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722/732's Disappearing Soon

Sat Jan 06, 2001 11:43 pm


I think we will be seeing the rapid demise of the Boeing 727-200 and 737-200 over the next few years.

The reason is simple: new ICAO regulations on noise emissions ("Stage IV"?) and tighter regulations on exhaust emissions. This may rapidly doom any jetliner using older versions of the Pratt & Whitney JT8D engine.

Besides, the age of the 722/732 fleet is starting to get up there, and given that most structural fatigue is caused by takeoff/landing cycles, the 722/732 with their shorter range operations already have run up a lot of airframe hours.

Expect within the next few years large orders for A319/A320, 737NG, 738 and even 712 planes to replace these old smaller Boeing jets. Airbus' Toulouse plant and Boeing's Renton and Long Beach, CA plants will be busy over the next four years building planes for airlines that are rapidly phasing out their 722/732 fleets.
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RE: 722/732's Disappearing Soon

Sat Jan 06, 2001 11:50 pm

Since Sabre Airways sold their 727-200's there are no passenger versions left flying in the UK. (as far as I know)
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RE: 722/732's Disappearing Soon

Sun Jan 07, 2001 12:27 am

Ray, I think you are right on. IMHO, we will see an accelerated retirement of the remaining ones at AA,UA,NW &DL. The OPEC announcement of a cut of oil production will not help the price of Jet-A at all.
This just gives further incentive to replace/retire the 722/732 in short order.

Not sure if the 712 is a"replacement" for these as much as the A 319/20 or the 73G or 738, or even the 752. I think airlines with increasing labor & fuel costs are going to look harder than ever at the most seats/load factor/cost per mile/segment length equation as well as what will work well 10-15 years down the line. Some very educated guessing!

My hope is that some of those replacements are 752's..I think that is one very efficient airliner as well great looking!
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RE: 722/732's Disappearing Soon

Sun Jan 07, 2001 12:43 am

They'll be going soon. In the EU first and second generation jets are almost non-existent. By first and second, I mean the 707 and DC-8 as first, and the DC-9, 727, and 737 as second generation.

I think the smaller airlines are going to have a problem soon. Where are airlines like Vanguard going to get the money to replace their fleet of 737-200s? What's going to happen to airline subsidiaries like Delta Express and Metrojet? Are these divisions profitable to warrant new Boeing and Airbus fleets?

I think airlines like Southwest have been anticipating these newer, stricter rules and have had the foresight to over time introduce newer fleets of planes, like the 737NG.

And cargo airlines like FedEx and UPS, who have large fleets of the versatile 727F. Where are they going to find a comparison? Maybe UPS can order more 757Fs, but where is FedEx going to find a plane? It seems that when these rules, most likely to be named Stage IV, go in to effect in a few years, many airlines are going to find it hard to meet these stricter standards.

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RE: 722/732's Disappearing Soon

Sun Jan 07, 2001 12:52 am

I don't see UPS's 727s being retired as they were modified with RR engines. a limo but with wings

RE: 722/732's Disappearing Soon

Sun Jan 07, 2001 12:55 am


You're probably right about passenger service coming to an end for 732 and the various 727 models coming to an end, but I still think you'll see the 727 flying for freight companies for quite a while. FedEx and UPS, for example, have re-engined 727's and plan to keep them as long as possible. (It's a fast airplane, and has great economics for high-yield freight service)

The 737-100/200 hasn't found as much success carrying freight, so it may indeed be relegated to passenger service in the third world fairly soon.
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RE: 722/732's Disappearing Soon

Sun Jan 07, 2001 1:12 am

Didn't UPS and FedEx replace the Pratt & Whitney JT9D's with RR Tays on their 727's?
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RE: 722/732's Disappearing Soon

Sun Jan 07, 2001 1:59 am

I haven't heard anything about Delta's 732s. Does anyone have any info on their retirement?

RE: 722/732's Disappearing Soon

Sun Jan 07, 2001 2:41 am

Tupelov154B2, UPS re-engined its B727-100s with RR Tays, but the Tay isn't powerful enough to replace the B727-200's engines.
FedEx hasn't re-engined its B727-100s, but it has used the "Super 27" mod on its B727-200s, where the outer 2 JT8D-9s are replaced by JT8D-219Cs, and the center engine remains a hushed JT8D-17.
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RE: 722/732's Disappearing Soon

Sun Jan 07, 2001 4:53 am

At United, expect the 727s to be gone in three years. This year, there will be 25 727s retired. Retirement should be started on the 727s in march.

This is the interesting one. The 737-291s that UA operates will be here for another five years. They are going to go through heavy maintence again. Currently there is no replacement for these planes. There are 24 left in the fleet.

Hope that helps
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RE: 722/732's Disappearing Soon

Sun Jan 07, 2001 9:00 am

I think the Boeing 717-200 can be used as a replacement for the 737-200 on many routes.

Anyway, the only 727's that will be left are those that have been seriously hush-kitted or have been re-engined (like UPS' 721 rebuilds with the Rolls-Royce Tay engines). 722/732's in passenger service will rapidly disappear due to the old airframes and high seat-mile costs in terms of fuel.

Given that 733/734/735 and A319/A320 planes are hard to come by on the ILFC/GECAS lease market, that's why I expect Boeing and Airbus production lines to be quite busy for the next 5-6 years as both scheduled and charter airlines scramble to replace their older jets.
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RE: 722/732's Disappearing Soon

Sun Jan 07, 2001 4:41 pm

It looks like Vanguard plans to convert their fleet to leased MD-80s (through Pegasus) for the time being. (See for more info) I have no idea when they plan to retire all of their 732s, because some are almost 30 yrs. while others may still may have some life left in them.

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