einsteinboricua
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MD80: AA Vs DL

Sat Jul 27, 2013 5:15 pm

Perhaps this has already been addressed, but why is AA so keen on getting rid of its MD80s ASAP while DL still holds on to them?

Capacity wise, their MD80s can carry the same number of passengers so let's assume for now that they're equal. They have about the same range and from the looks of it they don't even use them for long travel.

I realize the only difference there was the number: AA had 200+ while DL remained below that number. Is the number of MD80s then the factor on why AA wants to replace them so quick?
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apodino
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RE: MD80: AA Vs DL

Sat Jul 27, 2013 5:19 pm

I believe the AA fleet is older than the DL fleet. That being said, I was on an MD-90 jumpseat recently. The plane could not get above 30000 feet that day, and we encountered bad turbulence the whole way....and we could not get over it because the plane literally could not climb any higher, and we couldn't get around it. They might have bigger engines, but they don't have a wing to go with the bigger engines according to the Captain.

Needless to say, I am not a big fan of the series. But the DL route structure is set up in a way where the MD 80s are at least somewhat economical, plus they are newer planes than most of the AA fleet. Consequently, the AA fleet is near the end of its lifetime, and thus AA is replacing them. Even Allegiant is getting newer equipment (A320 family).
 
finnishway
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RE: MD80: AA Vs DL

Sat Jul 27, 2013 5:36 pm

Why is AA getting rid of them?

Because they want newer and more economical fleet. That is one part of their "New American" program.

Why Delta don't get rid of them so fast? They have many aircraft, own maintenance company and they can even scrap some planes for spare parts. This works well for Delta at least for now.

Airlines just can't get new planes fast enough nowadays, because backlogs are so long. Only way to get newer aircraft fast is to buy used planes.
 
questions
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RE: MD80: AA Vs DL

Sat Jul 27, 2013 5:39 pm

It's a fleet management strategy.

Do you want to spend a lot of money on a new car that gets better gas mileage... or spend a lot less money on a pre-owned car that get worse gas mileage, paint the exterior and put in a new stereo system? And, most family members will not be able to tell the difference as long as it's clean and don't care as long as it's safe and reliable.

Said another way, it's all about the choices of where, when, and how the airline wants to spend its money.

[Edited 2013-07-27 10:40:16]

[Edited 2013-07-27 10:41:38]
 
MIflyer12
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RE: MD80: AA Vs DL

Sat Jul 27, 2013 5:53 pm

Quoting einsteinboricua (Thread starter):
from the looks of it they don't even use them for long travel.

That is one of the keys to successful use. DL tries to keep its MD-88s on shorter segments/lower daily utilization where the fuel penalty vs. a 738 or A320 is smaller.

Generally, DL's MD-88s were delivered later than AA's MD-80/83s. DL deliveries were '87-'93; AA's came in as early as 1981 (with some from TWA) and the last 'AA original' by 1992. About 40 of AA's newest came via TWA '96-'99.
 
rivervisual
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RE: MD80: AA Vs DL

Sat Jul 27, 2013 6:01 pm

Quoting apodino (Reply 1):
I believe the AA fleet is older than the DL fleet. That being said, I was on an MD-90 jumpseat recently. The plane could not get above 30000 feet that day, and we encountered bad turbulence the whole way....and we could not get over it because the plane literally could not climb any higher, and we couldn't get around it. They might have bigger engines, but they don't have a wing to go with the bigger engines according to the Captain.

Unless there was a specific MEL issue with that aircraft or the WX above 30000 feet to the service ceiling was worse there is no reason a MD-90 cannot fly above 30000 feet. I routinely fly the MD-90 and it has one of the better rides during bad weather. It may have it's issues but in the end it's a more fuel efficient MD-88 with more seats.
 
ckfred
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RE: MD80: AA Vs DL

Sat Jul 27, 2013 6:05 pm

Quoting MIflyer12 (Reply 4):
That is one of the keys to successful use. DL tries to keep its MD-88s on shorter segments/lower daily utilization where the fuel penalty vs. a 738 or A320 is smaller.

Generally, DL's MD-88s were delivered later than AA's MD-80/83s. DL deliveries were '87-'93; AA's came in as early as 1981 (with some from TWA) and the last 'AA original' by 1992. About 40 of AA's newest came via TWA '96-'99.

