717fan
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Midwest Won't Exercise 717 Options

Thu Mar 24, 2005 10:08 am

From aviationnow.com: Midwest won't exercise 717 options.
I am surprised that this one is at aviationdaily now, to my knowledge Boeing is not accepting any 717 order since the beginning of March....

I am not a subscriber to aviationnow, so I am not able to read the full text, but I am wondering what Midwest will do...do they replace the 717's with another type or will they go the Airtran way in ordering some 737NG's and operate them alongside the 717?

Any comments?
Thanks
 
DAYflyer
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RE: Midwest Won't Exercise 717 Options

Thu Mar 24, 2005 10:14 am

They are in financial difficulty so I am not surprised. I doubt if they will orer anything at this point until they get the house in order. It is actually cheaper for them to keep using the gas-guzzlers that they own than to assume a new lease or purchase payment plus the fuel.
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RE: Midwest Won't Exercise 717 Options

Thu Mar 24, 2005 11:51 am

Gas guzzlers that they own?
They don't own any... the DC-9s left the property in October. And MD-80s are known to be about as fuel-friendly as 737-300s.

I don't anticipate Midwest ever being large enough to order more planes.

The industry has proven that the number of people willing to pay MORE for service (leg room on American, food on Northwest, pillows on everybody else are recent examples that come to mind) is about... zero.

At this point, I just hope they can survive. I think they're a great airline, and I am willing to pay more (during those times I can afford it! College sucks!) for their great service. Unfortunately, I can't fly them any this summer, as I will be living in Alaska... and a 717 prolly won't make it from MKE to ANC.

Best of luck to Midwest.
 
717fan
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RE: Midwest Won't Exercise 717 Options

Thu Mar 24, 2005 2:08 pm

By the way, did Airtran also had some options left when Boeing cancelled the program?
Thanks
 
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PanAm_DC10
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RE: Midwest Won't Exercise 717 Options

Thu Mar 24, 2005 5:50 pm

717fan

This is all they said. It is a copy of their Filing with the SEC.

As Midwest Air Group, Inc. (the “Company”) has previously reported, its subsidiary Midwest Airlines currently operates 18 Boeing 717 aircraft and has a firm order for seven more and options to purchase up to 25 additional Boeing 717s at pre-negotiated prices. The Company plans to take delivery of three of the seven Boeing 717s subject to the firm order in 2005 and the remaining four in 2006. After assessing the Company’s future fleet requirements, the Company has decided not to exercise any of the options to purchase additional Boeing 717 aircraft.

Not too much detail sorry but cancellations usually are like that.

Regards
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Doona
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RE: Midwest Won't Exercise 717 Options

Thu Mar 24, 2005 6:58 pm

Buuu! Nobody seems to keep the rear mounted twin-jets in production. I think it's kinda funny that both rear mounted A/C designed to replace MD-80s and DC-9s have failed to do so miserably... Both the MD-90 and the B717 only sold between 100 and 200 each, and hardly any MD-80s or DC-9s have actually been replaced with these particular A/C.

Perhaps it's too early for a MD-80/DC-9 replacement. Too bad that two of the most beautiful A/C will most likely leave the skies before the A/C they were designed to replace do...

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airportugal310
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RE: Midwest Won't Exercise 717 Options

Thu Mar 24, 2005 11:41 pm

Its funny this post should arise:

I was talking to one of my good buddies out on the ramp the other day from Midwest and he was telling me that Midwest was actually looking at a 717 "replacement" (so to speak..since the line is closed) and were thinking about 737-800's.

Now if that was true, then that would be a sleek looking 738!  yes 

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FA4B6
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RE: Midwest Won't Exercise 717 Options

Thu Mar 24, 2005 11:49 pm

Quoting Airportugal310 (Reply 6):
I was talking to one of my good buddies out on the ramp the other day from Midwest and he was telling me that Midwest was actually looking at a 717 "replacement" (so to speak..since the line is closed) and were thinking about 737-800's.

I always thought Midwest would do will with the new E-jets .. possibly the 195. Their 717's only seat 88 pax and their Signature MD82's 116 pax. If they're only looking to replace the 717's, I think the 190 or 195 would be their best bet. They're apparently inexpensive to operate, the cabins are gorgeous, and over a really nice flying experience especially with the engines being wing mounted.
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MidnightMike
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RE: Midwest Won't Exercise 717 Options

Thu Mar 24, 2005 11:49 pm

Quoting 717fan (Thread starter):
I am not a subscriber to aviationnow, so I am not able to read the full text, but I am wondering what Midwest will do...do they replace the 717's with another type or will they go the Airtran way in ordering some 737NG's and operate them alongside the 717?

