BR715-A1-30
Topic Author
Posts: 6525
Joined: Thu May 30, 2002 9:30 am

Could The 717 Save Money For NWA In The Long Run?

Sat Sep 14, 2002 11:10 am

I know the DC9s are paid for and everything, but consider this. The DC9s are beginning to run out of Spare parts. (They still have some spare parts) like the ones from the Hawaiian DC9s, but what do these cost in maintaining. They must cost a fortune to constantly maintain these junkjets. Even though NWA redid the DC9 interior (which costed alot of money) the Exterior and frame is OLD.

So here is my question. Aside from Aquiring the 717, and training the pilots. Do you think that NWA could save money in the long run. AirTran alone has experienced significant decreases in fuel costs, and maintenance costs over time. I think that if NWA just went ahead and got rid of the DC9s for 717s, That in 5-6 years, they would already see a significant decrease in MX costs, and fuel costs.

This is just my 2 cents, and I would like to hear everyone's opinions.
Puhdiddle
 
aamd11
Posts: 863
Joined: Sat Nov 17, 2001 11:54 am

RE: Could The 717 Save Money For NWA In The Long Run?

Sat Sep 14, 2002 11:17 am

Once they get them in the fleet [if thats what they decide to do] and they build up a nicely sized fleet [im not talking 10a/c... more like 30+ minimum] and they have them operating they will realise cost benifits, mainly as you pointed out, in MX and fuel costs alone.
The 9s may be paid form which saves paying for them, but the MX costs must be getting real high now, and they wont be around forver, truth is they have to leave at some point, and they need a NEW aircraft to take their place... the 717 is a good fit IMO, and it will save them loads in fuel at least.

I say if they make a big order for the a/c they will be doing OK with them in the long run.

A^A MD-11
P.S. you may get flamed for the "junkjets" comment...
 
BR715-A1-30
Topic Author
Posts: 6525
Joined: Thu May 30, 2002 9:30 am

RE: Could The 717 Save Money For NWA In The Long Run?

Sat Sep 14, 2002 11:21 am

I take back the JunkJets comment, and replace that with GRANDMA JETS... Please help take care of Grandma.
Puhdiddle
 
B747-437B
Posts: 8777
Joined: Thu May 30, 2002 6:54 am

RE: Could The 717 Save Money For NWA In The Long Run?

Sat Sep 14, 2002 11:23 am

From a pure operational cost standpoint, yes, of course the 717 would cut NW's costs by a significant amount. However, the acquisition costs for a 717 fleet would be significant, and simply put NWA is far too conservative to invest in MORE new aircraft right now, especially with the A330s due on property in the next 12 months. Once the A330s are in the fleet and the Airbus narrowbody order has been filled out, NWA will look towards the DC9s and 742s for replacement. If the 717 line is still going (and I hope it is, because that airplane would be a shame to let die for a lack of marketing), then it stands a pretty darn good shot at winning the NWA order away from the A318 or even the EMB175 (which should be hitting the line right about then). However, the key for that to happen is to keep the 717 in production for that long, through whatever means possible.
"The A340-300 may boast a long range, but the A340 is underpowered" -- Robert Milton, CEO - Air Canada
 
717fan
Posts: 1975
Joined: Fri Nov 09, 2001 10:51 am

RE: Could The 717 Save Money For NWA In The Long Run?

Sat Sep 14, 2002 3:12 pm

IMO the 717 would save a lot of money for NWA and is the logical and best replacement for the DC-9, not only in NWA's fleet. But sadly I am not the one who is saying what airplane NWA is to get.....
 
acidradio
Crew
Posts: 1595
Joined: Mon Mar 12, 2001 3:19 pm

RE: Could The 717 Save Money For NWA In The Long Run?

Sat Sep 14, 2002 4:31 pm

Whatever happened to the rumor that NW would be picking up 3 717s to try out?
Ich haben zwei Platzspielen und ein Microphone
 
User avatar
PW100
Posts: 2748
Joined: Mon Jan 28, 2002 9:17 pm

RE: Could The 717 Save Money For NWA In The Long Run?

Sat Sep 14, 2002 7:32 pm

Well, yes and no.
If you replace an old type with a new type, surely it will LOOK like you will be reducing maintenance costs. However the trick is that it will take NW 5-10 years to replace 170 some niners from the first deliverey to last retirement. And during this transition period they will have the disadvantage of having yet another type in the fleet to maintain. The lower the number of types in your fleet, the lower your maintenance costs.