I would suspect that while AA will retire its orginal MD-80s as quickly as possible, the former TWA aircraft will be the last to retire.

While the fact that longer flights are now costlier for MD-80s, with the higher fuel consumption, the fact that AA still has MD-80s is due, in part, to AA flying them on longer routes for some time.

Before the early 1990s, the MD-80 was a workhorse on short and medium-haul routes. But, when AA decided to retire a number of DC-10s, the MD-80s started flying longer routes. Out of ORD, they flew to every city in the Pacific Time Zone, except SNA, as well as PHX and TUS. The longer flights meant fewer cycles.
 
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EA CO AS
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RE: MD80: AA Vs DL

Sat Jul 27, 2013 6:14 pm

Quoting einsteinboricua (Thread starter):
AA had 200+

Actually, 300+ at one point.
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Comments made here are my own and are not intended to represent the official position of Alaska Air Group
 
deltal1011man
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RE: MD80: AA Vs DL

Sat Jul 27, 2013 6:26 pm

Quoting einsteinboricua (Thread starter):

Route network.
AA's hit most markets and did (do?) routes like ORD-SEA. Delta generally keeps them east of the mississippi now, flying up and down the east coast.

The MD90 has replaced nearly all of the long haul 88 flying from ATL. Cities like DEN/ELP/ABQ use to be 88s and are now 90s.
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TheRedBaron
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RE: MD80: AA Vs DL

Sat Jul 27, 2013 6:31 pm

I love Dc 9 platform !!! they are very nice in turbulence and provided I am not seated behind the wing (those pesky engines are torture!) is a very nice comfortable airplane... used to love the AM Md 83 they used on MEX-LAX route...


Delta doesnt like capital expenditure, hence they will milk those Md´s as long as they can...
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Flighty
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RE: MD80: AA Vs DL

Sat Jul 27, 2013 7:12 pm

Quoting apodino (Reply 1):
I was on an MD-90 jumpseat recently. The plane could not get above 30000 feet that day

Really! IIRC I have been to 39k on DC-9 on MSP-ORD. This could be wrong but I do recall it.

M90 might struggle with very heavy fuel loads.
 
nutsaboutplanes
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RE: MD80: AA Vs DL

Sat Jul 27, 2013 7:37 pm

Quoting MIflyer12 (Reply 4):
That is one of the keys to successful use. DL tries to keep its MD-88s on shorter segments/lower daily utilization where the fuel penalty vs. a 738 or A320 is smaller.

I seem to recall a discussion on a net a while back where it was identified the the MD80 actually does as well or better than the 738 on short segments under 500 miles. I don't know if that was somebody's opinion or if it was factual but the way that DL uses them would seem to support that.

AA used the MD80 on much longer stage lengths like DFW-SEA and ORD-PDX where there was most certainly a disadvantage vs. a 738.
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Viscount724
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RE: MD80: AA Vs DL

Sat Jul 27, 2013 7:46 pm

Quoting EA CO AS (Reply 7):
Quoting einsteinboricua (Thread starter):
AA had 200+

Actually, 300+ at one point.

AA took delivery of 260 new MD-80s between 1983 and 1992, plus those inherited from TWA and any other sources.
 
AA737-823
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RE: MD80: AA Vs DL

Sat Jul 27, 2013 7:49 pm

Quoting Flighty (Reply 10):
Really! IIRC I have been to 39k on DC-9 on MSP-ORD. This could be wrong but I do recall it.

MSP-ORD is a very different scenario (not to mention the dozen other variables that neither of you have told us) than what apodino may have been on.
The MD-90 has the exact same wing as the MD-80, therefor, the FACT is that if all other conditions are the same, it will perform/climb/cruise worse/slower/lower than an MD-80, which was already not a stellar altitude champ, compared to the 737NG and A320 which are newer and more capable.

The MD is still a fantastic airplane, and there are lots of things about the birds that I like better than the 737/320 series, but let's be honest about her shortcomings.
 
threeifbyair
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RE: MD80: AA Vs DL

Sat Jul 27, 2013 7:57 pm

Quoting rivervisual (Reply 5):
Unless there was a specific MEL issue with that aircraft or the WX above 30000 feet to the service ceiling was worse there is no reason a MD-90 cannot fly above 30000 feet. I routinely fly the MD-90 and it has one of the better rides during bad weather. It may have it's issues but in the end it's a more fuel efficient MD-88 with more seats.

