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Aircraft Fleets, The Diversity

Tue Aug 05, 2003 6:29 am

why do airlines operate such diverse fleets of a/c? for example, air france has both boeing and airbus a/c. would it not be cheaper to fly and maintain only boeings like LOT or Continental or only airbusses like Qatar? i know that many a/c have commonalities that make them easy and cheaper to maintain, like the A320 family.
"...cannot the kingdom of salvation take me home."
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RE: Aircraft Fleets, The Diversity

Tue Aug 05, 2003 6:34 am


The operate the best aircraft suitable for given routes.

Never Trust Your Fuel Gauge
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RE: Aircraft Fleets, The Diversity

Tue Aug 05, 2003 6:35 am

I read an article somewhere that United could save alot of money with reducing their variety. In Gordon Bethune's book, From Worst to First, he said one major problem with the variety was that parts were in the wrong spot. One aircraft, I think the A330, had all of the parts in Greenville, even though no A330 flew into Greenville. He ordered them to the A330 hub, EWR I would guess.
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RE: Aircraft Fleets, The Diversity

Tue Aug 05, 2003 6:45 am

KLM is replacing 3 types for 2. The 743, MD-11 and 763 are getting replaced by the B772 and A330. The are saving a lot of money with this. Why they choose both Airbus and Boeing I don't know. I think both aircraft have there own advantage.

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RE: Aircraft Fleets, The Diversity

Tue Aug 05, 2003 6:47 am

Fleet decisions are made with various factors in mind - the most important being mission, the routes and services that an airline plans to operate with an aircraft.

Remember, every airliner costs tens if not hundreds of millions of dollars each which must be paid, financed or paid via lease payments, so a huge consideration is cost - if an airline is looking for 50 airliners in the 150 seat category, the price that Airbus will accept for its A320s and the price that Boeing wants for its 738s will be a huge factor. For example, if Boeing is willing to make a better deal than Airbus, the airline may go with Boeing even if that airline had operated only Airbus to date (its also true the other way around). Also, delivery schedules are very important, if an airline is looking to acquire new aircraft, they must settle on a delivery schedule that is suitable.....if an airline want to open a new route in 6 months time, Boeing could have the best plane around, but if it cannot be delivered for 2 years the airline will look to Airbus, lessors or the 2nd hand market. There are other factors, such as leasing deals, residual values, operating costs, training, spares, etc. But, in the end, an airline will go for the best aircraft at the best price.

Thus, KL selected a mix of 777 and A332 aircraft recently, NW went with the 753 and A332/333 to replace the DC10s, BA flies Boeing long-haul but is going Airbus for short haul, while SAS flies 737NG short-haul but Airbus for long-haul. It keeps things interesting.
Bluewave 707
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RE: Aircraft Fleets, The Diversity

Tue Aug 05, 2003 8:51 am

Having one-type (like WN or AQ) or two-type fleet (like HA or TZ) makes more sense in the fact that training and maintenance are standardized. Having one aircraft type to handle short/medium range routes, and another for medium/long range routes is economical. In fact having different variants of one type will also benefit an airline.
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