Overheard in a meeting with senior management this week:
(paraphrasing, not word-for-word)
"We sent out RFPs to both Boeing and Airbus on the cost of acquiring new aircraft. Airbus has been giving great discounts to new customers lately, and Boeing...well, they haven't been as willing to discount their product.
So we essentially said to Airbus, 'Look, it'll cost us a lot less money to operate just one aircraft type. BUT, if you're willing to discount your product to the point where the cost of two fleet types is negated, we can talk.'"
Also, part of the deal would be that Airbus would be required to:
1. Buy new simulators for AS
2. Pay for the extra crew and tech training for two fleet types
3. Pay for the extra parts and spares for two fleet types
4. Take MD-80s off our hands in partial trade for the new planes
"So, the hurdle is set REALLY high for Airbus," he said.
"We will have 22 73Gs on the property once all is said and done, and we're comfortable with that number. Any new planes will be either 739s or perhaps even some 738s to replace the 734s that we can return to the lessors. We've been talking to Boeing about the new 737-900X, which would have a 10,000lb increase in MTOW, meaning more fuel and therefore more range."
When directly asked about the possibility of 757s:
"The 757 is a great plane, but we'd still be looking at a new fleet type and all the costs that go along with it...and only getting maybe 10-15 more seats than a -900 can hold. So going with the 757 doesn't really make sense for us right now. Besides, if the -900X is as good as Boeing says it will be, then that's our plane for the future."
"In this present crisis, government is not the solution to our problem - government IS the problem." - Ronald Reagan
Comments made here are my own and are not intended to represent the official position of Alaska Air Group