ILNFlyer
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Did DL's order for the A-220 signal the end of the 717?

Wed Jul 18, 2018 8:33 pm

Delta's order the for the Airbus 220 posses a question in my mind. They ordered the Airbus 220 with the exact number seats the 717 currently has at 110. Is it possible DL is eyeing the 220 as a possible long term replacement for the 717?
 
deltal1011man
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Re: Did DL's order for the A-220 signal the end of the 717?

Wed Jul 18, 2018 8:35 pm

Long term replacement? Probably

But I wouldn't bet on the first 75 replacing any 717s
 
strfyr51
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Re: Did DL's order for the A-220 signal the end of the 717?

Wed Jul 18, 2018 8:36 pm

It could very well be, Couldn't it?? It makes perfect sense if they did. Delta rarely does things without a Plan. And as a matter of Fact?. They rarely even make a mistake in judgement (if not Execution)
 
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flyingclrs727
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Re: Did DL's order for the A-220 signal the end of the 717?

Wed Jul 18, 2018 8:51 pm

DL obtained its fleet of 717's first as part of a merger with NW, then by taking them off the hands of smaller operators that could not obtain more or wanted a different aircraft after Boeing discontinued the 717. DL got them cheap but has the capability to maintain orphaned aircraft types in house with a large enough scale of operations. They will keep the 717's in operation as long as it makes economic sense.
 
PanAm788
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Re: Did DL's order for the A-220 signal the end of the 717?

Wed Jul 18, 2018 9:00 pm

flyingclrs727 wrote:
DL obtained its fleet of 717's first as part of a merger with NW, then by taking them off the hands of smaller operators that could not obtain more or wanted a different aircraft after Boeing discontinued the 717. DL got them cheap but has the capability to maintain orphaned aircraft types in house with a large enough scale of operations. They will keep the 717's in operation as long as it makes economic sense.

What? No they didn't. They got DC-9-30/40/50s from NW and retired the 30s and 40s basically immediately (never were repainted). The -50s soldiered on for a few years but have been retired for a few years now.

The 717 came from the Southwest-Air Tran merger as Southwest wanted to keep a 737 only fleet and offered the leases to DL.
Last edited by PanAm788 on Wed Jul 18, 2018 9:07 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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DocLightning
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Re: Did DL's order for the A-220 signal the end of the 717?

Wed Jul 18, 2018 9:01 pm

Well, it's hardly a shock. The fleet is approaching two decades. It's not as if they can order more. They need a replacement.
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FlyCaledonian
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Re: Did DL's order for the A-220 signal the end of the 717?

Wed Jul 18, 2018 9:04 pm

flyingclrs727 wrote:
DL obtained its fleet of 717's first as part of a merger with NW, then by taking them off the hands of smaller operators that could not obtain more or wanted a different aircraft after Boeing discontinued the 717. DL got them cheap but has the capability to maintain orphaned aircraft types in house with a large enough scale of operations. They will keep the 717's in operation as long as it makes economic sense.

That's not correct as NW never ordered nor operated the 717. They struck a deal to take the ex Air Tran birds after Southwest merged with them, then picked up some additional frames. They've been a good aircraft for DL though, alongside picking up various MD-90s that other carriers were removing from their fleets. I think they'll have a lot of life in them but if there were any downturn I suspect they could start getting parked.
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Metjetceo
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Re: Did DL's order for the A-220 signal the end of the 717?

Wed Jul 18, 2018 9:11 pm

Delta has said that that A220s are MD-88 replacements as well as to grow the fleet.
The 717s will likely be around for awhile and yes they came from Southwest
 
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Re: Did DL's order for the A-220 signal the end of the 717?

Wed Jul 18, 2018 9:20 pm

ILNFlyer wrote:
Is it possible DL is eyeing the 220 as a possible long term replacement for the 717?


Long-term? Absolutely. Short-term? Nope. They've got more urgent needs: Replacing the MD-88 fleet, replacing the MD-90 fleet, replacing older A319s, A320s and 737-800s, and indirectly replacing Delta Connection capacity as 50-seat RJs continue to exit (i.e. a route like ATL-MGM gets CR9s or E175s instead of CR2s, while routes like LGA-DFW and LGA-IAH get A220s to replace the E175s that end up on routes like ATL-MGM). The first two and the last will be the most urgent needs, and the 739ER/A321/A321neo orders also help to address all those retirements. Delta isn't really replacing equipment size-for-size since the aircraft replacement process is part of an overall reoptimization of the fleet and network around different gauge sizes.
 
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Re: Did DL's order for the A-220 signal the end of the 717?

Wed Jul 18, 2018 9:28 pm

Long term? Yes, most likely. But for now, the 717 is still an efficient and reliable aircraft. With 90+ in the fleet, they will be around for a long time.
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tlecam
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Re: Did DL's order for the A-220 signal the end of the 717?

