MidnightMike
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AA Wary Of MD-80 Replacement, Lack Of Alternatives

Wed Feb 01, 2006 12:08 pm

Looks like the topic in the next 10 years will be when is American going to replace the MD80's, guess American is going to wait for the future 737NNG program.

http://www.flightinternational.com/A...ent+due+to+lack+of+narrowbody.html

AA wary of MD-80 replacement due to lack of narrowbody alternatives
Ageing MD-80s could fly on if US carrier opts to focus on shaping fleet to cope with growing international traffic

International growth and uncertainty over Airbus and Boeing plans for a next-generation narrowbody aircraft could drive American Airlines to update its long-haul fleet before it sets about replacing its 300-plus Boeing MD-80s.

Then we have the challenge of replacing the MD-80s. They are probably an average of 14 years and we have so many that even if we replace 30 a year – which is quite aggressive – then it would take 10 years. But our major focus is making the fleet profitable.”

American will decide whether to equip its Boeing 737s with winglets within six months, and has windtunnel data from Aviation Partners Boeing showing a predicted 2.5-3.0% fuel-burn improvement on the MD-80. That is not as significant as on the 737 and Reding indicates that the business case for the MD-80 is weaker.
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ETStar
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RE: AA Wary Of MD-80 Replacement, Lack Of Alternat

Wed Feb 01, 2006 12:15 pm

Why the winglets on the 73s? Do they currently fly distances that cannot be matched with those of the 80s?

Maybe it is time AA looked at Airbii aircraft ... since it could definitely benefit from a lower price fueled by the battle of the giants.

[Edited 2006-02-01 04:16:08]
 
FlyHoss
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RE: AA Wary Of MD-80 Replacement, Lack Of Alternatives

Wed Feb 01, 2006 12:15 pm

I wonder how much (how many aircraft) of a production run, of a brand new type, it would take for a manufacturer to break even?

Would Airbus, Boeing, Embraer, Bombardier/Canadair be willing to create a new type designed for AA? Getting an order for 300 aircraft to replace the 300 MD-80s seems like a big incentive to me...
A little bit louder now, a lil bit louder now...
 
N908AW
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RE: AA Wary Of MD-80 Replacement, Lack Of Alternat

Wed Feb 01, 2006 12:15 pm

AA needs a PLANELOAD of cash to replace the MD-80, they have upwards of 200 in the fleet. A viable solution would be to order more 738s and get some 73Gs, 'twould be the most financially/physically sound solution.

Airbus is not the answer when they already have a Boeing product that is much like an MD-80 replacement.

[Edited 2006-02-01 04:17:20]
'Cause you're on ATA again, and on ATA, you're on vacation!
 
ETStar
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RE: AA Wary Of MD-80 Replacement, Lack Of Alternatives

Wed Feb 01, 2006 12:17 pm

Quoting N908AW (Reply 3):
Reply 3, posted Wed Feb 1 2006 04:15:24 UTC+1 and read 0 times:

What???
AA still has MD-80s?!?
Those things should be falling out of the sky by now!
Weren't they made like 20 years ago?

Where have you been all this time? hahaha I am sure you have seen them at some airport some time in the past year ... they're EVERYWHERE!
 
N908AW
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RE: AA Wary Of MD-80 Replacement, Lack Of Alternatives

Wed Feb 01, 2006 12:19 pm

Yes, it was a joke man, mimicking the nutcases in the NW DC9 threads that had those kind of comments. MD-80s are the bomb.
'Cause you're on ATA again, and on ATA, you're on vacation!
 
Cure
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RE: AA Wary Of MD-80 Replacement, Lack Of Alternatives

Wed Feb 01, 2006 12:22 pm

Sorry for arguing, but...:

if we are talking about a free market (IF), why aren't they even saying anything about Airbus? I guess it should be considered.
Are Airbuses less reliable? Not at all...
Do Embraers burn more fuel than a MD80? Don't think so...

Regards,

V

[Edited 2006-02-01 04:25:08]
 
DLPMMM
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RE: AA Wary Of MD-80 Replacement, Lack Of Alternatives

Wed Feb 01, 2006 12:39 pm

Quoting Cure (Reply 6):
if we are talking about a free market (IF), why aren't they even saying anything about Airbus? I guess it should be considered.
Are Airbuses less reliable? Not at all...

This is a free market situation.

There is not much of a chance that AA will buy any Airbus Aircraft in the future, since the two companies had a very large and very public falling out over a certain A-300 incident.

Airbus was free to alienate the largest airline in the world, and AA is free to never consider another Airbus product for purchase.
 
MidnightMike
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RE: AA Wary Of MD-80 Replacement, Lack Of Alternatives

Wed Feb 01, 2006 12:44 pm

Quoting Cure (Reply 6):
Sorry for arguing, but...:

if we are talking about a free market (IF), why aren't they even saying anything about Airbus? I guess it should be considered.
Are Airbuses less reliable? Not at all...
Do Embraers burn more fuel than a MD80? Don't think so...

Normally, Airbus would be a consideration & a talking point, but, after the A300 incident, it is no big secret that the relations between Airbus & American Airlines have somewhat soured..
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AA737-823
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RE: AA Wary Of MD-80 Replacement, Lack Of Alternatives

Wed Feb 01, 2006 12:48 pm

Quoting Cure (Reply 6):
Are Airbuses less reliable? Not at all...

Don't tell Northwest that... they seem to grumble otherwise. Something about their 30+ year old DC-9s having a higher dispatch reliability than their new A-319s.... Ask Favre about that... He can give you the skinny.

And a high-rolling carrier can get just as good a deal from Boeing as they can from Airbus.
I can see no compelling reason for AA to order an Airbus. The 737NG flies higher/faster/farther/on less fuel than the A32X series, so Airbus would have to come out with something really incredible to get AA's attention.

And what is that I hear about vertical stabilizers falling off? And then Airbus came out and said that AA's pilot training was dangerous and inadequate?

The Europeans need to learn about a thing we Americani call "Customer Service."