My understanding was that the MD-90 at MTOW can't climb above FL300 because it is simply too heavy. I had a SEA-MSP leg where we were at FL300 for most of the flight. Every seat was taken, lots of baggage, and not much of a tailwind that day.
 
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RE: MD80: AA Vs DL

Sat Jul 27, 2013 7:58 pm

Quoting Flighty (Reply 10):
Really! IIRC I have been to 39k on DC-9 on MSP-ORD.

By the way, I looked it up; the max certificated cruise altitude of the MD-90 is 37,000, so you weren't at 39,000.

I can't imagine the MD-80 would be appreciably better. AA states the "typical" cruise is 33,000, though I don't know what max is.
I've cruised all the way from DFW to SMF at 28,000 feet. Fun ride.... ugh!

Back on topic, Delta invested in the MD-88 fleet a bit, with cabin refurbs and whatnot. AA (as usual) really let them go, only bothering to install more seats and take seats out as the MRTC program came and went.
So, I'm sure there are many other reasons, but Delta's MD-80's seem like they are up to the task of serving for a few more years, whereas AA's just sorta seem..... old.
 
Wingtips56
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RE: MD80: AA Vs DL

Sat Jul 27, 2013 10:08 pm

Quoting AA737-823 (Reply 15):
I can't imagine the MD-80 would be appreciably better. AA states the "typical" cruise is 33,000, though I don't know what max is.
I've cruised all the way from DFW to SMF at 28,000 feet. Fun ride.... ugh!

I commuted (as a passenger) on that route weekly for 4 1/2 years, and later again for another 9 months. We were usually between 33,000 and 37,000, but there were occasions when we were lower for weather. Those flights were always full, so many times we cruised initially at 28,000 for an hour or so before climbing after burning off some weight. Fortunately SMF is only 27 feet above sea level, or we'd have had regular weight restrictions. (When we did have one, it was primarily due to extra fuel for DFW weather.)

I had read a couple of years ago that the MD-80 was the right economics for the DFW-West Coast runs (perhaps with the exception of SEA/YVR), so that SMF might be one of the last ones to see the 738. That may not be true, but the route is still scheduled only with the MD-80 through to next June.
Worked for WestAir, Apollo Airways, Desert Pacific, Western, AirCal and American Airlines
 
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Acey559
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RE: MD80: AA Vs DL

Sat Jul 27, 2013 10:56 pm

I've been commuting DFW-ORD a lot recently (though not for much longer, thankfully) and I'm ALWAYS in the jumpseat. They typically tanker a lot of gas up to ORD because gas is cheaper at DFW and the flights are full all day every day. I don't think we've ever been above FL330 because the airplane is always restricted. I didn't think anything of it at first but I figured it was an airplane shortcoming after a while. Heavy pax and bags plus lots of fuel doesn't bode well for the MD-80 but it's a pretty short flight so it's never really an issue. I've always enjoyed the DC-9 series. A forward seat on the 2 side is one of the best seats around, in my opinion.
 
NWAROOSTER
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RE: MD80: AA Vs DL

Sat Jul 27, 2013 11:49 pm

If I am not mistaken, Delta Air Lines has bought a few retired American Airlines MD-80s for parts.   
Procrastination Is The Theft Of Time.......
 
luckyone
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RE: MD80: AA Vs DL

Sun Jul 28, 2013 12:23 am

Quoting TheRedBaron (Reply 9):
I love Dc 9 platform !!! they are very nice in turbulence and provided I am not seated behind the wing

Behind the wing of a DC-9/Maddog is the only place I consistently get a queasy stomach on an aircraft, regardless of turbulence.
 
trnswrld
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RE: MD80: AA Vs DL

Sun Jul 28, 2013 1:14 am

To the guy above who stated he has been to FL390 in a DC9....I'm not so sure about that. I have never once seen ANY DC9/MD80/MD90 variant above FL370. And even 370 is relatively rare for some of the MD80s. I'm a controller in Chicago and most DC9s that we still work usually cruise along at FL330 or FL340.

