Thrust
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Southwest A Potential Customer For 738/739?

Thu Jan 22, 2004 9:53 am

It seems to me that Southwest has done one thing as its 737s continue to spread like the plague (in a good way) over the U.S. They have avoided ordering the stretched versions of the 737 (the -400, -800, and -900). Why? I have nothing against the short versions of the 737 (or short airplanes, for that matter) but if I were an airline executive of Southwest, I would think on the transcontinental routes I would want a 737 capable of carrying a substantially larger amount of passengers than the -700s. (BTW, I am well aware that many of their -700s are being refitted with winglets, but I wouldn't think that is going to do too much to increase MTOW)
Fly one thing; Fly it well
 
BR715-A1-30
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RE: Southwest A Potential Customer For 738/739?

Thu Jan 22, 2004 9:57 am

The 800s and 900s require an extra flight attendant, and they are trying to cut costs by making their crews consistent with all types in the fleet.
Puhdiddle
 
MCIB757
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RE: Southwest A Potential Customer For 738/739?

Thu Jan 22, 2004 9:57 am

Perhaps the biggest reason is b/c with the 737-800 or -900 they would have to add a fourth flight attendant which would increase cost to much, that is just what I have heard the most for the reason not.

Tom
"God bless catastrophe..."
 
MCIB757
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RE: Southwest A Potential Customer For 738/739?

Thu Jan 22, 2004 10:00 am

BR715-A1-30 you beat me by 6 seconds lol, until next time, oh well.

Tom
"God bless catastrophe..."
 
OPNLguy
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RE: Southwest A Potential Customer For 738/739?

Thu Jan 22, 2004 10:13 am

As has been noted, -800s or -900s would necessitate a 4th F/A, but that's not necessarily the obstacle that some folks may think it to be. Sure, costs would go up, but so would the revenue from the increased capacity. Crew scheduling is already heavily-computerized, and tracking/assigning the 4th F/A wouldn't be any big deal.

If I recall correctly from Boeing's site, the -700 has the best payload/range balance, better than either the -800 or -900. There's been a buzz about a souped-ip -900 (-900X?) with better performance, but I don't think Boeing has committed on it as yet. If they do, I think the -900X would be more likely than either the existing -800 or -900.

In any event, you almost certainly wouldn't see -800s/-900s/-900Xs at SWA until:

1/ All the -200s are retired, which will probably occur before the end of 2004.

2/ The labor contract with the F/As is settled.

Just my 2 cents...
ALL views, opinions expressed are mine ONLY and are NOT representative of those shared by Southwest Airlines Co.
 
as739x
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RE: Southwest A Potential Customer For 738/739?

Thu Jan 22, 2004 10:18 am

I'd agree with the Flight Attn. reasoning. Alaska passed on the 738 for that reason as well and now think we may be kicking ourselves. The -800 was over the pax load for 3 working Flight Attn. by 6 passengers. With the -900 is what justified being roughly 30 passengers over.
Hope the way I explaind this made sense!
ASSFO
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theflcowboy
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RE: Southwest A Potential Customer For 738/739?

Thu Jan 22, 2004 10:19 am

Just out of curiosity - is there a pax to F/A ratio that they look for? or is there some other criteria?

MD
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Thrust
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RE: Southwest A Potential Customer For 738/739?

Thu Jan 22, 2004 10:21 am

The SWA -200s are still in service? This is news to me. There can't be many left? Up-to-date photos of them are so hard to find in this database (for me).
Fly one thing; Fly it well
 
dw747400
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RE: Southwest A Potential Customer For 738/739?

Thu Jan 22, 2004 10:22 am

I know one 737 Captain I spoke with said that he was expecting to see a 738 order following the 732 retirement. Of course, one guy at AirTran said they ordered a bunch of 7E7s, so you can't be sure... The Captain did seem fairly with it though, and had something like 18 years with the company.
CFI--Certfied Freakin Idiot
 
as739x
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RE: Southwest A Potential Customer For 738/739?

