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kaitak744
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Southwest 737-300 retirement

Wed May 24, 2017 6:56 pm

I am reading that Southwest will retire its remaining 75 737-300s by September.

I have heard that this is a necessary step before the 737 MAX can be introduced. Why?

They are some of the last -300s off the line, as new as 1997. Yes, that is 20 years old now, but it still seems young by aviation standards.

Are these -300s really at the end of their life?

And how, operationally, does Southwest plan to deal with the loss of 75 aircraft in a matter of 4-5 months? This is a huge and sudden drop in capacity. They aren’t taking on 75 new 737s in that time frame…
Last edited by atcsundevil on Thu Sep 28, 2017 10:05 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Reason: Title edited for clarity
 
akelley728
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Re: Southwest 737-300

Wed May 24, 2017 7:04 pm

It's mainly due to Labor and training issues with trying to have three variants of the 737 in its fleet.

http://crankyflier.com/2016/05/09/labor-and-training-issues-push-southwest-to-retire-its-737-classics-next-year/
 
enorloz
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Re: Southwest 737-300

Wed May 24, 2017 7:08 pm

They will be scraped or sold ?
 
kaitak744
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Re: Southwest 737-300

Wed May 24, 2017 7:45 pm

akelley728 wrote:
It's mainly due to Labor and training issues with trying to have three variants of the 737 in its fleet.

http://crankyflier.com/2016/05/09/labor-and-training-issues-push-southwest-to-retire-its-737-classics-next-year/


This is absurd. So many airlines have "more that 3 aircraft types" in their fleet.

Seems as though a lot of the economic benefits of the 737MAX are being washed away by the losses from prematurely retiring perfectly good airplanes.
 
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Polot
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Re: Southwest 737-300

Wed May 24, 2017 7:50 pm

kaitak744 wrote:
This is absurd. So many airlines have "more that 3 aircraft types" in their fleet.

Yes, but not all are concurrently operated by the same pilots.

WN can operate all three if they want, but then they would have to start splitting up their pilot pool and making sure those flying the MAX don't fly the classics. WN evidently feels the economic disadvantages of doing that outweigh the economic disadvantages of prematurely retiring perfectly good airplanes.

As for how they plan to deal with the loss of 75 aircraft, that is simple. They are cutting flying, especially longer flights that tie up aircraft utilization. That is also why WN are waiting until September, after the busy summer season, to retire the Classics and introduce the MAX.
 
n471wn
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Re: Southwest 737-300

Wed May 24, 2017 8:37 pm

We have discussed this in past threads and I agree that WN is making a mistake to take this capacity hit when their RPM's growth last month was over 8% and other airlines (e.g. UAL) are upping their capacity. Most surprising is that they have quit buying up used 700's with only 10 now not yet in service. It would seem prudent to buy/lease at least 20 more used 700's and have them in service before that fateful day of Oct 1st. I love WN but to lose 75 aircraft over the next 4 months and think their customers will not be impacted is naive.
 
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KanaHawaii
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Re: Southwest 737-300

Wed May 24, 2017 8:52 pm

If Southwest keeps to is playbook on aircraft usage, the -300's will be headed to the boneyard for parting out and scraping.
 
737tanker
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Re: Southwest 737-300

Wed May 24, 2017 8:55 pm

akelley728 wrote:
It's mainly due to Labor and training issues with trying to have three variants of the 737 in its fleet.

http://crankyflier.com/2016/05/09/labor-and-training-issues-push-southwest-to-retire-its-737-classics-next-year/

The pilots are being blamed but in reality all of the -300s would have to be gone by Dec 31, 2017. That is because WN wasn't going to install the Nitrogen Generating System (NGS) that the FAA was requiring to be installed you Jan 1, 2018. So 25 aircraft Are being retired in June that would have stayed in service to Dec 31st at the most.
The Training issue is that Boeing isn't going to write a program in order to train pilots to fly a -300 and the max. Without that program then there is no differences program that the FAA can approve. Without an approved FAA training program then there is no way to train the pilots on the differences.
 
n471wn
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Re: Southwest 737-300

Wed May 24, 2017 9:17 pm

KanaHawaii wrote:
If Southwest keeps to is playbook on aircraft usage, the -300's will be headed to the boneyard for parting out and scraping.