So another type in thefleet means, another full complement of spare parts to be purchased, another group of maintenance engineers to be trained and paid, another group of pilots to be trained and paid etc. etc. etc. The real benefit will only come after retirement of the last plane. So this is a real depth investment, just as its a depth investment for NW to keep these niners flying as long as economically viable.

PW100
Immigration officer: "What's the purpose of your visit to the USA?" Spotter: "Shooting airliners with my Canon!"
 
srbmod
Posts: 15446
Joined: Tue Mar 20, 2001 1:32 pm

RE: Could The 717 Save Money For NWA In The Long Run?

Sun Sep 15, 2002 4:02 am

NW will not order the A318, it is too heavy to operate in/out of airports that currently have DC-9 service. More than likely the 717 or the EMB-190/195 will be the replacement for the DC-9. An order for either will be a great boost for the 717, and a validation for Embraer's new design. The 717 makes sense because it has lineage to the DC-9 and now having been in service for almost 3 years, it has proven itself to be better than advertised. The fuel savings alone have helped AirTran stay profitable, and has actually sped up their DC-9 retirement plans. With the EMB-190/195 still a few years away from it's first flight, NW could get in on the ground floor and get a good deal on them, but I think they should wait until the EMB-170/175 does in service for Swiss and Lufthansa before deciding to commit to it's larger sibling. I think if Northwest were to place an order for say 100+ firm plus options for the 717, Boeing may give them a price as good as or even better than what AirTran is paying for them.
 
Guest

RE: Could The 717 Save Money For NWA In The Long Run?

Sun Sep 15, 2002 4:11 am

If you replace an old type with a new type, surely it will LOOK like you will be reducing maintenance costs. However the trick is that it will take NW 5-10 years to replace 170 some niners from the first deliverey to last retirement. And during this transition period they will have the disadvantage of having yet another type in the fleet to maintain. The lower the number of types in your fleet, the lower your maintenance costs.

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. That transition is going to take place regardless of the type chosen as the replacement. Whether they go for 717's, A319's, RJ's, or DC-3's, it doesn't matter.

And as the OP stated, those planes HAVE to be retired eventually.

 
DCA-ROCguy
Posts: 3895
Joined: Fri Apr 21, 2000 5:03 am

RE: Could The 717 Save Money For NWA In The Long Run?

Sun Sep 15, 2002 8:15 am

Buying the 717 might help NW in another way. As noted above, eventually the DC-9s will need to be retired, even if they are paid for. American will have a seat-capacity gap between 50 seats and 140 seats once it dumps the F100. And AA threw away a chance to get new 100-seat a/c with TWA's 717's.

This decision will put AA at a competitive disadvantage re medium size markets. AA's cost structure won't support multiple daily M80's at many of these markets, so ERJ-140's-145's are what they'll get. Folks here in Rochester, for example, are ticked that AA is downgrading us to all ERJ's. From the 1960's to the 1990's, 100-seat a/c (DC-9's, 732's, F100's) were a mainstay at medium-size markets. This capacity size is very important to these cities' ability to support mainline jet service.

Northwest has all these paid-for 100-seat DC-9's, which these cities obviously fill or NW wouldn't fly the planes here (ROC, BUF, SYR, GRB, GRR, ALB, and other Midwestern and Northeastern medium-size cities). AA is downgrading Upstate NY to ERJ's; rumors are that UA will downgrade us as well. That would leave Northwest as the *only* airline offering mainline westbound service in this region.

Add to that Northwest's beautiful new WorldGateway at DTW, and DTW's excellent runway layout that doesn't get congested easily--unlike ORD. Those things add up to a very good competitive picture for NW in the coming decade.

Keeping 100-seat a/c in its fleet--which the fuel-sipping 717 would allow NW to do--would allow NW to maintain an ongoing competitive advantage in many markets.

Jim



Need a new airline paint scheme? Better call Saul! (Bass that is)
 
717fan
Posts: 1975
Joined: Fri Nov 09, 2001 10:51 am

RE: Could The 717 Save Money For NWA In The Long Run?

Sun Sep 15, 2002 4:23 pm

By the way NWA said to me that they are considering the 717. That means nothing, only that the 717 IS NOT out of the race and that is good.
 
brianhames
Posts: 743
Joined: Tue Feb 15, 2000 2:22 pm

RE: Could The 717 Save Money For NWA In The Long Run?

Sun Sep 15, 2002 5:15 pm

I take back the JunkJets comment

Don't take it back, dude! Stand tall, don't crack under pressure!
 
Guest

RE: Could The 717 Save Money For NWA In The Long Run?

