DCA-ROCguy
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AvWeek: AirTran Nears Order For 100 Planes

Thu Apr 24, 2003 1:14 pm

Dear Gang,

This article from today's AviationWeek Online is really interesting:

http://www.aviationnow.com/avnow/news/channel_aviationdaily_story.jsp?id=news/airtran04233.xml

Doesn't offer any clues as to the A v. B decision on bigger planes, but does note that AirTran's growth has been well matched to demand: load factor went up 1.5 points over last 1q, on top of a 28.5 % capacity increase. Sounds like these guys are doing a really good job keeping on top of their costs, which is keeping FL in the black despite war and fuel price increases.

Jim
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JAL
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RE: AvWeek: AirTran Nears Order For 100 Planes

Thu Apr 24, 2003 9:44 pm

I wonder if Boeing can maintain its hold on AirTran.
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atcboy73
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RE: AvWeek: AirTran Nears Order For 100 Planes

Thu Apr 24, 2003 10:13 pm

I hope so!

It would be awesome for Boeing to get this one now that JetBlue has said they will take on more Airbuses.

WOW!!!

Just when you think the airline world is falling all around you, you get great news like these two orders. Kinda reminds me of revenge of the nerds  Big thumbs up.
 
LHMark
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RE: AvWeek: AirTran Nears Order For 100 Planes

Thu Apr 24, 2003 10:21 pm

Great. Let the B6 vs. FL wars begin...

Jim, AirTran sounds very pleased with the 717. I know the ROC flights are humming along nicely. Care to make an educated guess as to what equipment they'll pick up?
"Sympathy is something that shouldn't be bestowed on the Yankees. Apparently it angers them." - Bob Feller
 
gr8slvrflt
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RE: AvWeek: AirTran Nears Order For 100 Planes

Thu Apr 24, 2003 10:26 pm

Rumors and internal chatter are all leaning toward Airbus but my prediction is a combination of 717-200/300 and 737-700/800. Nothing would surprise me at this point, though (except widebodies, maybe).
I work for Southwest, but the views expressed are my own and do not necessarily represent those of Southwest.
 
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RayChuang
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RE: AvWeek: AirTran Nears Order For 100 Planes

Thu Apr 24, 2003 10:27 pm

I think FL will probably buy 30-40 more 717-200's initially. But the rest of the order depends on how well the A320's flown by Ryan International do in AirTran service.

I have this feeling that FL may end up ordering the 737-800 for transcon flights from ATL, especially now with so many production slots for the 737 free.
 
aviationmaster
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RE: AvWeek: AirTran Nears Order For 100 Planes

Thu Apr 24, 2003 10:31 pm

What kind of planes are Air Tran looking for?
 
gr8slvrflt
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RE: AvWeek: AirTran Nears Order For 100 Planes

Thu Apr 24, 2003 10:35 pm

I really don't think Ryan International's A-320s have anything to do with any future order. I'm sure Ryan simply offered the best package for the best price. There is enough operational data out there on both Airbus and Boeing types for the company to consider. In addition, Ryan service starts in June, about the time an announcement is likely.
I work for Southwest, but the views expressed are my own and do not necessarily represent those of Southwest.
 
atcboy73
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RE: AvWeek: AirTran Nears Order For 100 Planes

Thu Apr 24, 2003 11:07 pm

I bet there are more 717s in this order also. Could we say 25 717s and 25 737-7/800s.

And hey, if there is anyone out there who can do it, tell AirTran to go with the winglets, please.
 
gigneil
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RE: AvWeek: AirTran Nears Order For 100 Planes

Thu Apr 24, 2003 11:13 pm

Unless they plan on adding MANY flights to the West, the winglets just aren't the best plan.

For the winglets to help with fuel burn, you need an average stage length of about 3 hours. They also help takeoff performance from short fields, which they don't really operate much from.

