callumconroydub
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Why were A318s unpopular?

Wed Jan 03, 2018 9:22 pm

Why were these small, easy to manoeuvre and long range jets so unpopular?

For example, Frontier scrapped all of their fleet. Why was that?
 
stlgph
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Re: Why were A318s unpopular?

Wed Jan 03, 2018 9:24 pm

Fuel prices jumped up.
The same crew was required on board as the 319, roughly 85% of the same seating capacity, and hardly weighing less. The E-Jet series & larger CRJs came along with better efficiency and boom, there you have it.
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opticalilyushin
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Re: Why were A318s unpopular?

Wed Jan 03, 2018 9:27 pm

Re. the Frontier fleet, there is virtually no second hand market for them, regional jets are better for this size and capacity.
 
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hOMSaR
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Re: Why were A318s unpopular?

Wed Jan 03, 2018 9:30 pm

This has come up a few times in the past:

viewtopic.php?t=573039
viewtopic.php?t=1339175

And I'm sure a few others, though searching for specific threads can be difficult.

Basically, the short answer: It cost too much per seat to operate, and larger planes didn't really cost any more per trip (but offered a bunch more seats). Whatever extra performance or maneuverability this plane offered wasn't really needed/worth it, and for the specific capacity, there were far more efficient options available (ERJs, larger CRJs, etc.).
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callumconroydub
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Re: Why were A318s unpopular?

Wed Jan 03, 2018 9:31 pm

An army friend of mine said that he thinks that the A318 would be a perfect military training aircraft. Would it?
 
finnishway
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Re: Why were A318s unpopular?

Wed Jan 03, 2018 9:35 pm

Could this be the perfect aircraft for HLE?
 
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American 767
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Re: Why were A318s unpopular?

Wed Jan 03, 2018 9:36 pm

Because the A318 a high CASM (Cost per Available Seat Mile). It is for the same reason not many 737-600s were sold. This is why there won't be an A318NEO and there won't be either a 737-6MAX. Even the 737-7MAX isn't getting too many orders.

Apart from Frontier, the only other A318 operators in the world are Air France, Tarom, and British Airways which only has a couple of those configured in an all C-Class layout and used solely on the LCY-JFK route.
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Re: Why were A318s unpopular?

Wed Jan 03, 2018 10:18 pm

As a trainer, very expensive when a variety of small bizjets would the same job cheaper. T-1

GF
 
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Re: Why were A318s unpopular?

Wed Jan 03, 2018 10:36 pm

American 767 wrote:
Because the A318 a high CASM (Cost per Available Seat Mile). It is for the same reason not many 737-600s were sold. This is why there won't be an A318NEO and there won't be either a 737-6MAX. Even the 737-7MAX isn't getting too many orders.

Apart from Frontier, the only other A318 operators in the world are Air France, Tarom, and British Airways which only has a couple of those configured in an all C-Class layout and used solely on the LCY-JFK route.


BA have passed it's second A318 to Titan Airways. BA originally had the aircraft on it's order books in the late 90's, I think those jets got converted into A319/20/21 orders.

I believe Avianca may have a handful?
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TWA772LR
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Re: Why were A318s unpopular?

Wed Jan 03, 2018 10:51 pm

Didn't TWA have 50 on order?
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hOMSaR
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Re: Why were A318s unpopular?

Wed Jan 03, 2018 10:51 pm

TWA772LR wrote:
Didn't TWA have 50 on order?


I can't confirm the number without looking it up, but TWA did order the A318 at the same time they ordered the 717.

As I recall, they were ordered as a conversion of the long-deferred A330 that TWA didn't have the need for in the late 1990s, and apparently couldn't afford the cancellation penalties (though I don't know if the penalties for cancellation necessarily include new money, or just forfeiture of deposits).

The A318 order was canceled by AA as part of their takeover of TWA's assets during the latter's bankruptcy in 2000 or 2001.
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vorellanaj
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Re: Why were A318s unpopular?

Wed Jan 03, 2018 11:02 pm

Former LAN Airlines had 15 A318s in their fleet.

