akjetBlue
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Why Didn't AA Keep The 717?

Sun May 16, 2004 6:23 am

I looked in archived threads to see if I could find an answer to why AA didn't keep the 717... It would have seemed logical that with the retirement of the F100, and the CRJ70 only holding around 70 people that the 717 would have been more what AA was looking for. It offered more seating, both first and coach class (meaning that they could do a MRTC if they wanted) a larger interior than RJs which passengers prefer. From what I know it's a good sturdy little airplane. Boeing aparently even renegoiated the leases that TWA had been given when TWA ordered them.

So, what went wrong?

The only things people had to say in other threads were speculation. That the B717 just "didn"t fit" into AA's plans. I was wondering if anyone happened to have some insider information on what happened. I thiink the AA scheme looks wonderful on the 717, it's a shame it only saw the colors for such a short period.I looked on A.net and couldn't even find a picture of one. *sigh*

If anyone has any knowledge, or even more guesses; I'm up for listening...

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-Philzy
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scottysair
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RE: Why Didn't AA Keep The 717?

Sun May 16, 2004 6:33 am

Because after TW is close down and AA did remove with B717 out of their fleet from years ago and it did not use them either.
 
rjpieces
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RE: Why Didn't AA Keep The 717?

Sun May 16, 2004 6:36 am

Supposedly, AA liked the performance of the 717 but the ones they had from TWA had pretty high lease rates, so AA dumped them.
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DfwRevolution
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RE: Why Didn't AA Keep The 717?

Sun May 16, 2004 6:43 am

They kept them until the lease expired, then they were returned to their lessors. Ditto with the MD-90s aquired in the Reno Air buy-out.
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atrude777
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RE: Why Didn't AA Keep The 717?

Sun May 16, 2004 7:49 am

Thats because AA NEVER operated them in AA colors, they were in TWA colors when they supossedly flew for AA and even then they were all in the Hybrid scheme, you never saw the full AA color scheme.

Alex
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AIR757200
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RE: Why Didn't AA Keep The 717?

Sun May 16, 2004 7:56 am


AA liked the performance of the 717 but the ones they had from TWA had pretty high lease rates, so AA dumped them.

This is the primary reason. Compared to the F100, flying nearly the same number of seats, the 717 beat it in every way in terms of efficiency.
 
AA777MIA
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RE: Why Didn't AA Keep The 717?

Sun May 16, 2004 7:59 am

The reason was the lease rates were way too high on them.
 
spyglass
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RE: Why Didn't AA Keep The 717?

Sun May 16, 2004 8:58 am

Well, what's said above's not really the story here. The lease rate TW got on them was high (due to their abysmal credit ratings) but AA could have easily renegotiated them to very favorable terms (and Boeing McD would have gladly done so....they needed a high profile carrier flying their planes for credibility and advertising purposes, and as the Big Kahuna in this business, AA's use would have been the best situation for them). The real reasons were 1) fleet simplification-now down to 3 narrow- and 3 wide-body types (there are only 19 100's left-the other 55 are catching rays at Mojave), and 2) high level mgmt desire to have nothing smaller than an 80 in AA Silver...the smaller stuff will be American Seagull....whoops...I mean American EAGLE domain. Crandall never really intended for the 100's to remain in the AA stable for long...they were bought with the long view of moving them to Eagle once he had consolidated the various elements (Simmons, Flagship, et al) and gotten the feed network set up. He was forward-thinking to say the least, once he saw deregulation was going to happen...he picked the two biggest, most centrally located locales for hubs, saw the potential in the Allegheny feeder system and took that concept to new heights (no pun) and got the high-freq networks set up to make it workable on a large scale. The only thing that prevented the full realization of his plan was the APA and their SCOPE business (Supreme Case Of Pilot Ego). It's too bad, too, 'cause the F100, for it's few shortcomings, was a better, more comfortable (and more dispatch-reliable) craft than the cramped CJ7 lemons have turned out to be.


I remember when......a plane trip was a big deal.
 
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asqx
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RE: Why Didn't AA Keep The 717?