Granted, we've outsourced MOST of our customer service to India, but hey.
Airbus shoudl have learned from Boeing's mistake when they alienated USAir the same exact way- blame a crash on pilot error when the rudder to that 737 froze hardover.

Sigh. Stupid politics and finger pointing.

My vote is put some winglets on the -80s and fly 'em till 2025.
 
DfwRevolution
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RE: AA Wary Of MD-80 Replacement, Lack Of Alternatives

Wed Feb 01, 2006 1:01 pm

Quoting FlyHoss (Reply 2):
I wonder how much (how many aircraft) of a production run, of a brand new type, it would take for a manufacturer to break even?

For the 737NG replacement, the project might cost around $2-3 billion, depending of course on the scope of the introductory variants. Amortization of the project launch might be obtained at a conservative number of airframes. Put another way: WN alone or WN combine with any other major carrier could assume almost the entire launch risk.

Quoting Cure (Reply 6):
if we are talking about a free market (IF), why aren't they even saying anything about Airbus?

1. AA has a significant number of outstanding deposits on Boeing 737-800 scheduled for 2012 delivery.
2. It would be a simpler affair to roll these orders into another Boeing product
3. What makes you certain Airbus will necessarily have a Y1 competitor at the same time as Boeing? The 787 was unrivaled by Airbus for more than a year, but that didn't stop many carriers from taking advantage of early launch position.
4. Will AA and Airbus necessarily return to friendly status after the bridge burning-fest after AA587? The checkbook speaks, but memories are long-lived.

Quoting Cure (Reply 6):
Are Airbuses less reliable? Not at all...

Might tell that to AA's A300 staff...

I might also add that the 777 has dispatch reliability 1-2% greater than the A330/A340. Boeing also did not suffer EIS reliability problems that Airbus encountered with the A346 despite a program goal of EIS reliability on par with a mature product. The 737NG still enjoys a simmilar edge over the A320.

Quoting Cure (Reply 6):
Do Embraers burn more fuel than a MD80? Don't think so...

Well duh... there isn't a single Embraer that is mission compatible with the MD80. The biggest Embraer has approx 25% fewer seats than AA's MD80, hardly a suitable replacement for AA's mainline backbone regardless of fuel burn. The likelyhood of Embraer offering a full-sized narrowbody has been discussed ad naseum.

Quoting N908AW (Reply 3):
A viable solution would be to order more 738s and get some 73Gs, 'twould be the most financially/physically sound solution.

Like you said, the money isn't available. By the time AA starts accepting new 737NG, the first 737 replacement might very well be approaching roll-out. IMO, what's the value in paying about the same for obsolete aircraft? The solution to MD80 replacement does not rest with any product flying today.

Quoting FlyHoss (Reply 2):
Would Airbus, Boeing, Embraer, Bombardier/Canadair be willing to create a new type designed for AA?

Just for AA? Probably not. The carrier with the single most weight is still probably WN. However, what WN wants will probably be closely aligned with what everyone else wants: dramatically lower opperating cost, fuel burn, and financial risk.

Quoting ETStar (Reply 1):
Why the winglets on the 73s? Do they currently fly distances that cannot be matched with those of the 80s?

Range is irrelevant. After even the shortest flights, the AVBP winglets reduce cruise SFC by 5-8%. That's big bucks.

I also recal an AA statement that every 50 lbs of non-essential weight removed from an MD80 saves almost $1,000,000 in fuel over a year. Looking at the 700 lb weight reduction of the new 737NG carbon brake option, perhaps an MD80 carbon brake option would be a cheaper (lower risk) way to reduce MD80 cost than re-engine or winglet schemes?

Even reducing 200-300 lbs would be big.
 
bohica
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RE: AA Wary Of MD-80 Replacement, Lack Of Alternatives

Wed Feb 01, 2006 1:01 pm

A friend of mine is an AA MD-80 pilot. He told me that AA was considering re-engining the MD-80's with the RR/BMW engine. Does anyone know anything about this?
 
DfwRevolution
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RE: AA Wary Of MD-80 Replacement, Lack Of Alternatives

Wed Feb 01, 2006 1:07 pm

Quoting Bohica (Reply 11):
He told me that AA was considering re-engining the MD-80's with the RR/BMW engine. Does anyone know anything about this?

It's been an ongoing rumour for some time, and AA is considering power plant options for the MD80. To my knowledge, there hasn't yet been anything offical that would hint they are seriously moving in that direction (i.e. accepting bids for the conversion, etc, etc), they are just looking at the feasability and cost/benefits.

The BR715 and PW6000 would both fit the bill. AA is a very large Rolls Royce customer with RB.211 (Trent) powered 777 and 757. PW, however, is the current OEM for the MD80 powerplant thus having a vested interest in keeping them Pratt powered. It would also give the PW6000A a much needed break.
 
Cure
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RE: AA Wary Of MD-80 Replacement, Lack Of Alternatives

Wed Feb 01, 2006 1:09 pm

Quoting AA737-823 (Reply 9):
I can see no compelling reason for AA to order an Airbus. The 737NG flies higher/faster/farther/on less fuel than the A32X series, so Airbus would have to come out with something really incredible to get AA's attention.

Like the price, maybe?...  Wink

Quoting AA737-823 (Reply 9):
they seem to grumble otherwise. Something about their 30+ year old DC-9s having a higher dispatch reliability than their new A-319s....

they seem...but the figures?

Quoting AA737-823 (Reply 9):
And what is that I hear about vertical stabilizers falling off? And then Airbus came out and said that AA's pilot training was dangerous and inadequate?

Didn't AA change their manual for pilots after the accident?
Why didn't AA avoid to spend money changing procedures if it really wasn't their fault at all?
C'mon, give us a break please...

Quoting DLPMMM (Reply 7):
There is not much of a chance that AA will buy any Airbus Aircraft in the future, since the two companies had a very large and very public falling out over a certain A-300 incident.

...and AA is openly committed to Boeing (this is very weird in an open market)!

