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767333ER
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Re: Alaska Having Problems with Airbus Aircraft

Wed Apr 18, 2018 4:10 am

zeke wrote:
N14AZ wrote:
https://www.bizjournals.com/seattle ... ;-)

From that article:

"We have to learn. We're not Airbus experts. You can fly them hard, you just have to maintain them differently," Alaska President and Chief Operating Officer Ben Minicucci said in an interview.


That is very true, any of the Airbus FBW or the newer Boeing aircraft are maintained differently to legacy aircraft like the 737. Newer aircraft are more computerised with built in test (BITE) functionality for almost everything.

The BITE will throw up a lot more messages than you will ever get on a legacy aircraft like a 737, the maintenance side of the organisation needs to move with the times and learn how to use these messages. Thing is these issues would also be happening on the 737, just that no human would be able to pick it up like a computer monitoring things does.

Well the 737 MAX has a proper BITE system now, but it took them until nearly the end of this decade to introduce something that again more or less came out in the 80s or 90s. Of course since AS only has the NG for now, I imagine they are used to maintaining something of its level of technology.
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gmcc
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Re: Alaska Having Problems with Airbus Aircraft

Wed Apr 18, 2018 6:13 am

This
HIA350 wrote:
Did VX ever experienced this issue with the ac's, i've ask my buddies at B6 and it seems to be AS whining about it to stick with boeing as previously mentioned

Plus

"We have to learn. We're not Airbus experts. You can fly them hard, you just have to maintain them differently,"

Leads me to believe that AS looked at VX schedules, saw a lot of extra time in it and figured they could schedule it like a 737. That turned out not to be the case and the schedule has been modified to accommodate the slack needed to operate the Airbus. Seems very similar to what happened when the hanger queen Q400s where giving them fits.
 
ctrabs0114
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Re: Alaska Having Problems with Airbus Aircraft

Wed Apr 18, 2018 6:21 am

lostsound wrote:
How at AS suddenly having problems with A320s VX never had problems with? Sounds to me like they're being negligent in integrating the Airbus fleet or have some alternative motive to relieve themselves of their orders. Are there any other airlines experiencing "premature wear" on their A321 NEOS? Airbus has delivered 23 so far and 242 A320 NEOs but I haven't heard about anything other than engine problems.


Weren't some 320 NEOs grounded by aviation authorities in India recently? Or am I confusing that with another situation or another model of Airbus?
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fsabo
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Re: Alaska Having Problems with Airbus Aircraft

Wed Apr 18, 2018 6:25 am

ctrabs0114 wrote:
lostsound wrote:
How at AS suddenly having problems with A320s VX never had problems with? Sounds to me like they're being negligent in integrating the Airbus fleet or have some alternative motive to relieve themselves of their orders. Are there any other airlines experiencing "premature wear" on their A321 NEOS? Airbus has delivered 23 so far and 242 A320 NEOs but I haven't heard about anything other than engine problems.


Weren't some 320 NEOs grounded by aviation authorities in India recently? Or am I confusing that with another situation or another model of Airbus?


That was due to Pratt GTF engines. These have CFM Leap engines. The Leaps have been pretty reliable.
 
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sergegva
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Re: Alaska Having Problems with Airbus Aircraft

Wed Apr 18, 2018 12:24 pm

gmcc wrote:
This
HIA350 wrote:
Did VX ever experienced this issue with the ac's, i've ask my buddies at B6 and it seems to be AS whining about it to stick with boeing as previously mentioned

Plus

"We have to learn. We're not Airbus experts. You can fly them hard, you just have to maintain them differently,"

Leads me to believe that AS looked at VX schedules, saw a lot of extra time in it and figured they could schedule it like a 737. That turned out not to be the case and the schedule has been modified to accommodate the slack needed to operate the Airbus. Seems very similar to what happened when the hanger queen Q400s where giving them fits.


What do you mean? That an A320 needs more extra time to be operated than a 737?
 
WIederling
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Re: Alaska Having Problems with Airbus Aircraft

Wed Apr 18, 2018 12:31 pm

sergegva wrote:
What do you mean? That an A320 needs more extra time to be operated than a 737?


No. the mechanics need extra time. :-)
( probably because of NIH syndrome and being unused to Airbus?)
Murphy is an optimist
 
sxf24
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Re: Alaska Having Problems with Airbus Aircraft

Wed Apr 18, 2018 12:32 pm

sergegva wrote:
gmcc wrote:
This
HIA350 wrote:
Did VX ever experienced this issue with the ac's, i've ask my buddies at B6 and it seems to be AS whining about it to stick with boeing as previously mentioned

Plus

"We have to learn. We're not Airbus experts. You can fly them hard, you just have to maintain them differently,"

Leads me to believe that AS looked at VX schedules, saw a lot of extra time in it and figured they could schedule it like a 737. That turned out not to be the case and the schedule has been modified to accommodate the slack needed to operate the Airbus. Seems very similar to what happened when the hanger queen Q400s where giving them fits.


