They share some parts. I'm talking post 2025.
To replace a fleet by then means a decision by March 2021.
Could you walk us through that critical path timeline?
Getting a couple of dozen anything (direct, a lessor, or multiple lessors) ought to be easy enough - for a carrier with $, anyway. Is pilot training necessarily a long lead item? Rather than buy a sim, just rent sim time? Spare parts?
For a carrier with money, anything is possible. What is economical? No one who currently opperates the 717 was an airline to waste money.
They need to figure out by then what parts to buy to support the 717 fleet. It will be a last chance offer to buy. The parts will arrive 6 to 9 months later. This is a large upfront expense where the timeline for replacement is set. It is the last time to get engine overhauls at the prior low rates.
Considering Hawaiian flies so much they need to overhaul one engine per 717 per year, they'll be looking to buy spare engines.
The more money spent on the 717, the less to spend on the replacement or keep employees paid.
Then the airline starts negotiations for new aircraft. If they can buy a large batch of identically equipped A320s or 738s, they sign a letter of intent by August 2021, a transfer contract by March 2022. In general, aircraft coming off lease start marketing 2 years before availability.
But if they decide to buy new, they'll need to sign a contract by September of 2021 to receive the first planes in 2023 (maybe earlier) to receive replacements over 3 to 5 years. Faster is better, but more costly. Delta has proven again and again being a disinterested buyer nets huge discounts.
Order a flight simulator 3 years before entry into service. Leasing time at Flight safety, Delta, United, Lufthansa or another center accelerates the transition.
Ideally a year before inducting a new aircraft, but it can be done faster, the maintenance plans are decided upon.
I could see rapid 717 retirement of aircraft needing a heavy maintenance with the engines, if owned, being used to keep other aircraft flying.
Really the main critical path is the decision on how long to fly the 717. As Volotea has discovered, they save money flying the A319CEO, even while transitioning.
The current used aircraft market plummeted in price, but there are few transactions.
It depends on the airline. Only Hawaiian cannot transition quickly.
Delta is holding on due to lease commitments, in my opinion. They have so many A220s and A321s on order, they can go on cruise control and not worry about lift due to the planned downsizing.
Volotea would hand their 717s over yesterday, but Boeing will hold them to lease terms. They will gleefully buy used A319 or A320 cheaply when demand returns. They need to shrink today.
Cobham/Qantas could start flying used A319s in months, but better deals will be negotiated in 2021, so they will buy enough parts to be patient. They might buy A223s for the range and economics.
Hawaiian is the tough case. Their high frequency opperations beat up most airframes while the DC-9-717 just takes it (while chewing up engines for rapid overhauls). They must be deciding on how many used engines they buy (used airframe attached or not) right now. As the extreame high frequency opperator (I know of no other airline that puts on cycles like HA on jets), their demands are an outlier condition. But how does a small airline come up with $100+ million for 717 parts? The proposals that Boeing does it adds 20% to the costs.
I would bet Airbus, Boeing, Mitsubishi, and Embraer have representatives going to Hawaiian already. I would bet all of them are deciding if they should offer a limit of Validity increase for a new sale (except Boeing, 110k flight cycles on the 737 matches the DC-9/717). Pratt will be running case studies on the PW1200/1500/1900 to see what can be done to speed turn times. But all know HA will benchmark used (e.g., 737NG values are going to slide with MAX return to service as will used A320s, A319s set scrap pricing already and have for years).
I wish I knew the A220 and MRJ fatigue analysis numbers. CFRP wings/wingbox take cycles and hours, so the A220 will be limited by stress in the tail. I'm certain both the MRJ and A220 could go to 80k cycles, but I don't know if they have enough margin to attempt 100k. We know (see prior link) that Airbus tried to go to 90k cycles on the A320 family and instead found structural weak points that receive added inspections now.
Lets put it in perspective, HA puts on 95k cycles in under 20 years (time to wear out a 717). LH, DL and others take 24 to 27 years to put on about 57k cycles (time to wear out an A320). Only Cebu Pacific really comes close. Well, AirTran used to, hence why they liked the 717s that went to WN and then DL, but 85% of HA and those were parked for a bit too.
The airlines just cannot wing it. If they mis-spend $1 million usd, they have to lay off 5 or so full time employees in this economy.
Winter is coming.