FLY777UAL
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MD-90 Ownership Costs

Sun Oct 22, 2006 7:00 pm

With so few MD-90s flying around (in comparison to the A32X and 737NG families) and such a small second-hand market for the aircraft, what are the ownership costs like when compared to similar aircraft?

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EMBQA
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RE: MD-90 Ownership Costs

Sun Oct 22, 2006 11:18 pm

Not bad at all. The engines are still produced, supported and used on other aircraft... the avionics suite is still produced, used and supported on other aircraft.... the airframe is still just an MD-80 which is still used and supported.
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LAXintl
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RE: MD-90 Ownership Costs

Mon Oct 23, 2006 12:52 am

According to some documents I have, a MD-90 lease could be had as a couple months ago for about $115,000 per month.

Definately a steal compare to an A319 @ $225-305,000 or a 737-700 for $225-330,000.

Problem with the MD-90 is its relative scarcity in both airframes, plus support.
In addition the crewing end requires seperate training from the MD-80s. Both SAS and DL have tried hard to be allowed to operate the type with the same pool of pilots however have been forced to keep a fence around their MD-90s due regulations.
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DeltaGuy
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RE: MD-90 Ownership Costs

Mon Oct 23, 2006 9:44 am

Quoting Laxintl (Reply 2):
In addition the crewing end requires seperate training from the MD-80s. Both SAS and DL have tried hard to be allowed to operate the type with the same pool of pilots however have been forced to keep a fence around their MD-90s due regulations.

Hardly. DL MD-88 pilots also fly the 90. It depends what base you're at, the DFW pilots routinely flew the 88 and 90 on the same trip...I once had an 88 leg through DFW a 90 leg with the same crew. Now the SLC guys are flying it more, but yes, they both fly it.

It's merely differences training, which is built into the approved syllabus and is taught to pilots in the bases which would have that a/c (JFK pilots don't ever see it, for example)

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LAXintl
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RE: MD-90 Ownership Costs

Mon Oct 23, 2006 10:44 am

Quoting DeltaGuy (Reply 3):
Now the SLC guys are flying it more

Actualy SLC is the one and only Delta MD90 crew base.

MD88s are at ATL, CVG, NYC.
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DeltaGuy
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RE: MD-90 Ownership Costs

Mon Oct 23, 2006 11:51 am

SLC has been, and is, an 88/90 base....so those pilots are qualled in both.

If you've ever been to the training center and seen the syllabus, you'd see that there is a few additional sections devoted to differences training- the POM even is written for both aircraft.

DeltaGuy
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SLCUT2777
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RE: MD-90 Ownership Costs

Mon Oct 23, 2006 1:28 pm

My flight home from SEA-SLC last month was scheduled for an MD-90, but ended up on an MD-88, so the 88s do operate out of SLC on occasion. Besides the obvious differences in engines on the 90s, the 88s have an older flight deck design and layout if I recall correctly.
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DeltaGuy
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RE: MD-90 Ownership Costs

Mon Oct 23, 2006 10:24 pm

Quoting SLCUT2777 (Reply 6):
Besides the obvious differences in engines on the 90s, the 88s have an older flight deck design and layout if I recall correctly.

Right, they've got the nice noisey JT8D's. The flight deck is virtually the same, some of the only variances being the thrust and electrical panels (they had big problems with the electrical system in that jet when it was first produced, if you tried to go from ground to APU power the jet would freak out)

Remember, just because a pilot is based in SLC or wherever doesn't mean he'll be only doing legs out of there, hence why they're 88 qualled as well- they may have a hop that'll take them to CVG, only to pick up an 88 for the next leg- oftentimes you have pilots from other bases flying alot of their trips from another hub, i.e. JFK pilots almost constantly fly ATL trips.