As for AA's MD80s, don't forget they also received most of the newest and last built MD series aircraft acquired from TWA. Infact in another thread I remember some people saying some of TWAs newest MD83s are newer than some of AA's 737-800 aircraft. So yes even though I would imagine Delta's MD88 fleet is overall younger, AA still has the newest ones out there.
I think they are all cool planes and its nice to see something still out there besides your typical one engine on each wing and conventional tail kinda plane.
 
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asqx
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RE: MD80: AA Vs DL

Sun Jul 28, 2013 2:13 am

Quoting NWAROOSTER (Reply 18):
If I am not mistaken, Delta Air Lines has bought a few retired American Airlines MD-80s for parts.

So far there are two, N9302B and N9304C, both 1987 vintage TWA MD-83s. The rest of Delta's parts planes are ex-SAS MD-80s (mostly MD-82s with one MD-87) and two ex-Lion Air MD-90s.
 
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tb727
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RE: MD80: AA Vs DL

Sun Jul 28, 2013 3:16 am

Quoting Flighty (Reply 10):
Really! IIRC I have been to 39k on DC-9 on MSP-ORD. This could be wrong but I do recall it.
Quoting TrnsWrld (Reply 20):
To the guy above who stated he has been to FL390 in a DC9....I'm not so sure about that. I have never once seen ANY DC9/MD80/MD90 variant above FL370.

The DC9 service ceiling is FL350. Not sure if that includes the 80's.
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pdx
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RE: MD80: AA Vs DL

Sun Jul 28, 2013 3:20 am

AA has flown M80's PDX-DFW since (at least) 1986 and PDX-ORD since (at least) 1985 until they ceased ORD nonstop service years a go. Great to see them back in the ORD market twice a day with 738's! They show no signs of ending the M80 service to DFW. They're going strong with five M80 nonstops to DFW this summer. Would be nice to get some newer planes however.
 
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lightsaber
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RE: MD80: AA Vs DL

Sun Jul 28, 2013 7:51 am

Does anyone have stats on the JT8D? In particular engine operation hours per year (month/quarter would be great!) in chart form.

Quoting MIflyer12 (Reply 4):
DL tries to keep its MD-88s on shorter segments/lower daily utilization where the fuel penalty vs. a 738 or A320 is smaller.

   Lower utilization also to only fly them at peak demand times/days. If an aircraft is going to sit, they must be depreciated. DL is pursuing a very G4 like strategy where the aircraft are parked.

The issue for DL is that the flying cost of an MD-80 is now bettered by a used A319 or A320 in that strategy. I'm aware DL's A319 CASM isn't so hot, but that is lease costs and configuration.

The other downside is the cost/revenue benefit is partially due to low utilization. If the economy improves quickly, DL will be at a disadvantage due to high variable costs. In some ways, that is the bet AA made.

The other bet AA made was thinking about what the MD-80 maintenance costs would be like if the economies of scale became poor. In effect, a reality DL will see in a few years. For example, as JT8D overhauls decline, there will initially be a reduction in overhaul costs (more used parts available), but then prices will rise as there will be no longer be shops dedicated to JT8D overhaul and the amazing efficiency that produces. So that will be high per cycle costs.

We're not there yet... but give it a few years.

Quoting finnishway (Reply 2):
Why Delta don't get rid of them so fast? They have many aircraft, own maintenance company and they can even scrap some planes for spare parts. This works well for Delta at least for now.

DL is also trying to control capitol costs. Why so tight? I have no idea, perhaps it is to maintain bond ratings. But even Allegiant is seeing used A319s/A320s have lower costs due to fuel savings. As the economy improves and demand grows enough, DL will start replacing the MD-80s.

I'm not betting on a big drop in oil prices as that reduces the incentive to frack which will drive up the prices pretty quick.

Lightsaber
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Grisee08
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RE: MD80: AA Vs DL

Sun Jul 28, 2013 8:47 am

Quoting AA737-823 (Reply 15):
the max certificated cruise altitude of the MD-90 is 37,000

Same with the Boeing 717... Although most of the flights I've been on have cruised between FL310 and FL330

I remember reading somewhere how NW's DC9-10s were restricted to a certain altitude because of some equipment that had not (and would not be, due to close retirement) been upgraded. It's been so long, but I read this somewhere.
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FlyASAGuy2005
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RE: MD80: AA Vs DL

Sun Jul 28, 2013 2:00 pm

Quoting MIflyer12 (Reply 4):
DL tries to keep its MD-88s on shorter segments/lower daily utilization where the fuel penalty vs. a 738 or A320 is smaller.
Quoting lightsaber (Reply 24):
Lower utilization also to only fly them at peak demand times/days. If an aircraft is going to sit, they must be depreciated. DL is pursuing a very G4 like strategy where the aircraft are parked.

