft is the make/break factor.



I sell airplanes and airplane accessories
User currently offlineHAWK21M From India, joined Jan 2001, 31667 posts, RR: 56
Reply 12, posted (6 years 4 months 1 week 19 hours ago) and read 5136 times:

Economics......Economically Expensive to Maintain is the key.
Depending on the Checks due.

regds
MEL



Think of the brighter side!
User currently offlinePGNCS From United States of America, joined Apr 2007, 2821 posts, RR: 45
Reply 13, posted (6 years 4 months 2 days 2 hours ago) and read 4932 times:



Quoting XJETFlyer (Thread starter):
I have flown with many airlines. Some have a newer and nice fleet. Some have plain junk and are just plain scary!

I have to ask: who is flying "junk" and how are you in a position to know? I have flown 30 year old and brand new aircraft from the factory, but I've never flown one that was unsafe.

Quoting Flynavy (Reply 6):
Quoting XJETFlyer (Reply 5):
It just seems the age does not mean that much to the airlines.

Quality over quantity. I'd rather fly in a well-maintained 737-200 over a poorly maintained thrid-world "newer" aircraft.

I agree inasmuch as I would rather fly in an older but well maintained aircraft operated by experienced and qualified crews than a new aircraft flown by a carrier that skimps on maintenance, or hires marginal, inexperienced, or insufficiently trained crews.


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