swabur
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Heard A Great WN Rumor Today!

Sat Jan 21, 2006 6:49 pm

Anyways, I've talked to a couple of WN pilots that said that WN is converting some of the -300's into cargo freighters because of the expense in re-skinning some of the-300's. Interesting. Anyone to comment?
C'Mon Mav, do some of that pilot sh**!!
 
kiwiandrew

RE: Heard A Great Rumor Today!

Sat Jan 21, 2006 6:55 pm

but even as freighters they will still need reskinning anyway ? or have WN persuaded the new owners to pay for that ?
 
swabur
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RE: Heard A Great WN Rumor Today!

Sat Jan 21, 2006 7:16 pm

New owners? i doubt anyone will be taking over that part. A captain put it to me like this. " Every time we takeoff, the plane expands due to pressurizing,that puts pressure on the skin of the aircraft. Because we fly the A/C 7 to 8 times a day, this means that the A/C has limited time before we have to re-skin it. If we fly the aircraft as freighters doin 3-4 times a day, we wouldnt have to reskin the aircraft for another 5 or 6 years rather than now, therefore it makes Southwest money while saving it money" Something like that. Makes sense , no?

[Edited 2006-01-21 11:42:08]
C'Mon Mav, do some of that pilot sh**!!
 
kiwiandrew

RE: Heard A Great WN Rumor Today!

Sat Jan 21, 2006 7:21 pm

Quoting Swabur (Reply 2):
If we fly the aircraft as freighters doin 3-4 times a day, we wouldnt have to reskin the aircraft for another 5 or 6 years rather than now

Good point , I hadn't thought about the few cycles freighters operate , but do you mean WN would keep these a/c and operate them as freighters ? that seems to me a big departure from their currently very successful model , up to now they have been very good at avoiding a loss of focus and that is one of the things that has kept them successful .
 
swabur
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RE: Heard A Great WN Rumor Today!

Sat Jan 21, 2006 7:29 pm

Yes Southwest would operate these aircraft as freighters and just make the extra money on it. It wouldnt be a departure from the business model, just another way to find a niche in the industry. Lemme tell you, for example LAX is the biggest freight station WN has, there is a lot of freight that sits on the LAX ramp not being put on flights because there are too many bags and they cant put freight on, therefore costing WN money. It sounds like a great way for WN to make money.

[Edited 2006-01-21 11:40:51]

[Edited 2006-01-21 11:41:31]

[Edited 2006-01-21 11:43:03]
C'Mon Mav, do some of that pilot sh**!!
 
wjcandee
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RE: Heard A Great WN Rumor Today!

Sat Jan 21, 2006 7:43 pm

Well...uh...there is an STC to convert 737s into freighters. Kitty Hawk, I believe, replaced some of their 727s with 737 converted freighters. Certainly, as airframes age and become insufficiently reliable for mainline airline service, they often find refuge flying cargo, because a significant portion of the world's air cargo fleet (but not all) does a lot of sitting around. And so the so-called "fixed" monthly costs (like the lease payment or loan payment on the airplane) start to be a much bigger factor in the total montly cost of operating it than do the so-called "variable" costs (that is, the costs that you incur only when you fly the thing, like costs for crew and fuel and oil).

So...I follow you as to the economics of cargo operation being suitable for older aircraft that are approaching retirement, but it doesn't explain what the pilot said. Perhaps he meant that as a -300 gets older, it gets closer to the day when it will need a major capital expenditure (like reskinning). However, today it still has value because of the cycles left in it, which would be used more slowly by a cargo carrier. Accordingly, because it still has value, a cargo carrier might be happy to BUY it from Southwest, which then can replace it with a newer (but more expensive) 737, with the new aircraft being a bit more efficient and much more *reliable*, which is important to an airline that needs a high "dispatch reliability" (percentage of times the a/c departs the gate without needing a maintenance delay) like Southwest does.

