tullamarine wrote:timtam wrote:QF has played this very well.
VA has boxed itself into a corner already committing to the 737-8 Max.
QF can stick with the 737 Max for mainline and be in the same position as VA or it has the option to switch to the a320/a321 neo combination should that be a more efficient solution than the 737 Max for the Australian market.
A move from 737s to A320s would have been incredibly expensive for VA so them committing to the 737MAX is hardly surprising and would not be considered a boxing in. In fact as TT move to a 737 fleet also, the group's operating and maintenance costs will decrease. As is typical with Boeing contracts, the contract and commitment would say they are buying MAX-8s but they could change to a MAX-9 if desired (at an agreed premium obviously) In theory they could also go to a MAX7 but this is very unlikely. A MAX-9 would be all VA would ever need for its domestic services and would be a good bridge between the 738s and the A330s. The extra range of a A321LR is unlikely to be an attraction to them.
If they get MAX-9's then surely that would be the end of the A330s... They currently have 6 and it's unlikely to be making them any/much money with such a small sub fleet. If they get the MAX-9, they can replace the A330s and operate a more standard fleet. They are removing the E190s and F50s and it will become a more standard fleet at VA.
A fleet of:
ATRs for regional
F100 for FIFO flights in WA
737's for all other domestic flying and short haul international
77W for LAX (though I would think eventually they will get rid of them)
That fleet is much more reasonable for a carrier the size of VA rather than the fleet they have now