In general, the idea of putting new engines on the MD
-80 fleet makes sense, but I think AA
has done something rather shortsighted by deferring the 737-800 deliveries until 2010.
The original group of MD
-80s is nearly 22 years old. According to a friend of mine who flies for AA
, the MD
-80 undergoes C-Checks more frequently than other aircraft. Apparently, this is the maintenance schedule that McDonnell Douglas created for AA
. One of the reasons that AA
kept the 727 for so long, despite the lower efficiency and the third pilot, is that there was a greater time interval between C-Checks.
With the increasing age of the airframe, C-Checks will become more intensive and expensive. If I were running AA
, I would look at retiring the oldest 20 to 50 MD
-80s with 737-800s, while replacing the engines on the rest of the fleet.
My friend also tells me that Gerard Arpey, AA
's CEO has said that AA
cannot go on indefinitely without a 100-seat aircraft. While retiring the F100s has saved AA
money, trying to replace them in the schedule with ERJs, CRJs, MD
-80s, and 737-800s has been very difficult.
replaced the JT8Ds with BR715s, then ordering 717s would make a lot of sense. Not only would there be commonality, but AA
might be able to have pilots checked out on the 717 and the MD