The problem is that converting an aircraft to cargo is itself a major capital expense -- in the millions of dollars -- because you have to cut a cargo door into the airframe, stiffen the floor, install a cargo-handling system, install a bulkhead or net system to protect the cockpit, bolster the landing gear for heavier loads, etc.

For what it's worth, what the captain would be better off doing is applying his argument to the subject of why Southwest should go into CHARTER in a big way -- they could have a fleet of aircraft that could sit much more than the mainline fleet, and be used when needed.

In reality, I think the chances of either are slim -- having ONE mission using ONE set of equipment has served Southwest very well over the years, and this seems like an unnecessary sideshow that would distract management.

Hope this helps.
 
swabur
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RE: Heard A Great WN Rumor Today!

Sat Jan 21, 2006 8:10 pm

It helps greatly, Thank you. From what I had gathered, Southwest operates such a large cargo operation, that it would not be such a stretch of the imagination for WN to operate freighters. How much do you think that the initial capital expense would be? Wouldnt the amount of freight that WN processes offset the expense of retro-fitting the-300's? I've heard WN would profit 8 million dollars per A/C that ran freight. I dont know that people realize how much cargo WN processes. If the figure that I've heard is true, that would definitely help offset the cost of fuel. But thats on another tangent.
C'Mon Mav, do some of that pilot sh**!!
 
flyboy7974
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RE: Heard A Great WN Rumor Today!

Sat Jan 21, 2006 8:47 pm

yep, heard that as well. we have a group of swa pilots here in prescott that meet out every weekend, and that was the topic last weekend. they said 4 planes to be converted to start
 
bigb
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RE: Heard A Great WN Rumor Today!

Sat Jan 21, 2006 8:58 pm

I think it would be a good Idea, especially if these aircrafts are paid off!
ETSN Baber, USN
 
ltbewr
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RE: Heard A Great WN Rumor Today!

Sat Jan 21, 2006 10:57 pm

I would not be surprised and it does make a lot of sense. WN has an excellent brain trust and as noted above, does have a significant freight business. Having dedicated freight aircraft based at major airports they operate at would make sense for a number of reasons. I am quite sure their pax's baggage limits the amount of freight that can be carried on them as well as affecting turn around times they religiously like to stick to. Also frieight don't get drunk before getting on the flights  biggrin 
WN owns almost all of their aircraft. They have their own extensive mx facility to keep them in excellent shape. Their a/c have a lot more 'cycles' than many other airliners similar aircraft as well as many hours that put a lot of strain on them (think Aloha Air a/c that had fusulage failure in flight due to mx issues and fatague from heavy cycle frequency). As noted above, switching some older frames to freight would extend the calander on them as they would do fewer cycles on a daily basis. They also are not switching 'types' as mechanically they would still be the same but for the freight mods.
The question is this: would WN's own MX bases do this work, or would it oursource the conversion to a non-USA company like in Mexico, Central or South America countries to save money?
 
chris133
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RE: Heard A Great WN Rumor Today!

Sun Jan 22, 2006 12:21 am

This idea has been around at WN for some years and it has been known that when the potential profits from it cover the initial investment and add to the bottom line then they will do it. As stated earlier it is not that much of a departure from their business model. WN already has the most of the equipment and staff necessary to accomplish this. As for the conversion, my guest would be that Boeing will do the conversion (Boeing will probably give one of its biggest customers a great deal).
 
OPNLguy
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RE: Heard A Great WN Rumor Today!

Sun Jan 22, 2006 12:24 am

Additional "fuel" for this rumor is due to the fact that SWA just signed an agreement for PEMCO of Dothan AL to do some MX work for us. One of the things that PEMCO does is install side cargo doors, and, in fact, their DHN facility has two AS 737s in for such work right now.

I've heard the SWA cargo door rumor as well, but I have to take it with a grain of salt. Some have attributed the rumor to the same folks that were "certain" that SWA was going to pick-up ATA's 737-800s when they got into trouble financially, and, of course, that didn't happen.

