|Quoting tsugambler (Thread starter):|
Does anyone know the current status of the 717 with Southwest? Now that the acquisition of AirTran is a done deal, has there been any further word about their plans for the 717? If they are kept in service at least for a while, when can we expect to see them repainted?
Given recent comments from WN
(not sure if it was the CEO or CFO), I think it safe to say that the 717s will not be around long term. There was a lot of discussion around the date 2015 and whether they would start phasing them out then or finish phasing them out then. Regardless of the exact time frame, I think it is safe to say the 717s are temporary at the combined WN
/FL and the exit date will be determined by the negotions with the lessor and Boeing's ability to get them replacements (if they need them). Also, I think I read that Boeing is the lessor for the 717 fleet and if that is true it simplifies things for WN
in terms of negotiating a good exit strategy for 717s whether they want to speed up or slow down the process.
As far as repainting, that is a tough call without knowing whether WN
plans to start reducing the 717 fleet immediately or in a few years. I assume WN
won't make a firm decision on that until they resolve the pilot contract issue, but if the decision is to keep the entire fleet around at least for the next few years I would expect them to want to get the repainting done A.S.A.P.