That's true. But what other options do you have? . . . You can't just overnight, dump 170 planes and the next day have 170 replacements on line and ready to go . . . Not unless you want to slash your route network overnight by some 70% . . . So that argument doesn't really hold
You're right! But I'm afraid that I missed the nail in my previous post. That is, I put the nail in place, but did not hammer it in . . . Let me try again:
Off course it's going to be expensive to introduce an new type into your fleet, and a 170 ship fleet will take quite some time to replace. The point is that the longer you fly with your current fleet, the longer you can wait before incurring these replacement costs. Look at it this way: If you have a 170 ship fleet, you can roll it over to a new type every 30 years. But if you do this every 15 years, you'll have twice the roll-over costs! As long as average maintenance and fuel costs do not exceed the average roll-over costs, from a pure financial perspective you're better of with the old junkjets [as long as the pax don't expel them...].
PS. Considering NW reputation, why not replacing them with F100s? US has parked 40, AA is to retire 74, and TAM Brasil is also going to replace 50 [or what’s left of them...]
Immigration officer: "What's the purpose of your visit to the USA?" Spotter: "Shooting airliners with my Canon!"