Some of the newer models have found homes already (e.g 6 to Coulson Tankers) but most will be scrapped
 
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hOMSaR
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Re: Southwest 737-300

Wed May 24, 2017 9:22 pm

Another thing to note is that this will happen in early fall, when travel drops off anyway. Last fall, AA retired a couple dozen MD-80s on one day, because it coincided with a seasonal reduction in scheduled flying. WN could do something similar, albeit on a slightly larger scale.

Not sure of the delivery plans for the 737 MAX, but they could be almost back up to the same capacity when the next summer hits, especially considering that they're replacing 137/143-seat planes with 175-seat planes.
I was raised by a cup of coffee.
 
n471wn
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Re: Southwest 737-300

Wed May 24, 2017 9:50 pm

hOMSaR wrote:
Another thing to note is that this will happen in early fall, when travel drops off anyway. Last fall, AA retired a couple dozen MD-80s on one day, because it coincided with a seasonal reduction in scheduled flying. WN could do something similar, albeit on a slightly larger scale.

Not sure of the delivery plans for the 737 MAX, but they could be almost back up to the same capacity when the next summer hits, especially considering that they're replacing 137/143-seat planes with 175-seat planes.


Agree that they might be near to where they were end of summer 2018 but in the meantime WN's competition will take advantage as the loss of 75 aircraft is simply too much to overcome
 
UGA777
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Re: Southwest 737-300

Wed May 24, 2017 9:52 pm

Does anyone know the delivery schedule for the remainder of the year? I think they are taking at least 4 800s per month right now, so that is still at least 30 aircraft to be delivered this year and I don't think that is taking into account the MAX.
 
rbavfan
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Re: Southwest 737-300

Wed May 24, 2017 10:01 pm

akelley728 wrote:
It's mainly due to Labor and training issues with trying to have three variants of the 737 in its fleet.

http://crankyflier.com/2016/05/09/labor-and-training-issues-push-southwest-to-retire-its-737-classics-next-year/


They also are needing the Fuel inserting system added via a mod. Expensive to do for a short time left in operation.
 
MesserJ
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Re: Southwest 737-300

Wed May 24, 2017 10:32 pm

I've seen tons of them sitting around at Tucson being disassembled. That seems to be where the majority of them are going. Hopefully some of the younger frames won't be as unlucky.
 
bennett123
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Re: Southwest 737-300

Wed May 24, 2017 11:25 pm

About 10-12 when I was there last month.
 
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FLIHGH
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Re: Southwest 737-300

Thu May 25, 2017 12:21 am

The reliability rates are so low for the 300s as well that a single NG can cover 2 classics. On October 1, I believe there are 10 MAXes that start as well, with 25-30 -300s being retired on September 30. It's not too big of a capacity hit.

Pilots in these next few training classes will have to learn all 3 variants for IOE. Yowch!
 
freakyrat
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Re: Southwest 737-300

Thu May 25, 2017 1:10 am

http://fireaviation.com/tag/coulson

Converting a few to firefighting air tankers as there are no used C130's to be found.
 
727LOVER
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Re: Southwest 737-300

Thu May 25, 2017 1:27 am

Anyone know when this one leaves the fleet?

"We must accept finite disappointment, but never lose infinite hope." - Martin Luther King, Jr.
 
n471wn
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Re: Southwest 737-300

Thu May 25, 2017 2:24 am

bennett123 wrote:
About 10-12 when I was there last month.


Yes I have noticed that most do go to TUC but oddly 3 recently went to MCI.
 
bennett123
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Re: Southwest 737-300

Thu May 25, 2017 6:09 am

The storage/scrapping area at TUC did look quite crowded.
 
Redbellyguppy
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Re: Southwest 737-300

Thu May 25, 2017 6:57 am

There's over 150 800s plus all the FL 700's plus the better part of 50 of the 78xx used 700s. The fleet is net positive by the end of this year they say...
 
kaitak744
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Re: Southwest 737-300

Thu May 25, 2017 7:29 am

At one point, they operated 737-200s, 737-300s/-500s, and 737-700s. That is 3 different generations. They managed it then.
 