What do you mean? That an A320 needs more extra time to be operated than a 737?


Yes. Fleet wide, the A320 has lower utilization and slighty (almost statically insignificant) reliability. New A320ceos are quite reliable, but it can fall off quickly after initial checks.
 
hiflyeras
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Re: Alaska Having Problems with Airbus Aircraft

Wed Apr 18, 2018 1:55 pm

NameOmitted wrote:
They were having issues, for whatever reason, with their Airbus aircraft. Looking at this last month, they seem to have somewhat resolved them. Teething problems with integration, perhaps, or perhaps VX has been teething the aircraft like the bank owns it, while Alaska is used to taking care of it's own metal. No need to read a serious A vs B diss into this until they say this sort of thing about Airbus aircraft after a year or so.


If you know you're selling your house you're probably not going to buy new furniture. There was likely a backlog of 'customer convenience' items that AS had to address. Worn seats, inop lavs, that sort of thing. AS flies a clean, well maintained fleet and has spare aircraft so they can pull one out of service. VX ran lean with no spares and it showed.
 
alasizon
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Re: Alaska Having Problems with Airbus Aircraft

Wed Apr 18, 2018 3:45 pm

767333ER wrote:
New engines have problems, as for the rest of their issues they claim, no one else whines about things like that on Airbuses so I'd say its a little bit of Boeing biased garbage mixed in with otherwise well known engine issues here. Other than the LEAP, how come the problems magically showed up as soon as AS got their hands on these?


The claims say they are having engine issues with the 320CEOs and cabin interior issues with the NEOs. My guess is they may be running into things like carpet tiles wearing down too quickly, galley latches breaking too often, seatbacks breaking too quickly, etc.
Airport (noun) - A construction site which airplanes tend to frequent
 
yeelep
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Re: Alaska Having Problems with Airbus Aircraft

Wed Apr 18, 2018 6:34 pm

WIederling wrote:
No. the mechanics need extra time. :-)
( probably because of NIH syndrome and being unused to Airbus?)
Maintenance has not been integrated yet. For now, ex-VX mechanics work on Airbus and AS mechanics work on Boeing.
 
QXAS
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Re: Alaska Having Problems with Airbus Aircraft

Wed Apr 18, 2018 6:52 pm

WIederling wrote:
sergegva wrote:
What do you mean? That an A320 needs more extra time to be operated than a 737?


No. the mechanics need extra time. :-)
( probably because of NIH syndrome and being unused to Airbus?)

This is logical, if the A320 required 10 more minutes per turn it wouldn’t sell to airlines of the likes of EasyJet. If it does require more ground time I’d be shocked that the aircraft is so successful. But at the same time it’s not like all the VX maintenance people were suddenly laid off. We’re missing a piece of the puzzle. There’s something else going on that is either unique to these aircraft or considered “normal” for A320s.
I am NOT an employee of any airline or manufacturer. I speak for myself, not on the behalf of any company.
 
N766UA
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Re: Alaska Having Problems with Airbus Aircraft

Wed Apr 18, 2018 7:30 pm

Super80Fan wrote:
This just seems like AS whining about it so they make it easier/convince themselves to stick to all Boeing.


Easier? They own the airline, they can fly whatever they want without having to convince you and I of its merits.
 
durangomac
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Re: Alaska Having Problems with Airbus Aircraft

Wed Apr 18, 2018 7:32 pm

QXAS wrote:
WIederling wrote:
sergegva wrote:
What do you mean? That an A320 needs more extra time to be operated than a 737?


No. the mechanics need extra time. :-)
( probably because of NIH syndrome and being unused to Airbus?)

This is logical, if the A320 required 10 more minutes per turn it wouldn’t sell to airlines of the likes of EasyJet. If it does require more ground time I’d be shocked that the aircraft is so successful. But at the same time it’s not like all the VX maintenance people were suddenly laid off. We’re missing a piece of the puzzle. There’s something else going on that is either unique to these aircraft or considered “normal” for A320s.


Two things I hear happening is the heavy checks ran together and more heavy check lines had to be built into the schedule and the second issue I heard was the Airbus fleet is being moved back towards more
OEM parts and those supply chains haven't completely caught up with the demand.
 
Planesmart
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Re: Alaska Having Problems with Airbus Aircraft

Wed Apr 18, 2018 8:38 pm

Perhaps a replay of the 'issues' flight and tech staff had with the A300 when it went into service in the USA, singling out the plane for all manner of special treatment.