I regress to my old Ops Agent mantra--I'll believe it when it rolls up to the gate...  

[Edited 2006-01-21 16:30:35]
ALL views, opinions expressed are mine ONLY and are NOT representative of those shared by Southwest Airlines Co.
 
zchannel
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RE: Heard A Great WN Rumor Today!

Sun Jan 22, 2006 12:41 am

Quoting Kiwiandrew (Reply 1):
but even as freighters they will still need reskinning anyway

What exactly does the process of "reskinning" entail anyway?
ZChannel: Member FDIC
 
Okie
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RE: Heard A Great WN Rumor Today!

Sun Jan 22, 2006 6:36 am

Leaping Anacondas

Here we go, next thing you know WN will be flying freight LAX-DAL.
Then AFW will get on the band wagon with DFW about how the "Death Star", Love Field, is going to destroy West Texas to go along with North Texas.
I just can't wait for the fun to begin.

I'll go with OPNLguy, believe it when you see it.

Okie
 
OPNLguy
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RE: Heard A Great WN Rumor Today!

Sun Jan 22, 2006 6:44 am

Garry Kelly recently said:

"On another note, I’ve gotten a lot of questions around the system about a Southwest Airlines all-freight aircraft operation. It is true that I have asked one of our Sr. Directors in Ground Operations to lead a study of this. But we are very far from concluding it’s a good idea, much less whether to move forward. And I think that study will continue for some time. It is simply one of dozens of ideas that we explore every single year. So you can put those rumors to bed. There is no decision to pursue an all-freight operation at this point."

N'uff said...
ALL views, opinions expressed are mine ONLY and are NOT representative of those shared by Southwest Airlines Co.
 
md90fan
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RE: Heard A Great WN Rumor Today!

Sun Jan 22, 2006 6:54 am

This sounds cool, but I just can't imagine a LCC Cargo Carrier  Smile
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wjcandee
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RE: Heard A Great WN Rumor Today!

Sun Jan 22, 2006 7:53 am

Quoting MD90fan (Reply 16):
a LCC Cargo Carrier

It's called Kalitta Air.
 
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kc135topboom
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RE: Heard A Great WN Rumor Today!

Sun Jan 22, 2006 9:57 am

Then why didn't WN do this when they retired their B-737-200s? Those still had a lot of life in them, and they all got the stage III upgrade.
 
OPNLguy
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RE: Heard A Great WN Rumor Today!

Sun Jan 22, 2006 10:44 am

Quoting KC135TopBoom (Reply 18):
Then why didn't WN do this when they retired their B-737-200s?

Higher maintenance costs related to aging aircraft, and higher fuel consumption/costs would be the likely two reasons, methinks...  Wink
ALL views, opinions expressed are mine ONLY and are NOT representative of those shared by Southwest Airlines Co.
 
vegasplanes
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RE: Heard A Great WN Rumor Today!

Sun Jan 22, 2006 11:04 am

Seems like an interesting development, we will have to wait and see what happens. From WN's 2004 year end:


SOUTHWEST AIRLINES CO.
CONDENSED CONSOLIDATED STATEMENT OF INCOME
(In millions, except per share amounts)
(unaudited)


Three months ended Year Ended
December 31, December 31,

Percent Percent
2004 2003 Change 2004 2003 Change
OPERATING REVENUES:
Passenger $1,587 $1,467 8.2 $6,280 $5,741 9.4
Freight 34 24 41.7 117 94 24.5
Other 34 26 30.8 133 102 30.4
Total operating revenues 1,655 1,517 9.1 6,530 5,937 10.0

According to these numbers, WN only generates 1.79 % of their total revenue from freight, granted that is $ 117 million, seems like WN would than devote some older -300's to charter only flights, as they would likely fly less cycles as well. In the "Other" category, which I imagine is charters/military flying, WN generates over 2 % of there 2004 yearly revenues, or $ 133 million. Some food for thought.
 
skywatch
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RE: Heard A Great WN Rumor Today!