SXDFC
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Re: Southwest 737-300

Thu May 25, 2017 7:31 am

I'd imagine a good portion of the newer (1995-97) -300s will have a new life elsewhere..
 
barney captain
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Re: Southwest 737-300

Thu May 25, 2017 9:12 am

kaitak744 wrote:
At one point, they operated 737-200s, 737-300s/-500s, and 737-700s. That is 3 different generations. They managed it then.


Yes, and when we got down to less than 50 -200's, the FAA made us segregate the fleet due to lack of currency in all types.

We can be qualified on the Classics and the NG's, or the NG's and the MAX, but not across all three variants. There is simply too much of of difference between a WN steam gauge -300 and a MAX. The Fed's weren't going for it. That coupled with the AD for the NGS in the Classics made this a done deal.

And as noted, the draw-down isn't nearly as dramatic as you portray it. The dispatch reliability on the classics is @ 65%. Compare that to greater than 95% for an NG - so one NG can replace roughly 1.5 classics. Additionally, the -800's and MAX's that are being added are 175 seats vs the lift of the classics @ 137/143. Fleet count may temporarily dip slightly, but available seats will hardly change at all.
Southeast Of Disorder
 
VC10DC10
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Re: Southwest 737-300

Thu May 25, 2017 1:11 pm

bennett123 wrote:
The storage/scrapping area at TUC did look quite crowded.


Southwest is sending aircraft to San Miguel de Tucumán, Argentina, to be scrapped? What an unusual choice. MCI makes a lot more sense.
 
Dominion301
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Re: Southwest 737-300

Thu May 25, 2017 1:34 pm

VC10DC10 wrote:
bennett123 wrote:
The storage/scrapping area at TUC did look quite crowded.


Southwest is sending aircraft to San Miguel de Tucumán, Argentina, to be scrapped? What an unusual choice. MCI makes a lot more sense.


I think he meant to say TUS.
 
FlyUSAir
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Re: Southwest 737-300

Thu May 25, 2017 1:37 pm

Anyone know what routes the -300's are popping up on these days? Want to catch one or two more before they are retired.
A319/A320/A321/A333 712/732/733/734/735/737/738/752/753/762/763 C172 CR2/CR7/CR9 E145/E170/E175/E190
MD82/MD83/MD88/MD90 Q100/Q400
 
Sooner787
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Re: Southwest 737-300

Thu May 25, 2017 1:45 pm

FlyUSAir wrote:
Anyone know what routes the -300's are popping up on these days? Want to catch one or two more before they are retired.



Probably Texas or California routes these days. I figure the shorter the flight,
better odds of landing on a -300
 
rojo
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Re: Southwest 737-300

Thu May 25, 2017 2:23 pm

FlyUSAir wrote:
Anyone know what routes the -300's are popping up on these days? Want to catch one or two more before they are retired.


ATL-CAK-ATL. One of the 3 daily departures has been operated by 733s and is still scheduled to get the 733 for the next month.
 
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KPDX
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Re: Southwest 737-300

Thu May 25, 2017 2:33 pm

FlyUSAir wrote:
Anyone know what routes the -300's are popping up on these days? Want to catch one or two more before they are retired.


Definitely a lot of intra-Texas stuff. I catch them all the time on DAL-HOU. It was one of the last routes the -500 was used on too, so I was "lucky" enough to catch it a few times, as well. :)
 
swafa
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Re: Southwest 737-300

Thu May 25, 2017 3:55 pm

barney captain wrote:
kaitak744 wrote:
At one point, they operated 737-200s, 737-300s/-500s, and 737-700s. That is 3 different generations. They managed it then.


Yes, and when we got down to less than 50 -200's, the FAA made us segregate the fleet due to lack of currency in all types.

We can be qualified on the Classics and the NG's, or the NG's and the MAX, but not across all three variants. There is simply too much of of difference between a WN steam gauge -300 and a MAX. The Fed's weren't going for it. That coupled with the AD for the NGS in the Classics made this a done deal.

And as noted, the draw-down isn't nearly as dramatic as you portray it. The dispatch reliability on the classics is @ 65%. Compare that to greater than 95% for an NG - so one NG can replace roughly 1.5 classics. Additionally, the -800's and MAX's that are being added are 175 seats vs the lift of the classics @ 137/143. Fleet count may temporarily dip slightly, but available seats will hardly change at all.



