AirRyan
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Possible For Boeing NOT To Axe 717?

Thu Sep 01, 2005 1:51 am

First of all, I found it interesting that Boeing has a new poster for sale with a 717 painted in their new colors - are they even painting a real 717 like this?!



Anyways, my point is that gas is on the rise and the only question is for how long. Just going back to when Boeing was forced to make the decision to cancel the 717 program gas was a lot cheaper than it is now.

Northwest airlines contrary to the labor disputes is not all that bad off. They just announced 18 firm order for hte 787 in May with 50 options - that's more than any other US airline company so they can't be all that bad.

I think Northwest is realizing that keeping their DC-9's in service much longer is just not as equitable as they had once perceived when gas was cheaper and there were a lot more senior techs who better knew how to work on those old queens. They have already parked quite a few DC-9's for both gas and maintenance reasons.

Add into this equation that Boeing really has nothing else to offer Northwest to replace their 135 or so remaining DC-9's. NWA has already admitted that they are not interested in either the A318 or the 736 because of their poor short range economics and unless they plan on being able to offer a variant of their new Russian Regional Jet (RRJ) that would be built in the US and at least powered with Western engines, the most logical choice for NWA to replace their DC-9's would be to do it with 717's.

So COULD Boeing even do it now for anything remotely resembling a profitiable price for them and could it not be time for NWA to seriously consider some sort of plan to readily replace those aged low-bypass JT8 powered DC-9's?
 
PHLBOS
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RE: Possible For Boeing NOT To Axe 717?

Thu Sep 01, 2005 2:18 am

Quoting AirRyan (Thread starter):
First of all, I found it interesting that Boeing has a new poster for sale with a 717 painted in their new colors - are they even painting a real 717 like this?!

The poster in question could have very well been made prior to their decision to close the line.

While the production line will still be open to finish off remaining firm orders from existing customers (primarirly FL & YX) until next summer (2006); production for parts for any additional 717 planes may have since been halted.

Quoting AirRyan (Thread starter):
I think Northwest is realizing that keeping their DC-9's in service much longer is just not as equitable as they had once perceived when gas was cheaper and there were a lot more senior techs who better knew how to work on those old queens. They have already parked quite a few DC-9's for both gas and maintenance reasons.

Add into this equation that Boeing really has nothing else to offer Northwest to replace their 135 or so remaining DC-9's. NWA has already admitted that they are not interested in either the A318 or the 736 because of their poor short range economics and unless they plan on being able to offer a variant of their new Russian Regional Jet (RRJ) that would be built in the US and at least powered with Western engines, the most logical choice for NWA to replace their DC-9's would be to do it with 717's.

IIRC, (one can do an archived-thread-search for verification) NW did fly one of their DC-9s over to Long Beach just prior to Boeing's decision to close the line. Whether the purpose was for Boeing to give NW one last chance to order the 717 or not is purely speculation. Many a.netters did indeed assume that Boeing was basically telling NW to put up or shut up so to speak on any 717 order when one saw a NW DC-9 landing at Long Beach.

Unfortunately, it just might be too late to restart the line; which is a shame because the E190s/195s will be shortly coming into service just as the 717 production line is shutting down.

Depending on how one views the circumstances regarding the timing of the 717 production; it can be viewed as either:

a. Coming out too late because the rj boom that had many airlines opting to replace routes that once used mainline DC-9s/732s/F100s with smaller rjs instead.

b. Coming out too soon because its only been recent that U.S. carriers (except DL) retired their remaining 732s and regional carriers are now looking to upsize their fleets.

Had NW went for the 717, Boeing would've easily achieved its original 200 frame break-even production point
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AirRyan
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RE: Possible For Boeing NOT To Axe 717?