Sun May 16, 2004 9:04 am

I never much believed the "lease rates were too high" argument as to why AA got ride of the 717s. While it was true that TWA was leasing MD80s for less than the 717s (10s of thousands of dollars a month less), even with the higher lease rates as a cost component TWA had lower hourly operating costs and lower CASM than AA's F100s. And the fact that the 717s held about 20 more pax than the F100s simply meant TWA, and later AA after the merger, could get more revenue out of them.

TWA was getting maintenance on the cheap for the 717s because of the Boeing warrenty, the 717s were in every way shape and form out performing their DC-9-30s, and were cheap enough to operate that TWA didn't feel the need for massive numbers of RJs because the 717s could generate far more revenue with first class and larger cargo holds. Even factoring in their higher lease rates and TWA's higer cost of fuel, in a head to head match they would have beaten AA's F100s.

AA didn't want the 717s for the same reason they are disposing of the F100s. Like Delta, they pretty much gave up on the short range 100 seat markets and turned them over to 70-seat RJs flown by Eagle with a few MD80s held over for the larger of the markets.
 
copaair737
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RE: Why Didn't AA Keep The 717?

Sun May 16, 2004 11:50 am

Does anyone think AA will order the 717 again, once their financial situation improves?
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AirframeAS
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RE: Why Didn't AA Keep The 717?

Sun May 16, 2004 2:19 pm

Not only the lease rates were the problem, AA didnt see a very good reason to operate the B717 and the Fokker aircraft at the same time since the number of pax on both aircraft were equivelant. So AA decided to ditch the B717 and continue flying their Fokker aircraft. That being said, that probably has changed now....now phasing out the Fokker aircraft.
A Safe Flight Begins With Quality Maintenance On The Ground.
 
ckfred
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RE: Why Didn't AA Keep The 717?

Sun May 16, 2004 2:34 pm

The decision to get rid of the 717s was made before September 11th. AA felt it didn't need 2 small mainline jets.

Although the 717s would have fit into the AA fleet well, since pilots who are checked out on the MD-80 can also check out on the 717, after September 11th, AA did not have the finances that would have permitted to continue to take deliveries of 717s, even on lease terms normally extended to a relatively healthy carrier like AA.

When AA signed its contract with Boeing in the late 90s, the belief was that the 737-600 would eventually replace the F100. Whether that will happen and when is another question.
 
qqflyboy
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RE: Why Didn't AA Keep The 717?

Sun May 16, 2004 7:37 pm

The cockpit on 717s is a lot more similar to a 737NG than an MD-80. Although I don't know it as fact, I would be highly surprised they shared cockpit commonality. In the cockpit, the aircraft couldn't be more different. The MD-80 and MD-90 don't even share cockpit commonality.

I think AA got rid of them simply as part of its fleet simplification, that, and they already had 70+ paid for airplanes with similar capacity.


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BR715-A1-30
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RE: Why Didn't AA Keep The 717?

Sun May 16, 2004 9:55 pm

QQFlyboy, Actually The MD80 is more common with the MD-95 than the 737 is. The MD-80 is just an analog version of the MD-95. If you stuck an MD-80 Pilot in the seat of an MD-95, he would probably recognize it more than he would a 737-600. They also fly the same way, so he would not have to learn many new techniques because they share common tail, wing, and rudder (notice I said COMMON, and not the same). The 737 is alot heavier than the MD-95. So, it would actually make sense for AA to launch the 717-300 with 256 examples once the economy improves and replace the aging Super 80s. I love the Mad Dogs, but even an old dog can't learn all the new tricks.
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MidnightMike
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RE: Why Didn't AA Keep The 717?

Sun May 16, 2004 9:57 pm

: Qqflyboy

The only thing that the 737NG & the 717 have in common is that they are both glass cockpits, the pilots would require a full transition training course if they ever had to cross train, the 717 cockpit is actually very similar to the MD11 cockpit. The American pilots would require a differences course to go from the MD80 cockpit to the 717, which was about 12 - 14 days long, would have to check my notes.

American operated the 717's as TWA express, and never came into American mainline hands, there were ongoing negotiations with Boeing & American on the 717, American would have received favorable rates.

Several years ago in an effort to standarize the fleet, American wanted to phase out the MD80's in favor of the Fokker, until a period of time, when the Fokker could be phased out as well, that is another reason why the MD90's went away as well.

