Samurai 777
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Might Air Canada Order A321s In The Future?

Fri Apr 28, 2000 12:02 pm

During the time that I've been on this forum, a fair amount's been said about the possibility of A318s in Air Canada's fleet. Although nothing's been officially said as of yet, they could replace the 737-200 or the DC-9, especially for long, thin routes that couldn't justify an A319(with 112 seats) or a 717(not enough range). An A318 with AC's seat pitch would have about 92 seats in total - similar to the two older a/c mentioned before.

Anyway, enough about the A318. Now, how about the A321? This is a bit bigger than the A320, which AC has plenty of in its fleet. I think an A321, if ordered by AC, would have about 152 seats. This is halfway between the 767-200 (175 seats total) and the A320 (132 seats total) in capacity. The A321 would have the transcon range, and be good for routes that already have very high average load factors on A320s, but yet not being able to justify the use a 767-200/300 due to high maintenance and fuel costs. (the 767 is a widebody, so it's even heavier and has greater fuel than the A321, if I'm correct.) Routes like YYC-YYZ and YYZ-YUL may be good bets, as AC could simply free up the 767-200 and -300s for more international routes outside Canada, if it ordered A321s.

It's just a thought, but I'd like to hear what you guys have to say about the A321 and Air Canada.

RE: Might Air Canada Order A321s In The Future?

Fri Apr 28, 2000 12:17 pm

There's no reason why Air Canada wouldn't buy the A321, as long as the 93T MTOW version would give Trans-Continental range. I'd say the seating would be more like 180 for the A321.

Depends whether AC think the gap between their A320s and 767s needs filling - at the moment they don't seem to think so. Maybe they're waiting to see how the 93T A321 does in service

RE: Might Air Canada Order A321s In The Future?

Fri Apr 28, 2000 12:34 pm


I think it would be a good move for AC to pick up the A321. I would love to see them come into the fleet.
They would be a good size to fill the gap between the A320 and B767, especially the 767-300's.
Within the next few years, I think we are going to start looking for 767-200 replacements, and the A321 would fit perfectly into the size that AC needs to have for that gap.
Being that AC has basically committed itself to being an Airbus only airline, I think that it could be possible to see the A321 in the fleet in the future. However, I don't think they would have 180 seats, probably around 160-170, but who am I to say.
As much as I love Airbus, I would like to see Boeing receive some orders from AC as well. I think that for any narrow-body orders, Airbus will get the contract, but I think that AC should seriously look at more 767-300's or even the 767-400 for the 767-200 replacements. Just a dream, but who knows!

AC "ramp rat"
Samurai 777
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Fri Apr 28, 2000 1:02 pm

I'd agree with Air Canada (the Newfie forum user, of course) about the seating. Judging by how much longer the A321's fuselage is than the A320, I'd say 160-170 is about right. 152 is probably a bit too generous, unless AC wanted to increase the business class seating proportionally compared to the A320. That's still intermediate between the 767-200/300 and the A320. 180 seats is more like packing it in! I don't think AC would do that without seriously compromising the legroom compared to the A320 and the A319. I was judging the seating number using the difference in the number of seats between the A320 and the A319 in AC's fleet as a benchmark. As mentioned in my topic post, AC's A320s have 132 seats each, while its A319s have 112 - a difference of 20 seats.
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RE: Seating

Fri Apr 28, 2000 2:28 pm

I think it is a little risky for Air Canada to possibly order A318s and A321s. This would give it quite a large narrow-body Airbus fleet, and if a safety directive came out, it would hurt the operations of the entire airline badly. I think a mix of non-Airbuses would be more appropriate (ie. order the A318, and a 757-200 instead of the A318 and A321 both being ordered). I think the 737s should be replaced with A318s more than 767-200s being replaced with A321s.

Also, keep in mind many of the AC 762s flying routes like Toronto-Vancouver, Toronto-Calgary, Toronto-Montreal are the domestic version and do not fly overseas. They cannot be easily pulled off these routes and sent on new flights like Toronto-Amsterdam/Munich/Madrid. I believe the non-ER versions of the 762 in the AC fleet are those registered C-GAU? something. (There are many of them ranging from C-GAUB to C-GAUY).
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RE: Seating