Thu Sep 01, 2005 2:50 am

Quoting PHLBOS (Reply 1):
Had NW went for the 717, Boeing would've easily achieved its original 200 frame break-even production point

Excellent reply, PHLBOS. I can't imagine what NWA was thinking of or how good the offer must have been by Boeing in order to achieve that break even point. I just flew on AA's S80's this weekend to MSP and for the routes the current NWA DC-9's fly I can't think of a much better aircraft.
 
aviatortj
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RE: Possible For Boeing NOT To Axe 717?

Thu Sep 01, 2005 6:52 am

I heard a rumor a long time ago that Boeing offerred NW 717s for $15 mil a piece. This was a while before the final offers from Boeing, but like all other times, NW turned its head the other way.

It should also be noted that Boeing offerred two 717s to NW to use in the system. Somewhat a "try before you buy" thing, and yet again NW had zero interest.
 
AirRyan
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RE: Possible For Boeing NOT To Axe 717?

Thu Sep 01, 2005 7:02 am

Quoting AviatorTJ (Reply 3):
I heard a rumor a long time ago that Boeing offerred NW 717s for $15 mil a piece. This was a while before the final offers from Boeing, but like all other times, NW turned its head the other way.

It should also be noted that Boeing offerred two 717s to NW to use in the system. Somewhat a "try before you buy" thing, and yet again NW had zero interest.

If that is the case (and I tend to believe you) than I honestly lose some respect for NWA management!
 
LMP737
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RE: Possible For Boeing NOT To Axe 717?

Thu Sep 01, 2005 7:09 am

Quoting AirRyan (Thread starter):
Northwest airlines contrary to the labor disputes is not all that bad off. They just announced 18 firm order for hte 787 in May with 50 options - that's more than any other US airline company so they can't be all that bad.

Aircraft orders should not be used as an indicator of an airlines financial health. In 1998 TWA announced orders for the 717 along with the A318/319/320. A little over two years latter those orders were cancelled when AA bought them out.
Never take financial advice from co-workers.
 
AirRyan
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RE: Possible For Boeing NOT To Axe 717?

Thu Sep 01, 2005 7:27 am

Quoting LMP737 (Reply 5):
Quoting AirRyan (Thread starter):
Northwest airlines contrary to the labor disputes is not all that bad off. They just announced 18 firm order for hte 787 in May with 50 options - that's more than any other US airline company so they can't be all that bad.

Aircraft orders should not be used as an indicator of an airlines financial health. In 1998 TWA announced orders for the 717 along with the A318/319/320. A little over two years latter those orders were cancelled when AA bought them out.

Yes, there is truth there but TWA was not the same TWA it was back in the 80's at that time and these are orders for widebodies - not cheap entry-level Boeing aircraft at the time so I just hope that NWA comes through and buys 50+ 787's!  Smile
 
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United787
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RE: Possible For Boeing NOT To Axe 717?

Thu Sep 01, 2005 7:57 am

Quoting PHLBOS (Reply 1):
Unfortunately, it just might be too late to restart the line; which is a shame because the E190s/195s will be shortly coming into service just as the 717 production line is shutting down.

So...can anyone answer the original question? Has Boeing crossed the point of no return?
 
AirRyan
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RE: Possible For Boeing NOT To Axe 717?

Thu Sep 01, 2005 8:05 am

Quoting United787 (Reply 7):
Quoting PHLBOS (Reply 1):
Unfortunately, it just might be too late to restart the line; which is a shame because the E190s/195s will be shortly coming into service just as the 717 production line is shutting down.

So...can anyone answer the original question? Has Boeing crossed the point of no return?

I think that it can be said for the right price anything is possible and while the line is at least still open until mid 2006 it's a lot more likely than when it finnally closes.
 
airlinelover
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RE: Possible For Boeing NOT To Axe 717?

Thu Sep 01, 2005 8:15 am

Quoting United787 (Reply 7):

So...can anyone answer the original question?

Sure.. I will..

POSSIBLE- Yes..

PROBABLE- No..

Chris
Lets do some sexy math. We add you, subtract your clothes, divide your legs and multiply
 
N908AW
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RE: Possible For Boeing NOT To Axe 717?