Quoting DLPMMM (Reply 7):
Airbus was free to alienate the largest airline in the world, and AA is free to never consider another Airbus product for purchase.

If your satisfied with this explanation...

Quoting AA737-823 (Reply 9):
The Europeans need to learn about a thing we Americani call "Customer Service."

Someone has to learn how to listen and learn before talking nonsense. I wasn't saying Americans, but just American Airlines. Are you AA?

Regards,

V
 
Cure
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RE: AA Wary Of MD-80 Replacement, Lack Of Alternatives

Wed Feb 01, 2006 1:28 pm

Quoting DfwRevolution (Reply 10):
4. Will AA and Airbus necessarily return to friendly status after the bridge burning-fest after AA587? The checkbook speaks, but memories are long-lived.

I'd like to say that in all respect for who lost the life in that accident:
try to take off and fly 1,5mins in a 747's wake turbulence. Try to do it with a Boeing and tell me

I'm not arguing with the rest since some explanations like

Quoting DfwRevolution (Reply 10):
2. It would be a simpler affair to roll these orders into another Boeing product

are called "fried air" here in Europe,
but just one question:

Quoting DfwRevolution (Reply 10):
1. AA has a significant number of outstanding deposits on Boeing 737-800 scheduled for 2012 delivery.

How much is "significant"? Just to have an idea of how many new airframes they need apart from these?
Thank you,

V
 
DfwRevolution
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RE: AA Wary Of MD-80 Replacement, Lack Of Alternatives

Wed Feb 01, 2006 1:33 pm

Quoting Cure (Reply 13):
Didn't AA change their manual for pilots after the accident?

AA changed the pilot procedure, but the A300 rudder system was hardly deemed perfect. The fact that Airbus insisted it was entirely the responsibility of the pilot when there is a credible case that Airbus should consider a control mechanism modification may keep AA from returning with their business for some time.

Quoting Cure (Reply 13):
...and AA is openly committed to Boeing (this is very weird in an open market)!

Good grief, who gives a flying flip about AA being an 'open market?' You aren't even using open (more commonly known as free) markets in the proper context.

The United States is free market in that AA can purchase an Airbus airplane without massive import taxes being levyed on the foreign-assembled product. AA isn't the market, the United States is! AA is a customer within the market. No one in the government is telling AA which way to direct their order. That is a free market.

AA can bias their order all they want toward manufacture loyalty, sweetheart deals, past relationships, or simply the whims of the corperate staff. Just because the U.S. has free market import laws doesn't mean AA must give Airbus a second of their time. This doesn't change the U.S. status as a free market Airbus importer one bit.
 
aaden
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RE: AA Wary Of MD-80 Replacement, Lack Of Alternatives

Wed Feb 01, 2006 1:34 pm

i don't think american will be buying any airbus aircraft for a long time. they will probably replace their super80s with 738s
 
DfwRevolution
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RE: AA Wary Of MD-80 Replacement, Lack Of Alternat

Wed Feb 01, 2006 1:46 pm

Quoting Cure (Reply 14):
try to take off and fly 1,5mins in a 747's wake turbulence. Try to do it with a Boeing and tell me

The aircraft was not downed by the turbulence. It was downed by the rudder deflection that torqued the A300 tail past its design tolerance.

The control mechanism and feedback of Boeing aircraft are totally different. To say the accident would have occured in the exact same manner with a 767 or 777 is incredibly dense. The A300 itself was more than capable of emerging from the turbulence without damage.

The falling out was over AA who insisted that the rudder mechanism allowed extremly violent deflections without adaquet feedback to the pilots and Airbus who insisted it was the responsibility of the FO. Was it worth pissing off the strongest of the U.S. legacy carriers with the largest fleet (and thus fleet replacement needs) in the world just to pass the buck entirely on AA?

Quoting Cure (Reply 14):
How much is "significant"? Just to have an idea of how many new airframes they need apart from these?

(47) 737-800 are still on order from Boeing, with deliveries resuming in 2012.

Approx value likely in excess of $2 billion dollars. Assuming 1:1 replacement of MD80, that would still leave approx 250 MD80 for replacement.
 
BWIA 772
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RE: AA Wary Of MD-80 Replacement, Lack Of Alternatives

Wed Feb 01, 2006 1:49 pm

Quoting DfwRevolution (Reply 10):
For the 737NG replacement, the project might cost around $2-3 billion, depending of course on the scope of the introductory variants. Amortization of the project launch might be obtained at a conservative number of airframes. Put another way: WN alone or WN combine with any other major carrier could assume almost the entire launch risk.

Very true. AA involvement in the 737NG replacement would be critical as this new family of aircraft may not only replace their MD80 fleet but a larger version may replace the 757 fleet.

If AA does look at their International fleet first and then their domestic fleet it would give Boeing the opportunity to show how its new line up can serve from the 100 short range to the 250+ long range market.
Eagles Soar!
 
DLPMMM
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RE: AA Wary Of MD-80 Replacement, Lack Of Alternatives

Wed Feb 01, 2006 1:50 pm

Quoting Cure (Reply 13):
...and AA is openly committed to Boeing (this is very weird in an open market)!

Your comment here makes no sense. It is not uncommon or "weird" for an airline to have a stated brand preference in an open market.

Ever see a computer comercial with the little "Intel Inside" blurb at the end?

Open markets has to do with government interference in purchasing decisions. This interference can span a spectrum from import tarrifs and taxes, to the outright mandate of directed purchase.
 
AAR90
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RE: AA Wary Of MD-80 Replacement, Lack Of Alternatives

Wed Feb 01, 2006 1:58 pm

Quoting ETStar (Reply 1):
Why the winglets on the 73s?

Fuel savings = cost savings. The higher the price of fuel, the more attractive the winglet option becomes.

Quoting Cure (Reply 13):
Didn't AA change their manual for pilots after the accident?

Yes, with additional information about rudder design limits. No procedural changes.

Quoting Cure (Reply 13):
...and AA is openly committed to Boeing (this is very weird in an open market)!