PW didn't met performance and fuel consumption for A318, so LAN was the only customer to had PW-powered "babybus". Another reason was the business model change. A318 arrived directly for 737-200Adv. replacement. When LA implemented LASER hybrid model (between LCC and legacy airline) , overall domestic demand for travel inside Chile greatly rose very well. Thus, bigger aircraft instead more A318 are needed, and A318 were gradually withdrawn and the rest put on thinnest domestic routes where demand of travel were low.

All A318 (126 seats) were replaced by A319 (18+ seats) and A320 (42+ or 48+ seats). A319 were used on airports that couldn't handle by size an A320. Today LATAM Chile domestic ops are supported for A320 such as base aircraft and A321, the last are used for heavily demanded flights (94 seats more than A318)

LA retired all of them in batch of 5 each time. All former LA A318 ended in Avianca Brasil (Avianca Brasil also is withdrawn A318).

Avianca Colombia (AV) also have A318, but all are CFM56 powered and none of them is out of service. Notice : Avianca is not a factory customer for the program, all 10 aircraft came from bankrupted Mexicana.
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Aesma
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Re: Why were A318s unpopular?

Thu Jan 04, 2018 12:29 am

At least they're not unpopular with me ! Flew one last Saturday and will fly one back next Saturday. AF CDG-FLR-CDG.

I love the A318 !
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aemoreira1981
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Re: Why were A318s unpopular?

Thu Jan 04, 2018 12:47 am

Too heavy a plane when an Embraer 190 or 195 would be more economical. This is why an airline like Azul went with the E195 instead of the A318 or A319...the E195s are Y118 while the heavier A318 only has 8 more seats...and one rarely needs range of the A318 that an E195 doesn't offer. I'm actually surprised that BA didn't consider the Lineage 1000 version of the E190 instead of the A318 for LCY-JFK, with a C32 seating and being able to use the City Flyer crewing for the route.
 
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Re: Why were A318s unpopular?

Thu Jan 04, 2018 1:48 am

What happened to the PW-powered A318s?
 
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reffado
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Re: Why were A318s unpopular?

Thu Jan 04, 2018 1:51 am

Goodyear wrote:
What happened to the PW-powered A318s?


If what's mentioned is correct and only LA ever had them, all 15 saw a second life with Avianca Brasil (Oceanair). Some 5 frames are still in service with O6 - PR-ONC, ONI, AVJ, AVL and ONR - though I believe they're being phased out - , while some are stored, at varying airports around Brazil. There might even be one or two in the desert in the US already. Can't see anyone leasing the stored frames to give them a third chance, so it's likely they'll end up like F9s A318s: scrapped for parts at way too young age.
Last edited by reffado on Thu Jan 04, 2018 2:00 am, edited 1 time in total.
 
F27500
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Re: Why were A318s unpopular?

Thu Jan 04, 2018 1:58 am

Plus ... they were ridiculous looking ...
 
zakuivcustom
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Re: Why were A318s unpopular?

Thu Jan 04, 2018 2:28 am

reffado wrote:
Goodyear wrote:
What happened to the PW-powered A318s?


If what's mentioned is correct and only LA ever had them, all 15 saw a second life with Avianca Brasil (Oceanair). Some 5 frames are still in service with O6 - PR-ONC, ONI, AVJ, AVL and ONR - though I believe they're being phased out - , while some are stored, at varying airports around Brazil. There might even be one or two in the desert in the US already. Can't see anyone leasing the stored frames to give them a third chance, so it's likely they'll end up like F9s A318s: scrapped for parts at way too young age.


Well, I can see O6 keeping them around just for SDU operation (Although A319 works just as well there, O6 is not getting new A319s, either). Those 5 remaining A318s pretty much run SDU-CGH and SDU-BSB shuttles all day long anyway (Plus BSB-JDO and GRU-JDO-FOR runs, JDO has a pretty short runway also at 1800m). In a few years after they retired all of them? I've no clue what would replace them (A320neo? Not sure how good they'll do at SDU).

