MontaukMonster
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Thoughts on Southwest’s reliance one one fleet type?

Sat Mar 30, 2019 3:31 am

After the recent developments by a large suppiler of a product is it wise for a corporation to rely on one supplier?
 
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TWA772LR
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Re: Thoughts on Southwest’s reliance one one fleet type?

Sat Mar 30, 2019 3:38 am

It's worked so far...

This, like the 787, is a temporary set back.
When wasn't America great?


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Cubsrule
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Re: Thoughts on Southwest’s reliance one one fleet type?

Sat Mar 30, 2019 3:53 am

WN is pretty homogenous size-wise, so it’s all 737s or half 737 and half 32X. What’s the advantage of the latter? A hypothetical fleet grounding is still extremely disruptive and they lose some benefit of commonality.
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Yossarian22
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Re: Thoughts on Southwest’s reliance one one fleet type?

Sat Mar 30, 2019 4:03 am

It isn’t only Southwest. AirAsia has two planes, A330s for their long haul ops and A320s for their short haul ops. Spirit has just A320s, as does RyanAir, EasyJet, etc. It makes plenty of sense, one plane type really simplifies operations. Southwest has made plenty of money with this plan.
 
prflyer155
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Re: Thoughts on Southwest’s reliance one one fleet type?

Sat Mar 30, 2019 4:24 am

1 type of fleet is the best for low cost carriers. They're able to train pilots, keep maintenance all within one fleet which keeps costs low. I do see them probably ordering the 797 in the future to use it for potential European service from BWI. If it has the range, definitely count MCO as a growing market.
 
QF1607
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Re: Thoughts on Southwest’s reliance one one fleet type?

Sat Mar 30, 2019 4:50 am

It makes sense for LCC and Budget airlines to only use one aircraft type to save money, the 737 MAX grounding only affects 34 aircraft in WN fleet, im sure with some smart scheduling the other 720 unaffected Boeing 737 in the fleet can pick up the slack.
 
DarthLobster
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Re: Thoughts on Southwest’s reliance one one fleet type?

Sat Mar 30, 2019 4:51 am

I wonder if the cost to resurrect some 737 classics (yes, I know they've been de-spec'd and sold off, etc) would be cheaper than the supposed $150M they're losing due to the MAX grounding. Now the timing, that's a different story...
 
PlanesNTrains
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Re: Thoughts on Southwest’s reliance one one fleet type?

Sat Mar 30, 2019 6:05 am

MontaukMonster wrote:
After the recent developments by a large suppiler of a product is it wise for a corporation to rely on one supplier?


Question: Is WN the ONLY airline you can think of with a single fleet type?
-Dave


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Ruscoe
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Re: Thoughts on Southwest’s reliance one one fleet type?

Sat Mar 30, 2019 8:04 am

They do have another type it's called the 737NG.
Now imagine the chaos around the world if they were grounded.
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Re: Thoughts on Southwest’s reliance one one fleet type?

Sat Mar 30, 2019 8:11 am

Ruscoe wrote:
They do have another type it's called the 737NG.
Now imagine the chaos around the world if they were grounded.
Ruscoe

I was thinking about that when MAX was grounded. What if NGs or 320CEOs had just started dropping out of the sky and we’re grounded as a result. I am reasonably certain it would cause a global recession if not worse. Given our globalized world, areas that aren’t reliant on that specific type would also feel the effects.
I am NOT an employee of any airline or manufacturer. I speak for myself, not on the behalf of any company.
 
filipinoavgeek
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Re: Thoughts on Southwest’s reliance one one fleet type?

Sat Mar 30, 2019 11:42 am

You know, I kind of find it strange that many all-Boeing airlines such as Southwest or pre-merger Alaska get criticized for sticking to one fleet type, but you don't really hear that many complaints about airlines being all-Airbus. Like I don't recall people bringing up the fact that easyJet or Wizz only using Airbus planes, and only rarely the same argument for AirAsia. Anti-Boeing sentiment perhaps?
 
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Re: Thoughts on Southwest’s reliance one one fleet type?

Sat Mar 30, 2019 11:48 am

Ruscoe wrote:
They do have another type it's called the 737NG.


And related to the NG, how many types have been grounded when they have 20 years in service? Discoveries are made and fixes are implemented well before then, are they not?