What he said.
It was reported (4th quarter financials?) that fleet count would be down 20 frames at the end of 2017 compared to the beginning. But by the end of 2018 fleet size would be up 20 frames compared to beginning of 2017.
 
luv2cattlecall
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Re: Southwest 737-300

Thu May 25, 2017 4:03 pm

barney captain wrote:
kaitak744 wrote:
At one point, they operated 737-200s, 737-300s/-500s, and 737-700s. That is 3 different generations. They managed it then.


Yes, and when we got down to less than 50 -200's, the FAA made us segregate the fleet due to lack of currency in all types.

We can be qualified on the Classics and the NG's, or the NG's and the MAX, but not across all three variants. There is simply too much of of difference between a WN steam gauge -300 and a MAX. The Fed's weren't going for it. That coupled with the AD for the NGS in the Classics made this a done deal.

And as noted, the draw-down isn't nearly as dramatic as you portray it. The dispatch reliability on the classics is @ 65%. Compare that to greater than 95% for an NG - so one NG can replace roughly 1.5 classics. Additionally, the -800's and MAX's that are being added are 175 seats vs the lift of the classics @ 137/143. Fleet count may temporarily dip slightly, but available seats will hardly change at all.


Is the dispatch reliability really only 65%? Has it always been that bad, or has the slip been more recent due to things being put off, because of the impending retirement?
 
INFINITI329
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Re: Southwest 737-300

Thu May 25, 2017 4:11 pm

kaitak744 wrote:
At one point, they operated 737-200s, 737-300s/-500s, and 737-700s. That is 3 different generations. They managed it then.


They never operated all 3 families at the same time. That is where the problem lies. Theoretically, WN can operate all three families (Classic, Next-generation & Max) however that would require them to split the pilot group into two groups classic/ng & ng/max. WN is uninterested in doing that so hence why the classics are being retired early. The FAA will not allow 3 family operation as the differences span is too great between the classic and max
 
n471wn
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Re: Southwest 737-300

Thu May 25, 2017 4:30 pm

Barney Captain and I have argued about the dispatch rate on the 300's in the past and it got heated but trust me the 65% dispatch figure is bogus as it is dated and reflects many old frames. The dispatch rate for the 30 newest 300's that SWA should be keeping if the pilots would cooperate is very much higher and in actuality is almost equal to the early NG models.
 
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flybynight
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Re: Southwest 737-300

Thu May 25, 2017 4:41 pm

While in Phoenix the other day I saw a 737-300 in the old livery. I didn't realize that SW still had the old brown planes out there still. A pleasant surprise.
Heia Norge!
 
727LOVER
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Re: Southwest 737-300

Thu May 25, 2017 4:50 pm

flybynight wrote:
While in Phoenix the other day I saw a 737-300 in the old livery. I didn't realize that SW still had the old brown planes out there still. A pleasant surprise.


I think you saw a -700
"We must accept finite disappointment, but never lose infinite hope." - Martin Luther King, Jr.
 
bennett123
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Re: Southwest 737-300

Thu May 25, 2017 4:50 pm

Sorry, I meant TUS.
 
dgaitan240
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Re: Southwest 737-300

Thu May 25, 2017 4:51 pm

flybynight wrote:
While in Phoenix the other day I saw a 737-300 in the old livery. I didn't realize that SW still had the old brown planes out there still. A pleasant surprise.


That was one of the -700's they have in the "Classic" livery, which is slightly modified (it has a little bit of a golden metallic color). There are no -300's in that livery.
 
WN732
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Re: Southwest 737-300

Thu May 25, 2017 4:52 pm

INFINITI329 wrote:
kaitak744 wrote:
At one point, they operated 737-200s, 737-300s/-500s, and 737-700s. That is 3 different generations. They managed it then.


They never operated all 3 families at the same time. That is where the problem lies. Theoretically, WN can operate all three families (Classic, Next-generation & Max) however that would require them to split the pilot group into two groups classic/ng & ng/max. WN is uninterested in doing that so hence why the classics are being retired early. The FAA will not allow 3 family operation as the differences span is too great between the classic and max



Yes they did. The -200's were retired in 2005, and the -700's came on the property at the end of 1997.
 