Depending on Midwest's business plan, perhaps there is no plan for future growth & then no need to replace aircraft.

In the future, maybe they will keep the 717 & replace the MD80's with another type aircraft.
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RE: Midwest Won't Exercise 717 Options

Thu Mar 24, 2005 11:54 pm

Quoting AA737-823 (Reply 2):
The industry has proven that the number of people willing to pay MORE for service (leg room on American, food on Northwest, pillows on everybody else are recent examples that come to mind) is about... zero.

I was willing to pay more for legroom on AA. I guess people have to know you offer something to differentiate your product for it to matter. I know midex offers food and more leg room.. along with higher prices and service to nowhere that I Want to go but the average flyer booking a vacation probably is barely aware they exist even if they serve their home city.
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PHLBOS
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RE: Midwest Won't Exercise 717 Options

Thu Mar 24, 2005 11:56 pm

Quoting Airportugal310 (Reply 6):
I was talking to one of my good buddies out on the ramp the other day from Midwest and he was telling me that Midwest was actually looking at a 717 "replacement" (so to speak..since the line is closed) and were thinking about 737-800's.

If YX is cancelling their 717 option order due to present financial reasons, I wouldn't hold my breath on seeing any 738s in YX colors just yet.

Keep in mind, there is a possibility of them being bought out by another carrier... namely FL. Should that happen, FL could easily put YX's 25 717s to use; giving FL a total (including their remaining 7 deliveries) of 113 717s in their fleet.
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RE: Midwest Won't Exercise 717 Options

Thu Mar 24, 2005 11:57 pm

FA4B6:

I totally agree. It seems as though a 738 would be a huge gain in seats on *certain routes* but a waste on others.

A smaller regional jet like an E-jet would probably be better suited for the (what I perceive to be) business clientele that they fly to and fro the east coast. Put the current 717's on other routes like LAS or something.

Just from what I know, BOS is a hit or miss market with them....sometimes a full boat....sometimes nada. Hopefully they know best!

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FA4B6
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RE: Midwest Won't Exercise 717 Options

Thu Mar 24, 2005 11:58 pm

Quoting PHLBOS (Reply 10):
Keep in mind, there is a possibility of them being bought out by another carrier... namely FL. Should that happen, FL could easily put YX's 25 717s to use; giving FL a total (including their remaining 7 deliveries) of 113 717s in their fleet.

I hope it's not FL. YX has a much better product IMHO then FL does. I think FL is a great airline, but YX vs. FL .. I'd choose YX in a second.
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JBo
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RE: Midwest Won't Exercise 717 Options

Fri Mar 25, 2005 12:10 am

Quoting PHLBOS (Reply 10):
Keep in mind, there is a possibility of them being bought out by another carrier... namely FL. Should that happen, FL could easily put YX's 25 717s to use; giving FL a total (including their remaining 7 deliveries) of 113 717s in their fleet.

Possibility? Slim rumor, maybe. YX has no intention of selling out to FL. I would think that the only way AirTran would take over Midwest is by way of a bankruptcy liquidation, which I hope never happens. Even with their amenities 'reduced' as of late, Midwest is still one of the premier US carriers for their service, they wouldn't compare to FL.
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RE: Midwest Won't Exercise 717 Options

Fri Mar 25, 2005 2:28 am

YX may have a better product, but it's that very product that will have them flirting with Chapter 11 this summer. YX lost 40 million last year, and are already predicted to lose that much in '05 is not more. With a market cap of 50 million, how much longer until they are bought out? The have begun to outsource their ramp, and in my opinion the ticket agents are next. The fewer employees that you have on your payroll, the easier it makes a merger. Make no mistake YX can't stay in business much longer with the way that they are run. Tim Hoeksema and the boys in the cookie palace need to go. Tim has tunnel vision, by the time he reacts to his surrounding environment it is to late. I honestly believe that YX will soon be a thing of the past without drastic changes.
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D950
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RE: Midwest Won't Exercise 717 Options

Fri Mar 25, 2005 3:38 am

Since Midwest is not using its options, why dont Airtran put in a last order for 20. With GermaWings/LH hinting they may be looking for some, and Aloha, or whoever, could you not sub-lease and turn a small profit??
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RE: Midwest Won't Exercise 717 Options

Fri Mar 25, 2005 4:51 am

Quoting D950 (Reply 15):
why dont Airtran put in a last order for 20. With GermaWings/LH hinting they may be looking for some, and Aloha, or whoever, could you not sub-lease and turn a small profit??