There's probably an argument to be made that it's better to stay away from brand-new types and engines if you want reliability.
 
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SEPilot
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Re: Thoughts on Southwest’s reliance one one fleet type?

Sat Mar 30, 2019 12:38 pm

There are risks to everything. But since WN has been the ONLY consistently profitable major US airline for a long time, and the only one NOT to go bankrupt, they must be doing something right. And a big part of their strategy is the single type.
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k89
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Re: Thoughts on Southwest’s reliance one one fleet type?

Sat Mar 30, 2019 5:36 pm

It makes sense to only operate one aircraft type/maker (like Airbus or Boeing). It overall reduces costs for the airline and pilots can be trained on one aircraft series only. There are airlines that make more than one airplane type in the fleet work, but it overall makes costs more expensive for the carrier.
 
SoCalFlyer
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Re: Thoughts on Southwest’s reliance one one fleet type?

Sat Mar 30, 2019 5:44 pm

Is it me,or are these threads often repetitive lol
 
axiom
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Re: Thoughts on Southwest’s reliance one one fleet type?

Sat Mar 30, 2019 5:50 pm

SoCalFlyer wrote:
Is it me,or are these threads often repetitive lol


Feels like a.net has been invaded by a troll farm, here to stir up BS.
 
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aemoreira1981
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Re: Thoughts on Southwest’s reliance one one fleet type?

Sat Mar 30, 2019 6:53 pm

SEPilot wrote:
There are risks to everything. But since WN has been the ONLY consistently profitable major US airline for a long time, and the only one NOT to go bankrupt, they must be doing something right. And a big part of their strategy is the single type.


Also, until recently, WN didn't fly terribly long sectors until it started them out of BWI in the early 2000s. Currently, its longest sectors are EWR to SAN and OAK, although I'm surprised they don't attempt LAX (WN recently opened a crew base at LAX).

As for relying on one fleet type, it helps a lot with training and familiarization. That said, would have it ever been economical for WN to fly the B739 or B39M in a 195-198 seat configuration (with a 32"/17" seat that is standard on the B738/B38M)? It would still be a plane with only 4 flight attendants.
 
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itripreport
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Re: Thoughts on Southwest’s reliance one one fleet type?

Sat Mar 30, 2019 6:57 pm

So why don't we just title this thread "Thoughts on (Southwest, JetBlue, Spirit, Allegiant, Frontier, Volaris, Interjet, VIVA, Ryanair, Wizzair, Vueling, FlyDubai, or literally almost every LCC out there) reliance one one fleet type?
 
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FlyRow
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Re: Thoughts on Southwest’s reliance one one fleet type?

Sat Mar 30, 2019 7:06 pm

itripreport wrote:
So why don't we just title this thread "Thoughts on (Southwest, JetBlue, Spirit, Allegiant, Frontier, Volaris, Interjet, VIVA, Ryanair, Wizzair, Vueling, FlyDubai, or literally almost every LCC out there) reliance one one fleet type?


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Re: Thoughts on Southwest’s reliance one one fleet type?

Sat Mar 30, 2019 7:07 pm

MontaukMonster wrote:
After the recent developments by a large suppiler of a product is it wise for a corporation to rely on one supplier?


History says different. Plus they have several types of 737's 738 735 ect.....
 
Karlsands
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Re: Thoughts on Southwest’s reliance one one fleet type?

Sat Mar 30, 2019 7:14 pm

What about Ryan air , same issue. But there is no issue
Last edited by Karlsands on Sat Mar 30, 2019 7:15 pm, edited 1 time in total.
 
Lewton
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Re: Thoughts on Southwest’s reliance one one fleet type?

Sat Mar 30, 2019 7:22 pm

MontaukMonster wrote:
After the recent developments by a large suppiler of a product is it wise for a corporation to rely on one supplier?

The good news about groundings is that they tend to occur during the first few years after a new type's introduction. Therefore normally they don't represent a big part of any airline's operations.
 
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Re: Thoughts on Southwest’s reliance one one fleet type?

Sat Mar 30, 2019 7:43 pm

Wow this topic again for the 1000th time...... There is a reason why WN has been one of the most constantly profitable airlines in the world
 
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rikkus67
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Re: Thoughts on Southwest’s reliance one one fleet type?