Sun Sep 15, 2002 7:25 pm


I agree the DC-9s are JUNKJETS and need replacing FAST!!!!



QANTAS_767
 
BR715-A1-30
Topic Author
Posts: 6525
Joined: Thu May 30, 2002 9:30 am

RE: Could The 717 Save Money For NWA In The Long Run?

Sun Sep 15, 2002 10:38 pm

Those Junkjets need to make their last flight to the desert soon. Time to join up with the other JunkJets. (Save the L1011. The L1011 never was Junk.)  Smile
Puhdiddle
 
Matt D
Posts: 8907
Joined: Fri Nov 19, 1999 6:00 am

RE: Could The 717 Save Money For NWA In The Long Run?

Sun Sep 15, 2002 10:56 pm

How long will it be before some of the pilots on those "-9's" are older than the planes they are flying?

I'm sure they're reliable workhorses and all...but c'mon Northwest. You have to say goodbye sooner or later.
 
BH346
Posts: 3164
Joined: Mon Jan 31, 2000 5:50 am

RE: Could The 717 Save Money For NWA In The Long Run?

Sun Sep 15, 2002 10:57 pm

I just flew on a refurbished DC-9-50 not too long ago and it was nice inside. I don't think the average passenger can tell it's old. However, these '9s won't last forever.
Northwest Airlines - Some People Just Know How to Fly
 
Guest

RE: Could The 717 Save Money For NWA In The Long Run?

Sun Sep 15, 2002 11:31 pm

Here's a photo tribute to the Northwest DC-9's. As you can tell, they have quite a pedigree.

Unfortunately, I could not find any pictures of Air West (the step between Bonanza and Hughes Airwest).

feel free to add on.

Enjoy!


View Large View Medium
Click here for bigger photo!

Photo © Mel Lawrence
View Large View Medium
Click here for bigger photo!

Photo © Brian J. Gore



View Large View Medium
Click here for bigger photo!

Photo © Henry Romero
View Large View Medium
Click here for bigger photo!

Photo © John P. Stewart



View Large View Medium
Click here for bigger photo!

Photo © Johan Ljungdahl
View Large View Medium
Click here for bigger photo!

Photo © John P. Stewart



View Large View Medium
Click here for bigger photo!

Photo © John P. Stewart
View Large View Medium
Click here for bigger photo!

Photo © Don Boyd



View Large View Medium
Click here for bigger photo!

Photo © Frank Schaefer
View Large View Medium
Click here for bigger photo!

Photo © James Richard Covington, Jr

 
BR715-A1-30
Topic Author
Posts: 6525
Joined: Thu May 30, 2002 9:30 am

RE: Could The 717 Save Money For NWA In The Long Run?

Sun Sep 15, 2002 11:44 pm

Quite a History there Cerulean. I hope they decide to order at least 100 717-251 Aircraft. I mean REAL Soon
Puhdiddle
 
User avatar
PW100
Posts: 2748
Joined: Mon Jan 28, 2002 9:17 pm

RE: Could The 717 Save Money For NWA In The Long Run?

Mon Sep 16, 2002 4:38 am

Cerulean

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...].

PW100


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...] Big grin
Immigration officer: "What's the purpose of your visit to the USA?" Spotter: "Shooting airliners with my Canon!"
 
nwa747-400
Posts: 1325
Joined: Fri Sep 08, 2000 2:54 am

RE: Could The 717 Save Money For NWA In The Long Run?

Mon Sep 16, 2002 5:20 am

Passengers don't expel the "old junk jets" because the average passenger has no idea that NW DC9s are 20-30+ years old because NW keeps them looking just like every other domestic airliner out there (if not better).

------------------------------------------
Now more than ever, FLY THE RED TAILS!!!
 
sllevin
Posts: 3312
Joined: Wed Jan 30, 2002 1:57 pm

RE: Could The 717 Save Money For NWA In The Long R

Mon Sep 16, 2002 8:37 am

It'll never happen.

NW has repeatedly said that the cost of operating the DC-9 fleet, despite maintenance, fuel, etc., is still less than the cost of the 717 with the large payments that the 717's will bring. There's no reason to believe that's an untrue statement, given the network the DC-9's fly.

Second of all, why do you believe spares are an issue? There are tons of DC-9's out there, and tons of planes that have been parked to pull spares from. Even NW's plans call for the DC-9 fleet to dwindle down to 100 aircraft, giving them 70 of their own spare aircraft to pull parts from.