Yes. AA & Boeing reached a 20 year exclusivity agreement about a decade ago whereby AA will never pay more than any other purchaser of the same Boeing product. The contractual _requirement_ has since been negated, but the parties have been abiding to the original terms (i.e. gentlemen's agreement).

Quoting DfwRevolution (Reply 15):
AA changed the pilot procedure

NO! AA changed no procedures. AA manuals now include additional information and A300 crews receive additional training, but no procedures have been changed.

Quoting AAden (Reply 16):
they will probably replace their super80s with 738s

We are starting to see indications that support the rumors that AA's long term future fleet will be 777, 787, and the 738/MD80 (a new design) replacement.
*NO CARRIER* -- A Naval Aviator's worst nightmare!
 
ScottB
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RE: AA Wary Of MD-80 Replacement, Lack Of Alternatives

Wed Feb 01, 2006 2:07 pm

Quoting Cure (Reply 13):
Why didn't AA avoid to spend money changing procedures if it really wasn't their fault at all?

Well, because regardless of whose fault it actually was, it benefits AA to not have vertical stabilizers breaking off of their aircraft -- which tends to make people think the planes the airline flies might just be unsafe.

Quoting Cure (Reply 13):
...and AA is openly committed to Boeing (this is very weird in an open market)

Well one of the world's most profitable airlines (Southwest) is openly committed to Boeing, and it doesn't seem to be hurting them very much.


Quoting Cure (Reply 13):
Quoting AA737-823 (Reply 9):
I can see no compelling reason for AA to order an Airbus. The 737NG flies higher/faster/farther/on less fuel than the A32X series, so Airbus would have to come out with something really incredible to get AA's attention.

Like the price, maybe?...

Well, perhaps AA's management is smart enough to understand that the initial purchase price is but a tiny fraction of the total cost of operating an airliner. Faster cruise speed and lower fuel consumption -- even by only a percent or two -- can save tens of millions of dollars a year when multiplied by hundreds of aircraft. Often, as the old saying goes, you get what you pay for.

In any case, I suspect that AA's dilemma lies largely in the fact that the MD-80 fleet is 14 years old on average. It's difficult to amortize the cost of winglets or engine upgrades when you're roughly halfway through the expected lifespan of your average airframe, though I suppose engines do have to be replaced periodically. It's easy to justify winglets on nearly new 737NG's given that you can expect those to pay for themselves over the next twenty years.
 
Cure
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RE: AA Wary Of MD-80 Replacement, Lack Of Alternatives

Wed Feb 01, 2006 2:18 pm

Quoting AAR90 (Reply 20):
Yes. AA & Boeing reached a 20 year exclusivity agreement about a decade ago whereby AA will never pay more than any other purchaser of the same Boeing product. The contractual _requirement_ has since been negated, but the parties have been abiding to the original terms (i.e. gentlemen's agreement).

Thanks for the info.
 
ETStar
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RE: AA Wary Of MD-80 Replacement, Lack Of Alternatives

Wed Feb 01, 2006 2:29 pm

Quoting Cure (Reply 6):

if we are talking about a free market (IF), why aren't they even saying anything about Airbus? I guess it should be considered.

It ain't so free after all eh  Smile Also, chances are, they will get screwed eventually if they stick to one manufacturer and openly express that they will not deal with a competitor.

Quoting AA737-823 (Reply 9):

And a high-rolling carrier can get just as good a deal from Boeing as they can from Airbus.
I can see no compelling reason for AA to order an Airbus. The 737NG flies higher/faster/farther/on less fuel than the A32X series, so Airbus would have to come out with something really incredible to get AA's attention.

And what is that I hear about vertical stabilizers falling off? And then Airbus came out and said that AA's pilot training was dangerous and inadequate?

The Europeans need to learn about a thing we Americani call "Customer Service."

Granted, we've outsourced MOST of our customer service to India, but hey.
Airbus shoudl have learned from Boeing's mistake when they alienated USAir the same exact way- blame a crash on pilot error when the rudder to that 737 froze hardover.

Sure a high rolling carrier will get discounts, more like volume discounts. But when you factor the discounts that could be attained by having a second supplier drive down B's price (as shown at many other airlines), there will still be a loss on AA's side somewhere. If there is a fallout with B and AA, then we could also very well see an all-CRJ stubborn AA!

And don't start with Customer Service. It goes both ways, not when AA is on the receiving end. Have you received the Customer Service from AA throughout all your dealings with them? This is not about a customer service issue, but more about an issue related to who takes the blame and who pays for the accident. Especially when the whole industry was at the height of losing passengers and it was face-saving time. If AA really had an issue with the A300s, they would not be flying them today. Finally, another 737 crash, especially at AA, and we shall see what comes out of it. Knock on wood, however.

Quoting Cure (Reply 13):
...and AA is openly committed to Boeing (this is very weird in an open market)!

My sentiments exactly. I wonder what led to AA's and CO's and DL's one-supplier policy... hmmm free market?
 
ckfred
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RE: AA Wary Of MD-80 Replacement, Lack Of Alternatives

Wed Feb 01, 2006 2:35 pm

First of all, AA signed a contract with Boeing in late 1996 to replace its fleet over 20 years. At that time, AA had about 625 aircraft. So far, AA has taken delivery of about 200 or so aircraft, thus AA is holding rights to more than 400 slots over the next 10 years or so. AA isn't about to go to Airbus, when it already has pricing in place for Boeing aircraft.

Second, a friend of mine is an AA 757/767 F/O. What he has heard is pure speculation by pilots, but there is a belief that AA could retire the first 40 to 60 MD-80s that it received from McD and replace them with 737-800s. AA still has 45 or 50 -800s on order. AA is supposed to resume taking deliveries in 2012 or 2013, but Boeing is able to push up delivery dates, if AA wants planes earlier.

The oldest MD-80s are needing more maintenance, and the point will come when the economics will point to replacement.

As for the balance of the MD-80 fleet, the belief is that AA is waiting to see what Boeing's plans are for the all-composite successor to the 737NG. WN has expressed interest in such a plane. My guess is that since AA is in no hurry to replace the MD-80 fleet, it probably prefers to wait for a Boeing aircraft that is superior to the 737NG in terms of operating costs.