Wed Jul 18, 2018 9:31 pm

I think the more immediate focus is retiring the MD 80s and 90s. In one of the other threads, there is a discussion of how quickly they are leaving the fleet - I think 12 MD 90's (the former China Southern fleet maybe??) left in Q2 of this year alone.

Clearly that's not directly tied to the C Series, since it hasn't arrive yet, but I believe that the C Series will help with that as they come on board.
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DeltaMD95
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Re: Did DL's order for the A-220 signal the end of the 717?

Wed Jul 18, 2018 9:35 pm

As it relates to the 717’s future with DL: What is the over/under on DL acquiring some of the Volotea 717 fleet for active service? I believe they will be replaced at Volotea in the coming years by A319s but I have not read any news on it lately. Surely, HA does not need the entire fleet...thoughts?
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TW870
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Re: Did DL's order for the A-220 signal the end of the 717?

Wed Jul 18, 2018 9:50 pm

DeltaMD95 wrote:
As it relates to the 717’s future with DL: What is the over/under on DL acquiring some of the Volotea 717 fleet for active service? I believe they will be replaced at Volotea in the coming years by A319s but I have not read any news on it lately. Surely, HA does not need the entire fleet...thoughts?


I think long term plans are generally flexible to accommodate macroeconomic cycles. If demand and fares stay high and fuel stays relatively low, I am sure they would add a few Volotea birds to the fleet for active service. But if things soften a bit, my guess is they would only take parts birds. And either way they are not going to get into a bidding war with Hawaiian. They just announced that they are going to trim their growth plan a bit over the fall, so this will likely see the -88 and -90 retirements go a little faster than previously planned. That moment to moment tinkering will also impact any plans for a bid on the Volotea birds. I agree with others, though, that the current A220 order is not going to displace the 717.
 
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Re: Did DL's order for the A-220 signal the end of the 717?

Wed Jul 18, 2018 9:56 pm

SAS ordering the 737-600 signaled the end of the 717.
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Re: Did DL's order for the A-220 signal the end of the 717?

Wed Jul 18, 2018 10:02 pm

DfwRevolution wrote:

SAS ordering the 737-600 signaled the end of the 717.


The same could be said for NW not ordering the 717.
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c933103
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Re: Did DL's order for the A-220 signal the end of the 717?

Wed Jul 18, 2018 10:07 pm

How much better would the A221 be compares to the 717?
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Re: Did DL's order for the A-220 signal the end of the 717?

Wed Jul 18, 2018 10:08 pm

Metjetceo wrote:
Delta has said that that A220s are MD-88 replacements as well as to grow the fleet.
The 717s will likely be around for awhile and yes they came from Southwest


With the capacity on order, DL can phase out the MD-88/90, account for growth and still have enough capacity coming in to replace the entire 757/753 fleets. The latter won’t happen, but point is DL’s further ahead in its fleet renewal that a.net is lead to believe; the next batch of retirements will likely include early 1990s build B757 and A320 (these planes will be over 30yo by then, and had previously been scheduled for retirement) but could very well include the 717 - it’s all dependent on cost...
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Re: Did DL's order for the A-220 signal the end of the 717?

Wed Jul 18, 2018 10:47 pm

As someone who knows very little about the 717, I’ve never really understood its raison d’etre other than that it was the first offering from the newly merged (at the time) Boeing and McDonnell Douglas. I get the sense that most of the work of developing it took place at MD prior to the merger between the two companies. In my opinion, it’s been a low profile aircraft that one hasn’t heard much publicity about outside of specialized aviation forums such as this one. Even on here, there doesn’t seem to have been that much discussion of it.

What exactly is the difference between the 717 and the DC-9 and where does it fit in the scheme of things between the DC-9 and 737?
 
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Re: Did DL's order for the A-220 signal the end of the 717?

Wed Jul 18, 2018 11:27 pm

717s will be at Delta for about 8-10 more years.
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0newair0
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Re: Did DL's order for the A-220 signal the end of the 717?

Wed Jul 18, 2018 11:32 pm

tlecam wrote:
I think the more immediate focus is retiring the MD 80s and 90s. In one of the other threads, there is a discussion of how quickly they are leaving the fleet - I think 12 MD 90's (the former China Southern fleet maybe??) left in Q2 of this year alone.

Clearly that's not directly tied to the C Series, since it hasn't arrive yet, but I believe that the C Series will help with that as they come on board.


MD are being replaced with A321s / 737-900s. Indoc of C Series will not impact MD-XX retirement plans.

Edit: I mean A220. Whatever.
Last edited by 0newair0 on Wed Jul 18, 2018 11:34 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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SPREE34
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Re: Did DL's order for the A-220 signal the end of the 717?

Wed Jul 18, 2018 11:36 pm

SuperGee wrote:
As someone who knows very little about the 717, I’ve never really understood its raison d’etre other than that it was the first offering from the newly merged (at the time) Boeing and McDonnell Douglas. I get the sense that most of the work of developing it took place at MD prior to the merger...................