Thus, any order is way off in the future; far too far to save the 717 line. Besides, for 100 aircraft, expect Airbus to offer an A318-SR variant that's lighter weight, shorter range, and will offer the common flightdeck and maintenance.

I would expect the 717 line to close within 36 months. Anything else makes little sense. Boeing would be better served building their own 737-600SR variant and dumping the odd bird out.

Steve
 
maiznblu_757
Posts: 4952
Joined: Fri Mar 01, 2002 12:05 pm

RE: Could The 717 Save Money For NWA In The Long Run?

Sun Sep 29, 2002 5:30 am

Northwest Airlines is replacing DC9-50's with A320's on some routes... Why not the A319/A320 to replace all DC9's?
 
sllevin
Posts: 3312
Joined: Wed Jan 30, 2002 1:57 pm

RE: Could The 717 Save Money For NWA In The Long R

Sun Sep 29, 2002 7:26 am

Maiz:

It *is* happening to some extent. That's what I meant when saying that NW was slowly reducing the "DC-9" role from 160+ aircraft to just 100.

The 717 makes little sense for NW. Airbus will build them a lightweight variant for 100 orders...

Steve
 
BR715-A1-30
Topic Author
Posts: 6525
Joined: Thu May 30, 2002 9:30 am

RE: Could The 717 Save Money For NWA In The Long Run?

Sun Sep 29, 2002 7:52 am

The A320 Family was not designed for "Lightweight" variants. The 717 would be more feasible to replace the DC9. Think about it. 717 has so much in common with the DC9 (I.E. Weight, RearMounted Engines, Wing, Landing Gear, and most other components.) The only thing that would cost money is pilot training, and that shouldn't be too hard since the DC9 flies like a 717.
Puhdiddle
 
PSU.DTW.SCE
Posts: 6118
Joined: Mon Jan 28, 2002 11:45 am

RE: Could The 717 Save Money For NWA In The Long Run?

Sun Sep 29, 2002 8:14 am

The A319/A320 is too big for many DC-9 routes.

The A320 is actually a 727 replacement, with nearly equal number of seats.
A320 148 pax vs 727 149 pax and the A320 is able to do West Coast-DTW/MSP/MEM for NW.

The A319 works alright as a DC-9-50 replacement in term of pax number.
DC-9-50 125 pax vs A319 124 pax.
However, the DC-9-50's are the newest DC-9's in the NW fleet and the only make up about 50 of the 170 +/- DC-9 fleet. You have a lot of DC-9-10/30/40's that don't have an equal capacity replacement. Something will have to go between the 69 pax ARJ and the 124 pax A319.

Still lots of life in those good ole' 9's.
 
BR715-A1-30
Topic Author
Posts: 6525
Joined: Thu May 30, 2002 9:30 am

RE: Could The 717 Save Money For NWA In The Long Run?

Sun Sep 29, 2002 9:09 am

For Northwest to keep those DC9s is like trying to keep an Ailing Granny on Life Support. If she wants to die, don't try and put on some makeup to make her look new, and put her on life support. It is time for her to go, she has served her term on earth and is ready to go. Please help take care of Grandma.  Crying
Puhdiddle
 
PSU.DTW.SCE
Posts: 6118
Joined: Mon Jan 28, 2002 11:45 am

RE: Could The 717 Save Money For NWA In The Long Run?

Sun Sep 29, 2002 9:31 am

Wow, what a bunch of ignorance here.

The DC-9's are in very good shape, they aren't on life support.
BR715-A1-30, don't make up such stupid b.s. just because you are so hell-bent on your 717's. I love the 717 too, but hey, seriously now, what works will work whatever it be.
 
cv640
Posts: 843
Joined: Wed Aug 30, 2000 8:10 pm

RE: Could The 717 Save Money For NWA In The Long Run?

Sun Sep 29, 2002 12:40 pm

The DC9s at Northwest are the most reliable of their narrow body fleet. So, using your logic they are more likely to replace the A319/320s and 757s first. They actually have a beter dispatch reliability then the worldwide 717 fleet has.
 
HlywdCatft
Posts: 5232
Joined: Mon Jan 29, 2001 6:21 am

RE: Could The 717 Save Money For NWA In The Long Run?

Sun Sep 29, 2002 1:31 pm

i was talking to a Jet bridge operator at DTW that works for NW.

He and many others are hoping NW does NOT take the A318 because it will be a bear to operate the jetbridges with the engines that close to the bridge. He among others are hoping for a rear engined aircraft. I think the jetbridge situation will be considered at NW.
 
justplanesmart
Posts: 676
Joined: Thu Mar 15, 2001 3:25 pm

RE: Could The 717 Save Money For NWA In The Long Run?

