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717s & M90s - Too Bad None In AA Fleet

Sat Dec 11, 2004 5:36 am

717s and M90s of course ... they are NOT that old

AA M90s

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AA 717s (TW LLC)

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Good or bad decision of AA to take them out of their fleet?
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DAYflyer
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RE: 717s & M90s - Too Bad None In AA Fleet

Sat Dec 11, 2004 5:57 am

Bad decision to ever pass up something as fuel efficient as a 717 when you are dumping a thirsty F-100. Huge mistake. They could have used the 717 instead of CRJ's out of STL and been much better off.
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srbmod
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RE: 717s & M90s - Too Bad None In AA Fleet

Sat Dec 11, 2004 6:19 am

The entire what to do with the TW 717s came at a bad time in the industry. This decision came post-9/11 and airlines were looking to cut costs, and at the same time, the aircraft leasing companies were taking hits as well with airlines returning a/c and trying to renegoiate leases. The TW 717s were leased through Boeing Capital, and with Boeing Capital refusing to get the lease rates to an amount that AA wanted, AA decided it would be cheaper to return them (and pay the cancellation penalities) than to keep paying the leases. While the a/c ended up in storage for some time, Boeing Capital knew that they could depend on exsisting 717 customers to pick up those a/c once things started to look better financially for them, which is why the bulk of the TW 712s ended up @ FL.

I still wouldn't count AA out of ever ordering the 717 as long as Boeing is still building and taking orders for the a/c. They liked the a/c, they just didn't like the high payments TWA was having to make on them.

As for the MD-90, in a way it made sense to not keep them since they were basically a minor part of the fleet that really didn't fit in with the rest of the AA fleet, plus they had to keep a supply of stuff just for a small number of a/c, and that adds to the costs as well.
 
airtran737
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RE: 717s & M90s - Too Bad None In AA Fleet

Sat Dec 11, 2004 6:51 am

Its such a huge smack in the face for the employees of TW to have to have seen the hybrid AA/TW airplanes.
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RE: 717s & M90s - Too Bad None In AA Fleet

Sat Dec 11, 2004 7:52 am

High lease rates forced AA to return the B717s to Boeing. Wasn't there a rumor that AA was thinking of getting some 717s recently?
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moman
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RE: 717s & M90s - Too Bad None In AA Fleet

Sat Dec 11, 2004 8:12 am

I concur that AA made a mistake in getting rid of the 717. They could have made STL the crew base for the 717 fleet and it would have made a lot of people happier. A 717 is the perfect plane to fly a lot of point to point and feeder routes into the STL hub.

No opinion on the MD-90 although I do think it is a neat jet.

Moman
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lat41
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RE: 717s & M90s - Too Bad None In AA Fleet

Sat Dec 11, 2004 9:02 am

This has been around many times before but indeed, the lease rates for the. 717s were supposedly the deciding factor in returning them. Besides American was going to do what it it wanted to do period! There also has been some discussion that the MD-90 program was more or less snuffed out by Boeing in order to bolster sales of the larger versions of their 73G's. Operators apparently love the 717s and MD-90s they have, and the aircraft are great performers. The major drawback seems to be that carriers have to keep a whole line of spares around that are not in common with the rest of their fleet.
 
elwood64151
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RE: 717s & M90s - Too Bad None In AA Fleet

Sat Dec 11, 2004 9:22 am

Wasn't there a rumor that AA was thinking of getting some 717s recently?

Yeah, I think we know what rumors are all about...

I don't believe AA made a mistake by getting rid of the 717, at least not one they could have forseen. At the time, fuel costs were comparatively low, and the F.100s made sense since there were more of them and they cost less to own (if not operate). AA could not have forseen $50 oil when at the time oil was at range of $20-$30, and the highest price before then had been during the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait, around $40.

(Extended) Side note:

Interestingly, the reasearch I just did into this subject has clued me into something: Both of the recent recessions have coincided with large spikes in the cost of crude oil. Between June and October of 1990, oil rose from $16 to $40 a barrel. By the time of the 1992 recession (one of the shallowest in history) oil was down to $20 a barrel, but it appears the damage had been done.

During the Clinton years, oil managed to remain in a range of $15-$25 for most of that Administration, dropping to as low as just under $11 during the explosive-growth period of 1998-1999. In Europe, prices were even lower on a per-barrel basis. By March of 2000, oil had risen to $30 a barrel, its highest level since 1991. From June on, prices remained in the $30-$35 range. While the economic growth period peaked in 1999, growth reached a negative growth period in early 2001, just months after light sweet crude reached $36 a barrel. Oil dropped as the economy recovered from this also-shallow recession.

In October of this year, oil reached a new high over $50. Now retailers are complaining about low sales for this Christmas and airlines are facing additional losses, some of the LCCs for the first time in years. While I'm not predicting a recession, I am prediction slower economic growth in this and the next quarter.

I am also not placing any blame on Dubya, Clinton, or Bush I for the price of oil. They don't have control over that. It's a commodity, the price of which is determined by the market based upon supply, demand, and the perceptions of the traders. It's no different from Pork Bellies or Winter Wheat in that respect. What is different is that it's the engine that drives our economy.



Wow... That was originally intended as a short, one paragraph side-note, not a full-page diatribe. Sorry.
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AAR90
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RE: 717s & M90s - Too Bad None In AA Fleet

Sat Dec 11, 2004 9:24 am

This has been around many times before but indeed, the lease rates for the. 717s were supposedly the deciding factor in returning them. Besides American was going to do what it it wanted to do period!

AA tried negotiated with Boeing for more 717s in addition to renegotiating the TWA payment terms, but they couldn't reach an agreement. Hence, the 717s departure from the AA fleet.