Thu Sep 01, 2005 8:17 am

Quoting AirRyan (Reply 8):
think that it can be said for the right price anything is possible and while the line is at least still open until mid 2006 it's a lot more likely than when it finnally closes.

The LGB station is still there. Machinists still want the job. However, the MD ties look like they've finally have been severed, so I dunno if the ethics are still there.  Sad
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trex8
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RE: Possible For Boeing NOT To Axe 717?

Thu Sep 01, 2005 8:26 am

I'm sure the major suppliers, engines- RR could continue production as they still make other variants of the engine for bizjets. other suppliers of major structures would need sufficient lead time but if its a year ahead its probably doable for most of them.
 
BOS2LAF
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RE: Possible For Boeing NOT To Axe 717?

Thu Sep 01, 2005 9:04 am

This post may seem off topic, but bear with me, it all comes together in the end...

Even if it were possible, I think a NW order would be unlikely. I don't know how many people saw the thread where this was discussed, but theres talk of NW starting a new regional carrier to fly the larger Embraers or C-Series aircraft. This flying would replace some of the DC-9 flying. My own guess is that the DC-9-50s will be replaced by A319s because they are nearly the same capacity. (A319 has one less economy seat).

A poster in another thread said something that made me think. They pointed out, how many other airlines are there today flying 100 seat planes under mainline?? The only airlines that have planes close to that size is UA with the 735, and DL with the 732. We know DL is retiring the 732, I don't know what the plan is for UAs 735s.

From a strictly business perspective, NW is at a disadvantage flying these size planes paying mainline salaries while other airlines are flying the 170 family at regional salaries. More and more airlines are farming out their 100 seat and sub 100 seat flying to regional carriers because they can do it cheaper.

Now this whole post may seem off topic, but heres where the 717 fits in. Nobody sees the 717 as a regional jet. Therefore if any airline tried to buy the 717 for a regional carrier, pilots unions would have an absolute $hit fit. Why fly it at mainline salaries when you can buy another aircraft and fly it under regional salaries? Aside from the weight issue, why do you think the 736 and 318 arent more successful?

As much as I would've loved to see the line continue, this is what killed the 717; the trend towards outsourcing 100 seat flying to regional carriers.
 
LMP737
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RE: Possible For Boeing NOT To Axe 717?

Thu Sep 01, 2005 9:10 am

Quoting AirRyan (Reply 6):
Yes, there is truth there but TWA was not the same TWA it was back in the 80's at that time and these are orders for widebodies - not cheap entry-level Boeing aircraft at the time so I just hope that NWA comes through and buys 50+ 787's!

However at list prices the TWA orders were actually worth more than the NWA orders.
Never take financial advice from co-workers.
 
AirRyan
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RE: Possible For Boeing NOT To Axe 717?

Thu Sep 01, 2005 10:14 am

Quoting LMP737 (Reply 13):
Quoting AirRyan (Reply 6):
Yes, there is truth there but TWA was not the same TWA it was back in the 80's at that time and these are orders for widebodies - not cheap entry-level Boeing aircraft at the time so I just hope that NWA comes through and buys 50+ 787's!

However at list prices the TWA orders were actually worth more than the NWA orders.

How many 717's did they order and then actually take delivery of?

Quoting BOS2LAF (Reply 12):
As much as I would've loved to see the line continue, this is what killed the 717; the trend towards outsourcing 100 seat flying to regional carriers.

That's a very good point - one that I never quite put "two and two" together of just yet. I was just recently taking a look at NWA's fleet and I came to the conclusion that Embraer's E-Jets (E-170, E-190, E-195) are the only thing at least tangible as of now that can replace the services of the NWA DC-9's fleet. Perhaps the Boeing/Sukhoi RRJ may be offered in North America since Boeing has nothing to replace the 717 once it is gone as of now anyways, but it would have to be built in the US with at least Western engines. The program is 50% Boeing so maybe that is what NWA (and others) is holding out for. The Bombardier C-series looks interesting but it's little more than a few artist mockups as of now.
 
sideflare75
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RE: Possible For Boeing NOT To Axe 717?

