c5load
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Economic Viability Of Operating With Old Aircraft?

Sat May 29, 2010 1:55 am

Mods, please think of a better title for this if there is one and put this where it belongs. Thanks

With the amount of medium to large aircraft becoming more available for lease or purchase, I was wondering why some smaller outfits are operating very old aircraft still. I know that FX is in the process of replacing the DC-10 with the 77F, but what about like Saha Air, who operates the 707 still? I'm pretty sure they can go for some 757s or bigger and get rid of the 707 all together. Another example is Saudi Arabian Airlines whaich operates the 747SP. Aren't there a number of 744s in the desert now in need of a new owner?

My main point is if an aircraft is not worth keeping in an airline's fleet (age, mx, etc.), then what makes smaller airlines able to operate them? Obviously, the legacies got rid of them for a reason, so if they can't afford to keep them in this economy, how can other companies afford to operate them?
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mhockey31091
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Economic Viability Of Operating With Old Aircraft?

Sat May 29, 2010 2:21 am

If the aircraft are all payed off, why put more financial strain on the company and purchase new aircraft that they will have to strain themselves to pay back? I dunno if that's the right way to think here but that's what I would assume.
 
BMI727
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Economic Viability Of Operating With Old Aircraft?

Sat May 29, 2010 2:23 am

Quoting mhockey31091 (Reply 1):
If the aircraft are all payed off, why put more financial strain on the company and purchase new aircraft that they will have to strain themselves to pay back?

Exactly. For the price of replacing an old plane with a new one, the airline can buy quite a bit of fuel. And don't forget that low acquisition costs are important especially for low utilization operations, like Allegiant.
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eta unknown
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Economic Viability Of Operating With Old Aircraft?

Sat May 29, 2010 4:03 am

Precisely the reason SAA flew their 742's and 747SP's for so long. Uneconomical to operate compared to newer aircraft sure, but they were all fully paid for.
 
Dizzy777
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Economic Viability Of Operating With Old Aircraft?

Sat May 29, 2010 4:28 am

In most cases, the cheaper acquisition costs far out weigh the larger MX/spares cost over a given time frame (depending on the airlines given business plan)

Why buy a A320/B737NG now, when in 3-4 years you plan on getting a B787/A330 to take over the role.. Get an older a/c now and in 3-4 years you haven't lost much on your purchase price and your mx/spares outlay compared to the devaluation of a newer airframe over the same period.
 
411A
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RE: Economic Viability Of Operating With Old Aircraft?

Sat May 29, 2010 8:22 pm

We operate three L1011 aircraft, fully paid for...and desired by our clients because of their large passenger/baggage/cargo capacity.
When B767-300ER types become available at a reasonable price (when the B787 is delivered in reasonable numbers) these types will be the desired aircraft for ad-hoc charter ops.
Then, and only then, will the L1011 fade away....except for the RAF, of course.
There, the L1011 will be in service for at least the next ten years, perhaps longer.
Why?
Cost effective, for the British.
All RAF L1011's are now being fitted with glass, for commonality.
A cost effective alternative, make NO mistake.

The UK MoD are no fools.
L1011....an old type that keeps going ...and going and...going, for those operators that know how to maintain/service the type.
And, Lockheed still to this day, support the type.
 
Viscount724
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RE: Economic Viability Of Operating With Old Aircraft?

Sat May 29, 2010 10:44 pm

Quoting c5load (Thread starter):
Another example is Saudi Arabian Airlines whaich operates the 747SP.

Those 2 aircraft are only used as part of their VIP fleet, although one (HZ-AIF) is shown as registered to SV itself, rather than the Saudi Royal Flight. Economics aren't a high priority for that type of operation.


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Quoting c5load (Thread starter):
Saha Air, who operates the 707 still?

There was a thread a few months ago that said the Saha Air 707s were no longer in service. Not sure if anything has changed since.
 
Devilfish
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RE: Economic Viability Of Operating With Old Aircraft?

Sun May 30, 2010 12:01 am

Quoting Viscount724 (Reply 6):
Those 2 aircraft are only used as part of their VIP fleet,

Are these VIP flights as well?.....

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.....both are supposed to be still operating commercially.
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kl671
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RE: Economic Viability Of Operating With Old Aircraft?

Sun May 30, 2010 1:34 am

Quoting c5load (Thread starter):
With the amount of medium to large aircraft becoming more available for lease or purchase, I was wondering why some smaller outfits are operating very old aircraft still.

Check out the Buffalo Airways fleet.

http://www.buffaloairways.com/aircraft-fleet

This airline ia featured on the history channel and you can watch episodes on line. Great to see these WW2 era aircraft such as the DC3, DC4 and C46 still flying.

http://www.icepilots.com/episodes.php
 
411A
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RE: Economic Viability Of Operating With Old Aircraft?