Would be a brave VX tech working in an AS shop, concerned about job security and seniority, willing to champion the A320 ahead of the 737.

Look at the fanboys on here. Imagine working with them, when they enjoy the dominant position.
 
Varsity1
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Re: Alaska Having Problems with Airbus Aircraft

Wed Apr 18, 2018 11:18 pm

Planesmart wrote:
Perhaps a replay of the 'issues' flight and tech staff had with the A300 when it went into service in the USA, singling out the plane for all manner of special treatment.

Would be a brave VX tech working in an AS shop, concerned about job security and seniority, willing to champion the A320 ahead of the 737.

Look at the fanboys on here. Imagine working with them, when they enjoy the dominant position.


Willing to champion the A320? You are delusional if you think mechanics give a single damn about what brand of airplane they work on.

What mechanics care about:

1.Pay
2. Time off
3. Pay
...
496,211. Airbus or Boeing
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wedgetail737
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Re: Alaska Having Problems with Airbus Aircraft

Wed Apr 18, 2018 11:20 pm

Varsity1 wrote:
Planesmart wrote:
Perhaps a replay of the 'issues' flight and tech staff had with the A300 when it went into service in the USA, singling out the plane for all manner of special treatment.

Would be a brave VX tech working in an AS shop, concerned about job security and seniority, willing to champion the A320 ahead of the 737.

Look at the fanboys on here. Imagine working with them, when they enjoy the dominant position.


Willing to champion the A320? You are delusional if you think mechanics give a single damn about what brand of airplane they work on.

What mechanics care about:

1.Pay
2. Time off
3. Pay
...
496,211. Airbus or Boeing


Don't forget benefits.
 
chidino
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Joined: Fri Mar 30, 2018 12:36 pm

Re: Alaska Having Problems with Airbus Aircraft

Wed Apr 18, 2018 11:51 pm

Wasn't this all settled (at least short-term) already? https://www.fool.com/investing/2017/04/02/alaska-air-will-keep-virgin-americas-airbus-fleet.aspx

Quoting Motley Fool: "At Alaska Air's investor day on Wednesday, the company confirmed that it will keep the A320 fleet for quite some time.

Virgin America has 63 planes right now, of which 53 are leased. Those 53 leases expire between 2019 and 2025, with the bulk of expirations in the 2021-2023 period. Alaska Air's management has concluded that it would be prohibitively expensive to get out of the leases early.

However, Virgin America only has 20 aircraft committed to its fleet after 2025. Ten of those are A320s that the company has bought in the past two years. It will also receive 10 A321neos on lease over the next year and a half. (Alaska Air is trying to work out a deal with the lessor to take fewer than 10 of the A321neos, though.)

Alaska Air plans to retrofit Virgin America's A319s and A320s starting next fall. It will add more first class seats, install new extra-legroom "Premium"-class seats, and standardize the planes' configurations. This investment solidifies Alaska's near-term commitment to keeping the Airbus fleet around."

Goes on at length about long-term options, costs of a second fleet type vs. cancelling legacy VX 320 orders, etc.
 
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EA CO AS
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Re: Alaska Having Problems with Airbus Aircraft

Thu Apr 19, 2018 12:05 am

chidino wrote:
Virgin America has 63 planes right now, of which 53 are leased. Those 53 leases expire between 2019 and 2025, with the bulk of expirations in the 2021-2023 period. Alaska Air's management has concluded that it would be prohibitively expensive to get out of the leases early.


And since these frames will be around for so long, it makes sense to not only paint them in AS livery, but retrofit each one to the new AS cabin standard. That starts in earnest in October.
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Comments made here are my own and are not intended to represent the official position of Alaska Air Group
 
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Super80Fan
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Re: Alaska Having Problems with Airbus Aircraft

Thu Apr 19, 2018 1:07 am

N766UA wrote:
Super80Fan wrote:
This just seems like AS whining about it so they make it easier/convince themselves to stick to all Boeing.


Easier? They own the airline, they can fly whatever they want without having to convince you and I of its merits.


Calm down, it just makes sense that AS is an older Boeing customer so they're going to stick to their laurels and lean toward them/shy away over time from the Airbus.
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bspc
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Re: Alaska Having Problems with Airbus Aircraft

Thu Apr 19, 2018 1:23 am

JetBuddy wrote:
So the problems are the engines, which is no surprise - and cabin functionality and wear issues on the A321neo? Do these neos have the "Cabin Flex" option?