Fri Apr 28, 2000 10:35 pm

AC was talking of retiring 762 aircraft. With this in mind I could see them getting rid of 763's eventually, as well, although that would probably be a decade away yet. In the event Boeing comes out with an updated 762 version, I could see AC ordering it, but if they don't I think they would order a mix of A332's and A321's to replace those aircraft. YVR-YYZ would probably be a lot of widebodies, 330 and 340's, and YYZ-YYC would likely get a few widebodies for freight but a few flights down to 321's as well. Also, YWG-YYZ would probably be the first route to get 321 service, simply because of the need to run them through the overhaul base, and I understand YWG-YYZ even with some capacity expansion in the new schedule (ie-cutting out Saskatoon traffic from one YXE-YWG-YYZ flight, replaced by YWG-YYZ) still has very high load factors on the route as a whole (WJ must love being handed an underserved market, then being able to create new traffic on top of a need to fill existing demand).

Regarding the 318/717, I see it as possible that AC orders both. No doubt there are hub routes like Saskatoon/Regina-Toronto or St. John's-Toronto or Calgary-Houston that would probably use 318's, as well as other longer routes, but with a need for 100 aircraft I think they could use a cheap, lightweight aircraft like the 717 to fly Calgary-Vancouver, St. John's-Halifax, and to replace the 146's and F28's on routes like Winnipeg-Denver, Halifax-Montreal, Edmonton-Denver, Edmonton-Vancouver, and so on. I still see the splitting the 318 order with the 717 as an option, largely because they want to make such a huge order, they want fast delivery times (passengers are going to fly WJ's new 737's if they don't get good delivery times), and also because of the "don't put your eggs all in one basket" argument. Of course it would also be possible that they don't buy 318's, and just order more 319's. Actually, I think we'll see a number of 319's in the order, no matter what.

About 757's: I don't think so, unless they pick up a few used aircraft. Without containerized cargo, they would probably stick with widebodies in the 200 seat category. I believe their 762's only seat around 180 anyways, so there isn't really a gap.

And on the seating: I would expect the 321's to have fairly large business class, as I think on the shorter, higher density routes that they would worry more about business travel, with WJ now moving into some of those routes more. About 150-160 sounds right to me, I think.

Personally I would like to see a few 321's for YYC-YYZ, YWG-YYZ and YYZ-YUL, maybe YYZ-YHZ (Halifax), and new 767's to replace the existing ones, and a mix of 318's and 717's. That's just my wish list, I don't know that it's likely, but I think it would give them an absolutely perfect fleet mix for their operations type. Then just add a few more A340-500/600 orders on, and maybe a few 747F (or even A3XX), and a mix of Dash8Q and CRJ for regionals, and they'd have an optimal fleet for their route structure that would be completely modernized from the older aircraft from CP and those few older AC ones still around.
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RE: Might Air Canada Order A321s In The Future?

Fri Apr 28, 2000 11:01 pm

A318 : I think so; it would fit perfeclty in the fleet, replacing the ageing DC9s. It burns more fuel than the 717, but it has better range and crew training and spare parts maintenance would be minimal since they already have A319 and A320.

A321 : Don't think so. AC never felt they had a need for a single aisle 180 pax a/c. Otherwise, they would have ordered 757 a long time ago, when they order the 767.
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Samurai 777
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Sat Apr 29, 2000 2:33 am

I'm a little surprised at what you said, considering how much you like flying on the A319 /320. I don't think AC would want take up the 757, due to the un-commonality. I know that'd make the fleet makeup a bit less interesting, but these days, it's a smart move financially for an airline to standardize their fleets. It costs money to retrain pilots and mechanics, not to mention getting and using spare parts for entirely different a/c types.

Yes, if the FAA or something else ordered a grounding, that could be a problem, but I think AC would find a way to rotate a/c checking schedules to ensure that flight operations are affected as little as possible. I believe that's what AA did while inspecting its MD-80s after the Alaska Airlines crash off California.

None Airbus Orders

Sat Apr 29, 2000 3:32 am


I really don't think that AC will order the B717. If any none Airbus orders are made, I would think that the B737-700 or even the 800 series would get the pick.
The DC-9 is not a very well liked plane in terms of ground servicing, as well as other aspects (mind you, I think it looks great and is very reliable), so I think the 717 is not even an option for AC, but Boeing may have a chance with the 737-700 (that is if AC looks beyond Airbus), otherwise, I would think that the A321 would probably be chosen for that size of an a/c.
In terms of the 757, not a chance. I don't think it is even an option AC would even look at, not that it's not a good plane, it is, but I can't see AC buying 757's. At least with the A321, there is fleet commonality, and the baggage hold can be containerized like the A320's.
Who is to say what AC's move will be for expanding the fleet. AC may surprise everyone by placing a huge Boeing order or maybe they may continue to go in the Airbus direction. Either way, I'm looking forward to more planes coming into the fleet. I hope I will get to work them!!
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RE: Might Air Canada Order A321s In The Future?