Sat Mar 30, 2019 7:49 pm

IIRC... At the time of the 737 Classic series (-300/-400/-500), Southwest's influence was such that the proposed use of a 757 cockpit-style section was not followed through by Boeing, so as to keep the line as similar as possible for their most important client. This lead to easier transition training for Southwest.
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SFOtoORD
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Re: Thoughts on Southwest’s reliance one one fleet type?

Sat Mar 30, 2019 8:21 pm

They’re arguably the most successful airline in aviation history particularly in terms of profitability so it’s hard to second guess the strategy.
 
PlanesNTrains
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Re: Thoughts on Southwest’s reliance one one fleet type?

Sat Mar 30, 2019 8:29 pm

SFOtoORD wrote:
They’re arguably the most successful airline in aviation history particularly in terms of profitability so it’s hard to second guess the strategy.


Yep. But yet here we are.....
-Dave


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smartplane
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Re: Thoughts on Southwest’s reliance one one fleet type?

Sat Mar 30, 2019 8:38 pm

Works for them.

They have risk protection, in respect to operating different generations of air frame with different engines.

Engine issues, MAX and almost certainly a review of grandfathering, may encourage a review of risk, so perhaps the future holds 737/LEAP and A320/GTF.

Insurers holding business interruption cover for mega carriers will also be an influence, so mixed fleets, and apparent overlap of capabilities will become more commonplace.
 
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Re: Thoughts on Southwest’s reliance one one fleet type?

Sat Mar 30, 2019 8:50 pm

Airlines taking the risk of one fleet type:

A320: EasyJet, F9, Wizz

737:. WN, FR, SpiceJet, FlyDubai,

A220:. Soon AirBaltic

Note:. I exclude 6E, AS, B6, Hawaiian, AirAsia, and LionAir who have multiple fleet types, but depend heavily on one type.

There are many airlines transitioning to one narrowbody fleet type.


SEPilot wrote:
There are risks to everything. But since WN has been the ONLY consistently profitable major US airline for a long time, and the only one NOT to go bankrupt, they must be doing something right. And a big part of their strategy is the single type.

For < 200 aircraft, there are cost savings with one type. Southwest is so structured for one type, they really don't have the software setup for two

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OA940
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Re: Thoughts on Southwest’s reliance one one fleet type?

Sat Mar 30, 2019 9:13 pm

Yea why do we only include WN? 90% of all airlines in the world rely on a single type for narrowbody flights, and a large part of airlines base their long haul fleets on a single type/related products too. This thread is pointless, and it's been asked about a billion times before.
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strfyr51
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Re: Thoughts on Southwest’s reliance one one fleet type?

Sat Mar 30, 2019 9:41 pm

the only reason WN will stop flying 737's? Is if Boeing stops building them..
 
strfyr51
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Re: Thoughts on Southwest’s reliance one one fleet type?

Sat Mar 30, 2019 9:46 pm

Southwest has been one of the most profitable airlines in the WORLD with their strategy. What actual Need would there be for them to change? NONE!
Those who would like to SEE them add an airbus? Well? I'd like them to buy even More Boeings . Maybe some B797's They don't need any Airbus airplanes.
 
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Re: Thoughts on Southwest’s reliance one one fleet type?

Sat Mar 30, 2019 10:32 pm

MontaukMonster wrote:
After the recent developments by a large suppiler of a product is it wise for a corporation to rely on one supplier?


BA, B6, SK, LH, AF, Easyjet, LATAM, AS, Spirit, Allegiant, KLM, the list goes on and on, all of these fleets are almost solely 737 or A320.
 
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Re: Thoughts on Southwest’s reliance one one fleet type?

Sat Mar 30, 2019 10:37 pm

SEPilot wrote:

There are risks to everything. But since WN has been the ONLY consistently profitable major US airline for a long time, and the only one NOT to go bankrupt, they must be doing something right. And a big part of their strategy is the single type.


Correction: + Alaska Airlines.
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LDRA
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Re: Thoughts on Southwest’s reliance one one fleet type?

Sat Mar 30, 2019 10:48 pm

But the title is not true at all. Southwest operates two types, 737NG and 737Max
 
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OzarkD9S
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Re: Thoughts on Southwest’s reliance one one fleet type?

