BrightCedars, I unfortunately agree with you, SN
looks really poor and weak. Indeed, besides the noteworthy exception of the American legacy carriers (but maybe not for much longer...) and a few other "losers", any airline around the globe is buying/leasing new aircrafts massively right now. I recon that SN
is not in a strong position on its market but I really wonder if it will ever be the case. The optimistic people could argue that SN
is about to operate 10 new long-haul aircrafts out of Brussels if we consider the deal they just finalised with Jet Airways, but if this deal is successful, it is pretty sure that it is mainly Jet's cash flow that will be fed by that success, well before SN
's one, so I don't hope to see SN
growing its fleet that much subsequently.
To come back to the intitial topic, it's actualy pretty funny to see that. It's an exact replay of what Sabena did in the last years before its collapse. They started to operate 3 A333/GE (OO-SFM, SFN
) in 1996/97 and added in the following years 6 A332/PW (SFP through SFU, bought through a joint deal with SR
, probably one of the single good move of Qualiflyer) and also leased a single A333/PW (OO-SFX, from Garuda if I remember correctly) with which they had some troubles. At that time (say 1999) I understood that this last aircraft got her access denied to the USA, because of the lack of a few regulatory emergency cabin equipments (I don't know for sure, but there must be some truth in what I was told though). So that aircraft was eventualy confined to the African operations. Some ex-Sabenian could probably shed some more light on that other Sabena crunchy story.
In conclusion, like in every business, you can save some money at the time of the initial investment by buying sub-standard or non-optimum equipment in regard of your needs, but then you repay it sooner rather than later in higher operating costs/lower customer satisfaction/etc. One way to get out of this vicious circle is to have shareholders ready to through some money in the battle but it's not exactly the case of SN
Good luck Brussels Airlines though. I wish them sincerely the best.