trintocan
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MD80s And Low Cost Carriers

Thu Jan 02, 2003 3:52 am

With the rapid growth in the last few years of the low-cost carriers, it is interesting to note that in most instances the Classic 737-300 has been the favoured type. Recently the A320 family (as in jetBlue and easyjet) and the 737-700 (again easyjet and also Southwest) have become popular but, with the exception of Canada's Jetsgo, the MD80 family seems to have been left out of this boom.

Why is the MD80 not a popular type with low-cost operators? Is it to do with operating costs, handling or otherwise? Certainly it could be off-loaded rapidly with the folding door under the tail along with the front door and the family is well-suited for fast turn-arounds, both of which are pluses for low-cost carriers.

Any ideas?

TrintoCan.
Hop to it, fly for life!
 
TriStar500
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RE: MD80s And Low Cost Carriers

Thu Jan 02, 2003 4:01 am

One drawback might be that the MD-80 cannot hold containers in its cargo holds, so loading and unloading revenue-generating freight takes a lot longer than on e.g. the A319/320/321. AFAIK the 737 has the same problem, but I'll be happy to be corrected if my assessment should be wrong.
Homer: Facts are meaningless. You could use facts to prove anything that's even remotely true!
 
TriStar500
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RE: MD80s And Low Cost Carriers

Thu Jan 02, 2003 4:08 am

Another reason might be the size and operating costs of the aircraft. Seems like the 733 has superior seat-mile costs compared to the smaller 735. Operating the 734 on the other hand, means that the airline has to sell an additional 20 seats in order to generate sufficient revenue.

The MD-80 has about the same capacity like the 734, so low-cost operators might find it difficult to fill the additonal 20 seats of the M80 compared to the 733.

I don't know of the operating costs of the M80 though. Maybe someone else will post that later in this thread.
Homer: Facts are meaningless. You could use facts to prove anything that's even remotely true!
 
HlywdCatft
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RE: MD80s And Low Cost Carriers

Thu Jan 02, 2003 5:57 am

MD-80 left out of low fair?

Spirit Airlines has a bunch.
Vanguard had them before they collapsed
 
cba
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RE: MD80s And Low Cost Carriers

Thu Jan 02, 2003 6:30 am

Airlines want modern aircraft that can take them into the future, which is why the A320 and 737NG are selling so well. If a startup airline buys a few A320's or 73G's, these are modern aircraft that will last them well over the next 20 years. Also, they have families. If Jet Blue feels the need to increase capacity on their Florida flights or transcons, they can order a few A321's without having to train pilots or mechanics. If they want to fly to places that can't fill an A320, they can order the A319 for these thinner routes. The MD-80 has no family, so expanding the fleet would mean adding extra types. For a low-fare carrier, extra types equates to higher costs, defeating the purpose of the low-fare carrier.

Also, the 737NG and A320 have superior range. A MD-80 could not fly JFK-ONT for Jet Blue, LAX-BWI for Southwest, etc.
 
srbmod
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RE: MD80s And Low Cost Carriers

Thu Jan 02, 2003 6:32 am

Don't forget that Valujet was in the process of adding the MD-80 to their fleet when they shutdown after VJ592. They had several in service and were in the process of getting more of them when they voluntarily shutdown. As part of the restart, they dropped the MD-80s from the fleet, concentrating on just having DC-9-32s. I think one of the main reasons why there are not too many MD-80 family a/c in low cost service is that they are still in service with the large airlines, and there are not too many of them on the market at this time. In a few years when Delta, Continental and American start to retire their MD-80 family a/c, you will start seeing them enter service with low fare carriers. I doubt they will end up as the new fleet type at some of these airlines, but will be the backbone of some new entrants and maybe some charter airlines.
 
AirT85
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RE: MD80s And Low Cost Carriers

Thu Jan 02, 2003 7:07 am

MuseAir flew the MD-80 series for its low cost operations, however, I read the airplane was simply too big for its operations and helped send MuseAir into financial trouble and the hands of Southwest (as TranStar-which was later shutdown).
Tony
Why would God make us all so different, if He wanted us to be the same?
 
sllevin
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RE: MD80s And Low Cost Carriers

Thu Jan 02, 2003 7:54 am

Until now, there simply weren't a lot of MD-80's on the market. Far fewer were built than 737-3/400's and many of them remained with their original operators -- I don't know the percentage of MD-80's built that went and stayed with US (via PSA), AA, TW, DL and CO -- but I bet it's a large hunk of those built.

Now, however, there are lots of MD-80's on the market, and I think you'll see more startups like JetsGo using them.

Steve
 
trintocan
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RE: MD80s And Low Cost Carriers

Thu Jan 02, 2003 8:38 am

Some good points indeed. However, Sllevin, the MD80 saw some 1190 examples built - that is more than the 737-300 (1113). Indeed, if one adds in the 490 or so -400s built then the number rises significantly but then the -400 is not a typical low-cost carrier type. Indeed, though, the MD80 has tended to be held onto by its original buyers.

TrintoCan.
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HlywdCatft
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RE: MD80s And Low Cost Carriers

Thu Jan 02, 2003 9:34 am

Just watch when American decides to finally dump the MD-80s from its fleet, the value of the MD-80 will go down because of the large amount coming from AA. Probably about that same time Delta will decide to get rid of theirs too, so now we are talking close to 500 MD-80s coming on te market. A low fare carrier will pick those up for relatively cheap prices.
 
AApilot2b
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RE: MD80s And Low Cost Carriers

Thu Jan 02, 2003 2:20 pm

Those who have mentioned that there are not a lot of MD-80s on the market hit it on the nail. Most customers for the MD-80 still operate the type in their fleets. It is a great aircraft and one they (the major airlines) have not been quick to part with. Nonetheless, as more of them have become available on the second hand market, they have been snatched up rather quickly.
 