Yes, American airlines was very impressed with the717 & loved the numbers, but it would have been very expensive to maintain both the MD80's, 717's, & the Fokkers. Of course years later, since Fokker is out of business, American is parking the Fokkers in favor of the MD80 & eventually the MD80 will be retired as well, things take time.
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Guest

RE: Why Didn't AA Keep The 717?

Mon May 17, 2004 1:02 am

Because of the lease rates. I have some old numbers somewhere, but TWA was paying $900K a month for each one (normal lease is between $150 and $250K a month) and the leases could not be re-negotiated. Woudl be interesting to see what would have become of the 717 in the AA fleet had the lease rates changed.
 
EAL757
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RE: Why Didn't AA Keep The 717?

Mon May 17, 2004 4:46 am

$900k per month for a single 717? There's no way on earth that was the case--I could see if it was say 25-30% higher than a normal lease, but that's an incredible markup! Could somebody verify that number? In the unlikely case that it is legit: holy freakn cow! That would be unreal.

I have to say it - I really really like the 717--I hope Boeing introduces a -300 that bridges the size gap between the 717 and MD-80 (shoot, it could be the size of an MD-80 for all I care, but I think it's a great, efficient, cost effective airplane and it'd be great to see DL, NW, AA and CO order some...if and when they ever get some money.

-Jeff
 
727LOVER
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RE: Why Didn't AA Keep The 717?

Mon May 17, 2004 5:34 am

Something's wrong here. I know I've seen shots of AA 717 on here.  Confused
"We must accept finite disappointment, but never lose infinite hope." - Martin Luther King, Jr.
 
Air1727
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RE: Why Didn't AA Keep The 717?

Mon May 17, 2004 6:12 am

No 717 ever operated under American; all of them operated under TWA LLC.

In order to bring the 717s over, there had to be fiscal and operational responsibility and considering there was no efficient and cost effective way to remove the F-100 fleet in such a short amount of time, the 717 was placed out of the integration picture. Simple as that...American looked at options to sell the entire F-100 fleet; lease back with Boeing, etc; all were unreasonable and/or unattainable.
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EAL757
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RE: Why Didn't AA Keep The 717?

Mon May 17, 2004 6:53 am

so then can we raise the question that was previously raised...will we ever see a 717/variant as the MD-80 replacement for AA? They have what 330 of those things? I know alot are newer, but the fact remains, they will have to replace them sometime! Are we just to assume the 738 will do it, or has there been any spec on an AA 717 order/lease deal?

-Jeff
 
highliner2
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RE: Why Didn't AA Keep The 717?

Mon May 17, 2004 9:51 am

727LOVER,

I could've sworn I've also seen a 717 in AAs colors. Not the hybrid scheme either, I was at STL, and the difference between the 717s engines and a DC-9-30s are obvious, in addition, AA never repainted any of the old DC-9s into AA colors, I don't think any of them even made it into the hybrid scheme actually.
Go Cubs!
 
Guest

RE: Why Didn't AA Keep The 717?

Mon May 17, 2004 8:50 pm

900k per month for a single 717? There's no way on earth that was the case--I could see if it was say 25-30% higher than a normal lease, but that's an incredible markup! Could somebody verify that number? In the unlikely case that it is legit: holy freakn cow! That would be unreal.

That is the data provided by ECLAT in 2000. TWA got a discount ($30M per copy), but not like the customers are getting today (around $25M per copy). In addition, TWA was smacked with a tough interest rate due to their financial condition. I didn't beleive the figure either (thought a typo when I first saw it), but it was reported that high for a full year.
 
Northwest717
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RE: Why Didn't AA Keep The 717?

Mon May 17, 2004 9:31 pm

OMG, I'd love to see AA order the 717! That'd be a great plane for their fleet and it could replace those aging MD-80s & F100s! I sure hope they order them!

-Tim  Smile/happy/getting dizzy
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JAL
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RE: Why Didn't AA Keep The 717?

Mon May 17, 2004 9:38 pm

The 717 would have been a logical replacement for AA's F-100.
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HlywdCatft
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RE: Why Didn't AA Keep The 717?

Mon May 17, 2004 9:45 pm

I could have sworn I seen an AA 717 in full AA colors at DTW in November 2001 also, but maybe it was that interim scheme where it was in the AA Silver red white and blue but with those small red TWA titles

[Edited 2004-05-17 15:11:44]
 
PSU.DTW.SCE
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RE: Why Didn't AA Keep The 717?

