Yeah good point about AA and WN regarding their early build NGs. Curious of those reasons are still applicable or whether the business case changes now with the debt load and capex constraints going forward.
Also have to remember the early years of the 73G/738 at DL they certainly racked up a lot of cycles on short-haul routes before the great expansion. Stuff like ATL-TLH several times a day.
This is the first I heard of this. Normally WN, AA, and DL keep aircraft a long time. Recall, we have had discussions on 737 undergoing the front bulkhead repair due at 85,000 cycles. Due to new winglets and engine PiPs, where have you heard about this earlier retirement. This us seriously the first I heard about it.
The source if 737NGs will be there: Ryanair, SpiceJet and others.
The 737NG has a limit if Validity of 110,000 flight cycles (FC) and 125,000 flight hours (FH) versus the A320 60,000 FC and 120,000FH. https://www.boeing.com/commercial/aerom ... 2012_q4/2/
We had a thread that went into why testing of the A320 for 90k FC, 180k FH failed:viewtopic.php?t=775787
I expect DL to look at N309US, the earliest line number (115), 371DA (N371DA, but drop the N):https://av-info.faa.gov/sdrx/Query.aspx
We see a mere 27,175 cycles, but 66,163 FH for a 1998 build ln 115. Just past half life in hours.
For WN a 1997 build 700GS with 47,203+ cycles and 77,182 FH.
For AA, 1999 build 901AN with gentle use, 24,444 FC (but last year, one finds out when a reportable issue is found) and 59,827 FH.
In this market, WN and AA would be silly to sell even their oldest 737NG.
That's ok, leasors have plenty coming in.
DL is in the drivers seat when they can expand again. Used 737NG, or new A220, A32x, or 737-8/-9/-10.
Winter is coming.