Sun Jan 22, 2006 12:32 pm

Quoting OPNLguy (Reply 11):
I regress to my old Ops Agent mantra--I'll believe it when it rolls up to the gate...

Ummm....cargo planes don't park at gates under normal circumstances! Big grin If WN did that, they would probably make some pretty good pocket change.

---Skywatch
------Forever Watchin' The Sky------
 
OPNLguy
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RE: Heard A Great WN Rumor Today!

Sun Jan 22, 2006 12:35 pm

Quoting Skywatch (Reply 20):
Ummm....cargo planes don't park at gates under normal circumstances!

Yes, but not all gates have jetways...  Wink
ALL views, opinions expressed are mine ONLY and are NOT representative of those shared by Southwest Airlines Co.
 
RachelBDL
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RE: Heard A Great WN Rumor Today!

Sun Jan 22, 2006 2:09 pm

Quoting OPNLguy (Reply 14):
Garry Kelly recently said:

When is this quote from? I've only heard this rumor in the past couple of months from a couple of pilots visiting our lovely station. We really could have used these over the holidays, with the oodles of freight and mail we had out of here.
I not only drink the KoolAid, I do the Jello shots too!
 
N200WN
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RE: Heard A Great WN Rumor Today!

Sun Jan 22, 2006 2:19 pm

Quoting RachelBDL (Reply 22):
When is this quote from? I've only heard this rumor in the past couple of months from a couple of pilots visiting our lovely station. We really could have used these over the holidays, with the oodles of freight and mail we had out of here.

The quote is from Gary's weekly recorded message...from about two weeks ago. If you go to SWALife you can read a transcript. This rumor has been going strong since before the holidays so it was good to hear him respond and put it to rest.
 
OPNLguy
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RE: Heard A Great WN Rumor Today!

Sun Jan 22, 2006 2:21 pm

Quoting N200WN (Reply 23):
The quote is from Gary's weekly recorded message...from about two weeks ago.

The very bottom of the Jan. 9th transcript...
ALL views, opinions expressed are mine ONLY and are NOT representative of those shared by Southwest Airlines Co.
 
SFOMB67
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RE: Heard A Great WN Rumor Today!

Sun Jan 22, 2006 2:40 pm

Quoting ZChannel (Reply 12):
What exactly does the process of "reskinning" entail anyway?

I too would be interested in knowing what this entails. Lap joints or actual replacement of the skin? Has the FAA mandatted this ?
Not as easy as originally perceived
 
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ptharris
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RE: Heard A Great WN Rumor Today!

Sun Jan 22, 2006 2:58 pm

Quoting Skywatch (Reply 20):
Ummm....cargo planes don't park at gates under normal circumstances! Big grin If WN did that, they would probably make some pretty good pocket change.

AS does it in Alaska with 7 of their old 732s. Odd to see the cargo door open up front when you're so used to seeing them as pax planes all the time.




When I worked for them, they were very very profitable. However, I've also heard that as time goes on, parts for those old engines are becoming harder and harder to find. May not be long before they go to the other aircraft for freight. It would make sense for WN to take a few 733 and convert them. Paid for or just about and they can pull the interior out and maybe place it on a new 73? Save on the bottom line in the long run.
If at first you don't succeed, skydiving isn't for you.
 
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ptharris
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RE: Heard A Great WN Rumor Today!

Sun Jan 22, 2006 3:06 pm

Quoting Sfomb67 (Reply 25):
Quoting ZChannel (Reply 12):
What exactly does the process of "reskinning" entail anyway?

I too would be interested in knowing what this entails. Lap joints or actual replacement of the skin? Has the FAA mandatted this ?

