...he replyed in complete seriousness that many DC10 flight engineers were nervous as hell of being eliminated, but it turns out NW never considered it.
If this conversation really took place, then he wasn't serious. NW
's flight engineers are the lowest senority / lowest paid employees... NW
hasn't had professional FE
in nearly 40 years.
originally acquired the DC-10-30 for cheap expansion, then kept adding to the fleet after the decision was made to cancel the A340 and defer the A330. Circa 1996, NW
made a decision to renew its long-haul fleet with DC-10-30 that featured new interiors, updated cockpit technologies, etc. -- I firmly believe this decision was made to "create shareholder value" since the price of acquiring and updating a DC-10 was signifcantly cheaper than that of taking on new-build aircraft.
Ever since Richard Anderson has come on board, NW
's placed an emphesis on fleet renewal. While the DC-10 are slated to operate resort flights into the next decade, I believe NW
will phase them out ASAP due to their horrible economics (and unique engine type) -- especially in an era of record fuel prices.
This notion that NW
’s an airline that prefers to operate old planes is ridiculous. NW
historically turned over its fleet faster than its peers and as late as 1991 had plans to phase its B727 out by 1996, and its DC-10 by 2000 making them the first of the “Big 7” to do so. Because NW
hit hard times, was unable to get the pricing they wanted and choose to refurbish and utilize older aircraft for another decade does not mean that trend will continue.