Shorter segments, yes. Lower daily utilization, definately not. The 88s average 5 segments a day which is the very top of the scale right now for the narrowbody fleet. Because they are flying such short segments, most to all under 2 hours, they're being run to the ground cycles wise. We're talking trips like DCA-ATL, ATL-VPS, VPS-ATL, ATL-MSP-, MSP-BOS. Many doing 6 segments a day which is the max the system will schedule an a/c unless it picks up an unscheduled trip which will put it to 7 but it happens often.
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wedgetail737
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RE: MD80: AA Vs DL

Sun Jul 28, 2013 2:55 pm

Quoting Deltal1011man (Reply 8):
AA's hit most markets and did (do?) routes like ORD-SEA. Delta generally keeps them east of the mississippi now, flying up and down the east coast.

I'm sure you all remember that DL used the MD-88's extensively between DFW and the smaller cities along the west coast like DFW-OAK, DFW-SJC, etc. before they closed the DFW hub.

Once in the blue moon, DL will send a MD-88 on the MSP-SEA run in lieu of a MD-90...when the MD-90 is scheduled on the route.
 
brilondon
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RE: MD80: AA Vs DL

Sun Jul 28, 2013 5:16 pm

Quoting TrnsWrld (Reply 20):
Infact in another thread I remember some people saying some of TWAs newest MD83s are newer than some of AA's 737-800 aircraft.

I have seen that as well. Looking on airfleets.net would show that the first 737-800 was delivered back in 1999 and the youngest MD 80 was delivered back in 2001.

I don't think so. I believe that the last MD-83 was delivered in 1989 and the first 737-800 delivered to AA was in 1999

Quoting Grisee08 (Reply 25):
I remember reading somewhere how NW's DC9-10s were restricted to a certain altitude because of some equipment that had not (and would not be, due to close retirement) been upgraded. It's been so long, but I read this somewhere.

I have read that not only the DC9-10s, but the DC9-32s were also restricted to flying mainly in the Eastern United because they could not fly above the mountains in the West due to their altitude restrictions.
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SESGDL
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RE: MD80: AA Vs DL

Sun Jul 28, 2013 5:52 pm

Quoting brilondon (Reply 28):
I don't think so. I believe that the last MD-83 was delivered in 1989 and the first 737-800 delivered to AA was in 1999

That is incorrect. The last MD-83 was indeed delivered to TW in 1999. And while nearly all AA 737-800s are newer than their MD-83s, there are a few that are actually older.

Jeremy
 
brilondon
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RE: MD80: AA Vs DL

Sun Jul 28, 2013 6:38 pm

Quoting brilondon (Reply 28):
I don't think so. I believe that the last MD-83 was delivered in 1989 and the first 737-800 delivered to AA was in 1999

This statement was incorrect on my part, as I had been travelling too much and actually not meant to post that.
Rush for ever; Yankees all the way!!
 
msp747
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RE: MD80: AA Vs DL

Sun Jul 28, 2013 6:52 pm

Quoting brilondon (Reply 28):

I have read that not only the DC9-10s, but the DC9-32s were also restricted to flying mainly in the Eastern United because they could not fly above the mountains in the West due to their altitude restrictions.

Back in the 90's, NW used to run its DC9-30's out west all of the time from MSP. BOI and BIL are two airports I recall seeing them at, and I know you had to go over the mountains to get to BOI. Eventually BOI was upgauged to 727's and then A320's
 
Viscount724
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RE: MD80: AA Vs DL

Sun Jul 28, 2013 8:01 pm

Quoting msp747 (Reply 31):
Quoting brilondon (Reply 28):

I have read that not only the DC9-10s, but the DC9-32s were also restricted to flying mainly in the Eastern United because they could not fly above the mountains in the West due to their altitude restrictions.

Back in the 90's, NW used to run its DC9-30's out west all of the time from MSP. BOI and BIL are two airports I recall seeing them at, and I know you had to go over the mountains to get to BOI. Eventually BOI was upgauged to 727's and then A320's

AC operated their large fleet of DC-9-32s (and their 6 original DC-14s operated temporarily pending delivery of the -32s) extensively on routes that crossed the Rockies, for example YYC-YVR, YEG-YVR, YWG-YVR etc.
 