Thu Jan 22, 2004 10:22 am

Yes Cowboy, the FAA requires a ration. I don't know the count though.
ASSFO
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OPNLguy
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RE: Southwest A Potential Customer For 738/739?

Thu Jan 22, 2004 10:46 am

>>>Just out of curiosity - is there a pax to F/A ratio that they look for? or is there some other criteria?

In a nutshell, the US FAR requires 1 F/A for every 50 passengers. That's not exactly the way the exact reg reads, but that's what it boils down to.


>>>The SWA -200s are still in service? This is news to me. There can't be many left

Yes. We ended 2003 with 22 -200s still in service. The retirement schedule calls for 16 to be retired in 2004 (5 in January alone) and the last 6 are scheduled to retire in the first quarter of 2005. That said, prevailing buzz is that all 22 will be gone by the end of 2004. We have 47 -700s scheduled for delivery in 2004, so it's not exactly like we'd be short on aircraft....  Big grin

ALL views, opinions expressed are mine ONLY and are NOT representative of those shared by Southwest Airlines Co.
 
brons2
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RE: Southwest A Potential Customer For 738/739?

Thu Jan 22, 2004 10:51 am

The SWA -200s are still in service? This is news to me. There can't be many left? Up-to-date photos of them are so hard to find in this database (for me).

Come to any city in Texas, you'll see them all the time! I live in AUS, and I see one every time I go to the airport. I flew on one as recently as mid-October, HOU-AUS.
Firings, if well done, are good for employee morale.
 
FlagshipAZ
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RE: Southwest A Potential Customer For 738/739?

Thu Jan 22, 2004 11:21 am

The F/A-to-seat ratio is 1 F/A per 50 seats, regardless if that seat is occupied by a passenger. So with a 737 with 150 seats, you'll need 3 F/A. At the 151st seat and more, you'll need a fourth F/A. For smaller aircraft such as Metroliner, you'll need a F/A for 20 seats or more. Anything with 19 seats or less no F/A is required, as per FAA rules. Hope that helps you with your question. Regards.
"Beer is living proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy." --Ben Franklin
 
Thrust
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RE: Southwest A Potential Customer For 738/739?

Thu Jan 22, 2004 11:43 am

Another year of SWA 737-200s? Wahoo! This is extremely pleasing news.
Fly one thing; Fly it well
 
OPNLguy
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RE: Southwest A Potential Customer For 738/739?

Thu Jan 22, 2004 11:52 am

>>>Another year of SWA 737-200s?

Maybe not a full one... My gut feeling is that they'll all be gone between Labor Day and Halloween... For sure, your chances of seeing one will be better in the first part of the year and decline from there...
ALL views, opinions expressed are mine ONLY and are NOT representative of those shared by Southwest Airlines Co.
 
Thrust
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RE: Southwest A Potential Customer For 738/739?

Thu Jan 22, 2004 12:03 pm

The only problem is, Brons2, I have not visited Texas in nearly 4 years! In STL, the 737-200s evaporated. I am well aware that 737-200s are much more likely to be found spotting at the airports they serve rather than hoping someone was at the airport and took a photograph to show you in the database (don't mean to sound stuck-up in that sentence). to find if you're at an airport spotting than looking for photographs. Wished I did live in Texas; that state is swarmed with airline traffic. Would love to be able to spot at AUS for a day or two to see these rare beauties. STL is no longer worth spotting at. Thanks for informing me where to find these evaporating classics, Brons2. Will hopefully try to get down to Texas to spot them.
Fly one thing; Fly it well
 
brons2
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RE: Southwest A Potential Customer For 738/739?

Thu Jan 22, 2004 12:08 pm

Spotting at AUS? I guess, if you really want to see a WN 732. And a lot of MD-80's and other 737 varieties, as well as a few CRJ and A319, and occasionally a 757, or a cargo widebody if you're lucky.