What I'm curious about is AA's plans to replace the F100. Right now, AA has nothing between the CRJ (70 seats) and the MD-80 (136 seats). AA has had to make do with putting CRJs and Embrears on routes that used to be exclusively mainline.

The problem is that operating RJs has been a problem at ORD, with the FAA-imposed caps, as well as irritating elite flyers who now can't get upgraded. For instance, 4 out of the 7 flights between ORD and ATL are operated with CRJs. Meanwhile, DL is still operating all mainline between ORD and ATL. If AA had a 100-seat plane, it could fly 6 roundtrips between ORD and ATL. This would free up an arrival and departure slot at ORD and allow AA to offer first class on all flights.

Right now, the 737-600 doesn't work as a short and medium-haul aircraft, and the Embrear 190 would be introducing another fleet type.

If Boeing does offer a 100-seat airplane, capable of flying routes from 250 miles to 2500 miles economically, as part of the line of replacements for the entire 737NG line, does AA look at ordering an additional 75 to 100 planes, on top of the number of planes needed to replace the MD-80s?
 
commavia
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RE: AA Wary Of MD-80 Replacement, Lack Of Alternatives

Wed Feb 01, 2006 2:43 pm

Quoting ETStar (Reply 24):
Sure a high rolling carrier will get discounts, more like volume discounts. But when you factor the discounts that could be attained by having a second supplier drive down B's price (as shown at many other airlines), there will still be a loss on AA's side somewhere.

Well, since AA obviously knows quite a bit more about the economics of the deal, how it is structured, and what it means for AA's finances, I think they'll be the judge of that better than you and I, and they've already shown the world what conclusion they came to. Your claims of "loss on AA's side somewhere," notwithstanding, AA obviously concluded that it was coming out ahead by securing preferential delivery positions, unparalleled delivery speed-up/deferral flexibility, and price discounts.

Quoting ETStar (Reply 24):
This is not about a customer service issue, but more about an issue related to who takes the blame and who pays for the accident.

AA has had issues with Airbus going back years, long, long before 587.

Quoting ETStar (Reply 24):
If AA really had an issue with the A300s, they would not be flying them today.

Not true. AA has major maintenance issues with its A300 fleet. They spend a ton of time in for maintenance, and at any given time, if you land at MIA or JFK, you are virtually guaranteed to see a few A300s parked by the hangars at both airports waiting for servicing. The reason AA hasn't replaced them is not because they are flawless -- it's because AA can't afford to replace them, and hasn't had an adequate plane to replace them with until now (now that the 787 is available).

Quoting ETStar (Reply 24):
My sentiments exactly.

I find it pretty funny that questions about the virtues of the American free market are coming from Italy, home of free market maven Alitalia.

Quoting ETStar (Reply 24):
I wonder what led to AA's and CO's and DL's one-supplier policy

It's called money. Boeing obviously made them deals they liked, and all three obviously felt that Boeing's product was better than Airbus, and that Airbus could never give them the deal Boeing did. What is so hard to understand about this? It's fairly simple and straightforward to me.

Quoting ETStar (Reply 24):
hmmm free market?

Uh, yes, exactly -- exactly that -- a truly free market. Airlines, and all companies, are allowed to have dealings with other companies however they like, and if they feel that one supplier will give them a deal that serves their economic interests more than a competitor ever could, and that's their prerogative, than what's the problem.
 
TUNisia
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RE: AA Wary Of MD-80 Replacement, Lack Of Alternatives

Wed Feb 01, 2006 2:50 pm

Would Boeing ever reopen the 717 line? I know.... I'm dreaming.
Someday the sun will shine down on me in some faraway place - Mahalia Jackson
 
Lufthansa
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RE: AA Wary Of MD-80 Replacement, Lack Of Alternatives

Wed Feb 01, 2006 3:15 pm

I think it would very smart of AA to replace the JT8D's and keep the MD-80s.

If assume demand for oil continues at the present rate, I think in the next few years we could seriously see oil at $100 + per barrel. At these prices, the several million dollar price tag of a PW6000 is very quickly going to pay for itself.

Couple that with the fact leases costs for MD-80s is very cheap, and this would be an attractive package for just about anybody. I'm just guessing here but i think you could be talking a 20% fuel saving here. It would pay for itself in just a few years at such very high oil prices. China and india don't show any signs of reducing their consuption (but rather increasing it) and with the situation as it is in Iran, we may see a supply disruption/reduction, so i think its likely we can look forward to more oil price increases.

Second reason. MD-80's five abrest cross section allows for a true looking first class, that is only the equivalent to 5 abrest on the 737 or A320. Meaning offing the same amount of first class seats on the MD-80 takes up less floor area and means more total room for pax. This could be of great value to AA in retaining premium customers by allowing them in what they perceive to be a 'real' first class without having to reduce the number of economy seats offered, or move to a larger aircraft. The updates with the new lavs and side wall panels have the thing looking pretty modern as it is...i think they just need new ceiling panels + drop down LCD screens and everybody would happy.

The other factor to consider is, by this stage (say another 10 years), we may need to use a new kind of fuel for jet engines. Cars should be fine because we can run them on alcohol, (making places like Australia, South Africa and Brasil very wealthy!!!! please bring it on!) But aviation isn't going to be so straightforward unless somebody can develop a kind of alcohol that burns like kero. The Russians flew a Tu-154 powered with liquid hydrogen and it appears a success so there's hope. But if eventuates, well then, I'd hardly want a fleet of shining new aircraft that is rendered worthless.
 
WesternA318
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RE: AA Wary Of MD-80 Replacement, Lack Of Alternatives

Wed Feb 01, 2006 3:39 pm

"AA needs a PLANELOAD of cash to replace the MD-80"

Umm...with respect to how much money would be needed, in todays dollars, better make it two or three planeloads...