Bad decision to ever pass up something as fuel efficient as a 717 when you are dumping a thirsty F-100.

The decision to retire F100 was made independent of anything else. It is simply not an economical option to keep a relatively small fleet (with no growth potential) active in today's airline marketplace. Boeing's last offer was a one-for-one trade of 717 for F100, but the "deal-killer" was AA's requirement the F100s would not be remarketed to potential AA competitors. Came close, but in the end... no deal.  Crying

There also has been some discussion that the MD-90 program was more or less snuffed out by Boeing in order to bolster sales of the larger versions of their 73G's.

The MD90 program was pretty much dead long before Boeing purchased MD.

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WesternA318
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RE: 717s & M90s - Too Bad None In AA Fleet

Sat Dec 11, 2004 12:03 pm

"the "deal-killer" was AA's requirement the F100s would not be remarketed to potential AA competitors."

I guess AA learned the lesson that DL suffered through in regards to their DC-9's ending up at Valujet?
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moman
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RE: 717s & M90s - Too Bad None In AA Fleet

Sat Dec 11, 2004 12:22 pm

Fly:

You are right about the correlation between oil prices and the economy. Since 1972 every significant (20%) rise in oil prices has led to a recession. (1973, 1979, 1990, 2000, 2004?). The only exception has been 2004 so far, but we have not yet seen the end of this.

I cringe when I hear "the economy is in a new period of high oil prices" because this sounds reminiscent of "the stock market is justified at 12000 because we have entered a new economy". We all know how that ended.

Moman
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DfwRevolution
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RE: 717s & M90s - Too Bad None In AA Fleet

Sat Dec 11, 2004 12:41 pm

There also has been some discussion that the MD-90 program was more or less snuffed out by Boeing in order to bolster sales of the larger versions of their 73G's.

Well no duhh.. it was an inferior aircraft (relative to the A320/737NG) that competed directly with another Boeing model.

Operators apparently love the 717s and MD-90s they have, and the aircraft are great performers. The major drawback seems to be that carriers have to keep a whole line of spares around that are not in common with the rest of their fleet.

717 maybe.... but there is no love lost for the MD-90. It's shakey reliabilty was well known. The VSCF electrical system had a habit of.... disrupting desired opperation....

717s and M90s of course ... they are NOT that old

The MD-90s were aquired via merger.... AA never intended for them to be long-term or key elements to their fleet.
 
ckfred
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RE: 717s & M90s - Too Bad None In AA Fleet

Sat Dec 11, 2004 1:12 pm

The orginal plan was that, if the UA-US merger went through, AA would have leased a number of F100s to DC Air. So, it would have needed to keep the 717s.

When the Feds nixed UA-US, then the question became whether AA could get Boeing to lower the lease rates.

The F100 was a very efficient plane to operate, but there were some problems that AA had with the plane. The lack of spare parts was the last problem that pushed AA into retiring the fleet.

It will be interesting to see if AA does buy 717s some day. Arpey has said that AA can't go on indefinitely without a 100-seat plane. Scheduling with nothing between the CRJ and the MD-80 has been a headache, particularly with the constraints at ORD.

What is also interesting is the fact that JetsGo had been buying AA's F100s. This had allowed JetsGo to use the MD-80s to fly routes out of eastern Canada to Florida. Apparently, AA over the years has had a decent market share for those routes, via BOS or LGA. So while the F100s aren't used on competing routes, the F100s have allowed other planes to go against AA.
 
AAR90
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RE: 717s & M90s - Too Bad None In AA Fleet

Sat Dec 11, 2004 1:16 pm

I guess AA learned the lesson that DL suffered through in regards to their DC-9's ending up at Valujet?

Some may consider AA management "stupid," but I doubt they were ever "that stupid."  Nuts

The VSCF electrical system had a habit of.... disrupting desired opperation....

Actually, once we (pilots) learned how to properly operate it it seldom caused a disruption. Unfortunately, properly operating it meant to get the MD90 on its internal power sources (engines or APU) and to keep it there (don't let ground power get anywhere near the plane). Not a very economical way of operating, especially in these high fuel price days.  Crying

The MD-90s were aquired via merger.... AA never intended for them to be long-term or key elements to their fleet.

No, but we did give them a try because they were exempt of any slot restrictions at SNA. Unfortunately their operating costs significantly outweighed their SNA revenue generating prospects even though they were the preferred operator at SNA. When they worked right they made huge profits, but when they needed repairs the costs were huge as well. I once saw the bill for "borrowing" an INS control panel (unique to MD90s) from DL...$3,500/day!
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DeltaGuy
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RE: 717s & M90s - Too Bad None In AA Fleet

Sat Dec 11, 2004 1:30 pm

The rumor I had heard through the grapevine was that AA offered DL their Reno Air M90's, but DL turned right around and offered AA their 90's...or maybe I have that backwards lol.

The reason DL is hanging on to their 90's is because there is 0 market for those jets currently...too oddball, and hard to compete with it's 73G/320 contemporaries.

How many 90's are sittin in the desert vs how many used? Probably not a good number. All the ex AA ones must be like 10-ish?

DeltaGuy
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AAR90
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RE: 717s & M90s - Too Bad None In AA Fleet

Sat Dec 11, 2004 10:17 pm

The rumor I had heard through the grapevine was that AA offered DL their Reno Air M90's, but DL turned right around and offered AA their 90's...

Not a rumor. AA management even spent some time/$$$ studying the idea, but concluded that AA would end up where DL is today...A very small fleet (albeit 5 times larger than AA's MD90 fleet was) of non-marketable airplanes with relatively very high maintenance costs.
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dacman
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RE: 717s & M90s - Too Bad None In AA Fleet

Sun Dec 12, 2004 8:27 am

There are only three MD-90s that are parked at this time as far as I know and those are the three at Marana sporting the ProAir livery.

