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Wed May 10, 2000 5:57 am

So this being my 717th post, I decided to post a 717 topic.

In your opinion, who will be the next major to order the 717, and why?

I believe that US Airways will eventually be wooed into buying them if the rumor of the sweet deal Boeing is giving is true. The only thing that is holding it up right now is the ongoing negotiation between management and the pilots about getting a slew of RJs. If management can't get the 400 RJs they want (and they probably won't) then they may decide to go for the 717. As I've said before, the 318 will be marketed to US by Airbus, but the Boeing deal is so sweet that Airbus would have to simply give them 318s to compete. Also, US would want the planes now, so the 318 is really looking like a distant competitor for them.

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RE: 717

Wed May 10, 2000 6:11 am

AA definately

RE: 717

Wed May 10, 2000 6:16 am

Dunno about AA. For them, the F100's were purchased for an RJ-like role out of their then new hubs at BNA and RDU, which of course subsequently flopped (let's not address why). Consequently, the F100's are now employed on routes that stretch the very limits of their range. Considering their route structure is nothing like US' and the fact that they can have a virtually unlimited number of RJ's at hand, I'd say the 736 would be a better bet for AA.

736--replaces F100
73G--replaces Super 80's (eventually)
738--replaces 727

Let's not forget their 400 options on 737NG models...


Wed May 10, 2000 6:27 am

Can you elaborate a little on the RJ struggle at US? I thought the agreed upon LOA 79 was for 35 additional RJ's bringing the total maximum to 70. Those will be flown by Mesa Airlines in US colors. How the heck are W&G going to squeeze out 400 from the US pilots (ALPA).

In any event, those M80 & DC9 have gotta go. They are running out of time and 319's wont cut it on SYR, ROC, etc. I don't think Airbus will be as desperate to find a home for the 318 in N. America as they were to find a home for the 321 considering that HP and TW have already signed on. They might be willing to let this one go to Boeing. From an objective standpoint, the 717 is clearly the better aircraft for US needs.

RE: 717

Wed May 10, 2000 6:53 am

I think Northwest will be next in the future to buy the 717 to replace it's aging DC-9s.
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RE: 717

Wed May 10, 2000 7:04 am

The US problem is that W wanted to turn PIT into an RJ Mecca of sorts with 400 RJs running around the eastern midwest. ALPA said no way. W&G did get 70 total RJs, and I doubt they will get more. Thus the 717 order so the mainline pilots would fly them.
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RE: 717

Wed May 10, 2000 7:31 am

My picks in the US are Delta, Northwest, and Allegheny.

Delta: Delta and Delta Express have a number of 737-200s that need to be replaced and for most, if not all, of their current 737-200 routes are well within the range limits for the 717. Delta already operates MD-88s and MD-90s so there would be a range of fleet compatability. I wouid think that the 717 would be cheeper to buy and operate on the 737-200 routes than a 737-600.

Northwest: the 717 seems like it was designed for them. With the world's largest fleet of DC-9-30s a big 717 order seems very likely. However, there is a rumor that no large aircraft orders will be made at NW until 2006.

Allegheny: That good deal from Boeing plus the fact that their routes don't need A318 range make this a good fit for them. Plus Metrojet's 737-200s could also be replaced by 717s. Allegeeny, however, hasn't have the best of relations with Boeing since the 737 crash near Pittsburgh.

By the way Allegheny=USAir=US Airways
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RE: 717

Wed May 10, 2000 7:48 am

Delta is going to use the 736 to replace the 732's. I believe that Delta will eventually not have 732s in mainline, but in Express. If DL does order the 717, it would be for routes too big for a CRJ, but too small for a 738/MD-88 (which are Delta's smallest planes at this time).

Eventually, I think the 717 will be in both US and NW's fleets. American is also a possibility, as with Continental.

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Delta Replacement

Wed May 10, 2000 8:01 am

A 737-200 replacement for the Delta Express fleet won't be needed for another 5-10 years. The 737-200s they have are mostly late 1980s builds and some of the last off the line.
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RE: 717

Wed May 10, 2000 9:44 am

DeltaAir, can you confirm/deny something for me?
I heard a rumor that in the 1999 Delta Air Lines Annual Report, there is a specific mention that Delta has options on 60 736. This caught my interest in that it is so specific, not refering to 737NG's in general, but a particular model. Any info would be appreciated.