It was developed and flying before the merger as the MD-95. Post merger it was rebadged as the 717.
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Re: Did DL's order for the A-220 signal the end of the 717?

Wed Jul 18, 2018 11:39 pm

SuperGee wrote:


What exactly is the difference between the 717 and the DC-9 and where does it fit in the scheme of things between the DC-9 and 737?


Same wing as the DC-9-30. A couple of fuselage sections were added to compensate for the heavier engines, and it got the updated tailcone and taller vertical stabilizer.
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Re: Did DL's order for the A-220 signal the end of the 717?

Wed Jul 18, 2018 11:45 pm

SuperGee wrote:
As someone who knows very little about the 717, I’ve never really understood its raison d’etre other than that it was the first offering from the newly merged (at the time) Boeing and McDonnell Douglas. I get the sense that most of the work of developing it took place at MD prior to the merger between the two companies. In my opinion, it’s been a low profile aircraft that one hasn’t heard much publicity about outside of specialized aviation forums such as this one. Even on here, there doesn’t seem to have been that much discussion of it.

What exactly is the difference between the 717 and the DC-9 and where does it fit in the scheme of things between the DC-9 and 737?


Basically the 717 is a re-engined DC-9-30. I believe they did a couple of small tweaks to the basic DC-9-30 wing, added the MD-87/90 tail fin and horizontal stabilizer, put in a glass cockpit, and most importantly replaced the original 1960s-1970s era JT8D Low bypass turbofans with Rolls-Royce/BMW BR715 High bypass turbofans (a variant of the engine also used on the Gulfstream V) which necessitated a slight stretch. The bird is not particularly common as it was a bit of a bastard stepchild at Boeing since it was a McDonnell Douglas design originally launched as the MD-95. It suffered from a bad case of “Not Invented Here” Syndrome.

I’ll focus on the 717’s impact on the US market as it has largely been a US-based aircraft over its service life and I’m not as familiar with the market conditions in Europe and Latin America at the time. Boeing never pushed for 717 improvements like a modern wing, or a stretch (aside from the aborted 717-300 concept) because they were afraid it would sabotage orders for the 737, particularly the 737-600. The problem was that the 737-600 had a much longer range than the 717 and was totally unsuitable for the 100-120 seat market Boeing envisioned for it. Why fly the 737-600 for about the same operating costs of a 737-700 when the -700 carries 10-20 more passengers? Especially when the -700 is more versatile due to its larger size and most carriers didn’t need the -600’s extra range.

The fact that the regional jet market in the US exploded in the first years of the 717’s availability didn’t help matters. Many American carriers preferred to abuse larger aircraft already bought-and-paid-for like MD-80s and 737-300/700s on short higher-volume flights intended for the 717 while taking delivery of gobs of ERJs and CRJs to handle the lower end of the 717’s market rather than make big capital purchases on the 717. Couple that with the bad financial situation in much of commercial aviation post-9/11 (particularly in the US where Boeing had hopes for large 717 sales) and the US carriers’ restrictive pilot scope clauses that pushed more flying towards smaller RJs rather than 100-seaters like the 717, and the 717 was dead on arrival.

Shame the plane wasn’t more successful. AirTran and Hawaiian showed that the plane had a useful niche in the market—one that Delta has capitalized on since acquiring them after the Southwest-AirTran merger. Been on the 717 several times—a very nice ride. It’s quiet outside of the last few rows and has that wonderful 5 abreast seating arrangement. I’ve always wondered how it would have done if McDonnell Douglas had the money to put a modern wing on it in the mid-90s.
 
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Re: Did DL's order for the A-220 signal the end of the 717?

Thu Jul 19, 2018 12:00 am

B717’s will be flying for DAL for a while.
 
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Re: Did DL's order for the A-220 signal the end of the 717?

Thu Jul 19, 2018 1:02 am

Shorter range/lower MTOW version of the a220, one of the two if IIRC, so it would be a good replacement for those short MD88 routes out of ATL alongside the a321s to take the denser routes.
 
DeSpringbokke
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Re: Did DL's order for the A-220 signal the end of the 717?

Thu Jul 19, 2018 2:55 am

I believe Delta has a maintenance deal for the BR700 engines that power the 717. The engine maintenance for the MD-90 is what is parking them much earlier than anyone here and probably many at Delta expected. Delta has enough capacity scheduled to be delivered with 737-900ERs, A321ceos, A321neos, and A220s by the end of 2020, where Delta not only has enough to replace the remaining 102 MD-88s but also the 51 MD-90s, along with some room for growth. At the rate Delta is going, the last MD-90 may leave the fleet before the last MD-88. The 717s have a good 10-15 years left in them before Delta orders more A220s to replace them. Its possible, but not probable, Delta could get a sweet deal on the E195-E2 to replace the fleet as a whole as Delta does not need the range to replace the 717s. What I am curious is when will the A319s start leaving. The A220-300 is the perfect one for one replacement for not only the A319 but also the small subfleet of the 737-700s. Its a given the 50 A220 options will be exercised as -300s. Question is when will these options be exercised and what aircraft will they replace?
 