Sat Mar 30, 2019 10:54 pm

My thoughts on WN may go against their philosophy but I think WN is missing out on potential (profitable) traffic by limiting themselves to one mainline fleet type.The 737 in whatever form can only do so much for WN. The 717's from FL could have plugged many smaller markets into the WN system but their holy mantra of 737 and ONLY 737s limits them a great deal. The 717 was obviously an interim possibility in retrospect but could have been a platform to extend the WN philosophy to many more stations.

I think we all agree that WN is no longer an LCC, but rather a DFC, ie....Decent Fare Carrier. They do keep the US3 in check, in SOME markets but the days of the "Southwest Effect" are essentially over.
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Re: Thoughts on Southwest’s reliance one one fleet type?

Sat Mar 30, 2019 11:15 pm

airzona11 wrote:
BA, B6, SK, LH, AF, Easyjet, LATAM, AS, Spirit, Allegiant, KLM, the list goes on and on, all of these fleets are almost solely 737 or A320.


Um....

BA - Flies both Boeing and Airbus (currently has orders for both)
B6 - Flies Embraer and Airbus, recently chose between Airbus (Bombardier) and Embraer for replacement aircraft
SK - Currently flies both Boeing and Airbus. Yes moving to all Airbus, but Boeing was considered
LH - Currently flies both Boeing and Airbus (currently has orders for both)
AF - Currently flies both Boeing and Airbus (currently has orders for both)
Easyjet - Flies Airbus as a result of a competitive bid process where the A320 was selected over the 737
LATAM - Currently flies both Boeing and Airbus (currently has orders for both)
AS - Currently flies both Boeing and Airbus. Yes "Proudly all Boeing", but I would say that Airbus would be invited to participate in future RFP
Spirit - Currently all Airbus. Result of a competitive bid process.
Allegiant - Transitioning to all Airbus fleet, as result of competitive bid process
KLM - Currently flies both Boeing and Airbus (currently has orders for both)

There's one thin each airline you listed has with both Boeing and Airbus. A business relationship. Both companies know their product will be considered by each one of those carriers. Southwest doesn't have that. Airbus know they really have next to no chance of selling planes to Southwest. Boeing knows Southwest is buying 737s. Does Boeing give WN a good deal? Of course. Would Boeing be more agressive in their pricing for Southwest if they thought Southwest might actually buy an Airbus? No doubt they would. So its safe to say Southwest gives up a cost advantage. Their decision to rely on 2 different 737 fleet types (remember, both the NG and MAX are different fleet types on their certificate) means they sacrifice some of the cost savings a mixed fleet (of their total size) could bring.
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Re: Thoughts on Southwest’s reliance one one fleet type?

Sat Mar 30, 2019 11:26 pm

grbauc wrote:
MontaukMonster wrote:
After the recent developments by a large suppiler of a product is it wise for a corporation to rely on one supplier?


History says different. Plus they have several types of 737's 738 735 ect.....

They have no 735s all the classics have been parked.
 
strfyr51
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Re: Thoughts on Southwest’s reliance one one fleet type?

Sat Mar 30, 2019 11:52 pm

OzarkD9S wrote:
My thoughts on WN may go against their philosophy but I think WN is missing out on potential (profitable) traffic by limiting themselves to one mainline fleet type.The 737 in whatever form can only do so much for WN. The 717's from FL could have plugged many smaller markets into the WN system but their holy mantra of 737 and ONLY 737s limits them a great deal. The 717 was obviously an interim possibility in retrospect but could have been a platform to extend the WN philosophy to many more stations.

I think we all agree that WN is no longer an LCC, but rather a DFC, ie....Decent Fare Carrier. They do keep the US3 in check, in SOME markets but the days of the "Southwest Effect" are essentially over.


So? Enlighten us? What traffic is Southwest missing out on that they can't fly using the 737 series? In the USA Only Hawaiian to date is flying Airbus Narrow bodies from the islands. And? Southwest is making CASH! So? Tell me exactly Why they should diversify their fleet? United has A319's which could not only fly TO the Hawaiian islands but very nicely between the islands. So when they do it? Then is might be a case for WN to do it.. If the price and cost is favorable. But? It won't be unless Airbus is giving the airplanes to WN for FREE! Otherwise? There's no point yo it!
 