"AA can bias their order all they want toward manufacture loyalty, sweetheart deals, past relationships, or simply the whims of the corperate staff. "

Wasn't this like the 30's-50's when AA was a strictly-Douglas customer? Well, aside from a small fleet of Electras?
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cschleic
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RE: AA Wary Of MD-80 Replacement, Lack Of Alternatives

Wed Feb 01, 2006 3:53 pm

Quoting N908AW (Reply 3):
AA needs a PLANELOAD of cash to replace the MD-80, they have upwards of 200 in the fleet

Isn't it about 335 MD-80's as of end of last year? Certainly is a boatload of planes to replace. Even if they could afford three of something a month, that would take nine years.

Didn't they retire all the F100's in 2003 or 2004?
 
ckfred
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RE: AA Wary Of MD-80 Replacement, Lack Of Alternatives

Wed Feb 01, 2006 3:54 pm

WesternA318:

In the 30s, 40s, and 50s, a lot of airlines flew either all Douglas airplanes or mainly Douglas. Douglas was the dominant manufacturer. Boeing was pretty much off the radar screen until the 707.

The reason that carriers not go with one manufacturer is economics. It's cheaper to have all of the fleet from either Boeing or Airbus, because of lower maintenance costs and training costs.

A friend of mine, who flies for AA, puts it this way. Even though a Cadillac DeVille and a Pontiac Grand Prix are very different cars, they are both GM. Probably many of the switches, such as wipers, windows, and headlights work the same way, and there will be many common parts inside the cars, or at least they will be assembled similarly.

So, even though the 777 and the 737 are very different, they are both Boeing planes, so there will be similarities, just as there will be some similarities between the A319 and the A380.
 
flydreamliner
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RE: AA Wary Of MD-80 Replacement, Lack Of Alternatives

Wed Feb 01, 2006 4:05 pm

I think AA is in much the same case United was with their fleet of 732, 733, and 735's. But they started taking pretty speedy deliveries from Airbus of 319s and 320s, and continue to replace their likewise huge mainline fleet. The MD80s have been almost a signature of AA, and have served the airline extremely well. They also happened to get a fairly outstanding deal on the aircraft when they purchased them. Since they replaced some of the oldest aircraft, and supplemented their fleet with 738s, my guess is they aren't about to buy some A320s. AA has shown a distinct bias to Boeing, and before them McDonnell Douglas. Not exclusive, for certain, but they are an airline of strong loyalties. They prefer Rolls Royce engines, as is shown by the fact every plane they fly that had them as an option is equipt with them. The only exceptions being their MD80s, only offered with PW JT8D-200s, and their 738s, only offered with CFM56's.

My guess is that they are either A: Holding out for a better deal from boeing on a fleet of 737-700, 737-800s, and 737-900s, or for the composite successor. I think AA needs to be convinced of the superiority of this composite successor, especially since I'd bet they can negotiate a good purchase price on some 738s, which is a definate incentive to a cash-stripped airline needing to replace a fleet of over 300 aircraft. They also have a good sized fleet of 767s that at some point in the future, they will have to eye replacements for, which likewise, won't be a cheap adventure. AA is conservative, loyal, and judicious with their fleet, my guess is they are waiting till they get every angle figured out and have worked out the best possible deal. My guess is their fleet of MD80s came less of the fact that MD80 had roughly comperable economics to 733, but more importantly, that the price was right to buy that huge fleet.

I rode on an AA 737-800 from ORD to MSP last year and have nothing but good things to say about it. The interior was very nicely appointed and modern, and the in-flight entertainment was impressive as well, certainly better than the tired set-ups in so many 757s and inadequite arrangements in many A320s, needless to say, MD-80 has no on-board AV, so definately an improvement there as well.
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jacobin777
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RE: AA Wary Of MD-80 Replacement, Lack Of Alternatives

Wed Feb 01, 2006 5:28 pm

Quoting FlyDreamliner (Reply 32):
MD-80 has no on-board AV, so definately an improvement there as well.

good points you had up there in your thread, but I would like to add that they have tons of powerports in their economy section and I see many people bringing their own forms of entertainment now...via laptop, personal DVD or ipods, etc...
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Ken777
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RE: AA Wary Of MD-80 Replacement, Lack Of Alternatives

Wed Feb 01, 2006 6:15 pm

I can't see AA making a decision of a replacement until Boeing releases Y1.

First there is the profit & cash position. Then there is the fact that Y1 will probably be significantly better in the fuel burn area. Rather important these days.

So we have a situation of Y1 coming to the market - after the 787 takes to the air and the engine makers give a thumbs up. Then you have a situation where the unions acknowledge more efficient fleets are needed to keep their jobs in a world of increasing fuel prices. Then you have the bean counters putting everything together to make it work. In the end it was the bean counters than made the huge MD-80 deal a reality for AA - now it's Boeing's turn.

I would be very surprised if both WN and AA didn't have teams at Boeing involved in the Y1 program these days. When it's ready for released I think you'll see big orders from both. AA might even be heavy on deliveries for the first 12-18 months - and willing to "sell" some slots when the demand for early delivery mirrors the situation now on the 787 program.
 
bennett123
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RE: AA Wary Of MD-80 Replacement, Lack Of Alternatives

Wed Feb 01, 2006 6:51 pm

DfwRevolution

The falling out was over AA who insisted that the rudder mechanism allowed extremly violent deflections without adaquet feedback to the pilots and Airbus who insisted it was the responsibility of the FO. Was it worth pissing off the strongest of the U.S. legacy carriers with the largest fleet (and thus fleet replacement needs) in the world just to pass the buck entirely on AA?

What about the minor point that AA were trying to pass the buck 100% onto Airbus at the time. The true situation is that the rudder was only one factor.
If you follow the AA line then A300's would be dropping like flies.

My recollection is that repeated rudder reversals leading to the design load being exceeded by a wide margin had a role here. What you are essentially is that Airbus should take the can every time that a pilot screws up.


AAR90

As far as I know the rudder mechanism is the same as before.

If AA are correct in saying that the cause of the crash was the rudder design, then they are flying an aircraft that THEY contend has a serious design flaw.
 