Tue May 18, 2004 5:13 am

There never were any 717's in the full AA livery.
A few were put/delivered in the interm livery - bare metal Red/White/Blue stripe, but with TWA titles.

AA rid itself of the 717's as mentioned above, they intended on keeping the F-100's around, however conditions did not improve as they hoped and when the bottom almost fell out last spring and they needed to shed excess capacity, and non-cost effective aircraft the F-100's were set to be retired.

AA is NOT directly replacing the F-100 fleet. They wanted to rid themselves of another costly fleet time, and capacity they did not need. As for the MD-80's, they will remain as long as they are more cost effective than a replacement. AA operates over 700 mainline aircraft, they cannot afford turn their fleet every 10-15 years, aircraft will fly for 20-30 years as long as they are cost effective. Those of you holding your breath for an MD-80 replacement and/or 717 order, just better keep on holding your breath for a long long time.
 
AAR90
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RE: Why Didn't AA Keep The 717?

Wed May 19, 2004 12:21 am

So, what went wrong?

Nothing.

That the B717 just "didn"t fit" into AA's plans. I was wondering if anyone happened to have some insider information on what happened.

Originally AA looked very closely at the 717 as a replacement for the F100. Since Fokker's demise the maintenance costs for the F100 were on a constant rise and AA was [at that time] looking into a possible replacement. The original AA-Boeing 20-year exclusive supplier agreement was supposed to cover the F100 replacement with 737 versions [exact models to be determined by AA during the 20-year period], but AA and Boeing re-negotiated those terms to bring the 717 into the picture.

The basics of said negotiations was that Boeing was offering a one-for-one trade of 717 for F100 on very favorable financial terms to AA. AA was very serious about accepting, but the "deal-breaker" was AA's insistance that Boeing be prohibited from remarketing the used F100s to North American operators [probable AA competitors]. Eventually negotiations ceased and AA has since turned in another direction due to later events [recession & 9/11 primarily]. At the moment AA is in no financial position to purchase any new planes... especially beyond those it has been able to defer delivery dates for.

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Thrust
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RE: Why Didn't AA Keep The 717?

Wed May 19, 2004 6:08 am

If AA had kept the 717s, they would have provided the perfect replacement for the Fokker 100s. The 717 and the Fokker 100 are nearly identical for the most part, both are RR-powered, but the 717 is a hell of a lot more fuel-efficient and quiet. AA is using the MD-80 to replace the Fokker 100. The dramatic size difference between the MD-80 and the Fokker 100, as well as the incomparable fuel-efficiency and quietness of the MD-80 to the 717, I think makes the MD-80 a poor replacement compared to the 717. Not to mention the 717 would've looked beautiful in AA colors, as indicated by the TWA/AA hybrid schemes.
Fly one thing; Fly it well
 
LMP737
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RE: Why Didn't AA Keep The 717?

Wed May 19, 2004 6:22 am

AAR90:

I knew AA drove a hard bargain (my pay check it proof of this) but turning down the 717 because they did not want Boeing to sell F100 in North America is somewhat strange. Being the biggest operator of the F100 in N. American they were also the biggest maintenance provider. All they would have to do to make life difficult for an F100 operator here in the USA is say "sorry, were no longer in the F100 maintenance business".
Never take financial advice from co-workers.
 
AAR90
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RE: Why Didn't AA Keep The 717?

Wed May 19, 2004 6:39 am

Being the biggest operator of the F100 in N. American they were also the biggest maintenance provider.

The plan was [is] to get out of that business when the planes were [are] gone.

All they would have to do to make life difficult for an F100 operator here in the USA is say "sorry, were no longer in the F100 maintenance business".

Boeing was planning on taking over maintenance responsibilities... since they would be reselling/leasing the planes and are in the third-party maintenance industry already anyway.
*NO CARRIER* -- A Naval Aviator's worst nightmare!
 
LMP737
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RE: Why Didn't AA Keep The 717?

Sat May 22, 2004 8:14 am

And I'm looking forward to be being out of the F100 maintenance business.  Big grin
Never take financial advice from co-workers.
 