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Re: Did DL's order for the A-220 signal the end of the 717?

Thu Jul 19, 2018 4:25 pm

DocLightning wrote:
Well, it's hardly a shock. The fleet is approaching two decades. It's not as if they can order more. They need a replacement.


This is really amazing isn't it? I remember them being cranked out for Midwest and AirTran to end the line and close LGB like it was yesterday. Crazy. That was '05.
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Re: Did DL's order for the A-220 signal the end of the 717?

Thu Jul 19, 2018 4:48 pm

CarlosSi wrote:
Shorter range/lower MTOW version of the a220, one of the two if IIRC, so it would be a good replacement for those short MD88 routes out of ATL alongside the a321s to take the denser routes.


Delta has said numerous times that they are increasing gauge with the MD-88 replacement. So 321s and 739s subbing onto routes currently flown by MD-90s ,738s, and 320s, and those aircraft replacing MD-88s. The routes with high frequency may see a mix of fleet types including A220 to match demand fluctuations at different times of day, but generally the MD-88 replacements are already on property.
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seat1a
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Re: Did DL's order for the A-220 signal the end of the 717?

Thu Jul 19, 2018 4:56 pm

Slightly off topic, just flew a DL 717 SAN-SEA last Sunday and loved the ride, especially up front. It seems like there was more wind noise than the 737-800's I've flown. Do you agree? I loved the takeoff roll, just like a rocket. Crew and soft product were outstanding. Nice flight DL!
 
Ionosphere
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Re: Did DL's order for the A-220 signal the end of the 717?

Thu Jul 19, 2018 5:26 pm

jagraham wrote:
Bobloblaw wrote:
I though DC9-30s were repainted in DL colors


The DC9-50s flew long enough for some repainting. The 30s and 40s were parked too quickly I think. However, airfleets.net doesn't include the DC9s under Delta or Northwest.

https://www.usatoday.com/story/todayint ... t/4351515/


My last Delta DC-9-30 flight was in June 2010 MKE-DTW
 
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Re: Did DL's order for the A-220 signal the end of the 717?

Thu Jul 19, 2018 5:33 pm

[url][/url]
c933103 wrote:
How much better would the A221 be compares to the 717?

Longer thinner missions and upgrading RJ routes to mainline.
 
ILNFlyer
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Re: Did DL's order for the A-220 signal the end of the 717?

Thu Jul 19, 2018 6:08 pm

NOLAWildcat wrote:
SuperGee wrote:
As someone who knows very little about the 717, I’ve never really understood its raison d’etre other than that it was the first offering from the newly merged (at the time) Boeing and McDonnell Douglas. I get the sense that most of the work of developing it took place at MD prior to the merger between the two companies. In my opinion, it’s been a low profile aircraft that one hasn’t heard much publicity about outside of specialized aviation forums such as this one. Even on here, there doesn’t seem to have been that much discussion of it.

What exactly is the difference between the 717 and the DC-9 and where does it fit in the scheme of things between the DC-9 and 737?


Basically the 717 is a re-engined DC-9-30. I believe they did a couple of small tweaks to the basic DC-9-30 wing, added the MD-87/90 tail fin and horizontal stabilizer, put in a glass cockpit, and most importantly replaced the original 1960s-1970s era JT8D Low bypass turbofans with Rolls-Royce/BMW BR715 High bypass turbofans (a variant of the engine also used on the Gulfstream V) which necessitated a slight stretch. The bird is not particularly common as it was a bit of a bastard stepchild at Boeing since it was a McDonnell Douglas design originally launched as the MD-95. It suffered from a bad case of “Not Invented Here” Syndrome.

I’ll focus on the 717’s impact on the US market as it has largely been a US-based aircraft over its service life and I’m not as familiar with the market conditions in Europe and Latin America at the time. Boeing never pushed for 717 improvements like a modern wing, or a stretch (aside from the aborted 717-300 concept) because they were afraid it would sabotage orders for the 737, particularly the 737-600. The problem was that the 737-600 had a much longer range than the 717 and was totally unsuitable for the 100-120 seat market Boeing envisioned for it. Why fly the 737-600 for about the same operating costs of a 737-700 when the -700 carries 10-20 more passengers? Especially when the -700 is more versatile due to its larger size and most carriers didn’t need the -600’s extra range.

The fact that the regional jet market in the US exploded in the first years of the 717’s availability didn’t help matters. Many American carriers preferred to abuse larger aircraft already bought-and-paid-for like MD-80s and 737-300/700s on short higher-volume flights intended for the 717 while taking delivery of gobs of ERJs and CRJs to handle the lower end of the 717’s market rather than make big capital purchases on the 717. Couple that with the bad financial situation in much of commercial aviation post-9/11 (particularly in the US where Boeing had hopes for large 717 sales) and the US carriers’ restrictive pilot scope clauses that pushed more flying towards smaller RJs rather than 100-seaters like the 717, and the 717 was dead on arrival.