Flighty
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RE: MD80: AA Vs DL

Sun Jul 28, 2013 10:09 pm

Quoting AA737-823 (Reply 15):
By the way, I looked it up; the max certificated cruise altitude of the MD-90 is 37,000, so you weren't at 39,000.

But, the MD80 certification was originally 41k according to a.net posters. Then it was changed...


The 727-200 was certified to 42k....    maybe that was the ride in question.

Quoting Grisee08 (Reply 25):
I remember reading somewhere how NW's DC9-10s were restricted to a certain altitude because of some equipment that had not (and would not be, due to close retirement) been upgraded. It's been so long, but I read this somewhere.

They were restricted under 29k or 30k because of RVSM equipment NW declined to invest in at the end of their service lives.
 
brilondon
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RE: MD80: AA Vs DL

Sun Jul 28, 2013 10:32 pm

Quoting msp747 (Reply 31):
Back in the 90's, NW used to run its DC9-30's out west all of the time from MSP. BOI and BIL are two airports I recall seeing them at, and I know you had to go over the mountains to get to BOI. Eventually BOI was upgauged to 727's and then A320's

I was speaking about before they were retired from the DL fleet a few years ago not last century, I have no idea about now or in the distant past.
Rush for ever; Yankees all the way!!
 
PSU.DTW.SCE
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RE: MD80: AA Vs DL

Mon Jul 29, 2013 3:05 am

AA has had a much larger and much older MD80 fleet than DL. Is AA going to retire their MD80 fleet much if any earlier than DL? Indications are that majority of DLs MD88s will be around until 2018-2019. DL's strategy has been stop doing HMVs and then burn cycles on the aircraft until they time-out for their next HMV.

Quoting FlyASAGuy2005 (Reply 26):
Shorter segments, yes. Lower daily utilization, definately not. The 88s average 5 segments a day which is the very top of the scale right now for the narrowbody fleet. Because they are flying such short segments, most to all under 2 hours, they're being run to the ground cycles wise. We're talking trips like DCA-ATL, ATL-VPS, VPS-ATL, ATL-MSP-, MSP-BOS. Many doing 6 segments a day which is the max the system will schedule an a/c unless it picks up an unscheduled trip which will put it to 7 but it happens often.

Believe it or not, the remaining DC-9-50s are doing 6-8 cycles per day this summer. Look at what N780NC flew in two-day period last week:

7/24 BHM-ATL-DAY-ATL-HSV-ATL-HSV-ATL-LIT
7/25 LIT-ATL-BMH-ATL-HSV-ATL-BNA-DTW-BNA

On 7/15 it did 9 !!!! segments in a day.
AGS-ATL-BMH-ATL-GSO-ATL-TUL-ATL-PNS-ATL

Who says the DC-9 still isn't a workhorse.

Quoting lightsaber (Reply 24):
DL is also trying to control capitol costs. Why so tight? I have no idea, perhaps it is to maintain bond ratings. But even Allegiant is seeing used A319s/A320s have lower costs due to fuel savings. As the economy improves and demand grows enough, DL will start replacing the MD-80s.

DL is trying to pay down yet and return dividends to their shareholders. Plus they want to keep a portion of their fleet as flexible/variable capacity. Specifically they want to have a portion of aircraft where they can flex utilization and/or park as conditions warrent. The DC-9, MD88, 757, and 763ER fleet fit this profile.
 
TrijetsRMissed
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RE: MD80: AA Vs DL

Mon Jul 29, 2013 4:19 am

DL’s MD-88 fleet is generally superior in performance and operating costs, when compared to AA. The MD-88s have all of the final upgrades that were offered by McDonnell Douglas through the life of the MD-80 program.

This includes:

-JT8D-219s
-reduced drag screwdriver tail-cone
-low-drag flap hinge fairings & pylon fairings
-EFIS digital glass cockpit
-upgraded interior/wider aisle
-composite materials

Seventy-one aircraft are owned-outright; the remainder are on favorable lease agreements which were restructured during bankruptcy. These reasons and more factor into why DL is investing in the flight-deck mod, building spare inventory, and positioning itself for continued operation post 2020.
There's nothing quite like a trijet.
 