DeltaGuy
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LMP737
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RE: MD-90 Ownership Costs

Mon Oct 23, 2006 10:55 pm

Quoting DeltaGuy (Reply 7):
they had big problems with the electrical system in that jet when it was first produced, if you tried to go from ground to APU power the jet would freak out)

With the ex-Reno MD-90's the flight crews would leave the APU running between flights instead having ground power hooked up. Like you said the aircraft would get a bit tempremental when you tried to switch from one to the other.
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DeltaGuy
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RE: MD-90 Ownership Costs

Mon Oct 23, 2006 11:40 pm

I think Delta used to have to do the same thing is well.

Too bad AAR90 wasn't active anymore on these threads, he had alot of good experience as well with this airframe.

DeltaGuy
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trex8
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RE: MD-90 Ownership Costs

Tue Oct 24, 2006 11:39 am

 
Cadet57
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RE: MD-90 Ownership Costs

Tue Oct 24, 2006 11:41 am

Quoting EMBQA (Reply 1):
the airframe is still just an MD-80 which is still used and supported.

Is it possible to upgrade a MD-80 airframe to an MD-90? Ie add the new engines and avionics?
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gigneil
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RE: MD-90 Ownership Costs

Tue Oct 24, 2006 11:44 am

Quoting Cadet57 (Reply 11):
Is it possible to upgrade a MD-80 airframe to an MD-90? Ie add the new engines and avionics?

Well no, they're not actually identical. Similar, but different in MANY ways.

NS
 
DeltaGuy
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RE: MD-90 Ownership Costs

Tue Oct 24, 2006 11:53 am

Other than the engines, there'd be no reason to. I'd like to see some of the 88's upgraded to the 90's motors for Stage IV (not because I hate jet noise, but more to shut the NIMBY's up  Wink)
It'd be alot of cost and probably not nearly worth it compared to entire fleet replacement in the next several years.

Those numbers posted on the -90 look good....fairley fuel effecient a/c for the money. Those CASM's have to be lower than that now though.

DeltaGuy
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SLCUT2777
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RE: MD-90 Ownership Costs

Tue Oct 24, 2006 12:12 pm

Quoting DeltaGuy (Reply 13):
It'd be alot of cost and probably not nearly worth it compared to entire fleet replacement in the next several years.

Probably more 738s and others that have been discussed on these threads and hashed out etc...
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supa7E7
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RE: MD-90 Ownership Costs

Tue Oct 24, 2006 1:46 pm

The MD-90 is such a nice, quiet plane to ride on.

Seems like people should appreciate the MD-90 more than they do. Efficient too. Delta probably secretly loves them. Otherwise, why keep the fleet in BK?
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DeltaGuy
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RE: MD-90 Ownership Costs

Tue Oct 24, 2006 2:03 pm

Because the aircraft have a low value on the outside market. IIRC American's ex Reno Air birds are still sitting in the desert- American offered them to Delta, which in turn DL offered theirs to AA- unfortunately they're not that popular and it benefited DL more to keep them than get rid of them for dirt cheap.

DeltaGuy
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woodsboy
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RE: MD-90 Ownership Costs

Sun Nov 05, 2006 3:18 am

With Delta's apparant lack of mainline aircraft after the departure of the 732s and 733s, maybe Delta should look at adding some of the stored (ex AA, etc.) MD90s to the fleet. The low cost of leasing them seems as though it would more than make up for the drawbacks of a small fleet. Something tells me though that Delta's MD90s must be at least somewhat important to their fleet since back as far as 1999 the Delta "annual report" spoke of the MD90s going away in 5-6 years which would have been a couple of years ago by now! As far as I know (and someone can correct me) the entire fleet is still operational with Delta. Once I saw the 90s getting painted in the Deltaflot scheme I figured they werent going away so soon.

I get lucky to fly the 90s almost every time I fly Delta since they are always on the Denver-SLC-SEA corridor and we get to fly the 90 again on Nov. 24 between SLC and SEA!
 
Oykie
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RE: MD-90 Ownership Costs

Sun Nov 05, 2006 8:32 pm

How many MD-90's did Reno have? And how many MD-90 are now stored worldwide?