EDIT:
As for the original topic - it has been answered many times. It's born around an aviation downturn (Right after 911), its development was delayed, engine is not as advertised, high landing fee (Mainline landing fee instead of regional), and quite frankly, there's just not many operations that an A319 can't do in place of A318. Cargo is also a factor (No LD3/pallet). Add in all those and you have carriers converting their A318 orders into A319s.
 
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Re: Why were A318s unpopular?

Thu Jan 04, 2018 2:49 am

callumconroydub wrote:
Why were these small, easy to manoeuvre and long range jets so unpopular?

For example, Frontier scrapped all of their fleet. Why was that?


Care to elaborate on what you mean by 'easy to manoeuvre'?

As for the reason for its demise: Cost. It's only fractionally less expensive to operate than an A319, but offer considerably less in the way of revenue generating potential.
From receips and radials over straight pipes to big fans - been there, done that, got the hearing defects to prove
 
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reffado
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Re: Why were A318s unpopular?

Thu Jan 04, 2018 2:56 am

zakuivcustom wrote:
Well, I can see O6 keeping them around just for SDU operation (Although A319 works just as well there, O6 is not getting new A319s, either). Those 5 remaining A318s pretty much run SDU-CGH and SDU-BSB shuttles all day long anyway (Plus BSB-JDO and GRU-JDO-FOR runs, JDO has a pretty short runway also at 1800m). In a few years after they retired all of them? I've no clue what would replace them (A320neo? Not sure how good they'll do at SDU).


That could make sense. It might even be why they haven't retired the last 5 frames yet. Can the 32N operate at SDU? If I'm not mistaken the 320-200 can't when full, the 738 only does it because of G3s SFP option.

As for a more detailed census of the fate of the ex-LA PW-powered 318s, besides the 5 active frames I specified in the previous post, the list is as follows - according to lists:

PR-AVH: stored at BKV.
PR-AVK: stored at CGH.
PR-AVO: stored at SSA.
PR-OND: stored at SJK.
PR-ONG: stored at BKV.
PR-ONH: stored at CGH.
PR-ONM: stored at BSB.
PR-ONO: stored at SJK.
PR-ONP: stored at CGH.
PR-ONQ: stored at BKV.

ONM I know is in BSB for sure. It's sitting there with no engines. AVO is at SSA since it suffered a bird strike and never got new engines. The rest I can't speak for as far as condition. The ones at BKV are a mystery to me.

That's as much as I know about them.
 
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mariner
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Re: Why were A318s unpopular?

Thu Jan 04, 2018 4:47 am

aemoreira1981 wrote:
This is why an airline like Azul went with the E195 instead of the A318 or A319.


I wish him luck with the E195, but they E190's have been a problem at Jetblue from the git-go, as they were at Virgin Australia.

https://www.flightglobal.com/news/artic ... rn-435199/

"JetBlue operates 169 Airbus A320 family aircraft and 60 E190s.

“The stage length of the E190 is 40% shorter but the E190 is a high CASM airplane,” says Hayes. “We look at the E190 issue not as a CASM issue, but a return issue.”

It is not the first time that JetBlue’s executives have made less than flattering remarks about the E190, which it launched into service in 2005"


Apart from the various maintenance issues and costs, It comes back to CASM. Some time after Republic acquired Frontier, they did a fleet review which showed the BELF (break ever load factor) of every type in the fleet, remembering that this was at Frontier's average fare as it was then, before it became ULCC. The A320 led the way with the lowest, followed (further behind than might be desirable) by the A319, and finally the E190, with a BELF in the mid-90's. Tough to make money with that.

The A318, carrying fewer passengers, had a greater CASM than the A319 but the same CASM problem is happening - has happened - to the A319. Why buy the A319 when you can have the A320 at almost the same price? This is why so few A319Neos have sold.

There was a further issue with the A318 which had garnered a decent number of frames, but then PW had problems and a major delay with the engine. Airbus told customers they could wait it out or switch to the A319. Most of them switched.

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aemoreira1981
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Re: Why were A318s unpopular?