Sorry if that was off topic. Now, my predictions for who's next (in order of time frame):
Obviously the A318 is a very likely candidate for all these airlines. However, the 717 would appear to be a better suited aircraft for US & NW, while the A318 will most probably get the nod at AC.

Honor the warriors, not the war.

RE: Hamlet69

Wed May 10, 2000 10:15 am


There is nothing in the 1999 Annual report that makes specific mention of the 736. In the fleet section, it mentions that Delta has 267 "rolling options" for 737-600/700/800. In another section, it mentions that Delta has negotiated industry leading pay rates for its 737-600/700/800 pilots. There is nothing specific about the -600, however the fact that it does make some mention of it is a little fishy.

Contrast that with AA and Continental who make no mention of the 736 at all in their reports, and you can see a pattern developing.

But why would Delta Express want new planes for itself. DL could just shift all its current 733's to Express and keep the new 736 for itself.

Agreed that the 717 is perfect but NW....but why aren't they ordering it?  
Now would be the time since the 717 is cheap and revenue is rolling in.
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RE: 717

Wed May 10, 2000 11:43 am

Well a reason NW might not be ordering the 717 is because they spent millions of dollars hushkitting and restoring the interiors of their DC-9s. I would love to see the 717 in NWs fleet but it is unlikely for at least a few more years. NW has said that the DC-9s could be in their fleet for up to ten more years.
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RE: 717

Wed May 10, 2000 12:06 pm

I was told by a Delta 727 capitan last august that a I should watch for a 736 order in the future, around 40 aircraft.
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RE: 717

Wed May 10, 2000 12:18 pm

Northwest will have nearly all of their DC-10's phased out before any DC-9 replacement is considered.
The last of the famous international playboys
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RE: 717

Wed May 10, 2000 2:01 pm

I dont think it will be American because they have lots of 737's on order, and their MD80 fleet still has many years left in them. Northwest might but the tend to keep to older second hand aircraft. USAir as I belive it, they have a contract with Airbus for many A320 series birds. Now the next big 717 order in my option with be, well I dont belive there will be any huge orders for the 717. I think the airlines might take 10-20, but mostly small orders, and not from the bigger airlines, but from smaller ones. The 717 line I belive will be phased out within the next 5 years max.
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RE: 717

Wed May 10, 2000 11:26 pm

Sure, US has bought up to 404 320 series jets, but the 717 is smaller than all of them. I don't think that order will have anything to do with a 717 order if it happens.
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RE: 717

Thu May 11, 2000 1:59 am

There is NO way the 717 line will be phased out in 5 years. There is no way Boeing would let an entire product line fade away if it gets orders, whcih it will. The 717 will undoubtedly fill two very large places in airline fleets.

1.) Replacement for DC-9 and MD-80 series aircraft. For this reason I see the inevitable "stretch" of the 717 to be more marketable to DC-9/ MD-80 operators. There are a number of airlines with large fleets of MD-80s who will be likely candidates.

2.) Small regional airlines, startups or growing "Express" type carriers. A good example is Impulse in Australia. The 717 is less expensive to buy and operate than any 737NG or Airbus of similar size. It has the very customer friendly 2x3 layout as well as the nice big windows which are also very popular. Not to mention that these little jets are very hi-tech and slick, even compared to 737NGs. Not to say that 737NGs aren't hi-tech, they are but the 717 is a step ahead.

One thing that may effect the 737-700 vs 717-200 choice is the fact that the 737-700 has a very small cargo capacity and a much longer range than what would be needed by an airlines considering a RJ or feeder aircraft.

As for the next orders?
NW- in a few years
AA-also in a few years
Leasing companies
SAS- a longtime user of DC-9/MD-80/MD-90
USAF as a replacement for their DC-9s???
Delta?? Looks like they have gone the way of 737NG and RJs, they do already have 117 CRJ-200s in service and 110 CRJ-700s on order or on option.

RE: 717

Thu May 11, 2000 2:38 am

Military DC-9s are called C-9s which are used by the USAF and Navy as well as the Marines. I believe medical C-9s are called Nightingales and basic passenger/cargo versions are called skytrains.

Gregg in MD
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RE: 717 - Woodsboy

Thu May 11, 2000 2:50 am

Woodsboy, I would not go as far to say that the 717 is a step ahead of the 737NG. Its still based on the DC-9 just as the 737NG is based on the 1st generation 737. Of course both of these models have been upgraded electronics and enginewise. As well as their interiors and features. My point is, neither of them are "new" designs, and for comparison, the 737NG is further advanced than the 717.