On the other hand, AUS does have a nice "family viewing area" that allows you to get VERY close to 17L/35R. You'll definitely want to have the earplugs handy when the 732's are using 35R, as they are lifting off right as they pass the observation point.
Firings, if well done, are good for employee morale.
 
OPNLguy
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RE: Southwest A Potential Customer For 738/739?

Thu Jan 22, 2004 12:21 pm

You will see the most-200s at DAL, of course, but if you don't want to come that far, TUL, OKC and LIT also see them...
ALL views, opinions expressed are mine ONLY and are NOT representative of those shared by Southwest Airlines Co.
 
Thrust
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RE: Southwest A Potential Customer For 738/739?

Thu Jan 22, 2004 12:32 pm

When an aircraft that I like is being retired, it tends to cause me to enjoy photographs of them more, and the value of an aircraft for a certain airlines tends to increase in my eyes when that aircraft is no more, or due to be no more. Whereas before, I just said, yeah, while I like them, photos and sightings of this aircraft are common. Sort of like the theme, "You don't know what you've got until its gone."
Fly one thing; Fly it well
 
Thrust
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RE: Southwest A Potential Customer For 738/739?

Thu Jan 22, 2004 12:34 pm

Oh yeah, forgot that WN's main hub is at Dallas-Love Field.
Fly one thing; Fly it well
 
SWAFA30
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RE: Southwest A Potential Customer For 738/739?

Thu Jan 22, 2004 1:10 pm

Aside from needing a 4th flight attendant. We would lose our fleet commonality from a staffing standpoint. If a -700 goes out of service on a mechanical at an outstation and an -800 is the only A/C available for a swap...the crew is now 1 person short. Now you are looking a crew skied nightmare especially if is late in the day. You can pull a crewmember out of crew rest at the hotel or take one from antoher crew but then the flights they were supposed to be working are now short a man or woman short and it's the domino effect.

In any event, you almost certainly wouldn't see -800s/-900s/-900Xs at SWA until:

1/ All the -200s are retired, which will probably occur before the end of 2004.

2/ The labor contract with the F/As is settled.



At the rate things are going...the -200s will be gone long before our contract is settled.
 
aerokiwi
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RE: Southwest A Potential Customer For 738/739?

Thu Jan 22, 2004 2:30 pm

Hasn't everyone forgotten that a 737-800, under a typical low-cost airline seating arrangement, would carry 189 pax? So with 4 F/As it's virtually the same pax/crew ratio as flying the -700 with 3 F/As.

Sooner or later, the airline will be forced to replace frequency with capacity.
 
SWAFA30
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RE: Southwest A Potential Customer For 738/739?

Thu Jan 22, 2004 2:47 pm

Hasn't everyone forgotten that a 737-800, under a typical low-cost airline seating arrangement, would carry 189 pax? So with 4 F/As it's virtually the same pax/crew ratio as flying the -700 with 3 F/As.

Perhaps but then there go our turn times. They have already gradually crept up from 10 minutes in the 70s to 20 minutes in the 80s and 90s to now 30 minutes. You just would not be able to get the planes on and off the gate as quickly as we like.

Sooner or later, the airline will be forced to replace frequency with capacity.

Why?
 
cloudy
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RE: Southwest A Potential Customer For 738/739?

Thu Jan 22, 2004 2:50 pm

Hasn't everyone forgotten that a 737-800, under a typical low-cost airline seating arrangement, would carry 189 pax? So with 4 F/As it's virtually the same pax/crew ratio as flying the -700 with 3 F/As.
----

Southwest doesnt use the typical lo-co arrangement. They have a higher seat pitch than most lo-co's. In fact, it is better than any US domestic coach service except American's MRTC. The above posts reflect this.
 
rjpieces
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RE: Southwest A Potential Customer For 738/739?

