All the 717s are being modified--slowly--to AirTran standards, with one exception: The TWA birds are keeping their airstairs, though they will be deactivated.
Also, parking any aircraft, even a 30-year-old DC-9-32, shows a depreciation cost on the company's balance sheet. So parking birds actually leads to a loss on the Profit/Loss sheet (aka Income Statement). That is reflected in a decrease in owner's equity on the Balance Sheet and statement of Owner's Equity. The savings in fuel maintenance does help, but parking birds does not mean profits. Look at AA
, US, and UA
Also, barring an HGW package on 712/713 variants, don't expect AirTran to stick with a single fleet type. AirTran will be announcing a long-range aircraft this summer. Whether that's a HGW/LR/ER 712/713 or a completely different aircraft altogether will depend on Boeing's and Airbus' marketing and product development teams.
I believe AirTran will go for either a 752 or the 738, ordering another 50-75 717s, half of them HGW/LR/ER, almost all 713s if they can get them, and 25-50 of the other type, to be delivered over then next six to eight yearrs. But then, I'm not part of AirTran anymore and I don't get the rumors coming down like some...
Glad to see LAX
. Pretty soon PHX
, I think.
Those who fail to learn history are doomed to repeat it in summer school.