The Cabin Flex option isn't available yet for Airlines. The first one will be for Turkish Airlines this summer.
 
bspc
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Re: Alaska Having Problems with Airbus Aircraft

Thu Apr 19, 2018 1:24 am

ctrabs0114 wrote:
lostsound wrote:
Weren't some 320 NEOs grounded by aviation authorities in India recently? Or am I confusing that with another situation or another model of Airbus?


Yes and its lifted now. But even that has nothing to do with the A321neo.
 
MIflyer12
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Re: Alaska Having Problems with Airbus Aircraft

Thu Apr 19, 2018 1:32 am

sxf24 wrote:
Yes. Fleet wide, the A320 has lower utilization and slighty (almost statically insignificant) reliability. New A320ceos are quite reliable, but it can fall off quickly after initial checks.


That is interesting.

Was the lower utilization done with awareness of different mech needs, or an outcome of less aggressive scheduling due to marketing needs?
 
DDR
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Re: Alaska Having Problems with Airbus Aircraft

Thu Apr 19, 2018 1:50 am

Super80Fan wrote:
This just seems like AS whining about it so they make it easier/convince themselves to stick to all Boeing.


I think the A321 will be at AS for a long time. It’s a great plane.
 
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EA CO AS
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Re: Alaska Having Problems with Airbus Aircraft

Thu Apr 19, 2018 2:49 am

DDR wrote:
Super80Fan wrote:
This just seems like AS whining about it so they make it easier/convince themselves to stick to all Boeing.


I think the A321 will be at AS for a long time. It’s a great plane.



I think so as well; if my guess is correct, I'd expect orders for quite a few more.
"In this present crisis, government is not the solution to our problem - government IS the problem." - Ronald Reagan

Comments made here are my own and are not intended to represent the official position of Alaska Air Group
 
boeing737max
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Re: Alaska Having Problems with Airbus Aircraft

Thu Apr 19, 2018 3:32 am

EA CO AS wrote:
DDR wrote:
Super80Fan wrote:
This just seems like AS whining about it so they make it easier/convince themselves to stick to all Boeing.


I think the A321 will be at AS for a long time. It’s a great plane.



I think so as well; if my guess is correct, I'd expect orders for quite a few more.

The A321 really is a great aircraft. However, I don't see Alaska ordering more aircraft if they do have the possible intent of not renewing those leases.
 
ctrabs0114
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Re: Alaska Having Problems with Airbus Aircraft

Thu Apr 19, 2018 4:31 am

bspc wrote:
ctrabs0114 wrote:
lostsound wrote:
Weren't some 320 NEOs grounded by aviation authorities in India recently? Or am I confusing that with another situation or another model of Airbus?


Yes and its lifted now. But even that has nothing to do with the A321neo.


Thanks for clarifying. I knew bits and pieces about what happened in India, but I wasn't sure the exact details.
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HIA350
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Re: Alaska Having Problems with Airbus Aircraft

Thu Apr 19, 2018 1:25 pm

ctrabs0114 wrote:
lostsound wrote:
How at AS suddenly having problems with A320s VX never had problems with? Sounds to me like they're being negligent in integrating the Airbus fleet or have some alternative motive to relieve themselves of their orders. Are there any other airlines experiencing "premature wear" on their A321 NEOS? Airbus has delivered 23 so far and 242 A320 NEOs but I haven't heard about anything other than engine problems.


Weren't some 320 NEOs grounded by aviation authorities in India recently? Or am I confusing that with another situation or another model of Airbus?



yes sames a virgin 787's rr engine issues
 
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Aesma
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Re: Alaska Having Problems with Airbus Aircraft

Thu Apr 19, 2018 1:58 pm

QXAS wrote:
I read it as premature cabin wear. Which you could say the same about all of the recaros currently in the PM-AS fleet. Those have worn out fast.
Anyway I’ve been in contact with one of the chief pilots. His words not mine, the 321N is a dream aircraft, the A319 and A320, not so much. Now that we have them in our fleet and have looked at them close up, we know why we’ve never looked too closely at buying them ourselves.” Another pilot, this one from DL who originally flew 742s with NW and now flies A330s said this, “the Boeing is like a Toyota, not particularly glamorous but they can just keep flying, a bit like the DC-9, great example is the 737-200. They just keep on chugging. The Airbus is like a BMW, you can keep it in the air for 20-30 years if you need too, but it’s a lot more intensive, the maintenance programs are underwhelming and the jets lose their value quicker.”
Maybe the second statement which I’ve previously thought ridiculous has some water and AS is figuring that out the hard way. If it is the case, these could just be issues that aren’t a problem for airlines that have always operated the bus. But for a brand new operator, is a little surprising.


First statement doesn't make much sense, it's still basically the same aircraft.

2nd statement, well I don't know you but here I see more old BMWs on the road than old Toyotas, despite the latter largely outselling the former.
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