Thu Sep 01, 2005 12:23 pm

Quoting N908AW (Reply 10):
The LGB station is still there.

I was told by our guys who go out and pick up our new planes that most of the buildings around the 717 factory are already gone. Sounds like once the last plane rolls out it too will be gone. I haven't been there for a couple of years and they tell me I would not even recognize it. I know they had big plans for that real estate. Probably worth more to Boeing to sell it then to keep it.
 
BR715-A1-30
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RE: Possible For Boeing NOT To Axe 717?

Thu Sep 01, 2005 12:59 pm

Quoting AviatorTJ (Reply 3):
It should also be noted that Boeing offerred two 717s to NW to use in the system. Somewhat a "try before you buy" thing, and yet again NW had zero interest.

Duly Noted as.... TRUE... This did indeed occur, but Richard Anderson said "No Thanks."

Quoting Airlinelover (Reply 9):
Sure.. I will..

POSSIBLE- Yes..

PROBABLE- No..

Chris

Couldn't have been answered better

Quoting AirRyan (Reply 14):
How many 717's did they order and then actually take delivery of?

TWA ordered 50 firm + 50 Options (Same as FL), and only took delivery of 27 I believe, some under the AA ownership of TWA Assets, and FL currently has 22 of these birds Ship Numbers 778-799
Puhdiddle
 
aeroweanie
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RE: Possible For Boeing NOT To Axe 717?

Thu Sep 01, 2005 1:09 pm

Quoting AirRyan (Reply 14):
Perhaps the Boeing/Sukhoi RRJ may be offered in North America since Boeing has nothing to replace the 717 once it is gone as of now anyways, but it would have to be built in the US with at least Western engines. The program is 50% Boeing so maybe that is what NWA (and others) is holding out for.

You might want to do some more research on this program. To quote the Boeing Frontiers magazine, "That's why Boeing Commercial Airplanes is serving as a contract adviser to the Russian Regional Jet program, led by Sukhoi Civil Aircraft, on the development and marketing of an airplane designed to compete with those made by Bombardier and Embraer."

"Contract adviser" means that Boeing gets paid to advise the Russians what to do. They aren't invested 50% like you say. They'd be crazy to invest in what is yet another entry in an already crowded market. They carefully managed to lose to Airbus in the bidding to be involved with the Chinese ARJ21 regional jet.

For more info, see: http://www.boeing.com/news/frontiers/archive/2003/october/i_atw.html
 
FlagshipAZ
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RE: Possible For Boeing NOT To Axe 717?

Thu Sep 01, 2005 1:43 pm

Just a minor correction here, on the TWA 717 order. 50 firm & 50 options. But only 30 717-231s were built. The rest of the firm order & all options were cancelled by American when TWA was absorbed by AA. In the end, 22 went to AirTran and the other 8 I believe, went to QantasLink. Regards.
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PHLBOS
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RE: Possible For Boeing NOT To Axe 717?

Thu Sep 01, 2005 9:21 pm

Quoting FlagshipAZ (Reply 18):
The rest of the firm order & all options were cancelled by American when TWA was absorbed by AA.

In retrospect, AA's returning the TW 717s marked the beginning of the end productionwise since TW's order (along w/FL's) was the one of the line's 2 largest orders.
"TransEastern! You'll feel like you've never left the ground because we treat you like dirt!" SNL Parady ad circa 1981
 
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csturdiv
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RE: Possible For Boeing NOT To Axe 717?