Thu Jan 22, 2004 3:00 pm

I don't see any need for -800s in WNs fleet. They could just keep -700s as they cover all of the airlines needs.
"Millions long for immortality who do not know what to do with themselves on a rainy Sunday afternoon"
 
SWAbubba
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RE: Southwest A Potential Customer For 738/739?

Fri Jan 23, 2004 5:28 am

OPNLguy,

I've got to disagree about the 4th FA not being much of an obstacle. Just look at the current FA negotiations. What the company seems to want more than anything is to give the FA's the pilots' rigs and duty day. This would mean one set of rules for scheduling all crewmembers and would eliminate lots of complexity with scheduling. We've been moving towards increased commonality for some time now, I don't think we'd move away from it unless what we're doing now isn't working- ie we're unable to add frequency on routes due to slot restrictions or something along those lines.

The other problem with a larger aircraft come with airplane swaps-currently if we substitute a 200 or 500 for a 300 or 700 we lose 15 seats, but if you had to substitute a 700 for a 800/900 you'd lose 30+ seats depending on the configuration. We'd have to buy quite a few of any new type to offset the marginal costs of adding the complexity to the system.
 
drerx7
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RE: Southwest A Potential Customer For 738/739?

Fri Jan 23, 2004 5:36 am

Actually, the Southwest -700 order does allow for 738 options.
Third Coast born, means I'm Texas raised
 
SWAFA30
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RE: Southwest A Potential Customer For 738/739?

Fri Jan 23, 2004 5:55 am

What the company seems to want more than anything is to give the FA's the pilots' rigs and duty day.

Which is why the negotiations have come to a grinding halt.
 
ConcordeBoy
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RE: Southwest A Potential Customer For 738/739?

Fri Jan 23, 2004 6:06 am

Oh yeah, forgot that WN's main hub is at Dallas-Love Field.

It's their home base, but not even close to their main operation... that would be Phoenix-- followed by Vegas, Baltimore/Washington, etc
Faire du ciel le plus bel endroit de la terre c'est impossible sans Concorde!
 
OPNLguy
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RE: Southwest A Potential Customer For 738/739?

Fri Jan 23, 2004 6:07 am

SWAbubba,

As far as the 4th F/A goes, sure, it would be a move away from "optimum" commonality, but I don't think that necessarily means that we'd shy away from "pushing the envelope" as far as trying new things should other considerations (that we're not privvy to at our respective links in the food chain) dictated.

As far as aircraft swaps are concerned, the reality (as I see it from where the swaps are initiated) is that actual number of situations where we have a sudden excess of pax from a swap to a smaller aircraft are relatively few. I'm certainly not saying that it never happens, just that we almost always have internal options such as other aircraft to swap with and/or re-routing pax on other flights. If we were to theoretically get -800s (or something else), those options would initially be fewer commensurate with the small (but increasing) number of -800s, but that situation would improve as more entered the fleet. We saw the same thing when the -300s first entered the fleet as opposed to the large number of -200s.

My gut feeling is that we'd wait for the -900X, as I think, performance-wise, that variant would better suit our needs than the existing -800s or -900s.



ALL views, opinions expressed are mine ONLY and are NOT representative of those shared by Southwest Airlines Co.
 
Thrust
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RE: Southwest A Potential Customer For 738/739?

Fri Jan 23, 2004 10:15 am

Thanks ConcordeBoy, guess my dad doesn't know everything about Southwest.
OPNLguy, I whole-heartedly agree with your statement. By waiting, the airline can only make a better decision on aircraft.
Fly one thing; Fly it well
 
barney captain
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RE: Southwest A Potential Customer For 738/739?

Fri Jan 23, 2004 10:21 am

I've often felt that the 800 configured for 149 pax would be a nice solution. Just like the ol' 72's were (remember OPNLguy  Big grin). Nice arrangement; LOTS of leg room and the room for a 4th lav would make the 6 1/2 hour long-hauls much more enjoyable. This would still only require 3 FA's.