PHLBOS
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RE: Why Didn't AA Keep The 717?

Sun May 23, 2004 12:36 am

AA was very serious about accepting, but the "deal-breaker" was AA's insistence that Boeing be prohibited from remarketing the used F100s to North American operators [probable AA competitors]

Let's see at that time, US was the only other North American carrier that flew the F100 (to which US retired the type in 2002, a decision to do so was made before 9/11), FL was receiving 717s, WN was still receiving 737s, B6 & F9 were receiving Airbii, TZ was starting to receive 738s and 753s, Song and Ted weren't event thought of yet, N7 (which was still around then) was only interested in 752s, and Sun Country Airlines was receiving 738s.

Unless AA was thinking about competitors overseas (for flights within Europe or Asia), the thought of their domestic rivals wanting AA's used F100s is laughable.  Laugh out loud

Talk about absolute arrogance, stupidity, and short-sightedness on AA's part.  Nuts
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MD-90
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RE: Why Didn't AA Keep The 717?

Sun May 23, 2004 1:25 am

Now this is interesting.

Example Airport - Carl T. Jones Field, in Huntsville, Alabama. It serves, I dunno, 250,000 people?

AA has been flying F100s there for years, with ERJ 135 (not -45) service as well. When the F100s started going into retirement, MD-82s were flown in (again, as they used to be common, esp with the Nashville hub). But they're substantially bigger than the F100. Does that mean HSV might see the CRJ-700? Delta has no problem filling MD-88s and 733/738s at HSV, but Delta has a much larger local East Coast presence, when compared to AA.

I would love to see both AA and Delta fly the 717, but I'm not going to hold my breath. Especially since Delta got out of the 100 seat market in the 1980s, when they concentrated on the 727 at the expense of their DC-9s.
 
Thrust
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RE: Why Didn't AA Keep The 717?

Sun May 23, 2004 1:30 am

MD-90, unfortunately we may not see Delta around for much longer to fly the 717, but I would love to see it as well. Anyone know if the stretched 717-300 has been launched yet? I'm not a persistent follower of the 717, what with its unsuccessfulness in sales...but TWA operating it certainly got me used to seeing them in the skies as an STL citizen...what beautiful little airplanes!  Big thumbs up
Fly one thing; Fly it well
 
elwood64151
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RE: Why Didn't AA Keep The 717?

Sun May 23, 2004 3:29 am

Thrust:

No, the 717-300 hasn't been launched as a production program. Boeing has completed just about all of the design work necessary to build the 717-300 (originally called MD-95-50). However, as of yet there have been no takers for the type.

As for using the 717-300 as an MD-80 replacement, the 717-300 is about the size of an MD-87/DC-9-50, or about halfway between a 737-600 and 737-700. If I recall correctly, only about 90 MD-87s were built, though 200 or so DC-9-50s *were* built. Most MD-80s were larger, roughly the size of a 737-800.

In any event, I think the 717-300 would need about 100 firm orders before Boeing would begin production.
Those who fail to learn history are doomed to repeat it in summer school.
 
Northwest717
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RE: Why Didn't AA Keep The 717?

Sun May 23, 2004 1:27 pm

I know why American doesn't operate them! It is because NWA bought them all and about to start service with them! Wishful thinking...... If only....... Sad

-Tim
Dubai: Center of the 21st Century
 
akjetBlue
Topic Author
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RE: Why Didn't AA Keep The 717?

Tue May 25, 2004 12:26 am

Wow thanks for all the information guys...

If the 717-300 is launched anyone know how many people it would hold? Would this be comparable to say the 737-800 or the MD-80 ?

Might make a good replacement for the older MD-80s that American and Delta have once they are back on their feet.

Curious,

-Philzy
Save a horse! Ride a Cowboy!
 
LMP737
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RE: Why Didn't AA Keep The 717?

Tue May 25, 2004 12:42 am

The 717-300 is not comparable tot he 737-800 because it lacks the range. In addition niether American nor Delta will buy it because they are commited to the 737.
Never take financial advice from co-workers.
 
sq452
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RE: Why Didn't AA Keep The 717?

Tue May 25, 2004 12:43 am

You almost thing they would have kept it with them wanting to get rid of the F-100's
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