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RayChuang
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RE: MD80s And Low Cost Carriers

Thu Jan 02, 2003 4:26 pm

Here's another big issue that could hurt MD80's flying with LCC's--they might not be able to meet ICAO Stage IV noise emission standards that come into effect in 2006. Unless Pratt & Whitney offers a version of the PW6000 engine or Rolls-Royce offers a version of the BR715 engine that are rated around 24,000 lb thrust to replace the Pratt & Whitney JT8D-217/219 engines found on MD-80 series planes, most MD-80's will probably end up being retired for good.
 
717fan
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RE: MD80s And Low Cost Carriers

Thu Jan 02, 2003 4:39 pm

Air Lib Express of France is also operating the MD-83 and there are some LCC startups which are planning to fly the MD-80. (Flying Finn, Berlinjet etc.)
 
sllevin
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RE: MD80s And Low Cost Carriers

Thu Jan 02, 2003 10:57 pm

Ray:

I fully expect a non-intrusive hushkit for the -200 series JT8's to come on the market when Stage IV nears. In fact, I think that hushkitted Stage IV MD-80's will become hot commondities, since I believe it's unlike that the early JT8's are going to make Stage IV without significant operational impact -- meaning that those 732's and 722's that a lot of startups utilize are going to head for less-developed regions of the world.

I think that's when you'll see AA, for example, truly begin fleet reduction and replacement of their MD-80 fleet, because there will be significant demand for the older birds.

Steve
 
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yyz717
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RE: MD80s And Low Cost Carriers

Fri Jan 03, 2003 8:47 am

I agree with AApilot2b....the MD-80 will be an ideal LCC aircraft once it starts to hit the used market in large numbers.

Jetsgo, MD Airlines, Vanguard, Reno (albeit with new aircraft), Spirit have all proven the viability of the MD-80 for LCC ops.

I dumped at the gybe mark in strong winds when I looked up at a Porter Q400 on finals. Can't stop spotting.
 
Spacepope
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RE: MD80s And Low Cost Carriers

Fri Jan 03, 2003 10:00 am

US Airways has leased one of its MD-80s that it has sent to the desert out to a corporation that is using it to develop a stage IV hushkit. I believe it is operating out of Mojave. In any case, aftermarket parts producers certainly have not overlooked the need to silence these 1000 planes, and should be coming out with a solution shortly.

T.J.
The last of the famous international playboys
 
vfw614
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RE: MD80s And Low Cost Carriers

Fri Jan 03, 2003 9:12 pm

I remember AirLibExpress complaining a couple of months ago that the MD80 cannot be turned around as quickly as a Boeing 737 or Airbus A319 because of its cargo hold. Not sure how true that is.

However, there are couple of MD80s LCCs - JetsGo (Canada), AirLibExpress (France) and the new start-ups BerlinJet (Germany), FlyingFinn Airways (Finland) and Planet Air (England).
 
Big777jet
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RE: MD80s And Low Cost Carriers

Fri Jan 03, 2003 9:32 pm

How about? Allegiant Air has a few MD80 and still operates. They are doing well in business charter flights for casino from Laughlin and Reno.

Big777jet

 
mandala499
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RE: MD80s And Low Cost Carriers

Fri Jan 03, 2003 9:43 pm

Well, Indonesia's LCC, Lion Airlines is now trying to grab as many MD80s as they can.

This airline opted for the MD80 as their ideal low cost choice. However, they did have 2 MD80s with PTVs for international. I don't know if this is still the case.

They're dumping the Yak42D because the Indonesian government refused to certify them for local registration (required for domestic ops)
They've dumped the A310 because the lessor wasn't reliable (Regionair... who also supplied AWAir's A310s with heaps of problems)
They've dumped the 732 because of the same reason (The lessor was accused to be negligent, after a crash. Despite pilot error, it appears the engines weren't 100% perfect). They are still trying to get replacement 732s from a more suitable lessor.

So, MD80s have a chance with LCC here.

Mandala499
When losing situational awareness, pray Cumulus Granitus isn't nearby !
 
AA717driver
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RE: MD80s And Low Cost Carriers

Fri Jan 03, 2003 11:53 pm

I've found the -80's very reliable. When something breaks, you can generally get it deferred and go. It's a DC-9, very simple aircraft.TC
FL450, M.85
 
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RayChuang
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RE: MD80s And Low Cost Carriers

Sat Jan 04, 2003 1:31 am

Spacepope,

If someone can develop a hushkit for the MD-80 series that will allow the plane to conform to ICAO Stage IV noise rules without affecting the performance and fuel burn of the plane (many 737-200 hushkits cause performance losses), I think AA and DL would definitely be interested in the conversion kits.

It'll certainly be cheaper than an expensive re-engining program, that's to be sure.
 
johnnybgoode
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RE: MD80s And Low Cost Carriers

Sat Jan 04, 2003 3:59 am

i don´t know if this is applicable, anyway...

since i haven´t paid close attention to a ground crew turning around an MD-80 for quite some time, i don´t know if the door on the left side of the fuselage just in front of the engine is opened for the ground staff to come in and clean the aircraft.
if this door is closed, and catering is already at door 1R, then the other ground staff must wait for all pax to disembark. thus, it takes longer to turn around the aircraft which is a big problem for low cost carriers aiming to get the aircraft back into the air within half an hour.

as i said, i don´t know if this is applicable, but that´s a reason why some regional airlines dislike the CRJ 900. it takes very long to have all pax disembark the aircraft. if there´s an aft door, cleaning personell can enter as soon as the crowd moves forward the cabin to exit the aircraft.

cheers
daniel
If only pure sweetness was offered, why's this bitter taste left in my mouth.

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