727forever
Posts: 304
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RE: MD80: AA Vs DL

Mon Jul 29, 2013 4:24 am

Quoting rivervisual (Reply 5):
Unless there was a specific MEL issue with that aircraft or the WX above 30000 feet to the service ceiling was worse there is no reason a MD-90 cannot fly above 30000 feet. I routinely fly the MD-90 and it has one of the better rides during bad weather. It may have it's issues but in the end it's a more fuel efficient MD-88 with more seats.

I'm sorry to say, FL300 is a typical max altitude for the MD-90 if fuel and carrying extra fuel. Even the MD-80 if fuel and topped off will be limited to FL300-FL320 initially, but will burn into a higher max altitude fairly quickly. The MD-90 may not for the entire flight.

Quoting Flighty (Reply 10):
Really! IIRC I have been to 39k on DC-9 on MSP-ORD. This could be wrong but I do recall it.

M90 might struggle with very heavy fuel loads.

Someone else responded but I will add. The DC-9 was limited to FL350 and the MD-80/90 are FL370. That said, this number is an airframe limitation, but they are often performance restricted much lower.

Quoting Grisee08 (Reply 25):
Same with the Boeing 717... Although most of the flights I've been on have cruised between FL310 and FL330

The 717 is also limited to FL370, but is often too heavy for the wing to have a safe margin that high. The structural limitation is due to pressurization as the MD series has a 7.86:1 normal differential which is lower than Boeing and Airbus. The 717 has the same wing as the DC-9-34 which is a lot smaller than the MD-80/90 wing, but has the same problems with the lighter weight airframe.

727forever
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TrijetsRMissed
Posts: 1981
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RE: MD80: AA Vs DL

Mon Jul 29, 2013 4:35 am

Quoting PSU.DTW.SCE (Reply 35):
AA has had a much larger and much older MD80 fleet than DL.

Not anymore. DL's fleet is 2/3rds the size of AA and about equal if you include the MD-90s. A far cry from when AA nearly tripled DL.

As for age, AA have 61 frames built pre-1990; DL have 46. AA have 39 MD-83s built between 1997-1999; DL have ZERO MD-88s built after 1993. In another year, AA's fleet will likely be younger than DL's...

Quoting Flighty (Reply 33):
But, the MD80 certification was originally 41k according to a.net posters.

This is false. Originally, the DC-9-81 was certified for a service ceiling of 37,000 ft. At the time, (1980), this was the highest certified ceiling for any subsonic, narrow-body airliner.
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Grisee08
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RE: MD80: AA Vs DL

Mon Jul 29, 2013 10:31 am

Quoting Flighty (Reply 33):
They were restricted under 29k or 30k because of RVSM equipment NW declined to invest in at the end of their service lives.

Yep, That's it.. Thank you!

Quoting 727forever (Reply 37):
The 717 has the same wing as the DC-9-34 which is a lot smaller than the MD-80/90 wing

What is the difference between a DC9-34 wing and DC9-32 wing? I never understood that, and wondered why they didn't just say DC9-30 series wing.
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Viscount724
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RE: MD80: AA Vs DL

Mon Jul 29, 2013 6:34 pm

Quoting Grisee08 (Reply 39):
What is the difference between a DC9-34 wing and DC9-32 wing? I never understood that, and wondered why they didn't just say DC9-30 series wing.

The wings are the same size, but (if Wikipedia is correct) the DC-9-33 and -34 had the "wing incidence increased 1.25 degrees to reduce cruise drag."
 
LAXintl
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RE: MD80: AA Vs DL

Mon Jul 29, 2013 9:02 pm

Regarding the utilization levels, both AA and DL fly their MD-80s for almost identical hours annually.

2012 DOT Form 41 shows utilization levels.

DL averages 8.6 block hours and 4.5 cycles daily on their MD-80s. AA had 8.7 hours but lower daily cycles of 3.6 on theirs.

The cycle variance is due to average stage lengths where DL does 593miles on average, while AA does 811.
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NWAROOSTER
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RE: MD80: AA Vs DL

Mon Jul 29, 2013 9:13 pm

Quoting 727forever (Reply 37):
The 717 has the same wing as the DC-9-34 which is a lot smaller than the MD-80/90 wing.