Thu Jan 04, 2018 4:57 am

mariner wrote:
aemoreira1981 wrote:
This is why an airline like Azul went with the E195 instead of the A318 or A319.


I wish him luck with the E195, but they E190's have been a problem at Jetblue from the git-go, as they were at Virgin Australia.

https://www.flightglobal.com/news/artic ... rn-435199/

"JetBlue operates 169 Airbus A320 family aircraft and 60 E190s.

“The stage length of the E190 is 40% shorter but the E190 is a high CASM airplane,” says Hayes. “We look at the E190 issue not as a CASM issue, but a return issue.”

It is not the first time that JetBlue’s executives have made less than flattering remarks about the E190, which it launched into service in 2005"


Apart from the various maintenance issues and costs, It comes back to CASM. Some time after Republic acquired Frontier, they did a fleet review which showed the BELF (break ever load factor) of every type in the fleet, remembering that this was at Frontier's average fare as it was then, before it became ULCC. The A320 led the way with the lowest, followed (further behind than might be desirable) by the A319, and finally the E190, with a BELF in the mid-90's. Tough to make money with that.

The A318, carrying fewer passengers, had a greater CASM than the A319 but the same CASM problem is happening - has happened - to the A319. Why buy the A319 when you can have the A320 at almost the same price? This is why so few A319Neos have sold.

There was a further issue with the A318 which had garnered a decent number of frames, but then PW had problems and a major delay with the engine. Airbus told customers they could wait it out or switch to the A319. Most of them switched.

mariner


The CSeries might finally put the A19N out of its misery as well. I doubt that there is any route for an A319neo that an A320neo is too much plane or an CS300 doesn't have the range.
 
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mariner
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Re: Why were A318s unpopular?

Thu Jan 04, 2018 5:56 am

aemoreira1981 wrote:
The CSeries might finally put the A19N out of its misery as well. I doubt that there is any route for an A319neo that an A320neo is too much plane or an CS300 doesn't have the range.


I thought that had already happened - that Airbus had given the A319Neo the cold shoulder in favour of the CS300:

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles ... sales-push

"Airbus will “definitely” push the Canadian model’s largest variant, the CS300, at the expense of the similarly sized A319neo, Enders said in an interview Wednesday. The European planemaker hasn’t announced a new airline customer for the jet in five years, since Bombardier’s aircraft emerged as a serious rival.

“That was the last time we sold the plane,” he said. “That tells you something about the competition between the A319 and the C Series.”


It costs them nothing to keep the A319Neo in the program if someone wants it, it's made on the same production lines as the bigger aircraft. They're just facing reality.

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CrimsonNL
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Re: Why were A318s unpopular?

Thu Jan 04, 2018 9:30 am

Does anybody have insight on why TAROM ever ordered their 4 318s? In a fleet of (then) 733's and 73G's it never made sense to me, as they don't operate any other 32S'..

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seb76
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Re: Why were A318s unpopular?

Thu Jan 04, 2018 10:09 am

F27500 wrote:
Plus ... they were ridiculous looking ...


The look is quite OK as long as you don't assume that if a longer A319/320/321 fits in it a hangar, the A318's can enter easily. Shorter often needs to be compensated by taller.

And being unpopular, it depends on which side you are:
- As a traveler, you can only love them (less seats for same cabin staff means better service and quicker boarding compared to A319 or A320), and they are much comfortable than any ERJ, ARJ, 737 or even worse, CRJ.
- From the airline's point of view however, they sacrify cost efficiency while offering little other or no improvements in return. The only improvements I can think of is the steeper approach slope but is only necessary in a handful of airports.
 
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JerseyFlyer
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Re: Why were A318s unpopular?

Thu Jan 04, 2018 1:34 pm

The A318 was a "plan B" development by Airbus for a shrink-A319 - sized plane.

"Plan A" was a joint venture new frame of similar size, with a Chinese manufacturer, which fell through late in the day.

PW promised optimised engines which it failed to deliver on time. AF insisted on a less-optimised CFM version for commonality, which Airbus agreed to develop alongside the PW version. Due to the lengthy (2 years?) PW delays, most A318s ended up as CFM-powered.