Sat Apr 29, 2000 3:38 am

Air Canada could use the 767 crews on the 757 due to cockpit simularity.

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RE: None Airbus Orders

Sat Apr 29, 2000 3:56 am

I really can't see AC going for 737NG's. But as far as 717's, I think there are a couple of key issues. Lightweight, cheaper, short wait for delivery, and cheaper. I don't think the ground handling being tougher on the 717's will play too much of a role- they fly CRJ's too, and there's no question that CRJ's are much tougher to handle than Dash8's. I think the 717's are the best chance Boeing has to get part of the order, although at best I think it will be split order: A32X family aircraft will definitely get a piece of it, the question in my mind is simply what happens for the short haul mainliners. Other than that, maybe 767's, but the 717 and 767 families are the only aircraft from Boeing that I think AC would have any interest in.

The lack of containerization, and the talk of 762 retirement will keep the 757 from having any chance whatsoever.
Samurai 777
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To DeltAirlines

Sat Apr 29, 2000 4:49 am

I'd hate to say it, but AC183 and Air Canada's right - there is no way AC is really going to bother with 757s. If it wanted a plane similar to the 757, it'd choose the A321, regardless of whether or not its 767 pilots can fly the 757 or not.
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Sat Apr 29, 2000 7:37 am

Yeah, I love the Airbus products, but a 757 could have commonality with the 767-200 as it would begin retirement, and the 767-300 which should be kept in the fleet until they are 20 years old. I just think the A318 would be a better order than the A321, and not both ordered at once.
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RE: Expect To See An Order For 12

Sat Apr 29, 2000 6:44 pm

I just noticed this thread after seeing a note on the orders e-group, to the effect that AC is expected to order 12 of these fine aircraft fairly soon.

They would make sense as the 762s are fairly long in tooth at this stage and of course, there is the commonality issue. However, I understand AC's priority is to tidy up its commonality now that it is taking over CP's international routes; more A345s and 346S, as well as an order for 744Fs is expected.
Samurai 777
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To Kaitak

Sun Apr 30, 2000 1:30 am

Hey, Kaitak! Exactly which Airbus a/c type are you referring to in the "12 of these fine aircraft"? We'd love to see some clarification on that!

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RE: To Kaitak

Sun Apr 30, 2000 3:56 am

12 aircraft would sound to me like a 321 order, but I would also like clarification.

I would guess that AC knows what it will order, my bets are that we will see the first orders from AC coming as soon as CP restructuring is complete.

Also, somehow I don't think widebodied orders will be too much of a priority yet. In general the widebodied fleet isn't in too bad of condition, other than a few additional aircraft being needed, but according to the AC annual report they've already converted some A330 options to firm orders earlier this year. I also wonder about the 747F rumours, if they will actually happen. I really don't know, maybe they would even look at A3XXF's if they are looking to get rid of their passenger 747-400's, 747F's just don't make sense to me for commonality unless they just put their old 747-200's into freight service. But overall I think their priority will be DC-9 and 732 replacement. I fully expect them to announce they will take delivery of the 10 firm and 10 options on 320's that CP holds, as soon as they're restructured, as well as getting more of other narrow-bodies, whether they're 318's, 319's, more 320's than those 20, 321's, or 717's or 737's or whatever they go for.
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AC Fleet Changes

Sun Apr 30, 2000 10:49 am

This is a good question, especially with the merger of AC and CP a lot of fleet issues need to be worked out. Obviously the F-28 and 732 fleets will be phased based on non-commonality and age issues. I see more CRJ's to replace the F-28s as they expand into smaller transborder markets. I think the A318 would be a good addition to the fleet, but the A321 seems likely for fleet commonality with the rest of the A320s. CP's A320s seem like they will be absorbed into the AC fleet, the 763s may well be as well. Though with the large orders of widebody Airbuses entering service this seems iffy. Plus then there are the CP 744's which have an iffy fate as well. If anyone knows what the merger fleet plans are please tell us.
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RE: Might Air Canada Order A321s In The Future?

Sun Apr 30, 2000 12:16 pm

While I think that AC will order the A321 this clip from's news section may be entertaining.

