John
Topic Author
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DL's Small MD90 Fleet, Good Airplane For AirTran?

Tue Sep 10, 2002 1:06 am

Just a hypathetical question, but since AirTran is looking for a longer range aircraft and the MD90 is somewhat of an oddball type in Delta's fleet, why not sell them to AirTran? I think the MD90 would compliment their 717 fleet quite nicely and provide them with greater flexibility with planned route expansion. From an economical standpoint, it would probably be better than aquiring BRAND NEW equipment, adding to the fact that these are very modern airplanes that have been well maintained by Delta. What do you think?
 
Delta728
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Joined: Sun Sep 08, 2002 12:54 am

RE: DL's Small MD90 Fleet, Good Airplane For AirTran?

Tue Sep 10, 2002 1:12 am

John
Sounds like a good idea, but the MD-90 is a real headache. They are an electrical nightmare. Our pilots call them the MD-911......We have many equip changes to other aircraft in DFW or SLC due to mechanicals on the MD-90.
But hey, made sense.
 
travatl
Posts: 1943
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RE: DL's Small MD90 Fleet, Good Airplane For AirTran?

Tue Sep 10, 2002 1:14 am

Two reasons I think this hypothesis is unlikely....

A) AirTran does not want to get aircraft that are no longer in production, and are then restricted to a certain number of that aircraft in the future.

B) Of all the major carriers, Delta is the least likely to offer it's chief LCC competition at it's largest hub the resource AirTran needs to expand it's operation, and further infringe on Delta's territory.

Just my two cents....however, if the MD90 were still in production, I think it would be an ideal fit for AirTran.

Travis
 
travatl
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RE: DL's Small MD90 Fleet, Good Airplane For AirTran?

Tue Sep 10, 2002 1:16 am

Also - just took a look at their certficate, DL only has 16 of these aircraft, certainly not enough for AirTran to be interested in.

Travis
 
CF-CPI
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RE: DL's Small MD90 Fleet, Good Airplane For AirTran?

Tue Sep 10, 2002 1:17 am

I don't have the exact numbers handy, but I believe the MD-90 is relatively range-deficient compared to competing types, especially the 737NG. In fact it may not even be comparable to the 737-300 or MD-82, which can do US transcons (under certain payload restrictions). As for the Air Tran question, I suppose the issue is what range they would get over and above the 717 and what routes they want to use the MD-90 for. Would they be capable of ATL-west coast or ATL-LAS, just to pick a couple? Anyhow, agreed that the MD-90 is cool and it would be nice to see in the beige and turquoise.
 
ont 737
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RE: DL's Small MD90 Fleet, Good Airplane For AirTran?

Tue Sep 10, 2002 1:26 am

Delta728,

Funny that you called them the MD-911 over at Delta. When I was working for American and we got those ex-Reno air MD-90s, some folks just figured the MD stood for "minimum delay" 90. Aside from that, I love to fly on them. They are some of the quietest a/c I've ever flown on. (when sitting in the front anyway) Why did Detla get them in the first place? My guess could only be for noise the sensitive airports like DCA and SNA and a little more capacity over the MD-80s.....
 
Delta728
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RE: DL's Small MD90 Fleet, Good Airplane For AirTran?

Tue Sep 10, 2002 1:31 am

ONT 737
McDonald Douglas came out some years back and called Delta to push them into the MD-90 program. It was touted as the most quiet aircraft to be built. It also is a great plane to use at high altitude airports. That is a reason it has been kept mostly out west. It is a good airplane to fly on, I agree. But all we have had with them are nightmares
 
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Crosswind
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RE: DL's Small MD90 Fleet, Good Airplane For AirTran?

Tue Sep 10, 2002 2:26 am

Can anyone shed any light on why (and when) Delta's original 50 aircraft MD-90 order was cut down to just 16?

Was this done in the light of negative operational experience with the first few aircraft in the Delta fleet, or was the decision taken before the first aircraft was delivered and the B737-800 was already on Delta's horizon?

As I understood it, at the time of the initial order Delta had plans to make the MD-90 a major workhorse in their fleet alongside the MD-88.

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md80spirit
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RE: DL's Small MD90 Fleet, Good Airplane For AirTran?

Tue Sep 10, 2002 2:40 am

From what I was told Spirit is looking to get 6 90's from delta. All 30 of spirits fleet consist of 81 82 and 83 a/c that we push to the limits on the dtw las lax and oak and the fll den flights. Delta is a ground handle partner that we use in lax oak ord and if any flight makes a non sched stop delta takes care of us so if they what to unload the 90's spirit looks like the best choice. F/a's need no more training and pilots can upgrade faster than the 717 guys. Spirit is going out west more and 90's would work great and cheaper than new a/c. I would love the see them. All spirit a/c hold 12/144. Spiritair.com
 
AA737-823
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RE: DL's Small MD90 Fleet, Good Airplane For AirTran?

Tue Sep 10, 2002 2:45 am

This is my UNDERSTANDING of the Delta MD-90-30 story.

They ordered the MD-90-30s to replace the 727s originally. The upcoming MD-90 version (the MD-90-50) was a longer range aircraft better suited for 727 type ops. Delta wanted both, originally. That was back in the late eighties... when things were at least decent.

THEn the recession of the early 90s hit, and Delta pretty much dumped new aircraft orders as fast as they legally could. The MD-11 order also went by the wayside, and they ended up with only 15. A small number for a fleet of airplanes.

But- the order was reduced and traded off, Douglas ended up trying to unload Delta's production slots on other airlines (Reno and China Northern, but the China part gets complicated by the trunkliner concept, which failed miserably).

By the time things swung around, Boeing was teasing with ideas of a super 737 that would perfectly fit the 722... and then they merged and that was all she wrote.

Randy
 
CF-CPI
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RE: DL's Small MD90 Fleet, Good Airplane For AirTran?

Tue Sep 10, 2002 4:06 am

I have heard horror stories about the manufacturing quality. For example, a Reno Air is said to have had an instrument panel catch on fire (it was parked and empty at the time, at SJC???) and a DL f/a said that one had a malfunctioning toilet that was traced to a wrench that was left inside it during manufacturing. Still it is a nice aircraft and I wish there were more.
 
srbmod
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RE: DL's Small MD90 Fleet, Good Airplane For AirTran?

Tue Sep 10, 2002 8:37 am

Disadvantages of the MD-90:
1. No longer manufactured
2. Not too many of them built
3. Oddball engine type
4. MX issues
5. MDD quality control issues

Were the MD-90s that were destined for Pro Air the ex-Reno/AA birds? I had also heard that Vanguard had been interested in them as well, in addition to the MD-87s of theirs Vanguard had in their fleet.

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