CHRISBA777ER
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RE: AA Wary Of MD-80 Replacement, Lack Of Alternatives

Wed Feb 01, 2006 8:08 pm

Interesting that AA has such a loyalty to RR engines.

Why is this? Any ideas? Is it a we-like-Britain political thing, or a MX/performance thing?

Ok here's a question for you.

Its 1991. AA decides to order a fleet of 18 brand new Boeing 747-400s (i know they wouldnt, but lets just assume they did)

What engine would they choose?

RB211? or CF6?
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RICARDOAB
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RE: AA Wary Of MD-80 Replacement, Lack Of Alternatives

Wed Feb 01, 2006 8:11 pm

Just out of interest.

I know its a bit late now, but would the B717 have been a like-on-like replacement for the MD-80s, especially if Boeing had offered a stretch model?
 
PHLBOS
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RE: AA Wary Of MD-80 Replacement, Lack Of Alternatives

Wed Feb 01, 2006 9:38 pm

Quoting RICARDOAB (Reply 37):
would the B717 have been a like-on-like replacement for the MD-80s, especially if Boeing had offered a stretch model?

Not quite. The originally proposed stretch 717-300, had it made production, would have been about the same size as the DC-9-50. The MD-80s (aka DC-9-80s) were longer than the -50s.
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Aviator27
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RE: AA Wary Of MD-80 Replacement, Lack Of Alternatives

Wed Feb 01, 2006 9:47 pm

The B737NG does fly higher than A32x (Max Operating Altitude is FL410 compared to FL398 for A32x). The B737NG does cruise faster than A32x (normal cruise Mach 0.80 compared to Mach 0.78-0.80 for A32x). No way does the B737NG burn less fuel or is more efficient than A32x. It would take a term paper to explain for which I don't have time for. If you look at 2005 orders, the B737NG booked 569 net orders compared to the 918 net orders the A32x booked. Money talks.
 
lincoln
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RE: AA Wary Of MD-80 Replacement, Lack Of Alternatives

Wed Feb 01, 2006 10:16 pm

Quoting Cure (Reply 13):
...and AA is openly committed to Boeing (this is very weird in an open market)!

Why do you think it is weird in a 'open' (aka free) market?

For some examples - Air travel, in general, is a "open" market... I am 'openly committed' to Continental because Continental provides the best value/service overall (as in I do all of my flying on Continental and generally don't chose to spend time fare-shopping... I usually pay a little more but get a product I am satisfied with)... The fact that they have an all Boeing fleet doesn't hurt.

Hotels are also an "open" market... My company is 'openly commited' to Hilton and we aren't, generally, suposed to stay anywhere else unless there's a major convenience issue or there isn't a room available.

No, outside of frequent flyer/stayer miles/points we don't receive kickbacks from either

The industry that I work in is a very free market yet many of our clients have chosen to align themselves with us exclusively (or specify us to be a subcontractor on projects that go out to bid) because we provide a high-quality product, consistent service, and if something goes wrong they can just call one company...

I've stopped doing business with companies for reasons far less than AA's proported reason for disliking Airbus at the moment.

In a free market, companies and company are free to align themselves in any way that they wish, for good reasons, bad reasons or none -- bid every job or bid none of them... That's one of the things that makes this great.

Lincoln

[Edited 2006-02-01 14:32:27]
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yow
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RE: AA Wary Of MD-80 Replacement, Lack Of Alternatives

Wed Feb 01, 2006 10:54 pm

Quoting AA737-823 (Reply 9):
My vote is put some winglets on the -80s and fly 'em till 2025.

Here, here. And while we're at it put some winglets on NW's DC-9s and fly 'em forever (sorry, couldn't resist).  Wink

Maybe in about 10-15 years would be a good time for Bombardier to launch the C-Series.
 
whitehatter
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RE: AA Wary Of MD-80 Replacement, Lack Of Alternatives

Wed Feb 01, 2006 11:36 pm

Winglets on an MD-80 are not such a good idea as that wing is about as close to aviation perfection as you can get. Douglas designed a true classic when they built the DC-9 and its later models, which is why such a modest improvement is only possible with winglets.

The oher factor is design strength. Despite having a narrow cabin, the MD-80 is bult like a tank. As much so as the DC-8 was, and look how that has lasted after the CFM re-engine program for freighters. Putting a new engine on the MD-80 isn't such a strange idea if it creates an aircraft which can carry on for another 10-15 years at much less cost than going to a manufacturer for a new fleet.

If it were anything else (such as a 732) then it might not be as feasible, but the legendary Long Beach construction and design quality is in its favour. Douglas built them to last.
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D950
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RE: AA Wary Of MD-80 Replacement, Lack Of Alternatives

Wed Feb 01, 2006 11:45 pm

Quoting TUNisia (Reply 27):
Would Boeing ever reopen the 717 line? I know.... I'm dreaming.

Does AA have enough leverage with Boeing to even ask?? it seems a 717-400 or a perfect MD90 would be the answer.
Resting on your laurels is a synonym for flirting with disaster
 
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litz
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RE: AA Wary Of MD-80 Replacement, Lack Of Alternat

Wed Feb 01, 2006 11:54 pm

Quoting TUNisia (Reply 27):
Would Boeing ever reopen the 717 line? I know.... I'm dreaming.



Quoting Lufthansa (Reply 28):
I think it would very smart of AA to replace the JT8D's and keep the MD-80s.

Just out of curiosity ... does anyone have ballpark figures for re-engining a MD80 versus a newbuild 737-800 ?

If you redid the avionics, and put a couple of PW6's or BR715s on there you'd essentially have a 717-300ish (maybe a tad bit larger) type anyway ...

There's no reason to suspect an MD80's airframe will be any less reliable than a DC9's airframe as they ARE essentially the same thing ... and it's built like a Sherman tank with wings ... so lots of life left there.

Keeping 'em running is pure economics ... NW only retired some of their oldest models due to the new rules on vertical seperation (gas costs may force some others down, though).