As I understand (and I don't know or understand a whole bunch) but they do "reskin" either high stress areas or the whole birds. When I worked in Maint for QX  covereyes  they had one F28 (when they had them) come in for a D-check where they pulled a majority of the skin off in various areas. And since it exposed the understructure they inspected the framing and braces with ultrasound equipment or whichever to make sure for stress cracks and such. I think that may be what they mean (or partially) by reskinning. Then again, I'm not an expert. (Thank God crazy  )
If at first you don't succeed, skydiving isn't for you.
 
Silver1SWA
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RE: Heard A Great WN Rumor Today!

Sun Jan 22, 2006 4:47 pm

I actually heard this rumor about two weeks ago from a flight crew. They were talking about converting our oldest -300s to extend the life of the airframe as there would be less pressurization cycles per day.

What I find interesting is that this rumor seems to be most commonly spread through crew discussions. Maybe everyone is hearing it from the same crew? lol
ALL views, opinions expressed are mine ONLY and are NOT representative of those shared by Southwest Airlines Co.
 
swatpamike
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RE: Heard A Great WN Rumor Today!

Sun Jan 22, 2006 6:22 pm

Hello All

Quoting Kiwiandrew (Reply 3):
Good point , I hadn't thought about the few cycles freighters operate , but do you mean WN would keep these a/c and operate them as freighters ? that seems to me a big departure from their currently very successful model , up to now they have been very good at avoiding a loss of focus and that is one of the things that has kept them successful .

Considering that tonight in TPA land we unloaded more than 12K pounds of freight, and Saturday is a slow freight day, I can see where this might fly. I have lost count of the times that we have had to leave Freight behind because of weight restrictions.

Quoting MD90fan (Reply 15):
This sounds cool, but I just can't imagine a LCC Cargo Carrier

LCC for people yes, LCC for freight no way. WN is considered one of the most expensive carrierers to ship freight on. This is because we get your freight there, for the most part on time, and in good shape.

HOU, DAL, MCI, BNA or MDW would be great consolidation stations.

Me, I LUV the idea.  bouncy  dollarsign  dollarsign  dollarsign  bouncy 

Cheers

swatpamike
 
skywatch
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RE: Heard A Great WN Rumor Today!

Sun Jan 22, 2006 9:54 pm

Quoting Ptharris (Reply 26):
AS does it in Alaska with 7 of their old 732s. Odd to see the cargo door open up front when you're so used to seeing them as pax planes all the time.

That's very interesting. Do these freight flights fly under a different callsign?

---Skywatch
------Forever Watchin' The Sky------
 
SPREE34
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RE: Heard A Great WN Rumor Today!

Sun Jan 22, 2006 11:34 pm

Quoting Skywatch (Reply 20):
Ummm....cargo planes don't park at gates under normal circumstances!  If WN did that, they would probably make some pretty good pocket change.

Standard conversion wouldn't work for SWA. I hear their designing a conversion involving swinging tails (no...not the flight attendants) and swinging noses. Both ends of the aircraft are opened, the new load is shoved in, forcing the old load out. It will allow SWA to be the first freight carrier to turn a cargo aircraft in 10 minutes. Really! No shit. Not kidding here. Saw it on Oprah. Don't you believe me!?
I don't understand everything I don't know about this.
 
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ptharris
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RE: Heard A Great WN Rumor Today!

Mon Jan 23, 2006 2:07 am

Quoting Skywatch (Reply 30):
Quoting Ptharris (Reply 26):
AS does it in Alaska with 7 of their old 732s. Odd to see the cargo door open up front when you're so used to seeing them as pax planes all the time.

That's very interesting. Do these freight flights fly under a different callsign?

I'm not sure. I would imagine they would keep the AS callsign. Not sure though. They primarily run up in Alaska, so I really didn't see them much.
If at first you don't succeed, skydiving isn't for you.
 
hiflyer
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RE: Heard A Great WN Rumor Today!

Mon Jan 23, 2006 2:46 am

First off name the US carriers continually making money...UPS and FedEx. Obviously there is money to be made on domestic US cargo. However keeping utilization rates high on pax jets require less and less ground time making it difficult to carry good amounts of cargo and mail.

