There's also the little matter that US did not replace its 737 aircraft with A32X aircraft
. The A32X aircraft which US took delivery of replaced the DC-9-30, MD
-80, and F-100 fleets, and only a very minor part of the 737-200 fleet. While US clearly intended to replace the 737-200 fleet with A32X aircraft, it did not have a chance to, when 9/11 occurred and MetroJet was shutdown. The few 737-300/400 retirements were a result of lease rejections during the first bankruptcy. Here's the press release from the Airbus narrowbody order. Note that it doesn't even mention the 737-300/400.
US Airways Orders Up To 400 Airbus Aircraft
ARLINGTON, VA., November 6, 1996 -- US Airways Group, Inc. announced today that it has placed orders for up to 400 Airbus aircraft in a major move to modernize and simplify its fleet, reduce operating costs and position itself for a changing competitive environment in the eastern United States.
The company noted that the purchase and delivery of the new aircraft are dependent upon achieving a competitive cost structure and board of directors approval.
Included in the announcement are firm orders for 120 Airbus A319s, A320s and A321s, 120 orders to be reconfirmed at a later date and 160 options with open-ended delivery dates. The company has flexibility in selecting among the 122-seat A319, the 144-seat A320 and the 168-seat A321, depending upon projected industry conditions at the time final delivery schedules are set.
The orders are designed to cover the airline's needs for narrow-body aircraft through the year 2009. In an effort to reduce aircraft and engine types, US Airways noted that the A320 series will replace at a minimum the DC-9-30s, B-737-200s, F-28s and MD
-80s currently in US Airways's fleet. The four different aircraft with three different engine types will be replaced by a single aircraft family with one engine type.
"US Airways takes this important and significant step today in its effort to become both the airline of choice and an airline with a competitive cost structure," said Chairman and CEO Stephen M. Wolf. "The Airbus A319, A320 and A321, with their sizing flexibility, are extremely efficient and environmentally friendly aircraft that will serve our evolving markets for
"The market in the eastern U.S. is moving to a lower-fare environment that brings with it increased demand. These aircraft, and the flexibility we have in executing orders among aircraft types, will give us cost-efficient planes of the right size at the right time to compete aggressively in this changing market."
US Airways's labor leaders and employee representatives welcomed today's announcement.
Perry L. Hayes, president of the master executive council of the Association of Flight Attendants, said, "This aircraft order makes a dynamic statement about our future. Now we must be equally bold in becoming a competitive airline that is the carrier of choice."
Captain Robert P. Gaudioso, chairman of the master executive council of the Air Line Pilots Association, said, "These new aircraft will make our fleet one of the most modern in the world. We are committed to working together with our management to address a competitive strategy that works for US Airways and its employees."
William Freiberger, assistant general chairman, District 141 International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers, said, "This decision by US Airways is a major step forward in an effort to become the carrier of choice as we move into the 21st century. The IAMAW is committed to continue to pursue our emerging collaborative High Performance Work Organization so we may build on our spirit of cooperation in an effort to effectively address our cost issues."
Don Wright, president of Transport Workers Union Local 545, said, "These new aircraft will propel us on our path toward becoming the carrier of choice. Combined with the vision of our new management, we can create the environment that will allow us to work toward long-term profitability for US Airways."
Michael J. Cichirillo, System Roundtable representative, said of today's announcement, "There have been many changes at US Airways during this year and this announcement sends a clear message that we are a new airline. Every employee can and should identify with that and work toward making us more cost-competitive."
US Airways said it now would enter into discussions with engine manufacturers for the engines to power the new aircraft and also would begin examining alternatives for wide-body aircraft to support its growing international operations.
Jean Pierson, managing director and chief executive officer of Airbus Industrie, said, "In addition to the operational flexibility provided US Airways as a result of the commonality of the Airbus design, our production flexibility enables us to provide the aircraft on a schedule more suitable to the airline."
The Airbus A319 is a twin-engine 122-seat aircraft with a range of 3,000 nautical miles, the A320 a twin-engine 144-seat aircraft with a range of 2,900 nautical miles and the A321 a twin-engine 168-seat aircraft with a range of 2,700 nautical miles.
US Airways will configure its new aircraft with 12 seats in first class for the A319 and A320 and 24 for the A321, with the balance in coach. A feature of the Airbus 320 series is a common cockpit, vastly simplifying maintenance and training and scheduling of flight crews, major factors in airline costs.
US Airways operates almost 5,000 jet and US Airways Express flights daily to more than 200 destinations worldwide including 39 states in the U.S., Puerto Rico, Canada, Mexico, Bahamas, Bermuda, U.S. Virgin Islands, Cayman Islands, Jamaica and St. Maarten. European destinations include Frankfurt, Madrid, Munich, Paris and Rome.
More than 1,100 of the A320 family have been ordered by 54 customers worldwide and more than 600 already are in operation. Airbus Industrie, based in Toulouse, France, also produces the A300, A310, A330 and A340, giving it a range of aircraft from the 124-seat A319 to the 440-seat A340.
I'm the expert on here on two things, neither of which I care about much anymore.