Placing the order without something already in writing would be a huge gamble. Not even AirTran can afford to buy 717s only to have them delivered to the desert.
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elwood64151
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RE: Midwest Won't Exercise 717 Options

Fri Mar 25, 2005 4:54 am

Quoting FA4B6 (Reply 7):
I always thought Midwest would do will with the new E-jets .. possibly the 195. Their 717's only seat 88 pax and their Signature MD82's 116 pax. If they're only looking to replace the 717's, I think the 190 or 195 would be their best bet. They're apparently inexpensive to operate, the cabins are gorgeous, and over a really nice flying experience especially with the engines being wing mounted.

The reason that their Signature aircraft have fewer seats is because they have four-abreast Biz/First class style seats. Can the E-195 offer that many seats in such a layout?

Quoting PHLBOS (Reply 10):
Keep in mind, there is a possibility of them being bought out by another carrier... namely FL. Should that happen, FL could easily put YX's 25 717s to use; giving FL a total (including their remaining 7 deliveries) of 113 717s in their fleet.

1) If FL is going to buy the YX 717s, they'll do it after a YX bankruptcy, which is still a long way off. Purchasing YX right now would saddle FL with their debt, payscale, and other obligations.

2) YX has started doing a lot of things right. They've consolidated their facilities in the LA basin, added flights at both hubs, and all without adding a significant number of aircraft, which means aircraft use is up, spreading the cost of ownership over more flights.

3) The worst thing YX did was add its "Saver Service" crap. Sure, they can have coach. But they should have kept their Signature Service on every aircraft. YX could have offered a more traditional-style seating arrangement, with First Class and Coach Class on the same aircraft, but instead of keeping that which differentiated them from the pack, they dropped it (from many cities out of MKE) in favor of a Southwest approach. Bad move for an airline that had distinguished itself among business travellers.

Quoting AirTran737 (Reply 14):
Tim Hoeksema and the boys in the cookie palace need to go. Tim has tunnel vision, by the time he reacts to his surrounding environment it is to late. I honestly believe that YX will soon be a thing of the past without drastic changes.

Well, they just hired Scott Dickson, a known turn-around agent. He succeeded at Groupo-TACA, nearly did so at Vanguard (in fact, Vanguard's own success in the summer of 2002 is what killed it-re: credit card surety bonds), and has been consulting for the past two years. So figure that if he stays there, things will start to look up.

Quoting D950 (Reply 15):
Since Midwest is not using its options, why dont Airtran put in a last order for 20.

Probably because they have an order for 50+50 73Gs. Why leverage themselves beyond what's reasonable? Sure, a few more 717s means they could add service to AUS, CMH, BDL, OMA, and other cities. But as 737s begin to replace 717s on the more densely populated routes, those 717s can open new routes instead of newly-purchased aircraft.



It's too bad the 717 line had to die before the legacy carriers could overcome their financial difficulties. It truly is a remarkable little aircraft that deserves a better fate than this.
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PHLBOS
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RE: Midwest Won't Exercise 717 Options

Fri Mar 25, 2005 5:00 am

Quoting Elwood64151 (Reply 17):
It's too bad the 717 line had to die before the legacy carriers could overcome their financial difficulties. It truly is a remarkable little aircraft that deserves a better fate than this.

Amen to that.
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Caspian27
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RE: Midwest Won't Exercise 717 Options

Fri Mar 25, 2005 5:01 am

What about switching over to a CRJ-900? That would be about the same size as the 717; the CRJ-900 will seat 86 while the Midwest 717 is configured for 88.

As far as as range is concerned the 900 will fly 2,774km and the 717 (with 106 pax) 2,545km.
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PHLBOS
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RE: Midwest Won't Exercise 717 Options

Fri Mar 25, 2005 5:09 am

Quoting Caspian27 (Reply 19):
What about switching over to a CRJ-900? That would be about the same size as the 717; the CRJ-900 will seat 86 while the Midwest 717 is configured for 88.

Isn't the the seating for the CRJ-900 already 4-across Coach seating?

Being that YX's 717 seats are Business Class seats (i.e. wider), as with the E-195 that someone else mentioned; an all-Business Class CRJ-900 (if there is such an animal) would have a significantly lower capacity than the 717.
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Caspian27
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RE: Midwest Won't Exercise 717 Options

Fri Mar 25, 2005 5:30 am

Quoting PHLBOS (Reply 20):
Isn't the the seating for the CRJ-900 already 4-across Coach seating?

Being that YX's 717 seats are Business Class seats (i.e. wider), as with the E-195 that someone else mentioned; an all-Business Class CRJ-900 (if there is such an animal) would have a significantly lower capacity than the 717.

