The B727's where on their way out well before Edington arrived. That is one reason for the choice of A320's, which were of almost identical capacity to the B722's (the other reason being, of course, that Sir Peter Ables decided one day that he liked them). You are correct though, he did want a quick rollover of the B762 fleet. The actual replacements were always a contentious issue, with options including:
- 9 B763's (one-for-one)
- 5 B763's and 8 A321's
- 14 A321's
There were many other variations of these themes as well.
The biggest killer for Rod was the NZ board knocking Ansett on the head from flying to West-coast USA (when NZ had only 50% shareholding in Ansett). This was at a time when QF and NZ were reportedly making in the region of $100M between them on the market, and corporate customers were screaming for Ansett to get on it. To add insult to injury, AN even had aircraft lined up from both SQ and possibly MH to help with the expansion, at very competitive prices.
This is one of the main reasons that Rod left Ansett. He is a highly intelligent man who understandably was 'bemused' by the lack of power that he was given to run an airline that he was both the CEO and a Chairperson of. To a degree, his feelings were shared sequentially over time throughout the organisation from the top down, slowly consuming all of the existing management.
Anyway I am getting a little off track now, you will have to wait until the book comes out for the rest of the story