Shame the plane wasn’t more successful. AirTran and Hawaiian showed that the plane had a useful niche in the market—one that Delta has capitalized on since acquiring them after the Southwest-AirTran merger. Been on the 717 several times—a very nice ride. It’s quiet outside of the last few rows and has that wonderful 5 abreast seating arrangement. I’ve always wondered how it would have done if McDonnell Douglas had the money to put a modern wing on it in the mid-90s.


Thanks for the great summary of the 717 and it's history. I still wonder how much more efficient/economical the A-220 would be to operate.
 
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Re: Did DL's order for the A-220 signal the end of the 717?

Thu Jul 19, 2018 7:13 pm

Ionosphere wrote:
jagraham wrote:
Bobloblaw wrote:
I though DC9-30s were repainted in DL colors


The DC9-50s flew long enough for some repainting. The 30s and 40s were parked too quickly I think. However, airfleets.net doesn't include the DC9s under Delta or Northwest.

https://www.usatoday.com/story/todayint ... t/4351515/


My last Delta DC-9-30 flight was in June 2010 MKE-DTW

They flew the 30s til October 2010 and the 40s til January 2011.
 
SPREE34
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Re: Did DL's order for the A-220 signal the end of the 717?

Thu Jul 19, 2018 7:15 pm

seat1a wrote:
Slightly off topic, just flew a DL 717 SAN-SEA last Sunday and loved the ride, especially up front. It seems like there was more wind noise than the 737-800's I've flown. Do you agree? I loved the takeoff roll, just like a rocket. Crew and soft product were outstanding. Nice flight DL!


Agree. In 1st the DC-9s/MDs/717 are louder than the Airbus or Boeings.
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BlueSky1976
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Re: Did DL's order for the A-220 signal the end of the 717?

Thu Jul 19, 2018 7:31 pm

It's a shame 717 wasn't developed further, really. It was (and still is) better short-hauler than 737-600 and 737-700.

I've read somewhere (AirInternational monthly magazine, most likely) that AirTran wanted more 717-200s and was willing to even commit to 717-300 as long as Boeing would find another launch customer for it. Boeing didn't even bother to promote the concept hard enough and offered 737-700s to Air Tran instead at so-called "killer" prices - and the rest is history, unfortunately...
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ikramerica
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Re: Did DL's order for the A-220 signal the end of the 717?

Thu Jul 19, 2018 7:37 pm

SPREE34 wrote:
seat1a wrote:
Slightly off topic, just flew a DL 717 SAN-SEA last Sunday and loved the ride, especially up front. It seems like there was more wind noise than the 737-800's I've flown. Do you agree? I loved the takeoff roll, just like a rocket. Crew and soft product were outstanding. Nice flight DL!


Agree. In 1st the DC-9s/MDs/717 are louder than the Airbus or Boeings.

Less engine noise makes wind noise stand out.
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seat1a
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Re: Did DL's order for the A-220 signal the end of the 717?

Thu Jul 19, 2018 8:11 pm

ikramerica wrote:
SPREE34 wrote:
seat1a wrote:
Slightly off topic, just flew a DL 717 SAN-SEA last Sunday and loved the ride, especially up front. It seems like there was more wind noise than the 737-800's I've flown. Do you agree? I loved the takeoff roll, just like a rocket. Crew and soft product were outstanding. Nice flight DL!


Agree. In 1st the DC-9s/MDs/717 are louder than the Airbus or Boeings.

Less engine noise makes wind noise stand out.


Thanks for the reply. Make sense; though I kept thinking the fuselage design and insulation was older and that was a contributing factor. Engine placement on the wing offsets wind noise more. Is that it?

Also, on takeoff roll, there's this unique feel of the wheels to the pavement; it feels extra grippy as we sped faster. What is this affect? (effect?)
 
digitalman12
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Re: Did DL's order for the A-220 signal the end of the 717?

Fri Jul 20, 2018 2:03 pm

BlueSky1976 wrote:
It's a shame 717 wasn't developed further, really. It was (and still is) better short-hauler than 737-600 and 737-700.

I've read somewhere (AirInternational monthly magazine, most likely) that AirTran wanted more 717-200s and was willing to even commit to 717-300 as long as Boeing would find another launch customer for it. Boeing didn't even bother to promote the concept hard enough and offered 737-700s to Air Tran instead at so-called "killer" prices - and the rest is history, unfortunately...



yep. The Delta B717s are one of my favorite, if not my favorite domestic plane in the system.
 
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Re: Did DL's order for the A-220 signal the end of the 717?

Fri Jul 20, 2018 8:29 pm

I was thinking about this thread.

Does anyone know the peak cycles and hours of DL's 717s?