It would be logical of any competent senior management to be exploring all possibilities as oil continues to resist falling under 60/bbl. In SWA's case...their original model avoided major hub type airports but as they have grown enroachment into those facilities was inevitable. Going with a cargo operation would support and compliment further station openings at major airports giving them an additional revenue stream at high cost facilities.

I have heard similar rumors from other carriers as well...UAL tried it once in the 90's with dc10-30's that FedEx runs now...but that was basically intl pacific only. NWA runs pacific with their aging 742 fleet but with their current condition everything is on the table there. As mentioned AS runs a few combi's but other than that I don't think there is another domestic US pax carrier running pure freight aircraft off the top of my head....there are a slew of intl ones though.

Side note....Wasn't there a rumor of FedEx or UPS going to pax svc years back?
 
nosedive
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RE: Heard A Great WN Rumor Today!

Mon Jan 23, 2006 3:10 am

Quoting Hiflyer (Reply 33):
Side note....Wasn't there a rumor of FedEx or UPS going to pax svc years back?

It wasn't a rumor for both. It "happened."
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rolfen
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RE: Heard A Great WN Rumor Today!

Mon Jan 23, 2006 3:13 am

Is the pressure on cargo aircrafts set to less then on passenger flights?
mmmh after reflection I dont think they would, unless they make the pilots wear oxygen masks for the whole duration of the flight.

[Edited 2006-01-22 19:31:55]
rolf
 
Amy
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RE: Heard A Great WN Rumor Today!

Mon Jan 23, 2006 3:16 am

I thought Alaska's 737-200s were combis, Caro in front, PAX in rear?
A340-300 - slow, but awesome!
 
sllevin
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RE: Heard A Great WN Rumor Today!

Tue Jan 24, 2006 9:03 am

Quoting Amy (Reply 36):
I thought Alaska's 737-200s were combis, Caro in front, PAX in rear?

They have adjustable barriers.

But the main reason for the -200's as well for AS was the gravel kits -- something the CFM-powered birds don't have.

Steve
 
N1120A
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RE: Heard A Great WN Rumor Today!

Tue Jan 24, 2006 9:11 am

Quoting OPNLguy (Reply 18):
Quoting KC135TopBoom (Reply 18):
Then why didn't WN do this when they retired their B-737-200s?

Higher maintenance costs related to aging aircraft, and higher fuel consumption/costs would be the likely two reasons, methinks...

Not to mention RVSM

Quoting Ptharris (Reply 26):
AS does it in Alaska with 7 of their old 732s. Odd to see the cargo door open up front when you're so used to seeing them as pax planes all the time.



Quoting Skywatch (Reply 30):
That's very interesting. Do these freight flights fly under a different callsign?

Those are combi aircraft with a flexible interior, all passenger, all cargo or both. They fly as normal Alaska flights under the Alaska callsign

Quoting Nosedive (Reply 34):
It wasn't a rumor for both. It "happened."

Since when did FX run PAX flights? Their certificate is only a supplemental cargo one, not a full 121 one like UPS
Mangeons les French fries, mais surtout pratiquons avec fierte le French kiss
 
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lightsaber
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RE: Heard A Great WN Rumor Today!

Tue Jan 24, 2006 9:55 am

Quoting N1120A (Reply 38):
Since when did FX run PAX flights? Their certificate is only a supplemental cargo one, not a full 121 one like UPS

Learn something new every day. Neat stuff... Oh yea, you're already on my RU list. Drop me an e-mail sometime so we can catch up. I remember the UPS "conversion to PAX." I didn't know Fedex PAX ever got going...

Does UPS still do charter? (I doubt it, but I don't know...)

While I agree WN is all about a simplified process... it just seems time to "cherry pick" the cargo revenue. As long as fleet commonality is maintained (737's obviously)... seems smart/simple to me.