I guess the problem with the MD-90 is that a company cannot get enough of them to replace another type. SAS for instance could not replace for instance every MD-80 with used MD-90. Therefore it was much cheaper to send the MD-90 out to other operators.
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DeltaGuy
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RE: MD-90 Ownership Costs

Mon Nov 06, 2006 3:03 am

Quoting Woodsboy (Reply 17):
As far as I know (and someone can correct me) the entire fleet is still operational with Delta.

Yessir, all of them are still going.

Lion Air has been the only taker of these lately I think....I believe all the ex AA ones are still at Roswell, and there may be a few ProAir ones that haven't been scrapped.

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Dalmd88
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RE: MD-90 Ownership Costs

Mon Nov 06, 2006 3:15 am

Quoting Cadet57 (Reply 11):
Is it possible to upgrade a MD-80 airframe to an MD-90? Ie add the new engines and avionics?

The engine upgrade wouldn't be too difficult. Would it be cost effective? I don't really know. The stage IV issue in the US is a non issue. It only effects new aircraft.

The avionics on the two aircraft are basiclly the same. The big differance is the Electrical system. MD80's use CSD's mounted on the engines. The MD90 uses VSCF. Don't ask me how they differ, I have never fooled with the VSCF. This system I think was at the heart of APU power freakout others have talked about. The airplane was very picky as to the quality of the ground power. If the power didn't match perfectly it dumped.

Switching from a CSD system to the VSCF system I doubt is realistic. Another difference is lenght. The MD90 is longer by five feet.
 
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SLCUT2777
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RE: MD-90 Ownership Costs

Mon Nov 06, 2006 4:02 am

Quoting Woodsboy (Reply 17):
Something tells me though that Delta's MD90s must be at least somewhat important to their fleet since back as far as 1999 the Delta "annual report" spoke of the MD90s going away in 5-6 years which would have been a couple of years ago by now! As far as I know (and someone can correct me) the entire fleet is still operational with Delta. Once I saw the 90s getting painted in the Deltaflot scheme I figured they werent going away so soon.

I get lucky to fly the 90s almost every time I fly Delta since they are always on the Denver-SLC-SEA corridor and we get to fly the 90 again on Nov. 24 between SLC and SEA!

There are currently 16 MD-90s in the DL fleet, all of them based out of SLC for the most part. As long as DL operates the MD-88, the MD-90 will be important to them since the MD-90 can handle the altitude issues associated with SLC in hot weather.
On the whole, several sources have indicated that the MD-88/90 line-up will be the next fleet phase out as more 738s come on line next year at DL. The reason these remaining MD's are around with DL is that the 732 and 733 had higher operating costs and lease costs that could be re-negotiated and were deemed expendable as I see it. I know many hate to see it, but DL will be a fleet free from any and all MD (Douglas) aircraft by about 2010, and be a strictly Boeing shop.
I think the idea of putting different engines on the MD-88s to make them more compatible with SLC and the higher altitude operations out west would be just as big a waste of money going out the door at DL as when Ronald W. Allen sent all of the old Western DC-10s off to never again land and then turned around and purchased the MD-11 that couldn't do the West Coast to NRT route the way they wanted (too many stops for gas @ANC). The Douglas aircraft heritage at DL should be at the museum at ATL not on all of the the DL occupied concourses there.
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D950
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RE: MD-90 Ownership Costs

Tue Nov 07, 2006 3:46 am

[quote=DeltaGuy,reply=19]Lion Air has been the only taker of these lately I think....I believe all the ex AA ones are still at Roswell, and there may be a few ProAir ones that haven't been scrapped.