If DL ordered new A220-100 or -300 today to replace the 717, 1st deliveries would be in 2021. DL has the ex-AirTran 717s that were flown an intense 11 cycles per day or 4,000 cycles per year. Delivery mostly 1999 through 2001.

Not that any are used up. I estimate that the fleet leader 717 put in 50k cycles and 60k hours under AirTran. (I'm going from memory, so I would be happy to be corrected). I estimate DL has at most put 10k cycles and 13k hours on the 717s. So the first 717s reach LOV perhaps in 2027 on hours? (Question mark as I know my numbers are rough).

So we do need to discuss a replacement order placed by 2024 at the latest. These are not young aircraft anymore. The fleet leader is close to 19 years in service. The youngest is a dozen years in service (or close to it).

Since WN was parking them (stopped clocked?), it really isn't yet time to replace them yet. But an order at Paris next year for delivery starting in 2022 wouldn't be amiss. Or wait until 2024 (year end). We should expect something within 40 months.

Sad, but due to how incredibly intensely AirTran and HA opperated theirs, the 717s will be retired a bit early compared to the MD-80s, entirely due to early heavy usage.

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Re: Did DL's order for the A-220 signal the end of the 717?

Fri Jul 20, 2018 8:30 pm

Sad, but due to how incredibly intensely AirTran and HA opperated theirs, the 717s will be retired a bit early compared to the MD-80s, entirely due to early heavy usage.


I also doubt that the rigors of operating in typically humid areas (the US South and Hawaii) have done the airframes any favors, either. Might corrosion be another issue that might auger for a quicker potential 717 replacement? Sad, as HA's 717s are very nice. I will always like the 2-3 seating of all of the Mad Dogs.
 
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Re: Did DL's order for the A-220 signal the end of the 717?

Fri Jul 20, 2018 8:52 pm

Aptivaboy wrote:
Sad, but due to how incredibly intensely AirTran and HA opperated theirs, the 717s will be retired a bit early compared to the MD-80s, entirely due to early heavy usage.


I also doubt that the rigors of operating in typically humid areas (the US South and Hawaii) have done the airframes any favors, either. Might corrosion be another issue that might auger for a quicker potential 717 replacement? Sad, as HA's 717s are very nice. I will always like the 2-3 seating of all of the Mad Dogs.

Corrosion will prevent a LOV extension, but I do not think corrosion will move up the timeline. These have the end of line Douglas coatings which are good for 25 years of island hopping or 40+ years elsewhere.
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Re: Did DL's order for the A-220 signal the end of the 717?

Fri Jul 20, 2018 10:49 pm

The main issue here is parts. DL will keep flying an aircraft as long as it's still affordable AND has the parts to do so. The MD90s will be going soon because of the shortage on parts. MD88s has such a massive amount of stores and savagable parts from the bone/scrape yard that it is very possible the 88 will outlast the 90 but only by a slight bit.

I believe this to be the same for the 717. While one of my favorite planes, it will keep flying till the parts inventory depletes and is no longer affordable to go after.
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Re: Did DL's order for the A-220 signal the end of the 717?

Fri Jul 20, 2018 11:23 pm

I doubt DL will pick up any more 717s because I think HA will outbid them. DL always has the option of ordering more A220, and won't bid a 717 past the point where an A220 looks more attractive financially, whereas HA really really needs 717s in the medium term. HA's interisland service will age even a Douglas bird quickly, and they'll need lower-cycle frames to take over for some of their initial frames eventually.

The MD-90 was done in before its time by rapidly increasing engine maintenance expenses. I think that's a significant risk factor for the 717 as well, and may explain DL's eagerness to get in on the ground floor with the A220. Back in 2010, DL was planning to operate MD-90s well into the 2020s. Now they are all supposedly going to be gone in 2022.
 
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Re: Did DL's order for the A-220 signal the end of the 717?

Sat Jul 21, 2018 1:21 am

CarlosSi wrote:
Shorter range/lower MTOW version of the a220, one of the two if IIRC, so it would be a good replacement for those short MD88 routes out of ATL alongside the a321s to take the denser routes.

As per one of our threads here, DL is already taking software de-rated versions of A220 to save $$$.
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Re: Did DL's order for the A-220 signal the end of the 717?

Sun Jul 22, 2018 12:02 pm

NOLAWildcat wrote:
SuperGee wrote:
As someone who knows very little about the 717, I’ve never really understood its raison d’etre other than that it was the first offering from the newly merged (at the time) Boeing and McDonnell Douglas. I get the sense that most of the work of developing it took place at MD prior to the merger between the two companies. In my opinion, it’s been a low profile aircraft that one hasn’t heard much publicity about outside of specialized aviation forums such as this one. Even on here, there doesn’t seem to have been that much discussion of it.

What exactly is the difference between the 717 and the DC-9 and where does it fit in the scheme of things between the DC-9 and 737?


