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Frontier Airbus Order

Sun Nov 28, 1999 9:50 am

Yesterday, while at Denver Intl, I had a talk with some Frontier employees about the Airbus order. One person said something I found quite interesting... "We were looking at the 737NG very seriously, but the 737 is just getting too old ... the A318 and A319 are a new, up to date series of aircraft." What do all you think of that?
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RE: Frontier Airbus Order

Sun Nov 28, 1999 9:54 am

I still think the 737 is a splendid aircraft and as I've said before, the fact that the NG has acquired two very high profile/blue chip new operators (AA and SK) says something. However, that said, it must be very worrying for Boeing when a small American all-737 operator jumps ship like this.
The A320 family is certainly a newer design, but more significantly, the cabin is 7" wider, which allows each seat and the aisle to be an inch wider as well. It mightn't seem like much, but it can make quite a difference.
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RE: Frontier Airbus Order

Sun Nov 28, 1999 10:10 am

Whatever works for Frontier (cost wise), and whatever it takes to see more of those lovely birds at DEN!

I, too, found it interesting, as the 737NG's have lower operating costs/passenger than the A320 family. I thought Frontier might have liked that one...

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RE: Frontier Airbus Order

Sun Nov 28, 1999 10:39 am

I don't think the A320 family has inferior operating costs - the aquisition price can be financed in all kinds of ingenious ways and the plane is very fuel efficient. How can a design that is at least 20 years less up-to-date be more cost-effective?
fly Saha Air 707s daily from Tehran's downtown Mehrabad to Mashhad, Kish Island and Ahwaz
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RE: Frontier Airbus Order

Sun Nov 28, 1999 11:00 am

From all stats I have looked at in magazines, on the net, as well as in letters from companies, they all say that the 737NG's have lower operating costs.

Keep in mind that the "less up to date design" only applies to the interior. The only "old" design on that plane would be the basic--well designed--fuselage. Everything else from tail to wings to landing gear is brand new, using the newest composites. Airbus could have a much better (operating cost wise) aircraft if they had a truly updated A320 version, designed in the last year or so.

Either way...they are both good, effecient aircraft.

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Sun Nov 28, 1999 11:46 am

Fly777UAL,why did UNITED choose the A320 over the 737ng?
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RE: Fly777UAL

Sun Nov 28, 1999 12:37 pm

Why not? It was available sooner (to help expedite the 727 and 737-200 retirement process), and was available at a lower cost. Favorable delivery slots also might have helped.

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RE: Frontier Airbus Order

Sun Nov 28, 1999 9:40 pm

Frontier are correct, the 737 is getting old just like the 747 is. As much as you can stretch and re-design the same model of aircraft time and time again in the case of the 737 much of it's technology will still be 1960s, and that applies to the 737NG as well.

There is a need for a fresh new design for the 737, and I think the A320 has hit the nail on the head. Even though Boeing's 737 has been a truly successful aircraft, they are expireing it's design beyond belief.

In terms of Operating Costs/pax the 737NG is not quite as good as you'd think, SOME models have a better $/pax going rate than the Airbus, but for Frontier the A320/321 capacity was probably more important. The A321-200 is the most economical aircraft in terms of cost per passenger, apart from the 757-300 which is just too big for Frontier.

A320/330 pilot.
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RE: United Airbus Order

Sun Nov 28, 1999 11:22 pm

United also bought Airbus A320s because they can fly across the country without payload restrictions, and because Boeing's after-sales service is very poor, and problems with snooty Customer Service reps are legendary. This is one of the reasons US Airways bought Airbus, because Steven Wolfe had been at the UA helm during the worst of those problems and while turning US Airways around, didn't want to have to deal with a dodgy manufacturer as well as everything else. Plus, Boeing planes since the late 80s have aquired a reputation for being delivered with 'squawks', that is, defects, ranging from wiring problems to finding a complete toolbox (yes) inside a trailing-edge flap (BA 747-400). I'm not saying Airbus are any better (I have no idea) on that front but I know Steven Wolfe had had enough of Boeing passing their own production woes onto their customers in the form of late and slightly defective planes.
fly Saha Air 707s daily from Tehran's downtown Mehrabad to Mashhad, Kish Island and Ahwaz
Philly Phlyer
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Mon Nov 29, 1999 3:04 am

First of all, hopefully the network administrator will not eliminate this post like he did my last one on this thread. If the administrator does not like what I say, I would suggest that he or she respond to my post and not eliminate it.

Now to business. On your comments regarding why US Airways bought Airbus. The biggest reasons were:

1) Airbus would be able to deliver the product a full one to two years earlier since AA, DL and CO had just placed huge orders with Boeing, and
2) Airbus was feeling "locked-out" of the market and offered the planes at 50 cents on the dollar. [That discount would help offset the costs of fleet conversion which are substantial.]

It was "Economics 101" pure and simple. Similar to the reasons United went to the A320 to begin with. For United in the 80s, the A320 offered more range (it no longer does), was available quicker and United got a very good price. In both cases, Mr. Wolfe had to answer to the shareholders [UAL was not employee owned at that time], so he was forced the make the decision on economics and not on who he likes or doesn't like to deal with. Boeing supporters need to keep that in mind the next time they whine that "Wolfe hates Boeing." Need to remember that while at United, Wolfe was a big booster of the 777 program. In the competitive US environment, any carrier that makes such major decisions such as aircraft purchases on the basis of anything other than economics will be out of business fast.

As to quality control, I fly US Airways weekly and in talking to the pilots, I am told that the quality control on the A319/320 line as received so far has been very good and is about equal (no better or worse) to that of the last of the 737s and 757s that they received several years ago. In the long run, the same pilots tell me that the Boeing products generally have longer lives and will take more punishment.

On a flight last summer, one pilot told me that the best analogy was to say that the Airbus planes were like Alfa Romeos while the Boeing planes were like Volvos. The Airbus was more sexy, used the latest technology but needed more attention (maintenance) while the Boeing was a little more conservative in style and technology and required less attention (maintenance). He considered both to be very good airplanes and had favorites on both lines.

It is obvious from your posts here and on other topics that you don't like Boeing. That is fine, I happen to like both and believe that competition gives us a better product out of both companies. In the future, however, please base your posts on facts and not rumors, urban legends and personal opinion.
Philly Phlyer
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Nevermind - Administrator

Mon Nov 29, 1999 3:14 am

Sorry to have blasted the administrator, but the post I thought I put on this thread last night is on another thread. That's what I get for posting replies at midnight.

Sorry :>(
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Re: Cedarjet

Mon Nov 29, 1999 4:47 am

Cedarjet, I think you wear your anti-Boeing sentiment on your sleeve. Everything about them, according to you, is either second rate or out of date. Your facts are wrong regarding 737NG fuel burn as it relates to the A320 series. 737NG's burn less fuel. That is a fact. (Not bad for "20 year old technology" - which it isn't). When you talk about financing, that is something beyond the aircraft design's control. I think (at the risk of the millions of posts like this) that is a very grey area with Airbus. No one knows how much they make, what they owe, or if they are profitable. It is really almost unprecendented situation in international commerce. Finally, to call a 737NG a 20 year old design is both uninformed and unfair. That wing design is new, as well as new engines, as well as new subsystems, as well as new avionics. Of course you have a right to your bitter biased opinions, but they betray you on this forum.

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