The order book was quite healthy initially. TWA (50 IIRC) went bust. BA, IB, AW and no doubt others, frustrated by the PW delays, converted to A319s.

Not a happy story - but not really a financial disaster for Airbus.
 
bunumuring
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Re: Why were A318s unpopular?

Thu Jan 04, 2018 1:56 pm

Hey guys,
I believe Tarom ordered the A318 for political reasons.... I remember that being the given reason in the aviation press at the time. Is this correct?
And yes, TWA ordered 50 A318s as well as 50 717s.... At the same time, stating that they were for different markets and route profiles. If I remember correctly, the A318 were for longer routes centring on more 'premium' markets while the 717s were meant for shorter, 'regional' routes?!?!
Cheers,
Bunumuring
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Polot
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Re: Why were A318s unpopular?

Thu Jan 04, 2018 2:04 pm

bunumuring wrote:
And yes, TWA ordered 50 A318s as well as 50 717s.... At the same time, stating that they were for different markets and route profiles. If I remember correctly, the A318 were for longer routes centring on more 'premium' markets while the 717s were meant for shorter, 'regional' routes?!?!

Yes I believe that was the official reasoning, along with the fact that they could get 717s before A318s. But truthfully I think TWA was just trying to get out of their A330 commitment and was kicking the can down the road so to speak with the A318 order/conversion. Granted it probably would have worked out well for TWA if they had stayed afloat since the A318/PW delays likely would have meant they could have gotten conversions to A319/A320s for a song.
 
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keesje
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Re: Why were A318s unpopular?

Thu Jan 04, 2018 3:48 pm

F27500 wrote:
Plus ... they were ridiculous looking ...


Remember look out of a window at CDG ... wow, that's a lot of aircraft for such a small cabin :biggrin:

Image

Maybe they can hang 35k CFM's & Sidewinders on them..
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dennypayne
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Re: Why were A318s unpopular?

Thu Jan 04, 2018 6:18 pm

B777LRF wrote:
callumconroydub wrote:
Why were these small, easy to manoeuvre and long range jets so unpopular?


Care to elaborate on what you mean by 'easy to manoeuvre'?


I thought that was an odd statement as well - how exactly is that quantified, and even if you could, why would an airline care about that in a purchasing decision?
My hovercraft is full of eels.
 
Pontius
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Re: Why were A318s unpopular?

Fri Jan 05, 2018 3:27 am

I would make the argument that the 318 was the least "easy to maneuver" model in the family, and most of my colleagues that have also flown all four lengths would agree. The 321 has its horizontal stabilizer tailored to the long moment of the aircraft, the 318 used the off-the-shelf stab from its longer sibling and was likely relatively undersized, (consider the taller vertical to combat degraded stability on the A318, 747SP, etc. Same principle, different axis). The aircraft was very "pitchy," especially at altitude with the autopilot engaged. Flight director orders would almost float you in your seat at top-of-descent.
 
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Devilfish
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Re: Why were A318s unpopular?

Fri Jan 05, 2018 3:52 am

Pontius wrote:
I would make the argument that the 318 was the least "easy to maneuver" model in the family, and most of my colleagues that have also flown all four lengths would agree. The 321 has its horizontal stabilizer tailored to the long moment of the aircraft, the 318 used the off-the-shelf stab from its longer sibling and was likely relatively undersized, (consider the taller vertical to combat degraded stability on the A318, 747SP, etc. Same principle, different axis). The aircraft was very "pitchy," especially at altitude with the autopilot engaged. Flight director orders would almost float you in your seat at top-of-descent.

I suppose this answers the question in #6 about operating the baby bus at HLE :?: :airplane:
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FA9295
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Re: Why were A318s unpopular?

Fri Jan 05, 2018 4:03 am

It was essentially a timing issue. Back when the A318 was introduced into the market, the economy was in pretty terrible shape (at least, in the U.S.) and fuel prices there sky rocketed, which made the aircraft economically non-favorable. Also the E190 competed directly with it with better economic results, overall in comparison to the A318.

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