I recently read through a back-issue (Feb. 2000) of Airways
magazine that covered FL
's launch of the 717. The very first sentence of the article basically stated that nobody thought that the 717 (MD-95) would survive the Boeing merger. So no one can blame the E170/190s for the production stoppage of the 717. Had B6
not opted for the E190 (which hasn't even entered service yet), would anybody think that the type would survive? Had J7
/FL and TW
not already had a committed order for the 717 (MD-95), the line would have never seen production following the Boeing merger. BTW
was also planning on receiving A318s as well. Needless to say, no TW
A318 ever saw the light of day.
As it's been stated in past threads (long before the E170/190 came out), the big thing that was going to and has killed 717 sales (along with the A318 & 736) was many carriers (mostly legacy) opted for ERJ-130/145s and/or CRJs instead to handle routes that were previously flown in 732s, DC-9s and F100s nearly a decade earlier. If I'm not mistaken, I believe that rjs were originally intended to only replace turbo-props.
A couple things worth noting:
1. The production of the 717 will last about 7 years with the summer 2006 shutdown. That in itself is a testimony for a product that everyone thought would be never see production.
2. The only reason why production of the 736 and A318 will still exist despite having worse
sales than the 717 is because of fleet commonality with the 737NG and A32X series respectively. I think everyone will agree, that if it weren't for that, these 2 types would've been gone long before the 717.
"TransEastern! You'll feel like you've never left the ground because we treat you like dirt!" SNL Parady ad circa 1981