The five Reno Air/AA MD-90s are now destined for Lion Airlines and Hello Air picked up the 3 three ex Air Aruba/Aserca aircraft.

AirTran is happy that AA returned the TWA 717s as they are operating all but 8 of the TWA fleet which totaled 30 in all (25 operational and 5 delivered but not put into service).

Mike
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DeltaGuy
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RE: 717s & M90s - Too Bad None In AA Fleet

Wed Dec 15, 2004 4:01 pm

Not a rumor. AA management even spent some time/$$$ studying the idea, but concluded that AA would end up where DL is today...A very small fleet (albeit 5 times larger than AA's MD90 fleet was) of non-marketable airplanes with relatively very high maintenance costs.

Thanks for the good gouge sir...doesn't surprise me at all, seems like the 90 is the oddball that's been tossed around, not sure where to end up. Would have loved to have flown her  Sad I'm sure you heavily enjoyed your time on them though, despite the VSCF problemos.

I do believe DL will hang onto theirs for the time being, as mentioned before, because of the excellent SLC perf/lack of noise constraints, and because there's 0 market for them elsewhere, other than in the Victorville parking business.

DeltaGuy
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AAR90
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RE: 717s & M90s - Too Bad None In AA Fleet

Thu Dec 16, 2004 4:31 pm

I'm sure you heavily enjoyed your time on them though, despite the VSCF problemos.

Most definitely... I got spoiled!  Big thumbs up Most pilots, especially checkairmen, say the 738 is a "dream" since it has so much power; but those of us who flew the MD90 kinda laugh because we know the 738 is a wimp compared to the MD90!  Smile/happy/getting dizzy
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PHLBOS
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RE: 717s & M90s - Too Bad None In AA Fleet

Thu Dec 16, 2004 11:23 pm

Boeing's last offer was a one-for-one trade of 717 for F100, but the "deal-killer" was AA's requirement the F100s would not be remarketed to potential AA competitors.

With existing and new LCCs going with new aircraft (instead of 2nd-hand) and with US phasing out their own F100s, AA's above-requirement was not only asinine but obsolete as well.

I guess AA learned the lesson that DL suffered through in regards to their DC-9's ending up at Valujet?

And how is this different than most of AA/TW's 717s going to FL?

I wonder how many of FL's 717s that come in-and-out of DFW are ex-AA/TW birds?

Once again, AA's continued arrogance backfires.

[Edited 2004-12-16 15:25:07]
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D950
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RE: 717s & M90s - Too Bad None In AA Fleet

Thu Dec 16, 2004 11:53 pm

PHLBOS, while I agree with you in principle, Boeing has to be right behind in the arrogance department. If they had not driven a stake through the MD90 because they were scared ----less of competition to the 738/9, Airbus would not be taking all these 320/319 orders(my opinion). I will go a step further, DL should look into MD90's either in the desert, or possibly the China MD90's they are looking to dump. The DL 90's are getting better fuel numbers than the 738's (I asked some pilots on my flights for you source freaks) so why look to dump a performer?? Also passengers prefer the 2-3 aspect of the MadDogs!!
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AAR90
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RE: 717s & M90s - Too Bad None In AA Fleet

Fri Dec 17, 2004 12:47 am

With existing and new LCCs going with new aircraft (instead of 2nd-hand) and with US phasing out their own F100s, AA's above-requirement was not only asinine but obsolete as well.

I disagree. Back in the year 2000 there were many LCC's on paper, but not flying. They wanted used planes... cheap. Boeing wanted to offer them AA's used F100 fleet.... cheap. They are not flying today because they couldn't get used planes... cheap enough.

And how is this different than most of AA/TW's 717s going to FL?

AA owned its F100 fleet and could make stipulations upon its sales. AA did not own the 717s... they were leased, so AA could not place stipulations upon their actual owners when they returned the planes to the owners.

they had not driven a stake through the MD90...

The MD90 program never got off the ground with any quantity sales under MD's "leadership." Boeing understood the 737 and A320 families had already beaten the MD90 in the marketplace and simply stopped the official sales attempts for the plane that MD was officially (but unsuccessfully) "selling."

DL 90's are getting better fuel numbers than the 738's (I asked some pilots on my flights for you source freaks)

This source freak disagrees. Having flown both planes, my opinion is the MD90 has better performance and noise characteristics while the 738 has slightly better fuel economy... they designed that plane to sip fuel. Depending upon its useage the differences might very slightly (and so opinions might change).

...so why look to dump a performer??

Cost to operate... pure and simple. That's where the airline marketplace has moved the past few years.

Also passengers prefer the 2-3 aspect of the MadDogs!!

Some do and some do not. Ticket price has become the single most important decisionmaking issue for the vast majority of the domestic USA air travel market.

I do believe DL will hang onto theirs for the time being, as mentioned before, because of the excellent SLC perf/lack of noise constraints, and because there's 0 market for them elsewhere, other than in the Victorville parking business.