"This is a definitive milestone for us," said Jack Gucker, vice president of 737/757 Derivative Programs. "We are wrapping up the development phase of this airplane program right on schedule and moving toward on-time delivery of the first 737-900 in April 2001."

With most engineering drawings complete, parts for the airplane are being manufactured and delivered by suppliers worldwide. Employees at the Boeing plant in Wichita, Kan., have completed assembly of the 133 foot 5 inch (40.7 meter) fuselage of the first 737-900. The first wings are being built at the Boeing factory in Renton, Wash.

The 737-900 is nearly nine feet (2.7 meters) longer than the Next-Generation 737-800, the largest model in the Boeing Next-Generation 737 family. The 737-900 will carry up to 177 passengers in a two-class configuration, 15 more passengers than the 737-800. It accommodates up to 189 passengers in a one-class layout.

Because of this higher capacity, the new 737-900 will offer the lowest seat-mile operating costs in the Next-Generation 737 family. With its newer and more advanced design, the 737-900 will have a nearly 9 percent lower seat-mile cost than the similar sized Airbus Industrie A321-200. This will allow 737-900 operators the flexibility to offer lower fares and operate more profitably than competitors with the older Airbus product. Seat-mile cost is the standard measure used to calculate the cost of transporting one airplane seat one mile.

The 737-900 uses the same wing and the same engine as the 737-600, 737-700 and 737-800 models. All four models are powered by CFM56-7 engines produced by CFMI, a joint venture of General Electric Co. of the U.S. and Snecma of France.

The airplane will be able to cruise at a maximum altitude of 41,000 feet (12,497 meters), compared to 39,000 feet (11,887 meters) for Airbus Industrie's A320. For passengers, this can mean a smoother ride. For airlines, it means being able to fly above bad weather, congested routes, and less capable airplanes.

The first 737-900, which was ordered by Alaska Airlines, is due to leave the Renton factory in July. Continental Airlines, Korean Air Lines and KLM Royal Dutch Airlines also have ordered the model. The total of orders for the model is 45.

With 1,453 orders from 109 customers, the Next-Generation 737 programs is the fastest selling airplane family in commercial aviation history.>

Just to add some thought to this discussion.

I was also able to get this clip from Airbus.
Scandinavian Airlines System (SAS) has signed a contract with Airbus Industrie for the purchase of six A330-300 widebody twins and four A340-300 four-engined long-range aircraft as well as for twelve A321 single-aisle jetliners. These orders follow earlier announcements by the airline.

The A330 and A340 are members of the same aircraft family, offering operators a choice of two or four engines on the same fuselage. While the four-engined A340 enables carriers to develop more non-stop ultra-long haul services, the twin-engine A330 combines low operating costs with maximum flexibility for a wide range of route structures, including transatlantic flights.

SAS’ A340-300s will feature 275 seats, with 56 in Business and 219 in Economy Class, while the airline’s A330-300s will accommodate 278 passengers, with 56 seats in Business and 222 in Economy Class. With deliveries from 2001 to 2004, the Airbus Industrie aircraft will successively replace the Boeing 767 as SAS’ long-haul airliner.

With the introduction of the A330/A340 Family, SAS will increase the number of seats available on intercontinental flights by up to 50 per cent, while cargo capacity will increase by 40 per cent.

At the same time SAS purchased twelve Airbus Industrie A321 single-aisle aircraft, making a very significant switch from its existing aircraft supplier for European operations. The A321 is the largest member of the A320 Family, the world’s fastest selling single-aisle aircraft product line. SAS’ A321 will feature a flexible cabin configuration to accommodate between 158 and 210 passengers, allowing for adjustments between Business and Economy Class seating according to demand.

The airline has invested in the new, larger aircraft for Scandinavian and European services in order to meet increasing demand on these routes. In addition to seat count, the containerised cargo loading on Airbus Industrie single-aisle aircraft will mean increased freight revenues for SAS as well as providing a pleasant working environment for ground-handling personnel.

Together, the A320 and the A330/A340 Families will not only ensure capacity increases, operational flexibility, and a superior working environment for SAS flight crew and ground personnel but will also bring considerable cost reductions in training and maintenance, thanks to the commonality between aircraft types.

To date over 560 A330s and A340s have been ordered by 54 customers, while 2,345 A320 Family aircraft have been sold to 98 customers worldwide. A total of 1,500 aircraft from both families are currently in operation around the world.>

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