For WN Combi's wouldn't work (yea... I know the FAA doesn't allow new ones with a movable wall...) Its all about simplification. So a fleet of WN cargo makes a ton of sense to me. Pun intended.  duck 

Lightsaber
"They did not know it was impossible, so they did it!" - Mark Twain
 
N1120A
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RE: Heard A Great WN Rumor Today!

Tue Jan 24, 2006 10:45 am

Quoting Lightsaber (Reply 39):
Does UPS still do charter? (I doubt it, but I don't know...)

Your doubts are correct. They stopped a few years ago

Quoting Lightsaber (Reply 39):
While I agree WN is all about a simplified process... it just seems time to "cherry pick" the cargo revenue. As long as fleet commonality is maintained (737's obviously)... seems smart/simple to me.

A major problem I see here is WN's current no overnight ops philosophy. Cargo movements naturally tend to be night heavy and that could screw with WN's MX scheduling and force them into a less productive, larger workforce. Additionally, pilot scheduling could get all f'ed up. I just don't see it happening (but who knows?).
Mangeons les French fries, mais surtout pratiquons avec fierte le French kiss
 
OPNLguy
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RE: Heard A Great WN Rumor Today!

Tue Jan 24, 2006 10:53 am

Quoting N1120A (Reply 40):
A major problem I see here is WN's current no overnight ops philosophy. Cargo movements naturally tend to be night heavy and that could screw with WN's MX scheduling and force them into a less productive, larger workforce. Additionally, pilot scheduling could get all f'ed up.

I think some of your concerns are a tad overstated. We might not run scheduled service overnight, but we run plenty of charters and both MX and sked seem to handle them just fine...

Quoting N1120A (Reply 40):
I just don't see it happening (but who knows?).

Gary Kelly has already said it's just a rumor, but that rumor seems to live on anyways...  Wink
ALL views, opinions expressed are mine ONLY and are NOT representative of those shared by Southwest Airlines Co.
 
ntspelich
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RE: Heard A Great WN Rumor Today!

Tue Jan 24, 2006 2:34 pm

Gary has stated that we need to see a 7.7% ROI for this to happen. After the analysists got their hands on it, word is that making those types of returns would be easy. The last set of numbers I heard talking to a Cargo Manager were that if properly utilized, a freighter could make us 4x the revenue/year as a pax a/c.

And then there's the rumor that cargo operation/fleet would be based out of LAX, which makes sense to me.

Me, I say go for some -800 freighters and keep the 3's in service. Why lose the available seats?

Long story short, the rumor comes up every few years and until it actually happens will be just that, a rumor.

NTS

Hey OPNL, what's the story with ship 629 tonight? Messin up my gate schedule....
United 717 heavy, you're facing the wrong way. Any chance you can powerback to get off of my deice pad?
 
N200WN
Posts: 695
Joined: Thu Feb 03, 2005 7:09 am

RE: Heard A Great WN Rumor Today!

Tue Jan 24, 2006 3:00 pm

Quoting Ntspelich (Reply 42):
And then there's the rumor that cargo operation/fleet would be based out of LAX, which makes sense to me.

Me, I say go for some -800 freighters and keep the 3's in service. Why lose the available seats?

I've heard LAX also. Apparently there's so much freight out of there that we can't handle it all and wind up trucking a lot it out.

My understanding is we would use the oldest -300's. They're already paid for and about ready to be retired from pax use anyway.

NTS...do the inbound commuters have access to the ramp at BWI? I've been telling them to check their bags and slap a CAG on it, then leaving a message on the DR for BWI ramp to just set them aside. Is that working for you guys?
 
Silver1SWA
Crew
Posts: 4458
Joined: Wed Mar 10, 2004 6:11 pm

RE: Heard A Great WN Rumor Today!

Tue Jan 24, 2006 3:03 pm

Quoting Ntspelich (Reply 42):
Hey OPNL, what's the story with ship 629 tonight? Messin up my gate schedule....

Aw, what's wrong with my pal Silver?!
ALL views, opinions expressed are mine ONLY and are NOT representative of those shared by Southwest Airlines Co.
 