Very well said.... I agree primarily because DL's -90 fleet is so much larger than AA's fleet (5 planes) was that DL's operating costs are significantly lower than AA's ever was. Retirement at this time isn't really an option unless DL management decides to significantly reduce the size of DL in total.
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D950
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RE: 717s & M90s - Too Bad None In AA Fleet

Fri Dec 17, 2004 1:05 am

AAR90, Thanks for taking the "source freaks" thing the right way. Two things, the pilots I spoke with from DL argue that the MD90 fuel numbers are better than the 738. Second, the MD90 program got off the ground with an order for 110 from DL, 20 from AS, with AA and CO in the background waiting. DL switched to the 738 only after Boeing telling them they would not support the 90, ditto with AS. My point is if Boeing would have kept the line open I believe they would have sold more of them. Hello, since taking the ex AMC craft from the desert is raving about fuel numbers (website, though you will need an interpreter) and looking for more!!
Resting on your laurels is a synonym for flirting with disaster
 
ssides
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RE: 717s & M90s - Too Bad None In AA Fleet

Fri Dec 17, 2004 1:16 am

It was a great decision for AA to get rid of both planes. At the time, it had 12 different aircraft types in its mainline fleet:

F-100
MD-80
MD-90
717
727
737
757
767
777
DC-10
MD-11
A300

The complexity of its fleet was costing it a great deal of cash. Now AA had cut its fleet types in half:

MD-80
737
757
767
777
A300

This makes AA much more efficient.
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PHLBOS
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RE: 717s & M90s - Too Bad None In AA Fleet

Fri Dec 17, 2004 1:47 am

I disagree. Back in the year 2000 there were many LCC's on paper, but not flying. They wanted used planes... cheap. Boeing wanted to offer them AA's used F100 fleet.... cheap. They are not flying today because they couldn't get used planes... cheap enough.

AAR90,

First of all, I do believe that the AA/TW merger wasn't fully consummated until mid-2001. AA's original intent following the merger was to keep the TWA identity around for another year or two. The downtown following 9/11 nixed that idea.

Second, FL started receiving its 717s in Sept. 1999. Meanwhile, WN has been continually receiving new 73Gs to this day. B6 (not sure if they started operations in either 2000 or early 2001) never operated any used aircraft. Their A320s are fresh from the factory. TZ, of course, started receiving their new 738s and 753s... a decision that ultimately put them in their present predicament. The off-again/on-again Sun Country Airlines (not sure if they're a LCC) was receiving new 738s. To date, the only 'paper' airline that has since become reality is Independence Air. I'm assuming that the CRJs were purchased new when they were still ACA; the A319s coming on-line now are factory fresh as well. So which North American LCC (real or on paper) was still receiving used planes in 2000/2001? Were N7s 752s new or used? Either way, no airline that I listed had any future plans for the F100 then or now.

Thirdly, by 2000, didn't production of all Fokkers (not just the F100) cease before then? If an upstart carrier was seeking to purchase used planes, wouldn't it be more logical and cost effective to pick one that's either in large supply (like the now-stopped 757, 727, DC-9, MD-80/90) and/or still being produced (737NG, A320 series, 717)? Yeah, a carrier could have gotten F100s cheap, but what does that carrier do when parts no longer become available or the carrier wants to get more planes never mind transition training of pilots and crew from the F100 to something else? Again with US dumping their F100s as well, what would've kept a start-up carrier from buying those?

In FL's case, the transition from their old DC-9s to the 717 was not a hard one for them to make because the 717 (or proposed MD-95) utilized the old, but still-popular DC-9-30 airframe that they started using during their J7 years.


[Edited 2004-12-16 17:50:24]
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lat41
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RE: 717s & M90s - Too Bad None In AA Fleet

Fri Dec 17, 2004 2:09 am

Thank you D950 and AAR90 for fact filled, informative posts. Looks like being the oddball of the fleet, no matter how good an aircraft is works against it. I hope "duhh" DfwRevolution is paying attention.
 
AAR90
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RE: 717s & M90s - Too Bad None In AA Fleet

Fri Dec 17, 2004 2:28 am

Two things, the pilots I spoke with from DL argue that the MD90 fuel numbers are better than the 738.

Fuel economy numbers can change dramatically with changes in flight segment distances. My comparisons were made flying primarily 1 hour flights within the CA corridor. The 738 cruise fuel flow is slightly lower (probably not noticable unless you're trying to compare) while the MD90 cruised slightly faster. IMHO, the longer the flight segment, the better the 738 fuel economy compares to the MD90.

Second, the MD90 program got off the ground with an order for 110 from DL, 20 from AS, with AA and CO in the background waiting. DL switched to the 738 only after Boeing telling them they would not support the 90, ditto with AS.

Would love to know your "source freaks" for the above claim. DL stopped accepting acft after about 25 deliveries from MD at a time when MD was still independent (not purchased by Boeing nor were they in discussions... yet). Don't know what was going on with AS. After Boeing purchase of MD was complete, Boeing's "review" of MD acft types indicated no or very little airline interest in the MD90 (very poor initial maintenance record and even worse MD customer support) hence the decision to close the program entirely. But DL's decision to stop accepting the acft was made long before Boeing's decision to cancel the program.

My point is if Boeing would have kept the line open I believe they would have sold more of them.

According to Boeing's review there was little customer interest in the MD90, hence the decision to close the program in its entirety (not just the production line, but all customer support as well). That drove up AA's MD90 operating costs even more... hastening the actual retirement date [I thought I was going to fly 'em for a couple of years, but only got just over 1 year].

Hello, since taking the ex AMC craft from the desert is raving about fuel numbers (website, though you will need an interpreter) and looking for more!!

Fuel numbers are but one aspect of the total cost of operating. Yes, the MD90 fuel economy was very good. But AA's total cost to operate was very high... partly because their "fleet" was very small [5 out of ~800 aircraft]. DL's situation is better (for keeping MD90s) as their fleet numbers are better [~20 out of ~500?].

First of all, I do believe that the AA/TW merger wasn't fully consummated until mid-2001.

What does that have to do with AA's F100 fleet plans/actions?

To date, the only 'paper' airline that has since become reality is Independence Air.

Which begs the question: how many "paper airlines" did not become a reality because they couldn't get airplanes cheap enough? The F100s would have gone extremely cheap (lease or purchase) compared to what else was available at the time. Since the deal never happened, we'll never truly know.