On a side note, all this talk of fleet commonality with regard to FA's keeping us away from larger A/C is very interesting. Especially when even as of today's earning's report, Gary Kelley was STILL talking about EMB 190's that would seat 90 pax and only require 2 FA's. Personally, I just don't get the notion of another type, this would go way beyond just scheduling complexities.
Southeast Of Disorder
 
OPNLguy
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RE: Southwest A Potential Customer For 738/739?

Fri Jan 23, 2004 10:26 am

>>>Just like the ol' 72's were (remember OPNLguy  Big grin

Sure do, but I'm enough of a fossil to remember the -first- 727-200 with 155 seats (N406BN).

The -800s with 149 could also serve to solve that pesky "bulk-out" problem down in the bins, as well as provide more trash storage on the longer hauls...

Hmmm... Is the 4F program still in place?  Big grin
ALL views, opinions expressed are mine ONLY and are NOT representative of those shared by Southwest Airlines Co.
 
SWAFA30
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RE: Southwest A Potential Customer For 738/739?

Fri Jan 23, 2004 12:59 pm

Nice arrangement; LOTS of leg room and the room for a 4th lav would make the 6 1/2 hour long-hauls much more enjoyable. This would still only require 3 FA's.

4th lav...heck I'd be delighted just to get a 3rd. I loved the WestPac planes for that very reason. 2 aft lavs and the pax never had to walk into my galley.
Would 12 extra seats make that much of a difference from a revenue standpoint?

 
kevin752
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RE: Southwest A Potential Customer For 738/739?

Fri Jan 23, 2004 2:17 pm

I hope that WN orders the 800 or 900. I would love to see them fly some 737-800/ 900. I have yet to fly on a 737-700 with WN. I have only flown their 737-300's. I love their 737-300's they are the best planes that WN has. I love WN.
"Keep Climbing"
 
swacle
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RE: Southwest A Potential Customer For 738/739?

Fri Jan 23, 2004 2:25 pm

ConcordeBoy

Actually, WN's largest city is now LAS with 185, then PHX with 184 =)

Don
Aircraft Flown: SF3 DH8 DH4 328 ERJ CRJ CR7 CR9 E70 E75 D9S M80 712 72S 732 733 734 735 73G 738 739 739ER 752 318 319 32
 
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RayChuang
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RE: Southwest A Potential Customer For 738/739?

Fri Jan 23, 2004 4:10 pm

I think if WN does order the larger 737-800, it would probably seat around 155 passengers and will be primarily flown on WN's longer routes (e.g., LAX-BWI, LAS-BWI, ISP-FLL). It will very likely sport Aviation Partners winglets to reduce the fuel burn on these long routes by 4%.

By the way, didn't Boeing carefully consult with WN on the design of the 737-700, given that WN was going to be the largest customer of that model anyway?
 
larspl
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RE: Southwest A Potential Customer For 738/739?

Fri Jan 23, 2004 4:46 pm

with all do respect,

but a 737-800 in a 155 seating would be so uneconomical..
that would mean for 5 seats more you would have to take a 4th flight attendant..
and i think that that situation is discussed enought in the above posts.

lars @ ehgg
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Thrust
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RE: Southwest A Potential Customer For 738/739?

Fri Jan 23, 2004 9:19 pm

Kevin752, I also hope Southwest orders the -800 and -900 variants. However, it doesn't seem likely to happen. According to many statements in this discussion, the -700 right now seems to fulfill all of Southwest's needs better than either the -800 or the -900, though -900X we have yet to see. What would they call that variant anyway. The 737-1000? Kind of an un-Boeing-like name for its model.
Fly one thing; Fly it well
 
InnocuousFox
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RE: Southwest A Potential Customer For 738/739?