Basically the 717 is a re-engined DC-9-30. I believe they did a couple of small tweaks to the basic DC-9-30 wing, added the MD-87/90 tail fin and horizontal stabilizer, put in a glass cockpit, and most importantly replaced the original 1960s-1970s era JT8D Low bypass turbofans with Rolls-Royce/BMW BR715 High bypass turbofans (a variant of the engine also used on the Gulfstream V) which necessitated a slight stretch. The bird is not particularly common as it was a bit of a bastard stepchild at Boeing since it was a McDonnell Douglas design originally launched as the MD-95. It suffered from a bad case of “Not Invented Here” Syndrome.

I’ll focus on the 717’s impact on the US market as it has largely been a US-based aircraft over its service life and I’m not as familiar with the market conditions in Europe and Latin America at the time. Boeing never pushed for 717 improvements like a modern wing, or a stretch (aside from the aborted 717-300 concept) because they were afraid it would sabotage orders for the 737, particularly the 737-600. The problem was that the 737-600 had a much longer range than the 717 and was totally unsuitable for the 100-120 seat market Boeing envisioned for it. Why fly the 737-600 for about the same operating costs of a 737-700 when the -700 carries 10-20 more passengers? Especially when the -700 is more versatile due to its larger size and most carriers didn’t need the -600’s extra range.

The fact that the regional jet market in the US exploded in the first years of the 717’s availability didn’t help matters. Many American carriers preferred to abuse larger aircraft already bought-and-paid-for like MD-80s and 737-300/700s on short higher-volume flights intended for the 717 while taking delivery of gobs of ERJs and CRJs to handle the lower end of the 717’s market rather than make big capital purchases on the 717. Couple that with the bad financial situation in much of commercial aviation post-9/11 (particularly in the US where Boeing had hopes for large 717 sales) and the US carriers’ restrictive pilot scope clauses that pushed more flying towards smaller RJs rather than 100-seaters like the 717, and the 717 was dead on arrival.

Shame the plane wasn’t more successful. AirTran and Hawaiian showed that the plane had a useful niche in the market—one that Delta has capitalized on since acquiring them after the Southwest-AirTran merger. Been on the 717 several times—a very nice ride. It’s quiet outside of the last few rows and has that wonderful 5 abreast seating arrangement. I’ve always wondered how it would have done if McDonnell Douglas had the money to put a modern wing on it in the mid-90s.


I realize that this is sightly belated but thank you for taking the time to provide such a detailed response to my question and thanks to the others who responded as well. I've always thought that a big reason this forum is so great is that there is always someone with the knowledge, background and information to answer virtually any question one might have about this field.
 
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Re: Did DL's order for the A-220 signal the end of the 717?

Sun Jul 22, 2018 12:09 pm

It was a good airframe. I can tell you the current operators hang on to them like gold. There was just a little problem called the 737-600 Boeing wants to flog. They directly competed, and the old Douglas product undercut it and the accountants didn't want two production lines. So it never got pushed. There was even a stretch planned which would have fit into to the Boeing product line today. We wouldn't even be having this discussion about the A220 had they kept that program alive. They would have just needed the next generation.
 
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Re: Did DL's order for the A-220 signal the end of the 717?

Sun Jul 22, 2018 1:20 pm

seabosdca wrote:
I doubt DL will pick up any more 717s because I think HA will outbid them. DL always has the option of ordering more A220, and won't bid a 717 past the point where an A220 looks more attractive financially, whereas HA really really needs 717s in the medium term. HA's interisland service will age even a Douglas bird quickly, and they'll need lower-cycle frames to take over for some of their initial frames eventually.

The MD-90 was done in before its time by rapidly increasing engine maintenance expenses. I think that's a significant risk factor for the 717 as well, and may explain DL's eagerness to get in on the ground floor with the A220. Back in 2010, DL was planning to operate MD-90s well into the 2020s. Now they are all supposedly going to be gone in 2022.

Parts for the engines won't be an issue. The BR700 is an extreamely popular business jet engine. The parts that differ are not high value except low turbine parts. DL has RR under contract.

What will happen is hitting LOV limits early due to intense utilization of these airframes. These are not new airframes. The youngest are a dozen years old. The oldest won't be teenagers next year. While good planes, they are an orphan fleet in the sunset years.

While DL hasn't placed the replacement order yet, as I posted before, they will need to in a few years. It wouldn't surprise me if they split E2/A220.

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Re: Did DL's order for the A-220 signal the end of the 717?

Sun Jul 22, 2018 2:08 pm

lightsaber wrote:
I was thinking about this thread.

Does anyone know the peak cycles and hours of DL's 717s?

If DL ordered new A220-100 or -300 today to replace the 717, 1st deliveries would be in 2021. DL has the ex-AirTran 717s that were flown an intense 11 cycles per day or 4,000 cycles per year. Delivery mostly 1999 through 2001.