If an upstart carrier was seeking to purchase used planes, wouldn't it be more logical and cost effective to pick one that's either in large supply (like the now-stopped 757, 727, DC-9, MD-80/90) and/or still being produced (737NG, A320 series, 717)?

Yes and no. Depends entirely upon the business plan (oops, that's business "model"... I'm dating myself  Nuts). Parts are available albeit not as economical as many other planes. Bottom line: would you (a start-up airline) choose to purchase 74 planes for the price you would pay for ~20 brand new ones? You can use the 54 "spares" for parts and/or (no additional capital investment) growth. Again, it depends upon your (new start-up airline) business "model." AA management simply didn't want to take the chance of "helping" the competition compete against AA. In their view that was the best option for AA at the time.
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gigneil
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RE: 717s & M90s - Too Bad None In AA Fleet

Fri Dec 17, 2004 2:58 am

DL switched to the 738 only after Boeing telling them they would not support the 90, ditto with AS.

Delta cancelled their order when the plane didn't work out for them, not when Boeing said they wouldn't support the 90. The requirement was for MD to fix the problems, and clearly they never did.

Boeing was, and is, required by law to support the 90.

N
 
PHLBOS
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RE: 717s & M90s - Too Bad None In AA Fleet

Fri Dec 17, 2004 4:33 am

From my earlier reply (#24):
First of all, I do believe that the AA/TW merger wasn't fully consummated until mid-2001.

AAR90's reply:
What does that have to do with AA's F100 fleet plans/actions?

If the AA/TW merger never happened, AA might've either delayed the phase-out or not even considered getting rid of their F100s; especially since they owned them. If no merger took place, there would've been any AA/TW 717s for AA to depose of.

The F100s would have gone extremely cheap (lease or purchase) compared to what else was available at the time. Since the deal never happened, we'll never truly know.

I will give you that one but an upstart carrier buying cheap used F100s would be like a ground transportation company in 1990 buying a bunch of used 1986 AMC vehicles (Eagle, Alliance, etc.) for their fleet. By 2000, Fokker basically was an orphaned company that nobody wanted to deal with in the long-term anymore. Since air carriers plan on (though it doesn't always happen) being in business for years to come, their choice of planes (new or used) may very well come down to availability of parts down the road. Any long-term maintenance costs of the F100 and the ease of getting parts 10 to 20 years down the road could easily eradicate the initial discount purchase price.

Another issue with LCC aircraft purchases was the ceveat-emptor (sp) of purchasing cheap used planes, be it real or perceived. After the crash of J7 Flight 592 in 1996, I'm certain that many LCCs reconsidered the concept of only flying older used jets in their fleets. If they didn't, the public certainly did, especially after '96. At that time, WN may have been the only LCC receiving new equipment.

From Reply #24 again:
To date, the only 'paper' airline that has since become reality is Independence Air.

AAR90's reply:
Which begs the question: how many "paper airlines" did not become a reality because they couldn't get airplanes cheap enough? The F100s would have gone extremely cheap (lease or purchase) compared to what else was available at the time. Since the deal never happened, we'll never truly know.

True, but if AA's retired F100s weren't available; that wouldn't stop an upstart carrier from purchasing US' retired F100s. Again, the issue of picking up a discontinued model from a defunct company (unlike the Boeing/MDD merger, Fokker wasn't picked up by anyone else) years down the road would've lead to problems.


[Edited 2004-12-16 20:37:00]
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AAR90
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RE: 717s & M90s - Too Bad None In AA Fleet

Fri Dec 17, 2004 1:12 pm

If the AA/TW merger never happened, AA might've either delayed the phase-out or not even considered getting rid of their F100s; especially since they owned them.

The F100 retirement has long been rumored within AA's internal rumor mills simply because Fokker was no longer around to support the plane and spare parts were becoming more expensive with each passing day/month/year. In fact, the rumor started prior to AA accepting the first acft when Crandall threatened to refuse all the planes if he couldn't get landing rights in northern europe (governments were holding up the process, which somehow suddenly wasn't a problem and AA accepted the first F100). AA's original plan was to put the F100 into KSNA, but it never met KSNA's EE (exempt) noise slot standard and AA went to "plan-B"... opening BNA as an F100 base (yes, I had a bid in for F100/LAX/FO at the time). AA has never been "happy" with the F100 and simply did the best it felt it could because it couldn't (or rather wouldn't) dump the entire 75 plane fleet (having cancelled the 75 options). The F100 just never fit into the longer AA's average stage lengths of the mid-late 1990s (we were constantly weight restricted on flights over 2 hours in 1994-95). It just took a while for management to finally "just do it" (retire the plane).

If no merger took place, there would've been any AA/TW 717s for AA to depose of.

True, but then again who's to say TWA wouldn't have folded making the 717s available even sooner?

I will give you that one but an upstart carrier buying cheap used F100s would be like a ground transportation company in 1990 buying a bunch of used 1986 AMC vehicles (Eagle, Alliance, etc.) for their fleet.

Perhaps, but there are a number of ground transportation companies buying used vehicles even today. If its in their best interests (in their opinion, not ours) and meets their business model... Take a close look around and you'll see plenty of small/medium bus companies buying/using used 1980's busses.

By 2000, Fokker basically was an orphaned company that nobody wanted to deal with in the long-term anymore.

Correct, but in the short term....  Wink/being sarcastic Note that there are some folks buying ex-AA F100s this year. Are they thinking short-term or long-term? I don't know, but the details are in how their managements are trying to execute their business models (many use 5-year plans and worry about beyond 5-years at a later date).

Since air carriers plan on (though it doesn't always happen) being in business for years to come...

I think your assumption is too broad. Not all start-up airlines' management (owners) are thinking deeply about the long term. In fact, many think short-term "profitability", sell stock options, get rich and... we'll figure out what to do next later on. Read some start-up company prospectus' and you'll see they have no detailed plan beyond the first couple of years.