Sat Jan 24, 2004 12:50 am

"The other problem with a larger aircraft come with airplane swaps-currently if we substitute a 200 or 500 for a 300 or 700 we lose 15 seats, but if you had to substitute a 700 for a 800/900 you'd lose 30+ seats depending on the configuration. We'd have to buy quite a few of any new type to offset the marginal costs of adding the complexity to the system."

Thank you for bringing this up. People don't realize how difficult it makes the delay/swap decisions if you have a mixed fleet like that. (Try programming the artificial intelligence algorithm for a game to take that into account! It's a pain in the ass!)
Dave Mark - Intrinsic Algorithm - Reducing the world to mathematical equations!
 
ConcordeBoy
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RE: Southwest A Potential Customer For 738/739?

Sat Jan 24, 2004 2:10 am

Actually, WN's largest city is now LAS with 185, then PHX with 184

I wouldn't doubt it at all, just that their latest published data only the reflects the fall schedule; wherewithin PHX was still leading  Big grin


Faire du ciel le plus bel endroit de la terre c'est impossible sans Concorde!
 
elwood64151
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RE: Southwest A Potential Customer For 738/739?

Sat Jan 24, 2004 5:01 am

with all do respect,

but a 737-800 in a 155 seating would be so uneconomical..


I may be completely out of it, but I remember WN having fewer than 150 seats on the 73G. Something in the 130s, IIRC. While that would be less economical, it would not be as significant as one FA for 5 passengers.

As for the aircraft swap issue, I can believe it, but I also know that not every flight leaves full, and on most occasions you can plan for it earlier in the day (if you're watching). At NJ, System control frequently called Ops in the early morning to let us know that we'd be swapping a MD-80 and 737 or MD-80 and MD-87, or something like that, to accomodate loads; or that loads the next morning required us to put an MD-82 in SEA (instead of the usual MD-87), so an MD-82 would have to go to ATL that night, and an MD-87 would stay at MCI instead.

Stuff like that...
Those who fail to learn history are doomed to repeat it in summer school.
 
OPNLguy
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RE: Southwest A Potential Customer For 738/739?

Sat Jan 24, 2004 5:24 am

>>>. People don't realize how difficult it makes the delay/swap decisions if you have a mixed fleet like that.

As I've said previously, it's not all that big a deal, as least not as big of one as some may think. Right now, the 122 seat aircraft (-200s and -500s) are a minority compared to the 137 seat aircraft (-300s and -700s), and should a -300 or -700 be out for MX, it's a relative simple task to swap it with another 137 seat aircraft.

When all we had were the -122 seat -200s, the addition of the first -300s into the fleet did indeed present a few more routing challenges, but only until such time that we took deliver of enough -300s (25 or so) to afford us better flexibility in replacing a busted -300 with another -300 when the need arose.

Should we acquire any -800s or -900s, I think the pattern will again repeat, i.e. replacing a busted -800/-900 with a smaller aircraft will entail a few more challenges until the number of new -800s/-900s reached about 25 aircraft and gives us that basic level of routing flexibility.

Bottomline, even in the event -prior- to reaching that 25 aircraft threshold, the "downgrading" of equipment is not really any insurmountable obstacle.
ALL views, opinions expressed are mine ONLY and are NOT representative of those shared by Southwest Airlines Co.
 
094147
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RE: Southwest A Potential Customer For 738/739?

Sat Jan 24, 2004 5:44 am

The 700 orders seem to be the "BIRD OF CHOICE" for Herb and the Gang. Smart move # 1. SWA Continues to use the "KISS" philosophy. As long as we, I mean they, ( I'm retired) don't break the original mold, success will continue for the Canyon Blue of the USA.
wildcat one
 
OPNLguy
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RE: Southwest A Potential Customer For 738/739?

Sat Jan 24, 2004 6:13 am

>>>( I'm retired)

I -wondered- if you were -the- John Fay....  Big grin

ALL views, opinions expressed are mine ONLY and are NOT representative of those shared by Southwest Airlines Co.

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