This could happen:
The 738s would be useful to Southwest for certain transcon/high-density flights and they would add a fourth flight attentant to maximize seating. While to date, Southwest has stuck with smaller aircraft, they did operate 72S for a short time (leased) and looked very closely at the 757....Southwest did not pass on the 757 due to F/A issues, they passed only because Boeing would not sell the aircraft to them at below-cost prices. If the 738s are dedicated to certain routes, or are only based in certain stations, the fourth F/A should not be an issue at all. Southwest has picked up second hand aircraft when the terms are right and there is a need....Southwest has PHL
to think about, a downsizing of ATA would mean expansion possibilities at MDW
and Southwest's 732s are becoming an issue (further delaying retirement may not be possible).....thus, 30+ rather new 737NGs sounds like a good opportunity for Southwest.
As for some or all of the 752s, as discussed in another thread, America West has stated that it would like to grow its 757 fleet and over time replace its existing 752s as HP
's 757 fleet is early build. HP
has experience with RR
powered 757s, and the ATA fleet sounds like a good deal for them. Time will tell how many 752s HP
would be interested in, and/or if ATA retains some 752s for charter work. In any case, this sounds like a good match.
And, the 753s - I dont think CO
wants them, unless its for super bargain basement prices.....CO
worked very hard to get out of its commitment for the last 6 753s that it had on order (CO originally ordered 15 753s, after the first four were delivered, CO
wanted to cancel/defer the order.....in the end, CO
took another 5 753s for a total of 9 and the remaining 6 were not delivered....CO
took 738s instead)......I dont think that CO
needs more 753s but I could be wrong. There is a rumor that NW
would like to pick-up additional 753s, but NW
powered aircraft and the ATA 753s are RR
so that is a problem. Could HP
take them, maybe, for their highest demand routes. (The 753 has super operating economics, it would be a good choice for a fare sensitive airline like HP
.) Or, will the 753s stay with ATA to operate the lucrative charter flights to Hawaii and for other charter work.....the 753 is an aircraft that can make money on charters.....ATA could keep a mixed fleet of 757s, ie, a small number of 752s plus the 753s for remaining operations.
While I hope that ATA makes it, it will be interesting to see what comes of their newly acquired aircraft if they have to downsize.