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Re: Thoughts on Southwest’s reliance one one fleet type?

Sun Mar 31, 2019 12:03 am

airzona11 wrote:
MontaukMonster wrote:
After the recent developments by a large suppiler of a product is it wise for a corporation to rely on one supplier?

.
BA, B6, SK, LH, AF, Easyjet, LATAM, AS, Spirit, Allegiant, KLM, the list goes on and on, all of these fleets are almost solely 737 or A320.

the majority of these carriers are foreign registered, B6,AS. Spirit and ALG not to mention United American and Delta also fly mixed fleets and are USA Carriers,
AS got their Airbus airplanes by merger as did AA (via UsAir, and DL.(via NWA) United was the only one who went out and Bought Airbus Narrow bodies with intention. (that worked out by the way)
 
tphuang
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Re: Thoughts on Southwest’s reliance one one fleet type?

Sun Mar 31, 2019 12:56 am

I don't think WN will be able to keep being a single fleet type airline going forward once the replacement of NEO/MAX comes out, but it would seem to me that they would continue being a Boeing buyer to keep the cost of incorporating a new single aisle aircraft low. I don't see what's wrong with that. WN has bucked the trend in the industry and have done very well for themselves. They still have really low CASM due to this single fleet type and fleet simplicity approach. That does loose a little bit in RASM, but they run one of the best margins in the world consistently. Why change something that works so well?
 
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Re: Thoughts on Southwest’s reliance one one fleet type?

Sun Mar 31, 2019 1:00 am

strfyr51 wrote:

So? Enlighten us? What traffic is Southwest missing out on that they can't fly using the 737 series? In the USA Only Hawaiian to date is flying Airbus Narrow bodies from the islands. And? Southwest is making CASH! So? Tell me exactly Why they should diversify their fleet? United has A319's which could not only fly TO the Hawaiian islands but very nicely between the islands. So when they do it? Then is might be a case for WN to do it.. If the price and cost is favorable. But? It won't be unless Airbus is giving the airplanes to WN for FREE! Otherwise? There's no point yo it!


The middle markets that cannot support 150+ seats per flight but can support 90-100
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Re: Thoughts on Southwest’s reliance one one fleet type?

Sun Mar 31, 2019 1:07 am

strfyr51 wrote:

In the USA Only Hawaiian to date is flying Airbus Narrow bodies from the islands.


Not true. AA fly A321s to/from Hawaii. https://www.airliners.net/forum/viewtopic.php?f=9&t=1385151&hilit=aeromoe

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Re: Thoughts on Southwest’s reliance one one fleet type?

Sun Mar 31, 2019 1:48 am

strfyr51 wrote:
airzona11 wrote:
MontaukMonster wrote:
After the recent developments by a large suppiler of a product is it wise for a corporation to rely on one supplier?

.
BA, B6, SK, LH, AF, Easyjet, LATAM, AS, Spirit, Allegiant, KLM, the list goes on and on, all of these fleets are almost solely 737 or A320.

the majority of these carriers are foreign registered, B6,AS. Spirit and ALG not to mention United American and Delta also fly mixed fleets and are USA Carriers,
AS got their Airbus airplanes by merger as did AA (via UsAir, and DL.(via NWA) United was the only one who went out and Bought Airbus Narrow bodies with intention. (that worked out by the way)

AA flew A300s before and they had their own Airbus narrowbodies , they placed one of the largest Airbus orders way before the merger.

And US was the largest Airbus operator in North America.
 
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SEPilot
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Re: Thoughts on Southwest’s reliance one one fleet type?

Sun Mar 31, 2019 12:40 pm

OzarkD9S wrote:
My thoughts on WN may go against their philosophy but I think WN is missing out on potential (profitable) traffic by limiting themselves to one mainline fleet type.The 737 in whatever form can only do so much for WN. The 717's from FL could have plugged many smaller markets into the WN system but their holy mantra of 737 and ONLY 737s limits them a great deal. The 717 was obviously an interim possibility in retrospect but could have been a platform to extend the WN philosophy to many more stations.

I think we all agree that WN is no longer an LCC, but rather a DFC, ie....Decent Fare Carrier. They do keep the US3 in check, in SOME markets but the days of the "Southwest Effect" are essentially over.