N
 
gr8slvrflt
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RE: AvWeek: AirTran Nears Order For 100 Planes

Thu Apr 24, 2003 11:19 pm

From what was stated in the earnings conference call on Tuesday, MANY flights to the west are coming.
I work for Southwest, but the views expressed are my own and do not necessarily represent those of Southwest.
 
atcboy73
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RE: AvWeek: AirTran Nears Order For 100 Planes

Thu Apr 24, 2003 11:42 pm

But the winglets just look so cool  Big thumbs up
 
DIA
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RE: AvWeek: AirTran Nears Order For 100 Planes

Thu Apr 24, 2003 11:47 pm

According to Gr8slvrflt, if MANY flights to the west are coming, then I'd agree with him and ATCboy73. . .Airtran will most likely order the 737NG as well as more 717s. Unless, of course, Airbus way undercuts Boeing, such as in the case of F9. . .which then I'd say they would get some 717s with some A32Xs.

DIA
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gigneil
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RE: AvWeek: AirTran Nears Order For 100 Planes

Thu Apr 24, 2003 11:56 pm

...or, they could just pick the A320 because its a great plane.

Not every single time Airbus wins an order is it because they beat Boeing on price.

N
 
DIA
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RE: AvWeek: AirTran Nears Order For 100 Planes

Fri Apr 25, 2003 12:02 am

True Gigneil, I did not intend pigeon-hole Airbus if that's the way you read it. I just thought I would give Airbus a fighting chance here instead of just mentioning Boeing.

DIA
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DCA-ROCguy
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RE: AvWeek: AirTran Nears Order For 100 Planes

Fri Apr 25, 2003 12:29 am

Mark, I don't really know who has the edge for AirTran's plans for a/c bigger than the 717-200. Boeing seems natural because of the existing relationship, but Airbus is famously good at offering below-cost deals.

It would not be at all surprising, Gr8slvrflt, if AirTran does have big plans for transcon flights. With Atlanta's powerhouse combination of O & D and connecting traffic, and AirTran's LCC cost structure, AirTran could probably make money flying to almost any long driveway on the West Coast. Even second-tier markets like SMF could probably support a daily A320 into ATL.

It'd be a fight though; Delta more or less admitted they want to go predatory when they told AvWeek a month ago that they're going to "flood the market with capacity" between ATL and the LA Basin this summer. Department of Justice, take notice.

Jim
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DIA
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RE: AvWeek: AirTran Nears Order For 100 Planes

Fri Apr 25, 2003 12:39 am

Yes, I would agree with DCA-ROCguy: " Boeing seems natural because of the existing relationship, but Airbus is famously good at offering below-cost deals."

As he echoed my sentiments, Airbus is known for below-cost deals.

DIA
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m717
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RE: AvWeek: AirTran Nears Order For 100 Planes

Fri Apr 25, 2003 12:40 am

Management has stated on numerous occasions that they are looking to Boeing for either the 717-300 (if they decide to produce it) or the 737-700; or to Airbus for the A319. They want airplanes that they can fill, so the extra capacity of the 737-800 or A320 is not really a priority. Not to mention the additional pay rates for the pilots associated with these aircraft. (Although I'm certain that wouldn't figure into the decision, now would it?  Big grin)

And to DIA, if AirTran goes with the A319, it will most definitely be because of price. Or more correctly, cost. Costs that include not just the cost of the aircraft, but debt incurred as a result, pilot training costs, etc.

My gut reaction is that the powers that be at AirTran are giving Boeing every opportunity to step up to the plate with this aircraft order, and part of that includes restructuring of the current debt load that AirTran has with Boeing. If they do this, I am certain that we will go with Boeing. If not, then I guess it will be Airbus. In other words, a level playing field favors Boeing, in my opinion.
 
m717
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RE: AvWeek: AirTran Nears Order For 100 Planes

Fri Apr 25, 2003 12:46 am

"It'd be a fight though; Delta more or less admitted they want to go predatory when they told AvWeek a month ago that they're going to "flood the market with capacity" between ATL and the LA Basin this summer."

At the rate they are currently losing money, there is only so long they can bleed cash. Let them "flood the market". Dumping seats at below cost just to protect their market share will only contribute to their ongoing financial problems.
 
DIA
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RE: AvWeek: AirTran Nears Order For 100 Planes

Fri Apr 25, 2003 12:49 am

M717: "And to DIA, if AirTran goes with the A319, it will most definitely be because of price. Or more correctly, cost. Costs that include not just the cost of the aircraft, but debt incurred as a result, pilot training costs, etc.

I agree with you whole-heartedly.

