vfw614
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Why Is The 737-8 Bigger Success Than The 737-4 Was

Sun Apr 02, 2006 8:56 pm

Taking the 148seat Boeing 737-300/700 as a benchmark, in the "Classic"-era the sales of the larger -400 amounted to 43 per cent of the sales of the -300 (300: 1113 - 400: 486), while looking at "NG-era" the -800 has sold 120 per cent of the number of -700s (700: 797 - 800: 958).

Why has the largest Boeing 737 of the NG-era been so much more successful (leaving the poorly selling -900 aside) than the largest Boeing 737 Classic ?

I mean there are some obvious explanations like the difference of just 21 seats in max. seating (-300: 149 -400: 170) compared to 40 seats (700: 149 vs. 800: 189) and the resulting requirement for an additional F/A for only half the number of additional seats (if used to max. capacity).

When designing the NG product range, Boeing obviously rectified the problem by enlarging the -400 to the 189 seat -800 while both the -300 and -500 were kept as the -700 and -600.

So what was the original concept behind the Boeing 737-400 ? Quite often one can read that it was designed as a Boeing 727-200 replacement, but for that purpose a -800 sized -400 would have been much closer in capacity. Did Boeing shy away from a 189seat Boeing 737-400 because it feared such an aircraft would eat into the sales of the Boeing 757-200 ?

Don't misunderstand me, in all honesty, 486 sales is not bad at all, but the fact remains that the -400 in contrast to its stableamtes did not make it into the NG era.
 
MEA-707
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RE: Why Is The 737-8 Bigger Success Than The 737-4 Was

Sun Apr 02, 2006 9:27 pm

What you write makes a lot of sense, the 737-400 with its 170 seats was less attractive for LCCs/charters who prefer either 149 or 199 seaters to get the maximum productivity from the flight crew.
But don't forget, with some airlines operating fleets of over 100, this differences can also be the result of a choice of a handful of airlines. Let's just focus on some major 737 operating airlines why they ignored the 737-400;

United; they badly needed an aircraft, lighter and cheaper then the 757, to replace 727s and with (almost) transcontinental range. The A-320 was the better choice for them then the 737-400.

Lufthansa; bought a handful 737-400 but already heading to an A-320 narrowbody fleet by the time it came out

Continental; interesting, the 400 and 600 are the ONLY 737s they never flew. I guess they wanted to simplify a bit and get the DC-9s, 727s, 737-100/200s and MD-80s out, they focussed on smaller and bigger aircraft, only needed the 800s later in the 1990s when they came out to replace the last 727s and MD-80s.

American, Delta and SAS; hold on to the MD-80/90 for the 140-160 pax segment til the 737-800 came out.

Boeing also got a lot of new clients who weren't in the picture re. the -400.
Ryanair; jumped straight from 200s to 800s, weren't financially able enough yet to buy new aircraft in the earlier 1990s. Gol, Virgin Blue, Westjet are too new.
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BDL2DCA
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RE: Why Is The 737-8 Bigger Success Than The 737-4 Was

Sun Apr 02, 2006 10:10 pm

Don't forget that the 734 had range problems vis a vis the 733. United could push the 733 to fly DEN to the east coast, but the 734 never would have made it.

The 73G and 738 do not have comparable range issues.
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codeshare
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RE: Why Is The 737-8 Bigger Success Than The 737-4 Was

Sun Apr 02, 2006 10:36 pm

Obvious one is that it is larger and has a completely new wings and engines. Maybe that is what the airlines wanted (which may have also resulted in the 737-900 as an answer to the A321). When it was enetering the market the A320 was already being offered - so maybe it is here to be a step better?

KS/codeshare
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EssentialPowr
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RE: Why Is The 737-8 Bigger Success Than The 737-4 Was

Mon Apr 03, 2006 3:33 am

The NGs are capable of being ETOPs certified, the older gen probably could be but would be cost prohibitive...
 
gigneil
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RE: Why Is The 737-8 Bigger Success Than The 737-4 Was

Mon Apr 03, 2006 4:25 am

The 737-200 flies in ETOPS service all the time.

N
 
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yyz717
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RE: Why Is The 737-8 Bigger Success Than The 737-4 Was

Mon Apr 03, 2006 4:32 am

The 734 was likely intended as a low development cost 722 replacement. Boeing misjudged the capabilities and popularity of the 320 which became apparent when UAL ordered the 320 over a strong Boeing push for the 734.

Quoting MEA-707 (Reply 1):
Continental; interesting, the 400 and 600 are the ONLY 737s they never flew.

If memory serves, JP Airline Fleets had the initial CO NG order as including a large number of 736's, which of course were converted into 73G/738 at some later stage.
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MX757
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RE: Why Is The 737-8 Bigger Success Than The 737-4 Was

Mon Apr 03, 2006 12:29 pm

The 737-800 came out at the right time when major airlines were looking for a 727-200 and MD-80 replacement. The 737-8 has the exact amount of seats as a 727-2 at least that was the case here at CO. CO also used the 737-8 as a replacement for our MD-80's which seat a little less.
Is it broke...? Yeah I'll fix it.
 