Any long-term maintenance costs of the F100 and the ease of getting parts 10 to 20 years down the road could easily eradicate the initial discount purchase price.

Perhaps, but if you owned 3 times the number of planes you're flying you've got a large source of spare parts... already paid for. Lots of options.

...I'm certain that many LCCs reconsidered the concept of only flying older used jets in their fleets.

10 year old airliners are not that old.

True, but if AA's retired F100s weren't available; that wouldn't stop an upstart carrier from purchasing US' retired F100s.

Most were not available in bulk, being leased from multiple different owners (requires seperate negotiations/contracts).

Bottom line: AA management made a decision based upon what AA management thought was in AA's best interest (don't "give" potential competitors easy access to assets to use against AA). We may agree or disagree with AA management's decision, but it was not arrogance that pushed management into that decision... it was their concern for AA's survival.
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ckfred
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RE: 717s & M90s - Too Bad None In AA Fleet

Fri Dec 17, 2004 1:35 pm

AAR90:

I heard from a friend who works for AA that the F100 was a terrific plane in terms of fuel efficiency. But that the big problem was that it's max. landing weight was low, compared to its max. takeoff weight.

The plane was supposed to fly short hops, like ORD-IND and DFW-AUS, but with passengers, fuel, and cargo, the plane was over its max landing weight. Since the likes of WN started to fly these short-hops, the F100, under weight restriction, couldn't carry enough cargo to make up for the lower fares that AA was forced to match.

So, the F100s were put on routes that they weren't intended to fly, such as ORD-SAT and DFW-ATL.

Is this an accurate assessment?
 
DBCooper
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RE: 717s & M90s - Too Bad None In AA Fleet

Fri Dec 17, 2004 2:04 pm

IF AA had purchased the MD-87 and not the F-100, which I understood the choice at the time came down to, I suspect AA would still be flying them (the MD-87s) due to flight deck and parts commonality. I will never understand why this wasn't given more weight in the selection process; seems too much weight was placed on the purchase price and/or lease terms?

AA did fly the MD-87 briefly, thanks to the QQ acquisition.


- DBC
 
AAR90
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RE: 717s & M90s - Too Bad None In AA Fleet

Fri Dec 17, 2004 2:43 pm

I heard from a friend who works for AA that the F100 was a terrific plane in terms of fuel efficiency.

Yes. Very fuel efficient, but (relatively) very slow which equates to not being very economical when you're trying to move people & baggage. When you fly it at redline speeds (for marketing reasons) you lose much of the fuel economy advantage.

But that the big problem was that it's max. landing weight was low, compared to its max. takeoff weight.

Not really (see below for more details).

The plane was supposed to fly short hops, like ORD-IND and DFW-AUS, but with passengers, fuel, and cargo, the plane was over its max landing weight.

Yes, the F100 was designed for relatively short hops and no on those short hops we were never weight restricted.

Since the likes of WN started to fly these short-hops, the F100, under weight restriction, couldn't carry enough cargo to make up for the lower fares that AA was forced to match.

No direct competition from WN when I flew the F100. The problem was that AA's route structure moved away from the small "mini-hubs" of BNA/RDU and SJC as being too cost inefficent. IOW, Crandall's early 1990's (1991 I believe) statement that "the future of this industry belongs to the low cost producer" was just starting to become visible. Minimum cost, not maximum revenue was where the USA industry was headed... even back then. AA closed SJC hub first due to "not enough revenue" (IOW: costs too high for revenue generating ability). The hub was "profitable," just not profitable enough to justify keeping the assets there. BNA and RDU followed soon after for the same published reason.

So, the F100s were put on routes that they weren't intended to fly, such as ORD-SAT and DFW-ATL.

I was in BNA at the time flying mostly full (90+ pax average) F100 flights in/out of BNA and RDU and we were never weight restricted. That is, until the last 6 months the base was open. Those last 6 months saw most of the shorter flights at BNA and RDU ended (some, but not all were picked up by AE) and the F100s were assigned to longer stage length flights. At that point we quickly became weight restricted on most if not all flights in a month... especially if we had to carry divert fuel. My most easily remembered example was DFW-BNA. Normally flown with full pax/cargo load without problem. Put on holding fuel and/or divert fuel (CVG or MEM... pretty close by airports) and we immediately lost at least 16 pax (and their bags) capacity.

Is this an accurate assessment?

Pretty much (see above) although I don't recall seeing ORD-SAT [that'd be a very long haul for the F100]. OTOH I did fly quite a few DFW-ATL flights wondering what the heck the F100 was doing on that route [higher demand than our capacity and often requiring holding fuel which reduced capacity further]. Simply put, with the loss of N/S hub flying [BNA, RDU and SJC] the F
100 just didn't fit into AA's route structure very well at all.

IF AA had purchased the MD-87 and not the F-100, which I understood the choice at the time came down to, I suspect AA would still be flying them (the MD-87s) due to flight deck and parts commonality.

Uh, no. The -87 cockpit is much closer to the MD90 than the MD82/83 in AA's fleet.

I will never understand why this wasn't given more weight in the selection process; seems too much weight was placed on the purchase price and/or lease terms?

As Crandall explained it to me (yes he did ride our jumpseats often), the devil is in the details and in this case the details involved the politics of getting more USA-Europe authority for AA. The F100 purchase became intwined in the complex negotiating puzzle of international politics and airline route/airport authority. Crandall thought the F100 would be a good fit for N/S flying (especially SNA), but that didn't pan out. He accepted the planes partly to protect AA's growing trans-atlantic flying (don't piss off the politicians... expecially "kings").
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ckfred
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RE: 717s & M90s - Too Bad None In AA Fleet

Sat Dec 18, 2004 5:28 am

AAR90:

Thanks for the information. I know that AA flew F100s on ORD-SAT, because I flew both legs of that roundtrip on the Fokker in 1996.