Cheers,
DIA

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cedarjet
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RE: AvWeek: AirTran Nears Order For 100 Planes

Fri Apr 25, 2003 1:00 am

I think it'll be Airbus. One major reason is that the A32x line will still be open when AirTran sell the planes, whereas the 737 will have gone the way of the 727, so the resale value of A32xs in 15 years time will be higher. There are other factors of course but very few of them favour Boeing.

Whoever is the lucky mnfr, it's nice to see a US carrier prosper in such difficult times.
fly Saha Air 707s daily from Tehran's downtown Mehrabad to Mashhad, Kish Island and Ahwaz
 
DIA
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RE: AvWeek: AirTran Nears Order For 100 Planes

Fri Apr 25, 2003 1:03 am

Cedarjet: "One major reason is that the A32x line will still be open when AirTran sell the planes, whereas the 737 will have gone the way of the 727. . ."

What?!?!

Where did you get this bit of info? Can you post a link?

Cheers,
DIA
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flyf15
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RE: AvWeek: AirTran Nears Order For 100 Planes

Fri Apr 25, 2003 1:06 am

I think all of you are wrong. The 757 line sure could use some orders these days and its the best transcon plane out there...  Big thumbs up
 
cedarjet
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RE: AvWeek: AirTran Nears Order For 100 Planes

Fri Apr 25, 2003 1:12 am

DIA, it's only speculation, but where, in five years time, are 737 orders going to come from? The NG had a great start cos a select few US majors replaced enormous fleets of MD80s and 737 Classics. From now on, most 737 orders will be top-ups and the odd Ryanair bonanza. I don't know if that'll keep the line rolling til AirTran sell their 737NGs.

Not that resale value is the only factor, but for the same reason it affects the availability of parts, spare aircraft, additional orders etc.
fly Saha Air 707s daily from Tehran's downtown Mehrabad to Mashhad, Kish Island and Ahwaz
 
DIA
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RE: AvWeek: AirTran Nears Order For 100 Planes

Fri Apr 25, 2003 1:19 am

Thanks for clarifying Cedarjet.

I don't know, though, that I'd agree with you about the future 737NG orders being just a few. That would mean that Airbus A32X orders would go the same way. I would think that once the airline industry, worldwide, gets back on its feet, both Airbus and Boeing will see a flurry of new orders for their hot-selling A32Xs and 737NGs.

DIA
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dynkrisolo
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RE: AvWeek: AirTran Nears Order For 100 Planes

Fri Apr 25, 2003 1:59 am

Cedarjet:

What makes you think the 737NG is at the end of its life? You called Ryanair's order an odd bonanza, but the same can be said about Easyjet's order. Nothing has changed the balance between the A32X and 737NG. They have been pretty even, and they will remain pretty even. The US majors don't have too many 737NGs on firm order. Yet, the 737NG backlog is still quite healthy. Also, it is less dependent on leasing firms than the A32X. There is nothing that would suggest that the A32X will run away from the competition from this point on. Recall ANA has just announced its intent to replace their 737CGs and A320s with the 73G. Is this another "odd bonanza" using your terminology? I am pretty certain in 15 years' time, neither the current 737NG nor the current A32X will be in production.
 
cedarjet
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RE: AvWeek: AirTran Nears Order For 100 Planes

Fri Apr 25, 2003 2:28 am

Who knows what will happen. I am obviously a bigger fan of the A32x than I am of the 737NG (although I'm pretty impartial on the overall AvB debate) - even though the 737-300, -400 and -500 have been updated, I think the A32x still feels a generation ahead of the 737, er, New Generation.

Anyway, without wishing to be seen to be scratching around for any excuse to bag the 737NG, here's something else: while the 737NG has sold very well, it has sold in big numbers to a small number of carriers. Whereas (and often through leasing companies, as Dynkrisolo points out) the A32x has a much broader customer base. I think that will be a huge help to Airbus in the future, as these many budding carriers grow. Airbus need a much smaller percentage of their customer base to grow, to ensure future orders.

All pure speculation of course - I could be talking out of my arse (not for the first time).
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ConcordeBoy
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RE: AvWeek: AirTran Nears Order For 100 Planes

Fri Apr 25, 2003 2:38 am

DIA, it's only speculation, but where, in five years time, are 737 orders going to come from?