Quoting WesternA318 (Reply 29):
Umm...with respect to how much money would be needed, in todays dollars, better make it two or three planeloads...

Scary thing is ... that's 2-3 planeloads at 777 or 747 sized planes ...

 Smile

- litz
 
Lufthansa
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RE: AA Wary Of MD-80 Replacement, Lack Of Alternatives

Thu Feb 02, 2006 12:35 am

Quoting Litz (Reply 44):
Just out of curiosity ... does anyone have ballpark figures for re-engining a MD80 versus a newbuild 737-800 ?

Well, the engines are going to cost somewhere around $3million each for that size. AA may get better prices due to sheer volume. But they're are going to be other costs such as certification, and a new pylon etc. I personally like the idea of the PW6000A simply because its a perfect thrust size subsitute, its very efficient and simple to maintain, but the Rolls engine already has the advantage that a pylon has already been developed for the 717, so this should probably simply things.

So compare that to a new build 738. Price tag.. about 40 million dollars although no doubt AA could get them at some of the lowest prices on the market. So, not considering the certification issues (somebody with more info perhaps like to comment?) i think you probably could do it for around $7 million. Amortize that over say 10 years, and i think you'll clearly be ahead, particularly if you priced oil at say $70 a barrel this year, working up to say $100 over the next 3 years and assuming $100 from there on.

Fuel at $30 a barrel is going to represent around 20-25% of operating costs. So a 20% fuel saving is only going to translate into a 2-3 % reduction in direct operating costs. Hence NWA soldiering on with the beautiful DC-9. At $100 a barrel, the whole economics change completely.
 
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N328KF
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RE: AA Wary Of MD-80 Replacement, Lack Of Alternatives

Thu Feb 02, 2006 12:47 am

Quoting Cure (Reply 13):
...and AA is openly committed to Boeing (this is very weird in an open market)!



Quoting ETStar (Reply 24):
It ain't so free after all eh   Also, chances are, they will get screwed eventually if they stick to one manufacturer and openly express that they will not deal with a competitor.



Quoting ETStar (Reply 24):
My sentiments exactly. I wonder what led to AA's and CO's and DL's one-supplier policy... hmmm free market?

You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.
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"Free market" means "free from government interference," not "free from market forces." In this case, AA and Boeing are both exerting their own influence on the market, and this is the outcome.
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AAR90
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RE: AA Wary Of MD-80 Replacement, Lack Of Alternatives

Thu Feb 02, 2006 1:00 am

Quoting Bennett123 (Reply 35):
AAR90
As far as I know the rudder mechanism is the same as before.

Correct.

Quote:
If AA are correct in saying that the cause of the crash was the rudder design, then they are flying an aircraft that THEY contend has a serious design flaw.

AA has never contended A300-600R has a serious design flaw. Only that the rudder control system contributed to the mishap and Airbus should share the blame (i.e. share in the insurance costs). The "fallout" between AA and Airbus is Airbus' continuing claim that AA procedures caused the mishap which is simply false.

Quoting CHRISBA777ER (Reply 36):
Interesting that AA has such a loyalty to RR engines.
Why is this? Any ideas?

Money, service and performance. AA is quite pleased with RR's service to AA and the parties are involved in joint maintenance ventures that has proven profitable for both parties.
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DIA
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RE: AA Wary Of MD-80 Replacement, Lack Of Alternatives

Thu Feb 02, 2006 1:14 am

Quoting MidnightMike (Thread starter):
American is going to wait for the future 737NNG program.

This thread has at least one definate fact quoted above.

And you can bet, if 300 A^A a/c need replacing and A^A is not exactly happy with the replacement alternatives out there currently...Boeing and A^A will develop and tailor quite an a/c together...just like United did with Boeing and the 777.
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BlueSky1976
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RE: AA Wary Of MD-80 Replacement, Lack Of Alternatives

Thu Feb 02, 2006 1:21 am

Quoting DfwRevolution (Reply 10):
Boeing also did not suffer EIS reliability problems that Airbus encountered with the A346 despite a program goal of EIS reliability on par with a mature product.

Tell that to BA and UA...

Quoting Ckfred (Reply 25):
AA still has 45 or 50 -800s on order. AA is supposed to resume taking deliveries in 2012 or 2013, but Boeing is able to push up delivery dates, if AA wants planes earlier.

Why would AA take a delivery of 738 in 2012, when there would be a much more comfortable and economical Yellowstone-1 available by then? Boeing is shooting for a 20% fuel-burn improvement for their 737 successor... if that doesn't make that plane attractive to them, then I don't know what is...
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PHLBOS
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RE: AA Wary Of MD-80 Replacement, Lack Of Alternatives

Thu Feb 02, 2006 1:53 am

Quoting Ckfred (Reply 25):
What I'm curious about is AA's plans to replace the F100. Right now, AA has nothing between the CRJ (70 seats) and the MD-80 (136 seats). AA has had to make do with putting CRJs and Embrears on routes that used to be exclusively mainline.

They had a worthy mainline replacement for the F100s staring them right in the face... the ex-TW 717s. Even after Boeing offered AA a one-for-one (F100 for 717) swap; AA stupidly tacked on a condition that Boeing could not sell their F100s to any of their competitors. I say stupidly because other than US and Midway II (who both already had plans to retire their own F100s); NOBODY ELSE in the U.S.A was flying the type even back then.

That decision coupled w/AA's decision to cancel TW's remaining 717 order was what ultimately signed the 717's production death warrant.

In essense, it was AA's decision not to utilize 717 (& therefore utilizing Eagle & Connection operators instead); now they have to bear the consequences of making such a decision.

With regards to Boeing offering an extended 717 is concerned, IIRC FL originally wanted Boeing to make such a type (and even offer an extended range model); but Boeing didn't persue the matter because it would've been in direct competition to its own successful 73G... which is what FL ultimately opted for.

Quoting Cschleic (Reply 30):
Didn't they retire all the F100's in 2003 or 2004?

I thought they retired them in late 2002, I could be mistaken.
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