The 717 is basically the same size as a DC-9-40 which is shorter than the MD-80 or MD-90. Therefore it doe not need as large a wing as the MD80/90.   
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727forever
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RE: MD80: AA Vs DL

Tue Jul 30, 2013 3:12 am

Quoting NWAROOSTER (Reply 42):
The 717 is basically the same size as a DC-9-40 which is shorter than the MD-80 or MD-90. Therefore it doe not need as large a wing as the MD80/90.

While true the 717 is basically the size of the -40, the larger wing wouldn't have hurt except for that pesky additional weight. Imagine how efficient those BMW engines would be if they were allowed to push the airplane up to 370 all the time like the MD-87. I'm sure the analysis was done by folks with better knowledge than any of us.

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threeifbyair
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RE: MD80: AA Vs DL

Tue Jul 30, 2013 3:56 am

Quoting TrijetsRMissed (Reply 38):
As for age, AA have 61 frames built pre-1990; DL have 46. AA have 39 MD-83s built between 1997-1999; DL have ZERO MD-88s built after 1993. In another year, AA's fleet will likely be younger than DL's...

At which point we'll start having the bimonthly "When will DL retire the MD-88?" threads...    

On a related note, why did AA (or was it TW - whichever airline ordered that last batch) not order the -88? Commonality? MD offering -83s at a more attractive price?
 
PSU.DTW.SCE
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RE: MD80: AA Vs DL

Tue Jul 30, 2013 12:01 pm

Quoting 727forever (Reply 43):
While true the 717 is basically the size of the -40, the larger wing wouldn't have hurt except for that pesky additional weight. Imagine how efficient those BMW engines would be if they were allowed to push the airplane up to 370 all the time like the MD-87. I'm sure the analysis was done by folks with better knowledge than any of us.

Trade-off of optimizing the aircraft for shorter flights versus longer flights. With much of the shorter routes, the aircraft never needs to go that high.
 
MIflyer12
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RE: MD80: AA Vs DL

Tue Jul 30, 2013 12:47 pm

Quoting LAXintl (Reply 41):
Regarding the utilization levels, both AA and DL fly their MD-80s for almost identical hours annually.

2012 DOT Form 41 shows utilization levels.

My contention on utlization isn't that AA uses MD-80s less than DL uses MD-88s, but that DL uses MD-88s daily less than it does 738s. The MD-88s get more short routes and spend more time on the ground; the more efficient planes spend more time at cruise.
 
maxpower1954
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RE: MD80: AA Vs DL

Tue Jul 30, 2013 1:48 pm

Quoting TrijetsRMissed (Reply 38):
This is false. Originally, the DC-9-81 was certified for a service ceiling of 37,000 ft. At the time, (1980), this was the highest certified ceiling for any subsonic, narrow-body airliner.

Well, that's incorrect as well. The 707-320 series and all DC-8s were certified to 42,000 ft. I flew them both well before 1980.
 
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tb727
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RE: MD80: AA Vs DL

Tue Jul 30, 2013 2:51 pm

Quoting TrijetsRMissed (Reply 38):
This is false. Originally, the DC-9-81 was certified for a service ceiling of 37,000 ft. At the time, (1980), this was the highest certified ceiling for any subsonic, narrow-body airliner.
Quoting maxpower1954 (Reply 47):
Well, that's incorrect as well. The 707-320 series and all DC-8s were certified to 42,000 ft. I flew them both well before 1980.

The 727 is certified to 42,000 as well, you won't catch me going up there in one, but it is certified to it.

I am surprised at the lack of performance (most likely contributed to the wing) I have learned about in this thread about the MD-90. I've been looking at some flights on flightaware and a lot of them are planned to start off at FL260 for a while before bumping up to FL300 or maybe 320 down the line on flights to the West Coast. Yikes. Even one of my anemic -9 powered 72's isn't that bad on long legs.

DL must be getting a heck of a deal on the 90's, they are good at that.

[Edited 2013-07-30 07:52:10]
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AT
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RE: MD80: AA Vs DL

Tue Jul 30, 2013 3:32 pm

I will be sad to see the MD80 series leave American, and then Delta.
I love them for shorter hops, and the 3 x 2 (or 2 x 3 in AA) allows for great seating flexibility.

One thing I have often wondered is does the asymmetric seating do anything to the center of gravity of the plane since one side will be slightly heavier?