It's refreshing to see yet another boorish anti-NW post meet disagreement. Where to begin?
>>This is mainly due to the fact that they use their planes for 20+ years apiece. Sure they bought 744s and A320/A319s but they still operate some of the oldest planes in the industry DC-9 series 10 aircraft: add that to their industry leading fleet of DC-9-30/40/50s, their large amount of DC-10-30/40s and their 747-200s. <<
Midwest Express also operates D91s and D93s. N801ME is actually the oldest flying Douglas twinjet. I suppose that since they're flying DC9-10s that they're also an airline with a reputation for mx delays, poor service and they too should be awarded a 'Worst Fleet' banner.
You referred to the NW -9 fleet as 'industry leading,' You're right. They are the only airline to retrofit their interiors with the 717-style interiors on ALL aircraft, regardless of retirement date.
Northwest's 742s are some of the youngest, and last of the 742s off the production line. They also received a number of aircraft from such operators as SQ...an airline with a reputation for impeccable maintenance and cleanliness. Their D10s, mainly their -30s are being retrofitted as we speak...Vacuum lavs, new seats, carpeting and screens. Their acquisitions from SR and JA also provided for a well-maintained airframe at a significant savings. Why is NW still flying these antiquated aircraft? They make money! These aircraft cost a fraction of a new one to purchase, and their signifcant increase in Atlantic RPMs over the past fiscal year has made it extremely attractive to operate these aircraft transatlantic. Perhaps if NW had not subsidized Bethune's new fleet at CO during their ownership, they could have begun the program earlier.
Regarding the -10s and 753s. Last I checked, the JT9D-7 was somewhat less efficient than the 2043s hinged to the 753 wing. The decreased passenger capacity is not going to have any impact whatsoever on traffic. The -40s carry little cargo, and NW has a few sundry mail contracts which could be flown with a DC9-10 sufficiently. Why operate an aircraft when, contrary to your uninformed opinion, the -40s rarely are full. Turnaround time has been proven effective on operations by Condor and Arkia as well as JMC's recent introduction of the 753. Call their VP of fleet management and explain to them how you think it's, how did you put it, stupid, to operate 753s on domestic trunk routes...the resounding scorn should ring clear across the atlantic.
Sorry to disappoint you, but UA1 is operated as a continuation of the around-the-world flight. On that leg, it experiences load factors of around 44% and acts more as a scheduled ferry flight to get it back to LAX for the HKG run. That load factor hardly justifies a 744. And you're impressed that UA runs a 744 between LAX, DEN, and ORD? NW has twice daily flights between MKE and MSP...it's called trunk-route-feeding. You operate flights during peak connection times to your hubs; not a new philosophy exactly.
I mean, for the right price I’ll fight a lion. - Mike Tyson