Hmm... the world's 1st and 3rd largest airlines replacing their MD80 fleets perhaps?

Southwest's potential expansion would be a good idea... and let us not forget developing markets such as Africa and China.

Let us also not forget what a crock of crap Cedarjet's statement is  Big grin
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dynkrisolo
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RE: AvWeek: AirTran Nears Order For 100 Planes

Fri Apr 25, 2003 3:24 am

Broader customer base has little bearing on what the future ordering pattern might look like. The 300/310 has a broader customer base than the 767. Historical data clearly show the 767 is a more successful program than the 300/310. Even though Boeing has fewer 737NG customers, many of the 737NG customers are among the largest carriers in the world. Big carriers need many more aircraft than some of the tiny customers that tend to populate on the 32X customer list. Since the 737NG launch, the 737NG and 32X each have had a few winning streaks, but at the end they have been pretty even. For example, Boeing was ahead after Ryanair's order, but Airbus regained the lead with Easyjet's order. Each aircraft has its pluses and minuses. I'm afraid no one is going to, or is capable to, completely take over the race. This is the most even race Airbus and Boeing has. But if we are talking about the 764 vs 332, or the 333/343 vs 772/772ER, then it's a different story. At this point, the 345/346 vs 772LR/773ER race is pretty even, but I think it will not last after the 773ER starts flying and the economy starts recovering.
 
DIA
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RE: AvWeek: AirTran Nears Order For 100 Planes

Fri Apr 25, 2003 3:29 am

Dynkrisolo, well said. Good perspective too.

DIA
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Udo
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RE: AvWeek: AirTran Nears Order For 100 Planes

Fri Apr 25, 2003 3:32 am

I think the resale value of the B737NG won't be lower compared to the A32X. Maybe the current A32X models even fall in value if Airbus decides to update the A32X family in a similar way Boeing did with the NG.
And there are still many airlines out there which will sooner or later order more B737NGs. As we already heard, many hundreds of MD-80s have to be replaced, and also many B737 classics. KLM, LOT, Olympic, Varig, Air China, Qantas, all of them will sooner or later get new NGs or increase existing NG fleets. The NG is a hot seller and it will most likely be for many years to come.
However, Airbus still has a large reserves in its A32X family, I hope they will soon start a major 'NG' program.

Airbus for AirTran? I don't think so, most likely their two Ryan A320s are just a kick in Boeing's ass to get better pricing or the most wanted B717-300. I hope the B717 gets the order, we need that fine MDD design to live on.


Regards
Udo
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CX747
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RE: AvWeek: AirTran Nears Order For 100 Planes

Fri Apr 25, 2003 5:55 am

I agree with Udo, I would really like to see the 717-300 become a reality. The -200 is an outstanding aircraft and it really deserves the chance to show the world its potential.
"History does not long entrust the care of freedom to the weak or timid." D. Eisenhower
 
sllevin
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RE: AvWeek: AirTran Nears Order For 100 Planes

Fri Apr 25, 2003 6:02 am

One would hope that Airbus has replaced the A320 with something new 15 years from now...

Let's not forget that the 737NG wing and improvements are actually newer than the Airbus.

What will be interesting will be the financing of the aircraft. I suspect Boeing will be unable to finance this round of orders, so the banks may have a lot of say in this.

Steve
 
DIA
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RE: AvWeek: AirTran Nears Order For 100 Planes

Fri Apr 25, 2003 7:09 am

I believe the A32Xs first flew in 1987/8.
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RayChuang
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RE: AvWeek: AirTran Nears Order For 100 Planes

Fri Apr 25, 2003 12:26 pm

I'm beginning to seriously think that if FL chooses a plane that can fly from ATL to the US West Coast year-round, they'll likely end up buying the 737-700 or 737-800 depending on seating capacity needs. The 73G definitely has the range to fly from ATL to as far as SEA easily year-round, as demonstrated by the fact WN flies transcon flights from BWI regularly.
 
AApilot2b
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RE: AvWeek: AirTran Nears Order For 100 Planes

Fri Apr 25, 2003 11:30 pm

You all are wrong.  Big grin Air Tran is definitely looking for that capacity increase that only the A380 can offer. They are going to use it on services to Chattanooga, Mobile, and Tampa. Big grin

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