That's true. I didn't take into account the fact that the 717 seats in their configuration are wider. That would significantly reduce the capacity.
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D950
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RE: Midwest Won't Exercise 717 Options

Fri Mar 25, 2005 5:36 am

Another thread reads that Saudi is looking for 15 or so 50-100 seat aircraft. Given Boeings history with Saudi, how far up Boeings a** do you think their head was not to push the 717 before they pulled the plug, but another opportunity gone past!!!
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RE: Midwest Won't Exercise 717 Options

Fri Mar 25, 2005 5:36 am

YX looked at the A319/320 as well as the 737NG when they looked for a DC-9 replacement, and chose the 717 because in the standard YX layout (this was before "Signature" and "Saver") the seating would stay 2X2; had they chosen the 737 or A319/320, they layout would have had to be 2X3, and they really wanted to keep their standard layout. If they do stick around and regain profitablity, I could see them ordering some 737NGs as replacements for the MD-80s.

Now for an outside the box thought. With DL looking to retire their MD-90s in the near future, perhaps YX could pick them up as an MD-80 replacement.
 
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RE: Midwest Won't Exercise 717 Options

Sun Mar 27, 2005 2:14 am

There has been rumor around the D concourse here @ MKE that YX is currently looking to replace the MD-80s with bigger airplanes. I think 737s are out of the question because any airline knows the A320 is cheaper to get, but always fail to realize that they are more expensive to operate.
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SkyexRamper
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RE: Midwest Won't Exercise 717 Options

Sun Mar 27, 2005 2:52 am

YX is on their last leg of survival as you can tell by these strong moves to get rid of their in house workforce.
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RE: Midwest Won't Exercise 717 Options

Sun Mar 27, 2005 4:42 am

You must remember that the D-concourse here in MKE has only a couple of gates that you can put a larger plane at, unless you plan to have wings that fold up. This concourse was designed to have planes no larger than a MD-80 parked there. I know Ryan uses gate 43 with their 737-800 and you may be able to use gate 47-49 but that is about it for gate space for larger planes.
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SkyexRamper
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RE: Midwest Won't Exercise 717 Options

Sun Mar 27, 2005 4:45 am

Might want to tell that to the cookie palace...but don't worry they don't even listen to their employees let alone an outsider.  Smile You can park a 747-400 at 46/47.
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Midway2AirTran
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RE: Midwest Won't Exercise 717 Options

Sun Mar 27, 2005 11:19 am

As for FL buying out YX, I seriously doubt it! Only if there was an extreme shake-up of the industry that would bring tremendous value of leasing those B717s to FL would I consider it a possibility.

Fleet commonality is no one reason to merge, plus I am certain that the lease rates for YX exceed those of FL judging by the timing/size of their orders. To add to that YX has other a/c types to get in the way with added additional debt. According to recent PR releases, AirTran has also changed its fleet growth on the B737, contributing to the current B717 fleet.

Does anyone know of carriers that had options for the B717 actually taking them? Might be wrong on this one but I recall the option deadline from Boeing being sometime this month?
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MDFlyer
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RE: Midwest Won't Exercise 717 Options

Sun Mar 27, 2005 1:21 pm

For everyone throwing out the two letter identifiers -- YX, FL, ...
Did you know that the FAA did away with these two letter IDs four years ago?
 
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RE: Midwest Won't Exercise 717 Options

Sun Mar 27, 2005 3:09 pm

Quoting MDFlyer (Reply 29):
For everyone throwing out the two letter identifiers -- YX, FL, ...
Did you know that the FAA did away with these two letter IDs four years ago?

Never heard of that cause they were used them in my job back less then a year ago. I still see them with flight numbers and in airports too. Regardless of FAA throwing them out or not, they are still used by the public and make it more efficent to post.  Wink
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DCA-ROCguy
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RE: Midwest Won't Exercise 717 Options

Sun Mar 27, 2005 4:00 pm

Probably because they have an order for 50+50 73Gs. Why leverage themselves beyond what's reasonable? Sure, a few more 717s means they could add service to AUS, CMH, BDL, OMA, and other cities. But as 737s begin to replace 717s on the more densely populated routes, those 717s can open new routes instead of newly-purchased aircraft.

I think this assessment is accurate. AirTran has a lot of dense routes that can be "graduated" to mostly 737s, freeing up 717's to add thinner markets. Indeed, it's sad that the 717 line is ending. But the 717 is an orphan, and airlines seem to prefer "family" a/c these days. Boeing apparently wasn't willing to build direct competitors to the 73G and 738 in order to make the 717 line more attractive.

Jim
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