OPNLguy
Posts: 11191
Joined: Tue Jun 15, 1999 11:29 am

RE: Heard A Great WN Rumor Today!

Tue Jan 24, 2006 3:11 pm

Quoting Ntspelich (Reply 42):
Hey OPNL, what's the story with ship 629 tonight? Messin up my gate schedule....

They couldn't get the main deck cargo door closed properly...  duck 
ALL views, opinions expressed are mine ONLY and are NOT representative of those shared by Southwest Airlines Co.
 
Av8trxx
Posts: 632
Joined: Sun Nov 11, 2001 7:08 am

RE: Heard A Great WN Rumor Today!

Tue Jan 24, 2006 6:30 pm

Quoting Swabur (Thread starter):
Anyways, I've talked to a couple of WN pilots that said that WN is converting some of the -300's into cargo freighters because of the expense in re-skinning some of the-300's. Interesting. Anyone to comment?

That old rumor being rehashed again? It's almost like an Email funny you sent out ages ago and now find it in your inbox again from someone who never saw it the first time.
 
swabur
Posts: 99
Joined: Wed Feb 23, 2005 1:52 pm

RE: Heard A Great WN Rumor Today!

Tue Jan 24, 2006 6:44 pm

Quoting Av8trxx (Reply 46):
That old rumor being rehashed again? It's almost like an Email funny you sent out ages ago and now find it in your inbox again from someone who never saw it the first time.

Touche my friend! Its been coming up alot with many pilots that I talk to. I would say that its been the strongest rumor that I've heard in a while so I decided to comment about it. We'll see what happens. scratchchin 
C'Mon Mav, do some of that pilot sh**!!
 
andrewuber
Posts: 2142
Joined: Tue Jul 22, 2003 10:45 am

RE: Heard A Great WN Rumor Today!

Wed Feb 01, 2006 2:20 am

Quoting Wjcandee (Reply 5):
Certainly, as airframes age and become insufficiently reliable for mainline airline service, they often find refuge flying cargo, because a significant portion of the world's air cargo fleet (but not all) does a lot of sitting around.

This couldn't be further from the truth.

To suggest that an aircrafts reliability condemns it to cargo flying is pure hogwash.

Yes, Kitty Hawk purchased 737-300's. No, it was NOT because they were unreliable and broken down all the time. That wouldn't do us any good whatsoever now would it? Freight still has to get there - it's not a game of rolling the dice to "see if the airplane will start up today".

Maintenance costs on older aircraft do climb, but there are many other factors when sending a pax jetliner to the desert. Fuel economy, for example. Capacity. Spares costs. Etc....

Our 737's have been extremely reliable. I don't have the numbers in front of me, but I've heard we have around 99.8% completion rate with the 737's. Does this mean Lufthansa and EasyJet made a big mistake by getting rid of these aircraft? No.

When it comes to cargo - reliability is EVERYTHING. If it's not there on time - it's FREE. Try that with a passenger airline.

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Drew
I'd rather shoot BAD_MOTIVE
 
AirStare
Posts: 19
Joined: Tue Dec 13, 2005 9:35 am

RE: Heard A Great WN Rumor Today!

Wed Feb 01, 2006 2:38 am

Quoting Ptharris (Reply 26):
AS does it in Alaska with 7 of their old 732s. Odd to see the cargo door open up front when you're so used to seeing them as pax planes all the time. When I worked for them, they were very very profitable. However, I've also heard that as time goes on, parts for those old engines are becoming harder and harder to find. May not be long before they go to the other aircraft for freight.

I read recently that Alaska had announced it had decided soon to retire those high-time, high-cycle 737-200Cs (built new as such and used purely on intra-Alaska flights like the one I took to Bethel when I was covering the Capstone project trials) and convert several of its 737-400s for the job. The intra-Alaska 737 operation provides an absolutely vital service to many communities, as of course you will know as a former AS employee.