Sun May 30, 2010 8:38 pm

Quoting DEVILFISH (Reply 7):
.....both are supposed to be still operating commercially.

Yes, they are, commercially.
Often observed in JED.
Syrian Air, likewise.
 
Viscount724
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RE: Economic Viability Of Operating With Old Aircraft?

Mon May 31, 2010 12:54 am

Quoting 411A (Reply 9):
Quoting DEVILFISH (Reply 7):
.....both are supposed to be still operating commercially.

Yes, they are, commercially.
Often observed in JED.
Syrian Air, likewise.

Syrianair's 2 747SPs haven't flown since around late 2007 or early 2008 as far as I know. Both were stored at DAM at last report.
 
411A
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RE: Economic Viability Of Operating With Old Aircraft?

Mon May 31, 2010 3:51 am

Quoting Viscount724 (Reply 10):
Syrianair's 2 747SPs haven't flown since around late 2007 or early 2008 as far as I know.

Noticed one in JED a couple of months ago, and it difinitely was not stored.
Iran Air aircraft likewise.
 
mrskyguy
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RE: Economic Viability Of Operating With Old Aircraft?

Mon May 31, 2010 5:43 am

Also consider that aircraft we tend to think of as "modern" are quickly slipping in to the old category, upping the benefits of flying older birds over the previous batch of "older birds" (eg. 732, 727, DC-10, etc.)

I still struggle calling the 737-3/4/500 "classics" because I most certainly am older than these.. I guess I'm on my way to becoming classic too! The 737-300 is still a "modern" aircraft in my mind, but they are seeing rapid rates of attrition and beginning to replace 2nd hand aircraft of even older varieties.

However, older aircraft such as the 737-200 and the 727 series were built with natural adaptations to more environmentally "hostile" territories, which the CFM-powered classics don't have.
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413X3
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RE: Economic Viability Of Operating With Old Aircraft?

Mon May 31, 2010 8:03 pm

an airline in Syria and Iran would have a hard time purchasing any modern western aircraft. The simple fact is airlines with older fleets cannot compete in ticket prices with newer fleets.
 
Viscount724
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RE: Economic Viability Of Operating With Old Aircraft?

Mon May 31, 2010 9:26 pm

Quoting 411A (Reply 11):
Quoting Viscount724 (Reply 10):
Syrianair's 2 747SPs haven't flown since around late 2007 or early 2008 as far as I know.

Noticed one in JED a couple of months ago, and it difinitely was not stored.

RB must have put the SPs back into service. They had been parked for quite a while according to other threads.
 
MrFord
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RE: Economic Viability Of Operating With Old Aircraft?

Fri Jun 11, 2010 7:46 pm

Quoting 413X3 (Reply 13):
an airline in Syria and Iran would have a hard time purchasing any modern western aircraft. The simple fact is airlines with older fleets cannot compete in ticket prices with newer fleets.

If they could, they would. In Iran case, it's an embargo preventing them to acquire any type of Western aircrafts. In theory at least, as they were able in certain cases to go around the rules and leases some Airbus through a third-party. They did acquire new Russian metal too.
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Dreadnought
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RE: Economic Viability Of Operating With Old Aircraft?

Fri Jun 11, 2010 7:52 pm

I was talking with a Delta pilot the other day who told me that Delta is getting rid of their MD-80s, many of which have only 30-40 thousand cycles. Their design life is 100 thousand. A lot of life left in those mad dogs.
Forget dogs and cats - Spay and neuter your liberals.
 
maddogjt8d
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RE: Economic Viability Of Operating With Old Aircraft?

Fri Jun 11, 2010 8:38 pm

Not sure where you heard that Dreadnought, but I'm pretty sure that is untrue. DL has made some ad-hoc retirements from the MD-88 and 757 fleets, but they are not retiring the type by any means any time soon.
 
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Dreadnought
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RE: Economic Viability Of Operating With Old Aircraft?

Sat Jun 12, 2010 4:34 pm

Quoting MadDogJT8D (Reply 17):
Not sure where you heard that Dreadnought, but I'm pretty sure that is untrue.

I had breakfast with a Delta MD-80 Captain and F/O one morning at the Lexington airport. That's what they told me.
Forget dogs and cats - Spay and neuter your liberals.
 
474218
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RE: Economic Viability Of Operating With Old Aircraft?

Sat Jun 12, 2010 4:56 pm

A Vice-President of a large Canadian charter airline once told me that he would "retire" if his airline ever bought a new aircraft. It was His opion that if you buy a used airframe, at a good price, you can aford the small amount of addtional maintenance they require and turn a profit. The airline used the savings from operating used equipment for many years and bought several new airframes, my V-P friend, true to his word retired soon after.

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