Not that any are used up. I estimate that the fleet leader 717 put in 50k cycles and 60k hours under AirTran. (I'm going from memory, so I would be happy to be corrected). I estimate DL has at most put 10k cycles and 13k hours on the 717s. So the first 717s reach LOV perhaps in 2027 on hours? (Question mark as I know my numbers are rough).

So we do need to discuss a replacement order placed by 2024 at the latest. These are not young aircraft anymore. The fleet leader is close to 19 years in service. The youngest is a dozen years in service (or close to it).

Since WN was parking them (stopped clocked?), it really isn't yet time to replace them yet. But an order at Paris next year for delivery starting in 2022 wouldn't be amiss. Or wait until 2024 (year end). We should expect something within 40 months.

Sad, but due to how incredibly intensely AirTran and HA opperated theirs, the 717s will be retired a bit early compared to the MD-80s, entirely due to early heavy usage.

Lightsaber

I went and checked the SDRS as you got me curious. The oldest ex-Airtran frames (N940-942AT have around 52,000 hours but surprisingly only around 36,000 cycles on them. It looks like they were used a bit more gently than you recall, which is good for HMV issues I guess.Contrast that with Hawaiian and their fleet, some with over 60,000 cycles on them and averaging over 2 cycles per flight hour...
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Re: Did DL's order for the A-220 signal the end of the 717?

Sun Jul 22, 2018 2:34 pm

Spacepope wrote:
lightsaber wrote:
I was thinking about this thread.

Does anyone know the peak cycles and hours of DL's 717s?

If DL ordered new A220-100 or -300 today to replace the 717, 1st deliveries would be in 2021. DL has the ex-AirTran 717s that were flown an intense 11 cycles per day or 4,000 cycles per year. Delivery mostly 1999 through 2001.

Not that any are used up. I estimate that the fleet leader 717 put in 50k cycles and 60k hours under AirTran. (I'm going from memory, so I would be happy to be corrected). I estimate DL has at most put 10k cycles and 13k hours on the 717s. So the first 717s reach LOV perhaps in 2027 on hours? (Question mark as I know my numbers are rough).

So we do need to discuss a replacement order placed by 2024 at the latest. These are not young aircraft anymore. The fleet leader is close to 19 years in service. The youngest is a dozen years in service (or close to it).

Since WN was parking them (stopped clocked?), it really isn't yet time to replace them yet. But an order at Paris next year for delivery starting in 2022 wouldn't be amiss. Or wait until 2024 (year end). We should expect something within 40 months.

Sad, but due to how incredibly intensely AirTran and HA opperated theirs, the 717s will be retired a bit early compared to the MD-80s, entirely due to early heavy usage.

Lightsaber

I went and checked the SDRS as you got me curious. The oldest ex-Airtran frames (N940-942AT have around 52,000 hours but surprisingly only around 36,000 cycles on them. It looks like they were used a bit more gently than you recall, which is good for HMV issues I guess.Contrast that with Hawaiian and their fleet, some with over 60,000 cycles on them and averaging over 2 cycles per flight hour...

Thank you. That is far less utilization than I recall. That implies the DL 717s have so much life left that other economic factors other than LOV will drive their retirement. Since DL uses many aircraft in low utilization duty (hub waves only), the 717s could be around a long time.

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Re: Did DL's order for the A-220 signal the end of the 717?

Sun Jul 22, 2018 2:51 pm

SuperGee wrote:
As someone who knows very little about the 717, I’ve never really understood its raison d’etre other than that it was the first offering from the newly merged (at the time) Boeing and McDonnell Douglas. I get the sense that most of the work of developing it took place at MD prior to the merger between the two companies. In my opinion, it’s been a low profile aircraft that one hasn’t heard much publicity about outside of specialized aviation forums such as this one. Even on here, there doesn’t seem to have been that much discussion of it.

What exactly is the difference between the 717 and the DC-9 and where does it fit in the scheme of things between the DC-9 and 737?


The 717 should really be considered the last offering of MD, development and orders were already in place as the MD-95 when Boeing took over, Boeing renamed it the 717. Boeing didn't pursue it further after the initial commitments (and no real interest for more from customers at the time) because it would have competed with the smaller variants of the 737.

The DC-9, MD-80, MD-90 and B-717 are all the same family of aircraft despite the name changes. The B-717 probably has more in common with the original DC-9 than a 737Max has with the original 737s.

Basically a 717 is a modified DC-9-30 fuselage with the wing position moved slightly for balance. The primary difference between the 717 and DC-9 are upgraded cockpit/avionics, much more fuel efficient engines and a few aerodynamic tweaks gained from the MD-80/90.

The 717 has served the airlines that have had them well, Hawaiian, Air Tran and others. Delta has acquired all they can get on the open market which is not surprising. Between Delta and Northwest starting with Delta being the launch customer for the DC-9 in the 1960's until today there has always been a member of the DC-9 family in Delta's fleet. The only two variants of the family not included are the DC-9-20 and the MD-87.

Edited add on: Sorry, missed Nola's earlier post which said a lot of the same thing.

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