You said:
As for the next orders?
1. NW- in a few years (maybe, doubt it, but maybe)
2. AA-also in a few years (doubt it, they have rolling options, some of which probably include the -600)

Leasing companies - (Who else other than Pembroke and Bavaria? ILFC wont sign til the price is right.)

SAS- a longtime user of DC-9/MD-80/MD-90 (doubt it, the 717 LOST the race when it was competing for this order, hence the 737-600 fleet they have now.)

USAF as a replacement for their DC-9s??? (They are being replaced by 737s, aka C-40s.)

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RE: 717

Fri May 12, 2000 2:58 pm

I REALLY do not think that the 737-600 and 717 are interchangeable - they in fact are different designs and target different niches. The 736 is part of the Next Generation 737 family and offers customers series commonality with other models. It is designed for short-to-medium haul operations with relatively small passenger loads (110-120).

The 717, by contrast, is based on the DC9 which gives it toughness required for high-cycle operations and, with its T-tail, good hot and high performance compared to 737s. It is smaller (100 pax) and is targeted to startup airlines and regional carriers. It may also be more fuel-efficient than 736 because of its specific design for its size and its specially tailored BMW engines. 736 would probably carry much of the structure of the larger 737s and thus be heavy for its category, the lighter wing structure compared to 738 notwithstanding.

If 717 were such a threat to 736, Boeing would not have launched it at all. Just give Boeing a chance - after a few years sales of 717 will soar and stretched versions will appear, effectively meaning the resurrection of the MD80/90. Any MD diehard may opt for the 717 - SAS, Swissair, Iberia, even American is a good bet. 736 orders or options would not deter carriers from considering 717.

After all, if 717 did not have potential, why is Airbus now pushing ahead with a rival bird, the A318?

Enough said.

Hop to it, fly for life!
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RE: 717

Sat May 13, 2000 3:02 am

Well, hate to nitpick, but the 318 is not going to be the rival of the 717. THey have different missions with their very different MTOWs. The 318's competitor is the 737-600. THese two jets have very similar missions.

Besides, the 717 is more than twice the plane the 318 is.

(318 x 2 = 636.   )

RE: 717

Sat May 13, 2000 8:01 am

Airbus pushed through with the A318 because of fleet commonality. It was meant for big A320 users NWA and UAL who need smaller jets. A BIG disadvantage of the 717 is it has NO commonality with anything including the DC9-82 & company. Its a unique aircraft. When Beoing resurected the MD-95 they gave it a full modernization and upgrade differentiating the 717 from its pervious brothers and sisters significantly. The cockpit is entirely unique. I haven't been behind the controls yet (I'm 18) but this is what I've heard and read. I agree with someone up there that the 717 might not have a significant future. If you guys pay attention to the news you will know that commonality is a very important thing to airlines these days. 737NG family and A320/A330/A340 families are sucessful because of it. Boeing has continued commonality with the venerable 757 line by introducing the slow-selling -300s and with the 767 the -400 family.
Mullally himself has said that the manufacturer is not willing to fight price wars with Airbus (hence Airbus' win last year) and any product not making money will be seriosuly looked at. Don't hold your breath for a big 717 order. Its likely it wont happen. NWA would have been a great fit, but they as many of you have correctly said those redone birds aren't going anywhere.

A good indicator of the airliner's futuer is the AIG subsidiary ILFC. They haven't ordered any (they have ordered A318s) because as lessors to the industry they can only afford to buy planes, airlines want. Someone at ILFC has the notion that airlines dont want the 717. The price isn't keeping ILFC/GECAS/SALE and the big guys away, its customer interest. Sorry Long Beach. I like the 717, I wish it luck at TWA, Impulse, AirTran, Olympic, Bangkok, and Hawaiian. Speaking of Hawaiian, is that a done deal, it seems to have stalled. Anyone know?

RE: 717

Sat May 13, 2000 8:08 am

For flights under 1000nm, there is no better commercial aircraft in the world better than the 717. Its got a future yet.

Maybe ILFC didn't order it, but Pembroke and Bavaria both did and both companies have found homes for all of their aircraft.

Hawaiian is a firm order for 13 frames.

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