Thu Sep 01, 2005 9:24 pm

Quoting AirRyan (Reply 14):
That's a very good point - one that I never quite put "two and two" together of just yet. I was just recently taking a look at NWA's fleet and I came to the conclusion that Embraer's E-Jets (E-170, E-190, E-195) are the only thing at least tangible as of now that can replace the services of the NWA DC-9's fleet. Perhaps the Boeing/Sukhoi RRJ may be offered in North America since Boeing has nothing to replace the 717 once it is gone as of now anyways, but it would have to be built in the US with at least Western engines. The program is 50% Boeing so maybe that is what NWA (and others) is holding out for. The Bombardier C-series looks interesting but it's little more than a few artist mockups as of now.

If Boeing pitches the RRJ to Western customers, would they go for it? There has not been a big demand for Russian built aircraft in the Western countries so far. How far along is the RRJ and has there been any interest in the program from anybody?

Craig
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planesailing
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RE: Possible For Boeing NOT To Axe 717?

Thu Sep 01, 2005 9:43 pm

Quoting Sideflare75 (Reply 15):
I was told by our guys who go out and pick up our new planes that most of the buildings around the 717 factory are already gone. Sounds like once the last plane rolls out it too will be gone. I haven't been there for a couple of years and they tell me I would not even recognize it. I know they had big plans for that real estate. Probably worth more to Boeing to sell it then to keep it.

Airways magazine had photos of the old LGB station "then and now" back in March. It is now levelled to the ground basically.
 
AirRyan
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RE: Possible For Boeing NOT To Axe 717?

Thu Sep 01, 2005 11:21 pm

I find it interesting that the Boeing 736 and A318 are such poor short range performers but they both have no plans to compete with the Regional Jets by Embraer and Bombardier.

It sounds like NWA mainline pilots are going to loose 100+ aircraft to Mesaba when they replace their DC-9's with E-190/195's so they can pay those "Regional Jet" pilots less money.
 
aeroweanie
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RE: Possible For Boeing NOT To Axe 717?

Fri Sep 02, 2005 1:00 am

Quoting Csturdiv (Reply 20):
If Boeing pitches the RRJ to Western customers, would they go for it?

Why would Boeing pitch the RRJ? They are getting paid to tell the Russians how to pitch it. This doesn't mean that Boeing would pitch it.
 
MidnightMike
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RE: Possible For Boeing NOT To Axe 717?

Fri Sep 02, 2005 1:13 am

Quoting PHLBOS (Reply 19):
Quoting FlagshipAZ (Reply 18):
The rest of the firm order & all options were cancelled by American when TWA was absorbed by AA.

In retrospect, AA's returning the TW 717s marked the beginning of the end productionwise since TW's order (along w/FL's) was the one of the line's 2 largest orders.

Yep, very true on the TWA comment, also, two other customers such as Vuelamex & Heartland never got off the ground. Vuelamex even had some of their aircraft painted.....
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PHLBOS
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RE: Possible For Boeing NOT To Axe 717?

Fri Sep 02, 2005 2:27 am

Quoting MidnightMike (Reply 24):
Vuelamex even had some of their aircraft painted.....

IIRC, Vuelamex only had four 717 aircraft; hardly enough to keep production going had they survived.
"TransEastern! You'll feel like you've never left the ground because we treat you like dirt!" SNL Parady ad circa 1981
 
D950
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RE: Possible For Boeing NOT To Axe 717?

Fri Sep 02, 2005 4:22 am

On the bright side, Bangkok has taken the three 717's Olympic gave up, stating they are overly pleased with the fuel numbers of their current 717's. I honestly believe that had Boeing waited another year they would have booked more orders, but the big question always comes up, did Boeing want this aircraft to survive??
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BR715-A1-30
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RE: Possible For Boeing NOT To Axe 717?

Fri Sep 02, 2005 4:30 am

Quoting PHLBOS (Reply 25):
IIRC, Vuelamex only had four 717 aircraft; hardly enough to keep production going had they survived.

They had 4 painted and 7 more on order.. AirTran took all 11 of them Ships 760-770
Puhdiddle
 
MidnightMike
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RE: Possible For Boeing NOT To Axe 717?

Fri Sep 02, 2005 4:35 am

Quoting PHLBOS (Reply 25):
Quoting MidnightMike (Reply 24):
Vuelamex even had some of their aircraft painted.....