You're right about using the Fokker on DFW-ATL. I would include ORD-ATL on that assessment. I fly the latter route a lot to visit relatives in Georgia. It seems that AA was always asking for volunteers at ATL for F100 flights to both DFW and ORD.

I thought that with an adjustment in the schedule and number of flights, and running more MD-80s, AA could have avoided the time and expense of getting volunteers.
 
DeltaGuy
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RE: 717s & M90s - Too Bad None In AA Fleet

Sat Dec 18, 2004 6:04 am

IF AA had purchased the MD-87 and not the F-100, which I understood the choice at the time came down to, I suspect AA would still be flying them (the MD-87s) due to flight deck and parts commonality.

The MD-82/83 is pretty different than the 87/88/90. The 82/83 uses most (if not all on some birds) steam guages, some do have EFIS and a more primitive FMS. The 87/88/90 birds all have EFIS, Digtial EICAS, AHARS/IRS, and a very decent FMS package. Differences training between the 88 and 90 are minimal, but between a 90 and say, an 82, would be a little more in depth...definately more to get used to.

Wow AAR90....thanks for those anecdotes...I never knew much about any of this AA business, but I dare say I've learned alot Big grin

DeltaGuy
"The cockpit, what is it?" "It's the little room in the front of the plane where the pilot sits, but that's not importan
 
jerion
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RE: 717s & M90s - Too Bad None In AA Fleet

Sat Dec 18, 2004 1:37 pm

Yes, the F100's did fly ORD-SAT.
I too had a few trips ORD-SAT.

ORD-SAT was the longest scheduled F100 flight on AA.
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AAR90
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RE: 717s & M90s - Too Bad None In AA Fleet

Sat Dec 18, 2004 1:40 pm

I know that AA flew F100s on ORD-SAT, because I flew both legs of that roundtrip on the Fokker in 1996.

That would explain why I don't recall such a trip. BNA closed in 1995 and I returned to SNA flying 757/767s. Flew a bunch of ORD-MSY trips and we were ALWAYS weight restricted. I imagine ORD-SAT was even more restricted. Doesn't really make sense to me, but then that's why I just drive 'em... someone else figures out where they want me to drive 'em to.  Nuts
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qqflyboy
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RE: 717s & M90s - Too Bad None In AA Fleet

Sat Dec 18, 2004 2:42 pm

I miss the 90 terribly. I like the MD-80s, but when I was an FA at QQ, I LOVED the 90s. Yes, they had reliability issues, especially in the beginning, but the longer we had them the better they were. Once we merged with AA, I never got to fly them again. ;(

The cabin is very quiet, even in the back by the engines. Even when the engines were spooled up for take-off, you could hear them, but it was a lovely groan, not an obnoxious roar. Perfect to sleep by. As flight attendants we always liked how we could have a conversation sitting on the tailcone jumpseat, something you can't do on an 80. At QQ we used to fly them from RNO to ORD and ATL. Eventually, however, they were stuck flying in and out of SNA from SJC, SFO and SEA.


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aaway
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RE: 717s & M90s - Too Bad None In AA Fleet

Sat Dec 18, 2004 3:31 pm

AAR90,
Excellent info posted by you regarding AA/F-100 fleet strategy. I recall from my AA days @ LAX the rumor (now verified by you) that F-100 flying was going to shifted to the West Coast obstensibly to "save the West Coast (SJC) network" as the Super80s were thought to be too capacious for West Coast flying (IIRC).
However, the issue with weight restrictions on certain stage lengths causes me to wonder about the feasibility of (alleged) F100 West Coast flying. SJC-SEA or SJC-PHX are equidistant to ORD-ATL. I'm wondering if these were a result of aircraft performance, enroute weather, or (air)field-specific issues.

Based on your experience w/the Fokker, would it be able to operate from KSNA effectively (that is, without payload penalty) considering the short runway and that noise abatement procedure?
"The greatest mistake you can make in life is to continually be afraid you will make one." - Elbert Hubbard
 
AAR90
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RE: 717s & M90s - Too Bad None In AA Fleet

Sun Dec 19, 2004 12:18 am

Based on your experience w/the Fokker, would it be able to operate from KSNA effectively (that is, without payload penalty) considering the short runway and that noise abatement procedure?

For 60-90 minute flights... not a problem performance wise. The problem would be what, if any, performance penalty a SNA noise abatement procedure would place upon that performance. The F100 never met SNA's EE (noise exempt) standard which is what AA was hoping for (and promised by Fokker). Having stated that fact, AA never stated what noise slot the F100 actually did fall into. SNA's slot program is rather complex so the F100 may have had no payload penalties or may have had severe payload penalties (to meet a noise slot requirement)... I simply don't know. The fact that it could not go into/out of SNA without using a slot in the first place was the reason AA did not put any on the west coast at all.  Crying
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BR715-A1-30
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RE: 717s & M90s - Too Bad None In AA Fleet

Sun Dec 19, 2004 12:44 am

I miss the MD-90 w/ AA... I want to fly on another one, but I guess I will have to go to DL for that.

Can anyone tell me the current routes DL puts their MD-90s on?
Puhdiddle
 
PHLBOS
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RE: 717s & M90s - Too Bad None In AA Fleet

Sun Dec 19, 2004 5:48 am

From my earlier reply (#28)
I will give you that one but an upstart carrier buying cheap used F100s would be like a ground transportation company in 1990 buying a bunch of used 1986 AMC vehicles (Eagle, Alliance, etc.) for their fleet.