You totally miss the reason WN has been successful. It has been by finding their niche and sticking to it. They never have attempted to serve all markets, they have carefully selected the ones where they believe they can make a profit with their single type, the 737. They do not fly to most of the major airports; they find smaller ones nearby that have lower costs, like Midway instead of ORD. Sure, their is money to be made by flying to other cities with other types, but WN is happy to let others do it. Their results speak for themselves. Even when the rest of the airline industry in the country is ALL losing money (like after 9/11) WN still made money. It used to be said, and was probably true a few years ago, that the entire airline industry worldwide from its inception until that time collectively had not made a dime. Their is no other major industry in this country that I know of where every single major player save one has gone bankrupt at least once, and all of them save that one within the space of a few years. They tried the 717s and quickly decided not to keep them. I would say that they had their reasons, and based on their track record they must have been good ones. But since you obviously know better, why don’t you apply to be their CEO?
The problem with making things foolproof is that fools are so doggone ingenious...Dan Keebler
 
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OzarkD9S
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Re: Thoughts on Southwest’s reliance one one fleet type?

Sun Mar 31, 2019 1:18 pm

SEPilot wrote:

You totally miss the reason WN has been successful. It has been by finding their niche and sticking to it.


I understand the reasons for their success, thank you very much. As far as sticking to their niche, no, they haven't. Flying into slot controlled airports, de facto hubs, international ops etc...not part of their historic niche. Yes, they do what they do and do it well but they have also evolved and adapted their operations accordingly. They do keep fares reasonable in competitive markets. But they are no longer the pesky little upstart the majors dreaded to compete with. They are essentially a one-class legacy carrier with no global reach, no interlining, no alliance. In the long term the 737 family can only get them so far.
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Re: Thoughts on Southwest’s reliance one one fleet type?

Sun Mar 31, 2019 1:25 pm

OzarkD9S wrote:
SEPilot wrote:

You totally miss the reason WN has been successful. It has been by finding their niche and sticking to it.


I understand the reasons for their success, thank you very much. As far as sticking to their niche, no, they haven't. Flying into slot controlled airports, de facto hubs, international ops etc...not part of their historic niche. Yes, they do what they do and do it well but they have also evolved and adapted their operations accordingly. They do keep fares reasonable in competitive markets. But they are no longer the pesky little upstart the majors dreaded to compete with. They are essentially a one-class legacy carrier with no global reach, no interlining, no alliance. In the long term the 737 family can only get them so far.

I did not say that their business model has not evolved, it has. But they have done so very carefully. And when they tried something that didn’t work the way they wanted it to, they have not been afraid to abandon it, like the 717s. Maybe they are becoming just another airline; the trouble they are having with the mechanics may be a sign that they are. But I hope not.
The problem with making things foolproof is that fools are so doggone ingenious...Dan Keebler
 
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gdg9
Posts: 905
Joined: Thu Jun 30, 2005 9:42 am

Re: Thoughts on Southwest’s reliance one one fleet type?

Sun Mar 31, 2019 1:44 pm

It seems to have worked well for them, I mean, how many straight profitable quarters?
@dfwtower
 
mjoelnir
Posts: 8361
Joined: Sun Feb 03, 2013 11:06 pm

Re: Thoughts on Southwest’s reliance one one fleet type?

Sun Mar 31, 2019 1:53 pm

I think here are two points to think about.

One, for a set up like Southwest, the most economical fleet is one vendor one type.

Two, one vendor one type could be dangerous, if that type develops problems that lead to groundings.

A company has to weigh one against the other. It helps the one type situation, if the age of the frames is quite variable and not in a narrow band.
 
BrianWilkes
Posts: 31
Joined: Mon Jul 16, 2018 12:03 pm

Re: Thoughts on Southwest’s reliance one one fleet type?

Sun Mar 31, 2019 2:00 pm

It's a no brainer..........there saving $$$$ with one type.
 
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gdg9
Posts: 905
Joined: Thu Jun 30, 2005 9:42 am

Re: Thoughts on Southwest’s reliance one one fleet type?

Sun Mar 31, 2019 2:02 pm

It seems to have worked well for them, I mean, how many straight profitable quarters?
@dfwtower

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