|Quoting BDL2DCA (Reply 6):|
Considering the 320 series aircraft were out at the time, I'd say its range was not competitive. Otherwise, we might have seen an AC or UA order for the M90, rather than the 32S.
First, most customers do not need trans-contenental range. Do you think Easyjets A319's are equipped for 3,000+nm trips? While I don't know the details, I bet if the MD
-90 was more fuel efficient and reliable it would have been competitive for the orders.
You're also comparing to the A320-200 circa 1989; so yes, it was available and had longer range, but that was back when Airbus was having trouble convincing customers to go fly by wire...
-90 entered service in 1993, with orders that predated the A320-200. So I can agree with you on AC
. But recall that the 733 was still very popular and the 737NG didn't leave the factory until 1997. So until then there was a window.
Recall that single isle coast to coast "point to point" really didn't start taking off until 2000 when AA
and others really got into the fray. So I accept that Airbus, AC
, and UA
led the pack. But the mindset of airlines would have allowed great MD
-90 sales until about 1996 if it had been reliable. But its initial entry into service was so poor it killed the airframe more so than range. With reliability or even meeting promised operational performance, DL
would have bought more MD
-90's. Maybe AA
? IIRC they ordered the 737-800 in 1998. I'm not saying the MD
-90 would have been a category killer. Obviously not. I'm just arguing range wasn't what truely killed it. It was poor economics.
So while I don't dispute for some airlines the MD
-90 wasn't competitive, for hubbing airlines pre 737NG with large MD
-80 or DC-9 fleets, the MD
-90 could have been competitve at its range. But again, fuel burn and reliability ended any interest in the type. But in the last seven years we've gone from diversified fleets with aircraft optimized for each mission to fleet commonality. We've gone from hubs being king to "point to point." The need for frequency is much better recognized (it was noted then, but not as all consuming as today). There has been a nice change in mindset in the industry. But maybe this comes from my love of reading history and looking into how mind sets change with time.