AAR90's response (Reply #32):
Perhaps, but there are a number of ground transportation companies buying used vehicles even today. If its in their best interests (in their opinion, not ours) and meets their business model... Take a close look around and you'll see plenty of small/medium bus companies buying/using used 1980's busses.

Are these manufacturers of these used '80s busses still around? In terms of planes, Boeing and Airbus are still around, Fokker is not.

From Reply #32:
Note that there are some folks buying ex-AA F100s this year.

Just of curiosity, who are these folks? My guess would be that these buyers are foreign carriers and not AA competitors. Remember that the main point that I am trying to convey here was that none of AA's competitors were interested in purchasing a Fokker product. To my knowledge, the only other North American carrier using Fokker equipment besides AA and US was Midway II. Depending on when exactly did AA start pondering about retiring their F100s, Midway II may or may not have been still around at the time. A bigger question would have been, if Midway II was still around; would they have been interested in AA's F100? Because they ceased operations beforehand, nobody will ever know that answer.

From Reply #28:
Since air carriers plan on (though it doesn't always happen) being in business for years to come...

From Reply #32:
I think your assumption is too broad. Not all start-up airlines' management (owners) are thinking deeply about the long term. In fact, many think short-term "profitability", sell stock options, get rich and... we'll figure out what to do next later on. Read some start-up company prospectus' and you'll see they have no detailed plan beyond the first couple of years.

While it is true that many companies may only start with only a short-term plan; I have never know of any legitimate business starting off with the intent of not being around after that.

My main point, again was that regarding the F100 (as opposed to the 732 or even the DC-9), AA's condition regarding planes going to competitor's in this case was unnecessary.
"TransEastern! You'll feel like you've never left the ground because we treat you like dirt!" SNL Parady ad circa 1981
 
AAR90
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RE: 717s & M90s - Too Bad None In AA Fleet

Sun Dec 19, 2004 9:58 am

Are these manufacturers of these used '80s busses still around?

Yep, there are a dozen in SoCal area alone... not counting the Mexican companies that drive on SoCal freeways.

In terms of planes, Boeing and Airbus are still around, Fokker is not.

Yes, but there is maintenance expertise and support available.

Note that there are some folks buying ex-AA F100s this year.

Just of curiosity, who are these folks?


Only one I know for sure (I've seen the birds at YYZ) is a Canadian airline. Otherwise AA has been very secretive about who has been buying the F100s and only releases the fact that they've sold some F100s because they have to (buried deep inside SEC required reports).

Remember that the main point that I am trying to convey here was that none of AA's competitors were interested in purchasing a Fokker product.

How do you know? Do you have inside information about what the top managements at all the North American airlines are thinking? BTW, neither do I. I simply try to understand what AA management says it is doing. Agreement or disagreement is an entirely different concept.

To my knowledge, the only other North American carrier using Fokker equipment besides AA and US was Midway II.

Don't forget about the 67 paper airlines (filed applications with complete documentations with FAA seeking FAR Part 121 or 135 status, circa 1999). Most paper airlines never make it to actual flying due in part to the cost of aircraft acquisition (ownership or lease).

While it is true that many companies may only start with only a short-term plan; I have never know of any legitimate business starting off with the intent of not being around after that.

Perhaps you need to spend a bit more time looking very closely at startup airline business plans. Many are in it as long as the cash flow remains positive and will "bail" when positive cash flow stops. In a cyclical industry such as the airlines, that is definitely a short-term prospect.

My main point, again was that regarding the F100 (as opposed to the 732 or even the DC-9), AA's condition regarding planes going to competitor's in this case was unnecessary.

Unnecessary, perhaps. This just means you (with possibly 20/20 hindsight) disagree with AA management's decision at the time (with no hindsight possible). In hindsight (my own) I tend to agree with you. But that doesn't change the fact that AA management's decision at the time it was made was made for what AA management believed to be in the best interest of AA. Based upon the information available at the time (some 67 LCC paper airlines trying to find airplanes to start flying) I understand [do not agree or disagree] management's decision and...

Once again, AA's continued arrogance backfires.

Arrogance played no part in that decision. It was purely financial survival [cheaper to park the planes than to spend $$$ competing against those planes]. AA has been selling their F100s and it appears AA management has been willing to sell at least some to airlines in this hemisphere. That seems to indicate a change in management's perspective of the world today as compared to the world of a few years ago. We'll never know who would have been correct (you or AA management)... but it does make for interesting discussion of the possibilities.

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flyibaby
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RE: 717s & M90s - Too Bad None In AA Fleet

Sun Dec 19, 2004 1:40 pm

PHLBOS,
It had been rumored that JI actually leased F100's from AA but that was later proven to be false. AA did however have a monopoly on the available spare parts. I know for fact that if JI ever needed a spare, it was shipped from AA's MX airport outside DFW, and at a rather steep price. They also sold two RR engines in late 1999/early 2000 to JI. Orignally the intent when JI started operations in MDW (when Jetexpress bought the Midway name in 1994) postcards were sent out to former Midway pilots at Christmas with a photo of a F100 showing a new kind of airline. It was the original intent to operate with this until they realized the loads they started drawing as part of the codeshare with AA in 1995 with the A320. Midway decided to play hardball with Airbus and get a better lease rate. Airbus refused and the A320's went back to France, and later to Trans Meridian. Hence, the F100's were going full to FL from RDU and Midway decided to sizeup with the 73G's. Once they got enough of these aircraft, they paid a hefty early return fee on about half the F100 fleet and wound up parking the rest when they filed bankruptcy in Aug/2001. The plan was to rid themselves of the F100 by year end 2001 and become a complete 73G/CRJ200 fleet hitting mainly medium range business destinations.

AAR90, I am thoroughly impressed with your insight. Welcome to my respected users list!