AR385
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RE: Why Is The 737-8 Bigger Success Than The 737-4 Was

Mon Apr 03, 2006 12:53 pm

The 734 was underpowered and therefore, pretty unattractive to many airlines requiring an aircraft without limitations from hot and high airports.

Mexicana had the 734 in mind, but went for the A-320, as it could better operate from MEX

Quoting Gigneil (Reply 5):
The 737-200 flies in ETOPS service all the time

True, but it needs a special certification and special navigational equipment, its a process a bit more complicated than the "normal" ETOPS certification process.
 
Oykie
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RE: Why Is The 737-8 Bigger Success Than The 737-4 Was

Mon Apr 03, 2006 6:07 pm

The 737 classic had a less efficient wing than the 737NG for the size of the -400. The -800 has the transcontinental range without payload penalties, which means it can be used on routes that was previously flown by the larger 757, and one could put in more passenger than on the 73G without a much higher operating cost.

Boeing did a great market research when they launched the Next generation 737 so it is more optimised for airlines.

When SAS launched the 736 I think they did not focus on getting the weight down, and to have it to similar to the rest of the NG family to get the acquisition cost down. Had they put the 736 on a diet, it would get more orders than it did.
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brightcedars
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RE: Why Is The 737-8 Bigger Success Than The 737-4 Was

Mon Apr 03, 2006 6:16 pm

Take the case of Sabena for example. In their recent history (1970 onward), they quickly replaced every plane to get the most modern one.

When the Boeing 737-200 came around, there finally was an airplane economical enough that would allow to increase frequency thanks to its smaller capacity. When they had to complement the 737-200 fleet and replace ageing models, they went for a few small capacity 737-500s, 737-300s with slightly higher load and much more range, and very few 737-400s to be able to boost seasonal capacity on certain flights to leisure or business destinations. Flying a 737-400 was a 33% capacity increase over a 737-500.

Let's not forget that they were putting something more roomy like 106 seats on the 737-200, 109 on the 737-500, 126 on the 737-300 and 144 on the 737-400 in those times.

I think airlines were more busy with developping frequency. The 737-800 came at the right time to build added capacity on the existing frequency.

Wish Sabena had replaced their 13 737-200s with say 13 737-700s and a couple 737-800s instead of 34 Airbus A320s and sibblings. I believe it is the loss making rapidely expanding low-yielding hub & spoke European network and of course all the Swissair/Airbus issue that weakened them and made their demise possible.
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cricket
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RE: Why Is The 737-8 Bigger Success Than The 737-4 Was

Mon Apr 03, 2006 8:18 pm

A major reason for the massive popularity of the 737-800 would also be the explosion of Low-Cost operators across the world since it was introduced. FR has expanded rapidly - and they exclusively operate the 737-800 (and quite a large number of them too), you have other LCC's across the world who are choosing the 737-800. It works for them.
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PHLBOS
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RE: Why Is The 737-8 Bigger Success Than The 737-4 Was

Tue Apr 04, 2006 5:02 am

Quoting Cricket (Reply 11):
A major reason for the massive popularity of the 737-800 would also be the explosion of Low-Cost operators across the world since it was introduced.

Other than TZ & WestJet, most North American LCCs haven't opted for the type as of yet. FL does have options in its 737NG order to include 738s, but I don't believe they have made any firm 738 orders yet.
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phllax
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RE: Why Is The 737-8 Bigger Success Than The 737-4 Was

Tue Apr 04, 2006 5:31 am

Range, not power, was the main issue with the 400, along with the fact that there were still some pretty new 722's flying. Fuel was cheap, so airlines didn't mind keeping the 3-man cockpit until it became cost-prohibitive in the 90's. Also, most carriers had larger 722 fleets than 737-200/300 fleets when the 400 came out. You also had the MD-80 in the picture too.
 
BDL2DCA
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RE: Why Is The 737-8 Bigger Success Than The 737-4 Was

Tue Apr 04, 2006 6:03 am

Quoting Phllax (Reply 13):
Fuel was cheap, so airlines didn't mind keeping the 3-man cockpit until it became cost-prohibitive in the 90's.

PHLLAX, you might want to revise your post above. You make it sound like the flight engineer required fuel  wink 
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FLALEFTY
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RE: Why Is The 737-8 Bigger Success Than The 737-4 Was

Tue Apr 04, 2006 6:25 am

Quoting BDL2DCA (Reply 2):
Don't forget that the 734 had range problems vis a vis the 733. United could push the 733 to fly DEN to the east coast

That is correct.

United rejected the 737-400 because it would have been payload restricted from Denver on hot days - they chose the more-capable A320, instead.

The 737-400 was like the DC-9-50, where the aerodynamics and engine combination of the original design was pretty much maxed out.

IIRC, Piedmont was the launch customer for the 737-400 and wanted it for east coast routes.

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