It is striking (if true) that the 717 will get IFE given that the A220 is going to be taking over a good amount of the longer 717 flying (some of the 2-hour flights out of SLC and SEA, and the LGA-Florida shoulder season flying), leaving most 717 trips under 750 miles out of DTW, MSP, and ATL.
The more efficient A220 saves more fuel on longer runs, so it makes sense to preferentially fly the A220 further. In particular as the 717 has a high 110,000 cycle limit. (In my opinion the A220 is designed for far more hours and cycles than the current certification.)
I speculate the extended leases are cheap enough that DL will also reduce frequency. For example, there might be 3 flights a day during busy season to/from ATL. But slow season (now) one per day.
Every airline effectively has three fleets:
1. High utilization, 8.5+ hours per day averaged over a year or 3,100+ per year (it isn't a precise number). For this flying an airline should be under ten years old technology. For example, DL's A321NEO order.
2. Mid utilization, 6 to 8 hours per day or more precisely 2,200 to about 3,000 hours per year. This type of flying can be discounted new (for example DL's 739s) or older aircraft up to about 24 years old. Both strategies work, it is a question of downtime risk and fuel risk
3. Low utilization, which tends to be seasonal. For this category talking hours per day does not make sense if, like Allegiant and I believe this sub-fleet at DL, half the fleet is parked in September after labor day but during the summer run at the upper end of mid-utilization. It might not be individual aircraft parked, but we certainly see a spike up at the MROs.
We also see airlines like AA who used MD-80s as reserve aircraft. I flew LAX-DFW hundreds of times for work on AA. I noticed on Mondays there were 5 early morning flights scheduled. The first, a 757 back then, always went out. The 4th, a 767 rotation, always went out. The three MD-80 flights would be merged into the other flights if demand was low. But on peak days, all 5 went out. I saw the whole spectrum (2,3,4, or 5 early morning aircraft dispatched LAX-DFW). I know DL on cities to ATL has the same ready reserve capacity. These aircraft must be cheap, or 12+ years old.
I speculate DL will retain the 717s for mostly category 3, fly only when yield is high. I suspect the A220s will rotate in on short routes when frequency is cut for slow season. Not now, when DL needs more aircraft.
Does anyone have a link to DL 717 utilization?
I rather like this analysis of 717 utilization at DL, but I am looking for yearly hours flown. I agree that without an organization such as Delta Techops, taking advantage of the available discounted aircraft would not have been possible.https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/vision-7 ... gic-miller
A CAPA link on 717, similar, but different aspects andhttps://centreforaviation.com/analysis/ ... west-75314
I find it interesting that adding IFE costs half as much as WN/Boeing had to pay to covert the 717 to DL configuration I disagree that DL paid the same as WN for lease rates.
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