Sun Sep 29, 2002 1:56 pm

Cerulean-
Here's one of an Air West DC-9-30:

View Large View Medium
Click here for bigger photo!

Photo © John P. Stewart

"So many planes; so little time..."
 
azjubilee
Posts: 3402
Joined: Sat Apr 29, 2000 5:26 am

RE: Could The 717 Save Money For NWA In The Long Run?

Sun Sep 29, 2002 2:23 pm

Hlywdctft = NW agents work Avros everyday and the jetbridge comes close to the engine in a lot of cities. Also, perhaps they should allow some Mesaba agents to teach the NW agetns how to drive jetbridges up to planes with the engines close... like the saab! Of course, that's after they can demonstrate months of not damaging the plane.


AZJ
 
sllevin
Posts: 3312
Joined: Wed Jan 30, 2002 1:57 pm

RE: Could The 717 Save Money For NWA In The Long R

Sun Sep 29, 2002 4:28 pm

Who said you can't build a lightweight A318/319 variant?

That's silly. Of course you can. By limiting weights, you can lighten key components and lighten the airframe.

Would it be as efficient as a plane not designed for longer lines? Of course not, but OTOH, it would have the advantage of pilot ratings, maintenance, and the ability to substitute equipment more broadly.

Or NW could go with something along the lines of an EMB-190/even bigger stretch. There you'd have a plane even better than the 717, as it would weigh even less, be better optimized for short haul, etc.

Combined with the reality that NW isn't going to even start soliciting bids for several years, and Boeing doesn't have 7 years of 717 backlog, it's a moot point.

And right now, it would cost NW more money to swap out to 717's. If there's one thing DC-9's and the old JT8's are, its bulletproof. Any thinking that the DC-9's are problematic for NW is pure dreaming.

To sum up, it's like this:

1) it's cheap for NW to continue to operate the DC-9's.
2) When they do need a new aircraft, they will either choose:
....a) fleet commonality (A318/319/variant)
or
....b) new, highly efficient, modern aircraft like the EMB-190

Boeing would be better off developing a new lightweight 737-600 than wasting more time on the 717.

Steve
 
Guest

RE: Could The 717 Save Money For NWA In The Long Run?

Sun Sep 29, 2002 11:49 pm

Steve: you are forgetting some points that Boeing has in their favor:

1) Discounts. NW would likely get some large discounts for being the first major airline(worldwide, not just US-wide) to place an order for the 717, coupled with the fact that NW is already an Airbus A320 operator, and will try to get wooed by Boeing to get a product competing with the A318.

2) To make an A318 Lite, it would take at least two years to design and produce, while the 717 is already available and can get deliveries when NW wants(Midex started getting deliveries 9 months after the order went in, TWA was 1 year).
 
User avatar
RayChuang
Posts: 8007
Joined: Sat Jun 24, 2000 7:43 am

RE: Could The 717 Save Money For NWA In The Long Run?

Mon Sep 30, 2002 12:48 am

I think by 2004-2005, NW will be looking for a DC-9 replacement, mostly due to the fact the planes are getting way up there in terms of structural life and the planes are not going to meet the new ICAO regulations for noise and exhaust emissions.

It's too bad the Fairchild-Dornier 728 was shelved, because the growth 928 variant could have been the perfect plane for NW to replace its huge DC-9 fleet. As such, NW has three planes they can choose from:

Boeing 717-200--probably the most immediately available choice, though I have doubts Boeing will keep the line open till 2005 and NW is averse to buying the plane.

Airbus A318 in a lighter weight version--it is not impossible, but will NW foot the bill for the development costs? Also, the A318's design could be hazardous for jetwalk operators.

Embraer 190/195--a good choice, though I wonder will NW want to buy a plane with an even narrower fuselage than the DC-9.
 
sllevin
Posts: 3312
Joined: Wed Jan 30, 2002 1:57 pm

RE: Could The 717 Save Money For NWA In The Long R

Mon Sep 30, 2002 4:37 am

Lowfareair:

You're right that Boeing will push pricing, but I don't know that they will be able to push harder than AI or Embraer (both of which are also aggressive)

I don't believe that NW is going to be in any rush. Stage IV won't even be a standard for three more years, and, historically, that means it won't be a requirement for at least 8 years. Therefore, NW won't want deliveries for at least five years. That's plenty of time for development, and too much time for Boeing to keep the 717 line open given even a doubling of the extant orders.

Steve