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Polot
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Re: Southwest 737-300

Thu May 25, 2017 4:53 pm

flybynight wrote:
While in Phoenix the other day I saw a 737-300 in the old livery. I didn't realize that SW still had the old brown planes out there still. A pleasant surprise.


Southwest has three 73Gs in the old brown livery (well, a modification of the old livery, they are not exactly the same) to represent their first three cities unless they have repainted them. You saw one of those, Southwest has not had any other plane in the original livery for probably close to ten years now.
 
WN732
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Re: Southwest 737-300

Thu May 25, 2017 4:56 pm

Does anyone have information on what the last flight will be, or what kind of sendoff WN will give the -300? They eluded to a "big event" but I have not seen anything since.
 
727LOVER
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Re: Southwest 737-300

Thu May 25, 2017 5:11 pm

Polot wrote:
flybynight wrote:
While in Phoenix the other day I saw a 737-300 in the old livery. I didn't realize that SW still had the old brown planes out there still. A pleasant surprise.


Southwest has three 73Gs in the old brown livery (well, a modification of the old livery, they are not exactly the same) to represent their first three cities unless they have repainted them. You saw one of those, Southwest has not had any other plane in the original livery for probably close to ten years now.






Are they going to keep any planes in the old livery?
"We must accept finite disappointment, but never lose infinite hope." - Martin Luther King, Jr.
 
INFINITI329
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Re: Southwest 737-300

Thu May 25, 2017 5:12 pm

WN732 wrote:
INFINITI329 wrote:
kaitak744 wrote:
At one point, they operated 737-200s, 737-300s/-500s, and 737-700s. That is 3 different generations. They managed it then.


They never operated all 3 families at the same time. That is where the problem lies. Theoretically, WN can operate all three families (Classic, Next-generation & Max) however that would require them to split the pilot group into two groups classic/ng & ng/max. WN is uninterested in doing that so hence why the classics are being retired early. The FAA will not allow 3 family operation as the differences span is too great between the classic and max



Yes they did. The -200's were retired in 2005, and the -700's came on the property at the end of 1997.


Oops I was wrong.. I didn't do my research good enough. After looking deeper it looks like the last 732 left the fleet in 2006.
 
SXDFC
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Re: Southwest 737-300

Thu May 25, 2017 6:17 pm

The -300s can be found anywhere throughout the system. As for the 3 gold -700s, there are only two left now. 792 was repainted in December.
 
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ATA L1011
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Re: Southwest 737-300

Thu May 25, 2017 6:27 pm

n471wn wrote:
Barney Captain and I have argued about the dispatch rate on the 300's in the past and it got heated but trust me the 65% dispatch figure is bogus as it is dated and reflects many old frames. The dispatch rate for the 30 newest 300's that SWA should be keeping if the pilots would cooperate is very much higher and in actuality is almost equal to the early NG models.

I heard the same thing as you from a good buddy of mine that works for WN, that it is much higher than the quoted 65%!
Treat others as you expect to be treated!
 
barney captain
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Re: Southwest 737-300

Thu May 25, 2017 6:31 pm

n471wn wrote:
Barney Captain and I have argued about the dispatch rate on the 300's in the past and it got heated but trust me the 65% dispatch figure is bogus as it is dated and reflects many old frames. The dispatch rate for the 30 newest 300's that SWA should be keeping if the pilots would cooperate is very much higher and in actuality is almost equal to the early NG models.


I was in DAL for training last week and they're still quoting that 65%. Is it accurate? I have no idea. My guess is the newest of the classics are probably more reliable, but that still doesn't address the center tank inerting system that must be installed by the end of 2017. That AD is very costly and imo solidified the end of the classics for WN.

What do the pilots need to "cooperate" on? Back in November we signed our contract agreeing to fly the MAX. The only thing preventing flying all three variants is an authorized training syllabus issued by the FAA - and that's simply not happening.
Southeast Of Disorder
 
n471wn
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Re: Southwest 737-300

Thu May 25, 2017 7:51 pm

barney captain wrote:
n471wn wrote:
Barney Captain and I have argued about the dispatch rate on the 300's in the past and it got heated but trust me the 65% dispatch figure is bogus as it is dated and reflects many old frames. The dispatch rate for the 30 newest 300's that SWA should be keeping if the pilots would cooperate is very much higher and in actuality is almost equal to the early NG models.