Actually the only MD90's Lion has, are the ex Reno/AA birds. All other 90's are scattered between, Hello, Eva/Uni, JAS, and some SAS spinoffs, Blue1 and Nordic Leisure.
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brucek
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RE: MD-90 Ownership Costs

Tue Nov 07, 2006 8:11 am

Quoting DALMD88 (Reply 20):

As I recall MD extended the MD-90 fuselage ahead of the wing (in comparison to the MD 8x) to balance out the additional weight of the larger engines. Since a fuselage plug would be hard to fit to an existing aircraft, I would think a basic weight & balance issue here?
 
milesrich
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RE: MD-90 Ownership Costs

Tue Nov 07, 2006 3:10 pm

Delta Guy, not to be argumentative, but according to a MD-90 Captain I spoke to, a couple of weeks ago in MSP before he boarded his flight to SLC, the MD-90 guys can fly the MD-88, but not the other way, the MD-88 crews are not automatically MD-90 qualified.

If any additional aircraft are available, I would not be surprised to see Delta pick them up. And as far as Delta ditching all their Mad Dogs in the next 3 plus years, without a merger, I very much doubt it.
 
flydreamliner
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RE: MD-90 Ownership Costs

Tue Nov 07, 2006 3:24 pm

Quoting Milesrich (Reply 24):
If any additional aircraft are available, I would not be surprised to see Delta pick them up. And as far as Delta ditching all their Mad Dogs in the next 3 plus years, without a merger, I very much doubt it.

I don't see the MD90s going away, or the MD-88s either. Here is the thing at DL, they are trying to expand pretty ambitiously. They have removed 777s from transatlantic service, and use them only on routes the 767s don't have the range for. The 767-400s and 767-300s are being pulled from domestic service to pick up the slack from the 777s on transatlantic routes, and adding new transatlantic routes like crazy. This puts their 757s and the 757s from TWA/AA on routes to Hawaii and on short transatlantic hops. What this leaves are a bunch of domestic capacity that has been removed and placed on international, largely in transcon routes, which are having to be made up for with the 737-800s mostly. The MD-88s and MD-90s have been set up fairly cost effectively to cover the more regional routes. They just don't really have any huge surplus of aircraft, and I see DL buying more 777s and buying 787s before we see them buy additional 737s beyond what they've ordered yet for replacing MD-88s and MD-90s. Perhaps once the plan was to pull them from service, but DL's reality has shifted.

Quoting Brucek (Reply 23):

As I recall MD extended the MD-90 fuselage ahead of the wing (in comparison to the MD 8x) to balance out the additional weight of the larger engines. Since a fuselage plug would be hard to fit to an existing aircraft, I would think a basic weight & balance issue here?

It would be a project too expensive to justify its worth in most cases... and yes, you'd basically have to add ballast ahead of the wings to balance out the very impressively heavy IAE V2500s, in fact, the V2500s on MD90 are the heaviest V2500s made.
"Let the world change you, and you can change the world"
 
sllevin
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RE: MD-90 Ownership Costs

Tue Nov 07, 2006 3:28 pm

Quoting DALMD88 (Reply 20):
The stage IV issue in the US is a non issue. It only effects new aircraft.

I don't believe this is a true statement. It certainly wasn't for the Stage III transition. Just because DC-9's or 727's weren't Stage III as built did not mean they avoided compliance. There are Stage IV solutions being marketed for the MD-80 that will have minimal impact on performance, but, obviously, everyone wants to avoid spending the money until they have to.

Quoting Brucek (Reply 23):
Since a fuselage plug would be hard to fit to an existing aircraft, I would think a basic weight & balance issue here?

It would definitely ramp up the certification costs. You'd be fundamentally making significant changes in the flying characteristics of the airplane. Unless you found a way to make the MD-80 into an actual MD-90, you'd essentially have to do *all* the flight testing over again, I believe. Whereas right now hanging new engines on an MD-80 only involves certifing the engines and you use all the existing flight data since you are still operating the same airframe within its published weight and balance.

Quoting Milesrich (Reply 24):
If any additional aircraft are available, I would not be surprised to see Delta pick them up.

DL never showed any interest in the Reno or ProAir birds; I doubt as the years go by they'd be interested in anything else.

Steve

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