IIRC, Vuelamex only had four 717 aircraft; hardly enough to keep production going had they survived

You need to think long term....

Vuelamex had 4 aircraft, plus options for 7 more.
Heartland was holding delivery slots.
Add those to the TWA airplanes and that would have been a nice number of 717 that were sold...
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vatveng
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RE: Possible For Boeing NOT To Axe 717?

Fri Sep 02, 2005 4:45 am

Quoting FlagshipAZ (Reply 18):
In the end, 22 went to AirTran



Quoting BR715-A1-30 (Reply 27):
They had 4 painted and 7 more on order.. AirTran took all 11 of them Ships 760-770

Ya know, you leave a 717 unattended for 5 minutes, and it flies itself to Atlanta...  airplane 
 
PHLBOS
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RE: Possible For Boeing NOT To Axe 717?

Fri Sep 02, 2005 5:04 am

Quoting MidnightMike (Reply 28):
Vuelamex had 4 aircraft, plus options for 7 more.
Heartland was holding delivery slots.
Add those to the TWA airplanes and that would have been a nice number of 717 that were sold...

True, but if you discount the TW order (which was cancelled by AA following the merger) Vuelamex's order alone, in reality, would only delayed the 717 production shutdown and not outright averted it.

The fact remains that if there wasn't a large enough order to fill in the void vacated by the cancelled TWA order; the 717 production line would eventually be shut down. Had NW or anyone else (even B6 considered the 717 prior to committing to their E190 order) made a large enough 717 order; the line would not closing next summer.

Whether a long-range variant (717-200ER) and/or a stretched version (717-300) would've become reality had the notice to shutdown not been issued is anyone's guess.
"TransEastern! You'll feel like you've never left the ground because we treat you like dirt!" SNL Parady ad circa 1981
 
roseflyer
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RE: Possible For Boeing NOT To Axe 717?

Fri Sep 02, 2005 5:08 am

Quoting AirRyan (Reply 22):
It sounds like NWA mainline pilots are going to loose 100+ aircraft to Mesaba when they replace their DC-9's with E-190/195's so they can pay those "Regional Jet" pilots less money.

NW pilots have a very strong contract preventing that from happening. This is where the union is seriously helping them. They have restrictions on the capacity and number of planes that can be outsourced to regional flyers. If NW tried to get E190s and have regional pilots take there jobs, then they will strike in a heartbeat. The NW pilot's union is protecting their jobs at least for now presuming that NW doesn't fold because of it. Those pilot's went on strike not too long ago in order to get the contract that they have. They will likely strike again if it comes under too much fire. However we do know that NW management is a no nonsense group and is willing to do whatever it can to become financially viable.

The only way that E190s or 717s or C series or RRJs come to NW would be if there was a new pilot contract that allowed these planes to be flown by lower wage employees. NW's network involves a lot of shorter routes that would ideally be served by these planes, but it doesn't matter how cheap or efficient the plane is if you can't afford to pay the crews to fly it. The DC-9s are here to stay until a big shake up happens. I am just wondering if NW will have to go into Chapter 11 before this can happen so a judge can throw out those contracts and the airline can restructure by flying the most efficient and cost effective planes rather than being forced to use planes that are too big and heavy like the A319, too small like the CRJ or too old and inefficient like the DC-9. There is a good chance that NW is waiting for the opportunity to get a new contract out of its pilots (like Chapter 11) before it finally announces its new short haul fleet strategy because even though they claim the DC-9s are here to stay for the long term, all of that can change.
If you have never designed an airplane part before, let the real designers do the work!
 
Olympus69
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RE: Possible For Boeing NOT To Axe 717?

Fri Sep 02, 2005 7:18 am

Quoting United787 (Reply 7):
So...can anyone answer the original question? Has Boeing crossed the point of no return?

Probably. The factory that built the wings - adjoining Toronto YYZ is already being torn down.

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