I was in DAL for training last week and they're still quoting that 65%. Is it accurate? I have no idea. My guess is the newest of the classics are probably more reliable, but that still doesn't address the center tank inerting system that must be installed by the end of 2017. That AD is very costly and imo solidified the end of the classics for WN.

What do the pilots need to "cooperate" on? Back in November we signed our contract agreeing to fly the MAX. The only thing preventing flying all three variants is an authorized training syllabus issued by the FAA - and that's simply not happening.

You are probably right but I did think that the reason WN did not pressure the FAA for the syllabus is that the pilots said they would not fly the three variants
 
A350
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Re: Southwest 737-300

Thu May 25, 2017 8:01 pm

Isn't there a story that the screens WN`s NGs emulate the round gauges at 737 classic cockpits for interoperability? In that case it probably wouldn`t be very useful and even not certified to emulates classic cockpits in MAXs. It would be better be switch the software of the NGs back to standard. I suppose the cockpits of NGs and MAXs are quite similar anyway so that they can be flown by the same pilots.
 
chrisair
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Re: Southwest 737-300

Fri May 26, 2017 6:41 am

WN732 wrote:
Does anyone have information on what the last flight will be, or what kind of sendoff WN will give the -300? They eluded to a "big event" but I have not seen anything since.


I'm sure it will feature inadequate (or inoperative) ground air conditioning on a hot day. The captain will delay boarding because it's in excess of 140 degrees in the cabin and announce "if I won't sit in it, then neither will you." Once they board, you'll have to sit and wait for people to play Tetris with their bags and everyone will say "but it fits on the other planes!"

I for one, can't wait for the classics to go. They did a great job, they served their purpose, but it's time to move on.

A350 wrote:
Isn't there a story that the screens WN`s NGs emulate the round gauges at 737 classic cockpits for interoperability? In that case it probably wouldn`t be very useful and even not certified to emulates classic cockpits in MAXs. It would be better be switch the software of the NGs back to standard.


The NGs have had the "standard" displays (not the round gauge display) for quite some time. At least 3 years, probably more.
 
737tanker
Posts: 371
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Re: Southwest 737-300

Fri May 26, 2017 10:47 am

INFINITI329 wrote:
kaitak744 wrote:
At one point, they operated 737-200s, 737-300s/-500s, and 737-700s. That is 3 different generations. They managed it then.


They never operated all 3 families at the same time. That is where the problem lies. Theoretically, WN can operate all three families (Classic, Next-generation & Max) however that would require them to split the pilot group into two groups classic/ng & ng/max. WN is uninterested in doing that so hence why the classics are being retired early. The FAA will not allow 3 family operation as the differences span is too great between the classic and max


In fact WN did operate the -200, -300, -500 , and -700 at the same time. My first flight in the -700 was November of 1998 and my last flight in a -200 was October of 2001. The DAL and HOU crews flew the -200 well beyond that.

The -300s are being primarily being retired early due to the fact that WN management doesn't want to install the NGS (which is required by AD by January 1, 2018) onto these aircraft. If WN wanted to keep flying the Classics they would have installed the NGS and worked out an agreement with SWAPA. Just like they did when the -200s were restricted to DAL and HOU crews.

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Classic Airliners Props and jets from the good old days

Flight Decks Views from inside the cockpit

Aircraft Cabins Passenger cabin shots showing seat arrangements as well as cargo aircraft interior

Cargo Aircraft Pictures of great freighter aircraft

Government Aircraft Aircraft flying government officials

Helicopters Our large helicopter section. Both military and civil versions

Blimps / Airships Everything from the Goodyear blimp to the Zeppelin

Night Photos Beautiful shots taken while the sun is below the horizon

Accidents Accident, incident and crash related photos

Air to Air Photos taken by airborne photographers of airborne aircraft

Special Paint Schemes Aircraft painted in beautiful and original liveries

Airport Overviews Airport overviews from the air or ground

Tails and Winglets Tail and Winglet closeups with beautiful airline logos